The Pleasure Principle


As I stare up at the chandelier, there is a sparkle in my eyes from the bright light.

No matter how many times I blink, those twinkling stars remain. They’re mesmerizing. I’m trying to make connections where they don’t seem to exist, like a game of tic tac toe.

Once a star falls out of sight, I return to that beacon of light for a replacement. I don’t want to see what’s in front of me.

Facing my reality is a challenge, so I keep wishing on the stars. Maybe one of them will be granted.

I wish I was still blinded by love, but that’s no longer the case. Right now, I choose to be blinded by the stars. Their brilliance keeps me from seeing the full picture.

There’s nothing I want more than to ignore the truth. The truth brought me here, again; it was like retracing a set of footprints in the sand. Though I turned left at first, I found myself going right for help, his help.

Shelton Irwin was the only person capable of giving me a second chance, so I gave him another chance in return. The bruises developing on his knees are truth-telling, unlike the stars in my eyes.

There’s nowhere for me to run. He continues to gag repeatedly. His hands are like black widows creeping up my hips and chest.

I’m in his million-dollar newly renovated brownstone on West 131st street in Harlem, wishing it was all a dream.

This is not where I want to wake up in the morning, but I owe Shelton my life. He brought Quincy Simmons back to New York City and back to the music industry. DeAndre Forrester has been put to rest.

I look around at the mismatched walls. Exposed brick covers one wall while jet black paint blankets another. On the third wall, picturesque windows complete with crown molding keep distracting me.

The tufted headboard on his mountain of a bed blocks the fourth one from the floor to the ceiling. At the foot of the bed, my legs dangle like a pair of jewels. My feet, wide apart, barely touch the rug. I rub my hands across Shelton’s bald head to maintain the rhythm. If I don’t look directly at him, maybe I can pretend he is someone else, someone like Brian.

I’m wishing things between me and the love of my life were different. We could have bought a house up in the hills and adopted two kids together, like we planned.

Unfortunately, life had a different plan for us. A man lost his life because of us. It’s been three months to the day since Brian and I became wanted for questioning in the death of Gabriel Watson.

Gabriel pursued my love to his bitter end. He was my first kiss and my first romance. He wanted to be my first love like I had been for him. He didn’t deserve what was done to him by, maybe not my actual first love, but, the love of my life.

For days, it ate me alive. I felt responsible. I still feel responsible. If I had paid Gabriel more attention, he may never have climbed up to my window.