He grabbed my arm tightly, it felt like blood vessels were bursting all at once under my skin.
He released my arm and as he did, my right hook connected with his jaw. He pushed me up against my car and held me there as I tried to headbutt him. I squirmed around trying to free myself. Finally, able to break free, once I stomped on his pinky toe with my 4” stiletto boots. OUCH!!!!! He screamed, and at the same time, one of his neighbors exited the front door and ran over to my aid.
“Hey guy, get the hell off her!”
Shawn, still in shock from the pain shooting through his body and this now, “Captain Save-A-Hoe” guy that appeared. Before he could say a word, the guy did some Bruce Lee move on his ass. All I saw was Shawn pinned up against the ground, with his left cheek in a urine stained chunk of snow, by my foot, on the sidewalk.
“Miss, get out of here. I got it!”
Within seconds, I heard the sirens, yes, the boys in blue pulled up. Now, let me paint this picture. Woman, clothes looking disheveled, due to man trying to prevent her from punching him again in the face. My appearance would leave anyone to believe that I was the one that was in danger. Then, you have a barely dressed black male; in gray sweatpants, no shirt, and barefoot. To make matters worse, you have a Caucasian male, restraining this black man, and a woman crying uncontrollably. What they don’t realize is that I am not crying because he physically hurt me, no, it’s the emotional pain that has me in this current fragile state. If you were the cops, arriving to this scene, it is quite obvious whom you would assume was the culprit in this matter. As you can see, this has escalated rather quickly.
One cop rushed over to assist the neighbor whom still had Shawn pinned on the ground. The other officer walked up to me to ask how I was doing. I told him that I was okay and was only having an argument with my boyfriend. He looked at me, if I were lying and merely covering up for Shawn, as if he were an abusive douche bag. I reassured him that I was leaving in the heat of an argument and my guy was simply trying to prevent me from leaving without talking. During our disagreement, the guy from the building came on the scene. My boyfriend was trying to prevent my attempt to repeat something I had done to him. I tried to avoid disclosing the fact that I physically assaulted Shawn.
By the time, the officer walked away to go and talk to Shawn, I leaned up against my car for support. My toes were numb, and my thighs felt as if I had hundreds of needles sticking me. Obviously, I was having the early onset of frost bites. Officer Wright, from the 79th Precinct, came back and told me that Shawn was not going to press charges. This son of a bitch! I can’t believe he told them that I sucker-punched him in the face. Well, he deserved it for cheating on me. I should have kicked him in the throat with my boots. Better yet, I wish his neighbor gave him a Karate chop to the throat.
I sat in the car waiting for the police to drive off. I had my head down browsing my Instagram page and watching a video, all while the car heat up. The tap on the window, broke my attention from the video I was watching on ‘Callhimrenny’ page. I looked up and it was Officer Wright.
“Ma’am, we’re going to need you to leave the premises. Your boyfriend said he feels unsafe with you being in front of his home. He is fearful of what you may do once we leave. He’s considering filing a restraining order against you. However, until he decides what he will do, please avoid any contact with him.”
I told the officer that I would comply with the request. I pulled off and drove to the corner store on Lewis and Jefferson Avenue. I bought a dutch and a ‘torch’ lighter. When I walked back to my car, I noticed that the back-left tire was a little low and in need of air. Before I pulled out of my parking space, I turned on the radio and DJ Dahved Levy was playing, “Hills and Valleys” by Buju Banton. The perfect song to get me in the right vibe before I smoke this spliff.
I began singing aloud to the verses and then my phone interrupted the song, over Bluetooth. I looked on my console and saw Satan’s name pop up. I let it ring out because I wanted his dumbass to know I was avoiding his call. I’m sure he thought I was driving back to DC now, with tear-filled eyes. It’s all good. I had already text Blake and told him that I was on my way to his house. He told me that the keys would be left in his mailbox, so I could let myself in. I was halfway home jamming out to some culture music. I was high as a kite. I made it from Brooklyn to Maryland in two hours, with only an hour more to spare. It was almost six thirty when my phone began ringing again. This time, the trifling demon called ten times back to back. I decided to find out what he wanted.
What the hell do you want?!
