My Greatest Teacher

It’s hard to imagine who I’d be without you.

You’ve given me so much, and I can never repay you.

You taught me the beauty of love.

You taught me the significance of faith.

You taught me the importance of family.

You taught me the strength of integrity.

You taught me the power of honor.

You taught me the truth of manhood.

How could I ever repay you?

 

You taught me good things that some men are never taught.

You helped me learn good things that some men can never learn.

You showed me how a man treats a woman.

It’s with love, honor, respect and care.

It’s with work, strength, kindness and patience.

Sadly, some men treat women differently than how you showed me.

Thank you for making sure that I wasn’t like some men in this world.

Thank you for teaching me how to be a true man.

 

Thank you for helping me believe in myself as a man.

For a minute, I thought my past would stop me.

It’s always mocking me in the present and never seeming to go away.

However, you assure me that my past will not be my future.

You tell me that my past will be my light.

For it will illuminate my mistakes and tragedies.

However, it will show how far I’ve come.

I’m stronger, wiser, healthier and better because of my past.

I need my past to be who I am today and in the future.

Thank you for teaching me my past is my cure to the future.

 

You’ve been with me most of my life, and you’ve always had my back.

I’ll always cherish everything you taught me.

I’ll use your teachings and become the man you see me becoming.

I’ll be a man of God.

I’ll be a great husband and a great father to my children.

And I’ll pass down your teachings from generation to generation.

I love you so much dad.

Thank you for being my greatest teacher.

 

 

Never Missing A Thing

When I think about my dad, Shawn McNeil, I’m thankful for having him in my life. I think about his integrity, determination, hard work, respect, kindness, wisdom and love for others. In addition, I admire his faith and how he’s a true man of God. These things and more that he has instilled in his body, mind and soul are things that I strive for and cherish in my life thanks to him. He taught me how to be a man when I was three years old. He came into my life, and he did his job as my father. Throughout the years, he was always by my side and made sure that I not only felt love but understood it. Looking back on the years and now, I realize that my dad was never missing a thing with me.

When I was 11 years old, I remember that I was starting to learn how to play the drums thanks to my dad Shawn McNeil. He wanted my siblings and I to learn how to play either the drums or piano. Since all my siblings decided to learn how to play the piano, I naturally elected to play the drums. I was thinking to myself that somebody has to do it. We have to have a drummer in the family, right? Anyways, I learned for years how to play the drums by Mr. Charles and every year I would participate in a recital. When I was 12 years old, I had my first ever recital with my little brother Isaac. We were performing the song “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. I remember I told my biological father Keith about the recital. He promised that he could make it to the recital, but he never did. I invited him to four recitals, but he never made it to any of them. I’ll admit that it bothered me a little when he made false promises to me, but it didn’t destroy me because of my dad. My dad went to all of my recitals, and I felt loved and appreciated because of him. I had my mom and dad at my recitals cheering me on, and it was all I needed to feel loved and appreciated.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the Track and Field team. I participated in the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter and 4×400 meter relay. I told Keith about me being on the track and field team, and he was proud of me. It meant a lot to me to have his approval, especially in high school. I remember year after year he would always promise to come to a track meet, but he never did. It didn’t bother that much because I was used to his empty promises by now. Anyways, I wasn’t hurt that Keith wasn’t there because I had my dad supporting and cheering me on. In fact, he was always exercising and training with me to be a better runner. If it wasn’t for my dad, I probably would never have lettered in track and field. He pushed to be the best possible version of myself, and I’m constantly striving to be the best version of myself thanks to my dad.

One of the things that I really wanted to do in high school was join the theater and drama club. I wanted to act in a school play and/or musical. I talked to Keith about it one time, but he didn’t approve. He said that I shouldn’t do theater or drama club because it was “gay” to him. He didn’t approve of guys that did theater instead of sports, and he didn’t want me doing it. I couldn’t understand the toxic masculinity that existed within Keith, and it was sad and disappointing to me. At the same time, I was still trying to get his approval, so I didn’t do theater and drama club in my sophomore or junior year of high school. However, I did do it in my senior year of high school.

It was the fall play “Murder in the Knife Room” that really enticed me to want to join drama club in my senior year of high school, but I was hesitant because of Keith. My dad actually encouraged me to audition for “Murder in the Knife Room.” He told me that this was something that I needed to do, and it wasn’t gonna make me someone that I’m not. It was going to bring me happiness, and he was going to be there for me and support me. I appreciated my dad and his encouraging words. I ended up being Plastic Politician in “Murder in the Knife Room” and Lucas Beineke in “The Addams Family Musical.” Those two shows, the cast and crew hold a special place in my heart, but that’s another story. Anyways, my dad came to all of my shows, but Keith never came to one.

Around the time of my high school graduation, Keith was talking about how he was gonna come to my graduation. He made a promise to me, but he couldn’t come. I remember I was deeply hurt by this because I had opened myself up to him and believed him. Surely, he wouldn’t disappoint me on this important day in my life, but he did. Thankfully, my dad was there for me, and he was all I needed. He made sure that I wasn’t thinking about Keith rather all the people from my uncles, aunts, family friends, mom, siblings and others that were there for me. My dad made sure to be there with me when I got my diploma, and it meant so much to me that he was proud of me.

