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Hope by Jordan Rakei
I must have been sitting on the floor outside her door for almost thirty minutes. Kim was still in the living room as I continued to beg a sobbing Daisy to open her bedroom door.
I could hear her curled up on her bed and crying her little eyes into her “Dora The Explorer” bedspread.
“Daisy, please open the door. It’s daddy”
she went quiet for a few seconds and then picked right back up.
I knew I just had to be patient. This was my daughter and I was going to raise her the right way. I was going to be there however long it took for her open the door.
A few minutes later, the sobbing stopped.
Everything went silent and I thought she had fallen asleep. She occasionally did that after fighting for something and eventually not getting it.
She would go to her room and cry until she fell asleep. I was beginning to get up when I heard the door begin to cackle and there she was.
Looking up to me, she hugged my left leg so tightly. I knelt back down and squeeze her in my arms.
I whispered so lightly to her while kissing the back of her head as I held her close
“I am sorry baby. Daddy loves you, okay?”
She nodded, as she said nothing.
That interaction provided security for me. In letting her know that I would always be there to protect her. But I was not ready for the rest of the things that would eventually come at me.
. . . . .
I looked up at Darius as I pulled up in front of the shelter where he was meant to be spending the night with his lady friend. She came up to the car and collected the food that we had bought and she headed back inside.
I looked at him and said
“You and her?”
he looked at me and said
“No, no no
She’s just a friend”
I smiled and he continued.
“Seriously James, she is just a friend on this long journey. My wife and I maybe be separated but I still love her and respect our union. She is a friend”
I nodded to give him approval and let him know that I believed him.
I asked him quickly
“Do you have to leave?
Because if you do, we can link up some other time if you want to talk”
He said no and continued his story.
Darius called my name and said
“I’m actually glad you touched on my wife and our separation because it still haunts me till this day”
She had been out of the wheelchair for about two months and slowly finding her feet. Her job was kind enough to set her up with projects she could do at home and not need to be in the office. Or maybe they just did it because it would have been a lawsuit if they fired her.
But everyday, when I returned from work as I had now returned back to full time, she would be so flat.
She was no longer her old self.
The kind of person Kim was, she was outgoing and personable. She wanted to be out and she loved the world.
I believed that being confined in the house was taking out of her essence. She would be cold to me, there was no happiness in her eyes. There was no joy in our home.
The arguments were petty and not constructive. We weren’t trying to build ourselves up anymore. It sincerely felt like everything we did was to pull the other down.
Progressively things became really bad and we never really dealt with it. I am not a victim either nor was I a saint. I added to the problem with my drinking. Well to be clear, my drunken outbursts.
Things were already difficult between us. There was no intimacy. No sex.
No laughter. The speed at which we went downwards was alarming.
We forgot that we were friends to begin with and the meaning of it was lost between us. I tried to salvage it as best as I could but nothing seemed to work.
The reason why I say, it was shocking was because we had one night where we got into an argument. It was pretty bad.
We both said some hurtful things to each other but I think I went a bit too far. Actually, I man up and say, I went too far.
Kim eventually ended up on the bathroom floor and she was crying. Filled with tears and just sadness. Somehow I failed to connect with her pain in the moment and I think that was where I was began to lose her.
That night, I went in there and talked to her.
She eventually left and spent the night in a hotel.
James, it was bad but I never knew it was bad enough for her to give up on our love.
I returned that next day from work and we talked about it. But as usual, we only grazed the surface of our problems. Kim was giving her all I believe and I think I was too but we were not really dealing with out problems. Like to the roots of it.
I remember saying
“Kim, I’m sorry about last night and the last few months. But something needs to change. We can’t keep doing this to ourselves”
She sighed and said
Darius, our relationship is hanging by a thread and I don’t want it to snap. We are here now. We need to rekindle the fire between us”
She got up and walked to the edge of the bed and sat down next to me. Stroking my beard, she said
“I am going to give this my all. This is our chance. I’m tired but I am going to give this one more chance. Because I love you”
I swear a vulnerable Kim was the sexiest thing to me. She might not remember it but that night, we didn’t have sex, we just cuddle all night with her tucked away in my arms.
I woke up the next morning with a dead arm. She had slept on it all night.
It was actually really cute even with as much pain as I was in.
I got up and got dressed for work.
All I could think about while I was at work was how I would return home to spend time with my two favorite ladies.
