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There I was in the middle of a conference surrounded by smiling people. I walked outside as a man from my past approached me with a young lady by his side. He smiled at me and nudged her forward. I flashed her a smile and I knew that she was his lady. "You're beautiful!" I told her and gave her a hug. He walked away and she stood smiling politely but I could sense there was a burden on her heart. "What's wrong?" I asked her. "Well, it's him. He's with me but he doesn't think of me the way he thinks about you." "But you're with him and I'm not. You're in his arms, I'm still single. That should count for something," I pointed out. "But I wish he would think of me the way he thinks of you," she said sadly. He reappeared and gave her a hug and the two of them walked away. When I woke up I shook my head at the thought. HIM, thinking of ME? Yeah right. I wonder what he has been up to. I wonder if he's married yet. I wonder if he ever wonders what I am up to. A week later his frat brother hit me up on myspace. After I added him we exchanged a few words and blessings. My thoughts turned to HIM as they do when I get nostalgic so after taking a few days to think about it, I hit his frat brother up and asked about HIM. The next day my phone chimed alerting me to a new incoming email. I almost fell off the bed when I casually flipped open my sidekick and saw the subject heading which read: Donovan Daniels. My heart jumped and I hurridely scrolled through the greeting. His frat brother had passed along my message. I put my phone down and smiled the most joyful smile as warm feelings of young love engulfed me. I was 13 when I met him. I was an 8th grader at Drew Middle and highschool was just a few months away and I had yet to decide which magnet program that I wanted to go to. I knew that it was time for a new beginning. I didn't want to go to my neighborhood highschool because I already knew everyone and everyone knew me. I had immense success on the social level that I attributed to pure luck and I wanted to see if I could go somewhere new where no one knew me and attract the
same results. I visited several open houses for highschool programs but none interested me. My Mama and I stopped by the open house for Miami Jackson High's International Business and Finance program. I wasn't remotely interested in business but I did like the Latin population at the school. I listened intently as the speakers explained the benefits of the program and afterwards I walked over to meet a few of the current students when I saw HIM. He walked over to me and introduced himself. Immediately I could tell that there was something different about HIM. He was unlike any boy I had ever with a confidence unlike any boy he greeted me warmly. "Next year mean ANYTHING, let me know and I Take care of me? Wow. In hindsight I can see why I liked him so much. He was my first introduction to men. He wasn't some little boy who wanted to feel on my booty and run and tell his friends. His countenance oozed manliness and I was attracted to that. When I got to Jackson I ran into him again, he invited me out to lunch and I was so nervous that I could barely hold a conversation with him as he walked me to his car, a gray 1983 Mazda 626. A CAR! This was definitely NOT a boy. He could drive! I was floating on air as I rode beside him in the front seat. His cousin Naiim and another older girl were in the backseat chattering happily. His conversation was engaging and I knew that he was a leader, intelligent and fine as hell! I wondered if he could like me. I never found out. He was a senior and preparing for college. All year long I made my interest known by sending him candy grams during holidays and acting silly everytime he came around. My friends Anna and Tamara teased me because they knew I was in love with a seemingly untouchable young man. He graduated and went off to the University of Florida. Every year he would come back during the spring break and I would go crazy when my friend Vernon would come up to me to tell me, "Donovan is here and he's looking for you." I didn't want to see him until I knew that I was pretty enough, tight enough and grand enough that he couldn't deny me. But he always found me somehow. He'd walk up to me and ask if I was okay. Then he'd smile and pat me on the back and walk away. When my senior year came I applied to UF and anxiously awaited my acceptance letter. met. His voice was a dep baritone and he walked I had been introduced to. His glasses shined and when you get here if you need anything and I do will take care of you."
