Getting Through Today
Things have been moving pretty fast for the excited members of my highschool class who will celebrate our 10 year reunion this June. Anna’s on the ball, leading up the organization of the events but I hear she has a strong team who are really putting forth an effort to make it happen. Although I was Class President, I can’t focus on planning the reunion right now so when Anna approached me about taking charge, I was relieved and grateful. Even in the midst of my own journey, I didn’t want to let the MJG Class of 97 down.
I’ve been getting messages from people on Myspace, old heads from highschool, old majorettes and class clowns and it’s been hilarious to see all those chicas and chicos. I even made a page for Tamara. She is always the LAST person to get up on the current trends.
In the midst of becoming reacquainted with those kids from highschool, a bulletin was posted which blew my mind.
I remember when we first met. It was maybe..the 2nd week of school. I didn’t have any friends but these girls named Anna and Tamara invited me to have lunch with them since they saw I was all alone. I accepted and that’s how I met my bestfriends. Ofcourse when you start highschool, from the first day guys are going to be all over you. So by the 3rd week, Anna and Tamara were already in “relationships”. Don’t you miss that about highschool? Everyone was so eager to claim you as their own. Once you leave highschool, men don’t do that anymore.
I was the only one who didn’t have a boyfriend but I didn’t really mind. I enjoyed hanging out with Tamara and her flava of the month, Larry by the corner store where we’d buy a soda and some chips and stand around and flirt.
“Hey Tee,” Larry said to me one day as his friends approached. “This is my boy Curt.”
I looked up and my mouth dropped. Damn…..
Curt was one of those guys that every girl would consider fine. He had the drobe tight. Fresh J’s. Fresh cut. Perfect smile. Pretty boy. He was a basketball player too. I guess I was too young to appreciate all of that because I kinda said Hi and walked away. He approached me again at my locker the next day and I turned and smiled at him.
We started “talking.” Whatever. No big deal. Girls would come up to me and say, “Oh my gosh Tee! Is that your man? He is so fine! How did you meet him?”
“At the corner stoe.” I’d say and shrug. “He hang with Larry and nem.”
One day after school he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was like, “Ok.” But what did that mean? I wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone with boys. I couldn’t date. I couldn’t even see this boy outside of school. We’d meet up in the morning and hang out and then again at lunch. No big deal. He was fine but…We really had nothing in common.
I felt like I was wasting our time so one morning I approached him and said, “Curt…I think we should break up.” He looked surprised at first but then he shrugged and said, “OK.” He laughed and we became friends.
He went on to date other girls in the school. Cheerleader type chicks, including one of my friends Tiffany. Before the news that they were together hit the school, I will never forget Tiffany pulling me to outside during class one day and looking me straight in the eye.
“Tee. I want to tell that me and Curt like each other. I don’t want you to be mad about it. I hope you are okay with that.”
“I’m cool,” I told her and smiled. “Thanks for telling me. He’s cool with me.”
I respected her for that. It could have potentially been some drama once the school gossips got a hold of the info but by the time they ran up to me to tell me how “She go with yo man!” I just laughed and said, “I know. Me and Tiffany still straight.”
They ended up having twins while we were in highschool and shortly therafter he began dating another cheerleader.
I always wondered what happened to him.
Until Monday when I checked my Myspace page and saw the bulletin.
“RIP Curtis Dop.son” it read.
A quick google search confirmed that “A 27 year old man was found dead outside of a duplex in Allapattah early Friday morning.”
I paused, remembering the bliss of our youth.
Then I thought about how just earlier that day I had been emailing Tamara trying to explain to her why I feel such an urgency to go after my dreams.
“Damn girl..we have a lot of life left to live and hopefully we get the chance to do all we ever wanted. People ask me why I’m in such a hurry to do things and well..its because…every year someone I know and love dies. I don’t want that to be me..cuz I have yet to experience so much!
It seems like people with no plans are the ones just chillin…since I have a whole lot of goals I cant just sit back and wait for life to happen!”
I still feel like I am young but at the same time you never know. I know it’s not a good idea to live life in anticipation of death but…I’d love to be a Mama to my sons again before I go. I’d love to have a home for them to come live in, a stable income, a loving husband, time to spend vacationing and traveling with my boys, educating them and sharing new experiences with them, always reinforcing the fact that they can make the world a better place. I want that.
And I don’t want to be that woman that people say, “She had so much potential. She was a rising star.” That’s why I feel like everything is so urgent. I want my boys back. So far…no job I have ever had has been working out for me. I can’t do that to them. I can’t be unstable like that. There’s so much inside of me that needs to be better –for me and for them.
I spoke to my sons last night. My 6year old said he wanted to tell me something.
“Mama. I have a funny question to ask you,” he said with a giggle.
“Go ahead baby.”
“Mama. Why don’t you come and work at my school?”
My heart sank.
“Well baby, remember when we were in Gainesville? Me you and your brother? Remember I used to go to school? Remember GO GATORS?”
“Well, that was college and when you go to college you have to tell them what you want to be. If I would have told them that I wanted to be a teacher then they would have taught me how to be a teacher, baby. But I told them that I wanted to be a journalist so they taught me how to write for magazines and newspapers. That’s why can’t I work at your school. I didn’t learn how to be a teacher baby.”
“Are you still gonna be a professional model?” he asks.
I laugh. I can’t believe he remembers when I told him I wanted to be a model for COVER GIRL.
“Just a model for makeup, baby. Hopefully. One day.”
“When you were in Miami, you used to wear makeup and you were pretty Mama.”
“Thanks baby. I still wear makeup now. I like it. It makes me feel good.”
I…I miss them.
They’re doing well. Their Daddy is taking great care of them. He’s such a good Daddy. His girlfriend is good to them too. They are fine. I’m just not fine because they are my love. My hearts. And now I have no one.
No one to love on me. No one to hug on me.
All for the pursuit of a definite end. It’s coming. I know it.
I just have to maintain the strength to get through today.