Brown Sugar’s Journey – Finding Answers in my Son.

I am celebrating my eleventh year in education! Honestly, I didn’t realize that I’ve been in this profession as long as I have until I calculated it for this particular blog. For six years, I taught all male students. As my curiosity grew about how to best teach boys, I fervently chased after learning more about gender strategies. The more I taught boys, and the less I taught girls, I was completely sold on brain-based learning. Because boys and girls are wired differently, the delivery has to be tailored in order for each gender to be taught effectively.

As an educator, I’ve had one constant question that has nagged me about adolescent boys. What happens, whether physiologically, physically, emotionally, or mentally, that causes a male African American teen (around the ages of 12-14) to become so angry and rebellious? So many of the Black boys I taught were indeed products of an impoverished single parent home, but that couldn’t be the cause, because I had seen other teen boys on TV with different backgrounds, but the same issue. Well, fortunately for me, a conversation with my own son gave me a peek into the answer I so desperately sought after for so long.

My son is the product of a single parent home, and he’s being raised by a single Black mother. He’s angry. All. The. Time. I know some of this is the result of the divorce. Although my ex-husband was rarely ever home because of his work schedule, or exercise schedule, or “extracurricular” schedule, the fact remains that he knew his dad lived there. Now, he doesn’t. So, he’s angry. Yesterday, my son yelled at his sister about something that was actually his fault. I responded to him with, “what did I tell you about yelling at my daughter?”

With pleading eyes, that looked like they would have been accompanied with a hand caught in the cookie jar, my son responded, “You told me not to.”

“Have you ever heard a man yell at mommy?”

“No. Well yes. Daddy does all the time.”

Because I didn’t anticipate that response (it caught me off guard), it literally took my breath away. But I was in the midst of teaching a lesson here, so I had to keep it rolling.

“Well, how does that make you feel?”

My son balled up his fist (like the Arthur meme), and his eyebrows furrowed in deep thought, then he spat, “It makes me want to punch him for being a jerk to you.”

In that split second. I got it. My son is angry at the person responsible for teaching him how to become a man. My son is angry at the one person who has shaken up his security. My son is angry that his dad is no longer in the home. He’s angry, and I can’t help him.

I listened to my son that day. He poured his heart out about what makes him angry: Why is daddy bringing his new girlfriend around whenever it’s MY time with him? Why can’t you and daddy just forgive each other so we could be a family again? That’s what you tell us (referring to his sister and him) to do. So, I was honest with him. PG, but honest. I never want my words to lose their credibility because I chose to hold back the truth. So, when he asks questions, I answer as clearly and as honestly as possible. Even though all of the answers he has right now are biased because he only gets my side of the story, he deserves the very best I can possibly give him as a mom.

Our sons are angry ya’ll, and we aren’t noticing it until it’s nearly too late. We notice when drugs, gangs, failing grades, and decisions that are so often labeled as typical boy behavior are awry in our son’s lives. I need my prayers to cover him so that when what he believes and what he sees doesn’t align, he’s capable of making wise decisions. I need my son to know that nothing he does or ever will do can stop me from loving him. I need him to find comfort in God’s timing and reasoning. The conversation I had with him let me know that he needs his mom to go to war for his heart, his emotions, his peace of mind, his future as a father, husband, and citizen, his healing. He’s my son, and he’s worth it.

I wish I could have these conversations with his father. If even for just five minutes he could step out of his self-absorbed bubble to think about someone other than himself, then he could hear the cries of his son reaching out for him. Or maybe he hears them, but the cry for a father’s love is so familiar that he runs because his cries were never answered. If I could give him one message to help him see the damage he’s causing his son, it would be, “Pay attention to the seeds you’re sowing. You still hate your father for abusing your mother, for never being there with you, for never telling you that you had so many siblings (that you’re still meeting) and for being a rolling stone. Don’t ask for mercy you won’t give.

Brown Sugar’s Single Momdom

In this journey of motherhood, I can honestly say that when I got married, I never saw myself being divorced. I spent nearly twenty years of my life with my ex husband, and now, I’m learning how to be a single Black mother all over again. Being single is the most liberating experience of my life! My 30s came with self reflection, growth, and maturity especially when I realized my two little ones depend on me for 98% of their development.

