Derrick and I have been together for fifteen years and married for the past eleven. He was my first and only everything. We have three kids. DJ is 11, Daniel is 10, and Sarita is 8. Derrick and the kids were my life and I did everything in my power to make sure the four of them had everything they needed.
Derrick didn’t want me to work after DJ was born so I closed SH Events and was a stay at home housewife. I thought by complying and doing exactly what he wanted me to do it would make life easier, but I was wrong.
It was six o’clock in the morning when Derrick finally made his way home. I heard the garage door open and close, then the alarm beeped when he opened the door that led into the kitchen from the garage. I could hear him coming up the stairs. When he opened the door to our bedroom I turned on the lamp on my nightstand.
“Where the fuck have you been? You’ve been gone since yesterday!”
“I knew you were still up,” he said, laughing and walking into our walk-in closet. “You act like I’m not going to come home.”
“I’m getting sick of this shit! I am YOUR WIFE AND the MOTHER of YOUR CHILDREN, Derrick! I deserve RESPECT!”
“Yes I know. You remind me every day.”
“Why do you treat me like this? I do everything you ask of me. I let my business go. I stay home, take care of the kids and the house, I cook, I fuck you when you want, but still none of that is enough to keep your ass at home!”
“What do you want me to say? I have needs that not only you can fulfill,” he said, walking into the bathroom.
“Fuck you, Derrick!”
I got out of the bed; I wasn’t staying anywhere near him. This was not the man that I married or fell in love with. I couldn’t believe this shit. I honestly didn’t know why I put up with him sometimes.
“Where are you going?” he asked, walking out of the bathroom.
“Away from you! I can’t do this anymore, all this pretending to be happy when I’m not. I’m sick of this shit!”
Before I could take another step Derrick grabbed me by my wrist and pulled me to him.
“Let me go, Derrick!”
“Where are you going, Sonia?”
“I’m sick of this shit! I’m not staying here.”
“You’re not leaving.”
“Like hell I’m not.”
“You’re not leaving, Sonia. Make that my last time saying it.”
Before I knew what was happening Derrick shoved me into our cherry oak bedpost and I fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe this mothafucka pushed me.
“Baby, I’m sorry! Are you okay?” he asked while trying to help me up.
“Get the fuck away from me, Derrick! Leave me alone,” I said, trying to push him away from me.
“Baby, please let me help you. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to push you.”
“Just go away.”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
Derrick lifted me up slowly and put me in the bed. He left the room, returning a few moments later and pressed an icepack to my back.
“Baby, please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you.”
“You’ve been hurting me. Why can’t you just stop with affairs? I can’t take this anymore.”
“I promise not to hurt you again.”
“Just leave me alone. I don’t have anything else to say to you.”
“Baby, you gotta know that I’m sorry.”
“I can’t keep feeling like this; it’s stressing me out. I thought that once we got married the cheating would stop and that you would be the man that I fell in love with. Why can’t you be happy with what you have? I love you and I just want my husband to be the man I know he can be.”
I turned away from him and cried myself to sleep.
It was almost seven o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t believe Liam and I were still out on our date. I had literally been up twenty-four hours, but I didn’t care because Liam was worth the sleepless night.
We were talking and enjoying one another’s company. I was beginning to let my guard down a little bit. I felt comfortable with Liam. We watched the sunrise while holding hands and talking.
“Do you want kids?” I asked him.
“Yes I do. Two or three. What about you?”
“I want three or four.”
“Common number is three. When are you going to start this family?”
“I’d have to get a man first.”
“Well yeah I didn’t want to say anything. Good luck with that,” he said laughing.
“Thank you. When are you going to start?”
“I’m actually interviewing for the position.”
“Who are your prospects?”
I was taken aback by Liam’s answer. As we stood there staring at one another I could see the seriousness that was written all over his face. I looked in his light brown eyes and realized Liam had what my grandmother liked to call honest eyes.
“I can see the seriousness in your face, but I can also feel it.”
“That’s because I am. I don’t know what it is about you that makes me feel so comfortable, but I am willing to stick around and find out.”
“That makes two of us. I’ve wanted to do this since the moment I saw you.”
Before Liam could get a word out I pulled his face to mine and kissed him passionately on the lips. The kiss between us created sensations within my body that I hadn’t felt in years.
Liam pulled me closer to him and grabbed my ass with one hand and put the other in my hair. I sucked his bottom lip and felt his dick against my stomach. I pulled away from his embrace.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me,” he said.
“Don’t apologize. I pulled away because if we continued we may end up naked out here.”
“Let’s get out of here shall we?”
