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Dusk Before Dawn.

I sat quietly in the living room, on the floor, listening to the walls sway in our strangled apartment complex. I looked at the clock near the couch. Almost four. I should finish dinner. I stood up, and headed toward the kitchen, catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a photograph hanging on the wall. I stopped and stared for a moment, putting my finger to my lip. My eyes swelled, but I made the tears retreat back to their hiding places. There was no room for them here. I went into the kitchen and discovered another leak beneath the sink. I scurried to find another empty pot to catch the water. I’d tell him. But I couldn’t. He’d blame it on me. I closed the cabinet and went into the refrigerator, retrieving the steaks I’d let marinate throughout the day, while I cleaned the apartment ruthlessly. Not a speck on the carpet. I moved quickly, placing the steaks in to broil and heating up the mashed potatoes. I went to the table and put our plates down. I shined the forks and knives with my t-shirt and placed them parallel to the plates. I looked at the clock. 4:24. My heartbeat quickened. I took another look at the living room before I scurried down the hall to the bedroom to make sure that everything was in its place.

I went back into the living room, just as I heard the door click and saw the knob turn. He entered the house and his eyes fell upon mine. My breath scurried away and I smiled a little, hoping he was in a good mood. He shut the door behind him, ignoring me, and began to take off his shoes. I should say something. Ask him how his day is. Do it!

“H-how was your day, babe?” I asked.

“Dinner ready?” He responded, loosening his tie.

“The steaks are in the oven right now. Mashed potatoes and broccoli is done.” I said quickly.

He stared at me for a moment before he walked past me. I exhaled and stood there, before I felt a blow to my lower back. I fell to my knees – asking God, “Why?” the entire way down.

Comments

Ahhhhhhhhh!!!..they are so freakin CUTE!!!

RUN IT!!

that had to be my favorite post... joy has matured so much and they have such a cute relationship

I gland she found someone run it!!

run it!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy!

With summer ahead of us, Tru and I spent late nights on his living room floor hypothesizing and having deep, passionate discussions over wine that usually ended up with me straddling him, trying to remember where to put my tongue. He rolled us over and lied between my legs, before he bent down, his warm body, hovering above me. His tongue traveled from my right earlobe to my left, and his fingers massaged my belly button, which I found to be more arousing than I’d remembered in the past. I didn’t want sex from Tru. Not now. Not for a long time. My mind said this, but my body had other plans. His did too, which is why I wasn’t surprised that night, when the one thing he was afraid of, reared its ugly head on that living room floor – literally.

“Dammit.” He mumbled, burying his face in my neck. “I’m sorry.”

I smiled and kissed his cheek. “It’s okay. It’s natural. I’m flattered.” I said, chuckling. “If I had one, I’d be in the same position.”

“Ew.” He said, maneuvering around me delicately and adjusting his shorts.

He sat with his back turned to me and shut his eyes. I scooted toward him, with him between my legs. “What you thinking about?” I whispered.

“Not helping. Trying to focus.” He said, his eyes shut tight.

I smirked and sat still. Soon enough he went limp and opened his eyes. “So? What were you thinking about?”

“Kung Fu films.” He responded.

I giggled and wrapped my legs around him, biting his ear. “Girl don’t get me started again.” He said.

I let go of his ear and rubbed his chest.

“Thank you for the <a href=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7c44qKgxV1qebu4so1_1280.jpg>snapchat</a> earlier.” I said.

He laughed. “Figured you’d enjoy that.” He said.

“Yeah? From that angle, huh?” I asked.

He laughed hard, leaning back and clutching his chest. His laugh echoed off of the ceiling.

“You are hilarious,” He managed to say.

I sat with my face serious and when he looked at me he cracked up again.

“Real cute.” I responded, lying on my stomach now.

He sighed of relief now and exhaled, looking down at me. “So now that you’ve been to my Granny’s and met Aunt Nora, when do I get to meet your family?” He asked.

I sat up on my elbows, “I guess when I know what to introduce you as,” I said, searching his eyes.

