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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Find the first installment of her short-story series, working title: "Incidentally," exclusively here, at The Southern District.
When two plants are planted too closely together, there are two options: their roots become intertwined and they grow together strengthening each other, reaching heights otherwise unattainable...or they suffocate each other, neither of them growing to their fullest potential. By the time you realize which one is happening, it’s too late. It’s always too fucking late.
I know the exact moment it all changed - when I saw him as a man, my man. It was an unseasonably hot day in New York. I stayed in the City after grad school and he was visiting for a show. Over the course of our friendship we only lived in the same place once. He was always chasing a new adventure, while I craved stability.
Whenever he was in town I would invite him to speak to my middle schoolers about being a painter. They loved it. He had done this for me almost every year. But something about this time was different… maybe it was the heat. I watched as he spoke to the class, mesmerized by his every move. He glanced at me, winked, and smiled... that smile... that's when I knew. That's when I fell.
From the moment, we were connected so deeply that our lives became intertwined in a way I could’ve never imagined. With him I opened up. I let him see my flaws. I was my truest self. And he still loved me... because of or in spite of my truth, I’m not sure.
Even though I knew it would never work, I let myself believe. So I pushed. I imagined happiness, where there was none. I was so dumb, but how could I have known? How could I have possibly known this would lead to our downfall, to the incident?