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The Words We Never Said

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Laying on the couch, Modern Family on the television watching them, She and He exchange wordless alternating glances that simultaneously say everything and nothing at all.  Leaning in toward his arm where her head happened to be resting, his kiss lands unexpectedly on her cheek – not its intended destination.

“What’s wrong babe?” He asks.

“I’m fine.” she responds.

“No, you’re not.”

“You’re right I’m not, but … whatever.”

“Well … what is it … what do you want babe?”

“I don’t want anything.”

I want a paper wind chime.

A paper wind chime on a long porch that sits on a big lush lawn. Colorful, with little carefully stringed beads that are supposed to make pretty music when the wind blows, but really just kind of create a racket at the slightest breeze, and the beaded strings get entangled in each other, but still hangs there proudly because it was made by a handsome three-year old that looks like you and calls me mommy.

I want the prettiest, most elegant olive green dress that matches perfectly with the tie you’ll wear to my literary awards ceremony.

I want the usual “good morning” not to be typed words in black font from your blackberry to mine, but a muffled sound from your mouth in the crook of my neck.

I want an old album full of goofy pictures taken on vacations and random days when I looked particularly pretty, and the camera was your eye.

I want this to be given a chance to grow and show and know what will be and won’t. I want to just be. Without insecurities and reservations about how I feel about you and how you feel about me. I want it all. You, us, this, completely.

Or

I want nothing. Absolutely nothing to exist in this space so filled with our Saturday morning lovemaking, under the slivers of sunlight that squeeze through your beige blinds. Maybe our forever has defied the laws of time and reached its limit. If that is the case, then I want an eraser. For us to devolve into the strangers we were before my tongue knew the syllables of your name.

I want to go back to perfectly peaceful nights spent devouring bestsellers, and luxurious bubble baths made for one. I want to return to easy evenings of free meals and good conversation in little black dresses, with men who have caught my momentary fancy. Until one comes along that moves me in the way that you did; the way that wind moves trees, that sways me so effortlessly it can only be felt, not seen.

Understand love, that this is not a bitter declaration meant to force your hand … or your heart. I only need to make you aware of my desires. Much too much thought has been given to this back and forth dance we know and do so well, and now I’ve found myself at my heart’s poker table. Going either all in, or walking away.

I want love to reside on my lips for you and you only.

Or I want remove the taste of your name, wipe my palate clean of your essence.

All, or nothing.

And if you are to choose all, then we will celebrate with expensive wine, and things not meant to be mentioned in public. But if you should choose the opposite, then I’ll wish you love and life and all the best that this journey may bring you. Above all, I will be happy. No pleading. No debating. No pressure. All is fair in love.

She turned to him, unable to allow such sentiments to reach her vocal chords, breaking the loud silence residing with them, “What I really want to know is … what do you want. What exactly, do you want from me, from us?”

I want time. I want time to sit back and enjoy the perfection that is now without the weight of future forevers adding unnecessary gravity to our present joy. I want time to allow whatever this is I’m feeling for you to grow and make itself more known. A man who fears nothing is said to be a man who loves nothing. Never before in my life have I allowed myself to love a woman, but I’m afraid of losing you. I’m not sure what that means and my inability to figure it out scares me. Does it mean I love you? I don’t know. But what if I do? Let’s say I do love you. Does this mean we’re supposed to spend our lives together? I need time. I’ve tried my best to mask this bit of confusion from you, happily dancing to the rhythm of right now, but in truth it has always been there– a tectonic rumbling beneath the surface of our relationship, precursing doom. Lately the air around us has been thick and tense with the humidity of unspoken words and those words unsaid are beginning to matter more than every term of endearment and adoration we’ve ever expressed to one another. We are dying slowly, I can feel it and the death of us is killing me.

Every so often I’ll find myself slipping into a daydream. I see myself zipping you into the perfect black dress and you adjusting my tie as we prepare ourselves to head someplace deserving of our combined awesomeness. Or sometimes I’ll see your slight smile peeking at me across a crowded room as we share a moment of silent hilarity. And sometimes, on rare occasions, I see myself on an ice cream sundae date with a curly topped little girl who has your attitude, grandma’s heart, and my sense of humor. But these dreams, however wonderful cannot be allowed to settle into expectation because I cannot say for certain whether they are dreams I have for us or dreams I have for myself that I’m projecting on you simply because you are here. I want to dream of you, but I don’t want to be irresponsible with your love.

