Written by Sharonia Price for YettiSays Self-Love Month | “To The Girl” post series
“Roconia”, I whispered. “Can you come get me?”.
Dawn swept through the cracks of the blinds and filled the empty, eerie room. I glanced over my shoulder at his sleeping chocolate face. Fully clothed, passed out from the result of a young, thin frame mixed with a night of underage drinking.
“Where are you?” Roconia’s exhausted voice replied. I told her the location.
“It’s true,” I said. “I read the texts. He’s fucking her.” ‘Her’ being one of my former best friends. ‘He’ being my current boyfriend. As innocent as I wanted to play, the signs and evidence had been lined up, ready for a conviction for quite some time. I had ignored them.
“WHAT?” She responded with no shock, but pure disgust. “I read everything… please.” My voice crackled.
The conversation became a blur at this point. Somehow we established she would bring me a change of clothes, she had planned to attend the morning church service as usual – it was Sunday. She would leave soon, she was pissed, she said my brother was actually attending too? He never came… great. We met up the street, as I wasn’t allowed to sleep over any boy’s house, and my brother was aware of the relative area that my ‘boyfriend’ lived. He’d tell for sure. Fine.
I grabbed my silver clutch and quietly closed the back door behind me. I looked up, taking in the rain’s greeting. I chuckled as my promy curls came to an untimely end. Barefoot, heels in hand, I stumbled through the mud buried stones that lead to the back gate – my overly priced, and now chipped, French pedicure sinking into filth with each step. The street seemed so long this morning. My silk mermaid cut dress dragged along the pavement. My brother always showing up at the wrong time. I tried to conjure up explanations for where I was coming from, why I was barefoot, why I was crying, but nothing came by the time I reached the truck, climbed into the back seat and shut the door. My sister’s eyes met mine in the rearview mirror. I held her gaze for a moment then quickly averted my eyes to the floor, silently painting a new pattern of tears onto my lap.
Hold your commiseration. I should be telling you of my triumph. How it ended here. I never called him again. I slayed my dragons and stood atop the highest tower proclaiming now and forever to be the sentry of my own heart. But truthfully, my prom night was merely the beginning… the hazing for a sorority I never desired to rush. Nine years later, I have wholeheartedly forgiven myself. I have misplaced my rose-colored lenses.
Our early lives are often the inspiration for our autobiographies. I recall voicing to Twitter how I overcame a deep, dark depression. I did. I raved of never allowing a man to treat me in that same manner, ever again. I didn’t. I spoke of all the blessings I’ve received following the close of that chapter in my life. I had. But I never discussed the deep-rooted embarrassment I felt for trusting another human contrary to the benefit of my father’s wisdom. I covered the pain of missing the girl I once called my best friend under lavender and grey paint splashed across the six walls that we had spent countless hours in. I replayed the songs he had written about me, berating myself for not literally hearing the lies. I swallowed the discomfort of everyone knowing, and I being the last to fully know by blocking (and unblocking) any and every individual that would bring either of them to my timeline. None of this brought gratification. The childish rants felt justified and temporarily satisfying but never stopped the bleeding.
I’ve since stopped breaking my neck at red Volkswagen Cabrios when they pass me on the street. I don’t send long disgusting texts bashing other humans for their decisions, I don’t cry in my shower about the same thing twice. I leave my room several times a day now. How did I get here? A little grace, a lot of sisterhood and an indefinite amount of forgiveness, for myself. To the girl who didn’t know then what she knows now: forgive yourself. Forgive yourself early, forgive yourself often, and forgive yourself just as loudly as you beat yourself down. Forgiveness is for us, not just them.