Lyman King, co-creator of this blog. Not to be confused with my slightly less handsome brother Wyman. I’m a natural-born comedian. Lovingly sarcastic. Passionate about those that mean the most to me. The apple of my wife’s eye. Politically astute. An advocate and voice for the voiceless. Yeah, that’s me.
Speaking of the voiceless- my brother was so damn quiet at first, we thought he was mute for like the first 8 years of life! (I’m not joking) And look, I’m not well behaved so I’m not going to even try; I’m the comedic relief here. My wife (Crystal) and I decided that there was no one more misunderstood than my twin brother when it came to relationships so he became our very first feature. His story deserves a platform. We are honored that he agreed to open up and share his story. We felt he had a story that would be relatable to so many men and women. It’s important to remember that we started this platform to tell people’s stories; to show you how to love by helping you understand how to peel back the layers to understand the person that you’re considering getting into a relationship with, or for others, the person that you married, but sometimes don’t understand or recognize. You’ve got to understand what makes the person who they are. So, let’s do this.
I met Wyman in our mother’s womb in the late 70’s in Ellisville, Mississippi. This town in the dirty south was home for Wyman and myself. We didn’t realize it at the time, but our city was separated by railroad tracks. There were those who would label our side of the tracks “the hood”, but that’s cool. We’ll take that title with pride because it was home. We were natives so we felt safe where others might feel fear. Early on, we played from sun up to sun down every day, from baseball to football to hunting and building club houses out of neighborhood scraps. Yep, we took what people drove to our neighborhood to dump as trash and instead we did what we’ve always done- we turned it into something useful and damn near amazing at times. Check this out- we built club houses out of discarded wood and tin scraps and ran electricity from people’s houses to give us light. Y’all know that’s ingenious! Okay, I digress, but what’s cool, is that those survival instincts stick with us to this day. We still know how to make something out of nothing. Can you relate? I hope you can because when you marry another human being, you sometimes have to make something out of what looks like nothing at times. Stop me when I’m lying.
Back to the story at hand. Ms. Mitchell was our neighbor growing up and she was also the hood disciplinarian; she beat everybody’s ass! Wyman got it all the time when he started going in the wrong direction. Even though we’re twins and he’s only three minutes older than me, he was always considered “the big brother” and it went to his head at a young age.
Let’s fast forward to late 80’s. At the tender age of about 13-14 years of age, he began running with an older crowd. He was very impressionable and began doing things to harden his rep around town. He quickly became one to be feared and equally respected not only by his peers but by adults alike. He began selling drugs and finding every outlet for getting in trouble. He even got the older girls; the baddest chicks. Girls that we considered our Beyoncés before we knew Beyonce existed. This one girl in particular became his first real relationship. Unbeknownst to him, she was already dating this guy who was locked up when she started seeing Wyman. He eventually got out and as you might’ve guessed, he wanted her back. One night my mom and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, he ran in the house and got his gun, he jumped out of his window and ran down the side of the house. Suddenly we saw head lights outside in the front yard, we then heard shots rang out, we got on the floor. This is the shit that I had to put up with so I think I’ve earned the right to give part of the backdrop on this first feature.
He was my hero though, it was always us. Everything he did was to protect and help me and mama. What he was thinking a lot of times I really don’t know. Did he have feelings or remorse? What was your end game? (From a relationship perspective, I can tell you that the women who’ve been a part of his life have often asked those same questions, but of course regarding a different set of circumstances.) Look, I know you’re thinking he sounds like a troubled character in a movie that Hollywood often portrays of young black males in inner cities around the country. But just like those characters, there’s more than what meets the eye. He turned out to be a polished professional, great father and husband in training. Next up, he shares his backdrop in his own words.