Here’s what I don’t understand. I work full time, and my career is pretty demanding. From 7:45 am – 4:30 pm, I’m solely responsible for making decisions for over 600 people (to whom much is given…). That did something to me to put that last statement in writing. Made me realize some stuff. As soon as I leave work, I get my two children, who are in grade school and middle school. Well, as a single parent, I’m responsible for listening to their day, checking homework, feeding them, getting active with them, doing a devotional with them, getting them ready for bed, and once they are in bed, I have to get clothes ready for school tomorrow, pack lunches, check folders and backpacks.

It would absolutely be easy if I could come home and rest on the couch, watch a good tv show, and nap to recover from the day. However, being a parent means I’m responsible for  preparing them to become productive citizens in a rapidly shifting society. In order to be effective in doing so, parenting requires sacrifice. Now, I understand that my ex won’t do things they way I will, nor will I always like the way he does things (part of the reason why we’re divorced), but when he actually does get something done, I have to just let it be. What is it about my ex that has handicapped him in such a way that he doesn’t have the ability to think critically?  He normally has the kids anywhere between 24-35 hours a week. There are no sacrifices because he doesn’t attend any of the kid’s events, school programs, games, or performances. I can only hope he cares enough to come see them be baptized this coming Sunday. There have been days when I didn’t eat lunch because during my lunch I was sitting at my children’s honors program, or I had to make up time on the back end because I was sitting at the doctor’s office all morning with one of my children. Men know what it takes to raise a child, but for some reason like to pretend as if their work schedules and personal lives take precedence over their children’s well-being.

Why is it that men feel that because they pay child support (and my ex doesn’t even pay $200/month), and they get the kids on their “assigned weekend,” that they are parenting their children? What about teaching them life-long lessons? What about providing our daughters with a standard for the type of men they’ll date? What about providing our sons with a role models? My ex has the freedom to move as he pleases. He can go to the gym after work. Go on dates when he wants. Rest whenever he’d like to.

Raising my children brings me new joys each day. They are growing into some of the most humorous, creative, compassionate, opinionated children I ever did love. It hurts to realize that the one I chose to procreate with will never provide my children with what I experienced with my own father, A father’s love. I wonder if they’ll ever have real stories to share like I do, memories that bring a smile across their lips, lessons to pass down to their own children? My children deserve more. I wish I knew better then in order to provide them with it.

Chapter 12 (Skylar)

Skylar knew that she had to do something and it had to be done fast. Jason wasn’t answering and it was a strong possibility that he was back with his wife. She was sure she had done enough damage to make Summer walk away, but why in the hell was Jason not answering his phone? Was it possible that they were able to talk this out and move past Jason’s indiscretions? Although Skylar still dated other men, that did not necessarily mean she was willing to completely give up the one man that made her feel as though the world revolved around her. In spite of her occasional friends, she actually was in love with Jason.

Last night when Jason didn’t come home, Skylar called over Cory, her trainer from the local gym, to take care of her during her “fragile state.”         

After realizing Jason wasn’t coming, she needed someone to hold her to control the racing thoughts in her head. Cory was cool and they had never slept together. The two of them usually clubbed and socialized. Cory showed up at Skylar’s door with a bottle of wine, chinese food, and Skylar’s favorite game of Taboo. Cory was so sweet. He had the potential to be an amazing boyfriend. The only problem was, Skylar didn’t want a relationship with Cory. All she wanted was Jason.

While Skylar fixed their plates, Cory put on a movie. He brought a comedy because he figured it was what she needed. Skylar only called when she needed cheering up, however tonight Cory had another plan to make her smile. Tonight he would make his move. 

Skylar was so naive that she walked around Cory in her boy-cut underwear and a tank top. She sat down beside him in Indian style and handed Cory his plate. The two of them ate, drank, laughed, and had a great time.  Skylar asked Cory for relationship advice. He told her, “get out while you have a free pass. Sleeping with a married man is definite admission to heart break and access to problems that have nothing to do with you,” he told her. “Now that his wife knows, that’s a whole new set of problems you have to deal with and she’s his problem, not yours.”

Summer placed her face in her hands and groaned.

