Welcome to the Browngirl Experience
A place where we celebrate the voice of black women. Here we acknowledge our diversity, we are unapologetic about our dopeness, and we boldly take control of our narrative one story at a time.
She is coming... She is dope... and she knows how to enjoy a good cocktail.
The beginning… #Circainmyearlythirties #yesmythirties
January 28 4:00 a.m.
When I woke up, I immediately checked my cell phone for missed calls or text messages. There were none. I looked around the hotel room at the untouched chocolate-covered fruit and champagne bottles.
Still not ready to accept that I had been stood up on my anniversary, I called him to make sure he was okay, but my call went straight to voicemail.
"Not again," I whispered while wiping a tear from my eye
I decided it was time to leave, so I got out of the bed, packed up my things, and began to clean up. I made sure I tossed all the evidence of the romantic gesture into the trash can. As I tidied up, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was dressed in a light blue teddy because that was his favorite color. My relaxed tresses were tousled because he did not like it when I wore a scarf to bed. French tipped nails and toes because it was his preference. I even carried a little extra weight because he only liked plus-size women. I looked in the mirror and could not even recognize myself. The woman who stared back at me was a stranger, someone who had transformed into his ideal woman. I went home and crawled into my own bed.
January 28 7:20 a.m.
The sound of my phone woke me up from a deep sleep. I glanced at the caller ID before answering. It was him. Everything inside of me told me not to answer that call because the excuse waiting for me wouldn't even begin to mend my broken heart. But I loved him, so I did as I had always done.
"Hello." I said as emotionless as possible trying to mask the pain that I felt.
As usual, his reply was very nonchalant. "Hey baby. Where you at? I went to the hotel and they told me you checked out already."
"I'm home, in my own bed."
"I thought we were gonna have a little romantic rendezvous at our spot."
"We were, last night. But since you stood me up, I packed my shit and went home."
"I didn't stand you up," he said.
I was hardly surprised at his defensive tone. It was what he did when he knew he was wrong.
I laughed sarcastically. "Oh really? What do you call it? ’Cause in my book, when you have plans with someone and they don't show up, call, or text that means you have been stood the fuck up."
"Baby, you know I had a bike event. You said it was cool that I went and met up with you later."
"So, you're telling me that your event ended five minutes ago?"
"Nah, but I drank too much, so I crashed at my mom's house. When I woke up I went straight to the spot and you weren't there."
"You're a liar. You don't think I rode by ya mom's house on my way home?"
"What time did you come through?"
"It doesn't matter! You stood me up on our special day to party with ya boys."
”I didn’t stand you up! Stop saying that,” he shouted angrily.
"But you did." I said softly
The phone went silent. He had hung up on me. I’ll be honest I was shocked that he had done that, knowing that it was my one and only pet peeve. So I called him back and the call went straight to voicemail. Without a second thought, I grabbed my keys to make that trip to his house.
January 28 7:40 a.m.
I stood in front of his front door. I didn’t know what I was doing there, or what I was even gonna say to him, but for the second time that day, I caught a glimpse of my reflection. This time, I was looking in the glass on his door. Again, I did not recognize the now wild -looking woman who stared back at me.
I knocked on the door and waited. Nothing, so I knocked louder. Still nothing. I started to walk away, but decided to try the doorknob and it opened. At that point I already ignored the voice inside of my head that told me that I had gone too far. I was desperate; for what, I did not know. So instead, I called for him from the bottom of the steps.
There was no response, so I began to walk up the stairs. With every step I took, another truth was revealed: I had wasted five years in a pseudo relationship; four months playing detective; three weeks telling myself that a title did not matter, as long as I was happy; and two days planning the perfect romantic evening to celebrate the anniversary of a relationship that, apparently, never existed. When I reached the top of the stairs, I had just one nagging question, a question that only he could answer.
I stood outside his bedroom door. My hands shook, because I did not know what was on the other side of the door. When I opened the door and was relieved when she saw that he was alone. However my relief was short-lived when he woke up startled and angry.
"What the hell are you doing in my house?"
I could not come up with an acceptable explanation for why I was creeping around his home uninvited. So I kept my attitude in check.
"Your door was open," I said softly.
"That doesn't mean you can walk into my fuckin’ house! Are you crazy? Get out!"
I wanted to leave, but not before I asked my question.
"Why the fuck are you still standing there with that dumb look on your face? Get the fuck out my house!"
I snapped back at him with a voice that did not sound like my own.
"You can't be mad! You didn't get stood up by someone you loved. You didn't spend your money on a fancy-ass hotel room. You didn't spend hours decorating this room with all of my favorite things. That was me. I did that for you! And you never showed. You never fuckin showed!” I shouted, with tears rolling down my face.
"I'm not gonna say it again. Get out of my house, now!"
I had never heard him sound so cold in all our years together. All that was left was my question.
"Do you even love me?"
A heart-breaking silence filled the air, as he got out the bed, and slowly walked over to me. Without a word, he closed his bedroom door in my face.
I stared at the door for what felt like an eternity. He had made his answer clear. He had just closed the door on our one-sided relationship.
January 28 8:42 a.m.
I stood in front of my mirror, freshly showered, eyes still swollen from crying. For the third time that day, I was staring at a stranger in the mirror.
"Where are you? Hell, girl, who are you?"
The stranger did not respond. She just stared back at me with sad eyes.
"Don't worry. I'm gonna find you, starting right now."
I picked up a pair of scissors and began to cut the relaxer out of my hair.
January 28 at 8:46 a.m.
The adventure of this brown girl began....