One day I came home from school and my mother was sitting there looking sad. "Your sister ran away today," she informed me and I rolled my eyes. My little sister was only 13 years old but she was wilding out with an older guy and didn't want to stick to the rules. "Oh yeah," my Mama continued. "Donovan Daniels called you today from UF. He said he'd call you back." I jumped! OH MY GOSH! HE CALLED ME! My Mama looked at me sideways and I forgot all about my little sister's fast ass. "She'll be back," I told my Mama and went to my room to fantasize about Donovan. He called me back and I melted as I heard the baritone voice in my ear. "You okay?" he asked me. "Ofcourse." "Well, I work in Admissions here and I saw your name on one of my lists. I just called to tell you that my fraternity will be in Miami in two weeks. We're competing in a step show. I hope you can come." "I'll be there!" I assured him excitedly. For the next two weeks I was on my best behavior. There was no way I was going to give my Mama a reason to tell me I couldn't go to the step show to see Donovan. My good behavior paid off. I was allowed to go and even though none of my other friends were interested in going, I called my mentor Traci an she dropped me off to the arena. This was also the first time that I was introduced to greek life up close and personal. There I sat in the middle of a gang of college students. The AKA's sat to my left, all poised and dignified, while the Delta's sat to my right, wilding out, sexy and having fun. After the step show I spotted Donovan and nervously walked over to him. He gave me a hug and smiled down at me. "Guess what?" I said. "I got into UF!" He laughed. "I know. I knew that when I called you but I didn't want to spoil the surprise." I giggled and did a little happy dance. "I'll see you in college!" I said and walked away, waving at him. My first days in Gainesville were unhappy days. My parents didn't take me up to school. They simply put me on an airplane and gave me $80. Thank God my friend Kim had decided to take her first semester off and was staying with her grandmother in a nearby town. She picked me up from the airport and drove me to campus for the first time.
"This is it, dawg," she said. "This is the University of Florida." My mouth dropped as we drove through the campus and parked in front of Murphree Hall. Kim stayed with me as I checked in and was given my dorm room key. When we walked into my room I put my bags down and Kim looked at me. "Don't leave me here!" I begged her. "Let me at least stay with you for the weekend. Girl, I'm scared. I don't know anyone here." So we went to Kim's grandmother's house and watched in horror as the news reported about Princess Diana's fatal car accident. When Monday came Kim drove me back to campus and there I was facing this whole new world alone. I spent two weeks crying everyday. I would call Tamara, who had started her freshman year at Florida State and cry, telling her that I wanted to go home. She would encourage me by saying, "It will get better Tee. Hang in there." One day I ran into a girl on campus who had graduated the year before me from highschool and she invited me to go out with her friends to a party. It would be my first college party and I had no idea what to wear. In highschool I was on lock down and didn't get to experience the club scene or anything outside of school activities. I chose an outfit that I thought was okay. My hair wouldn't behave. I didn't even know how to curl my hair properly. I shrugged and walked outside to wait for the girl. When she got there my mouth dropped as I approached her car. There were 3 other young women inside and these girls were HOT. They looked like grown women. I later learned that they were journalism majors like me and were models for a local radio station. They were all light skinned with perfect hair, halter tops and fitted jeans. I looked down at my boots and plaid pants and frowned. Damn. I wasn't dressed right. When we got to the club I held my breath and walked inside the door. The voice that greeted me made the ground shake. It was Donovan. He was at the door collecting the money. He reached down to give me a hug and whispered, "Don't leave without talking to me." I almost fainted. Here we were again. I was now a freshman in college and he was a senior. I was still not hot enough in my eyes to attract his attention. I began to feel bad. As I walked inside I couldn't believe it. There was a bar in this club! People were drinking alcohol and mingling. I backed against a wall to inhale the scene. One guy at the bar stopped and looked me up and down. I ran to the other side of the room in fear. Why was this grown man looking at me?
I couldn't shake myself out of my funk and before the tears started to flow I ran into the ladies room and locked myself in a stall. I cried and cried. I'm not ready for all of this. These are grown ups. I am just a little girl. They're gonna laugh at me. They're gonna hate me. Why did I come to this school? I washed my face and hands and left the bathroom. My mind was made up, I was leaving this party. I went over to the girls I came with and told them that I had to go. I made up an excuse and they watched me walk away as the men fought to regain their attention. I made a beeline for the door but someone blocked my path. WHen I looked up, it was Donovan. "Are you okay?" he asked me. Damn! Not again. I will never get this man to see that I am not a little girl. Fuck! I cried again in the midst of the party and told him that I didn't belong there. "Hold up," he said and walked over to his frat brothers. "Ya'll watch the door, I'll be right back." He walked outside with me and guided me to his car. It was much prettier than the one he had in highschool. It was a Camry, my dream car at the time. He opened my door and I sat inside as got behind the drivers seat and we pulled away. The words he spoke comforted me. He reminded me that this was an experience that everyone had gone through and that I will be okay. When we reached my dorm he got out and walked me to my door. He gave me and hug and told me, "If you need anything, make sure to let me know. I will take care of you." I floated inside and flopped onto the hard twin bed. He is so wonderful. He is so perfect. I wish he could see how much I care about him. I wish I could be a real woman right now. I wish he could love me. I pulled out my journal and began to write; I went to my first college party tonight. Throughout my freshman year Donovan would check up on me from time to time and I would sigh and assure him that I was okay. He was consistenly playing the big brother role and I hated it because I wanted him to see me as a smart, attractive, desirable woman. By the time he graduated I had just begin my relationship with my Baby Daddy and we lost track of each other... Until last week when I received this email: Hey young lady. John B, told me that you asked about me. How are you? I hear you are in Dallas now. I'll be there next week for a conference for work. I'd like to meet up with you. Here's my number. Give me a call.