Now, I’ll always have love for Keith. I don’t know what’s going on his life, but I know that he’s struggling right now. I pray for him every single day because he is my father, and he will always hold a special place in my heart. However, I’m so thankful and blessed to have Shawn McNeil in my life because he made sure to be a father to me. He knew that I needed that support, and I needed an earthly father figure to believe in me. My recitals, track meets, shows and graduation were special to me because my dad was there for me when Keith wasn’t able to be that father to me. My dad made those things meaningful to me, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ll always cherish my dad for teaching me what love was because of those events in my life. I love you always dad, and thank you for never missing a thing with me.

This is the end of “Never Missing A Thing.”

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

This weekend, I will be posting poetry dedicated to my dad Shawn McNeil on Saturday and Sunday.

Horror Movies With My Dad

I love movies with a passion, and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They hold a special place in my heart. My favorite genre is horror. Horror movies to me are on another level. I just love all the gore, blood, knives, killing, murder, demon possession, suspenseful music, isolated locations, poor choices, dumb characters, terror, madness and craziness that comes with horror movies. I love horror movies like Psycho, The Exorcist, Jaws, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Conjuring series, Friday the 13th, any horror-themed Stephen King movie, Halloween, Get Out, and so many more. I’m so thankful and blessed to have horror movies in my life, but I know that it wouldn’t be possible without my dad.

I remember it was 2008, and I was at a hotel in Springfield, Ohio. It was for a church convention, and all of my family was there. I was staying in a two-bedroom room with my parents and siblings. My Grandma Mollie was on the same floor as us, and she was a few doors away from us. It was a Thursday night, and my family decided that they wanted to have a family movie night our hotel room. My grandma came over and brought her famous cookies with her to munch on. We even had some popcorn and other snacks. My parents scrolled through all the movies the hotel had, and they discovered a movie that they were dying to see. It was the movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith. My grandma and I were excited about watching the movie because we were both Will Smith fans. I thought that this was going to be a typical Will Smith movie, but I was deceived.

This movie was a little more dramatic. There was no comedy seen it whatsoever. In fact, it was kind of a little scary. It was kind of making me a little uncomfortable. Then, my anxiety got a little worse. In the movie, Will Smith goes into this dark building to retrieve his dog. He was all scared for some reason to go into the building, and I didn’t understand it. Was Smith scared of the dark or something? However, I was scared as he was getting closer and closer to his dog. Will Smith see these groups of people huddled together. I was thinking to myself, what in the world are these things? I’m turning away a little because I’m trying not to watch this movie anymore. Then, Will Smith finds his dog hidden under a table and scared to come out. Will Smith is about to turn around, and I’m thinking to myself, “Oh God, please don’t turn around. Please don’t turn around Will Smith. Please, please, please. I will hate you if you turn around. You will no longer be my favorite actor ever. Johnny Depp will take your place, and you’ll be all the way at the bottom. I do love them Pirate of the Caribbean movies, and Johnny Depp would never deceive me like you are right now Will Smith. Please, I’m so scared. I can’t, I just can’t. I can’t watch this movie. Lord, please help me.”

Sadly, Will Smith slowly turned around and this blood-sucking vampire was waiting for him. It was a wrap for me. I couldn’t watch anymore after seeing that scary vampire thing pop out of nowhere, but I didn’t want my family thinking that I was scared. Luckily, my little sister Shawna was scared out of her mind and needed to go in the other room. I saw this as an opportunity. I remember I sighed, stood up and said, “Look, I’ll go with Shawna to the other room. She shouldn’t be alone right now, and I don’t mind being a good, big brother right now.”

Then, my little sister Shawna said, “Aww thanks big brother, but I’ll be okay. You can watch the movie, I’ll be good.”

My parents asked if she was sure, and she said that it was fine. Then, they told her to go into the other and told me to sit back down. I was panicking, and I continued, “You know I should still go back there with Shawna because I want to be a good big brother. I’m willing to sacrifice this movie because I love my sister. I’m 12 years old, and I need to learn the significance and purpose of sacrificing for the people that I care about. It’s about love and commitment. My sister needs me to be there for her and who am I to turn her away for a movie. I want more than anything to continue to watch this really scary, messed-up movie, but I want to be there for my little sister more. Can’t y’all understand that? Can’t y’all see that I’m trying to do the right thing as Shawna’s big brother? Can’t y’all see what your mind cannot comprehend? Let me be a good big brother to my little sister Shawna.”

After I was done giving that little speech, my little brother Isaac laughed and said, “Wait, I know what it is. Isaiah’s scared of this movie too. That’s why he’s trying to go with Shawna, he’s scared too.”

My parents and grandma started laughing and realizing that my little brother was right. My mom was asking me if I needed to be held or anything, and I was appalled. I was just trying to be a good big brother, and they were turning it into something that it was not. Then, my dad said, “Well, sit down and watch the movie then? If you not scared.”

My little brother added, “Yeah, watch the movie with us, coward.”

There was a moment of silence, and I responded, “Dad, I’m going to the other room with Shawna because I’m just trying to be a good big brother.”

The room erupted with laughter, and I just marched into the room. My little sister Shawna followed afterwards and started laughing at me too. My mom yelled, “Don’t worry, Isaiah, I’ll be sure to tuck you in. Do you need to sleep with me with me and your dad to avoid nightmares?”

