Choosing Your Best Friend Over Love

Two years ago, I was Facetiming and talking on the phone with my friend Charlotte. We were having our usual, fun, chill conversation on the phone, and she told me that one of her guy “friends” admitted to liking her. For me, this did not come as a surprise. 

Charlotte was practically this beautiful, Instagram model. She looked good in all of her Instagram posts. She would mostly have famous, professional athletes slide in her DMs, and she would hook up with them sometimes. Plus, Charlotte and I had met through Tinder at the time. She was this gorgeous, attractive girl that I really wanted to get with. However, the more I got to know her, the more I realized that we would be better as friends. I didn’t think that we were compatible, and I couldn’t see myself having a long-term relationship with her. Something was just missing with her. Nevertheless, I still liked talking to her and decided we were better off as friends. 

Anyways, Charlotte was telling me that this guy that was her friend was heading off into the military, but he ended up confessing his feelings for her. Charlotte told me that it really came out of nowhere, and she didn’t feel anything romantic with him. He told her that he always had feelings for her, and Charlotte was kind of weirded out and confused by that. 

Charlotte asked, “Like Isaiah, if he knew he always had feelings for me, why didn’t he say something from the beginning and just act like my friend all this time?”

It was a valid question, and I responded, “Well, some guys just don’t really like being honest and truthful about their feelings. I don’t personally believe in the Friend Zone, but some guys that do would rather keep you close and be stuck in the Friend Zone because it’s a safer option. They don’t get rejected, and they can pretty much stay close to you and wait for a better opportunity to make their move.”

Charlotte then asked me why I don’t necessarily believe in the Friend Zone. I said, “Well, I just don’t think you can be stuck in the Friend Zone. For a guy or girl, you can choose to either tell your friend how you feel, never say anything or walk away from the friendship. However, it’s all your choice. You’re only stuck because you chose to be stuck.”

 Charlotte was impressed with my answer, but she’s still annoyed that most of her guy friends just randomly profess their love for her. I understood her frustration, and I assured that she always had a friend in me. She was glad to hear that I just intended to be friends with her, and she started talking to me about her guy best friend that she really cared about. His name was Billy. She told me that they had been friends for years, and she could always count on him. Billy sounded like a really good friend.  Then, she told me some interesting things about him that made me question if he was a good friend. 

She explained to me how every time he talked to a new girl or had a girlfriend, he would just cut her off. Billy would tell Charlotte that his girlfriends were not comfortable with him being friends with her. I thought that was a little weird because I just had a hard time believing that all of his girlfriends were telling him to stop talking to Charlotte. I felt like he just wanted to cut her off, but I didn’t say anything. Charlotte also added that everytime it didn’t work out with any of his girlfriends, he would just be messaging her like crazy talking about he’s sorry and wanted to be friends again. 

Charlotte said, “Yeah, he just messaged every 10-15 minutes for weeks saying that he missed me and wanted to be friends again. It was so annoying getting messages from him and just ignoring him, but I also thought that it was sweet that he was constantly messaging and apologizing to me. It showed that he was serious about our friendship and knew he made a mistake, and I just had to eventually forgive him.” 

I blurted out, “Well, that sounds like harassment to me. I get that it was somewhat sentimental to you, but that’s also kinda childish and pathetic to me. You clearly didn’t want to talk to him, and he didn’t really respect the fact that you wanted to stop talking to him. But you didn’t block him or tell him to stop for whatever reason, and it ended up working out. Now y’all have a wonderful, life-long friendship together.”  

Charlotte said I was right, but she said that Billy doing all that wasn’t pathetic to her. It meant a lot to her. I could tell there was a little change in her mood. She was bothered. It’s possible that I may have revealed and shared too much of my thoughts. I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have said all that, when she just wanted to share something sentimental about her best friend. I was thinking I had to be more careful with my honesty and transparency. Some restraint is necessary and important. 

Thankfully, I was able to change the subject, and we were able to go back to having a chill, fun conversation. I was relieved that our conversation about her best friend Billy didn’t ruin our time FaceTiming and talking with one another.

A couple of days had passed, and Charlotte messaged and told me in the afternoon that she met the most amazing guy. I was all excited and happy to hear that, and I wanted to know so much about the guy that got her in her feelings. She told so much about him, and how he slid in her DMs and is practically her dream guy. Charlotte felt a real connection with this guy, and I was genuinely happy for her. I wanted her to find the one, and I couldn’t wait to Facetime her and talk about the guy. 

