Of Fairytales and Nightmares

Every now and then you have those fairytale dream-come-true moments. I had one such moment in college. As my friends and I sat at a table mourning the fashion tragedies at the Mahogany Ball, the annual Black Student Association-sponsored formal, a man with a massive presence I didn’t know walked up behind me, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “May I have this dance?”

I stood and took his hand as he led me to the dance floor.

This beautiful specimen with his 6’5” body builder (but not in that freakazoid kind of way) frame had everything I’d ever thought I wanted in a man at first glance. He had it “all,” even the bald head and goatee that I’m a sucker for. As we softly rocked to the music he asked with his dreamy baritone voice, “So what’s your name, pretty girl?” I answered.

We swayed. I swooned. I learned a little more about him. He was a senior at another college in town and was majoring in art, he told me as his hand gently stroked my back. The conversation lasted for hours, from our initial introduction that night until the ball ended. He walked my friend and me to the car and asked if he could have my number because he wanted to at least make sure I made it back to my dorm room safely. I obliged him.

After 30 minutes or so passed, my mobile phone rang; he was calling. His Barry White Jr. voice said, “I’m glad you made it home safely.” I giggled the kind of giggle that, from what I understand, is both innocent with a hint of tease that guys like. Mr. Dreamy told me he’d love to see me again. “Tomorrow afternoon, if that’s not too soon.” I checked my dayplanner, knowing I had plenty of work to do if I planned on not flunking out, and told him I’d be available.

Sunday afternoon, he called and asked me to meet him at a central location. “What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?” he asked, just as we were getting off the phone.

When I pulled up to meet him, he was standing outside his truck smiling. He said confidently, “Follow me,” as he jumped back in the truck. I found myself in a neighborhood I didn’t know existed. He came and opened my car door, carrying a non-descript bag, and we, without words, walked to a clubhouse and sat next to a pool. From the bag, he pulled out a serving of pralines ‘n cream ice cream, my favorite, placed a napkin on my lap, and we sat by the pool eating ice cream, talking.

As he was into architecture, when we finished our ice cream, we got up and started to look at the houses that lined the streets. “That one’s an homage to …” and “This one’s …” he said, pointing to various houses, showing off his architectural knowledge. As we finished our tour, we walked, hand in hand, back to where we’d started. We stood, talking with the sunset caressing us. He leaned in to kiss me, and I stopped him. The moment didn’t change my self-imposed no-kissing-on-the-first-date rule. He was fine with that and things were looking good.

For the next couple months or so, we spent time together, getting to know one another. And the more I got to know about him, the more I didn’t like him. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly. I mean there was the fact that he was accustomed to women throwing themselves at him and I wasn’t that kind of girl … that was kind of annoying, especially since he always reminded me of that. And then there was the time—the last, in fact—that we went out to eat (Red Lobster, big timing with those cheddar biscuits and all) and he declared, “I left my wallet.” I replied, “I guess somebody’s gonna be washing dishes then.” There were a few other little weird things that came up, shallow mostly, but I was never ever able to completely invest myself in a fantasizing-about-marrying-you-and-having-your-babies relationship with him.

A couple years later I heard from him again, and he tried to rekindle what was never quite ablaze between us. “What are you doing now? Where are you working? We never gave our relationship a fair chance. Have any kids? Really?! You don’t? …”

Not long afterwards, I received a phone call from a woman I didn’t know warning me about this man and his Casanova ways. Then again a few years later still he contacted me. This time, I didn’t oblige. And just a week ago I read this headline: “Ex-Fugitive Suspected of Molesting Single Moms’ Kids.” Under the headline and next to the copy that detailed how a psychopathic monster—my words, not theirs—preyed on single mothers and victimized their children was a picture of the man I’d dated in college.

When I was finally able to do some processing, I grieved for the women and their children and was grateful, though that seems like a small words, for the protection and mercy I was blessed with. Their pain isn’t foreign to me. And what I know for sure is that we are so many times protected when we don’t know we are from danger we may never see; making puzzle pieces fit together that don’t is never personally profitable; with work, beauty can come from your ashes; and sadly, if it seems too good to be true, it is, in fact, a lie.

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~ by MsInklination on November 7, 2009.

2 Responses to “Of Fairytales and Nightmares”

  1. This sound like part of a fiction novel. It reads like one too! And the title “Of Fairytales and Nightmares” is perfect. (Random thought: Remember Anita Baker’s song “Fairytales?”)

    I almost feel guilty for enjoying reading this post so much since I know it’s true.

    Girl, if you ever write a book or novel or short stories (I loved J California Cooper’s “A Piece of Mine”) PLEASE let me know. And let me design the cover too. lol

    • You have to design the cover, right? I’m confused. I didn’t know anyone else could design a cover!

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