Chapter 3 “She is, but he ain’t” (A short story)
Before Joshua could get anything out of his mouth his phone rang.
“Let me get this baby.” He answered the phone as we sped off down the street. Was I this easy? Did all he have to do was sweet talk me, and I would be back in his arms? Maybe he realized how important I was to him, and maybe he was changed. At least that was my hope.
“Hey, what up wit chu?” I looked over at him hoping he was going to get off the phone soon.
“I’m out dude, I’mma call you later.”
“Who was that calling you at 2 in the morning?” I turned around in my seat and faced him.
“Baby that was my cousin, chill out man, that jealous stuff ain’t cute.” He turned up the music, laid back and sped down the freeway. So, how all of a sudden did he go from being sweet to mean? I reached down in my purse to get my lip gloss and noticed my phone vibrating.
“Hello.” I was surprised anybody would even call me this late.
“Uh, hi Abrielle, it’s Ellington.” A big smile came to my face. Then I thought about the fact that I just met him, and he was already calling. Should I be weirded out, or excited?
“Hey Ell- uh, how are you?” I looked over at Joshua and tried to play it off.
“Well, I just wanted to make sure you got home safely. I saw that dude you were talking about hanging outside the club, wanted to make sure you were good.” He was so sweet. Why was I in this car with Joshua again?
“That’s cool, but let me call you tomorrow, ok bye.” I hung up before Joshua could even say anything.
“Who was that?”
“Why you so worried? You don’t care about me; you just don’t want me talkin’ to no one else.” I sat back in my chair and folded my arms.
He looked at me, and frowned up.
“Bri, if anything I’m the only person who gon’ put up wit yo mess. These dudes out here don’t want you. You nothin’ to them. That dude you met in the club, he was just passin’ the time. You stuck up, you not that cute, and you still stay at home wit yo mama and you 27. Be happy that I want you.”
I was so angry I was burning up on the inside. My hands balled up into tight fists as I took deep breaths to keep the tears back. I started to think of all the times he told me I was overweight, that I wasn’t attractive enough, or not good enough. The times where he would tell me I dressed horrible and wanted me to dress like this person or that. My heart started beating faster as I thought about all the times he cheated on me, lied to me, and stood me up for dates. How he wouldn’t take me around his friends, and that after two years of dating he never wanted to call me his “girlfriend”. My leg started to shake nervously as the tears fell involuntarily from my eyes. I unbuckled my seatbelt grabbed my purse and mustered through my tears to speak.
“Joshua, all these years you have treated me like I was nothing, all I have ever done for you is try to love with all of my heart and be what you want me to be. But, it seems as if that is not possible. Why are you with me anyway if I’m a waste of time!” My voice got stronger and louder.
“Bri, I’m just playin baby. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry, you know I love you boo. Look lets go back to my place-”
“Joshua, take me home! I’m not going back nowhere with you. I’m tired of being treated like your booty call. You don’t care about me, you never have and you never will. Just take me home.” I plopped back in my seat, folded my arms, and wiped the tears away with my sleeve.
“Alright, if that’s what you want.” He put a new CD in the disc changer, turned the music up, and ignored me the rest of the ride home. At that moment, I knew that the hardest part of standing up for myself, was the part that included him taking me home, and not caring one bit about the tears or my feelings. Why did I care about this man so much?
Monday mornings were always rough. Especially when we had client meetings that lasted all day. I had totally forgotten we were meeting with one of our bigger clients today, and of course, as usual, I was half way looking a mess.
“Ms. Robinson, could you pass the budget analysis around please?”
“Not a problem, Mr. Kendo.” I had almost slipped into a daydream. As I passed around the budget analysis I started to rehash what happened Saturday night. I couldn’t believe I got in Joshua’s car. He was such a waste of time and I’m glad I left him alone. This time it was going to be for good. Plus, Ellington seemed like a really nice guy. Even though I never called him back from Saturday, I knew he was gonna call. Well At least that’s what I was hoping.
