Archive for the ‘Chapter 4’ Category

When I arrived at Kesner’s on June 9th I left everything in the car and I ran into the house.  I just wanted to lay eyes on him.. to see that he was ok.. to see that I was over-reacting and that he was just in his basement painting.  or taking a nap upstairs.

So I entered the house through the open back door in the Kitchen and I called his name.  No answer.  I took off my shoes and I ran up the stairs and straight ahead of me, in an empty guest room with a single air mattress on the floor, was Kesner.

I stopped breathing for a minute:


It was one of those gut wrenching, breathy, deep voice, from the pit of your heart, yelps:


Immediately my mind knew exactly what I was seeing but my heart did not connect, it did not understand.  It was the strangest feeling in the world.  shock and horror.  The moment was terrifying yet beautiful all at the same time.  Scary yet intimate. I wanted to be close but far away.  I was afraid but I wasn’t.  I touched his hair and his neck and his shoulders.  He was cold and dark and solid as a rock.

NOOOOO!!!! I screamed.

Soon panic began to set in.  my mind was going a million miles a minute.  I was screaming and crying: What do I do?!?  All logical thinking had left me and I was becoming hysterical.  Then a voice, calm and deep, from a place far within me said :

Call 911. 

Yes!  Call 911, I have to call 911!! I raced around the house looking for a phone, any phone, his phone.  I found it but the battery was dead.  Of course it was dead! the calls had been going to voicemail all afternoon.  So I burst out of the back door (no shoes) ran to my car, grabbed my phone and called 911.  I was screaming into the phone “HELP ME!  HELP ME! He has diabetes, I think he is in a coma!” (my heart just couldn’t accept that he was gone).  The lady on the other end was asking me so many questions, trying to tell me how to do CPR.

“I CAN’T!” I screamed, “I CAN’T” just send someone over here, HELP ME!!!”  She told me that EMS was on the way and we hung up the phone.

Then more panic, shortness of breath, tears – lots and lots of tears.  What do I do now?

Then the voice came back, calm just like before:

Call Talithea.

Yes!  Call Talithea!  I have to call Talithea! I called her, no answer.

Then a text message from Talithea: “Hey Momma, I’m in a meeting, what’s up?”  I texted her one line: “Please Help Me”…  second text: “Kesner is Dead, I found him, I NEED YOU!”

She called back immediately: “Where are you?”… I’m at his house”… “I’m on my way!”

I had not fully rationalized why I needed Talithea in that moment and no one else; but today it all makes sense. Talithea is the ONLY person who could handle it.  Talithea is my line sister in Delta Sigma Theta and she is my friend.  She intrigued me from the first day that I met her.  We were at a karaoke bowling night.  Talithea had a serious face, such serious eyes; you could tell there was immense depth to her.

Our friendship fate was soon sealed over a passionate karaoke rendition of “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette.  Black girls don’t typically get down like that and I immediately appreciated our shared interest in alternative music!

As we continued to get to know each other I learned that she had experienced some unspeakable tragedies.  Her brother was murdered…  She found her cousin dead in his bed… Talithea had experienced incredible loss and immense pain. She had been to dark places.


Today she is a force field of energy.  She has a passionate way of living that gives people permission to be free.  She once sent around a text and asked people for one word that describes her personality and my reply was “uncensored.”  I said this not only because she speaks her mind – she does speak her mind – but because she has an uncensored approach to living.  She is alive. And how she lives is her prerogative.  I think you kind of earn that right when you experience horrible things.  Trauma seems to jolt you out of a make-believe world of self-imposed restrictions and social control and awakens you to the reality of LIFE.  Life is so very precious.

So I’d called Talithea and she was on her way, thank God.  But I was still alone.  Terrified.  Frantic.  Panicked.  In shock.  What do I do now?!?  I went into the room with Kesner’s dead body, and I sat on the floor next to it and I started wailing.  I just sat there and hollered.  I needed to stay close to him.  This was the last time that we would be together alone.  I cried an aching pain-filled cry. and I screamed, and screamed. And then the voice came back, one more time.  Calm and deep just like before, it said:

Call your Mother.

Yes! “Call Mom” – I screamed into my phone.  “Mom, calling…,” my phone replied.   Answer: “Hey boo”  “MOM!”  I hollered.  “What?!” – panic voice.  “Kesner is dead!  I found him!”  She immediately started crying into the phone.  She was as hysterical as I was. “Where are you?” she said.  I told her.  Then the question: “Do you want to come home or do you want me to come there?”

Deep Calm Voice:

Tell her to come here.

“I want you to come here!” I cried.

Then I had to go. “The Paramedics are here, I hear the ambulance outside.” 

The paramedics came in and immediately announced him dead on arrival.  They were asking me questions and I couldn’t answer any of them. I was in so much pain.  They asked me for a bedroom sheet so that they could cover him.  I left him only for a moment and I found one, then I came back and sat right next to his dead body again.

I sat there, on the floor and I rocked back and forth and I cried.  The paramedics packed up their belongings. There was nothing they could do there.  The next wave of folks would be the police.  And the detectives.

As the paramedics were leaving Talithea was running in.  One man said : “Are you Talithea?”  She said “Yes”  He said “She needs you.”  Talithea ran into the house and up the stairs.  I had not prepared her for what she was about to see.

Me. sitting on the floor. rocking back and forth and crying next to Kesner’s dead body. 

Thankfully, she had made contact with another friend of ours, Felicia.  Talithea was able to keep her composure for me but she needed a friend too.  Talithea was there for me and Felicia was there for her.

When the detectives arrived, they told me I had to move.  Suddenly this had become a crime scene and I was a potential suspect.  This is where the irony of the tee-shirt comes in.  Remember I was wearing an orange Tee-shirt that said “Prevention is Cheaper than Incarceration,” but I was now being detained and questioned by the police.

I was detained for the next 7 hours. They let Talithea and Felicia stay with me (nobody else was allowed to come into the house and by this time many friends were beginning to gather outside on the porch).  My mother contacted the Mayor of Trenton, a friend of hers from college, and insisted that the Police treat me well.

Mayor Doug Palmer - Immediate Past Mayor of Trenton NJ and friend of my Mom

Talithea and Felicia were cracking jokes and flirting with the police officers.  I felt more calm having them there.  I needed them both and they didn’t have to stay… but they did.

This was how Love was beginning to carry me through…. 

© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2011

Read Full Post »