Escaping an abusive relationship and finding real love for the very first time.
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Literary Works of Dena Tyson
"Black Beans 'N Rice" is about my life at 17 with a man 15 years my senior who gave me a place to live when I otherwise didn't have a place to go. Unfortunately during the time I lived with him he began to abuse me both verbally and physically, and even after I got a place of my own I was still afraid to leave him. Later on in my life at 22 I finally found the strength to walk away and the courage to let go. Unfortunately though in situations like that, it's not over until he says it's over.
So you journey with me as I struggle to overcome the scars of low self esteem and lack of self worth, one day finding real love for the very first time at 25 years old. The story takes place in 1980's Chicago west side, Oak Park and the Hyde Park area of Illinois. It encourages both young and old that you have to want better to be able to do better in your life.
Stay focused... we all make mistakes but choose the right path and remember to "NEVER GIVE UP!"
Check out the interview on WGN Midday News as I discuss and share my story! WGN Midday News
Spooney was old enough to be her father but he didn’t care. It made him feel like he still had it and that made him feel good.
It’s not all about how you do what you do because Binx was young and didn’t
know any better. She had fallen head over heels for him because he was
As Binx applied the finishing touches to her face, her mother walked in and
stood next to her, a questioning look in her eyes. She glared from the mirror and said something Binx would never forget.
“You too pretty of a girl to be with such a old man. You’re young and smart… he’s just taking away all of your youth.” She was quite solemn in the way she spoke.
What her mother didn’t understand at that time was the damage had already
been done, and she stayed not because she wanted to, but because she had
to. She suffered Spooney’s abuse both physically and mentally, and walking
away wasn’t easy because she was afraid.
Binx was early to rise and eased out of bed. Spooney was still asleep and this gave her a running start. She stuffed four pillow cases with her favorite things,quickly loading them in the car she parked in front of the building.
“I get the dog and I’m home free…” she thought, stepping inside the apartment
“Good morning lady… you up early.” Spooney greeted as she walked in. He
was standing in the middle of the hallway, his back facing the bedroom door.
“So where you headed to so early?” he asked, a suspicious look in his eye.
She held her nerve trying to remain as normal as possible. “I thought I would go to the laundromat early, beat the crowd you know?” she said impulsively. “I just came up to get Moosie since he hadn’t been out.” she told him locking the leash on his collar.
“Aw I could’ve walked him for you this morning. That way you can go on and
get up to the laundromat and come on back here.” he glared toward her
rubbing his hand between his legs, sending a message.
Spooney stood about six feet and weighed two hundred pounds. He was
fifteen years her senior and Binx was twenty-two and very petite. He pulled the last straw the night before the way he treated his mother at the dinner table.
His behavior replayed over and over in her mind, and made her sick to her
stomach feeling she couldn’t spend the rest of her life in fear. She recalled the day he struck her face solely based on his speculation that she was seeing another man much younger than he was, and this took him over the edge.
She smiled back at him taking Moosie in her arms. “That’s ok, I can walk ‘em it won’t take long.” she said, keeping in mind he never liked the dog in the first place.
“Well let me help you take your stuff to the car then.”
She quickly replied, “I’ve already done it.” Making her way toward the door.
He turned up his face nodding his head. “I see… I guess you did wanna get there early.”
“Yeah…” she replied, reaching for the door knob.
He tried to speak through the big yawn he gave.
“I said I don’t get a kiss?” he repeated, squinting his eyes.
She gave a short sigh and stepped toward him. Moosie couldn’t stand him and defended Binx as she moved in growling, then showing his teeth.
“That little joker sumthin else.” he laughed, slightly irritated by his behavior.
Binx held Moosie to her side as she kissed him on the lips.
“You’d better hurry up and come on back here girl.” he grinned, easing one hand between her legs.
She pulled away giving a polite smile. “It should only take a few hours. Then we’ll have a wonderful day.” she said, shutting the door behind her. She stood for a moment releasing a big sigh, her legs shook as she headed down the stairs, and her heart beat nearly out of her chest. “This is it Moosie…” she
said, holding him tightly. “This is it… I can’t believe how easy that was.” she grinned, giving a sigh of relief as she left the building.
Spooney stood from the window watching as she led Moosie across the street.
“Don’t give him a reason; just stick to the plan… just stick to the plan.” she reminded herself, seeing him from the window. She waved as they continued around the corner on foot, and waited five minutes before heading back to the car.
She made her move taking a quick glance toward the window, noticing he was nowhere in sight. She put Moosie on the front seat and quickly shut the door.
She sat behind the wheel and began to panic unable to locate her purse with
her keys inside. She felt beneath the front seat and ran her hands across the back frantically hoping to find them. She hung her head over the steering wheel in utter disappointment, her eyes began to swell and she cried hard.
“Oh my god what did I do…? How could I have been so stupid, how could I
have been so stupid.” she repeated in disbelief. She turned toward Moosie,
sitting in the passenger seat, and he hopped over wagging his tail, licking the tears from her face.
“We gotta go back up there…” she spoke softly trying to pull herself together.
She took a deep breath and stepped out of the car, heading back up stairs.
She knocked on the door and he opened it.
“Oh… you decided to come on back up here and take me up on my offer
huh?” he grinned.
She took hold of her nerves putting her best foot forward. “I forgot my purse and my keys.” she told him.
“Ok…” he paused, “Now you can stay for a minute if you want too.” he tried to
convince her, giving a boyish grin.
“Old ass fucker!” she screamed inside, wanting to slap him in the face. “Nah I gotta make it up there before the crowd comes you know?” She grabbed her purse with keys now in hand, and she stepped toward the door with Moosie by her side.
Spooney gave her a questioning look. “I thought you walked the dog already?”
“Yeah I did.” she said without thinking.
“So why you taking ‘em with you now?”
She paused for a second trying to think.
“You ok lady?” he said becoming suspicious.
She popped her lips shrugging her shoulders. “I guess I wasn’t thinking I can’t be walking up in the laundromat with a dog.” she laughed, trying to play it off.
Her heart sank as she led Moosie back into the apartment. She kneeled in
front of him unsnapping his collar and squeezed him gently with her left hand.
The tears pressed hard against her lids but she refused to allow one to hit her face, she couldn’t at this point she felt her life depended on it.
Spooney stood behind her watching as she came to her feet.
She didn’t turn around sensing he’d notice something was wrong so she
headed straight out and down the stairs. “I have to go but I’ll be back in a few hours.” she called.
“Alright baby.” he grinned, shutting the door.
Binx took her seat behind the wheel, tossing her purse on the floor. “Moosie I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry Moosie.” she cried out, starting the ignition. She headed down Chicago Avenue and noticed a pay phone at the corner of Lake Street and stopped, parking her car on the side of the road.
“Lord what am I gonna do…” she thought aloud, rocking back and forth,
holding her hand to her mouth. “I can’t go back there… I never wanna see that man again. I can’t do it…” she shook. She caught her nerve and stepped out of the car, running across the street to the pay phone, deciding to give her best friend Hershey a call. Her wallet was empty and she had to call him collect.
“Please answer Hershey… please be there.” she muttered.
The phone was answered by the forth ring.
“This is the operator with a collect call from Bianca, will you accept?”
“From Binx…? Yeah I’ll accept the call.” he replied feeling she’d better have a good excuse for calling him collect.
“Thanks Hershey.” she immediately spoke trying to keep her composure.
“Aw honey what’s the problem?” The sound of her voice made him nervous
fearing the worst had happened.
“Hershey I need you to do me a favor.” she stated, trying to catch her breath.