Around 6:00 that day, Charlotte messaged me again and told me that it wasn’t going to work out with the guy. I was devastated and hurt. I was invested in this potential relationship, and I wanted to see it come to fruition. How could it be so short lived? They were supposed to have some rom com moments, have some cute pictures together, decide if they want to be public or private about their relationship, get married, have kids and grow old together. I was rooting for this potential couple, how could it be over so soon? I needed answers. I needed an explanation for this romance that literally lasted for a few hours. 

Charlotte and I Facetime each other around 9:00, and I immediately ask what happened with her dream guy. I admitted to her that I was rooting for them, and I just thought that they were meant to be. Charlotte thought that I was sweet thinking that, but she said there was a lot that happened. She explained how everything was going well as they were talking and connecting with each other, but then he brought up guy friends. I knew it was about to get crazy. 

Charlotte said, “So, I told him that I have guy friends and that I have a guy best friend named Billy. I told him that we’re really close, but he had nothing to worry about. Billy is honestly just a friend.” 

Then, she told me that he was uncomfortable with her having a guy best friend. He was worried that they would get close and develop feelings for each other. I was certain that Charlotte would tell the guy that he had nothing to worry about, but she ended up dropping an unexpected bomb shell to me. 

She stated, “Well, Billy and I had kissed and made out before.” 

I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I heard. I needed more information and details about this unexpected plot twist. So, Charlotte continued, “Well, it was a couple of years ago and we were just hanging out with each other. One thing led to another, and we just ended up kissing and making out. But nothing else happened after that. We just felt like it was weird and decided we were better off as friends.” 

There were a lot of questions and concerns that were racing in my mind with Charlotte and Billy. Like how could y’all be friends after that? It wasn’t like they kissed for a few seconds. The way Charlotte described it to me, it sounded like they kissed for a good 15-20 minutes before putting a stop to it and going further. And how did Charlotte know if it was genuinely weird for him, too? He might’ve just said that because you said that. And if he saw you as just a friend, why does he always ghost you the minute he has a girlfriend? It just seemed like Charlotte was something more than just a friend to him. The math was not mathing to me at all. I was thinking all those things to myself, but I refrained from saying anything because I remembered I didn’t want to be too honest and transparent with her. 

Anyways, Charlotte added that she told the guy what had happened between her and Billy, and the guy told her that she needed to end her friendship with Billy. Charlotte explained, “Yeah, he was saying that he’s uncomfortable with me and Billy’s friendship, and I essentially had to choose between him or my best friend. That was just so unfair to me because we had just met, and you’re already trying to dictate who I can and cannot be friends with. That’s ridiculous and a huge red flag to me.” 

I understood where Charlotte was coming from, and I agreed with her to a certain extent. Charlotte and the guy really had not gone on even a first date, and he really had no business/right telling her who she can and cannot be friends with. However, I will say that if their relationship was more established, then he could have more of a say. I do believe that friends of the opposite sex can get in the way of a relationship and disrespect it as well because they may not know how to respect boundaries. That’s unfair to your partner if he/she feels that a friend is disrespecting your relationship and disregarding certain boundaries. I feel like it’s important for your partner to feel safe, comfortable and secure with you.   

Charlotte stated that she couldn’t believe the ultimatum the guy gave her, and she said that she would choose her best friend. The guy understood and decided that they should just stop talking to each other. Then, Charlotte asked me what I thought about the whole situation. 

I was thinking a lot of things about Billy, her and potential future relationships where her friendship with Billy could be a problem with guys that were interested in her. However, I said, “Well, I think he definitely gave you an unfair ultimatum, especially with y’all not really going on a first date yet. You made your choice. Your friendship with Billy is clearly important to you, and you don’t want to compromise that in any way. He clearly wasn’t the guy for you, and that’s okay. The right guy is definitely gonna come your way soon.”

She was appreciative of my encouraging words, and she was glad that I was her friend. We ended up changing the subject and just talking and having our normal, usual conversation. Before we hung up, she mentioned the guy again and couldn’t believe how much they connected with each other. She felt like it was real, and it would’ve been nice to see him in person and go on a date with him. 

“I can understand that, but you can’t keep thinking about it. It wasn’t like you were in a full blown relationship with him, and y’all weren’t talking very long either. Do you know how pretty and beautiful you are? There are gonna be better, sweeter guys that will come your way and treat you better,” I said.

Charlotte was thankful for everything that I said, and she’s glad that I can be so hopeful and optimistic. She just thought that she had a real chance at love. I just couldn’t believe that she chose her best friend over love.

That’s the end of the short story “Choosing Your Best Friend Over Love.”

