|"All the world's a stage, all the men and women merely players." - Shakespeare|
For awhile now, in nearly every direction turned, I've heard rave reviews concerning the wildly popular ABC drama series Scandal. As one who loves discreditable action as much as the next, I could hardly wait to plant my mental into the television screen and join conversations regarding the Shonda Rhimes-developed program starring Kerry Washington. The excitement of it all reminded me of ado previously reserved for HBO's The Wire, which in my humble opinion is the greatest TV drama these eyes had ever witnessed. Unlike David Simon's shakespearean-like creation, Scandal failed to keep me engaged. Unsure of whether it was the show's highly unlikely premise or just as unbelievable characters, I could never get past the first episode. Fortunately, in the process, Scandal forced me to reflect upon a real-life situation that threatens to cause public disgrace and rock the lives of those entangled to their very core.
Let me explain. My cousin Adrian and his girlfriend Leah - parents of three young children, have been involved in a supposedly committed relationship for the past decade. If I had to say whether they are madly in love with one another, I'd answer no. But truth be told, after so many years, it's mostly about the strong predilection for family anyhow. Around this point of involvement, the majority of couples hide behind the guise of relationship while experiencing beautiful bliss in the arms of others. I can certainly name a few. I've heard, witnessed, and once experienced enough to know that relationships amid respective side pieces can be accomplished, and quite well, at that.
Adrian, Leah and I share mutual friends. Among them, a male relative on Adrian's dad side of the family as well as a homeboy from around the way.
I had known Leah, beforehand. She and a female relative of mine played basketball on the same team in college. We shared small talk, here and there, mainly about hoops as she proved to be a good conversationalist in the area of sports. Years later, upon hearing Leah and Adrian were dating, I felt the two had all the makings of a solid couple. Neither were too fast nor too slow. Each held the same medium, which is underrated in all affairs. Or so I thought, before hearing that Leah and Adrian's homeboy had recently been spotted entering a motel room while Adrian was out of town on a business trip. Shocked, I rushed over to Adrian's home, pulled Leah aside and quietly asked if the rumor was truth. To my surprise, she confirmed. I couldn't help but wonder why she admitted a secret so devastating to her boyfriend's cousin. I mean, he and I are blood.
Is she that reckless? Does she trust me? Probably both. No other claims whatsoever can be made for it.
Afterward, I stood in complete silence. All I could think about - beside the pathetic smirk which flashed across her face - was the hell that stood to break loose once everything came to light. Driven by one question in particular, I demanded to know how she partook in such an awful thing, considering countless numbers of women and men remain stuck inside penitentiaries and buried in graveyards as a direct result of comparable acts. Isn't there enough trouble in the world? She explained that she had known Adrian's friend long before knowing Adrian.
Whatever that meant.
Now that I knew the truth, Leah hoped I wouldn't repeat her words to Adrian. Really? Apparently she is naive about how men constantly brag to others after having drilled another man's woman. In order to calm fears on her behalf, I looked into her sneaky eyes and insisted that her pussy is her pussy and only she possessed the God-given right to share her womb with whomever she damn well pleased. If Leah secretly felt that she could be involved with a man, yet double as the lay of the land to others, then what could I or anyone else really do? I will not be the one to tell. Besides, I am a firm believer in the adage that everything done in the dark will eventually come to light. The light has a way of revealing inconsistencies between one's actions and one's words. It does, I assure.
As I drove away, I looked at everything from my cousin's point of view. The mother of his children slept with his friend. Of all things. Of all people. Yet I refused to enter into his expected bitch-I-cannot-believe-you-did-this-to-me line of thought. No, I overlooked the anger and viewed from a humane standpoint. Since I had found myself in a similar position nearly 8 years ago, I knew how these type of volatile situations where emotions are running high can become inhumane in a matter of seconds. Not that I am a humanitarian, but I understand empathetic situations call for empathetic voices. So what could I possibly say to Adrian that might allow him to remain cool, calm and collected the moment visions of his baby mom completely manhandled in bed by his friend entered into the back of his mind?
That even Jesus wept?
As men, we might could "man up" or overcome base emotions to a scarring situation if afforded the opportunity. Meaning, Leah and only Leah must sit down and come clean to Adrian. Telling the honest to God truth assures that one is willing to end deception, put it all behind and move forward. Lies offer the complete opposite while leading to more lies, contempt. Scandal. If I have learned but two things in life: Honesty goes a long ways. Tact, even farther. Of course Adrian cheated on Leah numerous times, so although he believes she is faithful - perception isn't always reality. Reality is always reality. It happened, and the truth of the matter is that he can either end the relationship or stay. Neither of which is easy by any pull of the imagination. Maybe it's karma? Perhaps an act so incredibly daft was so richly deserved? I cannot say. My lone concern is that Adrian doesn't allow heartache to disable and paralyze and throw him completely off his square.
Interestingly enough, I stopped by a local recording studio to listen to Adrian's cousin lay a couple of tracks for an upcoming mixtape. He asked me to hold his cell phone as he prepared to go inside the vocal booth. Suddenly remembering that he had returned days before from a family trip to Disney World, I asked the lock code in order to browse photos. While browsing, I somehow stumbled across a couple of nude pics of a woman and her private parts. Amazingly, the sista in the pictures was no other than Leah...