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  • Jay

Dreams II.

I peeked out of the kitchen window while waiting for my electric tea kettle to finish boiling water for what would be a much-needed glass of constant comment black tea on this dreary afternoon. The autumn winds were blowing, and the plane engines could be heard against the gusts in the near distance. My pact to keep the heat off until at least mid-November had failed days before the first of the month this year. I surrendered to the prewinter winds responsible for the cool draft that swept through my flat.

When it rained, I cried. If I didn’t cry, I probably wanted to.

I left the shades lowered so I could lounge around in my silk bonnet while watching reruns of The Game in peace, without judgement from the neighbors.

Tea in hand, I returned to my spot on the couch and settled myself beneath the blue Bears throw blanket my mother accidentally sent inside a bag of goodies she’d bought for my daughter. Another one of her recent weekday shopping sprees. Always buying things that lacked importance or necessity, yet she bought anyway because “somebody might need it”. “Somebody” always turned out to be me. I shook my head and laughed at her obsession with spending since stepping into her new stage of life: retirement.

Pointing the remote at the tele, I picked up where I left off.

“The God I pray to, speaks to my heart. And my heart is telling me to go to Johns Hopkins, Derwin.” I rarely took Girl Melanie’s side in anything, but this was one of those instances where I’d made an exception. A close second to the time she'd found out about Derwin and Drew Sidora.

Sundays are most often meant for dreaming. Other times, they’re reserved for talking myself down from the pre-Monday anxiety that reminds me I’m still not where I want to be in life. I’m so grateful to be back in Chicago, but that dissatisfied feeling, oddly enough, still lingers. The feeling where there’s the unexplained void tied to falling short of your dreams while simultaneously feeling close enough to touch the hem of the garment you’ll be wearing when your season finally arrives.

Truth is, I’m a statistic. A young black single mother working multiple jobs, struggling to make ends meet while bearing 95% of the parental responsibility because my counterpart dedicates less than 5% of his time to it and under no circumstance offers to do more. Not the life I saw for myself when I was younger, but here I am, powering through; wishing that powering through was something I no longer had to do.

I guess I can relate to Melanie’s feelings because, I know what it’s like to be living with that void. I know what it’s like to try filling it with whatever pays the bills, knowing deep down inside that none of this is truly what you want. Writing is my everything. My joy, my passion, the tether that keeps my body connected to my soul. That’s my dream. To be able to leave my legacy with my daughter putting her in position to exist in a world where her mother’s words changed lives and left a lasting impact. One that exists long after I’ve journeyed into the next realm.

The God I pray to hears the same cry every Sunday. I keep giving my desires to him in hopes that someday I’ll wake and it’ll finally be the day that he decides my life ought to change.

For now, I must be content with the fact that, that day won’t be today.

Melanie goes off to Johns Hopkins and after much resistance, Derwin's love for her moves him to follow. I turned off the tv and sat in silence for a while.

The next sound heard was me, asking God if he could still hear me...

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