The 25th (Part 6 of 6) by Cortney Joseph

S I X | Ice Cream Cake & Final Thoughts.


1:14 a.m., the time that flashed on my alarm clock, I jumped at the sound of a loud shatter, followed by what sounded like an automated voice. Looking over at the side of my bed where my laptop was sitting, I realized it was just music playing. Ta-dooow, how ya like me now? I’m in the mix. It was just Ice Cube’s What Can I Do sounding off and instead of turning it off, I let it play through as I mumbled the lyrics to myself, while I tried to talk myself out of this next foolish project I was about to start.

I was tired, after being kept over at work for no reason, and should have taken my ass to sleep but, I figured why not stay up to wish myself a happy birthday. I really just wanted to zone out with music, make myself feel better. I was still feeling down about the fact that I hadn’t won, or placed at all for that matter, in the little Showtime In Louisiana competition on Saturday, and I guess I finally crashed as soon as my head hit the pillow. Stressing and feeling like a bit of a failure all of Saturday and tonight at work had taken a small toll on me, I suppose.

Looked at the time again; 1:15 a.m., Monday, August 31st, 2015 and it’s official. I’m twenty-five years old, I’m still in the place I want to leave desperately, and I still haven’t been discovered by someone willing to help me create my own show or movie.

I took a deep breath, preparing myself to cry. The way I do every year, but something different happened. I laid there all the way until it got to the part of the song where Ice Cube began running off crimes that white people commit but blame black folks for, and nothing happened. No tears, no sense of heaviness, no sense of failure.

I actually burst out laughing, sitting up, I smiled when one of my favorite songs began. Ironically, it was on one of the few songs that change my mood instantly when I’m down. Simple Things by Minnie Riperton. One of those songs that puts everything into perspective. I ran my fingers through my hair, smiling as I nodded my head, singing along to the words that had meant so much to me, though they were simple, for so many years now.


Twenty-five, and I’ve got my health. Twenty-five, and I’m blessed to be very intelligent, with a gift that doesn’t come easily for others. (Though I’m still going to have to tell myself that, OFTEN, I’m sure.) Twenty-five and blessed to be able to walk around and go anywhere that I want to go, do anything that I want to do. (Something others may not be able to do.) Twenty-five and able to live and express myself in any way that I see fit. Twenty-five and ALIVE.

I sighed, thinking, wondering what it was that I was really stressing over. So many people I’d grown up with, so many people I’d come in contact with, had barely made it to twenty, let alone twenty-five and I was still here. Giving another day, and another chance by God himself.

I’ve got time, right? If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, right? Alright, so I’ll have to keep telling myself that too… but the point; I’ve made it this far and there are things that I’ve already accomplished, some of which I did way before I was even twenty-one. What am I doubting? What am I discrediting myself for? Why am I making it so complicated?

Because I’m focused on the wrong things, and always forgetting that I can make all the plans in the world, but everything works in God’s timing. I guess it’s easy to lose your way or focus when you want something so badly and it’s just not happening for you. There’ll be a lot of bad days, A LOT, but there will also be better and amazing ones that follow. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.


Each day, so many things to see. And I’m so glad that I am ME.” I leaned over to the other side of my bed and picked one of my notebooks up from off of the floor, still singing along. “The simple things, the lovely simple things.

Instead of writing a title, like I would anytime I wrote a poem, I wrote Dear Mommy.


Caught up in my own feelings, I nearly forgot that I write to her almost every year on my birthday, and on hers too since we’re three days apart.

Thinking of you; I love you and I miss you. But guess what, Mommy? I made it to 25, for both of us. And no matter what happens today, I’m determined to make this a great day for us both. And it’ll be a great day for us both on the 3rd of September too. No tears, no sad feelings; just joy and gratefulness. Thank you for watching out for me; because I know you are.

Love you.


I closed my notebook and tossed it to the sighed, sighing. “You’re not a failure Ocean, you’ve only just begun on your journey.” My phone went off and I picked it up, smiling when Justin’s name popped across the screen. Answering, I cleared my throat before speaking, knowing I would sound like somebody’s mean ass baby daddy if I didn’t. “Hello.”

“Happy Birthday, Chocolate Thunder!!”

I laughed, shaking my head. “Thank you Jujubee, my Powder Sugar looking Pimp.”

“I’m not that pale or pasty tonight, I went and got a tan. But anyway, how are you feeling? Wanna talk out your feelings? Don’t bother telling me no, because we’re gonna talk and get through this anyway. I got me some graham crackers and I’m ready to play White Iyanla with your ass.”

I smirked. “Stupid, Bruh. Just stupid. And yes, we can talk, but I don’t have any bad or negative feelings now.”

“Say what?”

“I woke up, and I’m okay.”

“Just okay?”

I groaned a little before laughing. “Yes, just okay. I’m blessed to see my twenty-fifth birthday, happy to have made it this far in my life, so far, and that’s all that I can ask for. Right?”

“That’s right! So let’s talk about how we gon’ get you out in a club, and we gon’ get you druuuuuuuunk…”

“No Sir.”

“Yes! How you go through the majority of your adult life and don’t drink?”

I laughed, clearing my throat. “I have drank before. You don’t know my life before I met you, Justin, you don’t.”

“Mmm, that mean you got a lil’ trifling past. Just wait until I see you later today.”


I shook my head, for my own benefit. “You gon’ buy me a cake?”

“What kind of cake, Ocean?”

“An ice cream cake, duh. The Oreo cookie kind. And I want my name written across it. And I want two of the big reese’s peanut butter cups, and some orange juice.”

“Anything else, Ma’am?”

“I would say we could go to a strip club, but I believe you’re still banned from the majority of them, so…”

Justin began cursing me out and I fell out, lying back down. “Twenty-five ain’t too grown to get your ass whooped, Ocean. Imma tell your grandma that you’re up here treating me bad.”

“She gon’ tell you oh well and go on about her business, so… tell her.”

“Go back to bed Trick, and happy birthday, again. I love you!”

“Love you too, with your Elmer’s Glue lookin’ ass.”


I hung up and set my phone down, waiting for his long text of curse words for hanging up in his face.

My phone went off again, this time just a text, and then began the few happy birthday messages on facebook, mostly inbox messages.

25, you gettin’ up there guh!


Twenty-five… and blessed. I gotta remember that.






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Published by mypenwritesnice

Creative Soul. Artist. Perfectionist. Virgo.

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