Today’s post is building upon what I wrote yesterday.
I was on another date with the girl I wrote about Tuesday evening. En route to our destination I handed her my phone to play DJ because she had earned the privilege by playing UGK. She said she was in a different mood and being the music connoisseur I am I recognized the songs were from singer Teedra Moses’ debut album Complex Simplicity. She played two songs while skipping through for the third the first two chords of “Rescue Me” played.
I was familiar with the beginning of this song because in 2010 I was managing and producing my former roommate’s gospel rap group. One of my best My best friends and early YouTube sensations for making beats, Gabe-Real had given me a few tracks and one of them had this sample in it. Honestly, I thought my phone was playing tricks on me and automatically began to play the group’s version.
Once the date had ended and I was driving back home I listened to “Rescue Me” and the group-Painted Red’s-“Be Free,” began to think about how that song had come to be, and how my former roommate, Devin’s life had begun to change as a result.
When Devin and I first met he had this girlfriend, Toni. He was in love with this girl. In 200t, after being together for about a year and a half they broke up and Devin was devastated. During spring break he came to New York with me and slept every day until 4:30 pm and being a good friend I did whatever I could to cheer him up and keep his mind off of her. For years no matter who he dated or was in a relationship with, no one was ever Toni.
In 2006, Toni and I had become friends outside of Devin. We had a class together in which I would sit next to her and cheat off of her tests. She was engaged to another man. While we were friends, I was loyal to Devin and a part of me still wanted things to work out so I would devalue her new relationship in a passive capacity by making jokes about her ring (I would make jokes that it was bought at Five Points in Atlanta). I just didn’t feel like whatever Toni and this guy had could compare to what Devin could be to her in life.
Every once in a while, Toni and Devin would meet up after they graduated. After graduation, Toni had moved to Nashville for a few years. She was still engaged and hadn’t married the guy yet. In 2008 Devin told Timile and I that Toni was going to be in Alabama and he could see her for twenty minutes and was asking us if we thought he should drive the two hours to see her and our response was “Hell yeah! Stop bullshitting, go, and get your girl!” That was about it for a while.
In 2009, Devin had moved back to his home state, South Carolina and was in Atlanta for the weekend with some of his friends. I was selling cars at the time and thought I would be working; but I got fired so I was free that afternoon. We hung out and one of the guys he’d started a gospel rap group was with him. After being out all evening I recorded a song of theirs and we had begun to talk about the guys coming to Atlanta once a month to cut an album.
On the first trip to Atlanta we recorded the song with the Teedra Moses sample. Devin said to me “Guess what? Toni and I are friends again and have been talking.” I looked at him and said “Oh shit!” The whole time he was in Atlanta he would be texting her, telling me they have inside jokes, and the dialog seemed to have been flirtatious.
The second trip to Atlanta wasn’t just to record; but I had booked a show for Painted Red. Devin told me that Toni had agreed to come to the A from Nashville so that they could meet up and essentially go on their first date in five years. I just knew where things were headed.
About a year later, Devin told the group he was leaving for Washington DC because Toni had moved there. They were back in a full-fledged relationship and wanted to see where things were going. Devin proposed to Toni in November of 2011. I saw them in New York the day after and I was beyond elated for them. Before their nuptials Toni had told me I had no choice but to come to their wedding in Houston. I said “Of course! We all know this wouldn’t have happened without me!” She laughed and said “You’re right.”
I told this story as my toast as Devin’s best man under the premise that what seems like a bunch of isolated events-like me getting fired allowing us to record and that giving him reason to be in Atlanta to rekindle their relationship-is never coincidence…It’s all God. There was a perfect plan that He had ordained for them and He wasn’t going to allow the two of them to get in their own-and His-way to circumvent this. The truth was the two of them had growing up to do. After getting a glimpse of what life could be like they had to see what it would be like without each other; just to find out it wouldn’t be one worth living.
Yep. Isolated events like a Teedra Moses song I’d never paid attention to remind me that nothing in life is coincidence.