Friday, November 27, 2015

Guest Fiction Series: Pretty Ugly, Part 2

For a few months, will be taking four guest authors #fromblogtobook. Each week you'll be able to read a new installment from unique aspiring authors. This tale is from Je Tuan Jones. Enjoy!

(Read all parts here.)

Cameron was at my apartment. He had a terrible habit of showing up unannounced, to my place, since I’d given him a key. I had a key to his place too, but I didn’t care enough to go over there. Does that make me sound like a terrible girlfriend? I’ve often wondered if I was good girlfriend material.
I don’t do many of the things that “good girlfriends” do.
I don’t call and text Cameron all day.
I don’t show up to his place unannounced.
I’m okay if I don’t speak to him for a couple of days at a time.
I don’t mind if he has women friends.
I certainly don’t care about the women that flirt with him on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I’m not your average needy woman. You may wonder if I love him. I do love him. The real question is do I need him. I don’t need anybody. I was perfectly fine with not being in a relationship and the idea of losing him didn’t bother me much. Whenever he and I were on the brink of a breakup, I felt empty on the inside. I knew that there were supposed to be these overwhelming emotions, I was supposed to feel something. However, I came up blank every time.
Cameron and I made our five-year mark a couple of months before, and I was happy. I’d finally committed to someone and stuck it out.
“Hey babe,” Cameron walked towards the couch and plopped down next to me, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing much,” I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek before leaning back again against the armrest of the couch, “I’ve just been watching TV and fighting sleep like a toddler.”
“You’re such a senior citizen,” his smile made the dimples that I loved more pronounced. “But you’re probably falling asleep because you’re watching this crap. You need to check out that documentary that I was telling you about. It breaks down just how this money system works.”
Cameron had a lot of irritating qualities, but his looks weren’t one of them. He was a little under six feet with golden brown skin and gorgeous brown eyes that seemed to see right through you. There were times when he looked at me, and I felt completely exposed. He looked as if he could always spot a liar, which just wasn’t true. I’d lied to him more times than I could count and nope, no super powers there.
“Whatever. I didn’t expect to see you tonight. This is a pleasant surprise,” I placed my legs on his lap.
“I know. I’ve just been missing you. I just got finished having drinks with some coworkers, and I figured that I would spend the night. I have to go in early tomorrow,” His hands lazily stroked my calfs.
I loved his touch, it was always so comforting. I could never figure out why I was so indifferent about him, usually. Then again, that explains most of my life.
“Man, that charge just hit my account, and I’m trying not to be mad about it,” I admitted.
He gave a knowing nod, “Believe me, I understand, but then again I told you not to do it anyway. I told you that you didn’t need to enroll in that course. It was a hustle to begin with.”
Cameron was right, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to kick him in the face. Cameron didn’t believe in investing money in programs that didn’t get degrees or certifications that would raise your income. This was where he and I differed. Sometimes I want to do things for the intrinsic value.
When I wanted to go to the museum, he would scoff and talk about a networking event that we should attend instead. If I wanted to go to a lounge or bar, he would gripe and suggest that we go to a charity event. Cameron was forever trying to raise his station. Don’t get me wrong, ambition is amazing, but can I live? Can I read a fiction book or watch Scandal without judgment?
“I’m not in the mood to hear it. I just need to finish paying for it so that I never have to worry about it again. My lesson has been learned,” No longer in an affectionate mood, I sat up from my comfortable position and planted my feet on the floor.
“I’m not trying to make you feel bad. I’m just saying that you have to be more careful with your money. Spend it on stuff that matters.”
I had two choices. I could completely go in on him and give him a piece of my mind, or I could move on to another subject. An argument wasn’t on my agenda. I almost wished that I went to see Shawn, but the sex was better with Cameron. There’s nothing like being intimate with a person that you have a connection with. It intensifies everything and takes it to another level. If I rocked the boat with him, that would drastically decrease my chances of getting some.
“I’m going to reheat my dinner from yesterday, do you want some?” I smiled a little too sweetly.
He nodded, “Yeah, I’m hungry. I drank, but I didn’t eat.”
“Cool,” I rose to my feet and prepared to go to the kitchen.
Cameron grabbed my arm and pulled me back down to him. I fell into his lap. Our faces were inches apart. His eyes seared into my own; he was searching for something.
