Yesterday, I covered Valorie Drew and how she’s one of the 24 people to get me to this upcoming landmark age of 30. That was a great love story and she was the kind of woman mothers approve of. Some guys are lucky enough to only meet those types and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of those guys. For a time, I was actually involved with a woman that my mom would’ve absolutely hated. But her time in my life had a purpose. In today’s post to The 24 To 30 feature, I’ll cover the story of Chavon Ward…
THE BACKGROUND. My history with Chavon started in the very early Summer of 2006, not too long after I joined MySpace. I used the site’s “Browse” feature to search out women and I was very specific: all black women aged 21-27 within 100 miles of my then zip code (I lived in Valdosta, GA at the time) who were slim/slender in build and between 5’ and 5’7” in height. Those parameters turned up about 150 profile pictures of women but there was one on the first page who was cute and underneath her picture were the words “Now Online”. Her name was Chavon. I clicked on her page and quickly found out she was 25 and from Jacksonville, Florida. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have likely left it right there. I had never before went after a woman that much older than me—I was 21 at the time—and that far away from me—Jacksonville was 2 hours away. But it was what she wrote in her “Who I’d Like To Meet” space that caught me by surprise: “I don’t have time for little boys!!! I’m looking for a real man!!!” I laughed at it and kinda took it as somewhat of a challenge. We ended up exchanging messages and eventually phone numbers and that’s how it all started. I learned a lot more about her: she originally from New York City, the oldest of 5 kids, and worked in a BellSouth call center. Oh yeah, she had 2 kids. It was that part of it that made me slightly uncomfortable as I had never dated anyone with kids before. We initially were supposed to go out on a date after she finished with a friend’s wedding but I no-showed and she was pissed. I apologized, even sent flowers as a peace offering. A couple of weeks later, while down in Jacksonville for a Moody AFB Honor Guard detail, I sent her a text to tell her I had just passed the BellSouth Building in Downtown Jacksonville. Somehow, that led to her actually meeting me at a cemetery that me and my team were performing a retiree honors burial ceremony. Seeing each other in person ignited a mutual physical attraction, which led to a return trip for me to Jacksonville, where we “hung out” in a hotel. And that’s basically how our relationship started. It was all physical from the jump…she spent weekends at my place, I spent weekends at her place. With the exception of going out occasionally to a restaurant, our relationship consisted of sex, sex, sex, and more sex. Neither one of us complained about it though. I even got close to her kids…especially her 4-year-old daughter. Things changed right around my 22nd birthday in October 2006, when she started acting brand new. We went through a series of breakups-to-makeups that would last into early 2007. We’d have good weeks, where it felt like we’d persevere through our rough patch, and we had bad weeks, where it felt as if we literally wanted to destroy each other. A particular instance of note to me was what happened in November 2006, when I took off work to care for her as she had the flu. I ended up catching the flu a couple of days later but she did not return the courtesy of taking time off to take care of me. In fact, as my temperature rapidly rose to 103.2°F and I ended up hospitalized, the only thing she did was send a couple of texts and leave a voice message. Apparently, her daughter’s father had come to town to visit and she was playing nice to him for her daughter’s sake. Though I felt snubbed, I still stayed. I was kinda whipped, as some would say. Though we were at obvious odds with each other, we were still wrapped up in a deeply physical relationship that was sort of spiraling out of control. In December 2006, I made a trip to Vancouver to interview for an IT job at HSBC…a job that I secured for a June 2007 start, while I was on terminal leave from the Air Force. From my vantage, that would likely spell the end of my experience with Chavon. But she ended up getting pregnant and when she broke the news to me, I was actually very excited. I offered to marry her and move her and her 2 kids with me to Vancouver, where we could be a happy family of 5, but she rebuffed me. She had no desire to leave Jacksonville and said she’d get an abortion if I left. Being totally against abortions, I made the decision to leave the Vancouver job on the table and I signed a 2-year extension in the Air Force. My intention was to stay as close as possible…for the unborn child. Over the next couple of weeks, she got incredibly moody and we had many arguments in which she threatened abortion. Not really having a gauge on whether or not she was truly serious about it, I actually found myself driving from Valdosta to Jacksonville almost every evening after work just to do things like rub her belly or look at baby stuff with her. There was even that one time I drove 117 miles to get her some waffle fries from the Chick-Fil-A that was 4 miles from where she lived. The bottom fell out when we had a particularly heated argument in which she left me a text message that read: killing your seed will be my greatest pleasure. After that, I knew there wasn’t anything I could do to prevent her from going through with the abortion. She did just that and it crushed me in more ways than I could imagine…easily one of the worst moments of my life. Her going through with that abortion against my wishes ignited my vengeful side, which had lain dormant for many years. I was intent on hurting her just as much—if not worse—as she hurt me. Luckily, there was an up-and-coming First Sergeant I was able to talk to and he helped quell that thirst for revenge. I ended up cutting her off…sent her a message on MySpace to never ever contact me again. I sent her a postcard a few months later right before I left for deployment to Iraq and she left me a voice message, requesting that I call her. I never returned the call. And that’s how the story ended.
THE MOMENT OF IMPACT. When it comes to Chavon, it would be easy to say that the moment of impact was the abortion. After all, it did change the way I look at sex, the way I interact with women, and my entire outlook on children. Her moment of impact actually happened on November 26, 2006…months before the abortion drama. That’s when our breakups-to-makeups led to me following her to her church. It was the first time I had stepped foot into a church in like 5 years. We ended up attending church together for a spell and it was in those moments that my relationship with God was reignited as a series of sermons over those weeks pierced my heart. I ended up getting baptized in January 2007 and I haven’t looked back since.
HOW IT GOT ME TO 30. When it comes to girlfriends over my lifetime, Chavon easily takes the crown as the worst of the bunch. I’ve had a girlfriend cheat on me. I’ve had one leave to go back to her kid’s father. I’ve had one break up with me because of a dream she had. But none of those measure up to what Chavon did in actually taking a life away from me. She taught me a valuable lesson about the interactions between men and women and just how much of a thin line it truly is between love and lust. Not all was bad though. Because of my relationship with her daughter, I grew a soft spot for kids and that really blossomed during my 3 years in Tokyo, where I actually enjoyed playing with all of my friends’ kids. It also opened my heart up to thoughts of one day becoming a father. The Chavon Ward experience forced me to make some wholesale changes in the way I went about dating and relationships. She’s the primary reason why I instituted the 3-up, 3-down rule.