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Girls You Shouldn’t Fall For: The Girl You Have To Break Up With Edition

When my mom and her man of 11-years were going through their break up and he was moving out the last of his things, we decided to go out one night as a family. I remember how sad my Mom was as we were leaving the house and how heavy the tension was in the car between my Mom and Pop. They weren’t really mad at each other; more like mad that after 11 years, it was all ending.

My sister and I rode in silence, mad too.

Then we got to the restaurant, a pizzeria in a neighboring town, and were taken to our table. It was as if the chairs we sat in held the cure for unhappy families, because from the moment we sat down, the four of us didn’t stop laughing and smiling with each other. Like, we were a family, and probably the happiest one in the restaurant. It was as though we had just begun, rather than ending, our time together as a family. To this day, that remains one of the happiest nights of my life.

A few days later, my Pop moved the rest of his things.

I have a theory: No matter how bad the relationship between two people, no matter how final and imminent the pending break up, all couples have at least one great date left in them.

That theory first began to take shape the night my family and I went to dinner. I mean, you should have seen how happy my Mom and Pop were. It surprised me because I thought, Hey, wait a minute, aren’t you two breaking up? They certainly weren’t acting like it. And if it wasn’t for the fact that I was raised to stay out of grown folks business, I probably would have asked them why they didn’t take whatever magic they found in the night, bottle it up, and keep it for whenever times get rough. In other words, if they just stayed together, the bad times would turn into nights like the one at the pizzeria.

But they stayed course; the break up course. And to see where everyone is at these days, it’s hard to argue they were wrong or they would have been better off.

Years and years later, I was going through my own move out process. My ex was on her way out of my apartment, and the week leading up to her very first night in New York City, in a place that wasn’t mine (or was it still ours?), was weighing heavy on our minds. Neither of us were pleasant towards one another all that week. We weren’t speaking in the mornings nor the evenings. Both of us were just biding our time until the last of her things were gone and her set of keys were back in my hand.

That night, when she was to finally hand over her set of keys and then go back to her new apartment, something unexpected happen.

First, when I walked into the apartment, she was already there, waiting for me, and she had something I hadn’t seen in almost a week. A smile on her face. “Hi,” she said. Then she got up from the bed, gave me a hug and kissed me. I looked at her like she had a baby head on her shoulder. We exchanged hellos and that’s when she hit me with the news.

Apparently in the ride over to my place, she left her cell phone in the cab. Now luckily, she already called the phone from another phone and the cab driver picked up to tell her where he lived. So she had the address. But the driver had an accent, so she wasn’t quite sure the address was right. Together, we would have to ride to the Bronx at 10 o’clock at night, and go to what we thought was the right address to get her phone.

What was supposed to be the night of the key exchange was turning into a mini-adventure.

From the moment we got into another cab to take us to the address, it was as though we were on our first date. I don’t know what it was or why it was, but here we knew we had some most unfortunate business to take care of, and yet, we were acting like a couple who didn’t know of each other’s imperfections. We were laughing as my ex tried to impersonate the accent of her cab driver, joking with the current cab driver that we were two Californians who didn’t know anything about the Bronx. The only problem we had was the looming fear that the address given was not to a house but to a huge project building. All we had written down was a building number. And for those who live in New York, everyone knows the addresses come with floor or apartment numbers.

We finally arrived on the street of the address and were relieved to see it lined with houses. As we crept in the cab getting closer and closer to the numbers, I saw looming in the distance, the street’s lone apartment building, about 12 stories high. We’re creeping, getting closer to the number written down. Closer. Closer. BAM! The number on the sheet of the paper is the address for the one apartment building on the street.

Now at 10:30 at night, we were going to have to ring on every single apartment number to find the cab driver with my ex’s phone. We were laughing, nervously.And seriously contemplating just getting my ex a new phone, but I thought, No way we came out all the way to the Bronx to not get this phone. We’re getting this phone. So I walked up the stairs, went to the row of doorbells and pushed the very first button, 1A.

“Hello,” a heavily accented voice said through the speaker.

My ex stepped up, “Hi, I left a phone in a cab. Now I don’t know if…”


My ex and I got so excited you would have thought we won the Lottery. We hugged. We kissed. We walked through the door and directly to the first floor apartment we just rang. A little girl opened up the door and some more kids were in the back playing catch with my ex’s phone. The cab driver’s wife (assuming), grabbed it and handed it over to us, then shut the door without so much a “You’re welcome.”