There was more laughter following my mom’s statement, and I just never felt so betrayed and humiliated by my own family. I wasn’t scared. I was just trying to be a good big brother. To this day, whenever I Am Legend is on TV, they always burst out laughing and talking about “this is my movie, the one that got me all scared.”

After partially watching I Am Legend, I decided to never watch horror movies. I would just avoid them at all cost.

A few years had passed, and I was avoiding horror movies like crazy. It was hard though because my dad would always watch horror movies by himself. He would always ask if I wanted to watch them, but I said no as I briefly had I Am Legend memories all in my mind. However, that would all change when I started reading Stephen King books in high school. I was reading books like The Shining, Misery, Carrie, Firestarter, Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, Dreamcatcher, The Tommyknockers and so many other classic Stephen King books. They were so awesome and amazing to me. The horror and suspense that Stephen King brings in his work is so breathe-taking to me, and I admired his sick, twisted imagination. Stephen King helped me see the beauty and authenticity of horror. My mom and dad noticed that I was reading a lot of Stephen King books, and my dad mentioned, “You know, Stephen King had a lot of his books adapted into movies. We should definitely watch them.”

I totally agreed with him, and I started watching movies like Misery, Cujo, Carrie, The Shining, Thinner, Room 1408 and Firestarter with my parents. It was awesome seeing the books come to life, and I started falling in love with horror movies. I was craving more. I started watching old horror movies like The Excorcist and Psycho. For some reason, my mom couldn’t keep up with the horror movies, and so it was just me and my dad.

I remember my dad and I first started watching Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Halloween (1978). I just loved the music associated with Halloween and Michael Myers just killing people like crazy with his butcher knife. In addition, Nightmare on Elm Street was twisted because you could die in your sleep by Freddy Krueger. That was so cool and awesome to me that Freddy was torturing kids by not making them sleep and punishing them if they did. Freddy was a smart serial killer to me, and I had nothing but respect for me as the killer in the movie.

After watching those movies, I kind of wanted to watch more sick, twisted horror movies. My dad looked at me and said, “Say no more.”

He suggested that we watch the Saw series together, and it was so great. We watched all the Saw movies together, and it was so great and fun watching them with my dad. We would always add little things and laugh at characters just not doing what they needed to do to stay alive. We were praising Jigsaw for his many traps on his victims, and we just loved all the twists in the movies.

Then, we started getting into demon possession type horror movies. I remember we watched the Sinister series together, and we just loved it. Then, we saw Insidious, and it was alright to us. We saw more and more demon possession horror movies on Netflix, cable and pretty much anywhere that we could find them. Fast forward a few more years, and we started going to theaters together to watch all kinds of new horror movies together. We saw most of The Conjuring series movies in theaters and so many other movies together.

Today, my dad and I continue to watch horror movies together whenever we can. I’m so thankful that my dad and I can have something so special together. As I reflect on the many horror movies we saw together over the years, I find myself remembering the laughter, the debates, the surprises and the disappointment we shared watching horror movies together. Of course, I don’t only watch horror movies with my dad. I love watching horror movies with my best friend Obi and other friends. However, nothing can compare to watching horror movies with my dad.

This is the end of “Horror Movies With My Dad”

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

On Thursday, I will be posting “Never Missing a Thing,” another short story about my dad.

Better Than Somebody I Used to Know

I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.

I can clearly see your love to me is real.

Sorry if you don’t know that.

You know that opening up is a struggle for me, but you don’t care.

You push me to the point of anger to open up because you only want the best for me.

More than somebody I used to know.

I can’t help but thank you for that.

 

I don’t know where I would be without you.

I would probably be another statistic or even an alcoholic like somebody I used to know.

I probably wouldn’t even have God or love in my heart.

Somebody I used to know would create something different in my heart.

It would be empty filled with darkness, hatred and excuses.

It’s scary to imagine, but you wouldn’t allow such an atrocity to happen to me.

You made sure to ignite a light inside me that has grown into a fire.

A fire that would see no darkness, see no hatred or see no excuses.

For  that, I thank you.

 

You’ve always been by my side.

Somebody I used to know would hide from me.

You’ve always been my motivation.

Somebody I used to know was my aggravation..

You’ve always been my role model.

Somebody I used to know was my false idol.

 

Even though you haven’t been with me all my life, I love you with all my heart.

You have supported me in ways I could never imagine.

Your strength, honor and integrity is like no other.

My love to you is unconditional.

My love to somebody I used to know is conditional.

Thank you for being so much better than somebody I used to know.

 

This is the end of the poem “Better Than Somebody I Used to Know” in the Poetry series.

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

In honor of Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday coming up next week, all writings this week will be dedicated to my dad Shawn McNeil! On Tuesday, I will be posting the short story “Horror Movies With My Dad.” On Thursday, I will be posting the short story “Never Missing a Thing.” Then, I will be posting two poems about my dad on Saturday and Sunday!

 

 

My Recurring Nightmare

Why do you always want to hurt me in the worst possible way?

What did I do to ever hurt you?

For years, I believed in you and me, and I didn’t care what others said about you.

They didn’t know you like I knew you.

That’s what I always said to myself, but I realize now that I was deceived.

You always promised me that you would change, but you never did.