“Cut the crap Jen! You wanted this to end. You came fishing and you found what you were looking for. I want you to ship my stuff to me. And while you’re at it, send back the engagement ring. You don’t deserve to keep that ring.”
You are as small as your manhood. Only a useless person would say what you just said to me. You know what?!!
I am happy that I lost our baby. I wouldn’t want to bring a child into this world with your dumbass!
“Jennifer Madison Beckford!! Lose my F#$%*! $ number.”
Babe…I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it…
I heard the phone go dead on his end. He hung up. It was at this very moment that I came to the conclusion that there was no coming back from what I had just said. I crossed a line that no woman should cross. What we lived through was no joking matter to make light of. Nor should I have thrown it down his throat in a vindictive way. I’m an a@#hole.
I pulled into the driveway and bawled. It felt as if the life was escaping me, like a balloon losing all its air. I was unaware that I was holding my breath, thankfully my brain reminded me that it needed oxygen. I gasped and swallowed a gulp of air. I cried the same way I did the day we lost our son that was born stillbirth. The same heartache, this time worst!
It was our 8-month check-up with my OB GYN. I always enjoyed our visits, especially when I was further along and could hear the baby’s heartbeat on the fetal doppler. Today was the day I would show Dr. Liz my engagement ring, as she kept teasing Shawn on putting a ring on it. She’s a huge fan of ‘Queen Bey’ and loved bringing up any Beyoncé song at the drop of a dime. She even went as far as singing one of her hit songs on our last visit,
“If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.
“Don’t be mad once you see that he want it…” We shared a laugh.
I went ahead and changed into the scrubs prior to her entrance. I laid on the examination table, with Shawn to the right of me holding my hand. Dr. Liz walked in and greeted us with the same usual perky attitude. She would always remind me to eat, as my pregnancy caused me to experience rapid weight loss. My morning sickness was horrendous. I hated the mere sight of food. I had 24-hour nausea. We small talked to pass time, as she reviewed my chart. My blood pressure was normal, weight was the same as the month prior. She put the lubricating gel on my stomach, we talked about the trip she was going on with her husband to Dubai. She put the device on my stomach and started making circular motions. The next thing I knew the conversation came to a halt.
She asked if I felt any kicking or ‘flutters’ today. I told her that the baby wasn’t as active today. Not realizing until that moment that there was a problem. She told her medical assistant, Kem, to run into the other examination room and grab her the prob. I asked if everything was okay. She didn’t want to look at me.
Dr. Bryan, please speak to me!! Is everything okay with my baby?!
At this time, Shawn stood up and walked to the counter. I guess he needed to lean against something because now, I had released his hand. He slowly put his hands to his head, then his mouth. I’m guessing he was battling something internally. My baby was doing his darnedest to hold it together.
“I’m sorry but I’m not hearing a heartbeat. Please wait until Kem returns. I need to confirm with the Probe.”
Dr. Liz…No, No, Nooooo! This can’t be happening.
What do you mean you don’t hear a heartbeat?!!
Kem entered the room, sweat beads had formed on her eyebrows. She looked confused and concerned at the same time. I looked at Shawn, he was off to the corner of the room now, rocking back and forth but still on his feet. He walked back to the counter, directly facing me but his eyes were looking pass me. He clearly was in a trance, somewhere mentally far, far away. The agony in his face, of the unknown; was grueling.
Dr. Liz inserted the probe inside me and asked that we all remain silent as she listened for a heartbeat. I laid there stock-still with tears streaming down my face. When she spoke, a part of my heart shut down. Sometimes, the simplest words carry more weight than you can manage.
“Jennifer and Shawn, I am terribly sorry.”
As she said those words, I realized my plans to bring home our baby boy were over. The nursery that we had spent months decorating, in anticipation for the day we brought home Shawn Anthony, were gone. I don’t think we really recovered from that. We simply have been in autopilot for the past few years. How does one recover from the loss of a child. The day after the visit, they scheduled the procedure for me to deliver my deceased son. I wanted to hold him, and feel him in my arms. I always wanted to be a mother. I wouldn’t let this unfortunate outcome rob me from hugging and holding my baby. When Shawn held him, he finally released that pain in a deafening scream. He sobbed as he held him for more than twenty minutes. The nurse had to convince him to give her our son. The way Shawn looked at me, caused me to feel as if I was partially to blame. Not sure why I felt that way.