The two of us, ran out the door, still elated we got this phone and the right apartment number and — when I think about it — this one last night together.

We took our time getting back to the apartment. There was a taco truck nearby the apartment, so we stopped there and when the man preparing the food asked us if we were going to eat it there or take it to go, we decided to stay. We took our time eating and laughing about the adventure we were on. Instead of taking a cab back to the apartment, we decided to take the subway and the bus home. Both of us knew public transportation was running slow because it was so late, but I think that’s what we wanted. We wanted for everything to slow down because we knew what the end of the night held.

On the subway, I put my arm around her. On the bus I put my arm around her. As we were walking to the apartment from the bus station, we held hands. Everything about this adventure we shared reminded us that we had a good thing once upon a time and all over again, I was falling for this girl I was about to break up with.

But when we got to my apartment, we kept our focus on the task at hand. She had her phone now, so now all she needed to do was give me her keys and so she did.

To this day, I don’t know how or why I didn’t ask her to stay with me for the rest of the night. I don’t know why I let this girl I started crushing on all over again turn around and walk towards her new apartment instead of asking her to walk into mine. But then again, I don’t know why my Mom and Pop never stayed together after the night we shared at the pizzeria.

And though I never asked my Pop if he remembers that night, I’m pretty sure he does because I have this theory: No matter how bad the relationship between two people, no matter how final and imminent the pending break up, all couples have at least one great date left in them. And we will remember them forever.

Reminder: Voting for the Black Weblog Awards ends on August 31. If you feel I’m deserving of your vote for any of the categories, feel free to click on the bubble next Until I Get Married. I’m nominated in four categories: Best Writing in a Blog; Best Personal Blog; Best Relationships/Sex Blog; Blog of The Year. Click here to vote.

  • Jay

    Boy oh boy, have I been here… nice post.

  • Yari

    Beautiful! I had such a date with my last…

  • Erica

    Sigh. This was so beautiful. One of my favorite posts from you. I love when you go back to your parents relationship and then incorporate what you observed or learned into your own relationships. It just goes to show that many times what we observed from our parents relationship doesn’t make sense until we are older. It’s when we are older that we can stop seeing our parents as parents but just two people that were in a romantic relationship. This posts also proves that even when relationships go awry the other person still holds all the things you first loved about them. I wish people would remember this instead of regarding these people we once cared about as–strangers.

  • WaxTransparent

    I…shed a tear. sometimes, love ain’t enough, but it’s peace when you can end on a sweet note

  • Miss Malorie

    Wow… thanks for this post. I don’t think I’ve ever really had this experience proper, so this is something I never thought about before. Thanks for painting such a bittersweet picture… I’m sitting at my work desk here in Florida picturing in my mind a night in the Bronx lol. You’ve got a lovely way with words!

  • Miss. Riss

    Awwww, so sweet.

    I think the reason why some break ups can be so calm and fun such in the case of the pizzeria or the taco truck, is cause you’re relieved in a way, you can breathe. To a certain point I believe, we all ” act ” a certain way once you become bf/gf and by knowing you’re breaking up you’re able to be the you, you were when you just met. It brings it back to the start, when everything was good.

  • Tee

    This put a smile on my face…

  • Ivy St.

    This post is so sweet. I was near tears reading it.
    I have been through a similar situation. I think my ex and I were able to be happy one last time because it was the end. We could enjoy the present and not worry about the “other stuff.” It was a good night but in the end, things had to end because you can’t walk around ignoring the things that caused you to call it quits.

    I also think this good night contributes to people not being able to break up when they really need to go their separate ways.

  • Nadira Rae

    Very sweet. I never experienced this before, but I immediately thought of Brownsugar…when Dre and Reese were out playing pool and having fun after they knew their marriage was over. Ok…it’s a movie, but that’s what popped into my mind lol.

  • Melissa S

    Definitely made me smile. Sweet post.

  • freeyourheart

    One of your best posts, Jozen.
    Keep it up!

  • Starita34

    This is so, so very beautiful and tragic. Perhaps tragic is a bit dramatic, but heart wrenching for sure. What a lovely, agonizing night and a wonderful, magical retelling Jozen. Thank you for sharing something so personal with us. Just lovely…that’s all I can say…I wanted to cry, and it’s got me thinking…that’s good writing…and this is why I’ve voted for you repeatedly for the blog awards…

    Thank you.