And so we are here, at a turning point no doubt. I can see in your eyes and sense in your heart the festering discontent that comes with our unspoken understanding that what could be, what probably should be may not be. I just need more time. I want to ask you for more time, but I know that doing so would be selfish since I can’t guarantee that I won’t be wasting it. One of the things most amazing about you is that you never allow me to be anything less than the man I expect myself to be. This is both inspiring and frustrating. You’re not going to make this easy. You’re not going to tell me you’ve had enough and walk out. You’re going to make me be a man about it. I know what I need to do, all that’s left is for it to be done. And so it will be.

Pulling his arm from around her shoulder and clutching her hands in his, “What do I want?” He said, repeating her question.  “I want us to take the memories of what we had with us wherever our lives might go.”

See Also:  Change You Can Believe In

And so began the beginning of their end.

***The above is a bit of collaborative fiction by Mr. Spradley and Muze. (You can read more of her work at www.becauseimwrite.com). We’ve all been here, or some place close to here. That unhappy but inevitable place where a relationship goes to die. The hardest relationships to end are the ones that end because two people have grown apart and are no longer seeing their future through the same eyes. It’s been awhile since we all got in our feelings on the blog. Today, we’re talking break-ups. Have you been here before? Have you seen a relationship that you thought might be forever come to its end? Share your break-up stories. No judgment, just cathartic release here on the SBM couch.***

***Admin Note*** Please check out this week’s issue of Howard University’s student newspaper The Hilltop as they did a nice write up on SingleBlackMale.org. You can Find it online here: DMV Blog Series: Inside the Male Mind***

Next week, I’m back with Part Two of the Future Father Series: Five Things About Men I’ll Teach My Daughter … till then … stay low and keep firing.

Comment(133)

  1. I’m short on time, but I wanted to say that this is a great post. A very awesome display of both of your writing abilities.

  2. "No judgment." Planet fitness has this same kinda campaign "Judgment free zone" but I'm not buy what they're selling. And no matter what, I feel like someone will judge so I'll make this a short comment.

    This was great. Really was. I love your writing Muze. I haven't checked to see if a new Sliding Doors is up, so after this comment is done, I will. Most, you already know about your writing. You iight. Just gotta keep you grounded nshit. Lol kidding.

    But I just Ctrl+C the link and I'm leaving it in someone's inbox on FB. The situation is something damn near everyone can relate to and that's such a wonderful but terrible thing. Maybe more terrible and hardly wonderful, due to the obvious hurt in both parties.

    And for me? Let's just say, been there, doing it, trying to get out now.
    My recent post In Lust We Trust I

  3. *tearsssss*

    I’ll be back with more later, but I have to first off say, Bravo! The writing was amazing, in both perspectives. Also, somehow the man’s point of view really helped me to understand what you guys go through, fear, and why you might hesitate when it comes to love. This is something like a revelation. Anyway, I felt it, I loved it, I’ll be back later.

  4. "A paper wind chime on a long porch that sits on a big lush lawn. Colorful, with little carefully stringed beads that are supposed to make pretty music when the wind blows, but really just kind of create a racket at the slightest breeze, and the beaded strings get entangled in each other, but still hangs there proudly because it was made by a handsome three-year old that looks like you and calls me mommy."

    Muze – WOW! The imagery in this paragraph alone makes me wish I'd have had the patience & discipline to be a writer. That's amazing. I wish I had your talent.

    "But these dreams, however wonderful cannot be allowed to settle into expectation because I cannot say for certain whether they are dreams I have for us or dreams I have for myself that I’m projecting on you simply because you are here. I want to dream of you, but I don’t want to be irresponsible with your love."

    Most – You are def. one of my favorite male bloggers. Please write a book already!
    This line resonated with me, as I truly know what that feels like. I have a habit of planning out my entire life with any man that I find myself interested in at the time. It's almost like I want to be married and have children so badly that I automatically visualize my perfect life and just "insert current guy" into the fantasy I already have. I know that I've actually felt that way about someone in the past, but now I wonder…
    My recent post An Ode to Facial Hair

    1. @mizzcam Wow, I feel like I've been guilty of planning my life with guys prematurely as well. It feels silly because its such a classic "girly" mistake, and I pride myself on not being that typical girl, but this is one that I cannot even deny. Have you been able to censure yourself in that respect yet?