“I love you,” he whispered. “I know that you get tired of me talking to you about money. It’s just that if we’re going to build a life together, we have to make sure that we’re on point. We’ve got dreams baby.”
Once again, he was right. We couldn’t build a life together if I kept on with my destructive spending habits. I was only making $35,000 a year. After rent, my car note, and living expenses my funds were shot. Instead of saving the rest, I spent it on frivolous crap that would make me temporarily feel better. I had the same shade of lipstick by four different brands. The office in my apartment was a closet, filled with the clothes that I couldn’t stop buying. My money was spent before it hit my account. It had to stop.
“You’re right,” I softened. “I know you’re right, and it sucks. I’m going to do better. I’m going to start my budget and stick to it. I need to get my life together, with your help of course.”
“I’m always here for you,” he placed a soft kiss on my forehead before blessing my lips with their touch.
This. This was why I loved him. He made me want to be a better person. He made me remember that a better life was within my grasp. I just had to go for it and be disciplined.
“Okay, I’m going to heat up this food before you start something that you can’t finish,” A sly grin lit up my face.
“You know that I finish everything that I start, but food first and lovin’ later.”
I disappeared into the kitchen with a smile on my face. When we were apart it was so easy to forget why I loved Cameron so much. However, when he was in my presence, my feelings for him came flooding back. That’s why we were five years strong.
After the food finished heating, I neatly arranged it on two plates and brought it into the front room.
The look on Cameron’s face stopped me in my tracks. It was a mix of rage and disbelief. In his hands, he held my phone. The same phone that I’d just texted Shawn on earlier.
“What’s going on? ” my voice was surprisingly even. Of course, I knew what was going on. Maybe if I ignored it, it would all go away. Maybe he hadn’t seen my text messages at all.
“Who is Shawn?” his jaw clenched tightly. His hand gripped my phone so tightly that it looked like it would crumble into pieces.
“Look, we can talk about this calmly.” I took a few steps towards him, but his eyes warned me not to come any closer.
I’d screwed up. I’d done it in a major way. I don’t know why I thought that I could leave my phone on the table unattended. That wasn’t one of my more intelligent moments.
“So you’re going to calmly tell me that you’re cheating on me? Don’t lie. If you’re going to lie just, don’t say anything at all. I would prefer silence.” The eyes that were once warm inviting and affectionate took on another glare.
He’d never looked at me this way before. Cameron and I had our fair share of ups and downs. I’d caught him cheating a couple of times early in our relationship, but this was different. We were supposed to be beyond all of the drama. We were supposed to be preparing for our life together. He never told me, but I knew that he was paying for an engagement ring. I’d seen the bills come to his house. He was going to pop the question at any moment.
What could I say? Nothing would make the situation better. Nothing would get that cold stare out of his eyes. I was frozen.
“I don’t know what to say. I can only say that I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“Sorry.” He laughed. “Well, that’s one thing that we do finally agree on. I can’t believe that I thought we were good. Is this why I can’t get to you? Is this why you aren’t calling me? You’re sleeping with dude. WOW!” He jumped to his feet and began to pace while nodding his head. He seemed to be having an unspoken conversation with himself.
“I’ll end it with him. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” That was the truth. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I was sleeping with Shawn purely for my entertainment. It had nothing to do with Cameron at all.
His face snapped towards me, “Don’t end it. I hope the two of you are happy because we’re done. I don’t have to put up with this bullsh*t. I don’t have to put up with you. I’m done.”
“Wait, don’t you want to-”
“Talk about it?” He cut me off. “Nah, I’m good. I’ve seen everything that I need to make my decision.” He hurled my phone at the wall; pieces flew everywhere.
I dropped the two plates in my hand. They fell to the floor while I took cover.
He broke my phone! He broke the iPhone that I was still paying for! My heart hurt. I had insurance, but that didn’t stop me from grieving over my phone. Before I could gather my righteous indignation before I could tell him to get the hell out, he was gone.
The door slammed behind him, startling me.
It was over. There wasn’t a long, drawn-out conversation over it. I didn’t get the chance to plead my case.
He left me.
The fortress that I’d build around my heart and emotions had just been viciously attacked. Brick by brick, it all came tumbling down.
He left me.
My chest tightened.My breathing became erratic. My hands trembled. An unfamiliar tear slid down my cheek.
My world crashed.


Je Tuan Jones is a writer that assists women in birthing their NO B.S. written messages, that's why they call her the Message Midwife.


Anonymous said...

Forwarding of the best kind. Amen

Unknown said...

Love this.