The Perfect Man---PART II I composed myself and replied to his email then I texted Tamara and Anna with the news. GIRL! You won't believe who just wrote me an email DONOVAN DANIELS from highschool! He's so fine! I think I'm going to die! When he called me I didn't know how to act but I played it cool. I found that he now lived in Orlando and had risen the ranks as an accountant in a major firm. His company was sending him to Dallas for a few days and his only day off happened to be the day before I started my new job. We emailed each other back and forth recounting old times and laughing at how different we were 15 years ago when we first met. I admitted that I was nervous to meet him because my crush never ended but he assured me that everything would be fine. With every email and ever conversation he affirmed my belief that he was indeed...damn near perfect. So off I went to Miami with Donovan on my mind. I enjoyed a short weekend with my boys and before I knew it I was on my way to the airport to catch my flight back to Houston where I had left my car. Everything went screwy when I got to the airport. First, I realized after 20 minutes that I had been standing in the wrong line the whole time Then I stood in another line and was told that I was in the wrong line AGAIN. Then the woman at the desk of the third line told me that there were no direct flights scheduled for Houston at that time and to check the other airlines. So I went up and down looking for the airline. Finally a woman helped me and told me that my flight wasn't a direct flight. It was a connection that flew to Orlando and then on to Houston. By the time I got all of that straightened out I ran up to the terminal and barely made the flight. When I was seated the captain made an announcement. The airport will be closing shortly due to bad weather but we have been approved for take off. Our flight was short, only an hour to Orlando but we had few rounds of turbulence which shook the plane violently. The captain came back on with an announcement: We have arrived in Orlando however, the wind gusts are too high for us to land. We will be in a holding pattern for a bit and if the winds do not die down then we will divert to Tampa to refuel and wait for clearance to fly back to Orlando. We apologize for the inconvenience. Immediatly my spirit jumped. You are going to fly into Orlando and you will miss your flight to Houston. There will be no more flights out and you will see Donovan tonight. Oh shit! My heart began to hurt as we parked in Tampa and refueled before heading back to Orlando. Once the plane landed I rushed to meet my connection but the lady at the counter said, "You missed your flight. The next flight to Houston leaves in the morning at 8:45am" She printed out a ticket for me and I cringed.
Did I make this happen with my imagination or did God speak this to me? I'm scared. I'm so in tune with God now that I know things BEFORE they happen. I'm so scared. What does God have for me in Orlando? Why does He want me to see Donovan when we had already planned to meet in Dallas? Trying desperately to go against what I knew would happen, I called up Anna to see if she could come get me so that I could spend the night with her. I called her phone 3 times and she didn't answer. I texted her as well. I sat down in the terminal, my hands shaking. I looked at my phone. Fuck! I called Donovan's number and he didn't answer. I left a message. "Um...Sorry to disturb you but I had a connecting flight in Orlando and I missed my flight to Houston. Could you...maybe let me stay at your house tonight? My bestfriend Anna's not answering her phone." Five minutes later my phone rang and it was Donovan. "You're stuck at the airport? No problem, I'll come get you," he said. "Hey Ashley! Go straighten up the guest room for my friend. I'm going to pick her up now." Ashley? He mentioned having a girlfriend but he didn't sound too excited about her. He did say that he planned to propose to her but again...he didn't sound too enthused so I brushed it off. "Wait for me at the baggage claim and I'll be there in 20 minutes," he said and hung up. I almost choked. Not only am I going to be staying at Donovan's house, I am about to meet the woman who will soon be his fiance. I can't do this. I called Kim and she made me laugh by saying, "Girl, he may be fat and ugly. You never know. What if you see him and he's not so perfect anymore? God's divine will can not be stopped. There's a reason He wants you to see Donovan. I can't wait to find out why!" "I'm scared Kim! You know I really liked him for so long. I don't want to be a distraction to him or a hinderance to his relationship and I don't want my feelings hurt." "Girl shut up! This is exciting. Now Ima let you go but you HAVE to text me as soon as you get into his car. All you have to do is put in a number from 1 to 10 to tell me what he looks like." I laughed. "You crazy! I'll do it." "Aight girl." I stood nervously on the curb when he called to tell me he had just entered the airport. I told him where I was and almost died when this beautiful ass Chrysler 300 pulled up in front of me. You know I love those cars! Then when he stepped out of the car, I believe I had a mini orgasm. ~faints~ He was so fine! Finer than I had ever seen him before. He had gaines weight but I
