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Roman Bishup was a natural at just about every thing. He had the gift of gab, a unique way with words. He could sell fire to the devil. He was a charmer with all the girls. He could often talk his way in or out of any given situation. He was confident to say the least and possessed many hidden talents.
Christian Alexander was Roman’s best friend. Christian was a gifted musician. He had been playing the organ since the age of seven. He was very precocious to say the least. Christian didn’t have a problem in the female category either. Both young men were handsome and talented in their on element. The difference between them is that Christian was a little shy and Roman was very outspoken.
If the truth be told blood could not have made these two gentlemen any closer. I will have you to know that along with any friendship comes a test of sometimes love, loyalty and brotherhood. Even though Roman was the older of the two there was nothing that Rome would do without giving Chris the opportunity to do as well. So as they grew from young boys into growing adolescence Rome would introduce Chris to girls all the time. Rome would even get girls to go over to his house when his mom was gone. This gave Chris the chance to have relations with girl over at Rome’s house in the bedroom.
Chris idolized Rome and wanted to be around him all the time. But when Rome graduated from high school, he enlisted into the Navy. He and Chris would split up for the first time. It was not easy for Roman or Christian to be away for such a period of time as this, seeing how they were the best of friends. Their tight-knitted brotherhood would soon be challenged. Troubled by the time and the distance that they would spend apart, each one of them had to learn hard lessons alone.
At first they stayed in touch over the telephone but those times became far and few in between times. And after four years Rome went home with an honorable discharge. Meanwhile Chris was completing his Freshman year in college. Well Rome had gotten the G I Bill and deciding that he had wanted to go to college as well. And that is exactly what Rome did. He went to college. Anyways Rome and Chris were now going to the same university.
It is amazing at times to see just how much one can change in a matter of three or four years. Some change for the good and some not so good. I have found there to be one truism in life my friends. And the truth is that we all change and we all grow.
We change for the better or for the worst. We either grow together or we grow apart.
Chris had gotten taller about 5 inches taller than he was in high school. He was now playing the keyboard for all types of gospel celebrities. Whether they were coming in to town or he was flying out of town, he was doing exactly as we had talked about back in the days. He became the lead musician and band director for a well-known bishop and pastor who had relocated to the triangle area.
Roman met a girl who was a delta in college. Her name was Kimberly. She was everything he could have ever wanted in a woman and more. With his charming words and poetic smile he swept her right off her feet. The relationship was beautiful. He loved Kimberly and she loved him as well.
Rome and Kim moved in together. Then Kim began working sometime thirteen and fourteen hour days. Along side of that she began taking graduate courses too. Roman understood but loneliness whispered in his outer ear. Nonetheless, this left little to no time for them to be together, to be romantic and to make love.
Though they continued to live together, but Rome looked elsewhere for attention and for affection. So he went to church one Sunday and expected the Lord to guide him. That’s where he found the answer standing in the prayer line wearing a red sundress and black pumps. Her name was Angel Evans.
If the truth be known, in the beginning on their first date Angel gave Roman fellatio right in the car right outside of his apartment. He then saw the light and realized that she was the one. Later, they ended up at her place where things would get a little more heated. After kissing and fondling for about a half hour, Angel got off of the couch, went into her bedroom and proceeded to masturbate on her bed while Rome remained on the couch. After missing her for about five minutes he heard moans and groans coming from her bedroom. So he entered to see Angel pleasuring herself. He joined her and it was golden.
Meanwhile Chris was over in Raleigh making gooh gooh faces at the Bishop’s daughter Christina. Rome was happy for his brother and friend Christian and the progress that he was making at The Running Water Church of God. Rome continued in his efforts to reach out to Chris but there was something happening in the atmosphere where the bond that they had once shared was growing stale. Rome never could have assumed in a million years that he would loose a friend to love but it was starting to happen. And Chris knew that regardless of where ever he went and regardless whatever he did in life that Roman would always be there for him when he needed him.
Rome always had Chris’s back. Anyways, they kept in touch but slowly grew apart.
