P.T.N.I.T.P : A Story Of Boundaries And The Lack There Of


“Mannn I should have pushed that ni**a in the pool,” says one of my best friends of over 6 years. ” I wish you would have,” I responded. Much laughter ensued and we knew we had an inside joke for LIFE.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me run it back to the beginning. At the conclusion of my on again off again relationship for the past year & some change, it was all about peace, clarity, and enjoying sleeping in the middle of the bed. I was painting, working out, drinking more water, reading, wearing less, and going out more. Like auntie Maxine said so eloquently, I was “reclaiming my time.” While these things did make me feel better, I would be a bold faced lie if I said I was all good.

There is something about the end. This is true even if its for the best, even when you know the other person wasn’t right for you, even when (like the old folks used to say) you know that you know it wouldn’t work out….it still stings. I use the word stings because it sounds less vulnerable than hurt. Because lets be honest, I would rather be mad, pissed, angry, upset, irritated, or anything synonymous. But hurt? Hurt takes time to bounce back from…and some never do. Hurt is the thing that turns young ladies into bitter old women, and will make young men pack away their feelings away for life…never to be heard from again.

It is my genuine belief that the key differential between hurt and anger is access. Not everyone has the capability to hurt us because not everyone has access to the parts of us that would cause such a reaction. But that access had to be granted (oh I wish I had a real church in here.) Unlike physical domains, one can not do a “B&E” (breaking & entering) to gain access to our emotions. We have to either 1. Make a conscious decision to let them in, or 2. Leave our doors unlocked. (If you cant say amen just say ouch). Either way, permission was granted be it directly, or indirectly. This is B side to the tape. Because unpopular opinion? We knew all along. But I’ll be damned if red flags aren’t the most beautiful things I have ever seen at times.

Back to my story….

So in the midst of me getting my “Waiting to Exhale” and “Eat, Pray, Love” on, one of my day ones calls to tell me he is coming into town. Perfect. This is just what I need. I looked forward to spending some time with one of the few people on this earth who actually “gets” me. Now I know what ya’ll are thinking…. no this was not some out of town D, or anything similar (even though I could have really used it at the time) lol.  After some much needed catching up, to wrap up his over scheduled visit, we decided to spend the late afternoon poolside.

He chose to grab a chair and stay close by, while I rolled up my pants and put my legs in the water. About 15 mins into our usual thought provoking conversation, my friend nodded to me saying “hey…ain’t that ol boy?” With his knowledge of the breakup, I assumed he was just trying to make light of the situation. However, I turned around and there in the freaking flesh …. my ex, unannounced at the gate of the pool. Fuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkkkk! bro. Like I had just started to get to a good place and then here you come. Like I swear dudes can just smell the happiness and be like (rubs hands together devilishly) not on my watch.

We made eye contact as he mouthed “can we talk?” I shook my head no, turned my body where he was no longer in my line of sight, and went back to my conversation. I mean SURELY he was not going to come into the pool and make a scene with my friend (that could have very well been boo 2.0 for all he knew) right there right? WRONG! I carried on in conversation as I watched my friends face change. Needing no verbal confirmation, I knew the premises had been breached. But in an effort to keep my cool, I maintained my position hoping my body language would be enough. WRONG AGAIN! Before I know it, I heard an all too familiar bass tone ask me to talk.

Pause. NOW I am nervous. Because every girl has that one guy friend who would ride for them in the most literal of ways. I mean you only make this call when it is a code red, black hawk down, Houston we have problem kind of situation. Unbeknownst to my ex, this is EXACTLY who was sitting behind me in a pool chair calm AF. Too calm. Like when lions crouch in the grass on National Geographic and you know sh*t finna get LIT!

Play. I tell my ex I am with my friend (motions to friend) and will not be departing for any conversation now or anytime soon. He speaks to my friend, introduces himself, shakes his hand,  and turns back towards me. As he turns I can see my friend go from deep chair sitting, to sitting on the edge, to making motions as if hes about to stand up. I repeated my stance once more, and with that he turned to walk away. Just as he got past ear shot of the gate, my friend turns to me and says,

“Man I should have pushed that ni**a in the pool.” ” I wish you would have,” I responded. Much laughter ensued and we knew we had an inside joke for LIFE.

While this was funny for a while, I’ll afterwards, I did what I do best …analyze. I thought about how truly manipulating this situation was. The popping up, the approaching me despite my decline, then the further approach despite my having company. The possessiveness this reeked of…. the assumed ownership. If I was at all on the fence during my short time out after an 18 month bid, this was the last nail in the coffin. Hell, this was a Really whole new coffin all together…upgraded and gold plated with the velvet lining package. Because NOTHING is worth your peace.

So in the words of Destiny’s Child on their infamous “The Writings On The Wall” album….

“Thou shall know when hes got to go.” – Destiny’s Child  

(cue “Jumpin Jumpin”)

With Love,


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