Rachel – Part 3(b)

The rays of dawn crept into the room pulling me from my dreamless sleep. It only took a few seconds for my brain, which was once dormant had begun working. Memories of Craig’s bear behind, clenching and tightening as he plunged deep into Camila was as clear as day. Her mouth, which hung in pleasure, produced no sound as they embraced each other’s love. My eyes welled up just remembering the events of last night. As I lay on my back staring blankly at the ceiling, I remembered being faced with going back to what I thought was my home or following Damion. I’d chosen Damion. I would have chosen anything that meant delaying the inevitable. Splitting from Craig was the next chronological step in this scenario, but what was I meant to do with my sister?

 

Abandoning her like I would with Craig isn’t possible – the same blood ran through our veins, we were forever connected… And to think she would have done something like this to me? Tears formulate in my eyes and I let gravity have hold of them as I feel the little power, I managed to regain through my sleep depart from me. What was I going to do next? The more I thought about the next page in this novel that I had no control over, I found myself crying harder. The emotions that arose in my chest wasn’t just sadness and anger from Craig and Camila, but fear.

 

I was a spectator in this. I was the victim. Yet it was my life that was going to be impacted the most. ‘God’ my lips tremble as I speak to myself. Myself… that was all I had now. Nine years of being known as Craig’s wife and now I was back to Rachel. No, I wasn’t returning to the Rachel before Craig, who I was going to become was far worse that the Rachel before him. Why did they do this to me? When did this even begin? How long had they been seeing each other behind my back? How many nights had he returned from just being with her? I shut my eyes tight at the thought of my oblivion. Just how…how many times had he entered me and shared my own fluids with my sister?

 

My heart breaks yet again at another thought of Craig and Camila and I can’t help but cry. Full tears now escape my shut eyes and sobs leave my lips as my entire life comes crashing down around me. The tears don’t stop and never does the sobs. The more the sound of my cries echo around the room, the more I weep. Look at what I had become, a wailing wife who had nothing. No husband, no family, no business, no home, nothing. I try to contain the cries, if I couldn’t hide the tears the most I could do was suppress my sorrow. But I had no strength left in me. My body was working without my control.

 

The bed shifted towards my right, dipping slightly as if someone had knelt on the bed. Maybe it was Craig coming to apologise for his wrongful ways? But when the hands of this visitor lifted me from my paralysis state, I knew it wasn’t Craig. His body was warm as he pressed me against his bare chest. I sat in his laps, still in my dress from the night before sobbing silently as he rocked me. I craved for some power to just hold everything together for when I was alone at least, but I knew that was only just a mere dream now. My soul was out for the world to see, I was vulnerable and trying to hide was as futile.

 

“Shh…” Damion cooed in my ear as the sobs quietened down to sniffles. I let myself be cradled by Damion as I had given up on fighting. If I couldn’t control my emotions let alone my thoughts, then what luck did I have?

Eventually the tears stopped and I sat in his laps staring at nothing for a while as my mind tortured me constantly. Reminding me of yesterday evening, highlighting the moments when I had chosen to ignore the red flags and just what caused me to get to where I was today. Damion’s rocking slowed and before I knew it, he was waiting for me to make the first move. He had already invaded the little privacy I had and I guess without wanting to push any further, would prefer I took the lead.

 

I pulled from his embrace, causing his arms to drop by his sides. If anyone had come across the both of us, me perched on his lap and he holding me, I’m sure they would have thought we were doing a Craig and Camila. I wipe the stubborn tears that refuse to fall and take a deep breath through quivering lips. Slowly I place my feet on the floor and just as I’m about to stand, Damion holds me on his lap.
“Rachel, you have to tell me what happened exactly.”
I shake my head, feeling the next wave of tears rushing towards the shore that I only just managed to control. Attempting to stand for a second time, Damion releases his hold of me and watches me as I stand up, my back towards him. I just needed to start thinking logically. I’d given too much room to my emotions, which had clearly made evident that was not to be trusted. Maybe if I gave room to some logic, I may be able to get over this hurdle. I turn to face Damion and put on the smallest smiles.

“Sorry for waking you.”
Damion looked at me, almost reading through me causing me to tremble. When was I so visible? He stood up, looking slightly frustrated and walked towards the guest room door. Closing it, with him still inside, he turns to face me. His back pressed against the door, his chest bare, he watches me in silence.

 

The air between us grows thick. The absence of noise giving my tears room to reappear. I watch him watch me as tears roll down my cheeks.
“I’m so…I’m so broken Damion.” I force the last words out of my mouth before the tears pour out faster. My face feels swollen from all the crying I’d done in the space of a few hours. He remains by the door, his expression pained. He looks to the floor for a split second the looks back at me, anger clearly visible in his eyes.
“Who was it Rachel?” His voice held strength that I needed more than anything. I could feel his anger radiating between us. I wasn’t entirely sure who Damion was angry with or even where his anger had come from. It seemed to have appeared between his walk from the bed to the door, either way I wasn’t going to ask. I wiped the tears off of my face with the back of my hand and took a deep breath. Not wanting to admit to Damion that not only had my husband cheated, but with my sister. However, with this morning’s events, what was the use in hiding anything from Damion? Soon people would know that Craig and Rachel had split due to a scandal affair with her sister and his whole circle would be whispering about it. I guess the only plus was that it was his circle, at least I didn’t need to be around it when things exploded.

“My sister Damion. Craig was sleeping with my sister.”

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Advertisements

Hayley’s Story -Part 2

I woke up in my bed the following morning. I had no recollection of how I got there or what happened to me when that woman drove me home, but I couldn’t help but be annoyed with myself. I acted irrationally and it could have ended completely different if that woman wasn’t as nice as she was. I took a deep breath and thought about telling Veronica, but after contemplating about that option for a minute or two, I realised telling Veronica was a bad idea. I already have a headache, I didn’t need her telling me off on top of that.

I looked at my watch and saw I was only 20 minutes late in waking up for work. If I rushed and drove fast, I’d probably still make it on time. But who was I kidding? I wasn’t going to work today. With the constant thumping in my head, and the nauseous feeling that began rolling in the pit of my stomach, going to work was just a mere dream. I laid my head back into my pillow and sighed – never will I drink on a weekday again…said the alcoholic. I blindly reached for my phone on the bedside table to call my boss telling him I won’t be able to come in today when my phone rang. I sat up again, groaning at the way my stomach felt from the fast movement and answered the phone.

“Hello?”
“Hayley! Are you awake? Wait what’s the time – you should be awake by now.” What was my boss doing calling me at 7 in the morning.
“Nick I was just about to call you.”
“No Hayley! Save it! I need you in today, there’s some clients that I need you to meet.”
“Nick, I feel like shit. I really don’t know any miracles that would help prepare me for any type of meeting today.”
“Hayley, I need you in.”
“But Nick, I’ve helped you with so many things!”
“Like what Hayley?”
“That time you needed me to write up those reports, the other time you begged me to take the Harrison Brothers out for dinner because they were investing loads of money into the company. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
He sighed. “Look Hayley, the meeting is at 1’oclock. Get in for 12 and I’ll let you leave after the meeting. That’s the best I can do.”

I rolled my eyes and sighed. Nick and I were a duo. I was almost his limbs and without me, sometimes he’d be lost. And without him, I wouldn’t have a job, that paid well. We understood each other very well, and he was eager to build me up through the company, which I appreciated. However, days like now, when I was hanging from my ass, I couldn’t be bothered. But because of what I knew Nick had and would do for me, caused me to have a soft spot for him.
“I’ll be there for 12:30PM.”
“Hayley!” He growled.
“Alright! I’ll be there for 12. Thanks Nick.”
“It’s fine. You owe me.” And with that the phone cut. I guess I wasn’t going to get a lay in like I would have liked, so I trudged slowly to the bathroom and ran a warm bath. I didn’t have to leave until 11Am. So I had time to shake this hangover off.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I had managed to shake off some of the hangover, not all of it, but most of it which was better than nothing. I’d worn my navy pencil skirt and white shirt with the matching blazer, knowing this meeting was a big deal if Nick decided to call me in the bloody AM for it. As I drove to work I couldn’t help but remember being slumped in the passenger seat the night before. I thought I’d slept, but images of me giggling and talking flashed in my mind. The memory was faint, but I do vaguely remember having some sort of conversation with that woman who drove me home. I remember dropping keys and her picking them up, but then everything faded.

I slammed my foot on the brakes as the lights turned red. With the way I was today, I couldn’t do anything but focus on one thing at a time. Which meant if I was driving, then that was all I could do. I couldn’t try to recollect of the events that happened the previous night, because that was way too much for my brain today.

Once Nick had briefed me on who was coming today, I finally understood why it meant so much for me to attend the meeting. It was the owners of Harriet&Co. One of the most popular upcoming businesses currently in the industry. And somehow, Nick had managed to get them interested in his future business plans and had let them know how much profit he could deliver to the company and how much they could save. Obviously after hearing profit and save, they were on board, so it was me that had to set up the meeting room, take notes and also explain our plans for the next 6 months.

It wasn’t a hard task as I’ve done this multiple times now, however, when I thought about how big of deal this was to Nick, I started to feel nervous. I wasn’t too sure whether it was still the alcohol in my system or the fact that I knew I couldn’t mess this up. Whichever one it was, it was messing me up and my stomach.
“Hayley, they’re on their way. Is everything ready?”
“Presentation is sorted, I’ve got my laptop to take notes, and the business structure for the next 6 months and previous 6 months are all printed and included in the slides.”
He smiled and nodded slightly. “That’s my girl.”

