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This past Monday night I sat with my eyeballs glued to my television screen as I indulged in my latest guilty pleasure, Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta. I felt a twitch, followed by some strange emotion well up within me while I watched the scene between Scrappy and Erica as he came to her house to collect the last of his belongings, make sure she was “gon’ look out for him on that child support paperwork”, and put in that final bid to make sure she’ll take him back when he feels like he wants to be with her again. I remember thinking “Woah, Mona really nailed this scene to the T”. That is when I realized that the emotion that I felt welling up inside was a direct result of the reminiscent memories from my own life that this scene brought back to my remembrance. Not everyone caught the full gist of it because the child support thing threw everyone for a loop, but I recognized this scene all too well because this was once my life. What Scrappy was trying to do when he gave Erica his whole “I hope you welcome me back when I get my head right” spiel was to ensure that after he got done doing him and things didn’t work out in his favor, she would be there ready and willing to be his Plan B girl. I nodded my head in approval as Erica refused Scrappy’s offer to play second fiddle.

I can remember a time where I was playing the role of the Plan B girl or the “bottom chick” and didn’t even realize it. It was Spring 2007 and I had finally met the guy my mama warned me about and my papa fought so hard to keep my naive, suburban behind away from. He was from Harlem, swagged out, smooth talking and everything else that I had never experienced before. I was open after a few all night phone conversations and a couple of dates. Next thing I knew I was driving the car that my parents purchased for me to get to school and work up to Harlem every day. We’d drive all over the city, blasting Jim Jones’ “Honey Dip”, “I’m In Love With A Thug”, and all of those other hood love songs (Lol, corny, I know). It wasn’t long before my fairy tale turned into an all out ghetto soap opera and I realized that my little hood celebrity was quite popular with the ladies. I started to realize that he loved fighting and breaking up on Fridays and getting back together by Monday morning, all so he could do him Saturday and Sunday nights without feeling guilty. He was always hitting me with the “I love you and I hope we can be together we I get my head right”. Thank God I eventually peeped game and deaded that for good. He had broken up with me, yet again before one of his little getaway trips and as I was sitting in class listening to one of my professors drone on and on about Othello and Desdemona I received a text alert to my phone. “Jazzooo I miss you. Will I see you when I get back?” I assumed his getaway was coming to an end. “Nope,” I replied. Enough was enough and I had finally come to my senses.

One of the best lessons I’ve ever learned was that a man who truly loves you will never try to use you as his plan b because what he’s really saying is “Hey, I dig you, but I think there’s something better out there”. For example, Diddy and Kim Porter, after all of these years of breaking up and making up they’re still at it. There is absolutely no future in being an option in someone’s life. There’s no payoff in seeing who can hold on the longest. Time is of the essence and no one really has time to waste, waiting around for boys to become men, wake up, smell the coffee and realize that they had a good thing. Playing the role of an option simply subjects one’s heart to rejection and abandonment over and over again. I remember helplessly watching a friend pick up the pieces of her life after her on again/off again man left her at the altar for a second time. Not only did she have to cope with her broken heart, but she had to face the reality that the signs were there a long time ago, but signs are irrelevant if one refuses to open their eyes and see them. Recognizing and admitting that you are playing the bottom chick in your relationship can be a hard pill to swallow, walking away can be even more difficult. But, what is difficult now can cause even more damage in the long run.

Jazmine Denise is a New York City based Lifestyle & Relationship writer. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise

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