You’ll only regret it when I get heartbroken
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Ku Story by Timie Roberts
It was unlike Danielle to leave without telling me. Even when she used to spend the night at my apartment and head to work in the morning from there, she would always give me a kiss before she left.
I couldn’t understand why she would leave without letting me know. I continued to look for my keys.
I looked for my keys in the bedside drawer to see if I might have left them there.
“Where did she go?”
I asked myself as I reached for my phone and dialed her number. No answer.
I began to think of the possibilities. Maybe she left because she saw the missed calls from Ms Annette and thought it was another woman. I couldn’t conclude on what I thought the issue was.
I looked up at the clock and it was almost time to check out. I hurriedly packed my things which had been carefully sitting at the corner of the room like they always did. I opened the closet and pulled out my blazer from the night before and began to put it on when I realized my key had been in there the whole time.
I smiled as I looked at myself in the mirror on the closet door as it slid to a close.
“Christian, you’re so stupid.”
I said to myself. I picked up my bag and headed out the door.
Shortly after, I was sitting in my car. I looked at my phone and tried Danielle again. There was still no answer. I started the car and drove out the hotel’s parking lot and headed towards my house.
I began to think about Ms Annette and for some reason even with all the missed calls; I didn’t want to call her back just yet. I felt it in my spirit that something was wrong and it was a case of avoiding the words of sadness so they did not come into existence.
I spent the majority of that afternoon running errands and I was leaving the post office after dropping a package I was mailing out when my phone buzzed. It was Ms. Annette.
I cleared my throat and answered the call,
“Hey, Ms Annette. How are you?”
I tried to act natural.
She replied in a very soft voice
“Why haven’t you called me back Christian, I needed to talk to you”
“What’s the matter? Is everything okay?”
“No, it’s not. I met with the doctor yesterday and they told me that I have stage 4 liver cancer. And it’s aggressive. I probably have a couple more weeks left.”
I covered my mouth in disbelief. I began to shake; I could not believe the things that she was saying to me.
“how could this happen to her?”
I thought. This woman had a beautiful soul. She was the kindest to everyone she met and didn’t deserve to be treated as such. She deserved life and happiness. This was not fair. Life was not being fair.
I asked her,
“Isn’t there anything they can do to stop it? A transplant or something?”
“It’s in-operable. The doctor said I have two good weeks and that’s about it. I promise I wasn’t lying to you when I said there wasn’t anything to worry about. They thought it could be managed the last time we talked about it.”
I sat there in disbelief. Regardless of how our relationship had begun, I had grown to deeply care about Ms Annette and become fond of her. To hear her deliver news that she was dying was crushing to hear. I tried to compose myself and said,
“Can I please come and say goodbye at least?”
She paused for a second as it sounded like she fought back tears and she replied,
“No Christian. I want to walk this one alone. My kids will be here within the next few days. It’ll be a family affair. I’ll definitely be in touch soon though”
I said a solemn goodbye as I turned off the phone and began to wonder what had happened. I felt a part of me begin to wither away. I began to feel empty.
I tried to fight back the tears in my eyes but I was failing and I just knew that I was going to be sad for the longest time.
Ms Annette was important to me. As weird as this might sound due to how our relationship was outlined, she was like a mother to me. Always worrying about me and making sure that I was okay. She was always looking for the best way to be there for me and here she was delivering news of her imminent passing to my hearing. I placed my head on the steering wheel as the tears streamed down. This was a huge loss for me.
I was weeping profusely without a care about how I was presenting and then my phone began to buzz in my lap. I immediately thought it was Ms Annette calling back. I picked up the phone and turned it around. It was Danielle.
I wiped my face and stopped sniffling. I answered the phone, sliding my wet index finger over the screen. I heard her moving around on the other end and in a panicky voice, she said,
“Christian! James is not giving me Dylan. I have been here talking to him for the past hour and he is saying he won’t allow me to see my son. Why is he doing this to me?!”
I sat up and straightened myself as I responded inquiring about her safety first.
“Where are you babe? Are you safe?”
“Yes I am. I’m at the Home Depot parking lot on Fruitvale.”
She replied. I knew where that was. She was not that far away from where I was. I began to think of going down there to confront him but I knew how much I hated the man. It would have been a deadly day.
“Where is he?”
I asked her.
“He’s outside the car yelling like a crazy person. I locked myself in.”
