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The Sultry Melodies of Love and Relationship: A Look at “The Photograph”

The worse thing one can do after a breakup is to surveil a love story. As a woman that walked away from her faulty love scenario, I am eagerly unfamiliar with the idea of love in this magnitude. Never have I ever had a man who was fully engrossed in me as much as I was in him. I long, even desire, for a connection like Mae and Michael or even Christina and Isaac. While each relationship brought in its own growing pains, their connection maintained stability.

As the movie played, the beautiful melodies of Robert Glasper’s creative genius fluttered throughout the room. It seduced my heart’s passion for experiencing a love like a trumpet complemented by bass and drums that ever so softly beat with the soulish need to encounter the lust of love just once. The keys and melodies tickled my soul and whispered, “One day, love will feel like a Robert Glasper melody.” The sensual highlights from the story to the music took my attention and led me to think, “Did I do the right thing?”

Before watching on-screen passion unfold, I spoke with my godfather to who I explained my separation. Though this uncoupling is about a month old, tears still fell from my eyes as I talked to him about the man I left. The tears streamed from the shame of the unflattering principle passed on many women of a certain age, “why can’t you keep a man?”

I continuously contend with the shame of choosing the wrong guy time and time again. It’s not that I couldn’t keep the man; the issue was, and will forever be, that I didn’t want to. It felt unsatisfactory to live this type of struggle, especially in my relationship.

As those thoughts triggered good and bad times, my godfather asked a question that caused a chill to shrivel through my spine. “Are you and this fellow going to work things ou-,” before he could finish his question, I hastily declined, knowing that that could never happen because so much damage had already been done. Bridges were burned, and the town’s people cried in anguish. Of course, my godfather offered his godfather wisdom about love and relationships that confirmed my decision and plans.

Unfortunately, the bad times spoke volumes of how I was perceived in his eyes. I didn’t feel special or magnificent. I was just Ti - not Titiana - just Ti. When an introduction warranted itself, it seemed burdensome to watch him come up with a way to announce me to others. At times, it was easy; others, it was like watching a new mother comfort a colicky newborn: the onlooker can’t help but watch the carnage of the mother’s emotional stability.

By no means am I a perfect person, but I’m not a horrible one either. I marveled at how quickly my actions were dismissed and disregarded. I had to get away because I stopped liking myself. I started feeling bad that he didn’t respond to me with kindness and consideration. I began to feel guilty for having my life. I felt unsettled by his ability to fall asleep as I spoke or his immediate inclination to start communicating and listening after announcing that I no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him.

Despite the indifferences, this moment brought me to realize that I had stopped loving myself and desiring the love and connection with a partner that I deserved. I needed to get back to me. Somewhere, in the midst of it all, I took on his ways and neglected my own. I just wanted to show him that I was valuable and worthy of being his. I had to remember that my heart sings a song of passionate love, and I cannot play that song in a place that doesn’t respect its soulful intricacies.

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