love it when men gain a little weight it makes them more snuggly. He greeted me with a hug and I pulled down my hat to cover my eyes because they were full of stars. He opened the door for me and I climbed into his car just like my freshman year in college. I whipped out my sidekick and input Kims number to text her. 10. ARE YOU SERIOUS? she wrote back. I'm speechless dawg. He is fine as hell! I didn't know what to say. My mind was racing. He's so damn fine! He looks so manly! Fuck! I'm going to his house! I'm going to meet his girlfriend. Fuck! "So tell me about this chick Ashley." I tell him. "Well, she's a good woman. I met her about a year and a half ago and I realize that she's perfect for me." We chat about a lot of other things on the ride back and when we pull up to his house I'm impressed. Inside I'm screaming: I can't believe I am going to sleep inside of DONOVAN DANIELS house! I wanted to break out and do the doo doo brown! But I didn't. Instead I walked bravely through the garage door into his home. A woman seated on the couch rose to greet me and I gave her the once over. Hmmm...This chick looks like her name should be Jane Doe. She looks like every other chick on the street. I looked over at him. Naw...This can't be who he was talking about. She smiled at me and asked if I was hungry. HELL YEAH! While she fixed a plate of food for me Donovan led me upstairs to the guest room. He gave me fresh towels and showed me the bathroom and then gave me a slip of paper with the password to his wi-fi because he knows I am addicted to the internet. I joined them both downstairs just as my plate was ready. I sat on the couch and Ashley sat next to me as I ate. I wanted to hate her. I really did. I just couldn't... her spirit was too brilliant. She reminded me of me. She asked me a few questions about myself and how I knew Donovan but I couldn't even respond so he did by saying, "We went to highschool and college together." Then she told the story of how they met. Her tale was one that was very familiar. She had been hurt in the past by so many men that she would curse any man that walked into her face. She was so through and so bitter that she was often sick because of her anger. Then on January 1, 2006 she prayed and asked God to send her the right man for her THAT YEAR because she didn't want to have all of this anger on her heart anymore.
"On January 12, 2006, I met him," she said and motioned toward Donovan who was sitting quietly at the dinner table playing around on his laptop. I felt a pain in my heart. "At first I was not paying him any attention because I was still angry. but he told me that he was in financial planning and I asked for his help so I gave him my number and he said he would call. It took him a week to call me but finally did and our conversatios just clicked. He mentioned that he baked and I told him that my birthday was coming soon so he offered to bake for me." The pain in my heart intensified. My mind was about to blow up. My thoughts raced. He baked a cake for you? Donovan Daniels baked a cake for YOU? "Girl...It took me 4 months to finally admit that I was in a relationship with him because I was so afraid to be hurt again," she said. "But until I let go of the anger from my past relationships, I couldn't receive who God had for me." It took you FOUR MONTHS to decide if you wanted to be with Donovan Daniels? Are you fucking kidding me? I felt it about to burst out of me. I knew the tears were coming. "Excuse me," I said. "I think I'm going to throw up." She stood up with concern as I bolted upstairs and closed the door to my room sobbing uncontrollably. "What the fuck is this God? I don't understand. I always knew he was a good man. I always admired him. Why didn't he ever see me the way I saw him? Why didn't he ever like me?" I cried and cried, trying to keep my voice low. "I don't understand God. Why is everyone getting married and I have yet to even meet a man who would admit that he LIKED me? Am I that unloveable? Why is Kim having to FIGHT men off of her and I still don't know what it's like for a man to even be interested in being with me? I don't get it. Please just tell me what's wrong with me so I can fix it? Why did you bring me here to see this God? Why did you do this to me?" Suddenly there was a soft knock on the door. I stood up straight and wiped my face. I walked over and turned the knob. Donovan stood there looking down at my and stepped back to allow him inside. He closed the door and put his arm around me and once again...just like in college..I was crying on him. Stupid! ughh! I never act right around this man. "Tee," he began. "It's okay. You know what? I am so proud of you. You inspire me and you have no idea how much." "That's cool," I said, trying to act like I'm okay. "I'm fly every day, all day! I'ma be alright," I said and pushed him out of the room.
