"Can you just stop kissing on my neck like that?" I tutted as I pulled away from Shad and his wet kisses. His lips were like an irritating hover fly pitching on the back of my neck that I just wanted to swat away.
"Damn, when is your due date again?" He asked getting up from behind me. I rolled my eyes at him and then snatched my body pillow and stretched back onto the bed trying to get as comfortable as possible. These past few days had been hell; I knew he was on his way any moment now; I just had no clue when he was going to come. And these damn pre-contractions or whatever they called it were not helping either. "You thought about going to the doctor? Maybe go and see if you can get induced or something?" Bow asked me.
"What, you think I ain’t thought of that yet Shad? Do you think I just like being heavily pregnant? I already told you the doctors won’t do anything until I’m past my due date, do you just chose not to listen to me when I talk to you anymore?" I snapped at him. Bow looked at me incredulously before he shook his head.
"Why you always gotta trip for? I’m just asking you a question seeing as your moody ass is so damn uncomfortable!"
"Yeah and I’ve told you the answer time and time again! Yo just stop talking to me!" I waved him off.
"Man I’m outta here, fuck this shit!" he sucked his teeth and then grabbed his car keys off our pull out draws. Quickly I turned back around to face him.
"It’s damn well quarter to midnight, where the hell are you going to?!" I asked him.
"Any place far the fuck away from you! Your so fucking miserable all the time these days, I can’t deal with this shit anymore!" He yelled storming out of the room. Seconds later I heard the front door slam shut him leaving me alone for the night, once again.
I knew these past few weeks I’d been nothing but a total bitch to Bow, every little thing he done just irritated me, the way he looked, the way he smelt, the way he talked, even the way he breathed irritated me it was just everything and I couldn’t help it, but I did feel extremely bad for being that way towards him, I knew he was just trying to help me, but being 9months pregnant, having back pain, swollen ankles an aching body and frequent Braxton hicks contractions tightening in my abdomen; my hormones were just all over the place. One minute I hated his guts and wanted him far away from me, yet when he was gone I missed him like crazy! I just wanted this baby out of me already.
After a moment of laying down, I figured a pot of Haaganders cookie cream ice cream could cheer me up and stop me from breaking down like the fat hormonal pregnant lady I was. Bow was gone and would probably be out for the rest of the night and I was depressed. So I slowly got up from bed and made my way towards the kitchen where I retrieved my favourite ice cream from the freezer. I grabbed the biggest scoop spoon from the draw and then waddled my way back into my bedroom to enjoy my frozen treat when…my phone began ringing. Sucking my teeth I placed my Ice cream and spoon on the side table before taking my phone from my bag.
When I looked at the screen; to my surprise, Jhene’s name flashed against it. I hadn’t spoken to this girl in near enough a month and truth be told, with the way I was feeling right now I was in absolute no mood to deal with her or her thousands of relationship issues. I knew that was probably what she was calling me about, her and Chris probably had some sort of argument and she was calling to tell me how much she either hated him or was done with him if not both. She was like a broken record stuck on the same track, especially when it came to him; and I knew her way to well to expect any different from her.
Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my best friend, dearly. She was more than just a friend to me; she was my sister. We’d known each other since we were both 9 years old where we met in middle school and had been inseparable ever since, but at some point I just had to detach myself away from her for a while. For years I’d always been the one there for her, bailing her out whenever she needed me; fighting alongside or for her throughout school. The amount of fights and exclusions I’d gotten into during high school because of Jhene was just ridiculous.
For hours I’d sit with her when she was going through her many problems, I was there through everything imaginable. Back when her mom died and she went into a deep depression I was by her side, when her dad used to up and leave New York for weeks to come and work in Los Angeles; I was the one who made sure my momma took her in and looked after her until her pops came back. I was there when her and Alex broke up ; when her and Chris continued to go through their problems and she’d call me crying all hours of the night; as far away from her as I was on another coast, I was still always there, running up my mamas phone bill just to sit there and listen to her. Even when she found out she was pregnant and her and Chris’ whole drama, who was the one that sat there with her and held her hand the whole time at that clinic. It was me. Not to take credit but truth be told I was the reason she even got herself back on track and had the one little person in her life now that gave her a real reason to smile.
There were many times I could have turned away from her simply because Jhene was so hard of hearing, and was constantly getting herself into situations she couldn’t handle on her own, but I didn’t because that was my sister and I saw it as whatever issues she had automatically became my issue it didn’t matter and It had been that way since 4th grade.