Why?

False advertisement, I guess.

Why did you lie to me for years?

Why do you continue to lie to me, when I know the truth?

Is it just easier to hurt me with your lies?

Can you only lie to me?

Is lying to me the only thing you can do to me?

Or have your lies become your truth now?

How can I love you, when I’m too tired to?

I’m tired of giving you everything, while you give me nothing.

I’m sorry, but my love to you is conditional.

I remember when it was unconditional, but you proved to me that it wasn’t.

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your dark side?

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your addiction?

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your anger?

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your excuses?

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your hatred?

How can my love be unconditional when all I saw was your destruction?

How can my love to you be unconditional?

Why can’t you let me go?

Can’t you see that my life’s better without you?

Can’t you see that I’m happier without you?

No, you never will.

Nor will the world.

They tell me that I have to give you chance after chance because of who you are.

They tell me that I have to honor you because of who you are.

They tell me that you love me because of who you are.

They tell me that I have to forgive and forget because of who you are

They tell me that I have to have you in my life because of who you are.

They tell me that I have to turn the other cheek because of who you are.

Well, I must ask when is enough enough?

Please, I just want to be free from your grasp.

I want to enjoy a life without you.

Can’t the world understand that?

I can’t lie, I do genuinely love you.

Without you, I wouldn’t be here.

However, you’re the worst.

It hurts me to say that, but it’s the truth.

You bring out the worst in me, and I want no part of you in my life because you’re toxic.

I know you won’t see these words or care about them at all.

You’ll just consider this poem a lie to who you are.

In your eyes, you’re the best with no flaws.

You were just dealt a bad hand, and I have to understand that.

Sadly, I refuse to understand that truth of yours.

How long will this go on?

How long will you continue to blame the past?

How long will you continue to blame life for who you are?

How long will you continue to give me false hope?

How long will you continue to disappoint me?

How long will you continue to give me promises that you can’t keep?

How long will you continue to abandon me?

How long will you continue to deceive me?

How long will you continue to have no knowledge of who I am?

How long will you continue to be my recurring nightmare?

This is the end of the poem “My Recurring Nightmare” in the Nightmares series. Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this poem.

Tomorrow, I will be posting another poem on the Warfield Zone!

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four

Hey y’all, I’m coming to you with the fourth and final part of “Trying to Get My Hitch On.”

Just to recap, I found out that Kelly was referring to Derek instead of Danny as the creep that was working at Sheetz that started with the letter “D.” Also, I learned that Kelly thought that Danny was sweet, and he was still alive and still in the game. Then, I learned that there was going to a store meeting at Applebee’s the next day, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get Kelly and Danny together. I convinced Kelly to come to the store meeting, and all I needed to do was tell Danny the plan. I texted him to come to Applebee’s, sit next to her and connect, and he assured me that he was coming to the meeting. The next day, I went to Applebee’s for the store meeting. However, I saw that Kelly had an empty seat next to her, while Danny was three seats away from Kelly. I ended up sitting next to Kelly because she saved the empty seat for me, and I didn’t know what to do. I texted with Danny back and forth, until he came to the conclusion to pass a note to her. I received the note, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

Now, it’s time to dive on in to “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four.”

Danny’s precious note was in my hands, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I look at it and think to myself that I shouldn’t pass this note to Kelly. I think about opening it, but I get a text from Danny telling me not to look at it. I texted him, “Bro, what did you say in this note?”

“Just pass it down, Isaiah,” Danny texted.

As Danny’s hitch, I needed more information and context. I can’t just give a note to Kelly without reading it’s content. I begged and pleaded for Danny to tell me what he wrote, but he responded, “Isaiah, it’s not a crazy note, just trust me man.”

Trust? Danny wanted to talk about trust, but he didn’t want to trust me enough to tell me what was written in the note. Why couldn’t just get up and tell her? Why did he have to be so weird about it? All I was trying to do was get my hitch on, but he was making it almost impossible for me in this situation. I decided to concede and give Kelly the note that Danny had written for her.

I took a deep breathe, exhaled and handed the note to Kelly. She asked me what the note was, and I told her that it was a note from someone. Kelly opened it, looked at it funny, shook her head and put it in her pocket. I asked her what it said, but she said that it wasn’t important. I was devastated. I thought that I would find out the truth, but I would not find out until later that day.

After the store meeting, I saw Danny walk up to her and talk to her about something. There was a deep sigh of relief from her, and there was even some laughter between the two of them. Then, she walked away. I was so confused and perplexed. What did the note say? Did Danny write that he liked her? Did Danny write his phone number down? Did Danny write his undying love for Kelly? I needed to know as Danny’s hitch.

A couple of hours later, I would have the answer. Danny texted me, “Hey Isaiah, my note actually worked.”

I didn’t know what to think. I wanted to be excited, but I was hesitant because I didn’t know what to expect. So, I typed, “Oh Lord, Danny what did the note say. Please tell me you didn’t say anything weird haha. Please haha.”

“Hi,” Danny texted.

I didn’t understand, so I texted, “What?”

“The note said ‘hi’ Isaiah! And she loved it!” Danny typed.