His face fell serious. “Well I wouldn’t want you to feel pressured to label this as anything yet.” He said.

I sat up and studied him. “This…this is something though right?” I asked.

“Right,” He responded, nodding. “I’m having a lot of fun with you...and I want it to continue.”

“Then…we’re still just friends?” I asked.

“We both know we’re more than that.” He responded. “But not quite…in a relationship yet, you know? That in-between.”

I nodded, “Then I’ll introduce you as my in-between.”

“Don’t get snarky.” He said, smiling and pulling me toward him.

I straddled him and looked him in the face. “…I’ve been somebody’s ‘right now’ before and I’ve been the sideline and I’ve been just sex to guys. I guess…with you I just want to make sure that I’m more before I take you home.”

“You’re so much more,” He said, kissing my neck. “And I don’t know about next year, but you’re definitely my tomorrow…and my Friday too. My August as well.”

I smiled and pecked his lips. “You’re just my Tru.”

“You’re my Joy… in more than one way.” He said.

I heard his laugh first. After the graduation, I’d walked outside to try to find Tru and his family. He tried to text me where they were standing but in the midst of thousands of people, I struggled to pinpoint him. When I heard his laugh, I turned around in a half circle to see <a href=http://www.exposay.com/celebrity-photos/michael-b-jordan-12th-lupus-la-orange-ball-1lQv2q.jpg>him</a> smiling at an older woman who was fixing his shirt and wiping him clean with her hands.

“Sharp!” She exclaimed.

Tru crossed his eyes before he chuckled once more, exposing his teeth. I <a href=http://instagram.com/p/XvF_lPhS9n>stood</a> back and watched for a little while, admiring the small woman with her glasses perched on her nose. There was another woman standing there, taking pictures with him and sharing in his accomplishment. Tru looked around for me when he finally saw me standing there. He looked me up and down quickly before a smile hit his lips.

“Hi,” He said, turning toward me, shielding me from his grandma and the other woman.

“Hi,” I said, smiling up at him. “Congratulations.” I said.

“Thank you,” He said, grabbing my hands and kissing my cheek.

His grandmother cleared her throat. Tru smiled and put his arm on my lower back.

“This is my good friend Joy. Joy that’s my Granny and my Auntie Nora.” He said.

“Hello. It’s nice to meet you both,” I said, shaking their hands, respectively.

Nora smiled warmly and Granny tugged at my arms and my hair like I was a doll. Her curiosity led her. I gathered that about her, and found it to be adorable. Granny invited me to join them for dinner and I didn’t decline. Dinner with Tru, his Granny and his Aunt revealed a lot about why he was so good to women. They demanded it from him. They nitpicked at the way he dealt with me and made sure that he treated me right in their presence, from opening doors to pulling out chairs – things Tru already did. He simply smiled at their demands and took them with ease, used to their intrusive personalities. They marveled at the two of us. We sat still with potential energy building up in both of us. We tried to keep our hands to ourselves; the longer we went without a kiss, the more we wanted one. But neither of us wanted to act prematurely. After dinner, I followed Tru to his apartment and brought in the gift I’d gotten him for graduation with me. Once inside his place, I took off my shoes and stood barefoot near the door. Tru took off his blazer, hung it up on the chair and unbuttoned his shirt, before he placed his degree on the mantle.

“How does it feel?” I asked softly, walking toward him.

“…Think I’m still in shock,” He said, nodding. “The Tru I know…deep down inside, never thought he’d see this day.”

“I know you’ve heard it all day but…I really am proud of you. I know that we haven’t known each other but for a few months…but I’m really happy for you.” I said.

“Thank you.” He said, kissing my forehead and intertwining our fingers.

“Got you a gift,” I said softly.

“What is it?” He asked, smiling.

I pulled the box that I was holding from behind my back and handed it to him.

“You didn’t have to get me anything though.” He said.

“Yes I did,” I said, smiling and waiting on him to open it. “You’re too good to me, not to.”

