Monday, December 28, 2015

Guest Fiction Series: On The Other Side, Part 6




Ahmad Jenkins? That name sounds very familiar. Maybe I heard his name in passing. Wait a minute, the voicemail. I dialed the wrong number last week and that was the voice on the answering machine. What are the odds that I would run into the exact same man a week later? It can’t be. I guess I’ll find out eventually.

I got home an hour later and decided to go ahead and get dinner started. The kids’ school let out early on Tuesdays so they would be home earlier than usual. I was sure that they’d be hungry. They never ate lunch on short days. I wanted to make sure they had enough, so I cooked enough food to have leftovers for the next day.

The kids walked in the door while the cornbread muffins were in the oven. Amari walked into the kitchen.

“Something smells good, ma. What are you cooking?”

“Spaghetti, fried chicken, and a banana pudding”

“Awesome, I’m starved.”

“I can guarantee that you aren’t starving.”

“I really am.”

“Where’s your sister?”  I knew she couldn’t be too far behind

“She’s putting her bags up.”

“Well dinner will be ready soon, go start on your homework.”

I  made a homemade banana pudding. It had been a while since I’d made dessert so I figured today would be as good as any. While the pudding was on the stove, I reached into the cabinet to get the bananas. Right next to them was a bag of oranges. All of a sudden, all I could think about was that d*amn Ahmad. I had never seen someone so gorgeous. He had to be about 6’2, light skinned, with beautiful, brown, curly hair. He had deep eyes that made you stutter when you spoke to him.

If seeing a bag of oranges had me fantasizing about him, this could turn into a real issue. Maybe I’ll call him once I’ve gotten the kids fed and they’ve gone to their rooms for the night.

I finished making the banana pudding and put it in the oven. Maria came out of her room with a book in her hand.

“What are you reading, baby girl?”

“Nobody’s Perfect”

“Is that my old book?”

“Yea, I found it on the bookshelf in your room.”

“That’s one of my favorite novels. How far along are you?”

“I’m halfway finished.  I can see why it’s one of your favorites.”

“Let me know when you finish it. We can talk about it.”

“Okay mommy.”

“Go tell your brother that dinner will be ready in ten.”

Once the banana pudding finished baking, the kids fixed their plates. They must have been hungry because there weren’t many leftovers. Almost all of the banana pudding was gone as well. I made sure that they left some for Martin just in case he decided that he wanted to eat at home for once.

Once everyone had eaten, Amari volunteered to wash the dishes and put the leftovers away. He wanted me to rest. He said I looked tired. While he did that, I went to my room to lie down for a while. I turned the T.V. to Lifetime Movie Network just to kill time. I had started to fall asleep when my phone rang and woke me up.

“Hello?”

“Haven’t knocked over any more oranges have you?”

“No, I haven’t. Thank you very much. Hi, Ahmad.”

“What are you doing right now?”

“Lying down, just waking up from a nap. What about you?”

“I’m just sitting here in my office thinking about you. I couldn’t get your beautiful face out of my head.”

“Is that right? Well your face has made an appearance in my mind as well over the last few hours.”

“Well it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. So Kamaria, how old are you?”

“You never ask a lady her age.”

“Well I just wanted to make sure that a lady as beautiful as you wouldn’t be the reason I rock the cradle.”

“I have two kids remember.”

“Yes and a husband.”

“Yes, don’t forget that.”

“I’m trying to make you forget it.”

“That may be kind of hard to do, considering we live together.”

“Well where is Mr...”

“Smith, Mr. Smith.”

“Where is Mr. Smith now?”

“Working”

“Ahh, well can I keep you busy for a few hours?”

“Depends on what you mean by busy.”

“Well let me explain.”

For the next few hours, we talked about any and everything. He wanted to take me out. He said that he knew of a nice restaurant that we could try. He said that he was a fan of scavenger hunts and he was sure that he could create one that would keep us both busy for a few hours. We agreed to meet up on Friday. The kids would be at a sleepover and Martin would be at work most of the day. I was sure that my face would have cleared up by then. I wouldn’t have to wear as much makeup. It had already started to heal significantly.

What could it hurt? No one has to know where I’ll be spending the day. Martin is never home. The kids won’t be here, so they won’t miss me. I deserve to get out and have some fun for once. Let’s see if Ahmad can make my day brighter. Time flies when you’re having fun.

I looked at the clock and it was already midnight. I knew that if I wanted to get to sleep before Martin got home, I needed to be getting off the phone soon. So we said our goodbyes.

“It was nice talking to you, Ahmad. I haven’t had a conversation like that in a very long time.”

“Well that’s too bad. Maybe next time you won’t have to wait so long.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing you on Friday.”

“If you need anything before then or just feel the need to talk, you’re welcome to call me anytime.”

“Thanks, I’ll do that.”

“Goodnight Kamaria”

“Goodnight Ahmad.”

It was nice to have some adult company, even if it was only on the phone. I hadn’t had adult conversation in a long time. I had some great talks with Dr. Ashbury, but I was paying for those. So Ahmad was a welcomed change. Maybe he was what I needed. Maybe I could hold off on the counseling if he could take my mind off my reality.

As soon as I hung up the phone, I heard Martin come in the house. He was home early. He walked into the bedroom and turned on the lights.

“Are you asleep?”

“No.”

“Good, we need to talk.”

“What’s up?”

“I was thinking. I know things got out of hand the other night. I want to make it up to you. Let me take you out Friday night. The kids will be gone. It will be just the two of us. I want to show you a good time. What do you say?”

He can’t be serious. I just made a date with Ahmad. But he is my husband and I can’t afford to make him upset again.

“Sure baby, whatever you want.”


Now I just have to figure out a way to postpone my date with Ahmad. 


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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.

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