A Voice Meant To Be Heard Can’t Be Silenced
Even though Truth Unique was the product of an outspoken mother and fearless father, she was arguably the shyest amongst all human beings. The twenty-five-year-old African American woman had no problem interacting with those she knew well; she was a ball of energy, whose presence left everyone feeling that much better. But put her in a room filled with unfamiliar faces and she’d only speak when spoken to, and with this, her response would be as brief as possible. Her parents tried everything to help her break free of this shell, but their efforts only made her more confident in the presence of those she knew well.
In a popular downtown Detroit coffee shop, Truth and her best friend, twenty-five-year-old Kelly King, were sitting in their favorite booth and enjoying their break from work, as well as one another’s company. They were both nurses at Children’s Hospital, which was something they were incredibly proud of sharing with others. Friends, since forever, there wasn’t anything they didn’t know about each other, because they told each other everything.
"So T', what are you writing?” Kelly chirped. The six-foot, hundred, and seventy-five-pound beauty wore no make-up and proudly rocked a huge, well-groomed Afro. She wore purple scrubs and a pair of comfortable-looking walking shoes.
“You already know, Kel'. I’m writing what my mind won’t allow me not to,” Truth said, and without skipping a beat on what she was doing. The drop-dead gorgeous woman, who stood five foot three and weighed a hundred and twenty-five pounds, wore her long hair in dreadlocks and, like her friend, wore no make-up. Also like Kelly, she too wore purple scrubs and comfortable-looking walking shoes.
“T, you need to share your writing with a larger audience,” Kelly said sternly.
Truth stopped writing, looked up from her journal, and stared directly into Kelly’s light green eyes, “Never going to happen,” she said convincingly.
“Why? It’s not like it’s not good. Hell, it’s freaking phenomenal.”
“Yes, to you and everyone else we both know and love, but you all are not the rest of the world. I can expect a certain style of criticism from those I know; this allows me to revisit my work feeling as though I can improve on it. When it comes to the rest of the world, ways are unknown to me, and that’s scary as hell to me, Kel’.”
“It’s natural to be nervous when we think of doing something new, but we can’t allow fear to replace nervousness. Fear restricts motion, which prevents us from being where we’re meant to be.”
“You know I know this, Kel’. But even though I know it, it doesn’t negate the fact that I’m fearful of failing before those I don’t know. Anyway, where is it you believe I’m supposed to be pertaining to my writing?”
“That I can’t answer, my beloved sista. But I know that it’s supposed to be somewhere other than where it’s been. So, are you finished with your latest masterpiece?”
Truth smiled uncontrollably, “If I knew everybody else in the world was like you, I would have been shared my poetry. To answer your question, yes, I’m done. Would you care to hear it?”
“I’d be offended if you didn’t read it to me,” Kelly said sternly. She smiled afterward.
“Okay, okay. It’s entitled, Truth. Here goes: I am not what I was; I am what I was meant to be. Time brings change, so to remain the same is a waste of the moment. We were meant to grow; growth is natural. So why fight nature, give in, and free-fall into anew. Such beauty to see who you were meant to be. Can you feel it? Can you see it? Or are you numb and blind due to doubt? Step out of your own shadow so you may shine. It’s time. Actually, it’s past time. So, what do you think!”
Kelly, as well as other people who were in earshot, applauded and cheered. Truth put her hands up to her face; she was happy and embarrassed, all at the same time.
“Speak Your Piece” was a popular spoken word lounge in downtown Detroit. Here poets from Detroit, as well as surrounding cities, came to proudly showcase their talents, as well as to listen as ability was being displayed. Despite this being one of Truth’s favorite places to be, she has never taken the stage. Many of the regulars knew of her gift, and they’d mention it to those who didn’t while in the lounge. Everyone would try to coach her up on the stage, but the many unfamiliar faces always kept her glued to her seat, totally embarrassed by all the attention she received.
The atmosphere of Speak Your Piece was terrific; it was no wonder it was as popular as it was. Great food, drinks, smooth jazz, and spoken words, what more could a creative expect. Since its grand opening four years ago, Speak Your Piece was always packed.
