During the insidious adventures of JT he learns some hard truths about himself
Prisoner Of Love
That inevitable moment arrived, and we both knew it was coming. Time for JT to leave and move on to the next adventure. This time I wasn’t really sure if I wanted new a new adventure. More unsettling was I wasn’t sure how I felt about Jo. Could it be love? Maybe. Not the traditional type of love but a strange and alluring love that grabs hold while your not paying attention. A love who‘s destiny it was to fail. One that started as a time bomb of sexual tensions that made good on its promise to fulfill both our intense needs and then must fizzle out. That was all it was supposed to be, two lovers sharing the comfort of each other for just a short time. But the sexual volcano erupted and the lava it released was strong and unfamiliar. Is it emotional feelings? Not good! Not good at all!
We agreed from the start that before her boyfriend got back home we would go our separate ways and we were okay with that. No attachments, no bullshit, not strings. At the time it seemed like a good idea but I never considered that emotions might figure into the equation. I mean sex without commitment should be a young mans dream. And the sex was good, god damn was it good. Reckless abandon. She put the music on real loud to drown out our very loud sexually motivated squeals and promises . I can’t even remember half the shit I said but the half I do remember all involved me pleading gods name louder than I ever did before. So often and so loud you woulda thought I was a devout follower.
The fact that no strings were attached was what made it so intriguing. It wasn’t supposed to happen but I was pretty sure I did love Jo. I reasoned I was just not in love with her. At least I didn’t think I was. She understood me the way Tina had, we intertwined emotionally the way Carrie and I had, yet I knew from the start she was unattainable. Maybe that was it, maybe just wanting something I know I can’t have is whats driving these feelings?! One thing I was certain of is Josie and I were really good together, even our conversations were deep. But it was time to discard the emotions and say good by. Who knew it would be so difficult. We laid naked in bed in a satiated silence after what was presumably our final high energy fling. Anyway we went at it as if it were our last time either of us would ever make love again. So much determination and passion we were motionless for over an hour before she spoke.
“JT Sweetie, I sweer I ain’t never gonna firget you baby. But y’all know Jake is coming back tomorrah and you bess be long gone for then.” She placed her head on my chest using her soft curls as a pillow. She tenderly reached around my shoulder to lightly scratch the back of my neck. “Why does it have to end Jo? Why can’t you come up north with me?” She moved her hand to my lips, “Shush now Justin, y’all know that caint happen. Things is way differnt down here baby. Things is expected of a gurl down here. My Mama won’t never furgive me an my Papa, well Papa ain‘t one to anger up none.…Ya don’t wanna be puttin no bee in yer bonnet with Papa, Honey J. I juss caint do that, my future got be with Jake. Thats the way its spose to go. I got to think about the future.” I placed my arms around her and planted her head firmly between my neck and chin to caress her with my cheek. “It doesn’t have to go like that. You are in charge of your future. You make your choices. There ain’t no reason you can’t leave here. Hell baby child even if its not with me why get married to someone you don’t love? Trust me, that shit don’t end well at all, I been there and it sucks.” I could feel a tear on her cheek. She sat up, “JT, that’s not how life is here in Conway South Carolina. I gotta answer to Jesus. I know y’all don unerstand that but it means a lot here Baby Boy. A girls folks expeck her to marry the man they wants fur her to marry, have chillen and raise them to fear the lord. Womens don’t get to do no choosin’ round here. A girls past can foller her around an make her life horrible if ya goes against thangs. My past is determining my future, and my past is with Jake. So now my future got to be that way too, Sugarpie. Don’t matter none what I wants.” I looked at her incredulously. “That’s not true Jo it matters very much what you want. Its your life pretty girl. Your past only determines who you were. Its what lead you to your present but it sure ain‘t who you are now. You can’t live in the past Babydoll that’s over. Your past is gone, you own your future.” I gently kissed her on the temple. “Listen to your heart Jo, what’s your heart saying? The heart knows because the heart lives in the present and begs you for a future. A future that you want, not what god or Jesus or your mom and dad want, but what Josie wants! You’re not defined by your past and you can rewrite your future Sweet Thing. Listen to your heart. I think I hear it whispering my name.” She smiled a half smile that told a hundred stories. The story of the past two weeks, the story of a girl and a boy sharing the most perfect moment in time. It hinted at what could be while at the same time mercilessly reminded her of her fate. It told of deep stories of sadness and defeat, told by a lonely girl who believes she has no control over her own life. Stories of things gone by and things to come, but not the story of the now, the right here. No stories of a happy ever after with me or of endless possibilities. A smile that is fighting the sadness underneath, a profound smile with eyes that confirmed the feeling of hopelessness. “Weeze all defined by our pasts JT, ain’t none of us can rewrite the future no matter how much we want to. The heart only lives in the present because its afraid of breaking. Like mine is this here right this second. I dint never spect this to be so hard baby. I aint even sure how it happened, but we had us two weeks of bliss and I ain‘t sorry bout a second of it. But it got an endin sugar, I‘m sorry but as much as it hurts me this song is ending. Every song ends. I sure done wannit to stop neither but that’s my life honeypie. Things happen for a reason an we juss gotta figger out what the reason fur us was.”
