Let's Talk, Leah
Written By Basel Davis
Love is a beautiful thing. Love will distract you from all those things that made getting through the day seem so hard.
Love can both fast forward an afternoon of reality and slow down a night of passion. Love is what encouraged me to get on one knee and ask my fiance, Ryleah, for her hand in marriage.
Leah was a striking young Queen with a fiery personality. She was sensitive, but she was brave. She was quick witted, yet she was patient. She was a unique combination of humble and confident.
I loved her. I still do, and I wish that I believed that she still loved me.
I took my final shot. Swish. I was overjoyed to see it slowly roll off the left side of the rim as if I were in a Netflix Original Suspense movie.
Each and every made shot meant so much as I held on to the last remaining simplistic aspect of my life. My relationship with my fiance was far from perfect. We had fun. We had intimacy.
We had sex. Unfortunately, we didn't have unity. I often thought to myself, "Maybe you're overreacting, Marlon.
Afterall, isn't that what marriage is? How could we feel truly united if we had yet to bring our unity in front of a pastor in matrimony?
" The questions weighing on my mind at least did one thing for me. They gave me an excuse to settle for less than what I felt I needed in a partner.
Knock knock. "Who's there?" I heard as I stood at my front door.
"It's me, Sylly", I replied. Brrrrrr. All my adrenaline had worn off and I was freezing. After a moment, my niece, Sylvia came to open the door. Sylvia was a very frequent guest at our home.
Her mother, my sister-in-law, Aleeyah worked night shifts and often let her spend the night with my daughter, Renee. "Where's your Auntie Leah?" I asked in confusion.
She said, "She went to Panda Express to pick up dinner," I had already thawed my meats and had intended to make Tiki Masala pasta. "Oh. Okay." I responded in disappointment.
After nearly an hour passed by, Leah returned home with 3 containers of General Tso's chicken and 1 order of shrimp fried rice. She looked stunning.
She wore a long fluffy white coat with fitted black-T and all white Arizona jeans, held up by a beautiful back Hermes belt. Her luxurious golden blonde hair was swept behind her left ear.
Her smile was as bright as ever. Her breasts were rich and full. Her curves relaxed in all the right places. I was so fond of her presence.
"You know you could've communicated that you were going to pick up Chinese. I had planned to prepare a feast." I addressed. "We didn't want what you were cooking. We wanted Panda Express.
" she insisted. "I passed Panda Express on the way home from the park. I could've picked it up." I interjected. Going back and forth was pointless and draining, especially in front of Renee.
We had both realized it at this point. We lacked a method of cohesive communication. The most simple disagreements so often lead to spending time in separate rooms, or worse, separate houses.
` Once upon a time, Leah accused me of cheating, when the truth was that I was faithful. I understood her insecurity was due to prior events that took place within our relationship.
Patience is so important, and I have been well-known to be severely lacking in said category.
I couldn't bear with the fact that the only thing that seemed to maintain consistency within our household, outside of our unwavering love for our daughter, was her constant accusations.
One day, I got angry and lashed out about it, and that led to us separating for 8 years.
At this point in our adult lives, I had to realize infidelity wasn't our problem and neither were petty accusations. Our concern needed to be communication.
Despite that conclusion, even as an engaged couple, we'd yet to make the much needed progress in that aspect of our partnership, if you could even call it that. I took a bite of my warm chicken.
Mmm mmm mmm. "Isn't it delicious?" she asked me with charm. "It's delicious, baby" I agreed. "Dad, did you know Sylvia got named most likely to succeed in the yearbook?" Renee asked.
"No, I didn't know that. Congratulations, Sylvia!" I said with a cheek full of departed kittens. "I'm proud of you, pretty girl.
How about we head to Lennox after dinner and celebrate with a little shopping spree." Leah added.
I chimed in adding, "Or you could wait until she actually succeeds and she can take us on a shopping spree." Leah rolled her eyes.
It didn't take long to realize my unprepared response didn't go over well with my audience.
Leah's shopping spree idea is exactly what I'm referring to when I say WE LACK COMMUNICATION. It's cool to take your niece shopping. I get that. Plus, Sylvia deserves it.
She's at the top of all her classes. She's the best defender on the Soccer team.
She is a great friend to Renee and always gives her the responsible advice on how to juggle the struggle that is eighth grade. Still, the yearbook was months away from coming out.
