I came home and noticed my personal things had been touched. Someone went through all of my personal belongings. A private box I had at the top of my closet. I was looking for my old phone book that’s how I noticed something wasn’t right. This phone book was special… my little black book… it had numbers of people from my past, my life in New York, people I met while I was married. He went through all of it. He went through it and decided that I no longer needed those pages. He decided that I no longer needed to keep in contact with people from my past. He decided that HE was all I needed. He decided that HE was enough for me and he decided that HE would decide who it was or wasn’t ok for me to speak with.
I was living a nightmare…
I remember screaming…
Familiar voices from my childhood…
“Don’t let him in… PLEASE!!!!!! Don’t let him in! Don’t let him in the room… he will kill us both… don’t let him in the room… please hold the door shut!!!”
The apartment was empty. There was no furniture in that apartment. I didn’t give anyone our new address. Not even your father. We moved to Ortoleva Drive, in North Providence. The space was dark. It was completely filled with dark wood paneling. There was no light coming into the house. It was closed in… hidden… and he lived with us… the new boyfriend. I really didn’t want to live with a man but I allowed him to stay from time to time. He stayed whenever he wanted. You were three years old now. I was so not present. I was consumed by this relationship and my desperate need to be loved. At the same time I was yearning for freedom. I met him at a night club and allowed him into our home. I allowed this complete stranger into our world. I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking. There was a part of me that believed maybe being with a black man was just what I needed. Deep down I knew that he would finally be someone who could relate to me. Someone I had things in common with… he being black, me being Latina… both minorities in this society. Maybe he wouldn’t be threatened by my family and culture. Perhaps he would lift me…love me… be an active participant in my life.
I would go with him to his job most weekends. I left you in Rhode Island with your grandparents and father. One day I was working security for him. I was security and checked all the women. It was Latino night at some really grimy spot in downtown Boston. There were lots of questionable characters. There was one girl though who stood out to me. She was really pretty. She definitely didn’t look like she belonged in that spot. Her clothes were too nice. She looked like one those smart chicks. Something told me that Terrance and this girl had something. Sure enough I got up and walked to the door and I noticed him pushing her away from the entrance I guess she wanted to get a good look at me. All I kept hearing was her asking him, “Who’s that girl at the door?” and I was wondering the same thing. Who was this girl? I guess whatever it was they needed to resolve was handled because he came back into the spot trying to “hey baby me…” I was like… Hey baby—who the fuck was that?
“Oh that was nothing… just some girl I was seeing. She won’t leave me alone. Don’t sweat that. She’s just a groupie you know you’re my girl!”
I was such a stupid bitch then… yeah I fell for that shit.
Weeks later, I was at the apartment he lived at in MA. I was taking care of his three kids (from three different women) and you. The four of you were all sleeping in a bed together. That girl from the club came to the house. He was at work. She knocked on the door and I came down. We sat on the steps and talked. She told me that she was pre-med attending a school in Boston. She told me that she had been with him for two years. She told me that she was his girlfriend. I was stunned. I was like, you’re his what?
“I’m his girlfriend.” she replied.
Then I did something so stupid. I told her that I would prove to her that he and I were together. We got in his black Saab convertible (a car that he didn’t own) and I took her to our apartment in Providence. I showed her all of his things, but there was one thing that was all the proof she needed. There was a drawing of Martin Luther King hanging above our TV. It was a drawing of MLK’s face, with the words from his famous “I Have a Dream” speech the words were all around him. She just looked at it and said, “I gave him that piece of art.”
INSECURITY doesn’t have a color… doesn’t have a race… doesn’t have a gender.
All my numbers were gone. My history erased. Professors that I had met… relationships that I had formed… all gone… he got rid of everything… all the pages were torn out… I was so angry… How dare HE? It was just the ammunition I needed to get rid of him… to ask him to leave once and for all. And I would… this very night!
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