“Listen,” he said to her. Steve Harvey always says, the thing with sin is it makes you pay more than you want to pay and stay longer than you want to stay.”

Seeing the vulnerable look shadow her face, Cory knew it was almost time to make his move. “Hey, look at me,” Cory said as he placed his hand on her leg. “I know you love him. I can tell. But you’re a beautiful girl and you can have any man you want.” Skylar dropped her head and fought back tears. She didn’t want any man, she wanted her man.

“Jason ain’t the only man who can treat you like you need to be treated.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Cory almost laughed out loud. “This shit works every time.” He thought.

“Come here,” he said softly. Skylar obliged. She slid closer to him.

“Let me show you,” Cory whispered as he kissed Skylar behind her ear. He cupped her right breast in his hand as she leaned closer for him to kiss her. Cory was gentle, yet she could tell that he had tons of pent up tension. She let her hand travel to his zipper and almost gasped at the hardness poking through his pants. He had to be working with at least seven inches. She thought to herself, “I’m about to ride him like Seabiscuit.”

Cory had pushed her back on the sofa and was now on top of Skylar. He heard her phone vibrating on the table. She heard it too and it slightly jarred their rhythm. Cory decided to step it up to get her head back in the game. He dove his head between Skylar’s thighs. The phone vibrated again, but Skylar’s moans drowned out the sound.

The third time the phone vibrated, Skylar jumped up and said, “that might be Jason!”

“Who gives a damn!” Cory was pissed.

Without even looking at the phone, she picked up and breathlessly said, “Hello?”

Apparently the voice on the other end was not one she wanted to hear. Cory watched her body tense up and her mouth drop open.

Skylar hoarsely answered, “Summer, how did you get my number?”

Chapter 11 (Summer)

         Summer decided to get a hotel room at the Double Tree downtown to sort through some thoughts without being distracted by Jason’s lies. No matter how hard she tried to swallow her anger and hurt, it felt as if her chest burned from holding it all in.  Jason set off a walking time bomb; ready to explode at any given moment.  After checking in, she dropped her overnight bag in the closet and went to relax on the plush burnt orange-colored recliner. As she sat there, taking in the elegant décor of the room helped her to settle down. The earth-tone hues in each room gave the suite warmth.

Summer sat in the quiet room, too afraid to turn on the television, knowing she would only see another person’s horror story. “Even though misery loved company, she had no room with me tonight,” Summer thought aloud.

Glancing over at her purse and realizing her phone was still powered off, Summer contemplated leaving it where it was because of the last catastrophe that took place dealing with unwanted voicemails. Nevertheless, she headed to the refrigerator to grab a bottled water, grabbed the phone from her purse, and plopped back onto the recliner. While drinking her water and waiting for her phone to power on, she thought about how Jason met that young girl. Did he charm her? Did she seduce him? Did he take her to lunch? Did she invite him to dinner?

The constant vibrating snapped Summer from her thoughts.” Seven Voicemail Messages,” her phone read. “Here goes nothing… again,” she said as she pressed one to retrieve the messages. The first one was from Monica. She was concerned and checking on Summer. Outside of her loud and boisterous demeanor, Monica had a sweet and caring spirit. The next three messages were all from the office. She had forgotten about the properties that she was scheduled to show in Harbor Town, Central Gardens, and South Bluffs.

Luckily, Alisha had been able to show them. She had to be sure to send her a thank you card. Message five was from Ava. “Hey mom it’s Ava. I’m thinking about checking out this new club tonight and I’m a little nervous because it’s a different type of atmosphere. Just wanted to hear your thoughts. Call me when you get a chance; All my love!” Message six was from Ayden. “It’s my favorite girl! Hey ma, I needed a little help on choosing a good gift for my lady. We haven’t spoken in a few days, with finals and issues with her family. I want the gift to say I support you and I love you. Shoot me a few ideas via email; all my love!”

