“If ya heart stop beating, I’ll go back in time. Make ya heart beat again. Real niggas to the end.” Victor “N.O.R.E.” Santiago
In 490 posts on this blog, today is going to be the first and probably only time that I will write fiction. While taking Cydney to school in the morning, I thought to myself “How different would January 4, 2016 have been if Timile were alive?” It would have been her thirtieth birthday. From time to time, I let my imagination stretch its legs and frolic a little. I felt as if this was a decent occasion to do so.
Timile and I would have married and moved back to Georgia shortly after Cydney’s first birthday; probably back in Cobb County because it was fairly cheap and we liked living in that area. Timile would be teaching and I’m quite not sure about me. I would still be a little lost without music not being the career because I gave that up for her. Nonetheless, I would have found happiness in providing for my family and whenever I had some free time I would tinker away in my corner where I still created tracks and had my creative outlet.
The morning of Timile’s birthday I probably wouldn’t have slept much. Spending Christmas in our own home, driving to New York and Virginia in which we tolerated in-laws, and getting our two children to bed before school started would have me itching to toil in my studio before getting back to regular life.
I think we would have had another little girl just because I didn’t want another daughter. I told Timile when she was pregnant with Cydney that within eighteen months, she would be ready to have another one. In 2010, she didn’t believe me; but by September of 2011 Timile did say to me she wouldn’t mind being pregnant again (This actually happened and I laughed and said “You didn’t even make it seven months!” as a means to spin a melancholy moment because that was acknowledging Cydney would be it). We would have been in negotiations on trying one more time because she knows that having a son is important, being that I am the lost one in my family carrying the name Milner. As the morning person, I would wake Cydney and her sister up first and they would be excited because it’s mommy’s birthday. Timile wasn’t so she would be a little groggy but receptive to her babies-and me-all up in her face first thing in the morning.
After taking the kids to school, I would have sent Timile a text asking her if there is anything in particular that she would want to do for her day. More than likely, I would have had something planned; but just in case, I would inquire to see if she had something else in mind. She’d shoot a text back saying “I don’t know. You don’t have anything planned?!” I would reply “I do. But I’m just covering my bases.” Timile was a master of the loaded question and I always fell for it, so we would be having a back and forth argument about doing something on her day that would end with both of us saying at one point or another “Nigga, what do YOU want to do?!” Her last text would end with “Make up your fucking mind for ONCE!” She would later feel silly because I would meet her for lunch like I have many other times.
At lunch, we probably would just sit in the car and talk…that’s what we always did. I had conditioned Timile into learning how to talk shit. The Timile that I knew wasn’t demure or passive at all. She was the opposite. Sitting in the car and just talking I would say to her “You realize that this is probably the first birthday in forever that one of us wasn’t sick? Remember your twenty-fourth birthday when I had that 103 fever? I took you to work and fought hard to get it down so we could go out. I came for lunch and you just told me to go home. We cancelled our original plans and I got my temp down to 96.6 so we could at least go to Gladys Knight’s.”
She’d laugh and reply “Or when I was pregnant with Cydney and had H1N1?”
“That suuuuuuucked,” I’d say. “Or that time we broke up and you was seeing some dumb nigga but I intentionally had a layover for three hours so I could stop by on your twenty-third! Fuck that guy.” It would be a conversation that was our backwards way of saying that we loved each other dearly.
After school and work, our little family would go somewhere for dinner that was kid-friendly enough to let the kids color. Cydney and all of her mouth would have said something along the lines of while it’s her mother’s birthday we should celebrate her. Tracy, Timile’s cousin, would have given Timile a call and we would have to stop by before going home.
Our youngest daughter would be easy to put to bed and Cydney would be a chore because she and sleep have never gone together. Timile was very organize, so they would have their clothes already picked out for the next day. In a moment to ourselves, she would show me all of the people we knew saying happy birthday to her, which would be riddled with sarcastic commentary by me. Another “disagreement” would happen in which tempers-hers-flared and I’d have to bring it back.
Before retiring to bed I’d ask if Timile wants to have a drink for her day. She’d look at me and say “No. I’m pregnant. That’s my gift to you.”
To be transparent, I am very wary sharing stories about Timile these days. Sometimes I feel as if I am oversharing. My intent isn’t to be sad or morbid. I don’t think I have ever written anything from a place of sadness or in an emotional state. This was just a “what if” moment that I had and felt that it would be pleasant for her to be alive for her 30th.