The Art of Storytelling: Shirley, Almost Barbara

Happy Thursday, tea sippers!

I received great feedback from last week’s post, “You’re Dating WHO?”.  I’m glad that I was able to hit strong points when it comes to the topics of self-love, self-discovery, and independence. Shoutout to one of my loyal readers and my good friend, Tiffany, for her commentary, which included, “Yes! Can I be my own Mona Lisa? Please and thanks! I don’t want to be the lonely girl with the pearl earring.”

I told my sister to go ahead. Self-defined baby, you are what you declare you are!

And I would tell all my sisters and brothers the same thing. It all starts with you.

So, I’m excited about a little something something, and I am even more excited to share it with you all.

So as you can already tell, writing is truly my passion. I do this to share my experiences and to help the next person along the way.

Along with all the upcoming projects I currently have stored away in my brain, it’s time to release just one of them.

Within Tea, Bree, and Breathe, I have now created a small “component” to the blog entitled, “The Art of Storytelling”. This will include a series of short and real life experiences that I have been through (as usual), but will allow my readers to join in on the specific topic of that night’s blog post, where I encourage readers to chip in and speak their mind. I mean, experience is the best teacher, and who knows? Maybe your experience could help the next reader and so on. That, is one of the true arts, of storytelling.

If you are an avid reader of TBB, and have been too shy to speak your mind, I challenge you to join in on tonight’s conversation.

Without further ado, I present the first blog post under the new mini-series, “The Art of Storytelling: Shirley, Almost Barbara.”

Enjoy. 🙂

The Art of Storytelling: Shirley, Almost Barbara

Woman to Woman….

Yet again I came very close to producing such a juicier story for my readers, but this time, the story took a little twist.

Some of you may be proud of me for it; others may ask a series of questions.

As you all know, I am a woman.

A woman of many things.

One of those things includes confidence.

Because it is without confidence, that you do not have much to achieve.

We’ll call him Blue.

And with his name being Blue, it had nothing to do with him making me feel that way.

As you all know, I am a college senior who is graduating in May. With that being said, all the classes I am taking now are critical for an on-time graduation.

I happened to be in one of those core classes that I am taking for the semester, and quite frankly, as easy as it was to skip the class, I still came, often times, I would doze off for a little, right in the back of the room.

I had a couple of friends in this particular class with me, one especially being one of my great friends, Nae. Nae and I truly have a friendship like no other.

It wasn’t until a month and some change that I started to realize there were more than just a couple of my friends and a lot more strangers in my class.

There was also a fine ass stranger.

And I was just like Alicia Keys, he didn’t know my name. And I damn sure didn’t know his.

As a matter of fact, I wasn’t even sure if he talked. I guess he was just like me; came to class, did what he had to do, and dipped.

But I don’t know if it was the strength shown in his jawline, the thickness of his neck, the way his chest heaved as he breathed inward and outward, or the whiteness in his teeth that had me staring at him just a little more.

Damn, he’s been in my class the whole time? Guess I’ve been sleeping forreal.

I chose to just study his anatomy for the rest of the time in class. I didn’t know when I would pounce on opportunity, but I knew the time was a ticking.

“Nae.” I whispered and nudged her elbow.

Nae nodded. “What’s up?” She whispered back.

“Bruh, who is that dude over there? You’ve seen him before?”

She chuckled. “Nope. I haven’t. He is good looking though.”

Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.” I emphasized my interest in the strange cutie who sat way across on the other side of the room.

“What you gon do?” Nae asked.

“Oh, you know me. Can’t let that go to waste, and probably don’t have the patience for him to approach me, either.”

Fuck it. What do I have to lose?

“When girl?” She stared at me bug eyed.

I chuckled. “Probably next class. Give him some time to get ready.” I smirked, while popping my collar.

As the professor dismissed class, I watched him get up and walk his fine ass out the opposite exit in the classroom. I nodded my head in approval. Physically, baby had it going on. But I knew all too well that looks were not everything. Yet, I was intrigued to learn more.