I couldn’t believe what I had seen on my phone. Danny actually wrote “hi” on a piece of paper. Why would he do such a foolish thing? I thought to myself. This made absolutely no sense to me. He could’ve just said “hi” to her at Applebee’s instead of writing it on a note. Why did he have to make it all awkward and weird? I wanted to persecute Danny for his tom foolery, but I was trying to get my hitch on and needed to be supportive. So, I texted, “Oh she loved it? That’s great man what did she say when she found out you wrote the note?”

“Well, she actually thought that the note was from Derek, and it really freaked her out. But when I told her that the note was from me, she was relieved. Isaiah, I think I’m ready to take the next level, ” Danny responded.

What next level? The friendzone. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to tell Danny that the note was weird and unusual. I wanted to tell him that he more than likely ruined his chances to be with her. I wanted to knock some sense to him and tell him that he shouldn’t be treating Kelly like she’s some high school girl. He needed to be open and honest with her and approach her like a human being, not like some scared cat. I was disappointed and embarrassed for Danny. I texted, “I don’t know man, I don’t think she was feeling it the way you think she was.”

Danny responded, “Isaiah, she was feeling your boy. I got this, bro. As a matter fact, I’m gonna ask her out. Your services are no longer required.”

I’m not gonna lie, I was hurt when Danny said my services were no longer required. I had grown to love my job as his hitch. It had a good benefits like dental and health care, and I did start a 401k too. However, it was a lot of work being his hitch. It was tiring, and I was kind of glad that I was relieved of my duties as his hitch. I just knew that it was gonna be a disaster for him. He was on a sinking ship, and I was his life preserver. He was drowning rapidly, but if he thought that he was gonna be okay, then that’s his prerogative.

A couple of days passed, and I was working with Kelly. Towards the end of my shift, Danny came into Sheetz, but he was avoiding eye contact with Kelly. She was also looking the other way, and it just seemed so awkward between the two of them. I wanted to ask Kelly what was going on, but I didn’t want make things weird and uncomfortable between us. I later asked Danny what happened, and he replied that there was someone else. Danny explained that he couldn’t compete with this guy, and he decided he would respect it and keep his distance from her. I asked him who the other guy was, but he didn’t want to say. I would later find out, but that’s another story. Instead, this is a story¬† of me failing Danny when he wouldn’t help me help him. This is a story of me trying to get my hitch on.

This marks the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four.”

Thank you for following the four-part series “Trying to Get My Hitch On”

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

This weekend, I will be posting poetry on Saturday and Sunday.

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two

Just to recap, I was working a variety of shifts last summer at Sheetz. They were all just crazy, typical, stressful shifts. In July, I was working my typical 6am-2pm shift at Sheetz, and I was alone at the register. Then, something unusual happened. I was approached by this pretty girl at the register, and she asked for manager. Her name was Kelly, and I quickly learned that she was a new Sheetz employee. I was excited to meet her, and I had the opportunity to train her. It was great training and working with her, and I was thankful that I made a new friend at Sheetz. A couple of days passed, and I received a random text message from my friend and coworker Danny. He wanted to know my opinion on the new girl. I told him that I thought she was cute and adorable, and he responded that he had a crush on her. Then, he texted, “I was actually thinking that since you work with her more than me, you should you know hook your boy up. Put in a good word for me and hype me up. Basically Isaiah, I’m asking you to be Hitch for me haha.”

Now it’s time to dive on in to “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two.”

When Danny told me that he wanted me to be Hitch for him, I was hesitant. The reason is because I really didn’t know him. I asked myself how could I set things up for Danny, when he could easily be just trying to take advantage of a sweet girl. I considered Kelly to be my friend, and I had to look out for her. I needed to know Danny’s intentions before I could officially be Hitch for him. It was a necessity for me.

I was trying to figure out a way to find out Danny’s intentions with Kelly. How could I go about it without seeming awkward and weird? I didn’t know what to say, so I texted, “I don’t know man, I like her too lol. I think she’s cute, adorable and sweet.”

I’ll be honest, I genuinely liked Kelly, but I wasn’t interested in her the way Danny was. Yeah, Kelly was cute, adorable and sweet, but that wasn’t enough for me. My mom and some of my close friends know that I’m particular in who I want to have a relationship with, and I’m not someone that will settle for just anyone. I date with a purpose, and that’s my prerogative. I’m trusting in God and patiently waiting for the right woman to chase after. She’ll be someone that’s constantly chasing after God and so much more. Also, my mom’s gotta love her. If she doesn’t, then it’s over. I don’t care, I’m gonna drop her like she’s hot because mother knows best. Just kidding, but not really, let’s just say that it would be a major plus if my mom loves the woman I plan to spend the rest of my life with.

Anyways, I just wanted to be honest with Danny about how I felt about Kelly and gage how he felt about Kelly. Then, he responded, “I’ll make a deal with you. Every time we work together you can have every pretty girl that comes to the register. I’m willing to make that sacrifice haha. Or you can tell me to leave Kelly alone, I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.”

I laughed when he talked about giving me every pretty girl that comes to the register. How considerate, you know? I couldn’t believe that he was willing to sacrifice pretty girls that he didn’t have for Kelly. It was sweet and adorable. Then, Danny explained that his feelings for Kelly were true and authentic, and he just wanted a chance to show her how much she means to him.

