It was the spring semester of 2012 and I was a sophomore in college. Outside of going to class, I spent most of my time with the Nation of Islam. I was often on Louisiana Tech’s campus praying and eating with one of my Muslim brothers. I spent most of my weekends on the corners in Monroe’s “Booker T” hood selling Final Call newspapers and fruit bags. My grades were good but they weren’t great.
My dad had a talk with me about my grades over the Christmas break. He told me, “I didn’t send you to college to find yourself, if you want to get into a good graduate school, you’re going to need to graduate with over a 3.5”
I mostly blew that off but it did get me to thinking about my social life. I had friends that I made freshmen year but I was starting to see them less. We’d go to the cafeteria together, play my NCAA together in the dorm room, but I was starting to miss out on the campus life. On top of that, I was starting to feel lonely.
At the time, I had been single for about two years and every woman that I met seemed like a dead end.
At the beginning of the semester my best friend Josh called, he had been talking to this girl named Asia and he really seemed to like her. She had a friend too. Her name was Tarlynn. Tarlynn was also looking to date. So Josh and Asia put us in the door together. and here we gooooo
Lets get on with this life story….
We started texting and we quickly hit it off. Tarlynn had a goofy and somewhat alternative personality. She didn’t seem like a typical southern woman at all. She was more like the women that I’ve met in California than many other women in Louisiana. We would text all day and eventually she started calling me.
She worked at Wendy’s and she worked the midnight shift. She’d often called me at 2 AM after she got off of work. I got used to waking up to 2 AM calls and I enjoyed them. I would talk about class and make corny jokes. She would laugh and talk about her favorite TV shows. As our friendship started to develop, she started letting me in on her personal life. She had great disdain for her absentee father and she had a great admiration for her mother who graduated from Southern University. She was raised by her mom.
As time went on, I began to learn about her ex-boyfriend.
He was a street nigga and the more she described him, the more I didn’t understand why she was ever with him. She was 18 and he was 24. They got together while she was still a minor. He had been in and out of jail, he didn’t have a job and he was just trapped in their little delta town. He also had a baby with another woman. She wouldn’t outright admit it but I figured that he had the baby while they were together.
At the time, the baby mama was her biggest headache. Tarlynn would call me and say, “My ex just rolled through the drive thru with his baby mama and she ordered and said bitch I want the value chicken nuggets and hoe, add a junior bacon cheese burger”. She saw them in the Dollar Store and the baby mama thoroughly cursed her out again. The baby mama also attacked her online and constantly made Facebook statuses calling her names like skank, tramp, heifer, etc.
I always asked if her ex ever stood up for her or anything. She would always say, “He didn’t do or say anything, fuck that worthless nigga”. She told me that she was trying to put him behind he, but the harassment online and at work made it hard.
Spring break came in April and I was heading back to Baton Rouge for a week. We set up a date and we were excited. She lived in Tangibahoia Parish which was 45 minutes East of BR on the I-10 highway.
Once I told my boy Josh about the date, he thought a double date would be a cool idea. Asia, who was now his girlfriend, lived near Tarlynn and didn’t have a vehicle. They rarely got to see each other. Tarlynn agreed and it seemed like it was going to be dope. We planned a walk around the mall, dinner, and a movie.
My parents let me borrow their Lexus and Tarlynn would park at the mall. I would drive everyone around to our different destinations.
When I first saw her, she looked good. She wore a light blue sundress, she was 5’8, and she had a slim thick figure that looked amazing. As her and Asia walked into Victoria’s Secret, my patna Josh turned to me and said, “You ended up with the better one.” I didn’t know he’d attempt to ruin my date because of it though.
After that, Josh started showing out in a way that truly frustrated me. He started trying to crack all of these little jokes on every statement that I said and it got really annoying. At one point Asia was like, “Josh, you got to chill.” Tarlynn, who was enjoying the date, could tell I was getting frustrated. She tried to get us some alone time away from them but that only lasted five minutes.
We went to Olive Garden for dinner and Josh got worse. I had to tell him to shut up a couple times.
I wore this necklace I had made with a black chrome Africa on it. When I first showed it to Josh when I picked him up, I told him that I thought the guy put the Africa on backwards. He didn’t get it at the time because most people don’t know which way Africa faces. He said, “It looks fine to me.”
At dinner, Tarlynn told me that she liked my necklace and Josh said, “The Africa is on backwards hahaha.”
We got up and went to the movies and that was the best part. We didn’t have to hear Josh. I was obviously frustrated and I was in disbelief of how my best friend was acting.
We said our goodbyes and gave Josh sometime with Asia in the car. I went home and complained to my brother. I said that I was never double dating with him again.
Tarlynn text me and told me she had a good time. She admitted that Josh ruined the mood at times but she was willing to come back down later in the week for us to have a solo date. I was happy because I thought she’d never want to talk again. I ended up having to cancel the date and things got weird afterwards.
I went back to Grambling to finish my semester and everything was okay until mid May. I noticed something was different because I stopped getting those 2 AM calls so I tried setting up calls. We’d text and midway through the conversation I’d schedule our phone calls. She never said no. It was always, “Yeah I’m down, can’t wait.”
She wouldn’t call. When I called, she wouldn’t answer and she’d send me a text asking to talk the next day. Eventually, she wouldn’t even text after a missed call. After about two weeks of this, I spoke with Josh about it. He talked with Asia and wow. They called me on 3-way and Asia told me, “She’s stuck on trying to make it work with her ex, and she wont listen to any of her friends and leave him alone.” Then a light bulb went off in my 20 year old brain. She wasn’t getting harassed at work and online because the baby mama was evil. She was getting harassed because she was still messing around with that street nigga while he was in another relationship!!!
I left Tarlynn alone but as my life got better hers got more crazy.
6 months later, I got sick and had to transfer back home to Southern University for that semester of school. Josh told me that Tarlynn was trying to enroll there as well and asked if I would be cool with showing her around campus. I was down. She texted me with a few emojis and explained that she was trying to enroll in school. She wanted to be a nurse like her mother was.
She got flirtatious again, but Josh told me that she was pregnant with that street nigga’s child. Wow.
She never enrolled and I figured that I’d never hear from Tarlynn again.
3 years later……
I was finishing up grad school and we reconnected on Facebook. She was four babies in with this street nigga now. She had another baby and a set of twins. They still weren’t together and he was nowhere to be found. She told me that she got fed up of dealing with him and he wasn’t a part of her family’s life at all.
I told her that I accepted a teaching job out in California and I was moving in two months. She congratulated me on the job and made an effort to get back in my good graces for a month. She called me often. She would talk about how she was going to be the best mom no matter what. She didn’t want her kids to have to depend on their dad for anything. She didn’t even want him paying child support.
I thought she was out of her rabbit ass mind when she told me that she wanted to come to California with me. She told me that she was looking to leave Louisiana and that she would be the most chill roommate ever (with her four damn kids). When she started saying that, I just stopped talking to her. I’m not a captain-save-your-ass. I never will be.
About a year into my move to Cali, me and Josh (who had been broken up with Asia for a few years now) were talking. Tarlynn came up and I told him how she was really trying to come out to California with me. He laugh and said, “Asia called me a while back and told me that Tarlynn found out that she got Herpes and it’s from the same nigga she been running after these last seven years”