Shawn and I began seeing a Bereavement Counselor for a year. We went twice a month as a couple and the other times by ourselves. Within the year, instead of healing and growing closer, we grew a part. We realized there was a major strain on our relationship. Shortly after, my friend Nanna, introduced me to smoking weed. Marijuana became my outlet with coping with my emotional pain. I hated the smell but grew addicted to the way it made me feel. I was obsessed with not wanting to feel anything and weed was successful in allowing me to achieve that.
I walked up the steps and grabbed the keys out the mailbox. I stopped and sent him a quick text, letting him know that I was about to enter the house. I wasn’t sure if he deactivated the security system. When I walked inside, I smelled bacon and eggs. I made a pit stop to the bathroom, all that water had my bladder extended. I dried my hands and walked past the kitchen into the bedroom. He didn’t realize that I was in the house, as he had “Shake Body” by Skales blasting. I glanced him in the kitchen but decided to continue to the bedroom.
I walked into the bathroom, now filled with candles and the smell of Strawberry Butter incense burning, making love to my nostrils. I undressed and retrieved the towel and rag he left on the chaise, at the foot of his bed. I kept the lights off in the bathroom and allowed the natural light to fill the space. I turned on the water to achieve the desired temperature. I then pinned my hair and put on his skull cap to prevent my hair from getting wet. When the water was to my liking, I stepped into the steamy shower. I washed and scrubbed my body as if I were washing away the pain. I spent more than 20 minutes just letting the water flow off every inch of my body. When I felt a freeing sense of calmness, I turned off the water and stepped out of the shower unto the memory foam bath mat. I began drying off but his bathroom is narrow, so I decided to finish drying off in his bedroom space. When I reached for the handle of the door, at the same time, Blake swung open the door. He looked at me, as if I were a precious prize. He stood there with my breakfast on a Sterling Silver tray. I was surprised to see that he had coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice as well. He was as thoughtful as he was sexy.
The best part of this was that he was standing there in his birthday suit. He obviously was happy to see me and his body confirmed that visually. I love getting his attention in that way. I walked past him, holding my towel closed, as it was small and was not easy to keep fastened. I sat on the chaise and began eating. At that time, he got on his knees and put my right foot in his hands. I was unaware of his intentions with my feet at this moment. I figured he would give me a massage. Yes, a massage. I sure as heck needed one after the frost bites my toes experienced. I finished the bacon and eggs, now I tackled the pancakes. OMG…this food is so damn good. Wait a minute! The blood from my stomach went to the lower region of my body. I opened my eyes, unaware that I closed them from the sensual bliss I just experienced. He had my toes in his mouth, in an apparent attempt to feast on them, as I was with his delectable, mouthwatering meal. I quickly put the plate down on the chaise. No longer able to concentrate on eating. I leaned back on the arm of the chaise and allowed my body to respond to this surreal moment. I told him to stand up because he needed to be rewarded for making me feel so good. Now that he was standing directly in front of me, I tied my hair back in a bun and began to… <>
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The morning after…
I woke up parched but water wasn’t what I craved. The thing I thirst was laying across town in his bed, wondering if and when I would take him up on his offer. Blake opened up Pandora’s box and I wasn’t sure if I had the will-power to close the door. I laid in my bed, next to my fiancée, fantasizing about how soft his lips were. I found myself feeling stimulated all over from the idea of one more taste of his kiss. As I turned to the side, in an attempt to crawl out of bed, without awakening Shawn, something sharp stabbed my side. Ouch!! I yelled out at the top of my lungs, in the most dramatic way. Shawn moved around a bit but didn’t wake from his slumber.