We embraced deep in thought for a few minutes. This feeling was so foreign to me. Fuck man, am I starting to grow up? I’m not sure why but I still wasn’t ready to let this all just slip away, “Jo baby listen” I sat up and took her hands in mine. We stared into each others soul with piercing compassion. Our eyes embraced. “The past doesn’t matter Josie Rae. You done things in the past and I done things in the past but that’s history, not destiny. Maybe its our destiny to look beyond our pasts and think about a future. I never really thought that things happen for a reason, like fate or anything. I always believed everything was random and just happened. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe shits not just random. All the things that happened to me were so we could meet. That’s why I took a trip with people I knew I had no business being with. That’s why I got busted and stuck in jail. To meet you. I learned a lot about myself doing my time in prison. Maybe I was in prison to straighten my head and to get ready for you and me.” Now her smile was thoughtful, she was fully aware she was in complete control of everything. One of the things I love about her. (did I say love?) “Sweetie, you wasn’t in no prison. You was in jail Baby Boy. You spent time incarcerated in a southern jail, and maybe you sure enough did do some growin there, but it was just a jail, not a prison. People like you an me we carry our prisons on our backs. It sure nuff don’t seem right but thets how it is fur our kind. We dream but we ain’t never in control of our dreams, not really. Way I figger it weeze born wit the prison on our backs, you an me. We likely carry’em tar graves. And we been out of prison for four glorious week, maybe the best four weeks of my life. Leastwise the happiest. That’s what I got hon, an that’s gun be my most precious memory. I sure hope its yers too, cuz it shore was like heaven. For four weeks Justin you let me out of prison and I will always be thankful for that. But I got to take my prison back tomorrow, and I recon youse gonna fine yersff a prison you can live with too. Leastwise I recon you will. Lets juss firget all bout this now an just be happy with each other one last time. Lets make love once more afore you leave.”
I had no argument left, she was right. I did carry a prison on my back, I always had. Besides, over time she would get tired or bored of me, or worse, something bad would happen to her. No one stays with JT. Not for long anyway. That was my prison, a life that’s a plague of death and abandonment. Like I always seem to do I get hung up on the people that leave my life, Joe, James, Ken, Bill, June, an even my mom. I put them aside and thought about the past four weeks and I gave her the most passionate kiss I was capable of. Then we made love. We made love for over an hour, not with reckless abandon this time, but with calculated tenderness. When we finished we wrapped our arms around each other and never spoke another word. We both fell asleep and when I woke up it was six o’clock. I quietly got out of bed and kissed Josie Rae Sessions on the cheek and whispered, “I don’t care what you say pretty girl, I love you.” I could swear she smiled but whether he did or not, the only fair thing for me to do for her was to exit quietly. At that moment I knew I did in fact love her and that’s why I have to go. That’s how much a really love her, my staying would only hurt her. I let my heart break so she could go where she truly believed he belonged. It wasn’t right, it totally sucked but thats the kind of shit you do for real love. Sacrifice. Love comes with consequences and you gamble on some pain. I learned how much love really can hurt, how my love for one woman was so strong I broke my own heart to allow her to follow hers. Right or wrong, that wasn’t for me to choose. I had my life to focus on now. I washed up, got dressed and left. I left with exactly what I had arrived with four weeks ago. My wallet, my clothes, and the prison on my back.