Just as we’d finished prepping, he received a call.
“Okay Hayley they’re here. Get Karen to bring some complimentary snacks in here and water and I’ll bring them up.”
I nodded and he was out before I finished nodding. I called Karen, asking for some food to be brought up here immediately and took a deep breath. It was time to get my game face on. I quickly put my phone on silent and threw it back in my bag when I noticed a white piece of paper neatly folded in my bag. I wasn’t too sure whether that was there before or maybe I just missed it earlier. I looked at the door and noticed no one was there yet. I reached for it and unfolded it.

Hi Stranger,

Is it bad that I didn’t catch your name? Sorry about that, but I do hope you’re feeling better. You was very friendly tonight, but that’s okay – it made me laugh. I hope you didn’t have to go into work, you looked shattered when you finally got home. 

I had to carry you to your bed which wasn’t easy. Carrying a drunk woman to her bed, whilst she’s undressing in your arms was really tough. I do hope you’re okay. I left my number below. Call me when you have a chance, you do kind of owe me now, right?

07473829574 – Melanie x

What in the world?! I must be dreaming, she left me a note. I am an absolute mess. I couldn’t even bare to read the note again. I couldn’t believe I was that much of a wreck that I couldn’t take myself to my own bed. This is beyond embarrassing. I guess I do owe her, but can I really see myself meeting up with her again? And live through that embarrassment, I’m not too sure.

A cough appeared from the doorway. I looked up and there stood Nick and the operational manager and CEO of Harriet@Co standing in the door way. Nick’s eyebrows were hunched with concern. I scrunched the paper into a ball and plastered a smile on my face. I walked towards the men, whilst throwing the paper in the bin on the way to them and outstretched my hand to the men.
“Pleasure to meet you, I’m Hayley.”
“Ah! Hello Hayley, I’m Simon and this is Conor, lovely to meet you.”
“Have a seat fellas, get comfortable.” Nick ushered them to their appointed seats as I walked to mine, noticing the food on the table. I must have been engrossed in that damn note that I didn’t even hear Lauren walk through the door and set up the table.
“Hayley, shall we begin?” Throwing the thoughts of the note that Melanie left in my bag out of my head, I returned my focus back onto the presentation and the meeting at hand.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Talk

She wanted to get off from being on top of him, so that they could focus on the conversation, be he insisted she stayed on top of him. He didn’t want her to get too serious, he knew what conversation was coming up, and he was fine with that, but he didn’t want her putting distance between them already…so he refused her to get off him, because he wanted her close.

She looked down and mentally planned how she would tackle their situation. She didn’t want to force him into anything, but she just didn’t want this to be meaningless sex, but with that in mind…what did she want? She sighed and ran her hands through her hair.

‘Don’t think too much, I don’t like it when you over think. Just get it all off your chest, trust me it’ll be okay.’ She gave him a small smile, still looking down. ‘Now give me a kiss and talk.’ She looked up to him, and planted gentle kisses on his lips, once the kissing had stopped, which took longer than planned she spoke.

‘Your different,’ already he was smiling, his wolfish grin appeared making her smile. He knew she meant different in a good way, and he knew how difficult this was for her so he was going to make her feel as comfortable as possible. ‘You make me do things I’ve never imagined of doing. Like yesterday night, it’s almost like you knew how to get me to do what you wanted, then to make everything even more confusing I was enjoying it. Maybe more than I should have, but…damn, Lyle you just have something over me.’ His wolfish grin had gone and he was really listening to her, but as soon as she said his name his manhood had twitched, the way his name came off her lips was something else. But he controlled himself and thought about everything he’d do to her later.

‘Do you not enjoy what I do to you?’ She gulped and nodded, feeling knots within her stomach, he was such a man, dominant and affectionate all in one. ‘So what are you afraid of?’ She looked down knowing the exact answer for that question; he held her face and made her look at him. She sighed and closed her eyes.

‘I’m afraid that this is all futile, it’s just fun and that’s all.’ He caressed her face and took a deep breathe, he wasn’t too sure himself as to what this was, but he knew he didn’t want to let go of it. He never knew when he’d find something like this again. He kissed her forehead and searched for the best answer.

‘I don’t know what this is, but it’s early to worry about what it’ll end up as, just know that I don’t want to let this go…you’ve given me something that no one has ever given me, and that along with other reasons are why I don’t want to let this…you go.’ She opened her eyes slowly and smiled, it’s true, there was no real reason to panic, they only just slept with each other twice, and she’s technically known him for two days, or a day, so she took a deep breath and kissed him. He gave her another one of his wolfish grins and lay back making her lay on top of him.

‘So what’s your name beautiful? You already know I’m Lyle.’ She chuckled and remembered they had skipped formal greetings and just jumped straight into the sack with each other.

‘I’m Kaitlin, I forget we haven’t actually introduced ourselves properly.’ He chuckled and held her bum smiling.

‘Well, I’m not complaining, I knew we’d get to know each other sooner or later.’ She smiled and then remembered their first meeting.

‘What were you doing there yesterday night?’ He remembered sitting at that table as his friend conversed with people he had no interest in. He sat there for hours and was sure to give up when he caught a glimpse of her, sitting there alone, looking as bored as he was. That’s when his night changed.

‘My friend invited me, I think he thought it would be good for me.’ For a while he’d just sat at home doing work and isolating himself from people apart from ladies, but his friend was tired of it and invited him to the event. Whether that was to find a girlfriend or someone to get him to break out of the shell he was in, he didn’t know, but he definitely found someone.

‘Why? How were you before yesterday?’ He played with her hair and shrugged, he hadn’t remembered the last few weeks of thunder and storm since she’d come into his life, and he wasn’t planning on going back there.

‘I guess I wasn’t myself.’ She traced her finger around his chest and planted soft kisses on him.

‘I hope you don’t mind me asking why?’ He closed his eyes and remembered why he’d stop being himself for many weeks, that day when he caught them, was the last time he thought he’d be himself, because that was when everything went sour…until yesterday.

‘Just bad memories, that’s all.’ She nodded, she knew he may not tell her instantly and she was fine with that, but eventually she’d like him to forget those memories and lose himself with her.

‘Don’t we all hate those moments?’ He nodded and she smiled relaxing in his arms.

‘Wait, so why were you there?’ She remembered her boss forcing her into going, said it’d help the company but all she’d done that night was plaster fake smiles on her face and shake random individuals hands. She wanted to leave so badly, but she thought she might as well stay; it was only one night, until Lyle came and energised her in more ways than one.

‘Work. Apparently we had to build up contacts, I don’t know why my boss wanted me there, but he insisted and I went.’ He remembered seeing her greet many people in that seductive backless dress and his manhood twitched.

‘You looked stunning yesterday.’ She blushed and looked down feeling shy.

‘Thank you, I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t come and speak to me.’ He smiled and trailed his hand up and down her body. She smiled and bit her lips.

‘I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t come and speak to you…I don’t know what I would have done if you didn’t come today.’ She looked at him and he had that mischievous look in his face, she shook her head smiling.

‘Well I came.’

‘More than once.’ She held her mouth as he gave her his wolfish grin, he was different she thought, but who said different was wrong. She blushed and he spanked her bum lightly, causing her to yelp.

‘You can be really naughty…’ He tilted his head and bit her lip giving it a little tug.

‘Only for you.’ She came close to his lips and whispered loud enough for only him to hear.

‘Just for me?’ He nodded, and before they both knew it they were kissing, caressing each other in ways they believed felt good. He began fingering her, and not to his surprise she was soaking. He wiggling two fingers inside her, moving them both in and out, until she hummed moans on his lips. He continued fingering her until she came unto his fingers, which didn’t take too long. She covered him with kisses until she was captured by the blissful darkness, and fell into a deep sleep in his arms. He was glad she hadn’t gone home, he wanted to sleep and wake up to her face, her scent, her body and he wanted to make love to her more than once.

Soon enough through him stroking her hair, he fell asleep.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Countdown [Part 2]

Last night was difficult for Anna and the cycling had only done so little to settle her nerves, which left her too restless to sleep. All night she stayed awake, remembering that night seven years ago. The memories fresh in her mind, reminding her who she used to be and who she is now after what had occurred. Her life was no longer the same. She was no longer the same. She was eroding away in front of her own eyes and there was nothing she could do to stop what seemed to be the inevitable. Dammit, she muttered to herself in her bed. One night was all it took to have her clutching onto her sheets again for dear life, when she was in no apparent harm. She thought about the letter again and the photo and shock inwardly. It was stressful enough to not know whether this was a just someone with sardonic humour, but something in the back of her mind screamed alarms.
The same voice that screamed alarms seven years ago, but she ignored. Anna had learnt her lesson and she learnt the hard way. She’d find herself rummaging through her memories to see if she knew the man in the photo, but nothing came to mind. Instead she’d try to remember the man laying dead in the picture and then remember Detective Sutherland.
There was something about Sutherland that made Anna feel protected. And that alone was what was scaring her. She barely knew the man, let alone spoke to him. But the aura that fed off him was something she treasured, a feeling she had no awareness that she desired, but had wanted so deeply. Anna wasn’t prepared to teach today, with her mind still wandering back and forth between Sutherland and the photo, she wasn’t focused enough to prepared students for upcoming exams. But she was sure as hell she wasn’t going to stay at home, where there was definitely no escape of the events of last night and Sutherland. She began to clear her mind and focus on the paperwork that was stacked on her desk as her students were reading, when the door knocked. She looked up to see Mike standing in her doorway, with that grin that made her skin want to turn inside out.