Be sure to like, comment, and share your thoughts on this short story.

Late Night Call

I remember the first and only time I heard your voice on the phone.

It was late at night,

And I was relaxing in bed.

You called me,

And I eagerly answered.

I was excited to hear your soothing, gentle voice

On a quiet, sleepless night.

It was warm and calming

Like a campfire on a beach.

Your voice put me in a dream-like, relaxing place.

A place that I really can’t describe.

A place that I never wanted to leave.

I remember wanting to learn everything about you.

I was intrigued and eager to learn.

I didn’t want you to hold anything back.

Thankfully, you didn’t disappoint me.

You told me about your dream of being a housewife.

Your desire to be more spiritual and closer to God.

Your obsession over a specific actor and his movies.

Your fears and worries,

You told me these things and many more without hesitation.

I admired you for that.

You were so open and honest with me.

You were real and authentic.

But most importantly,

You were not afraid to share yourself with me.

I was afraid to share myself with you that night.

I couldn’t share all of me with you.

There were reasons holding me back from doing such a thing.

Reasons that I couldn’t really ignore,

Despite you giving me such a sweet dream.

Reasons were telling me to wait.

Reasons were telling me to stay back,

When I wanted to get closer to you.

I wanted to open myself up to you.

I wanted to trust you so much that night,

But reasons wouldn’t allow it.

They refused to allow it.

How could they be so unfair to you?

Our late night call had a time limit,

And it was coming to an end.

It was late at night,

And we both had work in the morning.

We needed to end our call.

I didn’t want to say goodbye to you.

I didn’t want to wake up to reality.

I wanted to stay with you in this pleasant dream,

But I remember dreams don’t last forever.

They’re temporary,

And they end in an instant with or without your approval.

They may also never come back to you again,

Just like our first and only late night call.

Just For Today

I want nothing on my mind,

I just don’t want to think about anything.

It’s a terrible day to do such a thing.

I’m just having one of those days.

You know about those days, right?

It’s perfectly normal to have these days, right?

It just feels like I have them all the time.

I just have days of wanting to feel nothing,

When I’m feeling everything.

Why do I have these days?

What’s wrong with me?

No, nothing is wrong with me, right?

It’s just one of those days, right?

I just have to get through today.

Just deal with it all today.

Just for today.

A Father at His Weakest

A man finds out that his father died in his sleep.

He’s surrounded by his wife and children when he discovers the terrible news.

He’s devastated, and he doesn’t know how to contain himself.

How can his father be gone so suddenly?

How can he imagine a life without his father?

Without thinking, he cries.

His wife quickly comes over and tries to comfort him.

He welcomes her embrace, and he still continues to cry.

His daughters start crying as well.

It hurts them to see their father in pain.

He assures them that he’ll be alright, and he still continues to cry.

His sons didn’t know what to do.

They had never seen their father be so emotional and vulnerable.

They had never seen their father have a moment of weakness.

They wondered what did it mean as their father continues to cry.

 

Those boys would later realize that their father was simply being a man.

A man that had lost a father.

A man that needed to cry and mourn for his father.

A man that needed the comfort of his wife and children.

A man that wasn’t afraid to be weak in front of his family.

A man that has integrity, dignity, honor and love in his heart.

A man that always wants to teach his sons the true meaning of strength and courage can come in times of weakness.

Their father was a man at his weakest.

But most importantly, he was a father at his weakest.

 

This poem is dedicated to my father Shawn McNeil. Thank you for never being afraid to cry, being emotional and being vulnerable. Thank you for always teaching me how to be a true man. I love you so much, dad! Happy Father’s day to you and all the good fathers in this world.

 

 

Black Queens

Thank you for everything that you have done for us black men.

Without you, we would be lost.

You guide us in the right direction.

You all help us when we need it most.

You support us when we’re struggling to stand up.

You nurture us when we are sick and wounded.

You comfort us in the blackest of nights.

You soothe us when we face our darkest nightmares.

You educate us so that we can be better.

You do so much for us, and you deserve more praise and honor.

You are beautiful beyond measure.

Your melanin is gorgeous in all shades.

How can I resist your pretty brown eyes?

Your pretty brown eyes shine bright with ebony and gold.

Your smile always welcomes love, comfort and kindness.

Your soul is pure and wholesome.

You have a beauty like no other.

 

I love you black women.

Without you, I would not be the black man that I am today.

You are responsible in how I treat and respect all women.

You have taught me so much about loving myself and the color of my skin.

You empower me and help me grow at unimaginable heights.

You have shown me love and how to properly reciprocate it.

