The kids were running around screaming and playing as I was in the kitchen preparing dinner while watching my 10 month old son Prince sitting down in his high chair with baby food all over his shirt and mouth – crying for me to hold him. The doorbell repeatedly kept ringing.
“Ugh! WHO IS IT?!” I shouted picking up Prince and walking towards the living room looking at the mess my other two children made. “Lee–Monae (5) and Sprinkle (4), how many times I told you both that this is not the play room?! If you want to make a mess – you do that either at your dad’s office or in your room– NOT the living room!” I said as I walked over the stuffed animals and toys on the floor.
Lee- Monae walked up to me twisting her hips and folded her arms. “Well, daddy said that we can play in the living room AND the kitchen as long as we brush our teeth every day and night.” Lee-Monae said in a sassy tone.
“When did he said that?!” I yelled.
“Last night!” They both shouted.
“LIARS! GO TO YOU ROOM NOW!” I shouted as I pointed upstairs.
They giggled as they abruptly ran upstairs.
I shook my head and walked over to the door and checked the window to see who was the maniac that kept ringing the doorbell. I rolled my eyes as I opened it.
“Hey, babbyyyy!” My husband Troy (30) said with a huge smile as he plants a kiss on my cheek.
“Why the heck you ain’t use your key?” I said annoyed.
“My hands were tied as you can see.” He said looking at his 2 huge luggage as he placed them down.
“Are you kidding me? You could’ve freaking put those crap down and USE YOUR KEY TO OPEN THE DOOR!” I screamed.
“Whoa, whoa, Yona baby, calm down. I had a long flight AND an extremely long day at work. The last thing I want to do is argue with you.” He said loosening his tie as he took crying Prince from my arm and sat down at the couch.
[Sobs] “What about me?” I despairingly said while closing the door.
“Oh no, not this again. Come on Yona, you can’t keep crying for no reason like that.”
[Sobs] “I [sniffles] I feel like [sniffles]…I um…I had a crazy long month hun.” I said as the tears started falling. I looked like a hot bubbly mess. My apron was dirty with baby vomit and tomato sauce, and my natural hair was uncombed, puffed out and fuzzy.
Troy reached his hand out to me as I slowly walked over to him and held it loosely sitting next to him. I rested my head on his shoulder. Seconds later, Prince fell asleep. Troy then started sniffing and looking around.
“I smell something burning” He said.
“Oh shoot! Ugh, I totally forgot to take the chicken out the oven! Oooooh, there goes our dinner for tonight!” I said leaping up from the couch and running to the kitchen.
The fire alarm went off as Troy covered Prince and hurried to place him in his crib. He quickly ran downstairs to turn off the alarm and starred at me as I pulled the chicken out and threw it straight in the trash. He starred at me with sympathy.
“Look Yona, I can order Marsh catering services for dinner tonight. We both had a long day; the kids are all asleep now – I can run us a nice warm bubble bath so that we can enjoy this night and forget about cleaning the living room and kitchen. WE can handle all that tomorrow. So, what do you say? He said smiling.
“…You are the best. Thanks…” I said as I hugged him.
“Yeah…and uh, you forgot to restock on soap…we’re out of soap, but uh…we’ll just use the kids Johnson and Johnson body wash.”
The next day, I did my usual normal routine which consist of dropping the kids to school, cleaning the house, cooking, organizing my coupons, writing a list of grocery and house supplies and being a stay home mom -taking care of Prince. Troy (who is barely home and travels frequently for work) left early in the morning to catch another flight for his 3 days business trip. Prince started jumping from his play chair as he watched “Daddy Shark.” While sitting down cutting the coupons, I started thinking about going to counseling heavily. For the past few months, I’ve been neglecting my mental health to the point where it became unbearable. I’ve never spoken to my husband or anyone about what I’ve been going through. I just kept it to myself – crying myself to sleep every night since I had Prince. I knew that it wasn’t normal and something was wrong with me…, well, I wouldn’t say something’s wrong with me but more rather I wasn’t feeling “happy.” I stared at my laptop and took a deep breath as I googled up counseling services near me. Just when I found a counseling center and was about to book an appointment, the doorbell rang.
“Who is it?” I said minimizing the window on my computer.
“It’s MO to the E to the…!”
“Smh, Brandy.” I said laughing as I got up and opened the door.
Brandy is my best friend since middle school. Thanks to her, she introduced to me to my husband Troy in our sophomore year in Florida Agricultural Mechanical University (FAMU). He was a senior at that time in which he was the president of the Black Business Organization (BSO) and participated in the Chess club. He played many of their state competition chess games in which he was known for being the winner for 2 years in a row. I wasn’t seriously looking for love at that time since my last breakup with my high school sweetheart of six years. Brandy and Troy majored in the same major in Global Business and had basically end up being in all the same classes together. Brandy graduated with that degree and has been working for Macy’s Human Resource Department as a Hiring Manager. Troy works as a Business Analyst/Negotiator for a major corporate company in South Florida. I on the other hand majored in nurse and successfully graduated but never took the board exam to become a nurse (long story). So anyways, Brandy convinced me to attend one of his meetings in which I had no interest, but, like a good friend, I went just to support her. That was the first time I met him. We were late to the meeting as we signed our names in the signing sheet. There was a guest speaker doing a presentation and Troy was standing right next to the signing sheet table greeting us with that million-dollar smile as he escorted us to sit. He was slightly overweight, big boned, 6-1 tall with caramel complexion and a nice fade. Long story short, he ended up getting my number from the signing sheet and took me out on a date that next day and the rest was history.
