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About a Bracelet and the Hoe Wide World


As I opened my eyes, shadows and flashes of blue light danced across the ceiling. “Where am I and what time is it?” I thought. Trying to collect myself, I rolled over to find Nathan fast asleep. Since the TV was playing the latest infomercial, I worried it was late. Dropping my arm off the side of the bed, I rummaged through my purse to find my phone. 1:14 AM it illuminated. “Ugh,” I thought. “Why do I always fall asleep for so long?” Given that I had class in the morning and I’m not a morning person anyways, I decided to head back home to campus and spare myself from early morning traffic. Slithering out of bed, I collected my belongings as quietly as possible. As I tip-toed towards the door, winding in and out between piles of clothes and books, I made a move for the TV. “Power . . . power.” With my fingers tracing the TV’s dashboard, my eyes strained to see the power button. Presto. The room went dark. Nathan was still asleep. Feeling satisfied with my success, I made a move for my last hurdle . . . the door. Gently turning the knob, I opened the door and inched my body through to the hall. Darkness. It was a quiet night at the Phi Delt House. Everyone had already retreated to their rooms for the evening. And just as I was about to close the door to the King’s lair, a.k.a. the President’s room
( :)), a feeling of panic washed over me. I had forgotten to leave something behind. Although most had received the memo that Nathan and I were dating, lots of women were always coming in and out of the Phi Delt House. For the past few weeks, I had purposely been leaving a pair of

earrings, a barrette, or a hair tie somewhere in his room to ward off other females who may enter. My belongings were to be a sign, a STOP sign, to women to abort all plans of seduction and move on to the next man. Since I was 15, my love stories always ended the same. “Was Nathan just another man that would want his cake and eat it to?” I worried. “Would I ever be enough for one man? Would all my boyfriends eventually be captured by a hoe?” There, in the darkness, I realized that it was me against the hoe wide world. “After all this tip-toeing around, do I dare try entering Nathan’s room again just to leave something behind?” I wondered. As I fought the situation back and forth in my mind, I noticed that I was wearing a stack of bracelets. Hand still on the door, I slid a bracelet off my wrist and onto the door knob. It was a genius compromise between my insecurities and still appearing sane.

A few weeks later when Nathan was cleaning his room, he asked if the bracelet was mine. Trying not to linger on the fact that it was my bracelet and I had oddly left it on his door knob, I replied, “Yes,” and tried changing the subject. As Nathan went to remove the bracelet so I could have it back, I abruptly shouted, ” NO! It’s to keep the hoes away!” In the silence of his reaction, I immediately knew I wanted to take my words back. There, in the light of day, my insecurities had been exposed. Just as the echoes of my words dissipated from my ears, Nathan got tickled over what I had said and grabbed me into his arms. “Oh kitty . . .” he sighed.

Five years later I was awakening from my sleep again. However, this time I knew exactly where I was. As I rolled over, I found Nathan still asleep. Warm in our bed, I watched the golden light of morning pour across the door of our bedroom. There, hanging on the door knob, a bracelet sparkled in the light. Although Nathan has moved twice on his own and once with me, he remembers to take that 5 cent bracelet with him each time. It was something that could have been forgotten and overlooked with each move as it was never mentioned again since Nathan’s first inquiry about it. It was never meant to be a gift for Nathan and yet I didn’t leave it behind that night so it could become mine again. However, in some strange way, the bracelet, a token of past insecurities, has become a symbol of Nathan’s faithfulness. Out of the hoe wide world, I was the only one he wanted.

Rolling over again, I looked down at the floor. Lying awake was another little face. Nose pressed against his pet taxi door, Rupert began wagging his tail. After singing to him his “Good Morning, Sunshine” song, I pulled him out of his cage and headed downstairs. After having my morning coffee, I tousled and played with Rupert in the golden light that continued to pour into our home. Nathan, stirring around upstairs, was finally awake. It would become another simple day yet feelings of happiness washed over me. In a song sung by Jimmy Ruffin, he asks, “What becomes of the broken-hearted?” Today, I can confidently say, “They move on.”

  • Paige - February 13, 2011 - 11:56 pm

    LOVE this post! it’s funny how the little things mean the most. the picture also reminds me of my FAVORITE b/w print of all time – nancy’s shirt by jack leigh. check it out – http://www.jackleigh.com/images/jpg%27s/JLG_20.jpg

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