      1. Nope. I'm completely girly about it. Doodling my new "married name," picturing what our kids would look like, alladat. But I'm of the mindset that I don't date people with whom I cannot see a future. I don't care for casual dating. If I don't think we'll ever get serious, then I don't even want to be your girlfriend, because that seems like a waste of my precious time.

        So, I do feel silly about it, but I also think it's practical in a way. It's too bad that my imagination sometimes bites me in the butt when things don't work out as planned. *le sigh*
        My recent post An Ode to Facial Hair

        1. ALLADIS!

          "But I'm of the mindset that I don't date people with whom I cannot see a future. I don't care for casual dating. If I don't think we'll ever get serious, then I don't even want to be your girlfriend, because that seems like a waste of my precious time. "

  5. "But these dreams, however wonderful cannot be allowed to settle into expectation because I cannot say for certain whether they are dreams I have for us or dreams I have for myself that I’m projecting on you simply because you are here. "

    This is so real! As is this:

    "I want love to reside on my lips for you and you only.
    Or I want remove the taste of your name, wipe my palate clean of your essence."

    I feel like I've been on both sides and neither is an easy side to be on. When you see the end coming it makes it harder to have a clean break, the ends aren't sewed up they just hang there all unraveled. You know its over but you can still see what used to be, when things were great, and you long for those times again but you know it won't ever be the same. I already have the hardest time walking away so when things end slowly like this its kinda horrible for me, I still have some ends that need to be sewed up!

    Oh, and the writing was brilliant!
    My recent post Photo

    1. you'll get thru it, everything happens for a reason, it all guides us down our path to greatness. Just let the voice inside of you/universe/God/higher power etc guide you through it.
      My recent post Photo

      1. @Most: Lawd if only it was that simple! If only you could rewrite the endings on some of our stories in order to stop the tears…I'd gladly pay you handsomely! On some "EFF the rent this month" tip, that can wait, I want my happy ending! LOL.

  6. Impressive….and full of insight….I think men and women both can benefit from reading this, whether or not they have been, are in, or may potentially be in a similar situation.

  7. "Maybe our forever has defied the laws of time and reached its limit. If that is the case, then I want an eraser. For us to devolve into the strangers we were before my tongue knew the syllables of your name."

    That's my current prayer. Reading this had me in tears. I had my 'forever' relationship end a week ago. And it had to be all or nothing. Not a good place to be but hey…life happens.

    Amazing writing..

  8. ” I want time to sit back and enjoy the perfection that is now without the weight of future forevers adding unnecessary gravity to our present joy. I want time to allow whatever this is I’m feeling for you to grow and make itself more known.”

    This. Wow. This sums up my feelings for the men I’ve dated before my husband entered my life. I’ve always just needed some time – time to figure out if a relationship was real, if our perceptions of one another were reality, if what I wanted with “the one” fit with my chosen partner at that time. I’ve always used this excuse of needing time as a defense mechanism in order to not get hurt or do the hurting. No one wants to be the bad guy-I just needed to reserve my feelings for me until I absolutely, completely and totally 1000000000% sure we (meaning I) was ready for forever. I was ready for forever with me but could i really do with him? Consequently, this thinking is exactly what killed a 5-year relationship of mine.

    Most – you’ve done it again. You have affected me. In turn, you’ve also made me see how far I’ve come. Excellent read.

    1. Totally feel you. Sometimes "needing time" is real, and sometimes it's an excuse – a way of not saying something you already know – that the relationship has probably gone as far as it's going to go.

      It's difficult when everything is going well though. Like, when no one's doing anything super egregious or hurtful – when that sort of stuff is present, breaking up is easy. But when you're still enjoying each other, when everything is still going great, but you both know there's an ocean between your futures, it becomes really hard to let go, even though you both know it's what you should probably do.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

  9. This is a fantastic post. I cheated and read instead of forging on with my studying, but I'm glad I did. Great job on both your parts.

    Timing is, and can ruin everything.

  10. MAN! I consider myself a faithful lurker but Mr. Spradley, you have been doing me in lately – I just had to say something. This one here made me laugh aloud at my desk and tear up all at the same time. Some real tragic truth… why do we do this to ourselves?

    Also, can I just say how much I love your relatively regular use of the word 'awesome.' Makes me smile.