I’m straight up throwing up in my mouth because Danny barely knows this girl, and he’s already sounding like he’s in love with Kelly. It made absolutely no sense to me, but a part of me understood that it was a crush. I could tell that Kelly was special to him, and he needed my help. Who am I to deny the undying love that Danny had for Kelly? I had to help him out, I needed to be his Hitch. So, I texted, “Alright, how about this? I’ll take care of all the pretty girls that come to the register, and I’ll help you get Kelly. I am going to be your hitch, and this deal is non-negotiable. Do we have a deal?”

Danny texted me, “Well Isaiah, I think I’ll absolutely take you up on your offer haha. Thank you so much!”

I texted him no problem and informed him that I’ll start getting information on and to Kelly, and all he had to do was wait for further instructions. He texted me that he understood, and I was officially on a mission to get Danny and Kelly together.

A couple of days passed, and I was working with Kelly again. We were up front at the register just working and talking with each other. I was trying to figure out a way to bring Danny into the conversation, but I was having a hard time. I was trying to make sure that it wasn’t awkward, weird or out of the ordinary to bring up Danny. I wanted a natural flow of conversation. Then, I thought the opportunity presented itself. A weird guy came to the register, and he was just staring at Kelly. He was silent for a couple minutes, until he finally said that she was really pretty and wanted her number. Kelly replied that she couldn’t, but the guy was persistent. He asked why not and pleaded for her number. Kelly didn’t know what to say, so I replied, “Because she has a boyfriend man. They’ve been together for years, and she was just trying to be nice to you. Can you please go because we have a line, and you’re making her uncomfortable.”

The guy asked Kelly if it was true, and she replied that it was true. He apologized for bothering her, and he left Sheetz. I looked Kelly and asked her if she was alright. She replied that she was and thanked me for the help. I told her that it was no problem, and I thought that this was my chance to shift the conversation. I said, “Yeah, guys can be creeps for no reason. I’m just glad there are no creeps working at Sheetz.”

I laughed, but she wasn’t laughing. Instead, she looked around to make sure no one was around and whispered, “Well, there is actually someone here that’s an actual creep here. He’s always staring at me and trying to talk to me for no reason. I forget his name, but I think that it begins with the letter ‘D.'”

This is the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two.”

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

I will be posting part three of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” next week on Tuesday, and I will be posting part four of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” next week on Thursday.

In addition, I will be starting to post poetry on Saturdays and Sundays!

Trying To Get My Hitch On: Part One

As the summer is slowly approaching, I recall a time last summer where I found myself involved in yet another love story at work. However, this was not a love story like the one I witnessed at Walmart. This love story would be far different. This love story was cringe-worthy, disastrous, painful and heart-breaking like the love story at Walmart, but it was on another level. It was on a level that was hard to watch, but I had a front-row seat to it all. This love story is called “Trying to Get my Hitch On.”

Last summer, I was working a variety of shifts at Sheetz. The shifts varied from 6am-2pm, 2pm-7pm, 2pm-10pm, 10am-6pm and so many other shifts. Some of them would be back-to-back like working 2pm-10pm, then working 6am-2pm the very next day. It was exhausting and stressful, but I didn’t mind it because I was just trying to make as much money as possible. Anyways, I was used to all the shifts and the routines that came with it. There was nothing crazy or out of the ordinary with any of my shifts. Well, one day that would all change.

It was July, and I was working my typical 6am-2pm shift at Sheetz. At the start of my shift, I was mentally preparing myself for a long, boring morning because I wasn’t working with one of my favorite coworkers. We typically work together at the register and enjoy each other’s company. However, I was alone at the register that day, and I was expecting nothing out of the ordinary to happen.

Then, something unusual happened. At 8am, this pretty, adorable girl with glasses approached my register and asked if she could see a manager. I politely told her that she could, and I called for a manager. A few minute later, a manager came to the register and saw who the girl was. He smiled and said, “Kelly, you’re here. Isaiah, this is Kelly. She’s our new Sheetz employee.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was excited and couldn’t believe that Kelly was gonna be our new Sheetz employee. Of course, I was still keeping my cool and composure, but I still showed some genuine excitement about working with Kelly. I smiled at her and welcomed her to Sheetz. Kelly smiled back at me and thanked me for the warm welcome. Then, she went back to the backroom, but she made sure to glance back at me and give me another sweet smile.

A few hours passed, and I was just working at the register by myself. Then, my day would get better. My manager guided Kelly to the front and told me that I had to train her. I was excited. I had the opportunity to train and work with such a sweet person.

So, I started training her a little up front, and it was great. She was funny, sweet and smart, and we really did a lot of talking. She talked about where she went to school, her dreams, favorite movies, favorite candy, family and so much more. Kelly even talked about the love that she had for her grandpa and how he was an engineer. This made me mention my grandpa who was an engineer as well. I talked about how I wanted to follow in his footsteps, but it was not meant to be because math is horrible to me. This made her laugh, and it was nice that we could connect like that with our grandpas.

As my shift was quickly coming to a close, I found myself liking Kelly. She made my shift fun and exciting. In fact, she was starting to become my new favorite coworker. There was just something about her. She was just this sweet, down-to-earth girl that you just wanted to be close to.

Anyways, I left when it was 2:00, and I found myself genuinely happy that I had made a new friend at Sheetz.