He pulled the bow off of the box and took the top off, placing it beneath the box, to find a new tie, an engraved ballpoint pin, and a small crystal mason jar. He smirked.

“What are these for?” He asked, looking at me.

“The tie and the pen are for work, when you start. And the Mason jar is for you…fill it with whatever you want. We always talk about filling ourselves up and I just thought that it would remind you of me.” I said.

He sat the box down and hugged me close, his hands on my lower waist. “And maybe I’ll fill it with our moments…’cause I think we’ll have plenty of those.” He whispered in my ear.

I smiled and placed my hands on the back of his neck, before I kissed his cheek and held my lips there. I pulled back, eyeing his lips. He eyed mine as well. I leaned in and kissed his softly. He pecked me back quickly, before he tightened his hold on me and kissed me deeper. In that moment of embrace, I felt beauty manifest in our connection…and I silently prayed to the being above, for a lifetime filled with moments like these.

The Saturday before Tru’s graduation, I ran into Roland. I stopped by Mama C’s to help Cheryl clean, in preparation for an open house she was planning. I stopped my mopping and looked across the vacant room at her, as she polished the dining room.

“…It doesn’t feel weird?” I asked her finally.

“It does. I try not to think about it,” Cheryl responded, before she looked over at me.

I rested my chin on the mop and looked back down at the floor as I continued. Cheryl stopped then and watched me.

“How’s school?” She asked finally.

“School is great,” I responded, nodding.

“Semester almost done?” She asked.

“It’s over,” I responded. “The seniors walk tomorrow.”

We both stood looking at each other. “…Nice. Going to graduation to see anyone?” She asked.

I nodded, “Yeah I am.” I responded shortly.

“…Dating anyone?” Cheryl asked, a smile on her face.

She was excited, and I guess I didn’t mind. Cheryl hadn’t ever had a daughter, after all.

“No not currently. Just getting to know someone.” I said, nodding.

I didn’t expect to see Roland. Not today. So when his car pulled up into the driveway and I saw him get out, dressed like he’d just left work, my heart began to beat through my chest. He walked toward the steps and into the house when he froze, seeing me standing there. We hadn’t seen each other since the reading of the will. Neither of us had tried to, either.

“Hi,” I said, breaking the awkward silence.

“H-hey,” He stammered.

Cheryl left the dining room and smiled at her son, “Didn’t know you were stopping by.” She said. “What’s up?”

“Just wanted to see how the cleanup was coming. I see you recruited Joy.” He said, glancing at me.

After the small talk with Cheryl and I finished the floor, he and I sat on the front porch, catching up. Cheryl watched from the dining room window, as we sat like shy children on the porch steps.

“How is everything?” He asked finally.

“Good. I’m happy…” I said softly.

“That’s cool.” He responded.

“How about you? Everything good?” I asked.

“Sure,” He said, nodding.

I knew that things weren’t. I wasn’t sure if I had the grounds to ask, so I didn’t. Disclosure always brought he and I together and I was finally okay without Roland. There was no yearning to be near him, or to be loved by him. I couldn’t afford our coming close… not now.

“I miss my son,” He said softly. “Think I’m going back to PA.”

Well… that I could afford. I turned toward him. “And Lorena?” I asked, searching his face.

He shrugged, “I’m not looking to get back with her, if that’s what you’re asking but…I can’t predict the future.”

I nodded and looked away from him. Roland reached over and grabbed my hand, before he brought it slowly to his lips. Cheryl put her hand over her chest from the window.

“…Had it been another lifetime, Joy, I swear I’d be with you.” He said softly, looking me in the eye.

“I know,” I said.

“I knew…I knew this when we got in the car accident and you looked me in the face, in one of your lowest, most fearful moments and you kissed me…because you didn’t think you’d ever have the chance to. I would’ve done the same thing.” He said.

“Do you ever, think about us?” He asked.

“Not anymore,” I said softly. “But I used to…all of the time.”

“What changed?” He asked.

“…I started to find myself.” I said, searching his eyes. “Started becoming. And in that, I grew out of the fragmented woman I was. You…you were part of those fragments.”

