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Teens & Young Adult African American Inspirational

What if after all these years I’m not the one he’s supposed to be with? How do I cope with the fact that he did love her at one point? That he had such serious feelings for her and they went away, but what if they come back? What if she’ll always be this piece in his life?

We’re similar. She’s an older sister with one younger brother. She’s close to her family. She’s beautiful too and way more God oriented than I am. No, but I shouldn’t be comparing myself. I don’t want to, but they have things in common that aren’t my interests. Seven years later and he’s with me, but what if—

“Hi,” echoes down below me and I remember I am changing Phil-Phil’s diaper. He’s been patiently waiting and distracting himself by staring at the ceiling.

I can’t believe I let this take over me right now.

“I’m sorry Phil-Phil. Thank you for not moving and being so good while I change you.” I check that I wiped him well before pulling down the sides of each flap and putting on his diaper. Then I snap his onesie on and slide up his pants. “All done.” I take off my gloves, lift him up, and bring him over to the carpet to play with the other three children waiting to be picked up.

“You okay, Faye? You look a little spacey today,” my co-teacher, Ms. Layla says.

I nod. “Yeah. Just tired. I’m alright.”

“Yeah, I’m ready for this day to be over. I want a snow day.”

I chuckle and go back over to the changing area to throw away the changing paper. Then I disinfect the area.

God, please help me get over this hump. I don’t want this to distract me from my work or all the good in my relationship. Please don’t let this hold me back.

Five o’clock finally rolls around and I wait in the line of exhausted teachers, to sign out for the day.

“One more day, yall,” Ms. Emmie says at the door.

“Why does the snow have to come this weekend?” Ms. Layla huffs.

“It’s snowing this weekend?” I ask.

“Yeah. Girl, a storm is coming,” Ms. Layla tells me.

“Have you watched the news?” Ms. Rayn asks me.

“I barely make the time. After work, I just want to watch my comfort shows and read a book. My streaming services are easier to access than the news.”

“You need to stay up to date,” Ms. Emmie says.

“Okay. I will tonight. I will,” I tell them.

When I finally sign out, I walk a block to wait for the bus and finally get home at 5:48. I make myself a quick sandwich and grab my favorite sour cream and cheddar chips before sitting on the couch. I turn on YouTube TV to watch the 6 o’clock news.

Sure enough, Janet Mole is sharing how a wintery storm is coming to the East Coast. It’s starting Friday night and snowing all of Saturday.

Do I have enough food?

I look at my fridge on the right side of me because my kitchen is across from my living room in my apartment.

Should I go to the market tomorrow? No, I have breakfast food, lunchmeat still, oh and plenty of pasta. I could survive with pasta ‘til my next payday.

After the news, I do my dishes and clean the counter. I decide to treat myself for being productive by reading more of the YA romance book I started last month. I have been moving through it slowly. Before I know it it’s 10:30 and I go shower. When I finally climb into bed, my mom sends me a text about the storm coming. There’s an article and a video. It’s a different news reporter. This time David Joff. He’s saying how the temperature will be under 30 degrees and for people to get salt and shovels ready.

I text my mom: Thanks. The other teachers told me about the storm too. I’m just staying inside this weekend and cleaning. Also, I have enough food. I checked.

I added the last part because I know she’ll ask.

I text my boyfriend that I’m in bed and he replies: I am too. It’s like we’re going to bed together.

I reply: I love you *wrap my arm around you*

He replies: I love you too. *kiss* good night.

I click off my phone and let myself doze off.

But, I wake up in the middle of the night having a dream about my boyfriend and his almost long-term girlfriend before me. In the dream, she called him to talk about some show I didn’t know anything about. We were in bed together and I could hear her talking. He was smiling and laughing. Then, in the end, before she hung up she said she still loved him and he replied he still loved her too. I had to wake myself up.

I take almost half an hour before I can shake the upsetting vibe and fall back to sleep.

My first alarm goes off at 7:05. I immediately press the x and turn over, closing my eyes again. My second alarm goes off ten minutes later. I open my eyes and sigh. It’s still going off as I turn back over. I click the x finally and look up at the ceiling.

One more day. One more day, then you can sleep in.

I take a deep breath before going on my phone to check my emails. I scroll past a jewelry store email, plus my bank, before seeing an email from the school. The subject line catches me off guard: SCHOOL CLOSED – SNOW DAY. I look at the time it was sent. At 6:34 am. School usually opens at 7:00 and I start at 9:00.

What?

Teachers at work said it would snow on Saturday. Heck, the weather people said Friday night. They got it wrong? A smile forms and I read the email again. I roll over and lean to the right to move my shades a little and peek outside. Sure enough, it’s snowing. About an inch has already stuck to the ground. A snow day.

I lie back down and put the covers over me. I choose to get some extra sleep.