Summer missed her kids so much, and she hated the way this bullshit Jason had dragged their family into pulled her away from their kids. She just didn’t want to face anyone or talk to anyone about anything. After saving both messages from the kids, she listened to the last message, and it was from Jason. Summer’s blood pressure skyrocketed at the sound of his trifling ass voice! Needless to say, he claimed he had cooked dinner and was living in the guesthouse to give her space. “Do I have ‘damn fool’ written across my forehead,” Summer screamed. “He probably poisoned the food so he and his mid-life crisis could collect my insurance money and live the golden life on some island. Jason could sit and rot in that damn guesthouse for all I care!” Summer listened to the voicemail a few more times to see if she could tell whether or not Jason was being sincere. The only thing Summer got from the message was a deep feeling of resentment.

Finishing off the bottle of water, Summer pulled out her laptop bag and decided on responding to Ayden.  If it’s one thing Summer knew, it was jewelry and lavish gifts. She’d have Ayden and his little girlfriend back on track in no time. Remembering how stressful exams week were during college, Summer thought diamond studs and a certificate to a massage parlor would do the trick. After emailing Ayden back, Summer decided to return Ava’s call.

The call went straight to voicemail. Summer instructed Ava to go to the club and have a good time. It would be good for her to get out and meet new people and take in new scenery. She was so glad to know that Ava was willing to step out and try new things. Ayden was the social butterfly while Ava tended to be the fly on the wall.

After ending the call, Summer was about to power off her cell phone when another text came through.

Hey Summer! I left a message at the office a couple of days ago. I’m looking for a new property in the Annesdale Snowden Historic District, and I definitely want you to be my realtor. Call me. Let’s do lunch! –M.S.

Summer sat there completely dumbfounded. She hadn’t heard from him in years with the exception of the occasional high and bye via social media! Summer quickly powered off her phone before her vengeful thoughts became her actions. She finally decided to take that hot bath she so desperately needed. It was time to wash away the worries and stressors from the day. Surely she could find some peace tonight, right?

Chapter 10 (Ava)

            Fuck  it. It’s now or never. Ava thought as she walked toward the building she had been circling for the last 45 minutes as she struggled to find the nerve to enter the club.  She was relying on her mom to talk her out of going in the first place, but when she didn’t answer, Ava threw caution to the wind.

Twerk  twerk twerk twerk twerk dat ass!” banged through the speakers as the half-naked girl exited the stage.

“Y’all show some love for Moet. Next up we got one of the baddest bitches out of Houston hitting the stage.”

         Damn! Sure hate I missed Moet. It must’ve been one hell of a show because the crowd definitely made it rain for her.  It was my first time inside a strip club, and I had on so many disguises that I barely recognized myself. I had no idea what to expect. But I didn’t want to run into anybody I knew.  Attempting to be low key, I took a seat at a table near the back of the club.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“No thanks. I’m good for now.”

“You sure? Cause you really look like you could use a lil sumin right about now.”

“What do you mean I look like I could use summin?”

“It’s just that…this is your first time in a strip club am I right?”

“Of course not. I hit the strip club all the time. This is my first time coming to this one, but not my first time in the club, come on now.”

“Yeah okay, whatever you say. You walk up in this bitch lookin like you in the witness protection program sitting way in the back, and I’m supposed to believe you hit the club on the regular?  Boo please.”

“I really don’t care what you believe. I said I’m cool right now. Tell me something, Cherry is it? Does your manager know how you speak to his customers?”

“Whoa!  Hold up sweetie. I didn’t mean to get all up in your business like that. I’m just trying to make sure you have a good time that’s all.

“Who says I’m not having a good time already?”

“Well for starters, you’re sitting in the back of the club, wearing shades, looking scared to death with this jacked up wig on.  It’s cool though, cause I’m bout to bring you summin to take care of all that, give me one second”

“I said I’m goo…”  Well, whatever then. If she wants to bring me a free drink then who am I to say no? I didn’t want to admit it but she was right. I was looking kind of stupid in that wig. I was 207 miles away from home. Plus if I did run into somebody I knew what could they say to me? After all, we would be sitting in the same place doing the same exact thing.

