This is How You Love Her: When You’ve Found Your Rib

This is how you love her (1)

Most girls have planned their weddings before they ever go on their first date. They cook pretend meals for their pretend husbands and change pretend diapers on their pretend babies. But this is all in preparation for the real thing.

She was ready for you before she ever met you. She prayed that when you met, she would know right away. When she went on her first date, she wondered if she would luck up and meet the love of her life on the first try. Of course, she didn’t. But when that boy broke her heart, her father was the one to tell her that any boy who didn’t want her was crazy and that she deserved better.

She spent the next few years looking for that in a man. She searched for her father in a world full of sons. She dated them all. She dated the popular guy who made her feel like she was the only girl who mattered, until she wasn’t. She dated her best friend who decided that their friendship was too important to ruin. Yet, a few years later, that friendship ended for an unrelated reason. She dated the shy kid who suddenly started to see his worth and decided to share that with the world.

She cultivated a man. She saw his strengths, she mended his weaknesses. She gave him something to believe in and he married someone else. But she wished his wife the best. After all, he had finally reached his potential. At least she got to see all of her hard work come to fruition, even if it wasn’t with her.

There’s something about a girl who loves hard. Even when he isn’t for her, she pours so much love into him that it’s bound to overflow back into her life. But she hasn’t always felt that way.

You’ll meet her and it’ll feel like everything you’ve ever missed is standing right in front of you, every prayer wrapped inside of one person, every dream turned a reality. It’ll feel like you’ve been missing a part of you but you never noticed until it was back at your side.

“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:22-23

You’ll remember the time that you broke your finger and find out soon that she smashed her finger that year. Bone of your bone. Though the pain wasn’t as intense, she shared that moment with you. Your lives have crossed in more ways than one and you wonder how you ever lived without her. You realize that she’s been through hell before you and you make it your mission to give her all of the love that she’s given to people who didn’t know how to deal with it.

You look at her and you see her heart. You see all the pain she’s endured and how she’s overcame it and wonder how she still has room to love you. She’ll love you back to life. She’ll show you that everyone you dated previously was nothing like the person that God created from you, for you. You still can’t believe it.

You’ll watch her grow just from being in your presence and you realize that neither of you could reach your full potential until you could reach it together.  That’s been God’s plan all along. All of those prayers were being manifested inside of a woman who knew as soon as she met you. Your side feels like home. She can’t be sad there. It’s exactly what she’s been missing. No wonder she’s been lost. Her home was always with you.

So love her, like you’ve wanted to be loved all your life. She’ll never disappoint you. She’ll never leave your side. Besides, she is your rib, after all.


This is How You Love Him: When You’ve Met Your Soulmate

This is how you love him

Love is a simple thing. Many would argue with me and say that it’s supposed to be complicated. But I disagree.

“Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.” 1 Corinthians 4-7

Love is patient:

They say that good things come to those who wait. Well love is the best gift. When you love someone, sometimes you have to wait because you never know what may be on the path ahead. Don’t rush. Just let things fall as they may.

Love is kind:

It’s the feeling that you get when someone does something for you just because. It’s the feeling you have after spending Sunday dinner with family and ending the night on the front porch drinking lemonade and eating homemade butter cookies.

It does not envy:

Sometimes it does. Sometimes it’s envious of the things that should come second nature.

Imagine, being in love with someone but you’re not allowed to say. Love is a compromise. It is the feeling of certainty when they walk into a room. It is the feeling of peace that comes over you after a long day, when you thought you were angry. It’s the doubt that leaves, when they put you in your place.

Have you ever met your rib?

If you have to think about it, you haven’t.

Your rib is the missing piece of you. It’s the part of you that all makes sense. Imagine feeling emotions that don’t belong to you, or sharing thoughts without even knowing it.

Do you remember that time you hurt your leg? She felt it. She couldn’t figure out why it hurt so bad. Her mom told her, “They’re just growing pains. They’ll go away soon.”

Love is growing pains. It is realizing that you spent your entire life searching for someone who was with you all along. It is being hurt that you had to go through so much heartache and that he had to endure it too.

It does not boast, It isn’t proud:

Love should never make you feel inadequate. It isn’t proud. But if you must, be proud of each other. Be proud that out of all the girls in the world, he chose you.