I sat on the bed and put my face in the palm of my hand. I can't hate her. I can't. I can't hate her so I have to bless her. I walked quickly to the bathroom to wash my face and I walked back downstairs. I grabbed my plate and emptied it because my appetite had dissappeared. I sat down next to Ashley on the couch and said, "I want to give you a blessing." "Ok," she smiled and looked me in my eyes. "From this day forward you will no longer walk in confusion. God has all of your days ordained and covered and He is walking with you. You are a blessed woman of God and your family will be blessed by your hand. Miracle after miracle will begin to happen in your life and the peace that comes with it will be amazing. God loves you and He is with you every step of the way in your relationship and in your search for your passion. Be blessed." She hugged me tightly and thanked me for blessing her. I sat back and was relieved. She really is a remarkable woman. I can totally see why he's marrying her. I'd marry her if I could. She made a drink for me and left me and Donovan on the couch to talk. We chatted for a bit and then went to bed. The next morning when I woke up she was gone and he knocked on my door asking me if I had any clothes that needed ironing. I handed him a t-shirt and he gave it back to me after a few minutes. He ironed my clothes! Wow. He takes such good care of me. He always has. Ashley is so lucky! We pulled out of house and headed toward the airport just talking and talking. Our conversation flowed so easily and we have similar attitudes about life. I always knew he was a good man. I always knew it! Before we arrived at the airport we made a detour to the bank. He went over to the ATM and when he came back he handed me a wad of cash. "Thanks D!" "No problem. God has blessed me to be able to do this. I want you to be able to do your thing." He always looks out for me. Our flights were scheduled to depart 15 minutes apart from each other with him arriving in Dallas and me arriving in Houston.
We shared breakfast at the airport and chatted away, all the while he is reminding me that God has a special man for me. "Tee, the problem is that you have not met any real men yet. A real man won't be intimidated by where you're going in life. A real man will be available and willing to help you get there. A real man won't act in spite because you are blessed. When you meet that REAL MAN you'll know. But he may not come in the form you expect him to." "Well, he better not be broke!" I said. "Tee, he won't be. You'll be equally yoked. He'll be just right for you." "I don't want to talk about this anymore. I'm tired of hearing about how some man will love me one day." "Okay, then we won't talk about it." "D, do you think we could have ever been together?" "Tee, I think we work better as friends because where you are going in your life does not match up with where I'm going. I would stifle you and that's not what you need. Ashley is what I need, she's going to be a support for me in the way that I need. Even though you could probably do what she is doing, you wouldn't be able to be all you can be. I wouldn't want to be the cause of that." "Why didn't you ever try to talk to me all those years?" I asked him. "I thought about it. I thought about it that night when I took you home from the party. Remember I watched you grow up. You were a cute little girl back in highschool but when you came to college, I thought you were fine then. I wanted to holla but I just couldn't. You were way too sweet and your spirit was so good that I didn't want you to have to join the 'I HATE DON Club' that all of the other women in my life were a part of. I knew I wasn't ready to give you what you needed so I stayed in your life just enough that you would feel comfortable coming to me when you needed help. You deserved better than what I could give you at the time. And even now...you deserve more than I could give you." "But why her? What is it about her?" "Tee, I prayed for her. And she came exactly as I prayed. And what it boils down to is timing. When I met her I was at a time in my life where I wanted a serious relationship with a woman. She showed up at the right time." "Do you have any doubts about this marriage thing?" "None. I just know that I can't do anything to mess up what she and I have built for the past year and a half and I won't, no matter what. That's my shorty." I checked the time and stood up to clear the table. "Have a safe flight. I'll see you in Dallas," he said and I gave him a hug before rushing to my terminal to catch my flight to Houston.
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