“Miss Phillips can I have a word outside please?” Anna excused herself from the class and made her way outside, hoping Mike wasn’t trying to ask her on yet another date, because she didn’t know what other excuse to give him to avoid his proposal. It was bad enough he kept asking knowing she wasn’t interested in him, but being her boss made everything more difficult. Mike didn’t know when to take the hint, especially when it came to Anna, and he didn’t seem to read expression very well too. Because if he looked closely for just a second, he would realise every time he spoke to Anna, she’d recoil within herself. Every time he stepped just a little too close to her, she made sure the gap between them was more than big enough to give her the space she needed. So whatever Mike thought he was seeing between himself and Anna was far from reality.
“What’s the issue?” Anna asked looking at Mike. He shrugged, directing her towards a figure that was behind her with his gaze. She turned around to see Detective Sutherland, standing just as large and confident as he did in her living room the night before.
“I have no idea, but I do hope you’re not starting trouble Miss Phillips – you’re too much of an asset to lose.”
She cringed at his comment, knowing what he meant and faced the detective.

 

Sutherland, who had caught every meaning to that slimy principals comment, clenched his jaw, watching Anna attentively to see if she’d received his subliminal meaning. When he saw her slightly flinch and turn away from him, he decided to react the same, there was no need to fight this woman’s battles just yet – even though he wanted to. No matter how much he tried to fight it, it was the first time in a long time he wanted to protect any woman who wasn’t family or his partner. The world was a cruel place, it gave when it wanted to give and took when it wanted to take. He thought of his life only just a few years ago and grew stiff at the sour memories. He needed to pull himself together, this was no time to reminisce on the past and the ‘what could have’s’, instead he focused on the now, and that was finding out more about Anna Phillips and who would send her a picture of a dead man.
“I have a few questions to ask you Miss Phillips, is there somewhere private we can talk?”
Kane wanted privacy, with the principal still lingering around like an unwanted smell, he didn’t want to ask anything that could possibly cause complications to the investigation. Anna looked towards the class and Kane.
“I hope you don’t mind sparing 30 minutes, I’m in the middle of teaching. But after, I’ll be free to answer any of your questions.” Kane nodded then faced the principal.

“Is there a place I can wait until Miss Phillips is finished?” He nodded and began walking down the corridor. Kane could destroy this weasel who thought he was a man in a second if he truly wanted to. Not only did Kane tower over him, but is was clear enough that physically, Kane weighed and worked out more than this principal did. As the man continued down the corridor, leading Kane further away from Anna, Kane dared to turn around to catch one more glimpse of Anna and did he catch an eyeful. Not only did her pencil skirt accentuate her curvaceous body figure, but the shirt she wore grew tighter around her breasts, almost making Kane salivate. Like a dog, because I’m behaving like one. Kane shook his head, trying to focus on the matter at hand. But when Anna hadn’t entered the classroom, he realised she too was watching him. When he caught her eyes staring at him, she disappeared in the classroom without giving him a chance to react. The principal led him to the waiting room outside of his office.

“Sorry,” Kane spoke. “Does Miss Phillips have many friends here?”
“A few,” the principal replied nonchalantly.”She does her job and leaves. I’d consider myself one of those few she classifies as a friend. I’ll always look out for Miss Phillips.”
Kane’s body tensed, this man was more than interested in Anna. It seemed he would do more that the average to get her attention, which made Kane dislike him even more.
Through gritted teeth Kane spoke, “what about teaching?”
“Oh, Anna always goes that extra mile for her students, there’s no doubt in that. She is definitely an asset to this school and losing her would be a major loss for me.”
How much more could Kane take before his primal instincts took the better of him. He took a deep breath and continued.
“So you’d say she’s a good colleague?”
“She’s amazing. Just very quiet.” A woman spoke from behind Kane. He turned around and was met by a tall, slim ebony beauty. She greeted him with a smile and stuck her hand out for a shake.
“I’m Toni, Mike you have a call on line one.”
In a flash Mike the principal disappeared into his office, leaving Kane standing alone with Toni.
“I’m –” Kane wasn’t sure what to address himself as. He didn’t want Anna’s business spreading like wildfire, and he wasn’t sure what the repercussions would be if he told Toni who he was. “I’m an old school friend.”
Toni smiled whilst looking towards Mike, who was now behind his desk, chatting away on the phone.
“Mike’s odd, don’t mind him. We’ve all guessed he has a crush on Anna, but if she’s going to ignore it, then so will we.” Kane looked at Mike then shook his head.
“A little unprofessional, don’t you think?”
“Hell, when it comes to Anna, the man acts like he’s never seen a woman before.” She huffed and continued. “Chasing like a dog without a leash, it’s embarrassing. The man just doesn’t know when to stop.” Kane made a mental note of Mike, and thought to conduct a background check on him when he got back to the office.

“Does he behave like that all the time?” Kane asked, partly to keep the conversation going, whilst wanting to know more about Anna.
“It went up a notch when Anna’s ex split with her…that was years ago now. But ever since then, Mike never stopped trying.”
There was an ex, Kane made another mental note and decided to ask Anna when he saw her. His phone vibrated in his pocket, whilst he was just about to continue his conversation with Toni. He grabbed it, seeing the caller ID and decided that the conversation could wait.
“Sorry excuse me.” He left the building, praying his partner Charlie had some good news about the case.

Runaway Girl

We hadn’t known what hell was until our mother had brought him to our doorstep. Mark. Mark was the devil’s name and would forever be burnt into my mind after everything he had put us through. Even as I lay here, I know deep down he cannot take the blame for the torture both my baby sister and I were enduring. I had somehow dragged her into this mess and allowed this devil to clasps his arms around her without a fight.

To even think we had experienced the worst. The men mother had brought around the house before Mark was beyond lower than low. But Mark was a new breed of bad. Completely different in all aspects and this was what had started the pain we now suffer. He wasn’t verbally abusive to us like how Kenny was. Neither was he as physical as Dean had been with my mother after a drink or two. It may seem surprising, but Mark was more of a father than I had ever had. Things turn into a blur when I try to remember how everything truly began.

 

  • May 2012

It was late in the night and the last time me and Belle had saw mother was when she had stood just in front of the door claiming she’d be back in a few minutes. That was at 12’noon, it was now almost 9’oclock and she still hadn’t returned home. It wasn’t as though Belle and I weren’t used to it. It was normal for her to leave at early hours and return home late at night, smelling of alcohol and other things that always made my nose scrunch up whenever I got close enough to her to take her to bed.

Belle sat on the couch coloring Velma from her Scooby-Doo coloring book, whilst I began cooking lunch. Which normally meant anything that could be cooked and worked well was what I normally prepared.

At the age of sixteen I was a mother to my baby sister Belle. I had realized depending on my mother was wasted energy. She’d either be too intoxicated to care for either of us, or be too preoccupied with company to even remember she had daughters. Belle was only eight, so she wasn’t fully aware of how she was being neglected by our mother, but I was attentive to the way she failed to be a mother to us and I knew it wasn’t an epiphany I wanted Belle to go through just yet. So by any means I was trying to prolong this realization by shielding her like a protective older sister.

After rustling up and eating our ‘make-shift’ dinner, I tucked Belle into bed, not wanting her to see mother stumble into the house around midnight like she usually did. I didn’t want Belle to witness her older sister stripping her mother and taking her to bed, so when she woke up she was in her bed and not blacked out on the corridor floor. Belle looked up to me as I tucked her blanket around her.

“Dara where’s mum?”

Half of me wanted to shrug, because I truly didn’t know where she was and it was exhausting thinking about where she could be. But instead I gave her one of the many lies I told her during our childhood.

“She’s at a friends house, then she’s going to grab some groceries for us.”

Belle looked at me, long enough for me to wonder if she realized I was lying, then looked towards the ceiling. She grabbed a handful of her blanket and spoke without giving me eye contact.

“But she’s been gone for so long!” I gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead and moved stray hairs away that fell onto her face.

“Belle don’t you worry, she’ll be here soon. I’ll tell her to give you a kiss goodnight when she comes in, deal?”

Belle nodded, obviously not convinced with my explanation, but I hadn’t given her room to voice her doubt. I turned on her lamp and turned off the room light, blowing her a kiss before shutting her bedroom door. With a sigh, I trudged back downstairs, awaiting my mother’s arrival. Knowing eventually she’ll stroll in. It was only once when she’d left the house and hadn’t returned until the next day. I can vividly remember the way I worried, thinking she was face down in a ditch, or that she’d actually forgotten she had kids. It was always a dark joke between myself that mother had forgotten she had children. But during her absence that night, I remember thinking how she could have actually forgotten about Belle and me and if only I knew those personal jokes could have actually been a reality. She eventually stumbled in the following morning, claiming she wasn’t aware of the time. No apology, no sign of worry that her kids were alone for more than 24 hours. Instead she walked in the house nonchalantly and headed straight to bed. The anger that boiled within me that day was uncontrollable. She hadn’t even cared for our wellbeing. I was sure to take Belle and myself to a care home that day. However when she awoke, she’d given Belle a fluffy toy that Belle, till this very day, clings onto and had gotten me earrings. It was her way of apologizing and I had accepted it. It was rare for us to receive any gifts from our mother, so when one came around, I was sure not to throw it away.