But what does it mean to be chosen? What does it mean to belong to someone? I wish I knew the answer to that. But once you meet the one, there’s no question. You’re proud of the person they’ve become. You’re proud that you endured all of that pain that led you to him.

It does not dishonor others:

People see you and can only think of good things. They don’t see you for your falls, only the times you’ve risen, because they far outweigh your downs.

Love is self-explanatory. It has the ability to stand on it’s own when questioned. It’s that person who says, “Oh, I could see it in your eyes,” or the person who says, “I love ya’lls spirit. There’s something that shines when you two walk into a room.” It’s people knowing that you belong together before he grabs your hand or puts his arm around your waist or kisses you on your forehead as he walks by.

Love is everything you ever dreamt of wrapped up in the prayers of your mother that you’ll find someone who loves you after years of giving love to those who didn’t deserve it.

If you’ve ever doubted it, you may be still searching. But don’t stop, it’s just over the horizon. If you ever give up hope, just remember that love always hopes, it always preserves.

If you wonder why no one has ever loved you for you, realize that God only shows your heart to the one who is supposed to protect it. Love always protects. He can’t protect something he can’t see.

So just hold on, because when it’s all said and done, This is How You Love Him…

Your soulmate, that is!


The Six-Year Date

“You’re the last of a dying breed,” is what I told him after realizing that he was the perfect example of something I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t call it settling. It’s more of a compromise.

Have you ever met someone who would make the perfect husband, yet doesn’t want to be tied down?
I have. A freedom about him gives you the push you need to fly. He’s that extra strength that you need to open that jar of pent up feelings. He is the date that your father never got the chance to meet.

Here’s to the perfect example of what all men should be.

I met him when I was sixteen, a few years after my tomboy phase and half of a decade past my father’s death. You see, I never got the opportunity to know how a real date should look. I took enough money to pay for my meal and kept my sis on speed dial in case I needed backup.

Only I didn’t need either of those. He was the mom-meeting, door-opening, and chair-pulling type of guy. I loved him for that.

New movies. New food.

We never went to the same place twice. It helped that I didn’t get out much. All of the time I spent inside of a book, he spent outside. The books gave me something to share. His travel gave him somewhere to take me. I never complained. I was indecisive and he chose my meals. There wasn’t a controlling bone in his body. He gave me the freedom to choose. However, he was a planner. He knew exactly what we were doing, a week in advanced and gave me clothing suggestions based on our future outing.

The first date was dinner and a movie. There was a quiet café downtown, which he knew I would love. I was pretty much game for anything. I love food. I let him order for me. We talked for hours. 8 o’clock turned into 10 o’clock rather quickly. If I were to get home before 12, we would have to be leaving soon.

He never missed a curfew. I think that’s why mom respected him so much. She didn’t have to worry when I was with him. As long as I got home safely, everything was fine.

The next date landed us at Perkins. There was a breakfast menu to die for and I had no complaints. All was well until it was time to pay the bill. He couldn’t find his wallet.

“I probably just left it in the car. I’ll be back”

The hostess began to worry.

“Are you sure he’s still out there? Maybe he needs you to pay it.”
Lady, who hurt you?
“He’ll be back.”
Before I had the chance to get annoyed with her lack of faith in men, in he walked carrying his wallet. He smiled as he kissed me on the forehead. “Told you I’d be back.”

That was the last time we saw each other as teenagers. He joined the military. I went off to college. He got married.

Fast Forward 2 Years

Ever been lying awake in bed with someone on your mind and all of a sudden your phone rings? You lie there in a panic. Could that be them? It can’t be. The universe can’t be this good.

It was 3 am and my phone rang. My roommate was asleep. I answered. The voice on the other end reminded me of a time I could never forget. He wanted to talk. We spent the next few hours catching up and talking about old times. We talked about our problems, he the stresses of the military and I the stresses of college. I honestly never expected to hear from him again. That was a pleasant surprise. One hour turned into five and we both had things to do. I had an 8 o’clock class to get to and he had to be at work. We said our goodbyes and promised to keep in touch.

Fast Forward to Thanksgiving 2010

“I’m in town, want to meet up?” he texted me.

That drive was the longest ten minutes of my life. I couldn’t get there quick enough. I was just excited to see him.

I pulled up; he stood outside with his son.

“Who might this be?”
“You remember him”
“Yea I do. He looks just like you now.”
He had to be about five. Makes mental note about how hold we’re getting.

