Discretion & Understanding
“That’s a new one,” Franklin said, shaking his head as Bianca later shared with him Shukla’s story.
“That’s not all,” Bianca said. “Janelle really has some insight into relationships and the ways of unscrupulous men. This is the discussion that took place after Shukla related her story.”
* * * * *
“May I please say something?” Janelle asked.
“Sure. Go ahead,” Bianca said.
“Like I shared with Shukla, this is when many men will strike–when a woman appears to have let down her guard, and that happens many times when she is having relationship issues with her spouse or boyfriend or whatever,” Janelle said. “These men watch you. They watch your facial expressions. They watch your body language. They study you. They throw little friendly words at you when all along they are looking for your weak spot. And that weak spot does not have to be a negative one as in you’re hurting. It could be positive as in you love to go jogging and they may see you jogging alone and come jogging beside you and strike up a conversation.”
“When that dude has never jogged in his life,” Rashad said.
The group broke out in laughter.
“You’re right. A man who is on the hunt for a woman will become anything, will express interest in and a love for anything just to get that woman. He knows how and when to put on,” Janelle said. “Then, like a snake in the grass, he’ll hiss and then strike when you least expect it. I’m not saying that’s what happened to Shukla. He didn’t have time to study her . . . I don’t think.”
“Maybe he did,” Cherry, another hotel maid piped in. “He may have noticed her somewhere in the building as she went about her job and had her on his mind. You never know. These types of men are slick. They will see a woman who causes them to take a second look and they decide I got to know her, I got to get to her.”
“Yeah,” Janelle said. “Women have to be extra careful especially when things are not going smoothly in their lives.”
“Why is that?” Bianca asked.
“Because Slick Ricks and Billy D’s pick up on hurting women real fast. They talk to you real nice and find a way to get you to talk about some problem you’re having. They pretend to be the caring, listening, emphatic friend; then they give out the so-called comforting hug; then it’s a shoulder to cry on as they rub your back; then they want to take you out to dinner all under the pretense that they are one of the few nice guys left in the world. Before you know it, you get sucked in and then you’re laying in bed with him by force or by consent. You wake up the next morning trying to figure out how you let that happen?”
“Yes, girl. And when you wake up that nigga is gone. You won’t see him no mo’,” Rashad said.
“What’s your advice to young, innocent, naive women?” Bianca asked as they laughed.
“And old naive women, too,” Janelle said to another round of laughter. “My advice is, don’t flirt with men or allow them to have a so-called friendly talk with you as it’s mostly all pretense. Don’t let them touch you. And definitely don’t discuss with them any problems you and your spouse may be having if you’re married as that’s an open door for them to strike. Let them mind their own business and you mind yours.”
“You have to learn to box things off. Compartmentalize, I mean,” Cherry said. “Keep home problems at home. Keep job problems at the job. Always wear a smile and people will never know what you are going through. In other words, act maturely.”
“That’s right,” Janelle said. “Keep your heart to yourself, your eyes looking straight ahead, and keep stepping.”
“In other words, do as the Bible says in the book of Proverbs, and that is, ‘Let thine eyelids look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee’?” Bianca said.
“That’s in the Bible?” Christina, another hotel maid said. “Dang! I better start reading my Bible for myself.”
“Yes,” Bianca said. “It also says ‘Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the the man that speaketh froward things.’ If you have a Bible, read the book of Proverbs. It has a lot to say about relationships.” Turning to Shukla, she asked, “Did you happen to notice a wedding band on his finger?”
“No, I didn’t. I was too surprised to check for one.”
“Did he give any indication that he was a Christian?”
“I have no idea,” Shukla said.
“Really now. What does it matter? Christian or not, some men are just dead set on taking advantage of any woman that he is able to take advantage of and get away with,” Janelle said. “And the sad thing is, most think they can get away with it.”
“That’s right,” the others agreed.
“Well, what have you learned from this incident?” Bianca asked.
“To be more watchful and next time to just let him have the cart,” Shukla said with a smile.
“I’m curious. Did you ever tell your husband about this incident?” Bianca asked.
“No. Not that I’m hiding anything from him. It’s just that we left each other that morning not on good speaking terms and we still were not on good speaking terms that evening. I did not want to give him room to say I instigated it. Do you think I should tell him? It’s been a while since that has happened.”
“Yes. I think so. That would help strengthen the trust,” Bianca said. “And tell him why you did not say anything earlier.”
“And if he doesn’t believe you, you tell him to come and ask me,” Janelle said. “I saw the whole thing. Plus, you’re not that kind of woman and I believe he knows that.”