 

But sitting here, watching the time go by reminds me that no matter how many small gifts she throws our way, will not excuse her lack of maternal skills. Midnight was around the corner and there was no sign of her return. I’d somehow dozed off a few times, awaking to the sound of the television and looking straight at the clock, sighing when I realized it was later than when I initially slept and that she still wasn’t back. Just as my patience began to wear thin, the locks on the door began to unlock slowly. A few giggles were heard on the other side of the door. I stood waiting to catch my drunken mother, when the door opened and a tall man had his arm around her waist. Frozen, we both stood watching each other. My mother’s head swung left to right as she grew limp. The man watched me stand before him in what seemed like horror, then gave me a small smile and closed the door behind him.

“Could you help me with her, she’s drank a little too much tonight.”

I ran to my mother’s side, putting her left arm around my neck as the man started walking towards the living room.

“It’s okay, I can handle it from here. Thanks mister for bringing her home.” With a startled look, he watched as I took my mother into the living room. I sat her down on the couch and pulled her shoes off. It must have startled him how a sixteen year old was caring for a more than able thirty eight year old woman, because even after her shoes were off, he still stood in the corridor with awe written all over his face.

“I said thanks mister, but you can leave now.”

“You’re a special girl to take care of your mum like this.”

“Well, I have to do what I have to do.”

“Hmm.” He nodded his head and watched as I did the routine check on mother. I made sure I didn’t remove any clothing off of her, as I couldn’t really understand why the man still hadn’t left.

“I respect what you’re doing for your mother. She’s a good lady, under all the drink and addictions. She wanted me to stay the night, but I wouldn’t want to intrude. Let her know she got home safe because of Mark and she got to bed in one piece because of you.”

With that he left my mother and me alone in the living room. The front door opened and then shut soon after. This was the first time I’d met Mark.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Sister Abigail’s Unfaithfulness

Questions. All I’ve received these last few months are questions. ‘But father, if what you have been preaching about is true, then why would other people go searching for answers that the Bible should have provided?’ How many times must I explain to them that those who search for answers that the Bible has already given to them are unwilling to see the truth that is brought to them by Christ?

But none of my responses ease their mind. It’s almost as though, the more time I spend answering their questions and giving them reasons for other people’s actions, I fuel them with more enquiries. Father what more can I do for your people? I am only human and for that reason myself, I cannot deliver the answers they all search and plead to hear. I try to teach your people in the way you’ve instructed me, but nothing seems to work. Instead, more questions arise.

A few weeks ago, Sister Abigail came to me after Sunday service with a look I knew far too well. She had wanted to confide in me, which was a regular thing for people to do. She stood in front of me as everyone had begun to speak in small groups after service, shifting her weight onto each leg, fiddling with her fingers and looking down towards the ground. Noticing her tense posture, I rested my hands gently on her shoulders and reassured her things would be okay. No matter what she told me it’d be in confidence and I would be willing to advise her the best way I could, with the help of you.

She sighed and proceeded, “Father, now that the niggers are claiming for civil rights, it’s made me wonder why we, as the church haven’t accepted them earlier. They are human, just like you and I, and today you preached saying ‘God made everything in his own image’. If that’s the case then the niggers should have been allowed to worship with us, right?” I wasn’t too sure how to answer her question, let alone process it. I don’t get asked regularly whether niggers should be allowed to worship with us, because everyone knows that niggers and us folk are two completely different beings. But here before me stood Sister Abigail, asking me why I haven’t let niggers into the house of God to pray with us… was the preaching I performed today all in vain?

I wasn’t angry, more disappointed. She should know how the world functions, and the world only functions in the way it does because of you Lord, so why would she question such things when this is way life is meant to be? I tried to give her an uplifting smile and explained to her, ‘You see Sister Abigail, the way the world spins is because of God, the way food grows is because of God, the reason why you and I are here is because of God. And the reason why niggers aren’t accepted into the world is because of God. It is just the way God made things. You see, they are examples for us, parables even. The way they are and the way they behave are ways us folk shouldn’t. We must deter from their behaviour and remain in the path of God. Did God not create the Devil?’ She gave me a small nod, still looking down at her feet. ‘And the Devil is nothing but wicked and disobedient, hence why he was abolished from the Kingdom of Heaven. Niggers are like the Devil in this case and we are like God. The niggers are disobedient, destructive and downright bad, so we must cast them out of society and out of our lives, like what God did to the Devil. You must understand Sister Abigail, everything in this world happens for a reason, because of the one and only.”

She seemed to understand everything I was saying. She listened attentively, nodded when I asked a question and then thanked me when I was finished and left. I knew I had done my job to answer her question and give you justice to the best of my ability. But this Sunday after service I heard rumours, and you know me God I don’t indulge myself in idle talk. But what was being said was that Sister Abigail had left the church. I thought about it and realised she hadn’t been to church ever since she confided in me and now she’s left. Of course I felt like her choice of action was my fault. Was it what I told her? Or was it something else that had bothered her? She’d been a member for almost twelve years now. I would consider her one of the most devoted and reliable members of this church.

That was until today. I needed to understand the reason behind her leaving, just in case if I was the cause, because at least then I could pray for forgiveness for losing a member of the church. So I asked the committee, who found, through word of mouth, that she had left to join a religious organisation, one that was very unknown, but was apparently known (told by Sister Agnes) to express equality. Equality between black folks and white folks, I shook my head after hearing this. No church that was built in that way was a church of Christ.

If that was the church Sister Abigail’s heart desired to go to, then I wasn’t going to stop her. It was obvious from her actions that she was the minority of white folk who seemed to believe niggers and us folk were meant to live together. There was nothing I could do for her anymore, no amount of prayer could save her from the clutch the Devil had upon her. All I can do is pray that nobody associates her abnormal behaviour with this church, because this church is strictly for whites and God fearing people only.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

 

The Little Girl [Part 1]

Reports had stacked up far beyond what she could even recall gathering. Amongst those were email requests from clients and reporters who had been more than intrusive on Olivia’s work and private information. She wasn’t interested in responding to those emails, all they wanted was to put their noses into places where it wasn’t needed. After hours of categorising her workload she began to put pen to paper when her phone rang. Dammit. She grabbed her phone and looked at the caller ID before answering, Lieutenant Young. Her thumb lightly traced the answer button as she stared at the name. How long had it been, five months? Olivia remembered her last time she’d been with Young, all her insides tighten at the memory. There was always something about Young that had Olivia tense in a way she tried to reject far often than need be. Remembering she’d left the phone unanswered, she picked up the call.

“L-Lieutenant?”

“Olivia.”

The connection that she had questioned for months hadn’t just been an imagination. It was there and still strong as it was five months ago. With a struggle, she put on her professional voice, ignoring how her body had reacted to his voice.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes,” he spoke with a husky voice. Olivia rejected the urge to feed into her need and desire and let him continue. “I mean, I’ve got a case here and need your help.”

He wanted her and that was obvious. But he hadn’t called for that, something was wrong and he’d called for help.

“I assume you need me now?”

“Yes, if it’s possible?”

Her eyes gazed at the pile that continued to gain in height and ran a hand through her hair. Whether the workload was a mass amount or not, she knew due to the fact that Young had called her, she’d oblige to any request he made. You’re pathetic Olivia, so pathetic.

“Sure, I’ll be there shortly.”

She cut the phone and with an exasperated sigh, stood up stretching her arms and wondered what case Young was working on that would require her expertise. She recently read in the news a case Young had been working on. A child had died in the hands of his own mother, yet the mother was still able to walk the streets free no matter how much Young had tried to put her away, due to her attorney.

Grabbing her car keys, she left her office sure to return after her visit to the precinct. Weary of the poor weather the Cincinnati skies had showered upon everyone, she slowly walked towards her Ford Fiesta, making sure the snow beneath her feet were solid enough to handle the pressure she applied.

It hadn’t taken her too long to reach her destination, which is probably why they called her, she thought, hoping there was more to Young’s invitation. Stop it Olivia, just find out what he wants. She buried her hope deep within a place where she was sure she couldn’t reach and focused on the task before her. Bracing herself for the frosty weather, she got out her Ford Fiesta and walked towards the building. Shaking off the snow, she looked around noticing how busy it was and found what looked like to be the reception.

“Hello.”

“Dr Lint?”

“Yes, is Lieutenant Young around?”

“You’re here.”

A deep voice rumbled behind her, making her turn around. He hadn’t changed. Lieutenant Young amongst two officers made their way towards her, giving Olivia enough time to get a glimpse of how Young had developed over the few months they hadn’t seen each other. Young was the youngest in the force to become a Lieutenant, yet held so much confidence. Whether that was because of his huge frame or his stern face, either or, no one attempted to cross his path. He not only strived to gain the best possible outcome, but he always seemed to have that golden intuition that helped solve his cases. As far as Olivia had known, he had only failed three times to close a case in the eleven years of being a cop and last month was one of them.

“Lieutenant, how are you?”

“No need for formalities, call me Nicholas.”

Olivia only realised how great his frame was after being so close to him. She wasn’t a woman who was dependent on anyone, but being beside Young made her feel small but not in a way which she felt vulnerable. I’ve missed feeling like this. It’s been so long. She didn’t despise the feeling, in an odd sense she enjoyed it, probably far more than she should have. She shook his hand, ignoring the electrifying shock that ran through her body and focused on the matter at hand.

“So what did you need me for Lieutenant?”

He gave her a quick but brief smile, noticing her obvious remark to ignore his previous request and angled her towards the corridor.

“I thought it would be better to let you see first hand with what we’re trying to work with.”