My point was, I was always there for that girl, through thick and thin; yet she seems to easily forget half the things I done for her. So for her to turn around and say what she said to me that day just put everything into perspective for me. It wasn’t even about him; it was about us, our friendship. I understood Jhene, she was blind when she was in love and always had been. It was exactly the same thing when she was with Alex as it was with Chris, but clearly 10+ years of friendship meant nothing to her. And as long as Jhene was happy and she had Chris in her world to show her as much attention as she craved for. She didn’t care for anybody else or their feelings. She was selfish and always had been. And I just couldn’t deal with her selfishness any longer; I was drained from all her issues and her problems and constantly being the person she could fall back on and run too when shit hit the fan, so when I saw her name flash against my screen, I ignored her call and placed my phone back on the table. I figured this time whatever her issue with him was, she could deal with it on her own.
Like she said, It’s not like she really needed me.
I pulled the wrapping off my ice cream and then dug my spoon into the pot taking a large scoop when the phone started ringing again. I rejected the call this time and then stuffed some Ice cream in my mouth. Just when I thought she’d gotten the message that I really didn’t have anything to say to her, my phone rang again. But this time for a blocked caller ID. Knowing it was her I grew irritated “God damn it, can’t a bitch just eat her Ice cream in peace?!” I kissed my teeth and then grabbed my phone “Yeah?” I answered pulling it up to my ears. The phone was dead silent for a moment before I heard rustling coming to the speaker.
"Hello… Tikira?" she whispered through the phone. Immediately I recognised her voice.
I sighed, “What Jhene?”
"C-can you not hang up, please" she sniffed "I’m sorry…" she weakly apologised. I rolled my eyes and then huffed placing my ice cream on the side.
"Jhene, it’s damn near midnight and your calling me just to say you’re sorry? What is it that you really want right now?" I asked her, weren’t no way I was believing that we hadn’t spoken in a month and then all of a sudden she was calling at this time of the night just to apologise. Like I said I’d known this girl for over 10 years so I knew her way to well to believe that. The phone went silent again, assuming she was just trying to think of what to say, I was quickly growing impatient "Look it’s late and I’m tired just call me in the morning when you have something to say" I said going to hang up the phone but my attention was grabbed by a loud echo of what sounded like somebody trying to kick open a door, It was then quickly followed by her piercing scream. "Hello?” I sat up listening closer “Jhene!" I yelled at her, when she didn’t answer my heart began to speed up as the banging in the background got even louder. "JHENE!"
"Tikira you have to come, please you have to come!" she panicked
"Yo whose banging like that? What’s going on?"
The banging in the background got even louder.
"Tikira I’m so scared please! I’m so scared can you come and get me please?!" She was now crying frantically into the phone; so frantic I couldn’t even make out what she was saying properly.
"Whoa whoa, Jhene first of all slow down. I can’t even get what you’re saying!"
A deep male’s voice was yelling something inaudible in the background; I tried to listen closely but even so I couldn’t make out exactly whose voice it was or even what he was yelling.
"I-I dunno! I don’t know what to do Tiki he’s gone crazy and I’m scareddd!" she bawled.
"Whose gone crazy? Where are you?" I threw questions at her quickly grabbing my flip flops and slipping my feet into them; I then grabbed the nearest jacket to me and pulled it on along with my car keys from the side.
"I’m at home, please I don’t know what to do right now; I’m scared!"
"Just hold on aight, I’m coming…"
"So what’s good with you nigga? You been here for the past 20 minutes just zooned out" I laughed as I looked over at Bow who was sat on the opposite couch with a mean scowl on his face. He’d brought himself over here not too long ago pissed as a mutha. I had no reason as to why either cause since the motherfucker got here he’d been sat on the couch in complete silence. Bow kissed his teeth and then shook his head. "I can’t deal with this shit any longer. I’m thinking of bailing out dog…" he finally spoke
"What are you talking about? Bail outta what?" I asked confused.
"Tikira man!" he snapped at me, slightly annoyed that I didn’t put two and two together quickly enough. "The whole me and her shit; I’m starting to think this ain’t what I really want any more" he quietly admitted putting his head down. I scowled slightly hearing him say this. I mean I didn’t really fuck with the girl like that, she had her little issue with me and whatever, but still it was messed up to hear him thinking this way about her knowing she was caring his seed. Plus it weren’t like Tikira was just some jump from the start; this nigga had been whipped on her from the day he met her. Everybody knew it; so where this whole ‘him not wanting to be with her any more’ shit was coming from was crazy to me.
"Nigga she’s pregnant with your kid" I furrowed my brows
"I know that bruh, but I can’t deal with this shit any more. Everyday it’s the same thing. We’re arguing back and forth with each other over the most juvenile shit. She always complaining about the shit that I do for her, I try to go and work to provide for her and the baby, and she complains that I’m out too much and I don’t spend enough time with her, so I stay at home, and chill with her like she wants, then she complains I won’t give her no breathing space. I’m like shit what the fuck a nigga is supposed to do?!" He yelled angrily; I chuckled slightly watching him. I really don’t know what he expected from his heavily pregnant girl, of course she was acting up that’s what pregnancy done to women right; made them act way outta character.