I don’t know what Cherry brought me but it was good as hell. I had already downed two glasses and was working on my third.  I had loosened up so much that I even agreed to a private lap dance. Now I have received lap dances from men in the past, and don’t get me wrong they were hot; but this shit here was off the fucking chain!  I Like by Jeremih filled the room as Flap JaXXXs made her way over to me after sliding down the pole seductively to 50 Cent’s Ayo Technology. Up close she was even more gorgeous than she appeared on stage. She had Caramel soft skin with big saucer shaped green eyes. She had a seductive smile that enticed her victims into her web of temptation. She dropped to her knees and crawled towards me. “Damn,” I thought. “There’s that feeling again.” I allowed my eyes to caress over her shoulders and down to her succulent breasts. I tried to bury that “feeling” like I had for so many years. I watched the way her hips swayed as she crept my way. The way her round ass swallowed that green thong made something in me stir. I succumbed to that feeling. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to kiss her breasts. “Shit,” I said barely above a whisper. Flap JaXXXs had rolled over to her back and had her face between my legs. What she didn’t know was that she could have me if she wanted. There. I said it. I. Like. Women.

That was the first time Ava had admitted to herself that she was gay. She couldn’t even consider herself bi-sexual because Kai didn’t please all of her totally. Admitting her sexuality was like having the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders. Now that the hard part had been done, it was time to indulge…

I took a twenty-dollar bill out of my pocket and rubbed it between her plump breasts. She sat up just enough to retrieve the money between her teeth. The song changed to Juvenile’s Back Dat Ass Up. She wore a look that said, “Aw hell yea!” This woman threw her hair and twisted her body around so I could see her slide her hand between her thighs. Why was she fucking with me? She stood up, and gyrated her hips to the beat. When the hook played, her ass bounced like it had a mind of it’s own! I was mesmerized. Impressed to say the least. She straddled my lap, grabbed my hands and made me hold her ass. “I know you want to,” Flap JaXXXs purred. Maybe she did know she could have me. Right on cue, as if reading my thoughts, she squeezed both of her breasts together and put her left nipple on my lip like a mother would to a newborn. So like a newborn I took it in my mouth. I tickled her nipple with my tongue and immediately knew I would have Flap JaXXXs in my bed that night. I hated to cheat on Kai, but this bitch was bad. She threw her head back and said, “I get off in about two hours, don’t leave.”

“Give me a reason not to,” I told her. The flirting had me wet as hell.

She leaned back a little, reached between her legs, fingered herself, then slid her finger into my mouth. “That’s why,” she said then sashayed off.

She smelled like water and tasted like honey. Not realizing we had a small crowd surrounding us, I smiled and started texting on my phone. I tipped a few more dancers and had Cherry to bring me a lot more drinks. I sat my horny broke ass there for two and a half hours. Right when I was preparing to leave, one of the other dancers slid a piece of paper on my table as she walked by. Stupefied, I opened it. Flap JaXXXs had written her number and address on the paper. Her note told me she left about thirty minutes ago and wanted to freshen up before I got there.

“Don’t keep me waiting.


was how she ended her note. I finished my last drink and walked out as smoothly as possible. The liquid courage Cherry kept bringing gave me the gall to drive the three blocks to JaXXXs’s house. I sat in her driveway with eight million questions booming through my head. What would I do to her? What would she do to me? Would this be a one-night stand? Did she already have a lover? Was this a set-up? The front door opened and there stood JaXXXs in a red silk robe, wide open. Not another question clouded my judgment. I didn’t know what I was walking into, but I damn sure was walking in!

Chapter 9 (Summer)


         With the soulful acoustics of India Arie’s “Get It Together” playing in the background, Summer sat in her SUV wondering why she had ever gotten married in the first place. She had driven aimlessly until she ended up on Riverfront Drive. While she overlooked The Mighty Mississippi River, angry lines creased her mouth and forehead. She thought about her husband and all he meant to her. Summer and Jason had grown up together. They met in middle school and had been inseparable ever since. From middle school sports, to high school organizations, to college sweethearts it had always been just the two of them.

         Like any relationship, they had their problems, but everyone knew that Summer and Jason had the type of love that could withstand any dilemma. Summer and Jason chose different paths after high school, which resulted in a breakup during college. Against her better wishes, she moved back to Memphis to be with Jason. He had gotten in touch with Summer out of the blue one day and they instantly picked up where they left off. The earth shattering sex, the sweet conversations, the genuine kind gestures, were all enough for Summer to pack up and haul it back to Memphis.

