Saturday, November 28, 2015

Guest Fiction Series: On The Other Side, Part 2




The Morning After

I ignored his phone and went back to bed. There was something magical about lying in his arms. All of the stresses of the world melted away. I remember my pastor preaching a sermon about women coming from man’s rib.  He would say….

Want to make an angry woman calm down? Put her back in her rightful place. Let her rest under your arm, next to your side. Once she’s back where she’s supposed to be, she’ll calm down. A happy wife makes a happy life.

I never knew what that meant until I met Martin. He exuded peace in a way that made even the angriest of black women melt at the sound of his voice, at the sight of his aura. He was 5’10, dark skinned with dark brown eyes. He had worn glasses since Elementary School and he never really got the hang of contacts. He had a muscular build with a runner’s legs. He wore his hair in locs and kept them neat. I loved to play in his hair while he slept. They felt like cotton between my fingers.

As he woke up out of his slumber, I watched him rise and go into the bathroom with boxers on and sleep still in his eyes. As fine as he was, I still couldn’t stop thinking about those thirty-seven missed calls that were on his phone last night. I would wait a while before bringing it up. It was a Saturday after all and I was in the mood for some French toast, eggs, and bacon.

“I’ll be in the kitchen, love.”

He didn’t respond. I knew that meant either he was about to shower, or he noticed the 37 missed calls on his phone as well.

The stairs reminded me of the stairs in my childhood home, steep. I remember falling, down those stairs when I was three-years-old. Mama was horrified. She just knew that I had broken something or worse. She rushed me to the hospital only to realize that I was fine, not even a sprain. The doctor said it was probably because of the yoga that she did when she was pregnant with me. That flexibility must have traveled to her unborn seed. Maybe that would explain my need to attend hot yoga and meditation classes regularly.

As I walked into the kitchen dressed in nothing but my robe, I reminisced about the night before. Martin seemed to have enjoyed himself. I must say he looked very relaxed that morning. I’m glad that I could make him feel special. I began to make my famous French toast while I waited for him to come down. The bacon was in the oven, and I had already beaten and seasoned the eggs.  


Martin came down the stairs fully dressed, in black slacks, a baby blue button down, and a tie. It was Saturday. He didn’t have to work and I didn’t recall him having anywhere to be that morning.
               


             “I’ll be back later.”



             "Where are you headed?”
             “I have some business to tend to. It shouldn’t take long. I’ll be back before you even notice I’m gone."

             “I highly doubt that, but okay. Do you want me to fix you a plate?”

             “I’m fine. I’ll get something on the way.”


He was out the door quicker than I could say have a nice day. Instead of getting upset about it, I made a day of it. I finished my breakfast, watched the morning news and drunk a cup of tea. I listened to some Luther Vandross while I bathed. I figured it was a good time as any to cater to myself, and there was a new bottle of Milk Bath I wanted to try.

              
I let Luther serenade me while I soaked in a tub of bubbles and silk. The previous night left me stiff and I knew that if I were to do anything productive that day, I had to get rid of some of that soreness. Luther usually calmed me down, but not that time. I was pissed, and for good reason. How could he just leave without any explanation where he was going? I wouldn’t need an explanation had his phone not rung 37 times, but it was too late for that. I called him to ask where he was.

             “Hello.”

            “Hey, are you coming back anytime soon? I’m supposed to go pick up the kids tonight and was wondering if we could spend some time together beforehand.”

            “I doubt it. I’m stopping by this spot for lunch if you want to come join me.”

            “You have perfect timing. I just got out of the tub. Send the address and I’ll meet you there.”

That was a surprise. I seriously thought he needed some space and was trying to get away from me. I put on my sexiest summer dress. I loved the way the it felt against my skin and the yellow complimented my brown skin tone perfectly. I wanted to be comfortable so I wore sandals. My curls had been wrapped up all night, so freeing them was the only thing I had left to do. When I left the house, I made sure to bring my pepper spray. You never know when someone might try something.

As I got out of the car at the restaurant, I noticed Martin’s car parked around back. I walked inside to see if he already had a table. The waiter led me to a table in the back. Martin would be with me shortly. Was there a reason that I felt like a client, instead of his wife? I was not sure, but I knew that I didn’t like it. I was still a little irritated from the other night and now he had me waiting. We had a tradition to place our phones on the table while we were having dinner together. This helped us to pay more attention to one another. Although we lacked attention elsewhere this seemed to work pretty well for us.

             “I really wanted to make up for forgetting our anniversary. So I figured inviting you here would help to ease some of your stress. I know how much you like Cajun pasta and this place has a menu dedicated to that very thing.”

          "You really didn’t have to do this, but thank you. It means a lot.”

A part of me was happy that he was making an effort and the other part of me wondered if he suspected that I saw his phone. But it wouldn’t be fair to me to assume so I left things alone and enjoyed the rest of the dinner.

Martin was right. The Cajun pasta was to die for and I couldn’t finish it fast enough. I ordered a dessert that consisted of cream cheese, strawberries, and whipped cream. Who knew that this would actually become the sweetest part of the lunch date? I didn’t. But I never expected it to become so sour in such a short time either.

We ended the date, but instead of heading home, I followed him in his car. He wasn’t headed back and he'd already been gone all day. I was curious. I noticed he made a left turn in an alley. Where could he be going, through an alley? I made sure to stay 10 feet behind him. As he approached the next intersection, I noticed him turn around. I think he spotted me following him. He sped off in the other direction and barely missed the light pole on his way through the light.

Why was he running from me? This was not a high-speed chase and it couldn’t be that serious. Was he living a life that I didn’t know about? Maybe it had something to do with these phone calls. Maybe he was cheating. That’s it. I’m calling him. I hope that he doesn’t kill himself trying not to answer the phone while playing cat and mouse.

The phone went to voicemail at least three times. By this time, I had caught up with him and I saw him pull into the back parking lot of a church. He hopped out of the car and ran into the church in a hurry, forgetting to lock the door on his brand new Lexus.
I jumped out and ran over to see if I could find anything that gave me any indication of why he was running into a church or those 37 missed calls. He must’ve really been in a hurry because he left his phone sitting in the front seat. The suspense was killing me. I hesitantly looked at his call log. He hadn’t deleted the missed calls, but there were more. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only were there over 40 missed calls, but all of them were…

 from me.


____________________________________


Verina Wherry is a writer, poet, and aspiring author who spends her free time listening to music, shopping for incense, and watching Criminal Minds reruns.

3 comments:

Conscious Incorporated said...

Okay. You got my full attention. I can tell that this is about to be really good.I'm ready for more.

Anonymous said...

I need part three....like now!!!

R. Preston Clark said...

That ending was everything...