I guess this is my punishment for trying to sneak out the room to send sexy pictures to another man. I grabbed my phone off the nightstand and disconnected it from the charger. Once again, I thought the sound would wake Shawn but to my surprise, he slept through it all. I tip-toed out of the bedroom, stubbed my pinky toe on the file cabinet we had right across from the sofa. I wanted to avoid turning on the lights, so I felt my way through the darkness until I found the love seat. Once I was no longer within earshot of Shawn, I sat down and put my foot up on the ottoman. I unlocked my phone in a haste, using with my fingerprint, a new feature I activated last night. I guess if I was going to commit to stepping out on my man, I better be careful and use as many precautionary measures. My phone opened to three new text messages and all from Blake; whose name was saved as “Elizabeth”. The first text read, “when are you going to finish me off?” The other texts were so steamy, I had to delete them but not before I sent both to my email. My virgin eyes were scarred for all the right reasons.
I sent him a text with some available days when I knew I wouldn’t be in court. I had a trial approaching and I wanted to be sure that my availability was concrete, to avoid the need to reschedule. Coincidentally, my available days coincides with the days Shawn is slated to be in New York. We texted for about an hour and would have continued but I heard Shawn opening the bedroom door. I quickly hid the phone under my butt and pretended to be asleep. Though, it seemed odd for me not to be in the bed, I am sure he expected to find me in the restroom, not (pretending to be) asleep in the love seat. Fortunately, I turned off my volume earlier, for this very reason. You never want to get caught, not if you can avoid it.
Surprisingly, he went directly into the bathroom without acknowledging my presence. When he came out, he called me, finally he stood right over me and scooped me up into his arms. I did my good ole’ acting and jumped up, pretending to be surprised by this Hercules act. My acting was definitely Oscar worthy. He asked what I was doing in the living room, so I made up a lie about how my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), was acting up and how I wanted to avoid potentially waking him, with my frequent visits to the restroom. Check mate. Little did he know, t-minus five minutes ago, I was sending X-rated pictures to his boy. Ha-ha. What a savage beast I am. The fact that he bought it, showed how skilled I was at lying. He ushered me back to bed and we had a quick session before we both fell asleep.
I was excited for his promotion and how it would allow for Blake and I to have some fun. A part of me felt guilty for agreeing to fool around with his boy but the other part of me was numb. I went as far as contacting my friend Kay, a realtor in Brooklyn, to help with finding his short-term rental. She waived the broker’s fee, took the application fee and security deposit through Venmo. All Shawn needed to do was view the space, sign the month-t0-month agreement and collect the keys. The rest was a done deal. I just needed to get through the next couple of days with Shawn, then Blake and I could commence with our plan.
The day before…
I did what any fiancée would do in a time of celebration. I cooked his favorite lamb and curry dish with sautéed spinach and my famous mashed potatoes. I went to Whole Foods on P. St, in Northwest DC. As I walked down the aisle to pick up his favorite Kale Chips, at a glance, I saw a tall man cross my aisle, that resembled this hottie from my spin class. I dropped the container of Brad’s Crunchy Kale Chips into my hand basket and proceeded to walk towards the end of the aisle. As I approached the end of the aisle, I slipped and would have fallen, had it not been for muscular arms bracing my fall. As I guessed, it was the sexy guy from my spin class.
Hi! Trying to remembering his name but drawing a blank. Thank you for preventing me from losing all my cool points and possibly getting a concussion. Ha-ha
“No problem. I spotted you as I was passing the aisle. I wasn’t sure if you were by yourself, so I kept walking. Then I thought to myself, if you noticed me, how rude it would be for me to not come back and at least say, hi. Thankfully I did because it appears that you needed my help. Hahaha”
Yes, it appears so. Forgive me, I forgot your name.
“No worries. I’m Blake. I know you forgot my name because it’s so hard to pronounce and spell. Blame my mother.”
Oh. So, I’m dealing with a smart ass?! I see now. I love a good laugh and I def. deserve that. I know you’ve introduced yourself a couple of times after and before class. I suck with remembering names. Then again, I have no reason to commit your name to memory. You understand, don’t you?!
“Ouch. Yikes. That burned. Sorry if my joke was in any way offensive, as that was not my intent. I love to make people laugh and smile. Especially a beautiful lady as yourself. “
Oh no…forgive me. I was busting your chops. Sweetheart, I am quick with it. I thought you would catch onto my snarky remark. Trust me, we are good.
“Oh snap. Is that a little New York, I hear?”
Yes, you pick up quickly grasshopper. Ha-ha.