As they walked through the corridor, with the remaining officers behind both her and Young, she tried to ignore the gut wrenching feeling that began brewing in her stomach. She knew all to well that the last time she walked this path was to help solve a child trafficking case, and Olivia tried so hard to forget those memories.

“Another child I guess?” Without looking at her he nodded.

“Just step into this room.” She opened the door and walked in, sighing as she witnessed from the one sided mirror a small fragile girl, who probably lacked nutrition in a large black jacket. The little girl had her fists tightly balled in her laps with her head down, letting stray clumpy hairs fall.

“She’s so young.” Olivia murmured to herself.

“This is both Detective Dorian Moore, the lead detective of this case and his partner Detective Andrew Williams. Both detectives came across a blood bath this evening and the only living thing left is this little girl.”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus indeed-” Detective Moore spoke reaching his hand out for a shake. She took his hand, instantly comparing it to Young’s and then disregarded the thought. “After she was recovered from the scene all she’s done is sit, with her head down.”

“We can’t even get a reaction out of her, she almost seems as though she can’t hear us.”

Detective Williams said looking at the girl through the one-way mirror. She must have been through a lot Olivia thought, definitely nothing she hadn’t come across before.

“We tried to see if she was possibly deaf, but she was still unresponsive.”

“How did you try that?” Olivia asked Moore who seemed to hold a grave look on his face.

“My brother’s deaf, so I learnt how to communicate through sign-language.” She nodded then turned to the little girl who hadn’t moved an inch during their conversation.

“And she didn’t respond to that either?”

“No.” Young had said, closer to her than she had anticipated. She steadied her heart and focused on the girl.

“We tried everything.” Williams said rustling hair that once had been carefully groomed, but now held a rough look.

“Apart from you.”

Trying to ignore the double meaning behind his comment, knowing it was her alone who had caught it, she pushed those disobeying thoughts further away in her mind, and she stared at the child who’d probably seen more than her mind could comprehend and began devising a strategy.

“Before anything I can’t promise to give you any critical information tonight. This girl has probably witnessed too much to even function anymore, my main priority is to get her functioning again, have her involved in idle conversation and then I’ll begin working on pulling out information in relation to the case.”

“Anything is better than nothing.” His voice ricocheted around the room, leaving Olivia vibrating. Waiting until she had gathered her composure, she turned to face Young, who was no more than a foot or two away from her.

“Is there any other aspects of the crime scene I should be aware of?”

Trying to gain an understanding of how she could formulate her questions without pressing any trigger buttons.

“First we need your trust. What we disclose with you cannot be recorded or broadcasted, not until things play out in our hand more favourably than now.”

Olivia gave Young a firm nod, knowing far too well the extent of those bottom-feeding journalists. Once they got an earful of any of her cases, they piled up at her office requesting for a statement, she hadn’t needed Young to go on to understand what he was saying.

“You have my trust Lieutenant.”

With a dark look in his eyes, he looked to his colleagues who shared the same look as he did and took a deep breath, his jaw working as he faced Olivia.

“Nine, nine dead mutilated bodies were found with the little girl. So Olivia tread carefully.”

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Elliot & I [Part 2]

I hadn’t seen Elliot since our intimate moment on the balcony where we found ourselves confessing our love for each other one moment and then where I found myself being pulled away from him the next. I wasn’t sure what mother planned to do with me as she dragged me closer to the hall that evening. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I wasn’t even sure if she could do anything more to increase the pain I had begun feeling. But when she abruptly stopped near the rotating doors that led into the ceremonial hall and faced me and said,

“Love? You think you love him Alexandra? You no nothing of love, so get that out of your head.” It was then I realised that mother could actually somehow make this already bad situation worse. Even now as I lay on the bed thinking about that evening, I wouldn’t forget how she felt no sympathy towards my emotions. Instead she sent me to the toilet to get cleaned up (as she stood guard outside) and then told me to not utter a word throughout the rest of the night. Not as though I was planning to talk someone’s ear off anyway. It didn’t help that once we did return back to our seats, Elliot and his family had left. I couldn’t even have another chance to see Elliot and explain my love for him, explain to him how important his love is to me.

And here I lay, two weeks since I’d shared that passionate moment with him, I can’t help but find myself grow impatient. Every day grew more harder without speaking with him or seeing him. Not as though we saw each other frequently, but at least we had the opportunity to text. But ever since mother caught us, she made sure my phone was confiscated. Not only that she made it a necessity that anywhere I went I was to be guarded. I wasn’t under any threat, well – she’d say Elliot was enough to be a threat. But because of her lack of trust in me (I could only presume), the security men followed me wherever I went. I could barely leave my room without one of the guards trailing behind me, like an unwanted shadow. What still puzzled me was the fact my father hadn’t sat me down to discuss what had occurred. I was sure my mother would have instantly told my father as soon as we got into settled into the limo on our way home that night. But after he continuously spoke about business deals and future movements with other companies, I realised he knew nothing of my venture with Elliot on the balcony. Which surprised me as to why my mother would spare me? It’s almost to impossible to believe she would do anything to protect me, especially when it came to Elliot. But I knew she hadn’t told father, so I made sure I didn’t bring it up.

There was many times I thought about sneaking away from the guard that was allocated to watch over me. Last week I tried to lose Mr O’Neil in the hustle and bustle of the London streets. But after I believed to have gotten away, he showed up in front of me a few minutes later. These men were trained to follow orders and it was then I knew no amount of plotting or sneaking away would actually be successful. I sat up, tired of being caged away in my room with nothing other than my thoughts to keep me company. I was exhausted of thinking about how Elliot was or what he was getting up to. I didn’t want to think about how only two weeks ago did he confess his love to me and my mother and now I no nothing of how he currently feels. I had to do something to ease my anxiety. I slipped my feet into some casual slippers that were laid just near my wardrobe and opened my room door. I was done laying waiting for something to happen. I was going to make sure I saw Elliot today.

As I opened the door Fredrick stood firm, his gaze looking straight ahead, whilst his body remained upright and ready to defend. When he saw me walk out, he looked at me.
“Fredrick there’s somewhere I need you to drive me.”
“Miss Alexandra, I’ve received orders that you should remain at home whilst your mother and father attend their meal tonight.”
“Fredrick I understand you’ve taken orders, but there is somewhere I must desperately go. If you fail to take me, I will find my own way there. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
I looked at Fredrick’s build and slightly chuckled in my head. If Fredrick wanted me back in my room, there were more than ten ways he could do so without breaking a sweat. But I was determined to see Elliot today. Especially with my parents out having dinner, there wasn’t going to be an opportunity like this anytime soon. I had to seize the opportunity.
“And where would you be going Miss Alexandra?”
I hadn’t decided on the lie I was to tell Fredrick, but if I hesitated for just a second, he would know that I was planning on meeting Elliot.
“I’d prefer to direct you myself. It’s private.”

The guards had no right to intervene with our personal lives. They were there for a job and that job purpose only. Fredrick understood he had no right to question my privacy, which pained me to see him disobey his orders. But I had to start doing things for myself or else I’d never find happiness. He gave me a stern nod and walked me out of the house to the family car, ready for his directions. It took a while for us to arrive at Elliot’s house. I made sure the directions I gave Fredrick were beyond complicated so he couldn’t trace where exactly I was going. But as soon as he saw the road name, he parked the car and turned off the engine.
“Miss Alexandra –”
“Fredrick I won’t be a second. Please remain here whilst I just go and return something to someone.” Without another word, I left the car before he could stop me. My heart pounded against my chest as I grew excited knowing soon I’d see Elliot. Soon I’d be with him, in his embrace, digesting our newfound love for each other. I walked passed a few cars before getting to his property. Normally two or three cars would be parked in his driveway, however tonight, a row of cars were lined up, and even spilling to the street where other cars were parked. I quietly snuck passed the entrance and begun making my way to the back of his house, where a vine which clasped on tightly to the bricks of his home would be awaiting me to climb right into the window of his room. The vines were beside the kitchen window, where it seemed the event that must have been occurring at Elliot’s house was taking place. Different voices emerged from the kitchen, whilst cutleries were being played with constantly. Elliot could be amongst them and probably was, but I was willing to wait for him in his room, rather than check if he sat with the cluster that seemed to be going on in his kitchen.

After testing a vine or two, I started to climb up when a voice from the kitchen stopped me in my tracks.
“That fucking Harold Bennett, you know what if I had the choice to build my business or kill him…I’d kill him.” The kitchen burst out into laughter, as the male voice choked on his own laughter and continued. “No that man is a bastard. I still don’t understand how a nigger has managed to get what he’s got. Can you imagine Clifford is till this very day struggling on receiving clients for his upcoming technology program he’s starting. And there’s Harold Bennett, not even giving a fucking damn. I told him about Clifford and he said he’ll ‘sort something out’,” He huffed and continued. “Sort something out, the cheek like we need help from him, from people like him.”
“It’s ridiculous how things have changed.” A feminine voice spoke after the room had settled to listen to the mans story. Quickly climbing down from the vines, I slowly creep up to the window, just to see who was talking so poorly of my father. But recognised no one, just a room full of people in suits and dresses, eating a meal and bad mouthing my father.
“Don’t worry Jo, they always seem to fuck themselves up one way or the other. Am I right?”
The room fell into laughter again as these strangers mocked my family and my race. Stunned, I couldn’t find the energy to stop watching, to leave and tell Fredrick to drive me home. No, instead I looked around. Hoping to not see anyone I recognised, it was bad enough these people I knew nothing of was praying for my father to face a downfall, but if it was people I recognised I wouldn’t know what I’d do. But then I saw him. Elliot, sitting down with a plate full of food, chuckling with them. Finding the words that cut so deep to me amusing. I wasn’t sure I was seeing accurately. But the more I stared at him, the clearer everything became. He agreed with what they were saying. I shouldn’t be shocked, my father always made it obvious to him that he didn’t like Elliot. But I never assumed this would have had an affect on how he saw the rest of us. The scene that was before me was far too much for my brain and heart to comprehend. Who was Elliot? Elliot, the same man that I just recently confessed my love too, was the same man that sat amongst racists and found their disrespectful words amusing. Even as I stood there in what I can only assume was shock, I couldn’t help but remember my parents. Remember their own narrow mindset and how discriminating it was at times. They never truly gave me a reason why they disliked Elliot so passionately, but it was obvious his skin colour was a factor. So did that mean I had a right to be angry? My parents were just as bad as the strangers in suits and dresses that sat around the table hoping for my father to fail and belittling my race?

