On Easter Sunday I left Trenton in the wee hours of the morning to drive to Westchester New York. I had plans to spend the Holy Day with one of my Links chapter members, known fondly to me as Aunt Barbara.
Aunt Barbara had been wanting to introduce me to a young single pastor that graduated from Morehouse College. She’d been talking to me about him for months. “It will be perfect, you went to Spelman, he went to Morehouse, you’re both in the ministry…” We’d decided that I would come up for Easter and we’d visit his church.
The service was very nice and the sermon was memorable. He preached about Jesus’ empty tomb, using the catchy title: “I ain’t there no mo!” He basically said that when the women found Jesus’ empty tomb there were also all of the wrappings there that had been used to bind Jesus’ dead body. But early on that sunday morning, Jesus wasn’t there anymore. The bondage had been loosed.
And through faith, we can also be loosed from our bondage; Just like Jesus, we can tell others: “we ain’t there no mo!”
I liked the message.
After church, Aunt Barbara walked me to the front of the sanctuary to introduce me to the pastor. He was nice, but I wasn’t interested. No connection.
My attention was elsewhere.
It had been two days since our amazing ten hour Good Friday date and all I could think about was Kesner. I had also seen him again the following night at the annual Black Firefighter Ball in Trenton. Both of us had already been planning to go to the ball and he was there to campaign, so it wasn’t a date. He did come to meet me on the dance floor for a few moments, however. He looked so handsome. I was the only woman he danced with that night.
And now it was Easter Sunday and I wondered when I would get to see him again. I hoped it would be soon.
When we returned to Aunt Barbara’s after church, I decided to take an afternoon nap in her sun room. I’d been invited to stay for dinner and we had some time to spare. Mid nap, I received a call from Kesner.
“Would you like to come over for dinner?”
Kesner offered to cook. He said that he would boil some meat. Yes, boil.
While the thought of boiled meat sounded less than appetizing, the thought of more time with Kesner did not. I probably would have tried to figure out a way to get over there, but I was so far from home. I told him where I was and regretfully declined his invitation.
Easter Dinner in Westchester was lovely and I got on the Road at 7PM and headed back to Trenton. I called Kesner almost immediately in the car and we talked for my entire drive home on the New Jersey Turnpike.
But that wasn’t enough…
I was home for a little while when I admitted to myself that I really wanted to see him; my day didn’t feel complete. I called him and he was enthusiastic to meet. It was 10PM and we decided to meet in a park in Trenton.
Where did it come from and who was Agabidi? – we wondered. It is this randomly beautiful park in the middle of the Chambersburg section of Trenton. The park is a small open space in the middle of a four-way city intersection. It’s mostly concrete, with steel benches, and interesting sculptures, and short little trees that line the perimeter. And there are small green lights that light up the park at night.
Kesner had discovered this gem on his campaign trail and for him it represented possibility. He was running for East Ward Councilman and he was so excited that this park, which to him looked “…like it could be in Europe,” was in his ward.
We sat together on one of the steel benches and we talked more. I had already had a great day but I didn’t feel like I was truly breathing until I was with Kesner. We had that feeling. It didn’t matter what we were talking about, we were together again.
It was magic.
We talked mostly about his hope for Trenton and his vision for the east ward. I was so inspired by the sorts of things that made him feel so passionately about the city. He pointed to areas around the park where he imagined there could be cafes, and thriving businesses.
“I chose to be a home owner in Trenton and I want this city to be safe for my children and family…”
“As neighbors we need to communicate with each other, we need to bring people together…”
“I believe in Trenton, it is the state capital and all New Jersey residents should care about what happens here…”
These are the sorts of things he would say. I listened. Inspired. Visioning. Believing. Oh the possibilities. He could easily be the mayor of the city one day…
And I would stand by his side.
Suddenly Trenton began to open up to me in a totally new way. We could build a life here. Sitting there in the park, I believed also.
At some point I got cold and he gave me his denim jacket. And then we stood up and he gave me the warmest tightest hug I’d ever had. I was telling him about how sad I was that my soul friend, Jessie, was getting ready to leave town and move to upstate New York. He stood up and said “let me give you a hug for Jessie,” and he did.
And he didn’t let go.
We stood there, hugging, for several hours. If I had to guess, I’d say at least two. He was holding me as if we were slow dancing and he was squeezing me around my waist so tight that it almost hurt. He was so strong. I felt safe.
By this time it was past 1AM and we were standing and hugging in the middle of a park in Trenton.
And I felt safe.
“What would you do if someone suspicious approached us?” He asked.
“I’d follow your lead,” I said
“Good” he said.
He was a strong man in body and mind and I trusted him. In his arms, I could let go.
“You need a strong man, don’t you?”
“Yes I do,” I told him.
Standing there under the moon and stars, we began to slow dance to our own music. I sang to him in his ear and we rocked from side to side.
I sang worship songs.
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship and its all about you Jesus..”.
And “Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone..”.
And I also sang: “The first time I looked into your eyes I cried, do you remember the first time we fell in love..”
It was sweet. And comfortable. And wonderful. “It’s so easy to be romantic with you because you have class,” he said.
After hours of slow dancing in the park, we decided to head back to our cars. but we still didn’t want the night to be over. “Let’s go to a diner,” he said. We went around the corner to the Broad Street Diner, which is open 24 hours. Sitting across the table from one another, he gave me a second nickname.
“Your eyes are really brown. I’m going to call you Brown Eyes.“
And then he gave me a third nickname:
“PYT- Pretty Young Thang” -Kesner was only five years older than me, but the women he’d dated before me were typically 5-10 years older than him. PYT seemed appropriate.
We ordered eggs and bacon and scrapple and corn beef hash. I’d never tried scrapple before. We shared everything, picking at this and that. Kesner doused his eggs with ketchup. This would become our place. Our diner.
By 4AM I really was tired. Time had flown by again, it seemed it was just 10PM. Had we really just spent six hours together in the middle of the night? Sharing, hugging, singing, eating, dreaming… dancing in a park? In the middle of the night? We hugged and said goodbye. I was glad that it was Easter Monday and I had the day off from work. I could rest.
But would I see him tomorrow? I really hoped so. I didn’t want to spend too much time away from him.
I was in love.
Kesner’s Vision for Trenton. My inspiration. I would stand by his side…
© Copyright Thank You Very Sweet, 2011