Identity Crisis: Part II

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Chanel James, has decided to change her life around after the slaying of her childhood best friend, Michelle. Realizing that her journey starts from within, Chanel is seeking understanding, patience and love.

Submitted: March 02, 2014

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Submitted: March 02, 2014

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*Beep Beep Beep*

Pushing the button down to silence the alarm on my iPhone 5, I grabbed my pillow and dug my face into its' soft satin material.

Ten minutes later the violent sound returned - *Beep Beep Beep*

"Good Lord," I mumbled to myself. With my eyes barely adjusted to the bright sunlight that was beaming through my blinds, I grabbed the phone again and disabled the alarm.

It was 10 a.m. on Sunday and I had a crazy hangover. As I laid in bed wondering if I would make it to the 11:30 a.m. service at Mt. Zion, I clicked open my Instagram account and started scrolling through my timeline.

Seeing a picture of me with my girls dancing in the club made me smile. I honestly don't even remember the picture being taken, but it was proudly posted and displayed on the club's page. While I sat back on my bed remembering the nights activities, my smile soon turned into a frown. Our night didn't end on a good note.

After partying for a couple of hours in Atlanta's Club Prive, my girls and I took our appetites to the IHOP in Midtown. Five minutes after we were seated, some arrogant fool walked over and tried to spit game to Tory.

"Hello miss," said the man as he walked over to our booth.

There were many issues with this scene.

Yes, he was tall, dark and handsome, with tasteful clothes and a beautiful smile, but he was rude. He didn't acknowledge Ashton or myself, and I was repulsed by his aura.

"Hello," Tory responded.

"May I talk to you for a second pretty lady? My name is Anthony and I attend Morehouse."

"No thank you, I'm having a girls night and I don't want to be rude to my friends."

"Oh. You're one of them I see. A siddity chick hunh? I should have talked to your girl over here instead," he continued as he pointed in Ashton's direction. "You're very beautiful for a dark skin woman."

Irritated by his comment, Ashton simply shook her head and continued looking over the menu.

Surprised that she could be so calm after his disrespectful remark, I decided to take over the conversation and to get the Idris Elba look-alike together. Always the blunt one of the group, I often took charge. 

"Can't you see you're not wanted over here? Take your behind back to where you came from."

"Ohhhh you must be the uptight one in the crew," said Anthony with a smirk. "You know the one that never gets any play so you run off any good guy who tries to get at your friends. I've learned about your type in my African-American Psychology class. Baby if you would throw a perm in that bush of yours, maybe you'd attract better men."

Needless to say, Mr. Morehouse got cussed out. While a part of me felt better after telling him off, a bigger part of me was hurt. 

I always tried to come off as confident and invincible around my friends, but the truth was I was insecure and truly a work in progress.

Jumping out of bed and out of my painful thoughts from last night, I ventured towards the bathroom hoping that a nice hot shower would make me feel better.

Grabbing my shower gel from the cabinet and a white washcloth, I turned the water on and waited for it to heat up. Finally, I stepped in and began to vigorously scrub my body.

I scrubbed the hurt, pain and anger off of me. As I began to wash my hair, my mind couldn't ignore Anthony's comment about my so-called bush. The comment made me reflect on my pre-college choice to let my hair go natural. It was a tough decision. Not only did I ditch the chemicals, but I got rid of the colored contacts, nails and makeup too. It was a natural, total-body cleanse in honor of my late best friend, Michelle.

In high school, Michelle and I were inseparable, and what my mom used to call two peas in a pod. We liked to act older than our ages and loved dating mature older guys. No one really believed that we were only 16, because of how we dressed and acted. Our makeup was always applied, fake acrylic nails done, edges permed to perfection and 18-inch hair installed weekly. Looking back, very few things were real about us. We looked to what the media said was beautiful, and we tried to make ourselves fit into that fictitious world.

Men flocked to us, and we thought we were living the high life. As long as I excelled in school, my parents honestly didn't care what I did, and Michelle lived with her older sister who was always busy working as a nurse at the Atlanta Medical Center.

I still remember the last time I spoke to Michelle.

"Chan what you doing tonight?" asked Michelle one Saturday night in February.

"Studying girl, I have a test Monday."

"Well take a break and go out with me and Charles tonight. He'll bring his cousin for you."

Charles was a 37-year-old man and the oldest guy either of us had ever dated. It wasn't the age that surprised me most about the guy, but the fact that Michelle was talking to him even though he was divorced with two kids.

"Um no, I need an A+ on this thing. I don't have time to hang with grandpa. Have you found out why he got a divorce yet?"

After a brief pause Michelle replied."No, he only told me that him and his ex didn't always see eye-to-eye. I'll get more information tonight. But I'll talk to you later girl, I have to go and get ready. Love you, have fun studying."

Something didn't feel right, but my mind was too preoccupied with my upcoming exam to ask more questions. Instead I just responded with, "I love you, too."

The next morning I felt myself being shaken awake.

"Baby, get up," my mom whispered. "It's about Michelle."

The mention of my best friend's name made me spring up in my bed.

"What about Chelle mom? What's wrong?"

That's when I noticed the white cordless phone in her hand. As she handed  it to me, I heard Patricia, Michelle's sister, on the other end crying. Before I could say hello, Patricia yelled, "She's gone! I'm going to kill him!"

That was the morning that I was given the news about Michelle's death. She was beaten and killed. Charles not only killed my best friend, but he killed himself. This was not the first time Charles had put his hands on a woman, he abused his ex-wife, which was the reason for their divorce.

That day I thought about how that could have easily been me. As a tribute to Michelle and a dedication to myself, I let go of all the fake hair, contacts, nails and everything else that was not truly me, Chanel James.  I made these changes in an effort to feel better about myself. That was three years ago, and today I still struggle with truly loving my natural self.

This is why Anthony's comment on my hair made me so upset. After my natural transformation I realized that not as many guys were attracted to me as were before. My good friend Tory always had the attention of guys. Why not me? I always thought.

This is what I was thinking about the whole time on my way to church.

As the usher led me into the sanctuary, I realized the Preacher was well into his 40-minute sermon.

"God makes no mistakes! You're here for a reason," Pastor Luke said.

As Pastor preached from Romans chapter 12:2, I became enthralled in his message.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I glanced down at my program and realized today's message was: Overcoming Insecurities.

I laughed to myself silently. There was no doubt that Michelle was my guardian Angel.

"Thank you God," I whispered as we bowed in prayer. "Thank you for saving me."

Though I was fighting a daily fight within myself, I knew that I was on the right track.

 


© Copyright 2020 Angelica R. Roberts. All rights reserved.

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