With the pain, hurt and confusion slowly slipping its way into my muscles, I found the energy to turn away. Not aware of Elliot’s mum who stood a few steps away from me, watching me watch them talk about my father. With a pained look in her eye, she followed my previous gaze onto Elliot and then returned her gaze back to me. With no words to say that could possibly explain or reduce the shock I received, I walked passed her and back to Fredrick. Wishing I stayed in bed.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Caller

With the keys loose in my hands, I wonder whether unlocking the door and stepping inside is worth it or whether I should go with what my gut is saying and simply turn away. Recently, nothing had been drawing me back here, apart from the fact it’s a permanent place to sleep, but even that I’ve had to question whether it was really worth it? The flame that was once ignited and alight a few years back has most definitely died out. But yet we still smile, put a façade on, not only to others but also to ourselves. It doesn’t help the situation, and maybe in the back of my mind for some unbelievable reason, I feel as though it’s the easiest option; another action I’ve questioned myself on for several months now.

I sigh and put the key into the lock of the door. This had become a ritual; nearly every night after work, I’d find myself slumped and lethargic always questioning why I’m at this door every night. And every night I find myself unlocking the door and entering with a cheer in my voice that never was there previously, but all in an act that my wife and I had coaxed.

“Evening Martha!” I loosened my tie and placed my briefcase on the ground near the umbrella stand and hung my key onto the key holder, placed just beside the coat hangers. I shrugged my coat off of my shoulders whilst using my ears to predict where she was. There were no footsteps in the front room; neither was any sound coming from upstairs, so with that in mind I made my way into the kitchen. It was only until I started making my way towards the corridor, did the aroma of mince and meatballs make its way into my nostrils. I lingered just a little longer, remembering how hungry I was until I got to the kitchen.

There she stood, in a big T-shirt that I used to wear until she’d claimed it, with headphones on, swaying her hips to the music. It took a while for me to comprehend what I was witnessing. It had been months since I last saw my wife this way, and it felt odd. Maybe the love that should have been there from the start was making a way back into my system, and that feeling was beyond foreign. The way she stirred the mince with not only her hands but also her hips had me itching to run towards her and shake her asking her what went wrong between us. I took a step further into the kitchen, with my eyes fixed on her and unfastened my shirt button. Seeing my wife like this, in a light I was so sure had died, began to make the impossible possible in my mind. So what if things hadn’t been going right these last couple months isn’t that what was meant to occur in normal marriages? There wasn’t a manual to the perfect marriage or a strict guideline we had to follow in order to ensure our marriage was crystal clear, and thinking about it now, I don’t understand why I panicked so much when things took a turn for the worse. Maybe I should have tried. Maybe I shouldn’t have given up so quickly. Lost in thought, I hadn’t notice she’d turned around, stunned to see me there.

“You nearly scared me half to death!” She said, clutching her chest with one hand whilst the other removed the headphones from her head. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, sorry about scaring you, I was just lost in thought.” She smiled and turned around resuming her cooking, with her music still audible from the headphones. I walked behind her, and gave her a hug. Something I hadn’t done in such a long while, show affection towards her. Even the act was strange to me, but soon enough that feeling dissipated and before I knew it, I’d put my head to her neck and drank her scent in. At first her body was stiff, also aware of the strange notion that I showed her, but sooner or later she stopped mixing the mince and meatballs and rested her head on mine. With no words shared between us, we both knew that whatever was occurring was something to cherish, whether it was something temporarily or going to last, we both knew that enjoying this current feeling was most important. Soon after what seemed like a long amount of time, she turned around and sighed, with her eyes closed.

“Richard, what happened?” She didn’t even need to complete her question because I knew instantly what she was addressing. With her hand on each of my cheeks, I take a deep breath and try to conjure up the best answer to explain our situation.

“I don’t know Martha.” I watched her bite her lip nervously, with her nostrils flaring and her eyelashes slowly turning moist. I hadn’t planned on her crying, I was never too sure what to do when I was faced with an emotional woman, but tonight everything seemed to just fall in place, almost like the gods has finally pitied us and allowed all the pieces to fall, so that our incomplete puzzle could get solved. I wrapped my arms around her waist and placed my forehead on hers.

“It’ll get better Martha, I don’t know why things have gone the way they have, but it’s not the end. I’m willing, I never thought I would be, but I am, and I really hope you are too.” Her eyes opened, allowing a couple of tears to escape. She nodded and sniffed back more tears that threatened to show.

“Will it Richard? Because I’ve been asking myself this question for months now and it never did.”

“I can’t promise you anything Martha, but I will try and that’s more than what I’ve been doing these last few months. If you’re willing to try, then so will I.” With the cards in her hands, she took a deep breath and nodded.

“I don’t mind. I’ve missed you…us.” With tears on her cheek and a sob close to her mouth, I embrace her fully, trying to prove my change. Because I have to be honest with myself, I hadn’t been the best husband, intentionally working late just to avoid Martha, lying about business trips just to get a few days to myself and that’s not even considering the other lies. But, in hope that’s all behind me, I focus on Martha. I pull away from her and wipe her stray tears.

“Don’t cry,” I look towards the food, “it smells good.” Then it hit me, she looks good, more than just the average good, for some months now she hadn’t enticed me, her appearance had merged with the annoying personality I’d seen and everything had blurred. But now, with things becoming slightly clearer, I could take in her beauty. Her chestnut hair fell passed her shoulders, a sharp contrast to her somewhat pale skin that I always enjoyed watch turn pink or red. Her freckles lightly decorating her nose and cheeks accompanied by a rosy colour, made me smile, it surprises me how long it’s taken me to truly observe and admire my wife. Her plump peach lips, swollen only just a little due to her biting it previously, had all those reasons I married her rush back at me full force. It was too late to right my former wrongs, but at least this was a start. With no hesitation I bent down, only being taller than her by a few inches, give it four of five and kissed her. Eyes closed and heart beating, I grabbed a handful of her hair enjoying the feel of her hair in my hands, the softness between my fingers was like no other. She, reacting in sync with me, grabs my shirt and pulls me closer towards her. Almost as though the proximity between us wasn’t enough, the time we’d wasted wasn’t something we could get back in reality. But between us, we know we had to make up for lost time. Now switching fluids, remembering her taste, I made sure it my personal duty to not let any go to waste. Everything I received was never going to be enough, her scent, her touch, her taste, it wouldn’t amount to the months of separation, but I was sure to make her forget about those years. It was the least I could do and it was written in my vows, so I had to abide by my words and fulfil my promises.

Even air was something I was prepared to sacrifice, just to get more time with her. She pulled away with the only noise being made between us was our attempt in catching our breaths.

“God I’ve missed you.” She said through breaths. Releasing my embrace, I kiss her once more remembering the sharp pain in my stomach.

“I’ve missed you more than you can imagine, and I could take you away here and now, but I want to be sure that when I do make up for loss time, I go for hours and right now I need to restore my energy.” With my eyes fixed on the spaghetti, letting her subliminally know that I’m hungry, she smiles and playfully hits me.

“Go get changed and I’ll make you a plate.” I give her another kiss, which takes longer than planned, but eventually stops as I pull away and dash upstairs, with a newfound hope in my mind. I get to the room and begin to change. Things would have to change, that I’m prepared to do. To be fair, I have to be prepared. This is my marriage on the line and with sense more apparent in my mind; nothing is worth putting my marriage at risk. I can’t actually define when things went wrong between Martha and I, her mother is a little intrusive and it doesn’t help that she involves her in every one of our issues, but that’s a hurdle I’m prepared to address and overcome when the time comes. Right now all that’s on my mind is how I’m about to devour my meal and then my wife.

Buzz Buzz

I reach for my phone in my suit jacket and unlock it, seeing that I have a missed call and a message. I open the message and there, Jennifer’s name pops up. I had a few lies during the months Martha and I were on a break, some worse than others. Jennifer being one of the ones I planned to bury deep in the ground with me. I wasn’t planning to read the message, but as soon as I was about to disregard it another came through, more alerting than the previous one.

Jennifer:

First message: ‘Baby I miss you and I can’t stop thinking about you.’

Second message: ‘I’m not sure with what’s been going on between us recently, but I hope tonight we could rekindle some of our love? Get back at me soon.’