“Jokes. Really?! Now you sound ancient with that ‘Karate Kid’ reference. “
You know what?! I’m going to let you live because you clearly have no respect for your elders.
“Jen. I am really enjoying this banter. But, instead of blocking the chips aisle, what’s say we finish up our chat over a drink? I know this really cool bar/lounge in the neighborhood by the name of, Wisdom. I am offering to pay for your Juno, drive you, or carry you on my back. What will it be?”
That’s very sweet of you and I am really flattered. However, I am headed home to cook dinner for my fiancée.
“Oh. I can’t say that I’m surprised that you are involved. My offer was purely harmless. I only wish to continue talking with you. Unless you are afraid to be alone with me?”
You’re right. A quick drink would be nice. What’s the cross streets? I’ll meet you there.
“See you in twenty.”
I quickly loaded my trunk with the grocery bags and warmed up my car a bit. As I was about to pull out of my parking spot, a call came up and the name on my console, read Shawn Lew. I put the car in park and answered, trying not to sound guilty. I don’t know why I felt guilt, as if I had done something inappropriate.
What’s good Ma?!
How’s your day going?
“I’m good. Headed home to make Massa’s food.”
You’re a fool! Okay, that’s what I like to hear. Make sure you’re wearing little to nothing when I walk through that door.
“Your wish is my command, Daddy!”
This is why I love you! Oh, and the fact that you can cook your ass off. I’m getting off a little early so, expect me around 7:30 instead of 8:30pm. Cool?!
“Oh, okay. I was actually headed to grab a quick drink with a gym buddy. I may not be ready with dinner for 7:30 but I will try.”
“She’s from my spin class. We just bumped into each other in Whole Foods.”
Okay. Sounds fun. As a matter of fact, my old college roomie hit me up on Facebook. He is supposed to let me know if he has time to grab a drink this week. I may take him up on his offer since you are running behind. I’ll keep you posted on my whereabouts.
“Nice. See you later, Sexy!”
I pulled out of the parking lot and when I pulled up to the lounge, there was a spot directly in front. I had enough time to retouch my makeup and spray a splash of perfume. My favorite go-to lipstick, Ruby Woo, by MAC, is always a hit. I walked up to the door and almost turned back around. Everything inside of me told me not to go inside. I already lied to Shawn that I was meeting a female friend. I felt horrible. As I walked through the door, my eyes surveyed the room until they landed on Blake. He was sitting in the corner, off to the side, almost hidden in the cut. He had on a Black fitted button down shirt, and two buttons were undone, enough to show the some muscles. I tried to control my sexual urge to jump his bones. Damn, I am so weak for a chocolate fine ass man with muscles. Not to mention, he’s 6’4, with massive hands. Oh my!
I walked slowly to the table and as he saw me approaching, he stood up. We drank and talked for what felt like twenty minutes but it was really an hour. When I felt my phone vibrating next to me, I knew it was Shawn. I excused myself to the restroom and answered my phone before it went to voicemail. Shawn had gotten off the metro, literally around the corner from the bar. Of course, he had no idea that I was here. He told me that he was going to meet his buddy and a lady friend he bumped into at the grocery store. I asked him which bar, and like lethal injection, I was stunned when he said; Wisdom. I almost dropped my phone.
He asked if I wanted to join them, now that he realized his buddy had a lady friend present. He wanted to avoid being the third wheel, let alone, run the risk of one of my friends reporting back that they saw him out with a guy and a girl. What did you say, your friend’s name was? His name is Blake, sweetheart. He begged me to join them but I declined. I agreed to pick him up in thirty minutes, as he also informed me that he left his car keys at work and had no way of getting home. The weather was brutal and Shawn was a pre-Madonna, when it came to walking in the snow. He felt that the salt that’s used to thaw the ice, eats away at the stitching of his fine Italian leather shoes. I digress.