“Bless the man that witnesses the whole.” He said, placing his hand on my thigh. “I met you at the wrong time, huh?”

I shook my head. “No. It was perfect timing. I needed you then.” I said.

He kissed my forehead, my nose and my lips, which he held the longest. I kissed him back, with the intensity of goodbyes. Cheryl cried at the window, knowing that it was goodbye, too.

Roland pulled back finally and stroked my cheek with his finger. “And whoever he is, I hope he’s treating how you deserve to be treated.”

“He is,” I responded.

I lied in Tru’s bed, with the cover up to my neck and my hair everywhere. Tru came into his room with something in a teacup, and some grapefruit.

“Joy,” He said.

I rolled over and looked up at him. He smiled and put his hand on my forehead. “Fever’s coming down a little. I went and got you some grapefruit and made you this…s*** my grandma taught me to make.”

“It’s called s***?” I asked, sitting up.

He chuckled, “Yes.” He responded, before he stirred it and handed it to me.

I blew on it and took a sip, delighted at the taste and the ease with which it went down my throat. I grabbed a piece of grapefruit and popped it in my mouth. Tru went around to the other side of the bed and sat down next to me, watching me drink and eat. I looked over at him with the cup to my lips.

“You’re good at this.” I said.

“What?” He asked.

“Making me feel better,” I said, taking another gulp.

He smiled absently, looking at me, before he looked down at his hands. “Used to take care of my mom.” He said softly.

“Was she ill?” I asked him, finishing my cup.

I was feeling better already, but my head was still cloudy and my throat still sore.

“Intentionally, yes.” He said, glancing at his watch, which lied on the nightstand. “Did you want something to eat?”

“No I’m okay,” I said, reaching over and grabbing my statistics book. “Will you help me study?” I asked him, smiling.

He nodded and put his arm around me, as I opened my book and grabbed my flashcards. He didn’t flinch when I sneezed and he handed me tissues when my nose ran. I wasn’t embarrassed at all.

Having understood each other, Tru and I were slow and delicate. We didn’t want to ruin anything with expectations and still were dedicated to the idea of us being friends for the time being. He was preparing for graduation and I was studying for finals. In the most untimely fashion, I fell ill – losing valuable time to study. I lie in my bed, surrounded by used tissues. My nose was red with heated anguish and there was neither sound nor movement in the room, until I unleashed a sneeze that echoed off of the walls and caused my body to jerk out of its stillness. My mom came into the room and rubbed my head.

“Baby, I’ve got some tea downstairs but you have to go to your final today.” She said softly.

I rolled over and looked at her with puffy eyes. “Okay,” I said, congested.

As I showered, she picked out something for me to wear and when I was dressed and downstairs, she had the hot tea, and a bag of cough drops waiting for me on the counter.

“Thanks,” I said sniffling.

“Good luck today,” She said, kissing my forehead and watching me walk sluggishly through the house to the door.

The drive to campus was hell, and the bright sunshine caused my head to pound. The final was all multiple choice and I tried to focus the best that I could. When I left, I was sure that I’d secured at least a B- on the exam. As I walked through the quad to the library, Tru spotted me, as he stood with Carter and a few other Alphas, who stood around him, confronting him about why he’d removed himself from the org without discussing it with them. His eyes followed me as I stumbled to the library, coughing and sneezing.

“I’ll catch up with y’all,” He said, looking at each of them. “I promise.”

Carter was the most disturbed by the news, so when Tru turned to follow me, he went after him and grabbed his arm. Tru turned and looked at his former neo, the boy who’d looked up to him. The one he hoped would someday grow into a better man.

“What’d you do this for?” Carter asked him painfully. “Huh? You’re the reason I joined. I wanted to be just like you.”

“You should’ve joined for you. Not for me, Carter.” He said. “Don’t take this personal. But it was personal for me. That’s all I can say about it, alright? I’ll always love you like a brother, and things don’t have to change.”