The Truth is… sometimes you just can’t control the direction in which others choose to move and although Christian seemed to grow distant and coldhearted, he was living the life that he had always dreamed of living. He had the big house, the fancy car and the wealth and the fame. Anyways, Rome was wishing Christian all the best the whole time.
Meanwhile, Roman left Kim and married Angel. Some things started out ok but they slowly moved from one extreme to the next. Well after about three months of no intimacy with Angel, suddenly out of nowhere Rome came home to an ironic surprise. He came home from work to find dinner on the table, water in the tub and soft music playing. Then that night after making love at three times, Angel got pregnant.
Just as it seems that things were getting better, once again they actually began to get worse. Angel began throwing temper tantrums unlike never before. Rome new that she would get hormonal as the pregnancy progressed but Angel was becoming impossible to live with. He could do nothing right by this woman. It seemed like nothing would be good enough to sooth or satisfy her. Every thing that he tried to do to make her feel better or add comfort or ease was never enough. In addition to her antics, he had gone by now about seven months without sexual relations. Rome thought to himself… this is ridiculous.
The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. (1 Corinthians 7:4)
But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)
In the second week during the tenth month of their pregnancy, Rome and Angel had a beautiful baby girl. Then one night two months later while their baby was sleep and as they were sitting around the dinner table Rome asked Angel about their joint checking account. She blew it! “You don’t trust me with your money, she yelled.” She pulled out Rome’s checkbook and ripped it up right in front face. Rome said, “Little girl, what in the hell is wrong with you?” Angel ran into the kitchen and got a knife.
The phone started ringing. Rome picked it up. It was Angel’s father. Rome insisted that they were having a family discussion and that Angel would call him back later; so he hung up the phone. By this time Angel had made her way back to Roman with the knife. She swung at him barely missing a couple of times. Finally he was able to subdue her and remove the knife from her hand. Girl what is your malfunction, he asked?
The phone rang again and Angel freed herself from Rome and grabbed the phone. It was her father. By this time Rome was tired of her father butting so he put his hand on the receiver and hang up the phone. Angel then threw the phone and hit Rome in the forehead. At this time Rome had no idea of what she would do to him next so he called the police. He figured that he had better call the cops now before he really got upset and she would have to call them later.
Well the police arrived and Angel was frightened and she dashed out the back door. Roman yelled, “You better get back in here because you don’t want the police to have to chase you.” So after careful consideration she returned.
Anyway, after Roman pressed charges, the judge sentenced Angel to three months of anger management. Well she decided to leave Roman and take their baby. She said to him, “If you loved me you would have never taken me to court.” He assured her that he did love her but that he was a man of principle. Rome told her the best way he could that he was using tough love for her because she needed it. Sometimes the truth hurts and we just can’t handle it.
While all this was happening in Blue Berry Hill, over in Raleigh Christian was making his situation sweeter. He took Christina to Vegas for a weekend. What happens in Vegas normally stays in Vegas but… that’s where he proposed to her. The next time Rome saw Chris was the day before the wedding. Rome knew then if he had not known before that this time things would never be the same. But Chris was still his boy so it was all-good.
Now back to reality. Angel had left Rome and moved in with her dad. Rome’s situation went from bad to worse. He got laid off of his job. He then had trouble paying his bill and especially the rent. So he got kicked out of his apartment. Rome was a proud man and refused to call family for help. Christian had just gotten married so that was out of the question. Nothing in this life comes without a cost. So Rome ended up sleeping in his car for three months.
I slept in my car again last night shivering
From the cold my body clinched curled up so tight
After hours of shaking, I dreamed I had house and a boat
Then I peed on myself …oh no! My soul bleeds urine
I sprung a leak, too lazy to get up and stand out in the cold,
Too cold to really relax during my sleep as the night grew old
But I got on up and out of my car to finish draining my pipes
I am so weak that I can hardly stand up right
Back in my car now and I have to turn the heat on
Wasting my gas but there is no blanket to keep me warm
I see demonic faces and shapes in the trees
And everything around me suggest that I should leave
But every night in the shadows and under the trees
In the darkness of the night it’s all the same thing
With my spiritual sight… I see Angels and demons
Some use the shadows and some use the light
My faith grows stronger as doth the darkness of the night
It is not creepy any more because they’re in my plain sight.
