Feature on Friday: Incidentally by Tiffany N. Williams

Tiffany N. Williams is a thirty-something doing thirty-something things in New York City, to include, but not limited to, brunching, day partying, being on the scene (well, napping... same thing), teaching undergrads the intricacies of human resources, and fighting for our black and brown youth.

You can find her on all the social medias as @mstwill and can reach her at twills.writes@gmail.com.  Find the first installment of her short-story series, working title: "Incidentally," exclusively here, at The Southern District.


I did it. I had opened the box. Let light in. Allowed a seedling to grow... only to be plucked from its roots, soil scorched, everything destroyed... nothing will ever grow again. I should've known. I should've fucking known.

I met him on one of those hot sticky days that make you wonder why you live in Florida. When your clothes cling to your body, suctioned by the sweat, and any venture outside is oppressive. He was a friend of a friend, completely unamused by me. He didn't engage in my jokes, which was confusing because my jokes are pure gold. I thought he was handsome, but I don't work for men's attention, and he didn't give it freely. So I quickly set my sights on another and forgot all about him.

And then I saw him in DC. A few years had passed and he had, well, become a man whose attention I’d work for.  He had filled out. He moved differently. He was confident in a way I needed to know more about.  I was there visiting while he was in the District for school. We talked.

A friendship grew. A real friendship. He became my safe space, my person. I wish I could say it was the same for him.  I didn't always nurture the friendship in the way he deserved. I would find love and abandon him...only to lose that love and find that he was still there. Even when I left him, he stood steadfast. Waiting for me to come back. Ready to pick up where we left off... until I left again. I never deserved him.

Our love was pure, untainted by romantic musing. We were free to be ourselves. Until I did the one thing that we both knew could... well... should never happen. I fell in love with him. I know. I KNOW. How could I be so dumb? I wish I could say that was the worst of it...but it’s never that easy. 

I miss him. I miss our jokes. I miss who I was with him. I miss my friend, my safe space, my person.  I miss who we were before the incident. But I broke the unwritten rule of our relationship. I tainted our love.  I hope he forgives me.  I hope I can forgive myself.