Jennifer was one of my employees whom I worked with on a frequent basis. She just seemed to perfectly fit into my schedule. If she wasn’t working with me constantly, she was asking whether she needed my assistance and as you could imagine I grew very fond of her. Not only was she there, she was something I needed at that time, she enticed me in every way…or so I thought. Day by day her shirt became tighter and her trousers became skirts, which eventually became shorter. The first night I fully noticed her and acted upon it, I was physically drained with the problems at home with Martha, so I decided to stay at work late that night. I had no work to do, but the comfort of my office was better than home. I wasn’t aware that Jennifer had also stayed late, it was only until a knock was at my door and her head poked through the tiny gap between the door and the wall, was when I knew she was still there.

“You alright Richard you seem a little stressed?” I could barely merit a response, I thought I was alone and to find out I wasn’t was a shock. But I told her I was fine, of course that wasn’t enough for her, so she invited herself in my office and decided I talk about my issue. It was the first time I spoke to anyone about Martha, I’m usually the type to keep my own issues to myself, but that night, I guess I was stressed beyond reasoning. Eventually, she offered a back massage.

“Trust me Richard, if I wasn’t working here, I’d earn a good living off being a masseuse.” I chuckled and allowed her to massage me. At first her hands remained on my shoulders, then my chest and slowly my thighs. I couldn’t find it in myself to stop her, it was the first time in a while my penis had awakened, by someone other than porn. One thing led to another and that night I buried myself deep with Jennifer. After that night, I continued to bury myself deep within Jennifer, it was a place of solace and my escapism, I didn’t have to think about work, home or my failing marriage, instead I could just think about how her walls convulsed around me and had me shivering. I knew the risks, not only about my marriage but having frequent sex with a employee was dangerous, but Jennifer seemed to be understanding to those boundaries, so I continued. Before I knew it, I needed Jennifer more and more; I’d call her to meet me in various locations, just to escape again. To think about her had me involuntarily smiling; she was something to remember, but never something to keep. It was only recently, the place I used to go to for solitude began to lose it’s meaning. I could no longer escape in the clasp of Jennifer’s love; instead it was another place of strangulation. She began demanding, requesting for things she had no need in worrying about. Eventually, I grew distant and resumed my position of being stressed and tense, until tonight. Things are starting to work and I’d be damned if a pothole in the road is going to stop me from getting to my destination.

I took my phone and replied back to her text,

‘I think we need to talk, not tonight but later on in the week.’

It didn’t take her long to reply, she was always so responsive.

‘What’s this about Richard? You’re giving me this bullshit line that people throw around when things are coming to an end…’

This wasn’t something I could do over text, it wasn’t even something I wanted to do now, but with the way Jennifer was reacting, had me wondering how bad this could get if I didn’t defuse the situation asap. I went by the staircase and called out to Martha.

“Yeah?”

“I’ll be a few minutes, I have a business call, I won’t be too long, keep my plate warm for me.”

“Sure!” With that I walked back into the bedroom, closing the door behind me and called Jennifer.

“Well Richard?”

“Jennifer relax,” I whispered, “I just wanted to speak with you, I’d prefer to do this on a more personal level, but I could sense you getting agitated via text.”

“Fuck this business like shit Richard, what are you saying?” I could tell this conversation wasn’t going to go anywhere, no matter what direction I tried to attack this matter, the outcome proved to be the same.

“I think, with the way things are going between us-”

“And how’s that Richard, explain that to me? Because in my eyes, you were the one who changed, everything was great…that’s what I thought. And then one day you just lost your spark, so you tell me how things are going, because I was beyond eager to hear your side.”

With a sigh, I continued. “I think we should stick to a platonic relationship.”

“Bullshit Richard! What changed? You wasn’t talking about platonic when we were fucking, you weren’t complaining when I couldn’t speak because I was filled with your-”

“Okay! I understand Jennifer. Things have changed, but they changed even before things got better.”

“What are you referring too when you say ‘things got better’? What with you and Martha huh?” Damn, I didn’t want to bring Martha into this, because I knew that’d just anger her more. I lay on the bed and rolled my eyes, trying to find the words to explain what was inevitably happen between Jennifer and I but I just kept quiet, words failing me.

“So you have nothing to say huh? Well I have loads to say. How dare you do this to me? Do you understand how much I gave you and how much I did for you to use me and throw me aside like a rag doll? I will not be treated like this Richard, I won’t be kept in the dark like a damn secret, I will not! I am worth more than that and you treated me as though I was worth more than that, so I know you love and if it’s fucking Martha that’s got your mind clustered, then we can just clear that by simply telling her about us.”

“What?”

“You heard me, why not let her know about us, because what we have is far more valuable than that shamble of a marriage you were close in ending last month.” I told her far too much during our time together, which is evident now, but making her more angry is not going to help anything. I take a deep breath and try from another angle.

“Okay baby, maybe I was acting irrational, maybe this is just a phase with me and Martha and I don’t want you to feel used, so why not I take you out this Friday after work and we can work on us.”

“No Richard, let her know. It’s about time she knew, what’s the point in hiding anymore – tell Martha you’re done or I will.”

“Jennifer you will not get involved in my marriage, you’ve said enough tonight. Not only have you crossed a line tonight, but you continue to persist with this attitude that you must have assumed I’d take? I don’t, so while I spend tonight with my wife, I want you to relax and tomorrow when I see you at work I want you to speak nothing of this until we’re alone, where I can find a solution.” With that I dropped the phone and sighed in exasperation. I’d let that line of lover and boss get far too clouded and for that reason I had to cut our relationship off. Even though that wasn’t the main reason as to why I wanted to terminate our relationship, it was reason enough for me to tell her, she was beginning to turn into a nuisance, something that she didn’t normally do. However, I’m glad she’s an issue for another day and for now I can focus on the future between my wife and me.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

New Woman

The only thought that kept running through my mind was why did I come here? If Eileen hadn’t pestered me to come, I know I would have stayed at home and made up a lame excuse for my absence if people asked. But there I sat, amongst colleagues I barely knew and in a bar that wasn’t my style. To make matters worse, Vicky walked in. Vicky Parsons, the editor-in-chief of ‘New Women’, and also my boss. We barely saw eye-to-eye. She’d send me on ridiculous errands throughout the day, stopping me from completing my work and then check up on me at the end of the day to see if my work was completed. It was a catch-22 situation with her.

But she looked different tonight. Her auburn hair wasn’t tied up in a tight ponytail, it fell loosely pass her shoulders and had a slight wave to it. And replacing her constant work suits was a silk sleeveless blouse and denim jeans. She greeted everyone with smiles, gave out a few hugs and then it was my turn. I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was surprised when I received a brief smile. She took a seat opposite me, and very quickly slipped into conversations that surrounded her.

Time was passing and cups were never empty. I made sure I kept my cup always half full so that I wasn’t forced to order another round. I didn’t mind drinking, but with people I was so unfamiliar with, made me feel uncomfortable. The DJ began playing his 80’s playlist, which caused everyone at the table to get excited, making them eager to get onto the dance floor. After declining for yet another time, they let me be and made their way onto the dance floor, leaving me alone with Vicky. She noticed me and gave me an awkward smile.

“It’s…”

“Rebecca.” I spoke loudly enough for her to hear.

“That’s it, Rebecca. Why aren’t you dancing?” She leaned forward.

“Not really my thing.” I lied.

“Dancing isn’t your thing and you’re only…twenty?”

“Twenty-one.”

“Exactly you’re young. You should enjoy dancing before you get too old to do it. Fine, if dancing isn’t your thing then what is?”

“Writing.” She rolled her eyes and waved her arm in the air, dismissing my comment whilst taking a gulp of her drink.

“Of course writing, you wouldn’t be working for me if you weren’t interested in writing, but what does Rebecca love doing?”

I took a sip of my drink and shrugged, “Drawing.”

“There you go, that’s the Rebecca I was asking for,” She chuckled and then moved to sit beside me. “What do you like to draw?”

“People.”

“Really? Wow, I’d like to see a drawing one day. Promise me you’ll show me one?”

I nodded, chuckling lightly as she stuck her pinkie out in front of me for me to wrap my own pinkie around. I did so and she smiled, making me feel more comfortable. I could tell the drink had made its way into her system as her movements and speech became more muddled, but it showed me a side to Vicky that I never knew was there. After we finished our drinks and ordered for another round, we fell back into conversation.

“So does your boyfriend live with you?”

“Oh, I don’t have one.”

“A pretty girl like you doesn’t have a boyfriend?”

“Well I didn’t want anything interrupting my goals.”

That was a lie. Jonathon and I were in a serious relationship for a year, until I was accepted in working for the company. Everyone in my family was excited I was accepted into one of the top five major women’s magazine companies in America, apart from Jonathon. He decided that if I left, I was leaving the relationship too. I tried calling, messaging and emailing, but with no response I decided it was time to focus on myself.

“Oh I understand, it’s almost as though men get threatened by a woman who has goals, it’s ridiculous. That’s why I always say screw men, they aren’t worth our time and we women should stick together.”

“I agree!”

“You see Rebecca,” she shuffled closer to me. “I don’t bother with men anymore. They think we need them for everything, for money, for love, for sex, but we don’t and neither do you. Because I’ve got you Rebecca and if you need anyone I’m always there for you.”

Her comment warmed my heart, it was nice to know someone was looking out for me and wanted the best for me. Especially when I found it difficult being in New York by myself away from my family, hearing that someone was there for me brought a smile to my face. She grinned back at me and stroked my cheek gently.

“You’re so pretty, no man is worth your time.”

“But then who is?”

My words came out slurred, the only evidence that I’d drank far too much than I could handle. Her eyes shone under the strobe lights of the club as she watched me. She shrugged at my question and then chuckled.

“I am.”

