New Year

25 minutes before the ball drops.“Renee, come here.” Kenny extending his open arms. Renee walked into his arms gracefully.

“What’s up?” Renee asked, gazing up into bright glossy his eyes. Kenny placed his chin on her head and squeezed her tight then kissed the top of her head.

“Tarsha and I …” Before Kenny could finish his confession, Renee stepped back and out of his arms. Kenny was holding onto his arms limbs.

“You and Tarsha what?” Renee soft voice harden instantly, yet still in a low tone. She didn’t want the party talking about their argument. Kenny sighed before responding. He obviously wasn’t ready to break Renee’s heart.

“She gave me head a few times. More than my conscience can hold.”

Renee body had stiffened and was her mouth fell open with a locked jaw. Her heart tried to utter words but nothing came to mind. Renee just stared into Kenny’s eyes. Naïve Renee just stood there, still stiff and staring.

“Renee, listen to me, I’m so sorry. It was an in the moment kind of thing.”

A tear finally trickled down her face, the rest dried up. Renee casually turned and walk away from Kenny and into the crowd. Kenny wasn’t expecting it to play out like this. He was now stuck in amazement that Renee left him without saying a word. Kenny finally snapped out of pity mode and searched for Renee. His nostrils began to flare as he disappeared into the crowd. It wasn’t longer before he caught up with Renee.

“Renee, wait, talk to me.” Kenny grabbed Renee again.

“When did it happen?” Renee broke her silence now that they were away from many ears.

“It started back in the summer, before we got serious. It slowed down because I was really feeling you but then I learned that I respect you too much to ask you to do that to me. She was always willing and open to do it. Thursday, my guilt fucked me up and knew I had to tell you and stop seeing Tarsha.

“Wow and it was a mistake.” Renee scoffed in sarcasm.

“Nay, I never said it was a mistake. I said it was caught in the moment thing. I get horny, I hit her up.” Kenny pleading started to sound like he was trying to justify his actions.

“But, she’s dirty.” Renee caught herself. “I don’t even care too much, we were never officially together anyway, so that’s your business. Just don’t bring no shit back to me. Renee roared again her voice was barely above a 8.

Kenny was stunned. He’s never heard her voice go so loud, mostly he was hurt by what she said. Renee didn’t say anything but the truth, Kenny didn’t want Renee to think that they weren’t dating. He genuinely felt like they were. Kenny caught feelings when they started spending more time together, like sexless sleepovers. Kenny thought they were on the same page, obviously not. He knew arguing with her or trying to express his feelings wasn’t going to help the situation much.

“And that’s why I’m telling you. I’m ready to get serious with you. I want this New Year to be good for the both of us.” Kenny sound so sincere, Renee was falling for it again.

“When did you decide this? Yesterday, because today is Saturday.” More sarcasm and sass from Renee. It was becoming obviously that Renee cared more than she said she didn’t. But she was furious. Her feelings were hurt and she felt like her best friend set her up to die. Even with these nasty feelings, small part of her didn’t believe herself. Deep down inside Kenny was her boyfriend.

10 minutes until the ball drops.

“No Renee.” Kenny stared in her eyes.

“Look, we have 10 minutes til the ball drops. I’ll meet you back at the party at midnight. I need to clear my mind.”

“Do you forgive me?” Kenny didn’t want to let her arm go until he got an answer but she tugged away.

“I’ll see you at the party.” Renee said before she walked away.

This has been a long 7 months. Back when Renee met Kenny he was still in a relationship. All the time he spent with Renee made it hard for her to find out. They kept disguising their affair as a friendship. Still, to this day, Renee and Kenny tells everyone that they are nothing more than friends. They are only fooling themselves because the chemistry is too thick. Neither of them wants to be just friends with the other, which is why Kenny felt the way he did about him and Tarsha.

Renee walked to the corner then made a bow-face. All this thinking about Kenny made her miss him. She figured she’ll talk it out with him, become official and it won’t happen again.

3 minutes until the ball drops.

Renee sped walked back to the Hotel where the party was. She made it back to the lobby where the drunk and excited people were staring at the surrounded screens. Last seconds of the year and this was not how she imagined it being.

Both Kenny and Renee scanned the crowd for each other. 30 seconds left, they made initial eye contact. Kenny eyes showed thrill, Renee’s read trust.

20 seconds left; Kenny started making his way through the crowd to Renee, she was heading to meet him halfway. They both grinned. 10 seconds left, they stood face to face as the crowd shouted the countdown. Kenny extended his arms, Renee routinely walked in.

“I’m sorry.” Kenny kissed her head.

“Don’t let it happen again.”

