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I’ve had my rants about female relationships. Our bonds seem to be so fickle. One day we are in love with one another and can’t be separated – that’s my besfran! Go besfran! Then the next day we are enemies for life. I got the news over a year later that a young woman I was close to, for what looking back now was such a brief amount of time, was killed in a motor vehicle accident. It brought tears to my eyes because this was someone that, even though we had fallen out, had a good heart and head on her shoulders. She had so much life left to live and it was such a tragedy.

Social media can be damaging. We get caught up on sitting in on other people’s lives through photos and videos, posts and blurbs, that we become detached from reality. I took a year long hiatus from Facebook and it’s crazy how much happens, how much you are lost from, when you are not a part of it. People don’t pick up the phone and call anymore. They send you private messages. That was how I found out that Tanyelle Baker had died. I’d popped back onto Facebook briefly and noted that I had a message from a year before sending me love and asking had I heard about her death.

Tanyell & I on my 29th Birthday

I thought it was a joke. I responded and asked what was going on. The person that reached out to me hadn’t been close to any of us and had given me what she had heard in the streets. I immediately picked up the phone and called someone I knew that would know the truth. The response was that she had been in a car accident and had passed away. I know the person that I called was bewildered as to why I would even call – like I said, Tanyelle and I had not been in contact for years. We’d for all intents and purposes gone our separate ways – but that didn’t mean that I didn’t care about her…

Tosha, Tanyelle & I on Valentine’s Day

Tanyelle and I had been part of what we, and our friend Tosha, had called TNT, BOOM! We were a clique. We were sisters. We made each other better and braver than we were as individuals. Tanyelle was quiet. Tosha was outspoken. I was hiding in hoodies in my office. Tosha made us vocal. Tanyelle made us pretty. THEY made me change my entire wardrobe and find ME under what I had been hiding. We spent months together forging a sisterhood that we thought would never part but somewhere in there it did. TNT turned into T&T and I honestly cannot remember why. I remember us going at one another. I remember us being cool when it was two of us but when there was three there were cat fights. I remember before TNT there was T&T and J&N (Jackie) but the four of us were transitory like Destiny’s Child’s original members…4 to 3 to 2 to 1…

I missed them over the years but I never reached out. That’s pride that gets in the way. That’s that “you hurt me so f*ck you I don’t need you” mentality that keeps us divided. Maybe I should have apologized even if I didn’t know what I was apologizing for? Better yet, maybe I should have asked what I did wrong or if it was me at all? I think a lot of it was them not being “tied down” with kids. Tanyelle didn’t have any and Tosha’s were old enough to fend for themselves. I had to ask for my mom to watch mine at the time to go anywhere and honestly back then madre wasn’t there for it. That meant I had to sit things out or bring them along and adults really don’t want tagalongs or time limits set on their plans. Maybe that made me the odd man out in the end.

They moved on. They travelled together. They made memories. I moved out of state and started a new life with my kids and eventually moved back to the state just not in the same area of it. I wonder now where their lives were headed and were they still intertwined? I wonder where Tanyelle would be right now had she not gotten into that car? I wonder how Tosha is after all of this time?

TNT imploded… Rest In Heaven, Tanyelle. You are loved. Always.

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