I don't want to live like this anymore

Written in response to: Start your story with “Today’s the day I change.”... view prompt

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Creative Nonfiction Inspirational African American

"Today's the day I change." Those were the first words that came to mind as I wrote them on a piece of crinkled notebook paper. Change used to be something that I was afraid to experience but the life that I have been living for the past 8 years hasn't been the best. I am a stripper, I work nights at LaLa's Night Club. Every night I see the same typical nightlife shit. Drunken married men stare at me as I twirl up and down the pole while the other strippers that I work with fight over bottles and dollars. This just isn't how life is supposed to be at least not for me anymore. I see videos and pictures of successful people enjoying their best lives while I cry for better days to come. I forgot which book I was reading because I never was the type to read books I always thought books were for smart people and I didn't feel or look smart. But, this unidentified book that I read last week mentioned that everyone is meant to be successful. I laughed when I read that sentence in the book. How can that be possible? "Everyone is meant to be successful." But for some reason, that sentence from that book has been stuck in my head like an unforgettable tune. I can be successful? Me? The stripper that dances half-naked for dollars? To get this sentence out of my head I had to do something about it. When I arrived at my boyfriend's house one night I looked up how to be successful on Youtube from my phone. My mind couldn't fathom what these people were saying that were on my phone screen but there was one word that stood out to me the most. Change. To be successful and live an enjoyable life, you must change your mindset and your actions. This video gave me so much hope. To live the life that I wanted to live, I had to let go of this life that made me unhappy. The nightlife of a stripper was the life that I lived for 8 years. I would go out to parties drink, smoke, sniff, and have sex with anonymous men unprotected. I thank God for watching over me these past 8 years I should've been dead by now from the poor choices that I've made. Of course, when you tell others around you about you wanting change they make it into a joke. These people were just like me before I wanted to change. They are helpless, lost, and afraid of what change might do to them. I was tired of being afraid of something that I'd never experienced before. How can you be afraid of something that you've never tried? Life is all about risks and I am willing to take the risk of change. This morning when I woke up my head was pounding due to a hangover. My boyfriend's body lay nude across our bed next to me as empty beer bottles covered our bedroom floor from nights ago. I gently remove myself from the bed as my feet carefully make their way to the bathroom. As I look at myself in the mirror I can see a lifeless woman struggling to make a change for herself. But, I lie to myself that I look great and that everything is in place. The Tylenol bottle sits on the sink near the faucet as I remove the cap from the bottle to take 2 of the pills. The pills sit underneath my tongue as they wait to be washed down by sink water. As I swallowed the pills I looked at my boyfriend sleeping and the annoyance of his snore wasn't helping my headache go away any faster. Suddenly, I received a call from a friend of mine named Valerie. Valerie worked at the nightclub alongside me the owner nicknamed her Pumpkin because the color of her natural hair was the same shade as a pumpkin. As I place my boots and jacket on my body I make my way outside on the step to meet my friend. She had told me on the phone that she wanted to talk to me. Valerie stands on my patio sucking on a lit cigarette nervously. I greeted Valerie and offered her a seat. As Valerie sits in the wooden rocking chair on the patio she rubs her forehead with her left hand as the right hand holds the lit cigarette. "What is it, Valerie?" I ask cautiously. "I am pregnant and it's not by Jimmy." She responds sadly. Jimmy is Valerie's boyfriend very controlling if you ask me. "What? Who is it by then?" Valerie stands up from the wooden chair and throws the cigarette on the front lawn. "It's Rody's" Rody is the owner of the nightclub and also the one that nicknamed her Pumpkin. "I didn't know that you and Rody were messing around." "Yeah, because it was supposed to be a secret he has a wife and I have a boyfriend." "What are you gonna do with the baby?" I ask with a face of sadness. " I don't know, I was gonna lie and tell Jimmy that it was his." I jump out of the chair disappointed with the response from my friend. "No, don't do that! Why would you think like that?" Valerie folds her arms against her chest before responding "That wasn't the answer that I expected from you mocha." Mocha is the nickname that was given to me on the first day of the job. "Because I don't want to live this life anymore. So I am changing it!" Valerie laughs at my response as if I had cracked a joke. "What's so funny? I could laugh at you with your weird situation going on." Valerie immediately stops laughing and stands with body language screaming of embarrassment. "Change? What is that supposed to mean Mocha?" "Exactly what I said. I want to change. I don't want to work at a strip club for the rest of my life I am not happy there. I see videos and pictures of successful happy people on my social media page and I want to be like them!!" Valerie applauds Mocha sarcastically. "Good Luck with that mocha." "Good Luck with your pregnancy. " Valerie insists on walking away from Mocha but turns around with a face full of tears. "You know, I came to you because I trusted you! I never thought that I was going to be introduced to the new you!"

November 05, 2021 22:40

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