    1. Whenever a lurker is tugged out of lurkdom by something I've written, I feel like I've done my job! Thanks for de-lurking – take your coat off, sit down, stay awhile.

      What made you laugh though? I don't know if I can remember any intentionally funny parts in this – always interesting to hear how certain things you write resonate with different readers?

      And yeah, "awesome" is one of my top 10 favorite words.

      thanks again for reading.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. I laughed as I read the woman’s inner feelings as I thought about how ridiculous we can be. These very high expectations that we never express to the men in our lives. I think it’s unfair. I also laughed because I’ve been talking to friends about keeping our expectations in check for a while now. They think I’m crazy for not being a “chick” and letting my emotions take over pre-maturely, I think they are crazy for doing the opposite and getting caught up based on an unspoken fantasy. BUT – that laugh was quickly muddled by the sad sad reality that this whole dynamic is so detrimental to potentially great relationships.

        You’re awesome!

      1. Agreed… when relationships work it's so worth it.

        But I was asking why we won't express what we expect / want. That's the real tragedy and I'm not sure when lack of communication ever works.

        1. Fear 🙁

          That when we say "all or nothing," he'll choose "nothing"…
          That when he says "I need time," she'll say, she doesn't have any more time…

          and all those beautiful dreams, those wind chimes, that sweet curly topped little girl, they vanish along with that time that you'll never get back…

        2. Yea Star, your assesment of the fears we have is so on point right now. Couldnt have said it any better myself.

  11. Beautiful…. Just beautiful.

    I have definitely been that woman before so I understand those feelings but because the conversation always goes just like that… with the unsaid remaining unsaid I have never really understood what was going on in his head.

    And like another commenter said… the imagery was on point! Already a fan of Most now I have to go 'discover' Muze.

  12. Great writing by both parties. Great visuals, I need to work on that myself. Anyway the “humidity” line sealed it for me:

    “Lately the air around us has been thick and tense with the humidity of unspoken words and those words unsaid are beginning to matter more than every term of endearment and adoration we’ve ever expressed to one another.”

  13. I fell in madly in love with a boy once. I mean like, I don’t need a ring, a wedding, or my people to be there, kind of love. Drop out of school and follow you to the end of the earth kind of love. Standing in the middle of PGCounty homeless kind of love. My parents are your parents and vice versa kind of love. That MaryJ just give-me-you kind of love. And every year I fell more and more in love until forever seemed like it might come too soon.

    And then it ended. With too few words. Not enough respect. And an emotional pain unlike anything I’ve ever known. It’s like somebody died… except they’re not dead.

    But I tell you what… if I ever feel that kind of love again?

    Eff it, I will close my eyes and jump.

    Again.
    My recent post A New Fear

    1. *standing O*

      My true fear is not getting hurt again – I survived the pain, I can handle the consequences, I don't flinch at the thought of being hurt again. No; my true fear, the thing that keeps me up at night, that has me questioning God's Will for me, that I'm truly afraid of, is never feeling that type of love again… I'll go through anything a human can be put through to know that love again. The right man is worth any amount of trials, I can take it. But a life of being numb and safe from hurt will never be an option. I've got too much love to give to live in fear.

      1. "I've got too much love to give to live in fear."

        That right there, all day.

        My best friend in life is a woman who thrives on her alone time. She is seriously, truly happiest alone- and has stayed that way despite suitor attempts. She's brilliant and she understands humans and love and all that- but she's like, nah, not for me. I admire her for it.

        But me? No. Just, no. Love is life, to me. To interact with people on that level is something I truly enjoy…intimacy is life force… and I can get a good 75% of it from family and friends… but that last 25%? They simply can't provide it.

        And I want it all.
        My recent post A New Fear

      2. "I don't flinch at the thought of being hurt again." "The right man is worth any amount of trials, I can take it." "I've got too much love to give to live in fear."

        Star, I don't know HOW you and other women do this. I constantly have to choose to trust…and I can feel all the gears grinding in my body as I try to ignore the urge to question everything.

        1. Well for one, I've been lucky. I have a great father, I've got strong men in my family, my brothers are outstanding men, all with their faults of course, but examples of great men nonetheless. Who married great women and love is all around me. The few men that I've chosen to invest trust in and to love have been outstanding men and I've been blessed to have never been cheated on or treated egregiously bad by any men that I loved/trusted.