“3,2, 1.. Happy New Year!” Everyone exclaimed.

Kenny and Renee kissed then paused then kissed again. This was their first public display for full affection.

“New year, new us.” Kenny said gazing into Renee’s eyes.

“New year, new us.” Renee repeated.

He pulled her in for a tight hug. Kenny thought he lost his good friend, now girlfriend. Renee mischievous grin read exactly that as she placed her head on his shoulder.

FIN.

Thin line between Love and Karma 

It was Thursday March 9th,2017 at approximately 6:02am when someone rang my doorbell. I was scared out my socks because it was a cold, stormy, dark morning and my man stayed at his mother house for the night. I tipped toed out my bed, down the stairs and to the door. I peeped out the peep hole and stared at the unfamiliar face. I wasn’t as intimidated once I saw a woman about an inch smaller than me. I cracked my door minimally and poked my head out.“Can I help you?”  

“Actually you can.” She replied back. “Do you know Marcus?”

I scowled my face at the woman before me asking me about my boyfriend, the father to my child, my husband to be. “You’re at my doorstep, I know you know the answer to that. How may I help you?” My face remained.

Her head dropped and light tears crept down her face. “If I am right about everything, I’d probably kill myself.” Her voice cracked. She lifts her head and looked me in the eyes “you’re dating a married man.”

Those words echoed in my head and each time I heard it in my head, my heart shattered. Who is this woman? How do I know she’s not lying?

I scowled my face up harder, “what the hell are you talking about? Who are you?” I grew aggravated at the mysterious woman. She was decent looking. I couldn’t tell if those were blemishes or her make up running from her tears and the rain. Her eyes looked sad.

“My name is Stephanie Easton and Marcus and I have been married for 4 years. He stopped coming home 2 months ago.” She wept.

The words began to hurt more when the timeline started adding up. Marcus moved in with me two months ago. His daughter is 4 years old.

“Come in.” I said. I stepped aside and let her in. I flicked on the light to get a better look at her. She’s still as mildly attractive as I thought. I took her coat and hung it on the coat rack. I grabbed a towel to catch the water from leaking on my newly waxed floors.

“Thank you and I do apologize for coming so early.”

“Yeah, what made you pop up here at 6 in the morning? And how did you know where to find me or who to find?”

“You’re dating my husband. It wasn’t hard to find who but it was the where and when. I followed him twice, on two different occasions, both times he had a key and he stayed for hours. I just needed to wait for the when. He goes to work after you and sometimes beats you home. He’ll leave for a few; that’s to pick up Mya and take her out after school. Sometimes he comes back late at 9pm or later; more than likely Mya asked him to stay so he waits for her to fall asleep, sometimes our arguments get out of control and take a while to finish.” She said.

Everything was too accurate. She’s been watching me, us and my house for almost 2 months and I don’t even recognize her face. My eyes widen with shock at her details then hers displayed embarrassment. It’s like she was in denial and I was the only hope she had left. She’d wish I said otherwise, she didn’t want to believe her husband is in a relationship with someone else. Her head dropped and silent tears began to stream from her face. She didn’t even bother to look up and face me again.

“What’s your name?” She sobbed, not dramatically but like a heartbroken woman. I’ve been there before and that’s a burden I don’t want to wish on any woman.

“Tamia.” I cleared my voice.

“He calls you Mia?” She asked, still with her head down.

My brows frowned because now this was becoming creepy, almost like she’s a stalker, “yeah.”

She let out a small chuckle, “his password is MM1107. Mia Mya and his birthday.”  

I couldn’t take the guilt or her tears anymore. Do I tell her the full truth or should I dilute it a little to spare her feelings? But how would a half-truth help? I don’t know but I have to tell her something.

“Stephanie, what I’m about to tell you may break your heart but I rather tell you the truth. Marcus and I have been dating for 6 almost 7 months. When we met he told me he was single and have a daughter. He was so sweet and romantic, gentle and genuine. He makes me feel like I’m the only girl he sees besides Mya. He talks about her all the time, our future with Mya. We’ve been housing hunting for a few days because we may be expecting.” I paused to take a breather and for her to understand everything I just said. She was wearing disappointment.

“Go on.” Her voice cracked.

“In the 6 months, it has been nothing short of amazing, but nothing can compare to the last 2. I come home to cooked meals, foot rubs, bubble baths and everything. He’s the perfect gentleman to me and makes me feel like a Queen, daily. We took a risk, a big one. We never used protection, not once.” I paused and lowered my head. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, this is my man. I picked my head up and continued. “After the first two times, I went and got tested and when nothing came back I felt as if I can trust him so, we sexed raw, every other night. I didn’t meet his mother yet but I’ve spoke to her, she knows my name, profession and telephone number. He’s a O blood type, Mya’s birthday is April 3, she was a preemie. She wasn’t due until May 10th; my birthday. Where were you the whole relationship? He was with me freely, whenever I asked and stayed.” I stopped.