The next time I wake up, it’s almost noon. I get up and open my blinds to let the bright snow, light up my apartment. I treat myself and use my waffle maker to make waffles. I decide to make a big breakfast with some eggs and sausage, plus add some fruit on the side. Breakfast is my favorite and I rarely get to enjoy it, so I’m taking advantage of the opportunity.

What else to do with my unexpected free time?

I go on my phone and immediately get a notification that if I leave a satisfaction survey, I can get 20% off my next order at my favorite pizza spot. So, I click the notification email and it takes me a minute to fill it out. Nice, I never actually do these emails, so I’m glad I’m making the time to answer their questions. I then scroll through my emails and Women Breathing catches my eye because its caption is: BREATHING OUT COMPARING OURSELVES - MEDITATION. I haven’t meditated in a month. I always tell myself I’ll include it in my morning routine but I’m always rushing. Maybe today’s the day I should start it up again. This meditation sounds like something I need right now. Something to stop myself from spiraling over . . . my boyfriend’s previous partner.

Yeah, I’m going to do it. I need to do this.

I lay down on my couch and click the audio mediation. I let the host, Zariah Terry, guide me through three deep breaths to allow myself to ease into it. I repeat the deep breaths through my mouth and let it out through my mouth.

“How many times have you compared yourself to others? Today, I want this meditation to guide you to think about who you need to stop comparing yourself to,” Zariah Terry speaks. “Think about who you are now and why you need to stop comparing different versions of yourself that didn’t know what you know now. Let this be a reminder that you don’t need to compare your life to other people’s circumstances and goals that don’t align with your life.”

I take another deep breath. Her voice is calming, soft, and friendly. The low music behind her voice helps me sink in and focus. I close my eyes.

“Let’s use our breathing to settle into this space and awareness.”

She pauses before continuing, “Think about a time you thought less of yourself. Maybe when you were younger. Maybe some things still carry with you. Maybe more recently. Speak to that previous version of yourself and let them know you’re still present. You haven’t given up. You might’ve expected encouragement or support from family, or friends, or a teacher, or a boss . . . But you can take the time right now to share those motivating words with yourself. It could be yourself now or your younger self that still needs healing and love.”

Younger me. Young me. High school me. Life may not look how you thought it would, but that doesn’t mean it’s not great.

“Speak to your capabilities and authenticities.”

I am lovely. We are lovely, high school Faye. We are unique and one of a kind. We are lovely as we are. The person in his life before me can’t be me and I need to remember that. I am capable and deserving. I am capable of being a good partner. I deserve to be in a happy relationship. I deserve love.

“Thank yourself for believing in you when circumstances tried to challenge you. Thank yourself for not letting anything stop you, even when you were ready to give up or second-guess. You are not meant to hold yourself back.”

Am I holding myself back? Am I trying to mess up my relationship when we’re about to transition to the next stage in our lives? When nothing is really wrong? I’m just overthinking.

“Picture the you, you want to become.”

High schooler me just wanted a boyfriend. Years later, he’s my first boyfriend and we’ve been together for seven years. High schooler Faye would be happy. Happy we waited and found a great guy. He’s a good man. I’m happy in this relationship.

“When you feel ready, give yourself a hug or place a hand on your heart and say, “I am enough. Zariah, you are enough. Zariah, I love you. Zariah, I am here for you.”

I wrap my arms around myself and feel the tears form.

Faye, you are enough. Faye, I love you.

A cry escapes me.

Faye, I am here for you. Faye, I respect you.

“Take a moment with any emotions that are coming up.”

Faye, you are a hard worker. Faye, you are a good listener. Faye, you are kind and compassionate. Faye, you are patient. Faye, you are passionate and driven. Faye, you have achieved so much with your career, your side business, helping your family, and balancing your independence. Faye you are loved.

“Thank yourself for all the choices that got you here. Appreciate yourself during every stage and lesson. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you go through changes.”

I needed this. I needed this reminder. Thank you, God.

“This audio meditation will be here for you whenever you need it. Be kind to yourself. Zariah Terry.”

I take in a shaky breath and let out a shaky breath. I repeat the breaths two more times while wiping my eyes. When I open them, I stare at my ceiling and place my hands beside myself.

I am worthy. I deserve good things. Younger Faye and Future Faye are so proud of what I’m doing right now. I will not let overthinking keep me from being happy.

I do one more deep breath in through the mouth, hold it, and then release the breath.

January 27, 2024 04:50

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2 comments

15:00 Feb 22, 2024

I don't meditate, but You get me meditating for a minute there... Nice Piece

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Desirae Moten
15:36 Feb 25, 2024

This means a lot to hear!! Thank you so much. I meditate with blackgirlsbreathing and was inspired to write the meditation scene well in this story. I'm so glad it could help you for a moment.

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