Me & He Part 1

9:54 PM

Just smiling to myself and thinking things over quietly here in my room. Rosetta Thurman says I should share my thoughts, tell my story because, "We need more love stories, especially for black women who are being told we can’t find love…"

So, I am trying to think back on the events, the long conversations and occasional pauses, the defining moments that brought me us here, to this present moment of being and deciding to be in love. Here goes.

Saturday August 27, 2005 8am - 2 days before Hurricane Katrina.

Its raining. Great. I've volunteered my friends and I to do a cleanup, the first ever DC Public School Beautification Day at Banneker High School across from Howard. Gotta get moving, round up the troops and head out. To get myself pumped, we stop at McDonald's for an egg McMuffin (no meat). This has been my energizer of sorts for years. Even helped me tackle that wonderful PSAT but I digress. We arrive and there are no supplies, no people and the principal has other things to do. No sense in wasting a good morning so I call the number I received at registration and wait for the mulch and plants to arrive. They arrive - hurray - along with fewer tools than we have people so, being what I'd like to call a leader and my friends call bossy, I help to delegate tasks. A very handsome man shows up with 2 more people and asks who is in charge. They all stop and look at me. Ah well. I say we've run out of tools and he volunteers to bring some over from his house which is apparently a block away. Good, we will get things moving after all. He returns and we begin again. His friend asks what I do and if we all go to Howard (MeMe had on her trusty HU hoodie). The three of us talk for a little while and I walk away. Little did I know I had just encountered the love of my life.

He took pictures throughout the day and said he'd email copies to the group. He asks who he should contact. Again they all point to me. I write down my email address and take his card. He says he will keep in contact. We part ways and he emails me a few days later. Thank God for Yahoo Messenger. :-) We spent a lot of time talking on the internet after that day because of his hectic work and service schedule but as we talked I found myself intrigued and looking forward to our talks on family, politics, education, the Caribbean, our community, everything under the sun.

About a month later he asks if I'd like to go have dinner with him after he finishes his lodge meeting and I finish my Management Info. Systems homework. Would I like to try the crab cakes from Duke's City that he's been raving about? Umm, yes! He shows up to the dorm in a tux carrying a little styrofoam container. Suddenly, I feel underdressed and unsure but we start walking and I soon feel comfortable again. Our food arrives and I'm ready to dig in but he reaches for my hand and we say grace first. We enjoy a great night and as we reach my building he hands me the container. Two girls rush past us and he holds the door. They look a little shocked and one glances back to tell him how nice he looks in his tux. I ask about the container and he says he thought I'd enjoy it. I go up to my room with my doggie bag and this container. I open it and see the prettiest slice of casada cake with white piping and silver beads. Tyria finishes my food and I bite into the cake. It tastes just as good as it looks. Had he remembered that the way to my heart is through my stomach? I am thoroughly impressed. We talk again that night before bed and the next night and the next. The rest, I guess, is history.

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Melissa's Reading List

  • Women Don't Ask - Linda Babcock & Sara Laschever
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • The Tipping Point
  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You - John C. Maxwell