“I’m not the type to be in his business. He used work against me, I never asked him about work. He started having mysterious business trips for days at a time, making up delayed flights because when I called the hotline, it’s always a different story. He rarely answers my calls anymore, now we text.” She scoffed. “I have to text my husband. That’s so pathetic.” She began to wine. “Plus we argued every day, I thought it was best for us. I was just telling my bestie that Marcus is probably in a rented studio apartment, miserable without Mya and me, well I was wrong.”

I felt bad for Stephanie, honestly. While Marcus was being the man of my dreams he has become someone else’s nightmare. I can’t believe he lied to me, he didn’t even tell me he was divorced, going through something or anything. Now that I’m thinking about it, he never mentioned Mya’s mother too much. He just said they once were in love then they fell apart. I didn’t feel a need to dwell on that. He made me secure that there’s no 0ther woman, there wasn’t enough time for her in our schedule. We live together, we possibly have a baby on the way yet, he’s married.

I glanced over at the living room cable box and it read 6:29am.

“Time for work?” Her voiced cleared up. She must have saw me checking out the time.

“Yes, call me after 5 later on today. Don’t tell Marcus that we’ve spoke alright?” I asserted. I had a plan for him. How dare he play me like I’m some kind of side piece. How can he look me in my eye and not mention his WIFE?

“I was going to ask the same from you.” Stephanie replied.

I paused because I have every intension on bringing this to his attention. I mean why wouldn’t she want me to clarify this?

“I won’t say you told me, I’ll say I found out.” I was probably lying.

She smiled as acceptance. I walked her out then went back to my bedroom.

I grabbed my phone and proceeded to call out of work. I had more than enough sick hours and I technically am I going to be at a doctor’s office today. Once I hung up from my job, I called a nearest OBGYN clinic to make an appointment with Dr. Shane.

My phone rang.

“Good morning my love.” His voice spoke through the phone. It was deep yet silvery. I get so turned on by his voice alone.

“Hey honey. How did you sleep?” I said with a tremulous voice.

“Are you okay? Still sleepy?” Marcus suspected something. I was trying to hold on to the information that I just learned but I was growing anxious, too anxious.

“Yeah, that too. I just miss you at home.” I moped.

“I miss you too, hey it sounds like you’re still in bed. What’s up?” Some depth was added to his baritone, like he was her dad.

“Yeah, my doctor’s appointment is today.”

“Wow, that was fast. You want me to come with you?” He said in his most charming voice. It felt like he cared, different from any other guy that I’ve dealt with.

“Let’s start with you coming home.”

“On the way.” He rung up. It wasn’t a doubt that at the moment he was on his way out and home to me.

I was left to make a decision. Do I leave the man of my dreams alone or is this an obstacle that we’re supposed to get through? But he lied to me, about being married? Who do that? That’s pure disrespect. But I know he respect me more than anything. This is starting to give me a headache, what if I’m making a big deal and she’s lying? I don’t really want to leave him alone and I know he feels the same about me.

I must have dozed off for about 20 minutes when I heard Marcus coming through the front door. I quickly glossed my lips with some saliva and played fake sleep. He reached in and kissed my sleeping face as I thought he would.

“Rise and shine my sunshine.” He said pushing my hair out of my face.

“Hey” I smiled weakly. I was good at playing sleep.

“Move over, let me get in with you.” He said undressing.

“How’s your mom?” I mumbled although I knew he slept over Stephanie’s last night.

“She’s okay. That arthritis is something else.”

“I spoke to Stephanie today.” I blurted. SSSHHHHIIIITTTTT, I did not mean for it to come out like that. Word vomit much? He hadn’t said anything yet. He just stood there, stuck.

“What is doing contacting you?” His nose flared up, he began to breath heavily. He was furious.

“Because I’m dating her husband. What’s up with that Marc?” I sat up and scowled my face at him.

“I don’t love her. That’s not my wife.” Hearing him say that broke my heart instantly. How can this loving human not love his wife, the mother of his daughter? He said it with so much hatred in his voice, it startled me. “She’s jealous that I moved on and found someone better than her. She wants me so bad but she’s nothing I want or need. She’s nagging, and annoying.” He continued.

“So why won’t you divorce her?” I interrupted his rant.

“I have a daughter with that woman. She going to take me for everything then get child support. Like a winch.” Still with hatred in his voice.