          But outside of that – my body calls out to love. Some people want to be President of the United States, some people want to be rich and famous, some people want to own their own business. I want to love and be loved, like that's my life's goal. I want to be a great wife, to a wonderful husband and make happy babies. That's it. That's what I want in life. I could clean toilets for the rest of my life as long as I get to go home and give and receive love. So the price, the hurt…it's inconsequential. Like if they charged for air, you'd pay what you had to pay. Love is my oxygen. Family is my life's goal – and nothing will stop me from attaining it – certainly not a few tears.

        2. Starita i know what you're saying… I don't agree with all of it (as far as what I want for my life) but I sooo get it. A couple years ago when I lost a dear friend, I wrote this:

          "If you don't give love, fully, thoroughly, then you're lost. I'm sure. If you can not think of one person who you love no matter what the hell they do or say or know or don't know or look like…one person whose life you find yourself directly responsible for, you've got work to do. … unwavering, unconditional, love. The kind that says I am happy that you exist….I will be the person who thinks of you before I lay down my own head at night…I will leave the porch light on for you, even if only theoretically…I gotchu…I'm here, to the best of my ability…I'll remember you, when you're gone…if there's nobody else, there will always be me, in body or spirit. Love. That's it. That's the answer."

          Giving and receiving love is a life long goal of mine that i work at actively. Even when shyt doesn't work out, I have yet to regret loving so dayum hard. I don't even think I can help it.
          My recent post A New Fear

        3. "I've been blessed to have never been cheated on"

          Sounds great! But the above quote makes your ability to believe in the entirety of what you wrote SOOOO much easier. Not to downplay what you said at all…what you said was wonderful. I mean that. But, adding cheating to the element makes all of what you said difficult…take my word for it.

        4. I will, I hope to never know that betrayal. Like I said, I've been blessed. But trust is always a choice. And the fact that it's hard for you is not necessarily bad – I'm proud that even though it's hard, you still choose to trust. We're all a work in progress.

          "Courage is not the absence of fear. It is believing that something is more important that fear"

        5. "I constantly have to choose to trust…and I can feel all the gears grinding in my body as I try to ignore the urge to question everything. "

          For me, it's the same as what you're saying… I have to choose to trust… but the point is I continue to choose it… to believe in the good of people.

          And I ask questions, but not to the point of ruining the moment or possibilities. A fine balance indeed.
          My recent post A New Fear

        6. See my prob is…even as I choose to trust…you can see all the questions on my face, lol. I have the complete inability to mask my thoughts or feelings, lol…

          Plus, I'm not moody at all. I'm always the same upbeat, talkative, funny person. So, when somethings wrong, its a complete shift…I'm quiet and withdrawn (its either that or flip out, lol…I have temper issues…I gotta pause myself). Its kinda hard to not ruin the moment like that, lol… *shrugs*

        7. Wayment:

          upbeat, talkative, funny person + when somethings wrong, its a complete shift + I'm quiet and withdrawn+ its either that or flip out, lol…I have temper issues…"

          Um. LOL. Allllllll of that? = MOODY.

          LMAO. But I hear you, though, lol.

          The moment is… the moment. You only get one at a time. So, I try… emphasis on TRY, lol… to stay in it!

          My recent post A New Fear

        8. LOL… Let me clear this up a bit…

          I'm the friend that you'd describe like this, "Oh, she's mad cool…but don't piss her off though…". It's hard to offend me. But, once offended, somebody is gonna pay, LOL!

          When I think of moody folks, I think of folks who's demeanor is all over the place. You never know what mood they'll be in when you're around them. That's not me at all.

          Yeah, I be trying, lol…I failed Saturday though, lol. I had a quick recovery…after a 45 min. lecture on trust…but that's not the point…smh, lol…

  14. This is def some made for TV ish right here…let me tell my shawty "I want time. I want time to sit back and enjoy the perfection that is now without the weight of future forevers adding unnecessary gravity to our present joy. "

    Shell be like ninja get the eff outta her wit that bullsmit

        1. I ain't mad at her either. You just gotta say "shyt is perfect wit us right now, I like it, can you chill a while?" and then you better figure it out, cause the conversation is coming back up in like 30 days… if that long, lmao!
          My recent post A New Fear

        2. I def tried that before..and it don't work..lol That's why as a man you gotta go in wit a plan…chicks are not puttin up wit that " lets give it time to nourish and develop in this wonderful thing" …that works for the younger broads…can't spit that to these plus 30 chicks…they not having it

  15. Muze…I had no idea, girl. WOW WOW WOW! DO IT!!!!! I don't know you but I'm proud of you, lol! I'll be checking out your site asap.