My plan to speak to the Sexy Stranger was in full motion. Next week, it would go down.

I came to class that next week, prepared for class, and prepared to slide in Sexy Stanger’s DM’s… well, slide to his face, at least.

I paid attention in class, taking minimal notes because we happened to discuss a topic that I was well equipped and knowledgeable on. We had a midterm coming up in two weeks, so things were a bit critical.

All the while, every now and then, I would be paying attention to Sexy Stranger too.

A couple of times he caught me slipping in the act, but I didn’t care. If he was smart, he would know what would be coming next. If he was smarter, he would beat me to it.

But he wasn’t that smart.

I waited till the professor officially dismissed class and walked right over to the opposite side of the class room where Sexy Stranger was packing up his things.

It’s go time.

Honestly, even up close, I never saw him before. Ever. You know how sometimes you see people walking on campus and then eventually you end up having a class with them? It wasn’t like that this time. I was convinced that Sexy Stranger had to be a transfer or something.

I decided to start there.

“Hey, are you new around here? I haven’t seen you around before.” I started smoothly, honestly asking a legit question. If that’s corny, then you just wait until you hear the rest.

He smirked. “Ehh, not really. Well, something like that.”

“Well, which one is it?” I chuckled.

“I transferred.” He gave in.

“Oh, from where?”


I smirked. I wondered if he was from Miami.

“The midterm is coming up soon. Me and my girl might get together and study for it.”

“Oh yeah? Let me get in on that, because I don’t really have a tight grip on what the hell this exam will cover.” He shook his head.

“You and I both.” I chuckled softly. “We’ll thug it out.”

“I’m headed this way. Let’s walk and talk.” He suggested, putting his book bag on his back.

Gladly, I said in my mind.

“So, I think we should exchange numbers.” He began when we walked out the classroom.

“Agreed.” I nodded, pulling out my iPhone.

And what a smooth exchange it was.

We stepped into the sunshine that campus harbored as we continued to talk. I had to be back to work at 3:00PM, so I had about 15 minutes to spare.

Turns out Blue wasn’t from Miami. His fine ass hailed from St. Louis, and his family moved to Orlando some time ago.

His muscles were just too damn big for no reason so I had to ask, “Do you play football?” I hoped that his answer was a hell no. Been there and did that, honey.

“Naw. I’m just big for no reason.” He laughed.

Shhiiiiiiiiiit, I exclaimed in my mind. I ain’t complaining, playa.

“What’s your major?” I quizzed.

“I’m double majoring in Health Services Administration and Biology. I graduate in May, and I think I might take a slight break before grad school.” He laid it out.

I nodded my head in approval. “Now that’s what’s really good. I graduate in May as well. Nursing school is next.”

“That’s what’s up! You thinking about staying here in Orlando?”

I shook my head in disapproval. “Nah. I’m ready to go back to Miami. Now that is home for me.”

He laughed and shook his head. “You Miami folks are crazy, and you all love yallself some Miami.”

“You’re right!” I agreed. “I’m pretty sure you feel the same way about St. Louis.”

“Yeah, I do. I love the Lou. But yall Miami folks are on another level with it!”

We continued to walk and talk, realizing that it was close to the time I should have been clocking back into work.

“Where are you headed?” I asked.

“To my next class. It starts at 3:00PM.” He glanced at his watch. “And look at that, you are about to make me late.” He nudged me.

“Na uh!” I started. “I mean, you had a part in this too.” I smiled.

“You got me out here sweating, making me walk the long way to my class, and I’m gonna be late. You’re already trouble for me.” He smirked directly at me.

Did he just flirt with me? I was always bad with this type of thing.

“Where do you work?” He asked.

“Right here, at the Health Center.” I pointed in the direction of the building. “And there’s your building where your class is at.”

“Hmm, I guess this was a short cut after all.” He laughed.

“Yeah, and you thought I was tryna fry you in the sun.” I snickered.