I asked her to leave immediately and we would handle it later. She was upset because she thought I was encouraging her to allow him win again. She yelled back,
“No! He always gets his way. He has been oppressing me for years. It is not fair. I do not deserve this! You know what? NEVER MIND!”
The phone clicked. She hung up.
I looked at the phone in disbelief. I suddenly felt this rush of anger course through my veins.
I started the car and headed for the freeway. I was going to James’ house. He was not having this one.
. . . . . .
The wind slapped my ears as I hit 80 miles per hour on the freeway. I was angry.
In hindsight, I should have probably thought my plan through but in that moment, all I could think of was Danielle and how I needed to fight for her. The news about Ms Annette’s condition might have actually contributed to my irrational behavior that day. I just wanted to give her life and give her something to smile about.
I arrived at James’ house about 35 minutes later. I pulled into the driveway and for a brief moment considered backing out but then I remembered the pain he continued to cause Danielle and I loved her. I could not sit and see her feel that anymore.
I hopped out the car and headed for the door. I knocked and waited. James’ mother opened the door. I walked right past her, letting myself in as I said,
“Where is Dylan?”
I walked into the living room looking for him. She was shocked. I was sure she knew who I was but not expecting me to be there or storm into her house. I stopped between the living and dining room as I turned to her and asked again,
“Where is Dylan!”
This time around my voice was louder and you could feel the anger and hate for them in my voice. She motioned at me to keep my voice down,
“He’s asleep. Keep your voice down”
I figured he must have been upstairs. I bolted up the stairs and peered into the rooms. The second room I checked had a fan blowing and Dylan tucked away in the middle of the bed. Asleep.
I carried him gently and headed down the stairs. She was standing at the foot of the stairs with her phone to her ear.
I asked her for the car seat and noticed it by the front door. I grabbed it.
She looked at me pausing from her phone call and said,
“Where are you taking him? Why are you doing this?”
She returned back to her phone call as she stood in the driveway and gave a description of the mood and myself to the person on the phone. I placed a sleeping Dylan into the car seat and clicked his seatbelt in. I got into the driver’s seat, took one glance into the rearview mirror catching a view of Dylan and James’ mother and then I drove off.
I was making my way back on the freeway as night began to own the city. Heading for Danielle’s house with a sleeping young child in the back seat, I was driving carefully. I began to think about what had just happened. There was no bit of fear in my heart. All I felt was love. I truly loved Danielle and Dylan and this was my fight towards what I ultimately wanted to be a family. I guess I was wrong.
I was in the process of switching lanes when I looked up at the electric sign on the freeway. It had my plates on it!
My license plate number was on the citywide sign with a child abduction message with it. I was about to lose my mind. What?!
I realized that James’ family must have called the police and reported me taking him away as abduction. I realized then that it was bad.
I kept my cool and tried not to wake Dylan up. I was about 3 miles away from my exit when I noticed a police car go off behind me. The lights went first and then I heard them telling me to pull over. There was no shoulder due to the construction work. I pulled off the next exit and parked the car.
I began to panic a bit. I was not sure how things would go. You just never know in those situations. I was truly not trying to get shot.
I looked into the back seat and Dylan was still sound asleep. I somehow felt like God just touched him to ensure he “saw no evil”.
I emerged from the car and the officer asked me to get down on my knees and place my hands on my head. I slowly obliged ensuring I followed their direction. My knees felt the cold of the street as they touched the earth. I was staring into the light as the officer came towards me and put the hand cuffs on me and he began leading me towards the cop car. I didn’t argue or say a word as he read my rights to me. I watched them pull Dylan out of the car in his car seat and he was checked out by the EMT’s that just arrived.
I sat there quietly in the car as they drove downtown. Everything became clear now. I had been blinded by my love for Danielle. I didn’t notice how blurred my outlook was as I practically “kidnapped” her son even though I did it for her. The ride downtown was short. A few hours later, I was in my different clothes and about to spend the night in the holding cell. All I could think was “What The Heck Man”
. . . . . .
The Thirst Ft. Shiz by Tay
“What were you thinking?!”
“I mean I know what you were thinking but come on Christian, that was dangerous and you had Dylan with you! What if he had gotten hurt?!”
I dropped my head as Danielle rained on me. She was so upset and concerned.
I had been locked up for over 48hrs. I was under psychiatric observation for the first twenty four hours and I just continued to think about what I was going through the rest of the time. I did not regret what I did but I just knew I maybe could have handled it differently.
