I was a quiet kind of guy all through high school, and I had the same best friend, Marcus Traverse, all of my life. I played basketball really well, and by my senior year I had a scholarship pretty much guaranteed. It was in my senior year that I first noticed Vida Coleman. Vida was never what you would call a beautiful girl, but she was real popular. Vida was a church girl; saved and sanctified, but she was the type of saved girl that you would never guess had ever even set foot into a church. Vida never cursed, but she was loud, and her name was always behind a lot of trouble, both in school and in the community. She always wore the most expensive and fashionable clothes and never hesitated to exploit the girls who didn’t. I don’t know what I saw in Vida Coleman. Perhaps it was my grandma who persuaded me. All my grandma cared about was the fact that Vida was The Reverend Coleman’s granddaughter, but of course she only seen the church Vida, and not the street Vida.
I worked two jobs, but it still wasn’t enough. I tried to raise my children, but she made it impossible by belittling me in front of them and limiting my discipline. When I finally got fed-up and left, she turned my children against me, one by one, and in the most underhanded ways imaginable. I didn’t know whether to say ‘forget my children,’ who seemed to resent my attempts to keep the family in proper order, or to keep doing battle with this beast of a woman who obviously had more experience in fighting dirty than I’d ever even heard of.
…Was I wrong to abandon a life of burden for a chance a halfway decent, peaceful life?
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