Carter turned and looked at his bruhs before he looked back at Tru. “You know where my loyalties lie.” He said.

Tru nodded, “With A-Phi.” He said. “I don’t blame you. Like I said, things don’t have to change.”

Tru turned once again and jogged to the library, when he entered and found me sitting at a table, asleep in my textbook.

RUN IT!

run it

awwwww im so happy for her
run it

girl this story is BOMB...love your writings!! If you authored a book I swear I would purchase it!! Your words are so vivid and I'm like sitting on the edge of my seat every time you add waiting for the next add!!!

RUUUN !! this is so good

Your writing has a deeper meaning than most of the stories and published books I've read. Your stories reach my soul and teach me lessons. Your stories have helped me realize that what I'm going through in this period in my life is miniscule to the storms I'm going to have to conquer in the future. Your stories have helped me mature somehow, and I want to thank you for that.

Their moment was beautiful.
I really hope Danielle leaves Carter; she doesn't deserve what he's putting her through.
Run It!

You should check out <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqWm7qcxIZQ">Comfort Inn - Jhene Aiko</a> it's one of my favorite songs right now.

run it!!

@LoveOvO.. that quote. *snaps* so great. Thank you for that.

Quote or line that comes to mind: In the midst of true pain, joy will find you.

I made that up, but its so fitting!! And its a play off their names!! Love that moment between them!! It was so perfect and monumental. They are perfect.

I can't believe Carter is becoming abusive!! He needs to get it together and Danielle needs to leave him alone!! She can't put her child through that and the more she stays, the worse it gets!

Thank you all! Run please!

YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Love, love, loved these posts. RUN IT!

YAAASSS!!!!

Run it

Awww Run It!!

this chapter was everything, i think i finished these posts in like 5 minutes... you know its good when you read it fast lol

Oh snap get it !!

I like Tru...I kinda love him...

That just gave me so much life! Run it!

Enjoy

When “Woods” came on, he and I sat still on the couch. I hadn’t told him much, but enough for him to understand my current position on love.

“You shouldn’t give up.” He said.

“Haven’t given up. Just done looking.” I said softly.

He leaned down and kissed my temple. “You’re the first female friend I’ve had in a long time.” He said. “I mean the real kind. Not the ones you have flings with, and wake up to play Call of Duty next to while they imagine that they have some greater importance than they really do. And they want nothing more than a warm body to sleep next to…maybe to brag about to their friends. Frat boys become conquests and I was no different. But those were my homegirls…’cause they never demanded to be anything else. And after all that I’d seen growing up, I guess all I wanted was a warm body to sleep next to, too. But with age I needed a different kind of reassurance. Something you’ve provided.”

“What reassurance is that?” I asked him, my eyes diverted up at him now.

“That someone has pure intentions.” He said.

I sat up and looked him in the eye. Our faces were close. I gripped his face with my hand and left a kiss near his mouth.

“You’ve done the same for me.” I said, nodding. “Know what else?”

He smiled, “What?” He asked.

“Sparks” by Jesse Boykins III came on and I looked at the speaker. Time slowed a little as the song began. I looked back at him now, tears at the pits of my eyes.

“You make me want to fill myself up…so that I can be full for somebody else.” I said softly.

Tru wiped the tear that fell from my eye and waited for me to finish my thought.

“I’m vulnerable with you…faster than I’ve been with anybody else. I believe in space and time…and things happening when they’re supposed to. Maybe I’m supposed to be full…for somebody like you.” I said, searching his eyes. “Because I don’t…I don’t think you’re just supposed to be my friend, Trupayne.” I said.

Maybe it was the wine. Or maybe I meant what I said, and the silent admiration suddenly had a voice. Tru ran his fingers through my hair and placed a kiss next to my lips, mirroring where I’d gone. He placed a soft kiss on my neck, behind my ear and sighed, his warm breath causing the hairs on my arms to stand up.

He uttered nothing more than my name, before he pulled back and looked me in the eye. We didn’t share a kiss, but something much more intimate – a glance, and returned sentiments.