I looked up at her. I knew she was concerned about my well being without saying it. I said,
“Danielle, stop looking at me like that. I’m fine. It will all be sorted soon”
She snapped back with worry.
“And what should I do till then?
I don’t like you in here!”
I reached across the table and took her hands into mine. The officer blurted out,
I pulled my hands back and forced a smile. I missed her. I missed her touch. Her perfume reminded me of hugging her. I just wanted to hold her again. I asked her to listen closely to what I was about say.
“Danielle, I need you to go to 401 Attica Blvd. Apartment 1001. Go through the back and up the stairs. Press the door buzzer and knock twice.”
She looked at me puzzled like I was sending her to an undercover drug ring. I continued,
“Just listen. After you knock, wait. It might be quiet but I need you to turn to the right in front of the door and look up. Hold up my school id card that you’ll find on my cabinet in my room up to the little camera in the corner”
She looked even more confused now. I tried to explain to her why I was sending her there. She asked,
“who am I going to meet there?”
“A really good friend who enjoys her privacy. She’ll give you all the money you need and then I need you to go to my bank and deposit it into my account. You still have my account information, right?”
Danielle’s eyes grew big. This was not small change we were talking about. My bail had been set at a hundred thousand dollars. Her brain was trying to figure out what I was involved in to have that kind of money. My bail was that high because I was charged with kidnapping and endangering a minor and possession of marijuana of an illegal quantity. The weed wasn’t mine and I was sure it was planted in my trunk by James’ people.
I had told my lawyer but he told me that the drugs were the least of my worries. I somehow had to fight the kidnapping charge and even if I was released, it would be on an ankle monitor.
Danielle leaned in and lowered her voice as she said,
“Is this money from the drugs they said they found in your car? Are you selling drugs Christian?”
I leaned in and shook my head. I responded,
“No I’m not. It is from money I have saved off from other businesses that I just didn’t want to disclose to the government for tax purposes. It is legitimate.”
I didn’t think she was buying it. She asked again,
“So how come you never told me about this friend and the money from this “venture””
I knew my visiting time with her was running down. I told her,
“I’ll explain better when I get out. Just go to her first. Her name is Rosie.”
Danielle looked confused but settled with knowing she would get answers once I got out. She left and I was led back into my cell. I couldn’t wait to be out.
I sat on my bed; the bottom one of the bunk bed. I looked outside my cell which had a ray of light coming through the window outside the bars. I had hope but something worried me.
YOU’RE ENJOYING THE STORY ABI???? I CAN SEE YOU. YOU BETTER COMMENT. GOD IS WATCHING YOU IN 3D. I’m serious o. COMMENT at the END! Oya please na. I’m lowkey begging. Is it fair like this? Ehn… Comment na. YOU! Yes YOU!
. . . . . .
I yelled out in shock as I stood up in the visiting room. My lawyer and Danielle looked on. My lawyer asked me to sit down and began talking,
“Danielle came to get me. I went there myself. I’m sorry Christian. She’s gone. The whole place was empty”
I sat down and began to sob as I shook my head. This was not happening. No! No! No!!!
Danielle looked sad like she was about to start crying for me. I knew she was scared too. I tried to pull it together.
Apparently when Danielle had arrived at Rosie’s place, she was gone and of course all the money was gone. Over the years I had been spending time with Ms Annette and her friends, I had saved north of three hundred thousand dollars with Rosie and now all of it was gone?!
There was no way. I just wanted to die. All my hope seemed to be gone right there. I wanted to jump off a cliff or something. I suddenly began to feel the walls closing in on me tighter. In a flash, my whole life turned around and my future seemed blurry and bleak. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to see the light.
I had my head in my hands before I raised them up.
“They got to her”
My lawyer looked at me and said,
“Who got to her?”
I wiped my tears, sniffed in and said,
“James and his family. Rosie would never leave me like that.”
My lawyer trying to look at all the angles said,
“How can you be so sure? People panic in situations like that. She might have heard about you being detained and felt she needed to run”
I looked at him and told him it was impossible. I was basically the one that paid for the naturalization process of Rosie and her two kids. She never paid me back because I did it out of the kindness of my heart and I was searching for purpose in my life. I strongly felt that she must have been forced to leave by someone in the police force that James’ parents had in their pocket. She would just never run like that. She had seen way too much in her line of work to run from something like this. I began to get consumed with anger again.