  • **inquiring mind**

    The man may not be able to keep a woman, but shole can write good about it…

    dope post shawty.

  • Kimmy

    Sad but beautiful at the same time. True definition of bittersweet.

  • Kady

    Wow, being the woman who left and handed her keys over, this really touched me.

    I would buy whatever book this is an excerpt from, sometimes your theories are a little caught out there, but I 100% agree with this one. I think you can smile with someone who hurt you once youve accepted who they are on the inside, so you accept them and also accept that the relationship won’t work at the same time. Real love doesnt dissapear, but like WaxTranspa says, sometimes love is not enough.

  • Leah

    @**inquiring mind** ROFL @ you! LOL! And yes, I agree.

    On another note, I think a couple is more likely to have this fairy-tale break up when the break up is mutual. Otherwise, the more realistic version of this story would end with crying, and “are you sure this is what you want” and “can you just tell me where we went wrong” or slamming doors or sex with ulterior motives… etc…

  • Cheekie

    Aw. *sigh*

  • Cali

    Wow, very nice read!

  • Adam

    That one more good date made me wonder if there was one more good date to follow. Listening to live jazz jam session, drinking chardonnay. When it got as bad as it did, a good time was a welcome change, however fleeting. We’d been at each other’s throats for weeks. Trading snarls for smiles reminded me that it never was all bad. Something pretty to look at like flowers on a gravestone. “Here lies loves hardship. Rest in peace.”

  • Ziggy

    Love this post 🙂 very sweet.

  • booboonotthefool

    Sometimes you can have a good last “date”. It can recolor everything that you happened, and leave you with a good taste in your mouth.
    @ Leah, I think ti depends on the maturity level. I mean, if you don’t want to do it but realize you can’t be in a relationship by yourself, it might make it easier to let go/enjoy the last time…

  • Mighty B

    Excellent! Thank you.

  • Mighty B

    @**inquiring mind**
    LOL!! You’s a fool….

  • doowaditty

    aaaand i cry now lol

  • Kelley

    This was great! Loved it. 🙂

  • VonBherAnn

    jozen, I find the title of this post to be deceiving at first. I was thinking, wow! he has The Answer! outright, it begs the question:how do you know that that the girl you’re falling for is one you’ll have to break up with? you must be referring more to the, “just this once, for old times’ sake” moment? that’s probably the case and I’m just hella slow today 🙂 great post. I had this one rolling around in my brain all day. so rarely does anything keep my attention so long.

  • Jersey demic

    Good read

  • L. Dejean

    this was a great post, sad but a nice story!

  • leressa

    Great post.. I can honestly say I have never had the privilege of this kinds of break up scenario with any of my ex’s… none of those break up’s ended on good terms but my soon to be ex and I planned what was supposed to be our break up weekend get away… but.. he stood me up.. maybe in an attempt to prolong the inevitable, I don’t know.. I wish we could have ended things the way we had planned, on a good note like you two were able to. Now.. he will get the break up text first thing in the morning 🙁

  • Maiah

    Beautifully written – both inspiring and heartbreaking. Just discovered your blog, looking forward to reading regularly.

  • Danni

    I’m late, but this was beautiful.

  • thefabfoodie

    *sigh* I had to get myself together before I posted this comment – I literally had tears running down my face. Such a fantastic post – I felt like I was a fly on the window of the cab witnessing the last night of the relationship. I had a similar experience with someone who, while not my boyfriend, was very special to me. This post reminded me of the last night we spent together, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

  • Carla

    This was a bearutiful post. I wish my last breakup was as exciting as yours. I stumbled across your blog while voting for some others in the black web blog awards. I look forward to reading more of your work…

  • afroballerina

    Wonderful story. It has me a bit teary-eyed.. I’ve never experienced this but what a wonderful way to end a relationship — how loving and memorable.

  • Vonzell

    Really beautiful post. I was a fly on the wall, watching two people fall in love again. I really can’t understand the situation, never having dated. But that sounds beautiful. I wonder though, do you think about her a lot? Do you regret the way it ended or that it ended at all?

  • Guest

    I am fortunate enough to have had this experience in my lifetime. Unfortunately, after our attempt and success at ending the relationship on a high note we didn’t stay the course. Holding onto something doomed isn’t pretty. You don’t get a second great last date.