"Nigga she’s pregnant with your kid." I repeated with slight humour in my tone. Bow kissed his teeth and just looked away from me.
"Look I know she’s pregnant man, but I can’t help how I’m feeling" he sighed running his hand over his face. "It’s her that’s making me feel like this, I don’t even wanna be around her like that no more you feel me?"
"Nah nigga I don’t. To me your sounding like a real punk ass dude right now man" I admitted as he hung his head. I couldn’t believe he was really talking about bailing out on his baby’s mom like that. His son weren’t even born yet he was talking like this. What was he going to do when little man came along; things were only going to get harder from then on. It was never going to be the same between them because their situation was about to change. Bow looked at me glaring "What nigga? That’s supposed to be the mother of your first child; you supposed to be there for her! Not talking about bailing out! That’s some sucka shit you on”
"Man you ain’t had to deal with this shit Chris! You ain’t had to go through all this hormonal pregnancy shit! One day she wanna be with you; next day she telling you how much she hates you! You ain’t had to go through nothing! Both of your babies moms fucked off to another state whilst they were pregnant with your baby!" he yelled visibly frustrated.
We both just sat there in silence for a moment letting what he said sink in. All that just put into a clearer perspective of how things were for me. He was right, I didn’t get to witness neither Jen or Jhene during their pregnancies. I wasn’t there for their crazy hormones, I wasn’t there to hold either one of their hands every step of the way. I wasn’t even there to hear my daughters first cries.
It was a messed up situation I was in but everyday I tried my hardest to make it up to my little girls. Of course I couldn’t buy back time that I hadn’t been in their lives but all I could do is be the best father to them that I could be right now. Come to think of it, Bow was selfish as hell for complaining about the smallest thing like being there for Tikira because if I could change things I would’ve done anything to be able to be there for both Jhene and Jen and the birth of my kids.
“Look man, I’m sorry this shits just stressing me out man…” he mumbled apologetically with a sigh
"Nah you good" I brushed it off. I knew the nigga was just venting out of frustration, yeah I hadn’t dealt with the hormones of a woman’s pregnancy yet, but trust me I knew exactly what he was going through. The only difference between me and his situation was I had two of them to deal with, Bow only had Tikira. I had to deal with Jen when her crazy ass decided to act up AND Jhene when she decides to go off in her stupid ass moods! And weren’t nothing harder than dealing with the two of them and their temperaments. When one was good, the other one wasn’t. It was an on-going battle for me that I could never win and this nigga really complaining about Tikira and her temporary pregnancy hormones. Shit I had Tikira and her pregnancy hormones in double doses when it came to Jen and Jhene!
"And if you really think I ain’t got it worse than you, you’re crazy my nigga” I said to him “Remember I got TWO of them, which means I got to deal with two sets of emotions and two sets of feelings, hormones all that shit! You got this hella easy bruh” I laughed.
“Yeah but yours is different Chris, YOU put yourself in that situation trying to play Mack Daddy to both girls, I ain’t put myself in this situation dog!”
“What? You put yourself in this situation when your ass decided not to use a damn condom my nigga! Fuck you mean?” we both laughed
“This shit is crazy” he said looking around the room, he then looked back at me and slightly smirked “Yo, I just realised something, your actually at your crib for once my nigga your simp ass not cuffing tonight…which one mad at you then” he joked. I smacked my teeth
“You need to worry bout your own damn situation trying to crack jokes on me and mines bruh” I replied
“So I take it Jen not fucking with you and Jhene kicked you out then” he continued to laugh as if it was oh so funny. I couldn’t even help but laugh too.
“Nah not even, I’m just chilling here because I got Baby Girl for the weekend plus Jhene ain’t fucking with me cause she’s still mad about earlier on” I told him; all evening I’d tried calling that girl. I know she was still tripping over me and ol’dude fight from earlier so she weren’t trying to pick up the phone. But I already knew this was going to happen so I was finna let her trip until she calmed down because weren’t no good going to come between us if she answered the phone whilst she was still all up in her feelings. And that’s real.
"I knew there was a reason you were here, so why she trippin? What happened now?" Bow inquired, now the tables had turned.
"Had a fight with her new dude" I shrugged nonchalantly as I leaned forward to pick my soda up from the table
Bow laughed “Oh so that’s why your lip look like that huh?” he said pointing out my visibly busted lip from earlier on.