Thank you black women for molding and shaping me.

Thank you for being more than just women.

Thank you for being black queens.

 

This poem is dedicated to black women and their beauty. In this time of hardship and struggle to find justice for not only George Floyd, but also other black lives that were lost because of police brutality and racism, it’s important for us as African Americans to know our beauty, especially black women. You are beautiful, and you help uplift us in unimaginable ways. Keep staying strong and beautiful because you are appreciated.

 

 

 

The Old Man at the Bus Stop

I wait patiently for my bus at an abandoned mall.

I remember my times at this abandoned yet familiar mall.

I remember the sacred moments I had with family, friends and even a girl.

I especially think about the girl and the spot we shared together.

I miss the spot.

I miss the girl.

I think about those two things too much sometimes,

When I’m at the bus stop.

I long to forget about the paradise I once had in my life.

 

A few drops of rain fall from a gray sky.

It adds a little more sadness into my heart.

I wonder why there can’t be more sunshine in the sky or even in my soul?

I miss the sunshine that I once had in life.

I wish for it, but it’s long gone.

It’s somewhere far away, while I’m in a place of darkness.

A place I fear that I will never escape.

Is escape possible?

As usual, I don’t have an answer.

God really does know how to create a depressing situation.

Enters the old man.

 

I look at the old man, and he seems sad and depressed.

He is a white man with a gray beard.

Then, I see a part of his hat that read “Vietnam” on it.

He’s a veteran, I naturally assume.

I start to feel bad for him

Because it seems like he had suppressed one too many things

That I could never imagine.

That weight of suppression has him looking down at not only the world but also himself.

He is lost and abandoned.

 

The old man looks at me, says hi and gives me his best smile.

I did the same thing as well.

I want to keep my distance and not talk anymore.

Nothing against him, but I’m just comfortable with silence and my own thoughts.

There’s just comfort in being alone.

People just complicate your state of mind.

However, he wants to talk some more with me.

I want to politely tell him that I don’t want to have a conversation

But then I stop myself.

I realize that maybe we both really need this conversation.

Maybe our conversation would have a purpose.

Maybe meeting each other was crafted by God.

Maybe I’m stretching, but I need to find out for myself.

 

Five minutes into our conversation, we’re sharing laughter and smiles.

We’re sharing our emotions and feelings.

We’re sharing anything we can.

I never expected to share so much to him.

I share so many secrets and disappointments

How could I admit and open up so much to a stranger,

When I struggle with being honest with others and myself?

 

He looks at me and asks me when was the last time I cried.

I tell him with ease that it’s been a long time.

Then he tells me to not be afraid to do so.

He was a soldier,

He admits that there were times that he had to cry.

Crying really helped him let go.

 

He pleads for me to cry when I get the opportunity.

Before I can respond, my bus arrives.

I look at him and promise that I will try.

He nods his head, smiles and thanks me for having a conversation with him.

I tell him that it was an honor.

I say goodbye to him and get on the bus.

The bus rides away from the abandoned mall.

And I leave the old man at the bus stop.

 

This poem is dedicated to a veteran that I had a conversation with at a bus stop two years ago. It was one of the most realest conversations I ever had with someone, and I’m so thankful and blessed for that conversation.

Happy Memorial Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugs and Kisses

It’s not hard to show you love and affection.

In fact, it’s the easiest thing.

I know it’s because you’ve taught me so much about love.

It’s also because you’re a person that I can’t live without.

I can’t be without your love because it hits different.

It’s been with me since the day I was born.

It’s been with me in times that I was struggling and needing it most.

It’s a love that is unconditional.

Thank you for that love.

I don’t know who I would be without it.

It has shaped and molded me into the person that I am today.

Without it, I would be lost.

Without it, I wouldn’t know how love really felt.

 

Some people don’t know how to love properly because they were never taught how to.

Thank you for being that teacher for me.

You’ve always taught me that love is patient and kind.

You’ve always taught me that the true beauty of love comes through growth.

It’s consistent and built on the foundations of hard work and trust.

I thank God every day for you showing me that different kind of love.

I wonder how can I thank you for it though?

I don’t think I can even compare to all the time, energy and love you poured into me all my life.

However, I can try every single day for you.

I don’t mind.

In fact, I’m thankful and honored that I can.

I love you so much with all my heart.

 

I promise to strive and give you that special kind of love.

I promise that it will be an unconditional love.

I promise you a love that is patient and kind.

I promise you an affectionate love that consists of hugs and kisses.