Brandy (28) walked right passed me and started entertaining Prince as she performed a dance and sing along to the show. “Daaaaddddyyyy shark do do do do do do mommy shark do do do do do do baby shark do do do do do dooo mommy shark!”
Prince giggled and was clapping showing off his 2 partial front teeth in bottom teeth. She kissed him in the forehead and picked him up dancing with him. I smiled walking straight to the couch and sat down.
“Brandy, I am sooo glad you’re here.” I said calmly.
“Whew, chile there goes my exercise for today!” She said sitting next to me with Prince on his lap. I laughed pushing her slightly.
“How you’ve been?” I said picking up my coupons from the table to organize them.
“Oh, I’m glad you decided to care all of sudden AFTER I tried calling you NUMEROUS times and leaving endless text and voice messages! Like, what’s up with that? She said giving me a look while putting prince back in his chair.
“Girl, it’s not even like that. Trust me. I haven’t gotten a chance to get back to anyone that have reached out to me. I’ve just been busy with the kids and making sure the house is in order…” I said.
[Coughs] “I guess that’s a valid excuse or what not. So, how’s Lemonade and Sprinkle? Hmp, I’m still shock that you name your girls that name, Yona. Like, were you thirsty and craving for sweets at the time? I mean, I get why y’all name y’all son Prince because that’s Troy’s all-time favorite singer…but, oh my gosh, I still can’t wrap my head around these poor girls’ name.” She said in disbelief.
“For the billionth time, it’s pronounced LEE-MO-NAE. And for the records, I named my girls these names because I wan –
“Yeah, you wanted to be unique or whatever.” She said shaking her head.
Brandy suddenly jumped as her eyes widened like she had seen a ghost. She laughed. “Yona girl, my eyes playing tricks on me.” She said laughing again. “Ha! I thought that was some kind of counseling service I saw on your laptop.” She said pointing to the screen.
“Oh, it is…and that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” I said.
[Shakes head] “Uh un…you see, we not gon start that bull today. Black peo-
“BRANDY! I AM SERIOUS. PLEASE STOP WITH THAT MESS! I AM SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING THAT FROM US FOLKS! I REALLY AM!” I shouted standing up raging in anger.
“Oh dang, um… okay…you mad, mad. Okay, [coughs] I’m listening girl cause you look like you’re going to bite my freaking head off.” She said looking concerned as she carefully and slowly placed Prince back in his chair. She sat back down and attentively provided me her full undivided attention as I also sat back down next to her. I placed my head down.
“Huh, I haven’t told anyone this but, Brandy I feel like I’m losing myself in the midst of motherhood and being a wife.” I said hopelessly.
“Wait…what are you talking about? Are you hearing voices?! Hold on, did you go out last night?! Oh Lord, someone must’ve put something on your drink or – “
“No, no, no. Nothing like that. I’m talking about me. I think I have post-partum depression. I’m always silently crying every night and feeling sad – reminiscing all the things I, Yona used to do and love…and, and all of that started to slowly fade away when I got married and pregnant. Brandy, I still want to be a nurse and it kills me that I stopped pursing it!” I broke down and cried.
“Oh no, hun don’t cry.” She said hugging me. “You can still be a nurse. You’re 27 and still got what it takes! Now, have you talk to Troy about this!?”
[Sniffs] “I did [sigh]…plenty of times. We even had countless argument about it and all he kept saying was that I don’t need to work again and that he’s the provider and I can just take care of the kids, clean, cook and just be home with them. So, I just let it go. But, then I realized as days, weeks, and months passed by – it was literally affecting me emotionally and mentally. It hasn’t gotten better.”
“Well, before you give counseling a shot, I’d like to be you first choice to resolve this. Let me talk to his fat a-
“Hey! That’s my husband.” I said defensively. “And, you’re my girl and all but, I would rather seek professional help for this. And I need your support in this.” I said.
“I just want the best for you. So, if counseling will help bring the “old Yona” back then you have my FULL support. I will pray for you as well.” She said smiling.
“Thank you so much.”
One week later…
I arrived at the counseling center for my 10:30 am appointment with therapist Jovica Grey. This was it. It was time for me to finally work on me. And it was something that was overdue for a very looooong time. Brandy was kind enough to babysit Prince on her day off and I had just dropped the girls off to school. My natural hair was neatly styled in a low bun (thanks to Eco gel for laying my edges and keeping my hair frizz free and tamed). I wore a yellow pump heels, with a polka dotted ruffles and had on the same professional navy-blue suit I’ve worn for my Nursing Program internship interview in FAMU five years ago – which still fits me perfectly! Glancing at my phone, I realized I was 15 minutes late as I hopped out of my white SUV BMW car and began running to the counseling center. Nearly out of breath panting, I knocked on the door and the therapist greeted me with a warm smile as we shook hands.
“Good morning Yona, and welcome to Grey’s Counseling service.”
A note from Dahana
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for reading my short fictional novel, it means the world to me that you all took the time out of your busy schedule to visit my blog page and explore. Now, I know some of you all would like to know what went down in therapy or if this story had a happy or sad ending. Well, instead of continuing the story, I’ve decided to do a little twist and transition away from storytelling and into something realistic and different. Can you guess what it is? Stay tune for my next blog post to see! Until then, be blessed.
Dahana St Jean