The day was going slowly but I was especially calm because it was going to be a good weekend.
I had texted Kim’s cousin to babysit for us for two days while I booked a getaway in San Francisco for Kim and I.
It was the last hour off my working day when my supervisor arrived. He called me into my office I was not sure why he was there but I wanted to find out.
I finished up with an order and walked into my office. He was sitting in one of the two seats in front of my desk.
“how’s it going Darius?”
he asked me as we shook hands and I prepared to sit down.
Just making sure everything runs smoothly”
I sat down and straightened up as I said
“So, Rye, what can I do for you?”
He looked down at the ground and then at me as he began to speak
“So, I spoke to the higher ups and you know we’ve been getting hit hard with the eco meltdown. Money is tight for the state and cuts are being made.”
I knew where he was going before he even finished. I sat back in my seat and all I could think of now was Kim, Daisy and our new baby on the way.
How was I going to provide?
How was I going to be there for her? To maintain my household
I keyed back into what he was saying as he said
“I tried to fight for you. You know I would.
But it’s been decided. Effective today, your position has been terminated.”
I sat up and shook his hand.
“I’m sorry, Darius”
I nodded in response as he left. I sat back down and I was confused.
Right when I was trying to save my marriage, I lost my job.
At least I still had my home. I was hardworking, so there was a confidence in me that even through the economic meltdown, I would still stand strong and get another job.
. . . . .
The other car wasn’t there.
The clothes were gone. Daisy’s clothes were gone.
Kim was gone.
I couldn’t understand it. On my side of the bed, there was a note that read
I just sat there.
Imagine the day I had just had.
I had the hotel booked for the night. A romantic weekend planned. Everything planned out.
And she left?
Before I even got a chance?
James, it haunts me till this day. To be promised a chance and never get. The words she said to me the night before continue to ring in my head.
Like why tell me, she would fight for us and then pull the rug out from under my feet.
I was left asking “why?”
For months, I struggled with that. In those months, I saw Daisy maybe 3 of 4 times in that period.
Everything literally fell apart so quickly.
I am not a man to not take responsibility for my actions but this confused me.
Kim was not seeing it but my whole world was built around her.
She was the love of my life and the mother of my children.
How could she leave so easily?
Like why give me hope and then dash it away from me.
I tried to rationalize it by saying she was hurt and she needed to heal but
James, I hope you never have to experience that feeling but I felt empty in my heart.
I was consumed by rage and frustrations.
Trapped behind what was expected of me as a man. I was vulnerable and alone.
Continuously trying to navigate how to fight for my better half or whether to give up on our love.
That evening, I just sat there.
No words. Tears and silence.
The house would normally be filled with voices of Daisy running around while everyone else tried to stay out of her way.
And now it was gone.
I was in that same spot until Kim’s cousin knocked on the door to begin babysitting. I had forgotten to cancel with her.
She left shortly after and in the darkness of the house, it dawned on me clearly.
I had a house but I was actually homeless.
. . . . .
Darius’ story moved me, like how could someone go from being happily married with great jobs and children to just losing everything that they valued?
The mood in the car was sad and I wanted to know more. So I asked him
“how come you guys never worked it out and got back together.
At least from what you said, you never actually got divorced?”
He sighed heavily and continued.
It just went from bad to worse actually. As my savings began to deplete, mind you, they weren’t that loaded because we had spent a lot on Kim’s treatment.
I went in search of a job, the economic climate was so bad that I found nothing. And before I knew it, 3 months had passed and the bank had the court order me out.
I was on the couch of a few friends around town before I ended up in the shelters. And to be very honest, I never gave up. I still went to interviews and applied for job positions at the local FedEx spot.
Some people think that being homeless is rock bottom.
but the day I hit rock bottom was when Kim went into labor for our second daughter, Diamond and I rushed down to the hospital after taking 4 buses over a two hour journey. I arrived at the hospital and they wouldn’t let me in.
I identified myself as the father but they wouldn’t let me in. The charge nurse said to me
“Sir, your current physical state can be a threat to a new born. You have to wait outside sir”
I scanned myself. Because of my dirty clothes and my being prone to infections on the street, I understood what she meant but it was hard.
It was in that moment that I realized what rock bottom felt like.
And it hurt more than words can even describe.
PART 4 ON MONDAY with 20 comments.
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
Lookout for my part 4 next week in the middle of the week.
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