“Mr. Kendo, everyone is all set.” I sat back down in my corner and started playing with my phone. I wanted so badly to take off my shoes, but I knew that wouldn’t be appropriate in this setting. At least I could play it off with my phone and make it seem as If I was checking emails, reading my calendar, or doing something productive.
“ring, ring.” Everyone in the client meeting turned and looked at me.
“I’m sorry, I forgot to turn off my ringer. I’m gonna go take this in the hall.” I ran out of the room holding the phone close to my chest with my head down in pseudo shame.
“Hello,” My hope was for that special someone to call.
“Hey beautiful, it’s Ellington.” I was so glad to hear his voice.
“Hi Ellington how are you? I was trying to be so sweet and so discrete in the hallway at the same time.
“Brielle, I want to see you again.” Wow, he’s a man that knows what he wants.
“Well, Ellington, umm, when do you want to hang out?” I didn’t want to turn him down, but I didn’t want to seem too desperate.
“Tonight, meet me at the little Italian restaurant on 12th and main at 8pm.”
“Ellington, don’t you think it’s a little last minute-”
“I’m sorry Brielle, did you have other plans? I knew he was being sarcastic.
“No, Ellington. I will meet you there at 8. But I have to leave by 930 sharp.”
“Alright beautiful, I will see you then. I’ll have a surprise for you.”
I was literally jumping on the inside. I did a little skip before I walked back into my meeting. Maybe letting go of Joshua was a good idea. I sat back in my chair with a big smile on my face. Pulled out my notepad, and started writing down my to-do list for the rest of the day. All of a sudden a text message comes through on my phone.
“What you doin” -Josh
I didn’t want to respond, but I had to, it just made sense.
“Workin’ wassup” –Bri Bri
“I miss you boo. I’m sorry for everything I said. Your perfect. I don’t want nobody but you. I’mma scoop you tonite after you get off so we can talk” – Josh
“Sorry Joshua, but I have plans, I won’t be home. Oh, but thanks for the apology” Bri Bri
“Where you gon be at? Look, I’mma be at your house at 7pm waitin’ for you. I love you, don’t do this to me” –Josh
“I understand Joshua, but I have a prior commitment, and I cannot break it” Bri Bri
“Is it old dude from the club?” –Josh
That was the last text message I sent. I finally turned my phone off because he kept texting me. Today was just not the day. At any rate, he had nerve to even ask about anyone else I was kicking it with. I wasn’t gonna lie though, I liked that fact that he was jealous.
I finally got home and immediately plopped on my bed. I was pooped. Not only was I physically drained from work, but also emotionally drained from dealing with Joshua. One minute he can’t be without me, and the next minute he could take me or leave me. What was up with that?
I looked through my closet to find something cute. After about forty five minutes I was dressed, with cute high heels and a matching purse. I walked down to the living room and sat down in the very same spot Joshua had left me sitting in time and time again. I thought about the tears I cried in this living room. The fights I had with myself about going back to him, the times we actually sat on this couch and enjoyed each others’ company. My memories of him were so bittersweet, mostly bitter, but unfortunately unforgettable.
“ring ring.” My phone rang and it was Ellington.
“Hey Ellington.” I was hoping that he wasn’t cancelling on me.
“Hey beautiful, I was wondering, would it be ok if I picked you up? I really don’t want you driving from this area back home that late.” He was just putting it on so thick. And I loved every moment of it.
“Of course, let me give you my address.” I told him the information, he put it in his GPS, and we hung up. Wow, an actual date. Now I was getting excited, time to apply a little more makeup. I ran upstairs to the bathroom, and applied some eyeliner, mascara, and touched up my eyeshadow, not even ten minutes later the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it!” I ran downstairs to let Ellington in, opened the door, and to my surprise, he was standing there, with a dozen red roses.
“Joshua, why are you here, and who are those flowers for?” I folded my arms and rolled my eyes.
“Baby, I told you I’m sorry. These are for you. You gonna invite me in.”