Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite writers Enitan Bereola at his book signing in San Francisco. Everytime I read one of his quotes on Instagram, I end up catching the Holy Ghost. I put one hand in the air, the other over my chest and then the feels just start pouring out of my ears. So there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to tell him how much I appreciated him and his words. However, it was during his actual book discussion where he said his most profound words yet.
The moderator asked him if there was ever a time in his life where he wasn’t a gentleman. He replied by saying that he used to be a playboy in college, but despite that, he was always a gentleman. His reason being that he always told the truth. He figured that as long as he told the woman he was involved with that he didn’t want to be in a relationship, it didn’t matter what happened after that. All responsibility on his part had been relinquished. They should’ve known better.
I immediately felt a tinge of guilt. I always tell my male friends that as long as they tell the truth, the woman/women they’re seeing can’t get mad at them. Technically, it’s true. But we are all aware of what is going on, and what is at stake. Enitan knew it too. He compared it to involuntary manslaughter. “It’s like when you’re texting and driving, and then you hit someone. You didn’t mean to kill them, but you knew what you were doing”.
This especially resonated with me, because I’m sitting shotty in the car with them. Or I’m blindly walking across the street looking at my phone, thinking that just because I’m in a crosswalk, drivers will be paying attention.
I continue to see men that don’t want relationships, and tell myself it’s OK because I know what it is and what it isn’t. Because we have fun, and are enjoying each other’s company. Because my other option would be sleeping alone, and not having anyone to watch the new dystopian movie with. But I know what I’m doing, and I know the kind of person I am. I know that no matter how cool I am about it, and how transparent our relationship is, I will always want more. I will want what I deserve.
You see, I’ve been a victim of involuntary manslaughter. And I am always accessory to the crime. Even worse, I wind up serving their sentence as well as mine.