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  • Writer's pictureCici.B


“I started dating this guy and I reallllly like him,” Ivy began.

I perked up in my seat and batted my eyelashes, “Oh? Do tell.”

Weeellll,” she blushed. “He’s like super sweet, makes me laugh, is a complete gentleman, annnnd…his D game is on point!”

I smiled, “Okay! What’s his name? How old is he? Where did you meet him? When did y’all start dating? What does he do for a living? Gimme the deets!”

She laughed, “So his name is Daryl. He’s 34.”

“Okay, Darryylll who’s the same age as us.”

“Right?! I met him at the house party, well, more like the small gathering that I went to with Anna last month.”

“See! Look at that. You never know where you can meet someone,” I beamed.

“Exactly!” she agreed. “Ugh. He’s just such a breath of fresh air, B. Like, the way he looks at me, the way he speaks tenderly to me, the way he sends me sweet and thoughtful messages throughout the day while I’m at work…” she sighed and I could tell she was replaying all that she was saying in her head.

“Look at yoooou. Okay, so what does he do for a living?”

My question seemed to have pulled her out of the cloud she was on and dropped her onto the pavement.

She fidgeted, “Um…well…okay so here’s the thing about that.”

I sucked my teeth, “Oh, here the fuck we go.”

“Nah, B!” She laughed, “Wait, just hear me out!”

I rolled my eyes, “Girl, no. ‘Cause anytime your ass starts anything with ‘just hear me out’ when it comes to a man, it’s because you’re getting ready to make some type of wack ass excuse for him that you want me to validate. I’m not doing this with you today.”

She laughed some more, “Nah, B! For real. Just listen. So, okay. He doesn’t have a job right noooow, but that’s because he’s an artist and he decided to quit his job to pursue his dreams, B! And his work is really good. I’ve listened to some stuff.”

I blinked slowly and intentionally, then leaned into the table and whispered across it through gritted teeth, “Ivy… are you fucking a 34 year old, jobless, Montreal rapper who posts his SoundCloud links on Facebook — FACEBOOK — with captions that read ‘support your local artist’? Is this what I’m hearing right now?”

She scratched the back of her neck and winced, “May…maybe?”

“I want you to leave me alone, Ivy.”

She cracked up, “B!”

“Actually, no. Lemme ask—when did he quit his job?”

Again, she winced, “A year ago.”

“Uh huh. And who does he live with, Ivy?”

She squeezed her eyes shut, “With his mom.”

“Right. Y’all eat when you’re together?”


“Whose been paying for the food, Ivy?”

“I-I do.”

“Uh huh. How many nights a week does he sleep at your house, Ivy?”

“Um…he-he’s been…kinda staying with me.”

“Right. Leave me alone please, Ivy.”

She threw back her head and laughed again, “B! Come ooooonnn-aaahhh. Didn’t you hear all the positive things about him?”

“No, Heifa. No I didn’t. What I heard was that my 34 year old, 90K-a-year-making-friend who has worked her ass off to get where she is has opened her home to a man who only has a dick and a gawt damn SoundCloud link, and can’t even afford to pay for a meal - that’s what the fuck I heard.

No shit he’s a sweet talker and texter throughout the day, he ain’t got shit else to do during the day, Ivy! And duh his dick game is gonna be on point, homeboy can’t be broke AND have weak dick, he knew he had to pick a struggle!” I sucked my teeth again, rubbed my temples, and cracked a smile, “You’re stressing me out.”

Ivy took a sip of her sparkling water then sat back in her chair, still giggling, “You wanna hear one of his tracks?”

Unable to contain ourselves, we both busting out laughing. When we finally caught our breath, I shook my head, “Girl…at the end of the day, you’re gonna do what you’re gonna do. I just know you’re worth more than a lot of these dudes you settle for. It’s one thing to fuck around and have some fun with a little hit and run, but homeboy is all up in your home like it’s his already. If you fuck around and get pregnant, you’re not allowed to complain after that he’s a deadbeat, bum of a babydaddy, and never has any money to help take care of his kid. I don’t want to hear it because remember—that’s who he was when you took him in.”

Ivy waved her hand, dismissing the warning, “Ain’t no one getting pregnant, B.”

Ivy and I had that conversation four years ago. Not only did she in fact end up getting pregnant and having that man’s child, but she also racked up almost 20K in debt “lending” him money to pay for his studio time and low-budget music videos. He never could afford to pay her back because when he finally did get a job, he made sure it was part-time as he didn’t want it to “interfere with his music”.

We’re all thirty-eight years old now. Ivy finally kicked Daryl out of her home a year after she had the baby, when she found out that he was cheating on her. I wasn’t even surprised when she told me. Men like him always come filled to the brim with audacity. The woman he cheated on her with didn’t know she was the other woman. She didn’t even know he had a baby. She only found out about Ivy and the baby because she bumped into all three of them together at the grocery store one day.

A mess.

Daryl went back to his room at his mother’s house. And yes, he can still be found posting his SoundCloud links to Facebook.

Moral of the story? I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

P.S I'm 38 now and am in a very happy, healthy relationship; however, I spent the majority of twenties in a few pretty toxic ones. If you want to read about my journey, you can click here. Sometimes just knowing that another woman has been where you are and made it through, can make all the difference in the world.

Much love,


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