“So Truth, is tonight the night?” King Almighty chirped. The thirty-five-year-old African American man was the owner of Speak Your Piece. The tall, dark, and handsome man with short wavy hair and a thick well-groomed beard, always dressed to impress. Considered a spoken word legend by his peers, the accountant by day invested some of his savings into what he loved doing, as well as watching being done.
“Oh God no, King,” Truth said nervously. She wore a purple and gold-trimmed dress and a pair of matching high-heeled shoes, looking like the Queen she was.
“Beloved, what is it you fear most, and that’s keeping you from shining as you should?”
Truth looked into King’s hazel eyes, eyes she has gotten lost in frequently, eyes she loved like no others. “Rejection, and the verbal feedback that will follow it,” she said confidently. She flashed a weak smile afterward.
“Oh my beautiful sista, everyone wasn’t meant to like, let alone love, all we do, just how life works, baby. When we realize this, we’ll stop holding ourselves back and soar. Listen to this.”
King pulled a recorder from the right pocket of his trousers, pressed play, and watched as Truth smiled uncontrollably, and thanks to hearing her own voice.
“Oh my God, Kel’ recorded me earlier,” Truth giggled like a schoolgirl with a major crush.
“Indeed, she did.” King turned off the device and placed it back in his pocket. He then walked up to Truth, put his arms around her waist, and gazed into her warm brown eyes. “Your talent has been denied its moment long enough. It’s time for the world to know of it,” he said in the smoothest manner possible. He placed his lips on hers, and they kissed as if it wasn’t the first time they ever did. She broke the heated kiss.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of your forwardness. Lord knows I am. But I’m curious, why now?”
King smiled a winning smile, “Because every moment has its time. I’ve been feeling you feeling me for a while, but obviously, you weren’t feeling me feeling you. I was patient and respectful because I felt you were worth the wait. After I talked to Kelly earlier, and she shared with me the talk you two had, as well as after hearing the recording of your beautiful poem, I decided it was time for me to enlighten you on how I feel.”
“How do you feel, King?” Truth said softly; she stared at him like she never had before. She now had her arms wrapped loosely around his neck.
“I adore you. You’re my muse and have been, ever since I laid eyes on you. I want you to be my Queen, as quickly as possible.”
Truth cried tears of joy. “I’m utterly blown away. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamed of you asking me to marry you.”
“Now I’m blown away,” King went in to resume their kiss, but she moved her head back.
“Hold that kiss, handsome. I have some long-overdue business to tend to.” Truth pulled away from King and walked towards the stage swiftly. Once she got to the stage, she walked behind the young woman that was performing and over to the Master of Ceremony. She whispered something in his ear, and when she finished, he looked at her, smiled uncontrollably, and gave her a big hug.
The young woman that was performing finished her set and walked off the stage to a thunderous combination of applauds and cheers. She made it back to her seat and couldn’t contain her excitement; she was smiling uncontrollably. This was the vibe of Speak Your Piece; you were made to feel like a superstar, great vibes indeed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please,” the Master of Ceremony said into the microphone present on the stage. The crowd became eerily quiet. “Thank you. Many of you know this lovely sista that stands up here with me. You also know of her phenomenal talent. But there are many here who don’t know her or of her talent, but that all changes tonight. I present to you… Truth Unique!”
The entire crowd gave Truth a standing ovation, which had her smiling uncontrollably.
“So, what did you say to our girl, King?” Kelly chirped. She was looking fabulous in her form-fitting gold and purple trimmed dress and matching high-heeled shoes.
King smiled at her, “All she needed to hear apparently,” he and Kelly set their sights on the stage and on the woman who now owned it.
“Thank you, everyone, I appreciate the love. I can’t lie, this is something I never thought I’d have the confidence to do.” She glanced over at King, smiled, and then put her attention back on the crowd before her. “But like a wise man once told me, 'Every moment has its time.' The poem I’m going to recite is inspired by the said man, and it's one that will come straight from my heart because that’s where it lives. It’s entitled, My King.”