 

This poem is dedicated to my mama for Mother’s Day Weekend. I love her so much, and I’m thankful and blessed for everything that she has done for me as a mother. She really put in the necessary time, energy and love in me that has helped shape the person that I am today. Mama, I hope you feel loved and cherished today on Mother’s Day. Thank you again for being such an amazing mother to me, and Zaiah Bear loves you berry much!

Dying Too Soon

I fear that death is around the corner, but you try to assure me that I’ll be fine

Can I really trust you?

I’m not sure anymore.

Madness is creeping over my shoulders.

Darkness is facing me with a smile on its face.

Where are you at though?

Thou is everywhere, but thou is nowhere in my sight.

 

Maybe I’m too lost in my own thoughts.

Maybe my mind is playing evil tricks on me that I know not of.

Then again, how close am I to death?

Can you give me an answer?

Or is your silence the only answer you can give me right now?

 

I’m in a place that I don’t even recognize.

It’s a place that I never expected to be in but I knew of it.

How did I end up here?

I thought I did everything right, but I was wrong.

I didn’t do enough for you or even myself.

Now, my regrets torture and plague my dying soul.

 

I need you right now, but you’re still silent.

Death has me in my grasp, but you remain silent.

The footsteps of death itself are deafening.

There’s nowhere else for me to go.

All I can do is wait for death to introduce itself to me.

 

Please don’t let me die right now.

I’m not ready for what comes after.

You know that, right?

You have to know that.

Please, I need you right now.

Give me a chance to make things right in this world

Please, you have to understand.

I am dying too soon.

 

 

My Conversation With God

Why do I pray to you every single day?

Is it because I’m required to?

Is it because I’m trying to get something I want that only you can give me?

Or is it for a specific reason?

 

Please, give me the answer.

Am I praying because religion requires it for me to get into Heaven?

Am I praying because I have to place my hopes, wishes and dreams in you?

Am I praying because it will help me fulfill a specific purpose in my life?

I don’t know, but I hope that I can find the answer for myself.

 

I’ve lost my faith in religion, I hope that doesn’t offend you.

It’s just that I recognized that I can’t rely on church to get me closer to you.

There are too many rules, politics, judgement and discrimination involved within the church that make it hard to get close to you.

Please forgive me when I say that church is not the gateway to you.

Instead, I think that it’s a dangerous tool.

However, I still want to use it but with caution.

But I recognize that it’s not the answer to you.

Only my faith and relationship with you is the answer.

 

I hope that you’re with everyone that I care about.

I hope that you’re with everyone that has hurt me in different ways.

I hope that you’re with everyone that needs you right now.

I hope that you can give them all the strength to fight the demons that they’re dealing with that I have knowledge and little knowledge about.

I hope and pray.

 

As our conversation is coming to an end, I want you to know that I love you with all my heart.

I’m not ashamed of having you in my life.

You’re the one thing that has helped me believe in myself.

You taught me that hard work, patience and dedication will lead to the miracles in my life.

I thank you for the strength you’ve given me to go get my blessings that you established in my life.

Thank you for all the things you have done in my life.

And thank you for this conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

No One Like You

When I’m with other girls, I think about you.

I compare you to them, and I’m disappointed with the results.

I wonder why they can’t be like you?

Why they can’t put my mind at ease like you can?

Why they can’t hold me like you can?

Why they can’t kiss me like you can?

Why is it so hard with them, but it was easy with you?

 

I know that we didn’t fall in love, but we were close.

I remember that night in your room where love was patiently waiting for us.

I knew that if we took things further that night, love would be certain in our relationship.

You were all over me, and your kisses were different.

They wanted something more from me.

They wanted every part of my body, and they were hard to resist.

 

The taste of your lips was irresistible to me.

I couldn’t stop sucking and licking them.

They were just like candy.

So sweet and so delicious.

They knew how to treat me right.

Why can’t other lips be like your lips?

 

We almost make love a reality, but I push you away at the last minute.

You understand, but you’re hurt.

How could I not give love a chance with you?

Sadly, I was bound to the fears and rules that shaped me.

God was so proud of me, but I was disappointed in myself.

I try to tell you that you did nothing wrong, but you don’t believe me.

Instead, you want me to leave.

I do as you wish and leave you alone.

 

How could I be so foolish with you?

How could I not take things further with you?

How could I not allow myself to fall in love with you?

I know I was young, but I could’ve done better.

That night with you always haunts me because you could’ve been the first girl I ever loved.

 

I fear that you were the one that was supposed to be my everything.

I fear that you were my one chance at love.

I fear that you will always be a nightmare.

I fear that no one will ever be like you.