    This post was so real…almost too real. The fear of being vulnerable will KILL a budding relationship…been there. I think the tragic flaw on both sides was that neither of them was really honest about what they wanted…or what they were feeling. Saying what they were unwilling to say would have made all the difference in the world.

    This is also a fine example of how women give too much of themselves too soon. Patience would have been a breeze for her (ok…maybe a breeze is a bit strong, lol) if she wasn't feeling like a psuedo-girlfriend…

  16. Understand love, that this is not a bitter declaration meant to force your hand … or your heart. I only need to make you aware of my desires. Much too much thought has been given to this back and forth dance we know and do so well, and now I’ve found myself at my heart’s poker table. Going either all in, or walking away. <– Gotdamn y'all. I just can't with this. I thought I moved passed it.

    Let’s say I do love you. Does this mean we’re supposed to spend our lives together? I need time. I’ve tried my best to mask this bit of confusion from you, happily dancing to the rhythm of right now, but in truth it has always been there– a tectonic rumbling beneath the surface of our relationship, precursing doom. Lately the air around us has been thick and tense with the humidity of unspoken words and those words unsaid are beginning to matter more than every term of endearment and adoration we’ve ever expressed to one another. <– Damn Most, you have me weeping. I could see that he may have been confused, but why couldn't see just say it? I can't wait, that would be torture because I already jumped.

  17. I haven’t been through the breakup of a promising relationship in years. It was bad. Months long. Lots of calling my parents and friends re-hashing what happened and trying to place blame somewhere when really it was just done. I cut off my hair, started working out relentlessly, and could only listen to Outkast, Harry Potter on tape and stand-up comedy, LOL. It was a very weird time.

    And then I was out of it, and in New York. Since, I’ve had endings and separations, but never of anything really promising. “What’s Your Number?”, though not a good movie, had a great line, “You look like a girl that tries to make a bad thing work.” This is totally me. And so although there were endings, they were of bad things and ultimately a relief, rather than painful.

    But a friend posted today about his pillow smelling like his girl. And I remember that. I remember smelling my shirt for long periods of time. I kinda miss that.

  18. so i want to go through and hug all of you and like all the comments, but that would be "OD" as they say here in New York. lol. so i will just say thank you much to everyone. writing is life and it makes me smile when people like mine. 🙂

    i wish i could say i haven't experienced a breakup like this before… but i have. it's not fun, but in the end, it all fostered growth and betterment for me as a person and a partner. a "stepping stone" if you will. <–insert link to Streetz' post. lol.

    My recent post these three words…

      1. aw what an awesome compliment, considering the source. thanks Mostest. i enjoyed this much.

        definitely. part two: they run into each other 10 years later, lingering memories still as fresh as the day they parted…

        LOL
        My recent post these three words…

  19. “I want us to take the memories of what we had with us wherever our lives might go.”

    This Line!!! been told something similar before, it hurt then… still kinda hurts but i realised it wasn't meant to be and it probably would never have worked out so i'm glad it went down that way

    Great great post. love it!

  20. good ish….

    " I cannot say for certain whether they are dreams I have for us or dreams I have for myself that I’m projecting on you simply because you are here."

    realest thing i took from this post. i've felt like this before and its such a hard feeling to have.

    i'll decline to share any of my breakup stories for obvious reasons but great post again.
    My recent post N*gger

    1. I didn't know if anyone else said it but this is what I was looking for.

      " Imagery was great."

      Sure like Mr. SD said it doesn't seem realistic (for him) but for others? I can picture this happening.
      My recent post In Lust We Trust I

  21. I’ve never felt this compelled to respond – however, this is my fear of were my life may be heading….. words i couldn’t express were staring back @ me today! Loved this post – just might print it to read again, another time!!!!

  22. I want you two to know how much I enjoyed this read. I want to read stuff like this more often because I liked it so much. I want to be able to say I can relate but I’m glad I can’t I guess. I want it to stay that way.

  23. This so could be the scene to an awesome movie. This was absolute perfection!
    I'm emotional and relieved all at the same time because I was in this very place earlier this year.