Danielle noticed and said,
“Christian, I understand you’re upset right now but we need to start thinking about solutions and not dwelling on the past. What can we do? Are there any other options?”
I looked at her and said,
“Yes, there is another option but it might be really hard.”
She asked me
“What is it?”
I looked over to my lawyer and said,
“David, can you please excuse us?”
He began to pack his papers as he said,
“Sure. I’ll be in touch. I’ll let you know if any new information comes up.”
I shook his hand as he walked. I waited till the door closed behind him before sitting down and talking to Danielle
I started by saying,
“This is not entirely what it looks like but I need you to contact Ms Annette. She’s the only option I have left.”
Danielle sat up straight in her seat, she looked me square in the eye and said,
“How so? The same Ms Annette that kept blowing up your phone”
Her saying that startled me. I tried to regroup myself while I thought “how did she know about her?”
She saw the surprise in my eyes as she said,
“Yes, I know about her. She was blowing up your phone that morning at the hotel while I was trying to look for your keys. I eventually answered but the person on the other side didn’t say anything.
Who is she Christian?”
For a split second I wanted to lie. At this point she didn’t know what had gone on between Ms Annette and I could keep it that way but in that moment I realized that the number of allies I had were few. I could not lose Danielle to another lie. Rosie was gone, Ms Annette dying and I could not let Danielle turn on me. At that point I would then be truly alone.
I bowed my head and then I said,
“She and I had a thing a long long time ago.”
“A sexual thing?”
She asked with a look of disgust written all over her face.
I kept my head bowed and nodded. She asked,
“Are you serious? Hold old is she?”
“Older than I am for sure but that’s it.”
Danielle scoffed and leaned back. I glanced up and I could see that the worry, concern and care that she had for me earlier was gone and now replaced with betrayal and anger.
“Have you been sleeping with her for money?
Is that why you think she’ll put up a hundred grand to bail you out?”
She accused me. I sat up and put my finger up as I explained myself,
“I never said I was sleeping with her. We had sex once! Years ago! Long before you and I became a thing. She took care of me and was there for me when no one else was. Every single time I have seen her since then, it has just been for companionship. She has no one and like me, I had no one. We were there for each other. I would go down to LA and spend time with her. No sex involved.
Danielle, I’m sorry I never told you. But it was before I met you and there was nothing to tell.”
She was heated now.
“Nothing to tell! You are my boyfriend and you’re providing companionship to another woman for money!. Is she the other business you were talking about?
Wait, are there other women too?
Christian, you’re a fucking prostitute!”
The guard turned around and looked at us. I told her to keep her voice down. I said,
“No, I haven’t been with anyone since we became official. I swear on my dead mother’s grave.”
She wasn’t having it. She looked at me and said,
“You’re a liar! So that last time you went to LA, you went to be with her?
Wow. I cannot believe this. I trusted you.
How am I supposed to know you didn’t sleep with her? I hate you Christian. I truly hate you.
After all the hurt James put me through. You do this to me and my son! Did you even think about my son? Did you even think about Dylan?!
And to think I wanted us to be a family. You are never going to come near us again”
She began to get up to leave. I tried to reach and hold her, she moved her hand away.
“I’m not going to see your sugar mummy. I won’t. I will only contact her out of not wanting you to rot in here but don’t get it twisted, stay away from my son and I. We are done!”
She turned and headed for the door.
I could feel my heart sink to my stomach as she walked away. There was something about Danielle leaving me. Whenever she got angry and stormed out the place; I could feel a part of me die away. It just felt like losing my mother all over again. I watched her walk through the second set of bulletproof doors without turning back once. The Danielle I knew was probably in tears at that point but too stubborn to actually turn around or admit, especially when she felt wrong. I was resigned to losing her. I just saw no way back and who was I to blame her?
On some level I feel like I deserved it. She didn’t deserve this hurt and no matter how I tried to not hurt her, I seemed to always bring tears to her eyes. We all needed to be a united front and she needed me on her side as she braced herself for the newest round of battles to gain custody of Dylan from James. She didn’t need this. She definitely didn’t.
I was all alone in the visiting room as the guard returned to get me. I placed my head down on the metal table. The cold in the metal stung my cheeks. I looked up at the fluorescent light as it barely lit the room.
My future was bleak, everything seemed cloudy and a woman that was for all I knew dead, was now my only hope of living.
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