“Yeah, I did.” He exhaled. “Well, I’m gonna head to class. Since I know where you work, I know I can get some treatment from you when I’m sick.” He looked down at me.

Okay, I think that was a flirt….I thought to myself.

“Okay, bet. I have the remedy.” I cheesed.

“I might stop by after class. But I’ll text you.”

“Sounds good. Later.” I waved, turning my back to walk back to my job. I knew I was being stared at, but didn’t look back for the fear that I would trip over my own shoes when I would turn back around to face forward. I was clumsy like that.

The confidence came in the clutch, baby.

I bounced back to work, texting Nae the details that I snagged him just a bit. Not completely, but enough to where I have at least one foot in the door.

We texted throughout the day… not as fast as I would like, but hell, at least I got a reply. I’m stuck in the world where texting back is taboo.

A few days had went by, and no word from Blue.  Ain’t sweat it too bad, things like this were too familiar to a girl like me.

I started to count things as a lost, until I received a text from Blue.

And it read:

“Hi Brittany, this is Blue’s girlfriend. He’s been extremely sick for the last two days with strep and a pretty bad sinus infection. The antibiotics the doctor prescribed has made him very tired, but I will let him know about the midterm that you have mentioned.”

Shirley? Is that you?

Hey, Shirley? Is that you again?

Hello, Barbara? Barbara, this is Shirley…


You’ve got to be kidding me.

Q’s wife was enough. But this time, this time… it was more comical.

I would not be Barbara.

I would not allow her to be Shirley.

I didn’t even send a reply.

I didn’t really need to.


Blue is obviously “accounted for”. I doubt that the text was something made up.

Did this girlfriend happen to go through his phone and view the other things we texted? It’s funny how she only mentioned the “midterm” I weakly brought up the first day we met.

If she was smart, she would have known that this was deeper than a midterm.

Or maybe she was smart, by thinking that she could subtly check me. Or she thought she could issue out a subtle forewarning to me.

That’s cute.

And why the hell was she going through his phone in the first place? Is it just me who refuses to get down with that movement? What happened to trust? Cause baby, if I’m with you and I have to do all of that, then I don’t need to be with you.

Or was Blue okay with her drafting up the text to send to me since he was soooo damn sick?

Either the way, the situation was nothing but funny to me. Never have I ever sent a text out to another woman for my man because he was sick.

I wasn’t Mary. I wasn’t his secretary.


In tonight’s, “The Art of Storytelling”, I have completed the first step in telling my story. Here is the discussion that I encourage my readers to have, with me serving as an additional commentator and moderator.

Tonight’s questions include:

  1. Ladies, would you or do you approach men? Fellas, do you like when women approach you? Why or why not?
  2. Did you think Blue was innocent or guilty in this situation?
  3. What is your stance on going through your significant other’s phone? Do you “give them permission” to do so?
  4. If you have a similar experience on the topic, feel free to let other’s sip your tea. What went down?

I hope you all enjoyed tonight’s post as pure entertainment, and that you dig into the discussion.

I am an advocate for learning knowledge from others who are knowledgeable!

Once again, welcome the mini-series, “The Art of Storytelling”! With your support, it will stay around!

Stay tuned for the next post within the series, because they will come randomly throughout the year. 🙂

See you all next week! It’s Homecoming this week, and so far, I went to Comedy Knight (for my non-UCF readers, this is how we spell “night” since we are UCF Knights) starring Damon Wayans, Jr. TOO FUNNY! This weekend should be memorable, since this is my last Homecoming!

Sip slow, lovelies.


One thought on “The Art of Storytelling: Shirley, Almost Barbara

  1. Tiffany says:

    Ladies, would you or do you approach men?
    Majority of the time I let them come to me. If he is irresistible , I’m going for it.

    Did you think Blue was innocent or guilty in this situation?

    What is your stance on going through your significant other’s phone?
    I going thru that mufka ,if there is no lock.

    I have to many Barbara/Shirley stories then I care to admit.

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