Story: Coming Out Alive (Excerpt)
March 5, 2021
(This is an excerpt from my story posted October 16. 2020 for anyone who would like to read the entire story. Remember: Never let anyone put a condition on you concerning God’s love. God love’s us UNCONDITIONALLY!)
“Baby, I want us to look at some houses this weekend; I have already spoken to a realtor.” When I didn’t respond he asked, “Baby, did you hear me?” What I realized in that moment was that you don’t have to be drowning to see your whole life flash before your eyes. “Yes, honey, I heard you” I said. My stomach was turning as I realize he had made a decision that we were going to live together.
While returning home from an after hour jazz spot we became engaged in a conversation. We had ridden with another couple and it was his friend that was driving. As we conversed the dialog became heated. “Honey, I can’t do this”, I continued to say. The friend who was driving turned the music up and honestly fear gripped me. Was this an attempt to drown out the argument or to cover up what could happen next? The discussion continued. “I don’t understand what you mean, can’t do what?” “It's time we go our separate way; your life is taking a turn with people that scare me”. “Baby, I will let nothing happen to you”. “I know you wouldn’t, but this group you are getting mixed up with is bad, terrible. We can talk about it later”, I said as we stopped in front of my place. “No, there is nothing to talk about later”, he responded. “Well, I’ve decided,” I said getting out the car closing the door.
When I heard the car door open and close behind me, instinct said run and I did. As I opened my front door we both fell in and hit the floor. We both were on the floor fighting for our lives, I was fighting for my life and he was fighting to keep me in his life. I didn’t see anger in his eyes as he picked me up and threw me against the wall. As he knocked me back to the floor the last thing I thought I heard was him crying. I must have blacked out, because I was now staring out the open front door and it was daylight.
As I got up and was closing the door, two neighborhood guys were passing by and saw me. “Hell, babe, what happen to you,” one asked”? Sometimes you really don’t know what you have let into your inner being until a situation arises that you have to call it forth. “Hey man, can you get me a gun,” I asked. “Sure, I’ll be back, get yourself cleaned up” was all he said.
I found out the guys that hung on the street corner can be your best allies, especially when you have declared war. Shortly after moving into the neighborhood, I realized this was their home. They protected what they considered their territory.
My man had beaten the hell out of me and something in me snapped. This could never happen again; my protector was now my enemy. I could not even know how this day that had just started would end. I would learn later that when I exited the car the night before his buddy who was driving said to him, “If you don’t know how to control your woman, how do you expect to handle business.” Of course he was referring to their upcoming venture in expanding their business.
Within an hour a knock came on my door. “Come on in,” I yelled out. “Ok, baby, you know how to use one of these” he said handing me the gun. “I will as soon as you tell me and you will tell me”, I said with a tone of stern defiance, with a voice I had never heard. “Ok, this is simple”, he responded. With a quick lesson, I finished getting dressed and headed out. When I walked out of my house and turned to head for my car. It shocked me to see there were about 20 guys standing there looking at me. “I rounded up some guys and we are going with you” was all I heard before I broke down and realized for the first time in a long time I had not cried.
Standing there staring into their eyes, I knew they meant business. Neighborhood guys going up against organized gangsters were not what I wanted. I didn’t think the odds were good for either side. After a moment I thanked them and told them this was my fight and I couldn’t live with myself if any of them got hurt. “Ok. Babe, I will check on you later” my neighbor said.
Instinct told me it was a front my neighbor was putting up, because when I drove off I felt I wasn’t alone. In my mind I was already on my way to jail for killing this man. Something inside of me had snapped. I had no God, no man and now no me, because even though I came to from his beating, I had died inside.
After going to a couple places I knew my man might be, the word got to him I was looking for him. I got the word from a friend he had left the state. Later, I realized he left to keep from killing me or to make sure none of his boys killed me. What he didn’t know I died the moment he hit me.
It seemed night had come, so I decided to just park for a while and think. When I looked to my left, I was in front of one of those store-front churches. A sign on the outside read “Chicken and Fish Dinners for Sale”. When I walked in the church the major part was empty. I could hear people talking in the back where the dinners were being sold. I sat close to the front door and just stared at a picture of Jesus hanging on the cross in the pulpit.
Never comparing the pain between us, I wanted to hang my head and die too if it would cause me to not feel this pain. So deep in my thoughts I didn’t know someone had sat down beside me until I heard her say, “He loves you”. My irrational thinking went straight to my man because, never considering she was talking about Jesus. I looked at her and said, “I have to kill him” and pulled out the gun. She said, “honey child, I am talking about God loving you”. I don’t know if she started praying because I broke out in laughter or because I scared her so badly with the gun.
I had never in my life heard anyone pray like she prayed. She turned and looked at me,” you may not understand this now, but God loves you, he wants you back. He has a plan for your life. The person you want to kill, his death will take you down a horrible path, please don’t do it. The consequent will be more than you can imagine.”
After getting into my car and watching this lady walking down the street, I closed my eyes and rehearsed the words she said to me “God loves you”. She was right; the consequences for killing someone would come with a penalty I would not have wanted to pay. Some months later, I was told that my ex had come back into the city to get set up. One of his rival who wanted his place had bought in some heavy weights from another state.
They found him and a female shot to death in his new home. I didn’t start back going to church right away. When I did I heard about God’s unconditional love. It blew me away to know I didn’t have to do anything for God to love me, he just did. It freed me to learn the “Grace” of God blesses us despite our unworthiness. Listening to these messages of God broke up the hard places within me. They had to break. I wanted to make sure God’s love got inside.
(All Stories and Poetry is originally mine and has Copyrights!)
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