He was a father, and I was still missing mine.

By 10pm, I received a text. He asked how long it had been since I’d been on a date. Way too long. I hadn’t been out since the last time he took me. Guys didn’t date much anymore and I began to take it to heart. He made it his mission to keep that from happening. My mind refused to let this thought pass. I sent another message.

“What’s up?”
“You still married?”
“No I’m not.”
“K. Just checking. I can’t be dating someone’s husband.”
“You’re safe. Don’t worry.”

I thank him for showing me that men still know how to treat a woman and that if I looked hard enough, he might just be standing right in front of me.

He took me to see Paranormal Activity 2. He promised me that it was better than the first and if he were wrong, I would be $50 richer by the end of the night. Bet! I spent the next two hours laughing and jumping out of fear.

“You have a weird sense of humor.”
“I know.”

That night we went to Ruby Tuesdays. It was obvious that it had been a while since we’d gone out. Our conversation was different. We had goals and dreams. There were obstacles in life that we had both encountered. He gave me advice. I shared insight. It was a good night.

Spending the night with him was something I never got the chance to do. He made it happen that night. There was a fear of past break-ins in the house and he made sure I got in safely.

He was the security blanket that I didn’t want taken away from me.
He worked for a country that needed someone to fight for it.
He made himself available and I didn’t like it.
Who was going to fight for me?
He did it so well.

I was sick. He played the piano for me while I wished I could sing for him. My congestion wouldn’t allow that to happen. I bought Vicks Vapo-rub while we were out. He rubbed it on my chest. He opened up a part of me that had been closed for so long. He placed his hand on my heart and it sped up, trying to get his attention. I slept on his chest with his lips on my forehead. He brought new meaning to the forehead kiss. No more searching for temperatures rising, it meant he cared. I was his for the night.

Every year after that, I’ve gotten a cold and my mind wanders back to that night. He took care of me. Nights get cold when there’s no one to kiss your fever away.

Spring Break 2011

It was a long break. We hadn’t seen each other since Thanksgiving. He wanted to take me out and planned the entire thing. We would both drive into Memphis and check into a hotel. Dinner would be at 6pm. We would spend the entire weekend together.

By the time I arrived, I was tired. I decided to finish getting ready for dinner when I got there. We pulled up around the same time. Something was different. He wasn’t alone. We got out of our separate cars. He walked towards me.

“This is my sister. How long will it take you to get ready?”
“About an hour or two.” I was transitioning and had to flat iron my hair.
“My parents want to go to Tunica to eat dinner.”

Instantly, I freaked out. I wasn’t prepared to meet his sister, let alone his parents. I definitely did not pack clothes for meeting the parents. I brought clothing that I knew he would like. I prayed that his mom wouldn’t think I was a hooker.

I assumed he was tired as well. He sat and watched TV while I finished my hair, until he fell asleep. His sister sat and watched me. That made me slightly uncomfortable. I searched for the highest cut, longest dress that I packed. In about an hour and a half, I was ready to go. I woke him up.

“You look good.”
“Thanks, ready to go?”

We got to his parents’ house and they were almost ready. He introduced me to his dad, while his mom is was getting dressed. His dad was at the bar and he offered me a drink. I politely declined.

“You know it’s okay to drink with my dad.”
“I am not drinking with your dad.”
“Suit yourself.”

His father drove and we made it to Tunica in about an hour. We went to a buffet. I chose typical food that anyone would choose being in a new place. He was determined to have me try something different. He got frog legs from the bar and asked me to try one. I did. It did not taste like chicken. It had a freshwater taste, not bad.

He went to gamble with his mom while his father, sister, and I sat at the table. His dad talked to me about school. We talked for about forty minutes before both of our dates returned. I was excited to see where he got his personality. He was the mirror image of his father.

Before leaving his parents’ house, his father talked to us on the porch. He asked our plans for the weekend and if my mom knew that I was home. Of course she didn’t. He talked about doing the exact same thing when he was in college. He told us to be safe and we left.

For the next few hours, we slept. We gave each other space. He had mastered that talent. He knew when to hold on and when to let go. We shared a few hours of sleep divided by moments of love, making that the best night of my life.

The last time I saw him. He met me with open arms. He complimented me on my choice of locs. He thought they fit me really well. Not sure if it had anything to do with his love for Marley, or his connection to nature. He kissed my forehead. He still cares. He placed his Marley necklace around my neck.

