I don’t know what hurt more. The sharp words we used to fatally wound one another or the impact of the back of your hand as it flies across my face. It’s a numbing haze that I associate with the assault as I hear the piercing sound of your flesh striking mine. I could feel the imprinted mark that it dealt to me, the rippling sting that connected with my plump cheek, the metallic taste covering my tongue. My knees weaken as I crumble to the floor.

Oh, . . . God

The air hastens from my wheezing lungs when my shoulder brutally hits the gleaming hardwood surface that my feet once stood upon. I cry out, withering away in the fetal position as your fury morphs into shock. Witnessing the horror of your actions my fear ricochets off my skin and onto yours, creating a haunting echo throughout the room. Mumbles of words fill my ringing eardrums.

I didn’t mean it, baby, I’m so sorry . . .

A trail of bewilderment and agony run heinously in my mind, as I revolt in the aftermath of what you have done, trying to dwell on what we did to cause this irreversible chaos. Your face is drained of color as I glance in the mirror to see hues of red and purple rising on the skin of my cheek. Words continue to tumble from your mouth.

I never meant to hurt you . . .

Opaque crimson liquid drips from my inflamed bottom lip. My mind as of yet to contemplate why my face feels hurts, which leaves my thoughts a jumbled, convoluted mess of denial. Tears stream down my swollen cheek, composing a haze of inconsistencies around me, blinding me with its knowledge.

Please forgive me . . .

A roaring thump grabs my attention detaching me from the void that was descending into my existence. Genuflecting before me, a look of devastation is painted across your features. Your nostrils flare, your mouth pressed firm with tension, as your trembling hand’s quake as they touch my profoundly swelling jaw.

What did I do?

by Tiona Harris

I am a proud graduate of two degrees, I am a daughter, I am a friend, but most importantly, I am flawed and beautifully me. I am an openminded individual with a unique spirituality that I will not compromise for anyone. Dwelling in my truth exposes and remedies the pain, joy, happiness, and scars that have manifested within me. Surviving different tribulations within my life helped me discover within myself the definition of realness, loyalty, and artistry. Embracing the bittersweetness that comes with living through my past and present experiences helped established a young black princess into the queen she is today.

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