A couple of days passed, and I got random text message from my phone. I was confused. I asked who it was, and I found out that it was my coworker and friend Danny. At first I was annoyed because I thought he was trying to switch shifts with me and ruin my weekend, but he assured me that he wasn’t. I was happy to hear this, and I asked him what he wanted. He texted, “Nothing much, just seeing how you’re doing, how work was, YOU’RE OPINION ON THE NEW GIRL. Just the normal stuff.”

I laughed out loud as I quickly caught the hint about Danny wanting to get with the new girl. Nevertheless, I acted aloof. I asked him if he was talking about Kelly. I also added that I thought she was cute, adorable and awesome. Then, I texted, “What do you think of her haha?”

Danny responded, “Well, you could say that I have an ever so slight crush on her.”

I started giggling when Danny said that he had an “ever so slight crush on her.” I loved it. Then, he continued, “I was actually thinking that since you work with her more than me, you should you know hook your boy up. Put in a good word for me and hype me up. Basically Isaiah, I’m asking you to be Hitch for me haha.”

This is the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part One.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

Also, check out “A Love Story at Walmart: Part 1-4.” They can be found in the Table of Contents on The Warfield Zone.

I will be posting part two of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” on Thursday.

Purity

I’m so thankful and proud to have you in my life.

I can’t imagine who I’d be without you.

Would I be lost, but eventually found?

Would I be insecure about who I am?

Would I be considered a hypocrite, if I didn’t have you in my life?

I’m not sure, I must admit.

 

I must admit that I thought about losing you.

I have thought about a life without you.

A life that can be care-free, simple and easy.

I’ve had opportunities to get rid of you as temptation constantly lurks in my life.

I remember times that I’ve almost submitted to temptation, but you stopped me.

I guess that’s one of the perks of having you in my life.

 

You’re always looking out for me, even when I don’t want you to.

I sometimes think the worst of you.

I sometimes think you’re a curse that I’ll never be free from.

I apologize to you for thinking such thoughts.

You’re a tree blessing in my life, and I need to appreciate you more.

I can’t allow the world to depreciate your value.

 

I thank God for you every day.

I pray that God continues to keep you in my life till we have to say goodbye to each other.

That day will come when I meet the right girl.

She’ll respect you and never try to push you away.

She’ll encourage you to be in my life daily.

She’ll want you in my life.

She’ll see that you mean the world to me.

She’ll see that you’re the best part of my life.

 

If she can’t see how much you mean to me, then I can’t see how much she means to me.

If she can’t accept you, then I can’t accept her.

If she can’t see your beauty, then I can’t see her beauty.

If she can’t believe in you, then I can’t believe in her.

If she can’t love you, then I can’t love her.

 

Again, I’m sorry that my love for you has been conditional.

From now on, I want to give you the love that you deserve.

A love that I have for my friends.

A love that I have for my brothers and sisters.

A love that I have for my parents.

A love that I have for myself.

A love that I have for God.

A love that is unconditional.

 

I promise to be better to you.

I promise to hold on to you till we have to say goodbye to each other one day.

It’ll be a happy and scary day, but it must happen.

I’ll miss you, but I’ll never forget about you.

You’ve taught me the value and importance of patience.

You’ve taught me the strength and significance of faith.

You’ve taught me the true meaning of love.

You’ve taught me all these things and more.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for the purity.

 

This is the end of the poem “Purity.”

Be sure to like, share or comment your thoughts on this poem.

Next week, I will be sharing two short stories. On Tuesday, I will be sharing “You Smell Like Apples.” On Thursday, I will be sharing “My Dark Side.”

 

 

 

 

Basketball Shorts

It was three years ago, and I was in my second semester of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). It was the beginning of April, and the weather that day was absolutely perfect. It was around 70-some degrees outside, the sun was out, the sky was ocean-blue and the birds were chirping. It was a good day.

On this gorgeous day, I was hanging out with my friends Antoinette, Sam and Obi at Wallwork Hall, a residence hall. We were just chilling and talking, when Sam and Antoinette both had to leave. Sam had to work on some project, and Antoinette had to go to work till 6:00. It was around 2:00, and we all agreed to just meet back up at 6-6:30 for some dinner. Obi and I just stayed at Wallwork and continued talking with each other. We talked for about 30 minutes, when I suggested that we could go and play basketball outside at Stephenson. I explained to Obi that the weather was nice, and I thought that it would be a lot of fun. Obi responded, “I don’t think so, Zay Zay. It was packed at the basketball court, and I don’t think it’ll be open anytime soon. Plus, we’re wearing jeans, and I don’t feel like changing.”

I understood and agreed with him too, I wasn’t in the mood to just change my outfit either. I was looking nice and clean. However, I still wanted to play some basketball because I was in the mood to do something active. So, I said, “Bro, we can still play basketball in jeans. We’re just going to be shooting around, it’ll be fine. We’re not gonna get all physical and sweaty, we’re just shooting around.”

He asked me where we could go, and I responded, “Oh, we could go to the HUB and shoot around in the gym.

The HUB is a student center at IUP with a nice gymnasium.

Anyways, Obi stated, “Zay Zay, we can’t go to the HUB wearing jeans and playing basketball, we’ll look like fools.”

I said, “Obi, it’ll be fine man. It’s not that deep and again we’re just shooting around. We’re gonna be united wearing jeans at the gym.”