“Hold on to this for me”
“I can do that.”

So until next time…

Everyone said I should leave him alone. No one understood what he meant to me. He was representative of what a real date should be. He showed me that real men do exist and that they weren’t too far out of reach.

He would say, “Everyone that you date, isn’t meant to be your husband. People spend so much time trying not to date their friends, when they are usually their best option.”

Out of all the men that I know, he’s special. He holds me to such a standard and treats me like a Queen and we’re just friends. He raised the bar to an almost impossible height for the next guy who comes around. The next guy should be able to do that and so much more. He’s been the perfect date for the past six years. What more could a girl want?

When Hip-Hop Becomes your Best Friend



It was a usual Sunday night and I browsed my twitter feed. There was the usual riff raff and the know-it-alls prancing through my timeline. Then I saw it, the tweet that made me want to know the definition of soul mate. “Some of my best girl friends know the lyrics to Common ‘I Use to Love Her’.” Being the opportunist that I am, I replied, “I’m not your best friend but…. I met this girl when I was ten years old, and what I love most she had so much soul.” We quoted nearly the entire song. And so began a beautiful friendship. We chatted about Hip-Hop and poetry. Common and Tupac quotes turned into poetry and monologues of the Harlem Renaissance.

From that first conversation, I just knew that he was too good to be true. He made me want to know more, to the extent of sharing everything with him. He became my friend, my confidant, my refuge in the time of storm. We were so much alike. It was as if God had created him especially for me.

Being sensitive to things of the spiritual nature, it was always hard for me. I carried everyone’s burdens on my shoulders, which oftentimes caused me to break down emotionally. He understood this and so much more,

But something happens when

The only thing keeping you from break(ing)
is his dance and the sound of his voice
through the speakers in your stereo,
and you’ve learned the true meaning of love.

When you’ve grown fond of your hips
instead of the way he hops into bed with you,
you’ll learn to love yourself.

To say I grew fond of him would be an understatement. He was the Hip-Hop head that was the true definition of the thing. I listened to his music and became his biggest fan. I supported him in all that he dreamed. His dreams became my dreams and he pushed me to pursue mine.

He’ll give you the push you need
to no longer need him.

I use to think that I was more in love with the idea of falling in love than all of the guys who said they loved me before. A hopeless romantic’s job is almost impossible with no one to share that charm.

I had witnessed something that was beyond imaginable. I had experienced Hip-Hop in the flesh, the actual being, the perfect verse over a beat that hadn’t been written yet.

You’ve loved Hip-Hop longer than you’ve loved yourself
and it seems only right that he appeared out of thin air,
like a mixtape drop in the middle of the night.

I had settled for less than what I deserved most of my life. I had given 100% to men who only offered me 50%. They short changed me and left me wanting more.

Your pusher stands outside waiting
for you to get your fix.
It’s been your fix for far too long.

You waited and he appeared,
posing as the new kid on the block.

Only he’s different.
He resonates truth
and hope for something you no longer thought existed.

He gave me a reason to travel. If he could make my heart flutter from 200 miles away, who knew what would happen in person. I made that leap, drove 3 hours to meet him. His aura was one that I will never forget. Just to feel his arms around me, was like finally being at home after years of sleeping in shelters. We talked as though we had known each other our entire lives. We shared our deepest secrets over a game of pool. We talked music, family, goals, and books over Chinese. We walked and listened to hip-hop. We experienced nature together.

He shared his heart with me in the lyrics of his rhymes. I stood and watched him speak words memorized. He spit lyrics with ease. I witnessed a lion in his habitat. I could feel his passion in the way he spit. His heart seeped through his pores.

He bled the art
And you wouldn’t mind being the vessel
To which it flows

I met my best friend, my kindred soul, and my fellow Hip-Hop head.

He is the reason I question all things past. The reason I finally know the meaning of the word prototype. I can honestly say that I’m happy with him being a part of my life in any form. I’m just glad to have the ability to experience such a Godsend, such a miracle. Writing has literally saved my life and so has he. I thank God for my life and for his. He offers me such peace and he’s what I imagine serenity looks like. I’d give him the world if was mine to give, but instead I pray that God gives him the desires of his heart.

He deserves it, because he helped me find mine.