Honestly, I would too. He was supposed to communicate that to her like, hey, I’m kinda not feeling you anymore. It’s never right to cheat. He’s a good guy to me but his karma says otherwise.

“Well boo, you should’ve told her this before everything got out of hand. She’s devastated Marcus. She came here for answers to insecurities that she knew was true. I get that you want to keep things clean for Mya, but she’s a child and will forget this. You have to keep your sanity.” I said smoothly. I needed him to calm down. I’m the one who’s supposed to be ranging.

“You right Mia.” He sat down then reached in for a kiss. I dodged it.

“I don’t kiss married men.” I said crossing my arms.

“I don’t consider myself a married man. You’re my girlfriend, I don’t have a wife.”

“So what do you call her Marcus?” I shouted. He was in denial his damn self.

“That’s Mya’s mother, Tamia.” He shouted back.

“Yeah and your wife. If something happens to you, they’re contacting HER! No matter how much you don’t want to believe it or how much you can’t stomach it, she’s still your wife. She still has your name and assets. Despite your feelings for her.” I asserted. He must be out his rabbit flipping mind if he thinks that his disliking towards his wife determine their marriage status. This is the fool that I can possibly be in love with.

“Fine, I’ll file for divorce.” He said nonchalantly.

“I know you are. Because you’re not laying with me until then.”

“What?” His nose flared again.

“You heard me. If the weather wasn’t terrible, I’d tell you to leave. But for now, you can sleep downstairs on the couch.” I laid down, facing the wall. I waited until I heard him doing down the steps to turn over on my back. Tears trickled down my face. My heart hurt. I can’t believe that this is true. I just closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

It was a quarter past 10 when the sun shined brightly through my bedroom curtains and into my eyes, awakening me. That was good timing because all I had to do was shower and get ready for my doctor’s appointment. I picked up my cell phone and saw that I missed 3 phone calls from an unknown number and a voicemail, couple of text messages from my sister and mother and my reminder about my appointment. I thought it’d be smart to listen to the voicemail first, incase it’s someone I really don’t want to talk to.

*sobs* You said you weren’t going to snitch on me. *sobs*

“Who is that? Hang up the damn phone before I kill you, now!” Click!

I gasp. I got up and went down stairs and that definitely was Marcus because I am home alone. I called the number back 4 times and each time it went straight to voicemail. I called Marcus 3 times before he finally answered.

“Hello.” He grunted.

“Where are you?” I asked, straight to the point.

“In the garage. Are you okay?” His tone softens.

“Yes. What are you doing in there?” I questioned.

“Looking for something to do.” He lied. “I’m coming in now.”

He hung up the phone. I grew a little scared of him because I knew he attacked Stephanie and he’ll definitely attack me. When he came in, the door slammed behind him which caused my nerves to jump.

“You okay baby?” He asked me again, with a teasing smirk.

“Did you speak to Stephanie?” I stood in front of him with my arms crossed and my feet planted to the ground.

“And if I did?” He asked walking towards me with evil living in his eyes.

“What did you do to her?” I shouted, still in my warrior stance.

“I told her to mind her own damn business, like how I’m about to tell you.” Marcus stepped closer into my personal space. I was staring eye to eye with the devil in disguise.

“Get out of my house.” I demanded. He stood there moments more to challenge me.

“Are you serious?” He spat.

“You heard what I said right?” Then I walked away, that’s where I went wrong. Marcus grabbed me by the back of my neck and threw me onto the couch.

“Ahh…” I screeched in pain.

“Tamia, mind your business. I’m not playing with you. This is a final warming. I like you a lot and I don’t want to hurt you but, I will. Mind. Your. Business.” I have never seen Marcus get some upset with me. I can’t believe he put his hands on me. He’s a monster. I don’t want anything to do with this man. I didn’t move. I just sat there in shock, holding the back of my neck with my mouth wide.

“Mia, I’m sorry. Don’t look at me like that.” He pleaded trying to kneel for a kiss.

“Move, I have a doctor’s appointment I have to get ready for.” I got up and walked away. I kept peeking through my peripheral view. I grabbed my clothes and my lotion and locked myself in the bathroom. I was terrified out my boots! This is supposed to be my protector that’s adding fear into me. My shower was quick; I threw on almost anything. I wanted to get out of my house as soon as possible. Do I go to the police? Call my cousins and have him jumped? I always thought I’d fight back if I was to be in a situation like this. Suddenly, I’m here and I wussy out. I hope the doctor tells me that I’m not pregnant. I don’t want a half demon baby.

I left the house as quickly as possible without even making eye contact with Marcus.

“You sure you don’t want me to go with you?” Marcus swayed.

