The throb in my head is relentless. I sit perfectly still in the passenger’s seat of my husband’s car. He’s at the wheel not bothering to look in my direction and I’m not bothering to look in his. He has stopped asking me the stream of questions that started when we pulled off from the restaurant. The endless chanting in my head has finally quieted to a whisper. He whizzes through the Valentine’s night traffic, hands tightly gripping the wheel. I try to will my body to go numb. I don’t want to feel the ache in my heart and I close my eyes against my fresh tears. I am tired of crying, tired of hurting, just tired.
When I wake up, I still feel tired. It’s still night outside and I sit in place wondering how long I’ve been asleep. All of my clothes have been stripped from my body. I try to adjust my eyes to the never-ending darkness. I wait, unsure of exactly what I’m waiting for. Maybe I’m waiting for my husband to enter the room and say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’, making the horrible events seem like just a nightmare. That way, we can go on with our lives and that bitch Leslie can go on with hers. I wait, but I hear nothing.
I find the strength to climb out of bed, needing to talk to Kenny. When I enter the hall, it’s quiet. I stand and listen for any noise to alert me to his whereabouts. There is no sound. It’s eerily quiet as I ease down the stairs, every step making my already fragile head ache more than the step before. I find nothing but darkness and quietness. After searching the house from top to bottom, I realize that there is no one there. Where is my family? The thoughts in my mind are so vivid that they seem real like a movie playing out for my eyes only.
He went to her, I conclude. He went to make sure that she was okay. She’s carrying his baby and he needs to know that she’s safe in case her fiancé figured it out. He took Rayne with him and Reggie. They all went to her. She stole what’s mine. She is with my family. She is having a healthy baby boy for my husband. She is living my life! The life that I have been envisioning since the first day I met Kendrick. Before I can stop myself, rage takes over, making me crazed. Anything that I can see, I destroy. None of this matters without my husband and my family. I stand there and look at everything that lies before me, pieces of furniture, picture frames, and glass. I feel like I’m in pieces and I need Kendrick to come and put me back together, but he’s busy making her whole now. I tear at my flesh, unable to stand looking at myself. I’m not enough for him. He’s always sleeping in some bed other than his own. In the beginning, I chalked it up to his youth thinking he would grow out of it. As he grew older, I told myself that it was because of my sickle cell, the tiredness, and the medication. I wasn't always able to fulfill him. As time passed, I hoped that he would come to see that I was everything that he needed. I stood by him no matter what. I was his rider and I just knew that he would see that eventually. Now I can see that I was kidding myself. I've allowed some other woman to come in and take residence in my spot. Now I have to decide what I need to do to get it back!
I sat there and snorted an ounce of coke, then used a bottle of gin as a chaser. I called my connect from the club as soon as Mark left. Who was I kidding? I should have known better than to think he was going to spend the whole day with me. There was a time when we would spend hours together, but that had all stopped. He said that I had imagined it all, but after what he told me today I know that I was right. How was I supposed to know?
Mark revealed to me he couldn't spend the whole day with me because his wife was expecting to do something special for Valentine’s Day. His wife! He didn’t wear a ring and there was no sign that he ever wore one. He was always out with his boys or his cousin and when they weren’t occupying his time, he was with me. How was I supposed to connect those dots?
He left as if it was all good. He didn't even look concerned to see my tears. He asked me to stop crying, but there was no sincerity in his voice or eyes. He got what he came for. He said that he was still recovering from Christmas and that he really didn't have any extra cash to get me anything. That was bullshit, all his extra went to his wife. How could he keep that from me? He claims that he thought I knew that everyone knew, it wasn't a secret. He walked out of here after I sucked him dry and swallowed all the evidence. I got nothing in return. As I sit here and think, I realize that we haven’t had sex in a while. He would suck on my breasts or finger me, but the actual intercourse has ceased. He didn’t want sex from me anymore because he had to go home to his wife.
I am so vexed by all of this that I think about going into work. There, no one gives a fuck. They all love me, miss me and accept me. Instead, I call Jay Jay. I’m sitting here higher than I have ever been in my life. There is no one I can talk to about this. I call Lace and she says that she’s working on some major money. She says that she will come by tomorrow and we can do a spa day to relax. Passion doesn't even answer, not even after I text and say that it’s an emergency. I need a real friend that has time for me, but who the hell is that? Leslie and I aren't even speaking, and I like it that way. I’m tired of her thinking she’s one thing when I know that she’s not. I decide to have a party with my best friend, myself. I guess Beyoncé was right. That’s all I got in the end.
I watched as they escort my drug-induced wife behind the white double doors. After convincing Reggie that his mother is sick with the flu and he should go stay a few nights at Aaron’s, I drop Rayne off to my mother. This time, she isn’t so eager to keep her grandchild without something for herself. I have to do something, there’s no food in the house and my daughter is constantly asking for her mommy. My wife has been in the bed for two days now, not even moving to use the bathroom. She’s been asleep since Valentine’s Day. I check on her periodically, to ensure that she’s still breathing. Every night, I bring home something for my wife to eat. I want food to be waiting as soon as she wakes up. I’m never out long these days. I owe Her this. She has done so much for me and I owe it to our family to see that she’s alright.