    Thank you Most and Muze – please do it again soon and both of you write a book already!

  24. I’ve been away from this site for a while, but dammit if this didn’t pull me back. This perfectly mirrors my last relationship. So much so that the flashbacks of this conversation are playing in my head. SMH at the memories. SMH At the silent, buried wish deep down in my heart that we’ll find a way back to each other.

  25. Ok. I’m back. I had to walk away for a few hours and process the depth of emotions that surged through my heart as I was reading. This post took me back many years to a beautiful relationship which ended with him telling me “Im sorry. I can’t.” We both knew it was over 3 months before he said those words. We just continued going through the motions. The pain of that break up was the worst EVER because my hope that things would work out was destroyed. He was a true gentleman to the end after he said those words to my face (no text email facebook) he walked away and never contacted me again. I will alway admire him for that…an awesome man:) I never contacted him either.

    Now looking back Im proud of myself for not immediately jumping into another relationship. I allowed myself to morn ( cried an ocean ) the loss and also I took time to process everything that happened. So I didn’t have any baggage goings into my next relationship. My heart was open.

    BTW we had a wonderful relationship for 1 1/2 years.

    Great collaboration…great writing.

  26. Just had a 4 year relationship end like this– with a shifting in the way I saw our future… It really sucks though when someone refuses to see the reality of the situation. Still mourning the loss though….

    Good post though! 🙂 I love writing that paints a picture with words. 🙂

  27. Great writing! It reminds me of a poem I wrote that was dialogue between two people in a relationship, but it all came from my voice and style. What I liked about your collaboration was the juxtaposition and dichotomy of your different styles and the reality that there isn't always a happy ending.

  28. Beautifully written. Muze, I seriously need to read more of your writing. Headed to your site as soon as I finish this comment.

    I won't say much. but, I will say I've been in the place of the man in this piece twice. Smh… You know what's crazy? When you meet a guys family, and you realize you don't talk about him the way he talks about you. That as much as you care about him, he isn't in your future, he's the present, and that's where you prefer him to stay for now… Yeah, I made him cut me off, because I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was sad, but it was what it was. And it was't going to go where he wanted it to go.

  29. ” I don’t want to be irresponsible with your love.”

    I really wish more guys would take that stand, so that we as women can just move on and:

    “remove the taste of your name, wipe my palate clean of your essence”

    Great post.. Took me back to a place that I am sooooo glad to be out of!

    “Above all, I AM happy. No pleading. No debating. No pressure”
    I cant believe im saying this now- but baby im good! 🙂

  30. It's like deja vu. We did this, sitting watching television and every move that was made and every word that was said. Who knew?! This is my relationship now. smh… I wish that I could share this with him.

    "I want love to reside on my lips for you and you only.

    Or I want remove the taste of your name, wipe my palate clean of your essence.

    All, or nothing."

    How can you be so sure and so [email protected] confused all at the same time? Feels good to know I'm not as lonely as I thought I was.

    I love it!
    My recent post Can you see me now?

    1. "How can you be so sure and so [email protected] confused all at the same time?"

      For me, I'm so sure about how I feel, but a relationship takes two people…his feelings are the variable that makes the other option (removing the taste of his name) even necessary.

      1. And so am I…

        My state of confusion comes from backtracking. Sure, we were here right up to the end which was very ugly. We have a child. Not an excuse. But my feelings are just that and nothing has changed. "All or nothing"… it's a long story and complicated. I even blogged about it LOL!
        My recent post Would you date yourself?

      2. Hmmmm…this is interesting. So your feelings are defined, and the man decides whether or not he's ready? I think I might be kinda opposite, it's like my first prerequisite for liking you is that you like me. Only time I really got nervous was when I truly fell in love. I kept asking him how he felt, was he happy, where did he see us going…I couldn't really believe that I had actually stumbled into a relationship where we both felt strongly about each other.

        1. Not sure if you were asking me or Candi, or simply wondering aloud, but yes. I can only be sure of my feelings, of my intentions, and those things aren’t dependant on another persons feelings or intentions. Sure his behaviors influence my feelings, but they are not dependant on him; but where we go from there, that’s a group decision. Hope that helps a little.

  31. This was well done. I liked it a lot.

    I find it interesting (and true to form) that the woman's desires aren't about him, they're what she wants with him. She's decided on him. She's good. She just wants the rest.