“Your place or mine?”
“Which one is closer? I stay about twenty minutes north of here.”
“My place it is.”
“That’s fine with me. Let’s go. Maybe afterwards I can make you breakfast.”
“We’ll see if you’re awake that long.”
We walked back across the street to the parking lot at Ms. Pearl’s Diner holding hands. Liam held the door on the passenger side open for me, closed it and then went around and got in on the driver’s side.
I looked over at Liam and smiled at the thought of seeing him naked. I imagined him on top of and behind me and let out a soft moan. It’s been a long time since I’d been with a man and I was more than ready for what may have been next.
Two and a half hours later, I finally told someone else about what Marcus did to me a year and a half ago. The officer encouraged me to get a restraining order and also suggested that I consider moving. In the car on the way home I just stared off into space.
“What’s on your mind?”
“I’m trying to figure out where I should move. I like my place. I wonder if the owner will let me move to another floor in the building.”
“He’s pretty understanding, just tell him what’s going on.”
“I wonder if he’s awake.”
“He’s awake now. He’s an early riser.”
“How do you know so much about him?”
“He’s my Pops.”
“Mr. Stokes is your father?”
“Yea that’s my ole man. I can call him for you.”
“Now that I think about it, Oscar did call you Mr. Stokes this morning. Thank you again, Charlie. I really do appreciate your generosity.”
“It’s no problem.”
I felt a sense of relief come over me. Although we just met, Charlie was proving to be very loyal and reliable. I looked at Charlie out of the corner of my eye and smiled to myself.
I looked at the clock on the dashboard and realized that I had a little over an hour to get ready for the company picnic if I was still going. I honestly wanted to stay home and sleep. Besides, I had other things to handle.
“Can you call your dad?”
I watched Charlie pull his phone out of his pocket. He dialed his father’s number and put the phone on speaker.
“Pops! What are you doing, ole man?”
“I just finished my morning run. I was going to call you. Security left me a message saying you were involved in a disturbance. You okay?”
“Everything is fine. I was defending one of my female neighbors. Her ex showed up drunk and wouldn’t leave.”
“She’s okay, right?”
“Yeah she’s fine. I went with her to the police station to file a restraining order and we’re just getting back actually.”
“I’ll make sure there’s more security and I’ll have them walk the floors twice an hour.”
“Thanks, Pops. One more thing, although Jordyn got a restraining order, I don’t think it’s wise for her to stay in the same condo.”
“Me either. I’ll look and see what vacancies we have and I will call you back.”
Charlie hung up with his father. “It’s safe to say you’ll be in a new condo by Monday.”
“I owe you both. How can I repay you?”
“There’s no need to repay me.”
“I have to do something nice for you. In the meantime, would you like to accompany me to my company picnic today at 9?”
“At 9 meaning in a little over an hour?”
“Yes. We don’t have to stay long, just long enough for me to rub elbows with my boss and the top execs.”
“I’ll go. Where is it?”
We got out of the car and headed into the building. As we walked up the hallway towards the lobby I looked at Charlie and realized just how fine he was.
He had to be about six feet tall with milk chocolate skin, full lips, nice teeth, low cut fade, neatly trimmed beard, and light brown eyes. As we approached the front desk Oscar was hanging up the phone.
“Good morning, Mr. Stokes and Ms. Bell. Mr. Stokes, your father wants you to call him. He said he called you twice and your phone went straight to voicemail.”
“I keep telling him there’s no service in the parking garage. Thank you, Oscar.”
“No problem. You two have a great day.”
As we waited for the elevator Charlie called his dad back.
“Yea, Pop… I was in the parking garage when you called.”
“I was just calling to have you tell Jordyn I’ll meet her in the lobby at 12:30 this afternoon to show her the vacancies.”
“Thank you so much, Mr. Stokes! Bye.”
Charlie hung up the phone.
“Your dad is the man! I need to call my sisters and have them come help me pack.”
“At least see the vacancies before you start packing.”
“I still have to pack regardless.”
“I guess you’re right.”
When the elevator came we got on and Charlie pressed the button for the eleventh floor. When the doors opened on my floor Charlie walked me to my door.
“Meet me here when you’re ready to go.”
I tossed my keys, cellphone and wallet onto the table by my front door after walking into my condo. I walked into the kitchen and got a bottle of water out of the fridge. I pressed the button on my answering machine and allowed my voicemails to play.
“Hey, baby! I miss you! I’m in Paris right now. I should be back stateside hopefully in a few weeks just in time for Pops and Liam’s birthday. Alright, I gotta go. I’ll see you soon. I love you!”