One day in the third week of the third month Rome started receiving unemployment. He went and got a hotel room to wash up and go to sleep. That evening Rome went to the mall. After watching a movie he ran into Kim, his former college girlfriend. She was so happy to see him. They sat down and had a serious talk. He shared with her the things he had gone through with his and that he was basically living on the street. He apologized to her for giving up on what was once a promising relationship. Then the most wonderful thing happened.
Kim agreed to let Rome live with her in her one bedroom apartment until he could get back on his feet. After many nights of loneliness and prayer in his car over the last three months, Rome knew that this was his gift from God. Many nights sleeping in the valley of the shadow of death; thought of loving Kim would come to mind. But nothing in this life comes without a cost. Deep in his heart he had wish that he could turn back the hand of time. At that period of transitioning in his life he made himself a promise that he would get up off of the stool of do nothing and do something to get his self together.
Many nights at Kim’s place, Roman would hear a voice inside of him telling him to write. His mind would race through time, from his old navy days to his dark and lonely nights where he slept in his truck and thoughts of suicide would invade his mind. So he began to write. That’s the only way he could sleep. Rome wrote poetry depicting all the different emotions and expressions he felt. These poems of memory and lust, pain and love would also be the mark of another beginning in his life.
Unlike Dr. King I have lived a nightmare of dreams
How unfair it seems to me to be the king of queens
When my queens’ beam screams proactive moisturizer cream
Those addictive nights’ young restless and sleepless in the chapel
Obsessed with the house of vaginal I was agile
But scattered like the City of Babble
For miles I trotted for less than blotted sins
I plotted…Oh God please help me now
My saved cells have clotted
A paradigm shift is soon to be reached
Acceptance for my grandiloquent speech
Many days I have made known many ways becoming bare boned
The tone of death speaks so eloquent
There is no justification for these French equations
Sanctified relationships have been privately polluted
With innocent blood I concluded
I saw flames yearning in the tragedy of those eyes of burning conversations
My condition was repetition
My heart beats the base as surround sounds compounds the rush
The sound of footsteps in the distance flushes my semen’s’ dark existence.
Finally, Rome got his divorce from Angel but never divorcing his daughter he sought many days of mediation and meditation. He found a way to be a father. As often as he could he would see her. Still dealing with the drama of his ex-wife but now baby’s mama, he pursued. With all his energy between working two part time jobs and writing, Rome was making moves to become a new man.
Rome started studying the bible more consistent than ever before. He grew spiritually. Through prophesy and in revelation he came to the knowledge that God had called him to minister. Through the fires and the trials of his life, God would use Roman’s pain to usher in a passion for righteousness. He began to understand that he was not just an ordinary creation but that he was created to be an instrument for God and to be meat for the master’s use.
Roman Bishup later became a Teacher and Mentor for Durham Public Schools. Kimberly later got her graduate degree and became a successful Nutritionist. About a year after she graduated Rome and Kimberly got married. Kim has supported him in his endeavors. His desire was to open up his own publishing company. He continued to write and do well. And now as well as teaching he is becoming a well-known author in his own right.
Though Roman and his hometown friend Christian remained in the same city they went in two totally different directions. Rome often contacted Christian as friends do to stay in touch and to remain abreast with the way things are going in their life. He would leave messages on Chris’s voice mail asking him to go to ball games and get to together for lunch in order to catch up and things like this, but Chris never returned his call. Nonetheless, he never heard from Chris again.
Hey, life goes on and then you live. After a while you learn to die to those people who have deserted you. And you forgive those who have hurt you. You asked God to make it right in his sight. And sometimes you have to forgive yourself and move on. There is a price that we pay for the love and care that we share, some at a small cost; some at an even greater one. But be not deceived and don’t be shocked. For what so ever you sow that shall ye also reap even when it comes to matters of the heart.
Nothing comes without a cost!
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|Reviewed by J. Wright
|I give it 5 stars. You are guaranteed to love every minute.|