    With the dude, he's not decided on her, and isn't sure if he will ever be. Which I think kind of goes part an parcel with life. I've always felt like women are ready to bet the farm early on . Men…oh us men…its like life is so elusive to us and we're always afraid of cashing in those chips on the wrong chick. We think she could be the one, but what if we're wrong. It's like we know we can give a woman everything she wants…so long as we're sure.

    Which is why I think that for men, relationships and marriage are just choices we make at the time. We just decide, "f*ck it, i might as well." done.
    My recent post The Poet &amp; The Teacher: Hip Hop Classes I’d Like To See

    1. 🙂

      yeah, with women it's def about the person. with men it's about the time. we meet a man that has all the ingredients in our perfect husband recipe and we latch on with that super duper glue. lol
      My recent post these three words…

  32. Wow! Big ups to Mr. Spradley and Muze. That was a very well written piece.

    That depicted a fork-in-the-road moment at it's finest. Should I stay? Should I go?

    The many questions that cross one's mind seem to be endless in moments such as those. I think those are the times that we really wish we could read each others minds. Just to have that edge. Just to know what to say…and what to do.
    My recent post I Wish…

    1. thanks!

      what's funny is, i only agreed to do this post with the condition that the woman was not the pining, unsuspecting chick getting played or screwed over or told she wasn't good enough. lol. glad someone noticed.
      My recent post these three words…

  33. Well damn. This was really well written. *deletes my blog*

    I've definitely been in both situations before.

    "I cannot say for certain whether they are dreams I have for us or dreams I have for myself that I’m projecting on you simply because you are here." *sigh* Yeah, I know about this.

  34. To the writers: This is AMAZING work. Currently trying to get through a break up and reading this definitely made me see things a lot differently. Thank You!

    To the Commenters: Thank You as well!! You have helped me make some sense of my emotional rollercoaster.

    I have never made the choice to TRULY trust until being in this relationship for fear of being hurt. I couldn’t imagine anyone having that much “control” over my emotions. Love has definitely kicked my ass but until now I was never really able to say (or feel for that matter) that even with all the pain and the tears that I know will come I’d do it all over again.

  35. The writing is EV-ER-Y-THANG! Love it. I've seen this play out with my friends, but can't really relate to it myself. Was never really one for long, emotionally connected relationships prior to meeting my husband. Shoot, I've lived with a guy and just sighed with relief when it was all over.

  36. I am usually such a lurker but I had to comment. I feel like this story is a page rigt out of my life at this very moment. Beautiful illustration of emotions.

  37. This is absolutely beautiful writing both i the way that you use the words to create such a vivid picture, but also in the fact that they hit home dead in the middle. Pulling from that song because many people do drown in the regret of not saying what they were truly thinking and just hoping and praying that the other person would figure it out. We have empathy and a 'mind of self' in which we can predict or anticipate someone else's thoughts, intentions, etc but this world is becoming less and less predictable, so what makes you think that he/ she can read your mind perfectly and tell you what you want to hear. Its almost as though we choose to have our own personal moments of autism, unable to really convey what we want and mean while being blind to the face value of what we are seeing or the little bit that is being said.

  38. Standing applause…

    Really beautifully written post. Well done, Mr. Spradley. I keep on sharing it among my friends.It's a masterpiece.
    I have been following the blog silently for a few months now, but this time it really moved my floor and I though I gotta compliment you.
    The question always is however should the words remain unsaid sometimes or do need to learn to open up our hearts and souls…

  39. Eloquently simple sounds oxymoronic, but it just fits for my 1st impression reading this…great imagery, perfect set up, and too many quotables to name…fine collaboration

  40. I finally had to post! I been trolling this site for some time now, and this post moved me enough to post!
    this quote

    “I want time. I want time to sit back and enjoy the perfection that is now without the weight of future forevers adding unnecessary gravity to our present joy.”

    I think that sums up ALL my relationships. I feel like I don’t have enough time to just be HER and I and not worry about when it will be come US or WE. I am sure like the other awesome posts, it stems from me not wanting to commit or scared of the unknown, but damn, what happened to being a existentialist and living in the moment, the here the now!?

  41. I keep returning to this post just to re-read it in the moments when I need something beautiful for my mind. As mentioned before, this is one brilliantly written post. Keep up the good work! Thank you.

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