We hadn't set a date for our wedding yet or even calculated the costs.
As dinner reached its end, the kids had made their way to their room to do what middle school girls do. Ryleah and I made our way to the living room.
I wrapped my arm around her, in hopes that I could keep her warm. She was scrolling through TikToks on her phone.
It was then that she came across a video saying, "When you're 20 strokes into Pound Town and realize you're a lesbian." and began to laught hysterically.
"This aint funny?" She asked me in confusion once she noticed I did not seem amused. "No," I stated simply. She continued to scroll.
Leah had more than once noted to me that she is only sexually attracted to women. We're engaged. We have a child together. How could we have made it this far, if she's always been gay.
Was I just feminine enough? Was I a cover up? Would it be selfish to acknowledge my confusion, and risk confusing her even more?
All these questions lived in my head rent free, inviting related questions daily.
As I laid awake in my bed, I craved answers, but I also feared them.
Could the wrong question lead to destroying the bond that we'd put in so much time to build? Flustered with anxiety, I rose up. "Sweetheart, I'm heading to bed," I said. "Okay." she replied.
Okay? That's it? There was no way that this woman has ever truly been in love with me. I'm not a runaway pig that needs to be chased, I get that.
Still, I feel that everyone has a desire to feel desired. It wasn't about having all the girls in the world for me. Since the first time saw Ryleah Haymonds, I knew she was the 1 for me.
My love for her continues to grow for her over the years. Her love for me seems to fade more and more day by day, or maybe her act is just getting more tiresome.
I felt so wrong. I knew I couldn't be happy spending my life in a facade. The person that I was in love with could never be in love with me. I could never be her soulmate. I was no man.
These depressing thoughts continued to eat me up through the night. I lost sight of what love was. I lost sight of who I was.
At around 2 AM, Leah made her way into the bedroom. I kept my eyelids clinched, hoping to avoid any conflict."OW!" she shouted in pain.
She must've stepped on one of the miscellaneous items sprawled across the floor. I couldn't resist. "If you cleaned up sometimes, you wouldn't have hurt yourself." I commented.
"Was that necessary?" Leah asked in an annoyed tone. "I don't know. If this room looks better than this tomorrow night than I guess it was necessary," I answered. We were both clearly exhausted.
She cursed, "You're an asshole," Taking no offense, it was clear something had to be done. "Let's talk, Leah. Let's talk about our future." I insisted.
I continued, "How do we handle raising a 7th grade girl, our careers, planning a wedding, and keeping this house clean?
" She replied, "I think we could use an organized schedule, but one that's not too demanding.
A lot of the times that you put together a schedule, you overwhelm yourself with an unreasonable amount of tasks." I nodded.
"Your last schedule had you running around trying to do so many things each hour and it's too much for any 1 person to handle.
I think you need to organize your time better and be more realistic." She stated. "You could help me make one." I suggested. "I didn't know this was an argument.
" she responded in a familiar annoyed tone.
Arguing after 2 AM was the last thing I wanted. I didn't feel comfortable communicating with my fiance. That issue was growing.
We made a habit of replacing disrespect with silence until one of us couldn't hold our thoughts in anymore. At this point, my life was a circuit of connected time bombs waiting to explode.
At any moment, Leah could walk out and find someone that she is truly in love with. I couldn't rescind the engagement. Renee would be devastated.
Besides that, the truth was that I was still madly in love with Ryleah Hammonds. That fact would never change.
I didn't know what to do. We laid next to each other, on opposite sides of our king sized mattress. I knew she wasn't asleep. Her breaths would have been much heavier.
Still, we laid there quietly. I couldn't take it anymore. I needed help. I hopped off the bed and dropped to my knees. I bowed my head and began to quietly pray, "Oh Lord, I need you.
I am a sinner. Please forgive me for my multitude of sins and hear my prayer, God. My Lord, I must know the truth.
My love cannot be true if it is what is keeping my love from finding her true love."
After my prayer, I returned to my bed. I held on tightly to my woman. I brushed her ear behind her ear, and I whispered to her, "I want to spend the rest of my life with you, my Queen.
" With her eyes closed she whispered directly at me "Shhh." I closed my eyes and fell into a deep sleep. When I awoke, she was no longer in my bed. That was 7 years ago.
Today, I am sitting at Leah's dream wedding. Her wife-to-be is 3 months pregnant. I couldn't be more happy for her.