It took a lot of convincing on my part, but Obi ended up agreeing to go and play basketball with me. Then, Obi had to talk to a friend of his at Wallwork, so he instructed me to go to the HUB and rent out a basketball for us to use. So, I headed to the HUB and decided to wait for Obi to come. I don’t know why I decided to wait for Obi, instead of just getting a basketball and shooting around by myself. It still doesn’t make sense to me to this day. Anyways, I was waiting for Obi for ten minutes, and he texted me that he was going to be 20 more minutes. I thought to myself, “You know, I should just go back to my room and throw on some basketball shorts. I got time.”

Now, the HUB was 5-10 minutes away from Suites on Maple East, the residence hall that I lived at. I figured that I would have 10-20 minutes to get to my room and back to the HUB before Obi would make it to the HUB. By the time I reached my residence hall, Obi texted me that he was on his way to the HUB. I started freaking out and rushed to my room. I went into my drawers, found some basketball shorts and put them on. Then, I rushed out of my room and received a text from Obi about where I was at. I texted him back that I was on my way to the HUB, and that I had to pick something up from my room. I didn’t know what to expect from him when I would come to the HUB with basketball shorts on. Maybe he wouldn’t notice.

Now, I made it to the HUB, and Obi immediately noticed me wearing basketball shorts. He had his mouth wide opened and couldn’t believe he saw me wearing a whole basketball uniform. Then, he said in his jeans and polo, “Zay Zay, what are you wearing? Cause I know you weren’t wearing basketball shorts when we agreed to go and play basketball.”

Oh Lord, I wasn’t expecting him to notice my basketball shorts. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, you were gone for a minute, and I just figured that I could just stop at my room and put on some basketball shorts. Also, I didn’t know how long you would be with your friend.”

I laughed but Obi wasn’t laughing. He just waited for me to stop laughing, and then he said, “Oh my gosh, you are out of pocket. You got me here looking like a fool in front of everyone at the HUB. You could’ve told me that you changed and gave me the opportunity to change.”

“True, but look man, we can’t change the past. We have to focus on the present. Did I make a mistake? Yes. Am I sorry about it. Kind of. Can we just go and shoot some hoops?” I replied.

Obi just shook his head and said, “Just shut your mouth and go rent the basketball.”

I went ahead and rented the basketball, and I mentioned, “You know, we’re gonna probably be talking and laughing about this in years.”

“Zay Zay, I’m this close to hurting you,” Obi stated.

I thought he was serious, but I could tell that he was joking around with me. I laughed, and we ended up laughing together. It was good to know that we were good.

Anyways, we found one open basketball court in the HUB and started shooting around. So far, it was cool. I had kept my promise about us just shooting around. Also, we didn’t get tired or sweaty at all. Sadly, this promise would be broken too. A guy came onto our court and asked if we could play some pick-up games with him and his friends. They were in need of two more people. I was cool with playing with them, but Obi wasn’t. He said that he didn’t have the appropriate attired, and the guy responded, “Dude, it’s cool. There’s literally a guy wearing sandals right now.”

Obi and I looked over and saw a white guy wearing sandals on the basketball court. Obi reluctantly agreed. There were two captains, and the remainder of players were picked by the captains. Obi and I ended up being on different teams. After the teams were established, we established that it would be full court, and Obi gave me a stare. I pretended that I didn’t see it. Then, we started playing some basketball.

Now, I was doing well. I was scoring, had a couple of blocks, played some good defense and had some nice assists. Overall, I was playing good. Meanwhile, Obi was struggling. He was missing his shots, and he was a defensive liability. Plus, the guy with the sandals was playing better than him. Then, tragedy struck Obi.

It was a very close on our last pick-up game of basketball. My team was up by 1, but we needed one more basket to win the game. I remember I dribbled past someone and kicked it out to this white guy that was wide open. He had been hitting his shots all day, and I was expecting him to make it. Sadly, he missed it, and Obi ended up getting the rebound. Everyone got back, but that same white guy that missed the shot was still there. He ended up calling for the ball from Obi. Without hesitation, Obi passed the ball to my teammate. My teammate dribbled past Obi and made an easy layup. My team had won thanks to Obi. His team just left the court, and Obi was shocked with his mouth wide open. It was honestly the most hilarious and saddest thing I saw on a basketball court.

It was around 6-ish, and I just kept clowning him for passing the ball to my teammate. Obi laughed and said, “I don’t know what happened. If anything, he’s out of pocket for that. He deceived me and everything.”

We met up with Antoinette and Sam, and we told them everything that happened. They laughed, and we enjoyed each other’s company.

To this day, Obi is still mad at me about the whole basketball shorts thing. He felt like I did him dirty, and I have to agree with him. I did do him dirty, but forgiveness is such a powerful thing in this world. Obi has forgiven me, but he has not forgotten. He almost always mentions it to me, but we always share a good laugh about it. We even mention it to new people that we meet, it’s like a must for us to tell the basketball shorts story. It’s a story that always puts a smile on my face. It’s a story that really solidified our friendship and helped us establish a long-lasting friendship that I am so grateful and blessed to have.

Thank you for reading “Basketball Shorts.” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be posting part one of a four-part story titled “The Black Pill” on the Dark Colors series. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.