         About six months after relocating, Jason proposed. They attended pre-marital counseling and the pastor said something Summer knew she would carry with her forever. He asked Summer what made her not only fall in love with, but agree to marry Jason? Summer’s reply was instant and it didn’t take much response time. “He completes me. Without him, I’m whole, but with him I’m so complete. His love makes me feel full, the kind of right-after-Thanksgiving-dinner at MaDear’s house type full. He makes me high and forgetful, and I desire him the same now as I did years ago. Pastor, it’s always been him. No man makes me cry tears of pain and joy in one setting, but him. He’s my other half. No matter what he brings to the table, he has my support, even when I don’t agree. I want to give him the love that I feel in my heart because I want him to know how it feels to be loved that much. I never want to let him go. I never want to go a day without inhaling him and breathing his love. My desire for this man runs deep, so much so, that I’m certain that no other man will ever experience it. He is the only person that deserves my love.”

         Summer cried from the overwhelming force she felt when she thought of the love she had for her husband. That love always brought a smile to her face, even during the worse times they faced, she could always rely on the love they shared.

         Summer realized that her cocaine-high love suddenly turned into a deadly overdose affair. Jason had another woman that he was spending quality time with. A man can have casual sex and walk away, but when he spends his time, in public, he’s not just gone physically, but he’s gone emotionally. For Jason, Summer’s love wasn’t enough to keep him. Sure she could admit that she had not been making love to Jason nearly as much as she had been. It was almost like they had gone from being the best of friends to common roommates.

         Summer didn’t know whether to save her marriage, or walk away and accept that things were just too far-gone. How could she miss the warning signs? Although she knew that she never wanted to move back to Memphis, Summer applied for a position here and was hired. That was the cover up she used to move back home, without being questioned.

         Maybe Summer and Jason were still high off of the high school love that they shared and didn’t spend enough time getting to know the adults that they had become.

         Summer feared that she had spent the last twelve years being in a marriage on her own. She was oblivious to the fact that there was ever another woman. How could she be so naïve? For the most part, she thought she and Jason had a great marriage. They were successful and social and for the most part had achieved all of their goals.

         As Summer sat in her SUV watching the flow of the river, she couldn’t help but wonder if her life had taken on the same rapid flow of the water, spinning out of control all around her while she watched. But this was one time she wouldn’t take a back seat in the story of her life. Summer felt as though she was sinking, and she would take every asshole down with her. 

Chapter 8 (Jason)

        Jason hit the button to lower the garage and shut the door. He stood in the middle of the kitchen while he cried silently. He was in so much pain and the only person he could blame was himself. Nothing mattered more at this moment than fixing his marriage. He had no idea why he even cheated in the first place.

         It was true that he and Summer had grown apart from the lack of sex, affection, and making time for themselves, but nothing could justify him stepping outside of his vows. He truly did love his wife with all his being, and would not know what to do without her. But because of his sexual addiction, his marriage had completely deteriorated. The sad part was that there were so many women before Skylar. Women in the neighborhood, at the church, on his job, in the building at his job, at his gym, wherever he met a beautiful woman, he had the charm it took to have her. Jason was always up front with the women he fooled around with. They always knew that he was married and had no intentions on leaving his wife. He made it clear that he was happily married, but only needed more sexually. Somehow he ended up pacifying Skylar rather than dismissing her, which is how he ended up knee-deep in this load of shit.

         It was something about Skylar that captivated him. She was much younger than him, but she had a certain level of wisdom, and spontaneity that made him feel youthful whenever he was with her. 

         After everything that had happened, Jason knew that none of it was worth his livelihood. At that very moment, standing in the middle of his kitchen alone, he felt that he had the motivation to go back to being the best at everything-The best husband, the best father, the best anything he put his mind to if he could get a grip on life. He didn’t want to recreate the disconnect that grew in his family because of his father’s actions. He worked hard to get his family where they were and it seemed as if he had worked just as hard to tear it all apart.

         Jason sat at the kitchen table and buried his face in his hands as he released a river of emotions. He never wanted to admit that he was a lot like his father with his womanizing ways because that would mean he had to acknowledge the pain and bitterness that he had masked deep within.

