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A funny, yet touching story of one woman’s determination to find a father for her baby…
Breonna Morris thought her marriage to Tyler was perfect. Never mind all the hours she spent at work. Never mind the time she wasted shopping and partying with her best friend, Courtney. Never mind being a wife. She was living the married life as a single woman, while Tyler slowly drifted away.
Breonna’s world turns upside down when she wakes up one morning to find that Tyler is gone. Desperate to find meaning in his disappearance, she reaches out to him but Tyler makes it very clear that he wants nothing else to do with her, that he’s tired of being a single, married man. He’s moved on. Breonna is devastated, realizing that not only is she suddenly husbandless, but she’s also pregnant.
Courtney gives her a crazy idea to put an ad in the local paper to search for a father figure for her baby. Breonna follows through with the idea and is excited with the responses she receives. She even conducts interviews with the most qualified candidates. One in particular catches her eye, Vaughn Ramos – a sexy, tall Puerto-Rican papi who wants to play daddy in more ways than one. There’s only one problem – Tyler doesn’t know that she’s pregnant.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
That’s the note Tyler left on Breonna’s nightstand three months ago. Those five words, scribbled in red ink on a yellow-ruled sheet of legal pad paper, became etched in her mind as if he’d fiercely spoken them to her out loud, leaving an impression – a permanent stamp in her memory bank.
I can’t do this anymore.
When Breonna first saw the note, she felt her heart sink into the deepest part of her chest, beating faster than normal – adrenaline sending her into panic mode at the realization that her husband was gone. If appearances meant everything (and in her opinion, they did), she was in trouble. What would her friends think? Her family? Her coworkers? Neighbors? Tyler had left so abruptly and without explanation, leaving her to find out the reasons why he dipped on her own, especially since he wouldn’t answer or return her calls.
Breonna sighed, sat down on a rusty, fold-up chair and began flipping through an old childhood photo album, trying to distract herself into thinking about something else – anything other than Tyler Morris’ disappearing act. But she couldn’t help but wonder about what she did, what she didn’t do or what she could’ve done differently to make Tyler stay – to save her marriage – to preserve a love that she thought would be an everlasting one. But now, a sista couldn’t even get a return phone call from the man. Where’s the love?
She met Tyler three years back while she was sitting in a refresher computer course at Paul D. Camp Community College. She was in the middle of a Word document crisis, having major difficulty figuring out the whole mail merge function, when Tyler walked in to speak to her instructor. The frustrated Breonna glanced up at him but quickly looked away to avoid the magnetism and misconception of prolonged eye contact. Yet, from her quick look she could see that he was fine – dressed up all Kanye West-ish, rocking a black sports coat with a pink buttoned-up shirt hanging over his blue jeans. It took a very masculine and confident man to rock a pink shirt and he rocked it well. Very well. His dark, chocolate complexion left Breonna completely enamored.
Intrigued, she peeped above her monitor to see if he was still there while simultaneously trying to associate his look with that of a famous person, and that’s when he smiled at her. She smiled back reluctantly, tired and stressed from a hard day’s work. Plus, her hair (her pride and glory) was frizzy, her face clammy and after the lazy screw-this-computer-class smile she flashed at Tyler, she remembered that she’d stuck a pencil behind her ear. Who does that anymore?
So after spending the bulk of the one-hour class lost in mail merge jargon (the remainder of the time daydreaming about a hot bubble bath, scented candles and Mixed Berry Arbor Mist) she was on the way to the student parking lot when she saw him again – the handsome professor – standing next to a gray BMW, carrying the kind of briefcase that could be used to hold ransom money.
“Excuse me,” he said, briefcase in hand with a certain smugness glowing on his face, the kind of look that confident men who knew they were sophisticated and stunning gave to women.
Breonna looked up at him and in that moment she realized who he resembled – Blair Underwood.
“Hi,” she said, smiling hard, seemingly star-struck, as if she was talking to Blair Underwood himself.
The two struck up a conversation (something about the advantages of night schooling) and Tyler asked her out to dinner that same night. Yeah, he had it like that.
In the passing weeks, they quickly discovered they had a lot in common. They both grew up in Suffolk, Virginia and had respectable, high-paying jobs (she a pediatrician). They were not morning people, both equally addicted to coffee. Each had subscriptions to magazines (he loved reading Men’s Health while she was addicted to Essence). They watched the same TV shows (CSI, Rescue Me and The Office). They enjoyed dining in fine establishments, taking walks around the city and spending time at social functions. Breonna was thrilled that she was dating a college-educated brother, who though not a vegetarian himself, didn’t mind the fact that she was one. They were so compatible, Tyler surprised her with the bling for the ring finger six months later and the two married shortly thereafter – Suffolk’s most talked about fall wedding of September 2007.
Life was peachy.
Not only did Breonna meet her goal of getting hitched before age thirty (she was twenty-nine and some change), she scored a winner along the way, a college professor – an intelligent man with class and swagger; the kind of brother who still believed in opening doors for a woman. They were on track to have the ideal life together. He’d moved in with her since, pre-marriage, he was renting an apartment near the college. Breonna was living in a four-bedroom home she inherited from her mother who had passed two years before she even met Tyler, so it made perfect sense that he would move in with her, which he didn’t mind at all.
All things considered, they were the happy couple, the ones that “were made for each other,” Tanesha, Breonna’s sister, would say. They had the kind of marriage that made single folks long for wedding bliss. Even Breonna’s best friend, Courtney, described them as “the perfect couple” as if the title could ever be stripped away from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett.
Then it apparently all came crashing down. After only two years of wedlock, Breonna woke up to Tyler’s note, I can’t do this anymore, and if that wasn’t bad enough, she didn’t even get the chance to tell him she was pregnant.