For the second week in a row now, HBO's "Insecure" has taken me to the pages of Turn Two....
Terrence heard all twelve of the pleading messages that Traci left on his cell and home phone. Visions of her and Rondell, together, burned into his psyche like a hot poker. He tried to erase the painful images, but each time his anger rekindled to combustion. He did not have the ability to consider her pleas for forgiveness. His pain sought only one outlet…revenge.
Have you ever reached out to another in revenge? Comment and let's chat about your experience. Don't worry - real names not required here :)
This week's episode of HBO's "Insecure" took me right to....
I can’t believe this shit! I thought I could Turn Two! Your ass is smoother than I ever was.”
He stormed past her with suitcase in hand, bumping her aside from the doorway where she was standing. He walked past his trophy case and pushed it over. The crash reverberated as he stormed off.
He was on a rampage. From the fireplace mantle he grabbed their favorite photograph, at which he stared for just a second. He looked back to her, cracked the frame over his knee and dropped it to the floor, with a smirk knowing how much she adored it. The glass frame cut the photo in half. Traci’s heart hit her stomach when she saw their images lying there, torn apart.
He left a path of destruction behind him and then proceeded to the entry hall closet, from where he removed more clothing.
“Terrence, please. Don’t do this to us!”
With a sarcastic chuckle he replied, “You’ve got this twisted, sista. You are the one who did this to us when you started doing it to your boss! I’m out on the road securing our future, while you‘re serving it up in the office!”
Astounded by his portrayal, she looked at him as if she was about to catch a case of her own.
“Securing our future? Ha! You were on the road whoring around, doing everything that should have cancelled our future! And what did you expect me to do? Huh, Mr. Paternity Suit? I’ll tell you, Terrence! I’ll tell you what you expected! You expected me to keep my naive ass home while you were out doing whatever made you feel good! Well, I am not that naive anymore!” She paused and then chuckled, just as sarcastically as he had and continued, “but I guess you know that - NOW!”
He froze. His eyes were flat, limpid but in a blink reignited with fury by her boastful admission. Suddenly he made a move for a wine bottle and smashed it into the wall. He rushed over to her, and stood nose-to-nose.
“You are lucky that my mama taught me to never to hit a woman, cuz if she didn’t, your ass would be laying flat as a pancake right now.” The desire to choke her had returned and was lingering, so he decided he’d better leave. “I’m outta here!”
The thought of him walking out of the door, perhaps for the last
time, caused her to rush and block it.
For more, please visit the store page for your copy of Turn Two
I had to do it. When I wrote Turn Two, I made a conscious effort to honor "old school" R&B:
While Terrence was in distress, Rondell was thrilled that Traci agreed to go back to his house for a while. They visited with his family and then he found a quiet place for them to spend time alone while enjoying their favorite music, old school R&B. Al Wilson’s “Show and Tell” was the first song he played for her. They then danced and caressed to LTD’s “Share My Love.” To be sure that she was listening to the lyrics, which poignantly reflected his feelings, he sang selected verses. He was right Traci learned – he can carry a tune. He touched her deeply with his expressions of love. At the end of the song, her lips now hungry, sought his.
Back on the mainland, too downhearted to work, Rondell took the week off. He wasn’t responding to telephone calls, even those from Jim, who decided to check in on his best friend. Maria’s instructions were not to disturb him, but she led Jim into the family room where Rondell was holding up, having a glass of wine and absorbed in music, The Whispers, “I Only Meant to Wet My Feet”.
After you walk out of these doors for the last time, I am going to crank up the Sade and cry like a baby.”
Tight lipped and silent, Terrence drove home. Images of Traci flashed across his mind. Her butt in that tight dress filled the windshield of his Range Rover, as did Rondell’s large hands on her. He was furious. He had not heard a word Laylah said, but Earth, Wind & Fire’s “After The Love is Gone” suddenly registered in his brain. Quickly, he turned off the radio.
Terrence hopped in his ride. The blaring rap was unsuitable for his pain. He scrolled down the screen of his phone until he reached Traci’s playlist. Hearing her favorite songs was bittersweet. He hit the rewind button on Lamont Dozier’s “Why Can’t We Be Lovers” at the verse “Girl, you’re a habit I can’t break, I’d fall apart if you weren’t there when I awake.”
While watching the Cubs and Indians battle tonight, my mind drifted to this storyline from Turn Two . . .
The game, just like the series, was a war. The crowd was on their feet throughout all nine innings and certainly got their money’s worth. The lead had been a back and forth exchange.
With two outs in the top of the ninth and a man at second, Big Daddy, the cleanup man, came to the plate, quite possibly the go ahead run. He had already fouled two 400 feet down the right field line. Tension was thicker than the fog rolling in from centerfield.
Terrence and his team were only one out away from a World Series win, but if Big D had his way, LA would chase their opponents in the bottom of the ninth.
The wind up came. Alarm rang throughout the crowd as the crunch of the ball meeting wood created a monumental wince. A screaming line drive was hit to the six hole. The base runner jetted upon contact. Terrence reacted quickly. His stretched body nearly aligned horizontal as he dove across the hole. He almost snagged the ball, but it hit the tip of his glove and rolled into shallow left field. As he scrambled to locate it, the runner was rounding third. Once spotted, with blazing speed Terrence took a hook slide and scooped up the ball. Then, with finesse, he popped up and fired the ball home in a side arm motion so fast and direct that it appeared shot from a
cannon. The ball was approaching the plate at the same time as the outstretched leg of the tying run. The catcher was in position to make the play. The ball stung him as it whacked into his glove pocket. He tagged the runner’s cleat, but into and through him the runner slid, knocking him off balance and over. He twice rolled and then popped up, showing the umpire the ball within his glove. The umpire took one giant step forward and threw down the half windmill overhand gauntlet, “YOU’RE OUT! GAME OVER!”
Cheering roared loudly from the stadium, to the streets, throughout the city, and around the country. Many remained in shock, wondering whether they actually saw Terrence make arguably one of the greatest defensive plays in history. The replay on the stadium big screen confirmed that in-fact the throw was just in the- nick-of-time. The crowd roared louder each time the play was repeated.
Hoarse commentators everywhere shouted repeatedly, “I can’t believe he made that play!”
Tina Denise was born and raised in Southern California. She is married and has two wonderful children, a son who is a professional athlete and an academically talented daughter. She has enjoyed a long career in commercial real estate and is an avid sports enthusiast, both which serve as the backdrop for her debut novel.