         As Jason sat at the table crying his silent tears, he picked up his cell phone and decided to call the one person he knew would keep it straight no matter what. He called his sister Monica.

         The phone rang three times. Right when Jason was about to hang up someone answered. “I knew your trifling ass would call sooner or later,” Monica said when she answered.

         “Hey, I’m great thanks for asking,” Jason replied in a less enthusiastic tone.

         “Jason where in the hell have you been? Summer hasn’t answered her phone since she dropped me off last night, and you couldn’t be contacted. Ava has been calling the two of you all night to tell you about her grades.”

         Monica had rattled off so much so fast that Jason almost regretted calling her.

         “Listen up Monica, I did not call you to hear this shit! I wanted you to let me know what was Summer’s reaction when you two left the store last night. I know this is some serious shit! I know I messed up! I know, and I don’t need you to tell me something I already know,” Jason exploded.

         The line went silent. Monica had a lot of sass, but she was extremely sensitive. He knew that his screaming at her had taken her by surprise and probably hurt her feelings.  

         “I apologize sis. I didn’t mean to take this out on you.”

         “I know you didn’t. Look she was much too calm and relaxed for me. When I offered to stay with her until you came home, she told me that she was fine and needed some time to herself,” Monica replied.

         “Calm? Summer is never calm when she’s pissed off.”

“I know,” said Monica, “She had a blank look on her face and was talking low. I ain’t never seen her like this before Jason. Maybe she just needs some space.”

         “Space? Monica we ain’t some suburban couple on TV! I promised momma that I would never go to bed mad with Summer and that I would always remain under the same roof with my wife and work through our problems. Now that has been true up until last night.”

         “Then don’t leave the house. Just go out back to the guesthouse. Leave her a note letting her know where you are and that you want to work this out, but you’re sure she needs her space.”

         “You may be right Monica. Thanks lil sis. Talk to you later.”

         “Hey, Jason? You and Summer are made for each other. Yea, you messed up, but you can make this right. You’re not him, so that means you can fix this. Now go put in some work.”

         They hung up and Jason felt a glimmer of hope. In the last 24 hours he had been made to feel like he was no different than his father. However, when his little sister said he was nothing like him, he knew exactly what she meant and it made him believe that he could change.

         He decided to fix a little dinner, because he was sure Summer hadn’t eaten. He fixed her a spring salad with pecans and a vinaigrette dressing, Parmesan chicken with mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. He chilled a bottle of white wine and had flowers delivered. He ran out to pick up candles and a thoughtful card to express his feelings. He decided to add a personal touch to the card he bought and wrote from the heart.


I want to spend the rest of my life making this right. Just as you’ve spent most of your life loving me. I love you more than you know and I know that you don’t deserve any of this. I messed up baby. I’m sorry. I could say that a thousand times and I’m sure it doesn’t move you now, but know that I mean it. I know I can’t say nothing to take back how I made you feel. My actions may not have reflected it, but I am. You are the perfect wife, mother, and woman. Any man would be lucky to have you and I am. I was just selfish and I wasn’t thinking about how this would affect our family. I have to gain your trust back. I know I have some flaws that I need to fix and I’m willing to work on it for however long it takes. But baby I need your help in identifying those flaws and faults. I want us to work through this and grow old together. Right now, I’m sure you need your time and space, so enjoy this salad and dinner is in the oven. I’m staying in the guesthouse until you’re ready to talk. I love you baby.



 Jason had pulled out all the stops in hopes that he and his wife could see past this hiccup. After packing a few items, on his way out the back patio, he picked up a wedding photo of him and Summer. He had to put the glimmer back in her eyes. He stood in the doorway and looked out towards the sky. “Alright God, this is me. My momma always said that You have a way of knocking us down on our knees, and I’m there now. I know that I haven’t come to You like I should or gone to church with the best intentions, but I’m here now and I need You. I know that I’ve done a lot of wrong in my past, but God I’m begging You not to take my family from me. I love my wife, in spite of all the wrong I’ve done. I love her with all my heart. The look in her eyes last night and before she left… God I just can’t take it. Please show me how to make this right. Teach me how to be a better man for Summer. Please God.”

         Jason walked out towards the guesthouse with the photo in tow.

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