I deleted the voicemail and leaned against the kitchen counter as my mind wandered to my “girlfriend” of three years, Giselle.
We met three years ago when she modeled in the charity fashion show we had for Breast Cancer Awareness. I made it my business to be at every practice. After a couple weeks Giselle took me up on my offer and we’ve been dating ever since.
We were together for a little over a year before she made it big and ever since then things haven’t been the same. We went from spending every moment together to spending two-four months apart at a time. I offered numerous times to come wherever she was, but Giselle insisted that she wouldn’t be able to focus if I was around.
Elle was always away doing photoshoots, fashion shows, TV shows, and recently music videos. The first time she went away it wasn’t so bad she was only gone about five months, but now she seems to be gone all the time. Giselle decided that an open relationship was best while we were apart, but when she came home we would be together.
I loved Giselle, but her being away was starting to wear me down. I was over the back and forth and beginning to think that maybe we should end things between us for good. I shook my head clearing my thoughts of Giselle only to realize I had forty-five minutes to get ready and meet Jordyn.
I walked to my bedroom and thought about Jordyn. She was about five-foot-seven, smooth milk chocolate skin, brown eyes, slim-thick build, full pink lips, wide smile, shoulder length dark brown natural hair, and legs that could give Giselle a run for her money. Jordyn kind of favors the actress Regina Hall. Although we met through a bad situation she seemed like a cool person.
I pulled a pair of yellow Chino shorts and a white and blue striped button up with ¾ sleeves out of my closet and laid it on my bed. I walked into my bathroom and began to undress as I turned the hot water on.
I stepped into the hot water and allowed the water to wash over my body. I quickly showered, rinsed off, got out and dried off. After I brushed my teeth, I rubbed my body down with some lotion and then slipped on a pair of navy blue boxer briefs and a gray wife beater.
I put on my clothes and a pair of tan Sperry’s on my feet. I sprayed myself with some Polo Black cologne then added my Movado Stainless Steel bracelet watch to my wrist.
I grabbed my keys, wallet, and cellphone off the table by the door, locked up behind myself and got on the elevator to go to Jordyn’s. I knocked softly on her door.
“Who is it?”
Jordyn opened the door wrapped in an aquamarine colored towel. She waved me inside her place and I walked past her into her living room and immediately noticed her 75- inch TV mounted on the wall.
“Is your TV big enough?”
“I need to be able to see it without my glasses, but no it’s not. Let me finish getting ready. Make yourself at home.”
I followed Jordyn with my eyes as she walked down the hall to her bedroom. I noticed a few picture frames on the mantle and walked over to them. I saw two sets of pictures of four young women wearing cap and gowns; one looked like it was at least ten years old and the other looked more recent. I looked at the recent picture and realized that I recognized one of the faces.
“How do you know Sarai Morgan?”
“She’s my sister. How do you know her? Please tell me you’re not one of her clients.”
“No I’m not. It’s a small world. She went on a date with my brother last night,” I said, walking down the hall towards Jordyn’s room.
“Wait, Liam is your brother?”
I watched Jordyn prop her leg up on her bedframe as she put lotion on her slender milk chocolate legs.
“Yea… yea… he’s my brother.”
This girl had me stuttering and acting nervous.
“Your brother is dating my sister? Now that I look at you, y’all do look alike.”
“Yea. We get that a lot. You wouldn’t know that we’re seven years apart.”
“Wait, how old are you?”
“I’m twenty-five. Is that a problem?”
“No. I just didn’t think you were so young.”
“I get that a lot.”
I watched as Jordyn walked into her bathroom and hung her towel behind the door. She stood in front of her mirror in a black strapless bra and a pair of black lace boy shorts. I tried to turn away but I couldn’t stop staring at her. I admitted to myself that Jordyn was very attractive and she definitely stirred up some feelings in me.
I wasn’t going to take it there with her though. We both had enough going on and we didn’t need to add more to our already full plate. I watched her fill in her eyebrows, put on mascara and eyeliner before she put on a light pink lip gloss on her lips. Being with Giselle had taught me a thing or two about make-up.
“I can feel you watching me,” she said, still staring at herself in the mirror.
“I’m sorry. I can’t help it.”
“I guess it’s okay.”
I continued to watch Jordyn as she pulled a white dress with blue horizontal stripes off a hanger, stepped into it and wiggling to get it pass her hips. Once she had the dress on she added a thin brown belt around her waist. I continued to watch as she checked herself out in the mirror before she walked over to her closet and put on a pair of brown and gold sandals on her feet.
“I’m ready now.”
I followed Jordyn to her front door and we left for her company picnic.