As I was trying to rush off the phone, he became silent on his end. He starts laughing and said, you wouldn’t believe it, but there’s a car that looks exactly like yours but cleaner. He was unaware that earlier in the day, I stopped off to get my car washed. We ended the call with me agreeing to call him once I was outside. I panicked because now that I knew he was outside, how do I wrap up my conversation with Blake and rush the hell out without being caught. I opened the bathroom door and quickly slammed it. My eyes did not just see what I thought I saw. No frigging way! Shawn and Blake were chatting at the table. I prayed that there were two Blake’s and that the man I spent the last hour flirting with, couldn’t be the same man my man was meeting.
I am so lucky that I kept my jacket on, due to the lounge having poor heating. I sent a text to Blake, hoping that he would read it and be discreet. I told him that the man he was talking to was my fiancée and I needed to sneak out, as I did not want to make things any more awkward than they already were. I snuck out the side exit, the one directly across from the bathroom. I got in my car and rushed to the wine shop, Bed-Vyne, to pick up a bottle of red and white wine. By the time, I headed back to the bar, I called Shawn but his phone rang out. I called him three more times and he didn’t answer. Finally, I doubled parked and ran inside, trying to compose myself for this very weird meet and greet. Blake saw me approaching but unlike earlier, he did not get up. He looked in my direction and went back to focusing on whatever Shawn was rambling about.
I tapped Shawn on the shoulder, Blake looked at my hands on his coat. His eyes stayed there as if the sight of me touching my man paralyzed him. Shawn turned around and stood up quickly. He gave me a quick peck on the lips and said, “Blake, meet my lovely fiancée, Jennifer.” Blake shook my hand with such fervor and force that it left my pinky finger sore. It was obvious that Blake read my text and now seeing us together, something shifted. He kept his cool and told me how nice it was to meet me. All I could think about was how his hands were caressing my thighs under the table earlier. How we spent ten minutes before that call making out at the table, without a care in the world. Now, as I stand there, like a complete stranger, it actually gave me a rush.
Honey, we really need to run as I am double parked outside. As I turned to walk away, Shawn grabbed my arm. It was then that I learned that he had invited Blake over for dinner. He went on about how it would be nice to catch up over dinner. Blake broke his silence and said, he would have invited his lady friend but she rushed out a few minutes ago, to tend to a personal matter. Oh, this m’fer was savage. He was anything but subtle in his remark. His “lady friend.” This man was going to be a handful but lucky for me, I have big hands. I grinned and smiled and told them I’d wait in the car so they could satisfy their tab.
I walked back to my car and subconsciously locked the doors to clear my mind. My trance was interrupted by the tapping on the window. I unlocked the car doors and dreaded agreeing to having Blake as our dinner guest. However, how could I not be enthusiastic? This is a man that I am not supposed to know. I tuned out their conversation and replayed the discussion I had with Blake in my head. I guess I was unaware of my speeding until Shawn tapped my leg. Jen, now is not the time to be a speed demon. “Yes, honey.”
I left them to unload the car and after dinner was done, we all retired to living room. Shawn and I sat on the chaise, while Blake chilled on the sofa. We all enjoyed the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc until it was completed finished. It was at this time that Shawn excused himself to the restroom. As soon as Blake heard the bathroom door lock, he came to the chaise and started making out. I felt as if I were having an out of body experience. I couldn’t believe my boldness, and arrogance, yet it was an exhilarating feeling. I enjoyed being so daring, especially when you realize that you can be caught but you realized, you are getting away with it. That is the ultimate rush. I decided to tune out my morals and give in to my wild side. Basically, I sat there under his spell, unable to move, not wanting to move. I drank his kisses as if my body needed them for sustenance. I almost didn’t hear when Shawn opened the bathroom door. He walked into the bedroom, maybe to change his clothes.
Now that we had more time, I mounted his lap. I grind on him, like a teenager trying to sneak around while my parents are in the other room. I was so turned on that I made a mess though my undies onto his jeans. Neither of us noticed until he pulled my hair to gain my focus on what I was causing to rise in his jeans. I stopped and slowly dismounted his lap. As I did, he pointed out the stain on his denim. I quickly got the wash cloth and began cleaning him up. He kissed my forehead and whispered, “good girl”, before he slapped my butt and sent me back to my cleaning duties. Moments later, Shawn re-entered the room and turned on Sports Center. It was the final quarter of the Cavs and Bulls game. I left the room to go and get ready for bed. <To be continued>