It took me longer than normal to digest her words. But once it finally sunk in, I still found it hard to grasp. The alcohol was making me hear things that wasn’t said, because if I believed for a second that Vicky had just said she was a worthy partner for me, I’m sure I would have panicked.

“What?”

Still confused, I question her response for some clarity, but everyone had began making their way back to the table, screaming for more drinks. And during their return, Vicky sat quietly drinking her drink and watching her feet, whilst my brain raced wondering whether she meant what I thought she meant, or maybe I’d jumped further than I could and I just misheard her.

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Time had passed and I’d consumed more alcohol than I should have, but it was never enough to have made me forget what Vicky had said to me earlier and I guess with that on my mind, I needed something to settle my nerves. She hadn’t spoken to me much after her confession and it surprised me when I felt bothered by her actions. I felt as though she believed she had the ability to decide when I was worthy to be spoken to and when I wasn’t and that was what frustrated me throughout the night. I knew tonight wasn’t worth the journey. With that in mind, I gulped my drink and gathered my things, ready to put an end to this night and strictly keep my relationship with these people work-related only.

I picked up my clutch bag, along with my denim jacket and slid past two colleagues having a conversation.

“You’re leaving so soon?” Eileen said standing up, tugging me to sit down again.

“Yeah, it’s late and I’m in early tomorrow, so I’m heading off now.”

I moved her hand gently whilst saying my farewells to everyone. Vicky didn’t respond, but through my peripheral vision I noticed that she hadn’t stopped looking in my direction since I first stood up. Whilst I walked to the exit, I decided to forget about the conversation Vicky and I had, because if she felt she could be one way with me one minute and then the next the other, then I was prepared to keep my distance from her. I pushed the doors open, welcoming the cool air that graced my face. I slipped on my denim jacket, and began walking until I could haul a taxi to take home. All the while, my attempts of blocking Vicky from my thoughts failed. There was something about the way she’d approached me, was completely different to the woman I worked for in the office. She wasn’t uptight and strict. In fact, she could actually be interesting enough to converse with, what I couldn’t grasp was why she had constant changes in her personality? I understand when at work, one must be authoritative, but in the club she went from reserved, to friendly and then straight back to withdrawn before I even had a chance to understand what was going on.

Being deep in thought, I luckily managed to notice the yellow taxi parked on the curb opposite from me, with an old man leaning on the driver’s door, slightly hunched reading the New York Times. I jogged across the road and hesitantly tapped his shoulder. He peeked over his paper, squinting his eyes in confusion.

“Is that your taxi sir?” He turned to look at his taxi and then back at me.

“Well I am leaning on it, so I suppose so.”

I inwardly rolled my eyes, knowing I had no time for any sass, as I was already annoyed with the way Vicky had treated me.

“Are you on your break or are you working?” He folded his paper and opened the driver’s door. After a few moments of silence and him stepping inside the cab, I figured he was working, so I walked to the passenger’s door, waiting for him to unlock it.

“Where are you looking to go?”

“46th–”

“Rebecca!”

I turned around to see Vicky running towards me. I let go of the passenger door handle, wondering whether that was really Vicky running towards me, or whether I should enter the taxi and ignore the little voice in my head that told me to see what she had to say.

“Rebecca…”
“What are you doing here?” I asked folding my arms across my chest, shifting my weight onto one leg.

She slightly chuckled, “I’m not entirely sure. I waited in the club after you’d gone, but then I just kept thinking about you, so I literally got up and then went to find you.”

“Find me? I’m going home, you didn’t need to find me Vicky.”

“Hey lady, are you getting in or not?” The old man asked, peeping his head through his opened window. I turned around giving him a signal to wait and turned back to Vicky.

“I just wanted to speak with you.”

“If you wanted to speak with me, then why did you ignore me when we weren’t alone?”

“I don’t know.”

“Lady! Are you in or not?”

“I’m coming.”

I spoke with a hint of annoyance in my voice. I wasn’t annoyed at the taxi man; it was Vicky and her indecisive behaviour that had led to my frustration. She hadn’t batted an eye when I’d left, but there she stood, in front of me wanting to talk.

“Rebecca, I’ve been very odd with you, but that’s because I’m not sure how to behave with you. My feelings have me behaving in one way, whilst my mind is telling me to stay away from you.”

“Feelings, what feelings?”

“Okay lady, this is the last time I’m asking, are you getting in or are you going to stand out there?” I looked towards the cab and then back at Vicky, contemplating my options and realised that going home was best. I wasn’t sure what Vicky wanted to tell me, but there wasn’t a point in knowing, nothing would change between the two of us. I opened the door to enter the car, when Vicky grabbed my hand.

“What are you doing?”

“I need to talk to you.”

I pulled my hand from hers, but her grip remained firm. “Vicky, I need to go home.”

“I’ll drop you home if that’s the issue, but I really need to talk to you.”

“About what Vicky? You ignore me at work, you ignore me in the club and now you want me to listen to what you have to say?”

The driver got out the car, annoyed and resumed his previous position in reading his newspaper. I rolled my eyes and shut the passenger door then faced Vicky. She waved a black vehicle towards us and then opened the door for me to enter. Reluctantly I got in, waiting for her to explain herself.

“Lincoln could you drop us at…?” She faced me, waiting for me to fill the gap.

“46th street please.” The driver nodded and began driving.

“Thank you Lincoln.”

I faced the window closest to me, not wanting to face Vicky.

“I’m sorry Rebecca, I haven’t been fair to you. I shouldn’t have acted one way and then another, I wasn’t considering your feelings.”

“I don’t even understand why you bother with me so much, I’m just your employee.”

“There’s something about you that’s why.”

“You keep saying things like that. What do you mean? What is it about me that has you so conflicted Vicky?”

I faced her, with annoyance in my voice. Knowing I was probably pushing the boundaries with the way I spoke to her. Not only was she my boss, but also she was a few years older than I, and I wasn’t raised to be disrespectful. But at that time I didn’t care. I’d lost my ride home from a sassy driver, drank too much that I’d started to feel car sick and now I had to endure a ride home with Vicky. I could gladly say I was pushed over the edge tonight. She moved closer to me and shrugged.

“I think I’m attracted to you Rebecca.”

Staring blankly at her face, I wasn’t sure how to react. Earlier on I assumed I heard her proclaim her attraction to me in the club. But now with the words ringing loudly in my ears, my body froze as I tried to digest her confession. Vicky was attracted to me? That meant she was a lesbian. Why hadn’t I seen the signs before? It’s not like ladies who are attracted to other ladies, walk around with a sign on their foreheads proclaiming their sexuality. But, something in my body felt like I should have known this revelation before now. She was always distant at work and never tried to engage in a conversation with me. However, it was the way she looked at me when we did managed to speak, was what always had me thinking of her. Not like I’d imagined pursuing anything with her, but I always wondered what her issue was with me. But it made sense. Her cold demeanour and then the warmth she showed me, was all because she liked me.

With my mind failing to form any words, silence filled the car. It seemed as though my heartbeat that thudded hard against my chest, was loud enough for Vicky to hear. It almost felt like we’d been sitting facing each other for hours, when she began shuffling closer to me. Her movements were slow and I wasn’t sure if that was the effect of the alcohol or her actual movements. But I sat watching, as her frame filled my gaze and eventually left us inches away from each other. We were so close that I felt her breath caress my skin every time she exhaled. My core clenched in anticipation, aware of what was to come next. Vicky moved closer to me, heat radiating off her skin and enveloping me. She stared at my parted lips and then pressed her soft lips against mine before I could react. I sat motionless, not sure if it was confusion that hadn’t made me push her away, or whether it was the feeling I felt as her lips moved against mine. I hadn’t felt like this when I’d kissed Jonathon. My body had never vibrated with need when my lips connected with his. Neither did my skin become so sensitive when he touched me during our intimate moments. Yet here I sat, feeling a wave of emotions my body had never felt before. It was almost too much for my body, let alone my mind, to handle. The more our lips moved in sync with each other, the more my body tensed in excitement. Her chest brushed against my own, causing my nipples to harden in pleasure. A small moan escaped my lips, echoing through the car. It was then I realised what I was doing. Hearing my own voice woke up the more conscious side of myself. What was I doing kissing Vicky? It’s bad enough that I’ve never been with a woman, yet after kissing Vicky my body reacted in ways I never thought it could. But, she was my boss and I wasn’t attracted to women. With a shock I pushed her away from me as the car came to a halt.

Wide eyed with a hint of desire, Vicky stared at me. Her chest rising and falling in short breaths with her lips plump from our intimacy. I wasn’t sure what had come over me, but I needed space. Space to think, space to understand what had just happened. I reached for the door when Vicky grabbed my arm.

“Rebecca wait –”

Too stunned to comprehend the kiss, I lightly pulled her off of me. Afraid I’d be drawn back into her embrace and that my body would react to her in ways it shouldn’t. Once her grip loosened on my jacket, I rushed out of the car. Hearing not only the slam of my car door, but also Vicky’s. I picked up my stride, in fear of Vicky catching up with me. Once I’d reached my apartment door, my nerves took control making my fingers fumble with my keys. Aware of the footsteps behind me that increased every second, fear clawed at my throat as I imagined having to speak with Vicky after the moment we’d shared. Finding the key, I rushed inside before Vicky had the chance to reach me. My heart crashed against my chest, whilst my mind played images of us kissing. I backed away from the door as Vicky’s frame emerged with a handprint lightly pressed against the glass. I needed time away from Vicky. Everything was happening so fast and if I wasn’t careful this could end badly for both of us.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun