I remember when I first began writing this novel and not knowing where to begin about my one and only love. Suddenly, my heart began to lead the way. Forgive me for being so candidly truthful about Noah. Baby, I love you so much the only way I could connect to those rare feelings was to draw up our love in vivid memories. Where are you, my love? I miss you so! If love truly is a hurting thing I am in critical condition for your love. While my heart aches all over the place, even after all of those years, love is the same. Your love was so amazing I can’t even wait to share how it came about with the world. When lovers across the world hear about us, I am sure they will agree that no love in the world has ever matched the way I love you, honey. In fact, long after we first met, I still love you! Decades after it first happened, I still yearn for your tender touch. I need you so badly, I had to do something! So, I wrote a book that is propelled by my love for you. After considering numerous titles for the book, the only one that fit this saga was you! I need only to say your name darling for it all to come roaring back. Thank you my love for rising above all others I’ve ever met to maintain your role as my one and only love. Thank you, NOAH.
During the course of my lifetime, love competitors acted downright foolish thinking they could get to my heart using shortcuts that fatally placed them in the same category with The Love of My Life, Noah Crawford. I have lived a very good life. Married a few times, only never to marry the one man I loved more than the others. I appreciated the life that I was fortunate to have with all of the challenges for my love, whether it was good or bad. Notwithstanding, only one man held the golden key to my heart. Would any other man ever reach the level of love I had for Noah?
Now, I want to share that life with others who will surely enjoy reading about all it took for me to get to that one special love. Even after all of these years, with the mention of his name, the same feelings I had way back when I met him all of those years ago, still come to the fore. I hope this recollection does not take away from my other loves, for I truly appreciate those experiences as well. However, in the end, will it be only one man that will go with me in love to my grave? Suffice it to say, whatever happens, this book is dedicated steadfastly to the memories of the “Love of My Life, NOAH.”
The black bow tie in front of the white background of a pleated cotton shirt was back. I was not in the first grade anymore. This time a little boy was not wearing that cute bow-tie. This was a real man. In fact, this man was a grown man presented to me in a form that only appeared to be a dream. He was perfect as his lean body bent down to make the perfect drink for a customer. To me, his skin was rich like chocolate fudge, while his perfect nose was sexy, long and pointed in an aristocratic manner, like a white boy. I had never seen a nose on a black man positioned so exact, so high below a perfectly round shaped black afro that was precision around a tall frame. His hair was filled with luxurious, shiny curls that cascaded around the world. They sparkled beneath the night light that lined the bar as he poured each drink with enough purpose as to not leave one spill behind. He walked gracefully, back and forth up then down the aisle behind a 4-foot glistening bar, meticulously serving drinks to patrons without blinking a beautiful long lash. At last, after all, I had gone through I was in love with Noah. Today, I have seductively given you enough moving parts for you not to want to miss one word of my new book, called “Noah.” As you’re reading my journey to love, there will be dozens of twists and turns along the way, so relax because it’s going to be a while before we meet Noah. Please keep in mind that no matter how you perceive my story, that love for me meant going through a lot of mess, tears and shame - until I understood love outside of the parameters of bedtime stories and lies. Suffice it to say that, once I saw “him” for the first time, I knew instantly what the hoopla over my past loves was. So, from Kenneth to Ronnie, then onward to King plus beyond, they were all place settings on my way to finding my true “Prince Charming.” In fact, from then, on I didn’t care that the most significant love match I had ever experienced happened one night before I was set to marry another man.
As a kid, I attended Manchester Elementary School at 661 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA. I knew the school well because I had attended classes there from the Kindergarten up to the sixth grade. A superb learning institution, it was where I learned to read in Mrs. Fox class so believe it or not it was where I first caught emotions for a boy of the opposite sex. Common sense tells one that when one is a mere child in elementary school you never perceive a child entering the sixth grade to fall in love. Of course, children enter this early stage of education to learn how to write in cursive, to read, to learn math; including much more. Kids play on the playground, they swing to extraordinary heights; they play tetherball or, they master to twirl wildly on the monkey bars. Well, I too entered sixth grade with the same kid goals. In fact, I was a competitive girl, a tom boy, who prided myself on beating up boys. This included crying over hearing the incredible voice of Tina Turner until my grandmother explained to me, she was singing. Having survived all but the higher grade at Manchester, having excelled in school overall, something unexpected happened to me that last year of Manchester that an 11-year old girl could not handle.
In fact, no one told me the sixth grade was going to be a memorable year for me. No one could ever agree it would be the first in my many years of living where I felt this crazy attraction to the opposite sex, which happened to travel to places beyond my control. He’d been in Kindergarten with me so; oddly enough we remained in the same classes from the beginning up to the sixth grade. Furthermore, Kenneth and I were good friends. The boy that stopped me from running outside to those monkey bars was an adorable little dark brown boy who taught me how to play marbles in the hallway before class began. Moreover, he dressed better than any other boy at school before or since those days. With his big brown eyes, he smiled at everyone, until I became the possessive little girl who interpreted this kindness as being just for me. With expressive big brown eyes shooting out of a big head that was quite large, Kenneth’s smile was tremendous, which earned him the nicest boy in class several weeks in a row in Mrs. Fox class. Though I was never voted as the nicest girl in class, Pamela Metcalf was, it turns out that I was not the only girl in Mrs. Fox sixth grade class that liked Kenneth.
The teacher was Mrs. Fox, who normally entered the class with a yardstick to let us know that if we got out of line, she’d use that stick. During the latter part of the sixth grade, I came to school looking to please Kenneth, as my admiration for the little boy blossomed, especially because of how well-dressed he was. I did maintain control well enough as to not find myself on the other end of that old woman’s yardstick. In fact, I was smart enough in class to excel in reading to cover up anything else that was going on in class. Besides that, Kenneth was the only boy in the entire elementary school that was dropped off by a black limousine every morning. He wore a black bow-tie with a white shirt to school every day. His black shoes were always polished. No doubt as a sixth grader, I found myself excited about going to school. In fact, I often wondered if we’d get to go to junior high or to Compton High school together.
One day upon arrival to my kid-sized desk, I squeezed in while taking my time to check out Kenneth, who was greeting the smiling girls in class as he usually did. He was the cutest boy I had ever seen. From many perspectives what I was viewing and feeling at the time had been relegated to older kids or adults who attended Junior High School or above. My liking to this little boy in the sixth grade had a lot to do with my status at home in consideration of how obscure I was in a large family that would eventually grow to 16 children. No matter how badly I felt I had been treated at home, I could rest assured the next day I was going to get a huge smile from Kenneth. The great thing about liking a boy at such a young age is there are no expectations. Nothing will be played out, for the most that could happen would be that Kenneth would be a balance that I’d look onto for the rest of my life to judge other boys by. Over time, my liking of this young man became too real to me. That is when I decided to ask him to be my boyfriend, but I had to talk to my Nana about first. The day of note became one of the most memorable days of my life because it was in May when we only had one more month of the sixth grade left before we all graduated on to Junior High School.
I got home from school one day when my grandmother had come over to take her grandchildren to an amusement park, then shopping later.
“Get in the car now or no Pacific Ocean Park for you,” my grandmother said gleefully. She was a beautiful woman who worked as a cook in Beverly Hills during the week. On Friday she collected all of my mother’s children to spend the weekend with her in West Los Angeles. She loved spending time with her grandbabies, of which there was many. Today, with her black hair, offset by turquoise blue eyes she looked lovely out of her white uniform. At a young age, Nana was the only person I could talk to so if I could pull her away from my brothers and sisters this would be a major feat because we all loved her attention. I was excited to tell her about Kenneth.
Later, in the car on our way to the ocean park, we passed Manchester Elementary School when I had an overwhelming desire to talk to my grandmother. I wanted badly to share my feelings about this little boy at school with her. A year earlier, I had told her about my friend Lynn White while making the mistake of talking to her in front of my older brother who mocked me forever over it. Back then my grandmother was proud that I had a new friend in the Los Angeles school district, which helped me considerably in my new relationships at school. Today, my feelings for the boy had me tongue tied. So, while I had my grandmother’s attention, I was at a loss for words as we filed out of the car to attend activities at the POP. “POP” (pronounced “pee-oh-pee”). Back in the day, this playground was a joint venture that opened in the late 50s. On the weekends the park drew 37,262 which outperformed Disneyland’s attendance back in the day. It goes without saying that we all enjoyed going there with my grandmother. Now closed, back then it was loud enough of a place to talk to my grandmother without my nosy brothers or sisters listening in.
“Tiffany, you have been telling me all day that you want to share something with me,” my grandmother, said loudly above the noise. Nervous. At 11-years old I did trust my grandmother with all of my heart. But I was as a matter of fact aware that she might not want to hear the word “love” come out of an 11-year Old’s mouth. Instead of telling her about Kenneth, I grabbed her by the waist while I cried my eyes out as my nosy sister Lane came up out of nowhere to get the tea.
“Is this about that boy you have a crush on at Manchester,” my older sister laughed.
Later, at the mall, as the other kids, including Lane, raced inside for ice cream, I simply continued to cry. “Baby, whatever is on your mind?” my grandmother said to me. “Don’t you ever feel you can’t talk to Nana about it,” she said, as she leaned down to dry my cheeks.
“Let’s catch up with the others for ice cream,” she said to my tear-filled smile. Feeling better as kids do very quickly, in seconds I had caught up with my brothers and sisters at the mall. Feeling intuitive, my attitude had something to do with Manchester Elementary School, my beloved grandmother ended up buying me the prettiest dress I have ever seen in my life. It was a gorgeous red and green plaid dress. The top of the dress was decorated with a white pinafore with a black bow-tie like the one Kenneth wore leaving me to wonder how Nana knew about him until I remembered what Lane said earlier. I held the dress to my small chest for the whole time we drove from West Los Angeles back to my mother’s home in East Los Angeles where we lived. Tomorrow was going to be easier for me to speak to Kenneth. I was going to look so pretty in my new dress, with the new white socks and black patent leather shoes Nana bought me. That night my grandmother washed and pressed my hair. Later, in bed when my grandmother went home, I kept looking at the beautiful new dress that I had laid out on the dresser for tomorrow. Of all the beautiful things I have enjoyed having over my lifetime, because of the way I felt about the little boy at school, that dress has stuck in my memory even to this day.
tart writing here…
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