When I return home, nothing seems out of the ordinary when I pull into the driveway. The lights are still off in the house, just the way I left them. I know that if my wife had gotten up she would have turned the lights on so I sit in the car and smoke an L while listening to my stereo system.
I think about the events that led up to today, especially Valentine’s Day. I wonder what Leslie and Lincoln are doing right now. I know that it scared the shit out of Leslie to see Lincoln and I standing there talking. She probably spilled her guts as soon as they got in the car. I wonder if ole boy feels like he is on top of the world now. What if she hasn’t told him the baby could be mine? I really don’t want any more kids, but what if Leslie is carrying my son. How will that work with my wife? Will she be able to forgive me for that? I know there are many things that my wife has turned a blind eye to but is this one of them. Am I willing to risk my family with Her for a son that I cannot afford with Leslie? I’m getting ahead of myself. First thing I have to do is find out about this baby. I will go to Leslie in the morning. After finishing my L, I go into the house to see if my wife has emerged from her deep sleep. What I find is her lying on the floor, wailing. The sound reaches me before I make it to her. She is surrounded by broken furniture and glass. When I get to her, I don’t recognize the look in her eyes. They are glazed over and bloodshot. She immediately attacks. I don’t fight her back, but I do restrain her. She’s writhing to break loose and still wailing. All of a sudden, she just stops. I don’t know if this is a trick so that I’ll let my guard down and she can attack again. I wait a few minutes and hold her wrists above her head in a death grip, and then her breathing goes shallow. When she opens her eyes, they are rolling to the back of her head. She looks possessed so I grab the phone and dial 911.
Her breathing remains shallow until the EMTs arrive. They ask many questions about what happened. The problem is I really don’t have the answers. Are they asking about my years of infidelity, Valentine’s Day, Leslie possibly being pregnant with my child, or why my living room is wrecked with my wife bloody and lying in the center of it all? They allow me to ride with her to the hospital, but assure me there will be officers following to continue questioning me once we arrive.
As soon as we enter the hospital and I sign all the necessary paperwork, the police are waiting to speak with me as promised. The head nurse advises us that it would be best if we speak in one of the private rooms off to the side. Once inside, the interrogation begins.
“I’m Detective McGill and this is Detective Grobel. Will you state your name?”
“What happened this evening, Mr. Scott?”
“I took some things to my mother’s house for my daughter. Then I stopped to get my wife something to eat. When I returned home, I found my wife on the floor. That’s when I called the police.”
“You don’t sound surprised that you found your wife in that state. Where was she when you left the house?”
“In the bed, asleep.”
“So she seemed fine when you left the house?”
“She was asleep. She hadn’t been feeling well.” Detective Grobel finally speaks up and starts in with his own set of questions.
“What was ailing her?”
“I really don’t know.” I take a deep breath then continue, “Ever since Valentine’s Day, she hasn’t been herself.”
“What was different?”
“She has just been sleeping a lot. She wasn’t talking much.”
“That wasn't enough of an indicator she may need medical attention?”
“My wife has sickle cell. I thought that she was just tired from over doing it.”
“That sounds like even more reason to seek medical attention.”
“I figured she just needed rest. That’s usually all it takes. I wanted her to rest peacefully which is why I asked my mother to keep our daughter and our son has been staying at his friend’s house.”
“What caused her to feel overwhelmed on Valentine’s Day?”
“I don’t know. She has been asleep!” I snap out. I really don’t want to be sitting here discussing my marital problems while my wife is being evaluated in another room.
"You need to calm down. We are just trying to get to the bottom of why your wife was found lying on your living room floor,” says Detective McGill.
“We’re concerned that your wife was found in that state. The house looks as though someone tore it apart. Your wife’s skin has been clawed at and her wrists are bruised as if someone held her down,” Detective Grobel states. It damn sure isn’t a question.
“What is it you are trying to imply?”
“What we’re saying is that the nurse is currently administering a rape kit. We will have to test any specimens found under your nails to see if it matches your wife’s DNA. We will also need to see if the bruises found on her wrists match your hands.”
“I didn’t do this to my wife!” I say, unsure if that’s true. I may not have physically done all these awful things to my wife, but I am the cause. I am the reason that she’s in the hospital.
“Whatever you need to do, just do it, I need to go and be with Her.” Detective McGill stands and leaves the room. Detective Grobel advises me that this will go a lot faster with cooperation.
After that, everything takes what seems like forever. There are all types of tests and the questions never stop the whole time. When it’s said and done and I think they’re about to take me in to see my wife, I’m dead wrong. Instead, they inform me that I’m under arrest!