“Mhmm, I’m sure.” I mumbled as I put on my coat and left.

I sat in my car and went off into space. I couldn’t take my mind off what Marcus could’ve have done to Stephanie. It was disgusting. I feel bad for poor little Mya. I started my car and drove off. The clinic wasn’t so far from my house; I was there in no time.

When I got into the clinic I was greeted by a snobby receptionist.

“Do you have an appointment?” She rolled her eyes.

“Yes.” I rolled mine also.

“Name.”

“Tamia.” I sassed.

“Last name?” She sassed back.

“I’m more than sure that I am the only Tamia in the city with an appointment at this clinic today.” I wasn’t in the mood for her attitude. I had one of my own to deal with.

She rolled her eyes and did her job. “She’ll be ready for you in 6 minutes. You can wait in the waiting area.” She said with a whole different tone. I guess it was the last names.

“Tamia Shane to Room 523. Tamia Shane to Room 523.” The lady over the loud speaker said. I proceeded down the hall to 523.

*Knock then open* “Hey Ma,” I said walking to the room.

“Hi baby. What brings you in?” Dr. Shane stated professionally.

“Let’s just make sure that you’re not a grandmother again.” I eased out casually.

“What? That’ll be a great thing!” Dr. Shane exclaimed.

“No, not really.” Tamia dreaded.

“Why? What’s up? Lay here and tell me what’s wrong with this dude.” She said.

“Ma, there’s nothing wrong. He’s a great guy, it’s just too soon. We hardly know each other.” I wanted to end that conversation as quickly as possible. After this morning, we honestly don’t know each other. I laid back and listen to my mom tell me about family drama about my aunts and cousins while she checked on me. I’m so grateful my mom is my doctor. I couldn’t image anyone else all in my stuff like that.

“Alright well, you’re disease free and baby free.” She stated as she documented the information. My soul sang as I heard those words escape my mother’s lips. I was completely free from Marcus and his shenanigans.

“Thanks mommy.” I said laughed.

“Welcome, now get out my chair so I can make some money.” Dr. Shane joked.

I gathered my belongings and headed back to my house. I hoped and prayed that Marcus left while I was gone. I really don’t want to argue anymore. I hate arguing, it was so draining and this is not what I called out of work for. I just want to change my locks, number and take a bath. I detoured to Home Depot for a new lock set. That’s giving Marcus more than enough time to leave.

An hour and half later, I’m finally making my way back home, still hoping and praying that Marcus isn’t there. I tried calling Stephanie’s number again but, it was still going to voicemail. I pulled into my driveway and notice the dining room light was still on. When I unlocked the door, I was greeted by a little messy girl.

“Mommy..” She shouted. She stopped once she realized that I wasn’t her mother.

“Surprise!” Marcus awkwardly exclaimed.

“Marcus can I talk to you?” I stamp my way through my living and dining rooms to my kitchen.

“What’s up boo?” Marcus greeted me, reaching for a kiss. I weaved it, again. He sighed.

“I’m not pregnant. So with that being said, you can get your things from out my house. I’m done with this relationship.” I stated as calmly as possible.

“Why? We were just good. We were having house conversations, and babies. Now you don’t want me?” Marcus began to shout. I kept peeking around him to make sure that Mya wasn’t in ear range.

“Lower your tone! Marcus it’s over because one, you’re married and two, you put your hands on me. You lucky that I didn’t kill you, then.” I hissed.

“Was that a threat?” He began to invade my personal space again with the evil eyes.

“It was whatever, I just want you out, my love.” I said softly.

His eyes watered. I can see the sadness in them, his shoulders dropped then his head hung. He slid down the kitchen wall onto the floor and pouted. “We were having so much fun before this. Our future was even fun and it hadn’t happened yet. You are my happiness; I smile because of you. What am I going to do without your presence?” He shrugged his shoulders then rose on his feet. “Tamia you are not going anywhere, neither am I or Mya. We’re a family now, Mya is your daughter now, I will give you children of our own. There’s no looking back, we’re in this together.” Marcus growled through his teeth.

I stood there in shock; he doesn’t know who the hell he’s dealing with. I fight men then burn them. He can be just like any other guy. Before I can spit my threat at him, he had his hands tightly gripped around my neck, like he was ringing out wet rags.                    

“You’re name is Tamia Easton! You’re my wife and Mya is our daughter! He pinned me to the wall by my neck. I was fighting as hard as I could but, I grew restless. “Now take off your pants so we can make our son.” He said as he tried to snatch me out of my sweats with his free hand. The tears rolled down my face as I closed my eyes, mentally escaping Marcus. The love she thought she wanted.