"Nigga fuck you” I chuckled licking my lip “I can’t lie though, dude had some good swings on him" Bow shook his head chuckling he then leaned over and too grabbed his soda before taking a sip down.
“I swear you and her forever fighting with somebody over each other man; y’all crazy” he said as he placed the can back on the side
I chuckled again, “Nah that’s my baby man, with her crazy ass”
“So why don’t y’all just make that shit official again? Y’all basically already together anyway” Bow said, which was true. We were together in a kind of sort of way, I mean I referred to her as my girl anyway, and she…well I don’t even know what she referred to me as but I was hoping she did see me as her man cause shit, that’s what I was. It didn’t matter about ol’dude or what ever other nigga that may have thought they were in the picture with her, I knew when it came down to it Jhene knew where it was at.
I shrugged at his comment “I ain’t even tripping off all that, we know what it is” I said. Bow screwed his face as if to say I was talking the most bull.
“So you cool with another nigga referring to your girl as his girl-” he began but the phone ringing in his lap cut him off, he picked it up and then looked at his screen before stuffing it in his pocket and letting out a deep sigh
"Who that?" I asked him
"Tikira man" he muttered
"Answer it then it might be important" I said to him
"Nah it ain’t important trust me. I’ll just call her in the morning; whatever she gotta moan about now can wait until then…”
Quicker than I realised I was pulling up to Jhene’s apartment. On my way over here I called Bows phone over and over but he wouldn’t answer. I didn’t know what the hell was going on, I didn’t know if he knew where Chris was, or if he was with Chris or if it was even Chris I heard in the background of Jhene’s phone call, I didn’t know anything! And I was honestly in complete panic mode. Never ever had I heard her sound so scared and hysterical over the phone; not ever! Her screaming kept ringing over and over in my head and a part of me couldn’t help but think the worse of worst situations may have happened.
Moving at what one would call the speed of light, I got onto her condo’s floor; I grabbed the spare key she’d once given me to open her front door up. However to my surprise the door was already left open. Pushing it wider I stepped inside as an eerie silence flooded her apartment. Closing the door behind me; I looked around the living room “Jhene?!” I called out quickly making my way down her hallway towards her bedroom.
The door was wedged shut which meant I had to tussle with it slightly before I got it fully open. “What the fuck?” I gasped to myself as my eyes came in contact with the state of her room. Shattered glass, broken vases, broken frames, destroyed curtains, broken lamps and scattered clothes from her closet decorated all over her bedroom room. It looked like somebody purposely trashed her place up. It was a mess. In the mist of it all, my eyes couldn’t help but draw to the visible stains on the floor. Blood. Blood was on the plush white rug ruining the crystal white perfection it once was.
"Jhene?…Jhene where are you stop playing!" I I began to panic
My heart completely stopped as the kicked in bathroom door drew my attention.
From where the door was open, I could see part of her hand from behind the door as if she was laying on the floor. A feel of nausea suddenly overcame. It’s like I already knew what it was, I just didn’t want to believe it. I walked over slowly as my fear of what may have been behind the door came to life. She lay there beaten and bloodily bruised passed on the floor; the light behind her pale skin was dim, making her body seem cold and lifeless. Containing the tears that effortlessly escaped my eyes was impossible and without my consent they flooded from out of my eyes blurring my vision “Jhene come on, come on! You have to wake up!” I cried shaking her but she was completely unresponsive. I checked her pulse and thankfully she was still breathing; but that didn’t falter the horrific image that was my best friend laid out and completely unconscious on the floor..
I frantically searched in my coat pocket and then with no hesitation dialled 911 just praying they got here before it was too late.
The moment I saw her limp body lay passed out on the floor was the moment I knew he’d gone too far. Hearing her on the phone; telling on him boiled his anger to a point where he was not only a danger to her, but he was danger to myself. My mind was in conflict with his actions and he was bound to win this debate. I was experiencing an out of body experience again where he was determined to take over and dominate me, control me, control her! And the small amount of authority I thought I had on myself was beginning to slip away through the gaps of my fingers. He was a very powerful source, one so powerful that he was a menace to society.
My knuckles were covered in her blood and my shirt torn at the chest. It was never meant to go so far, all I wanted to do was scare her a little, let her know I wasn’t the one but once again he took over my mind and took it to a whole other level.
How could she do it? Was a question on going in my head. How could she cheat on me, I was always good to her. And then she was so nonchalant about it, as if it was bound to happen. Had she no remorse! How long had it been going on and how could I have been so oblivious to it going on right under my nose! It was right there, all the signs, she was extra smiley and all giggly whenever he came around. She always found some excuse as to why she needed to see him. “Oh he wants to see Asia” or “It’s Asia’s grandmothers birthday” or “He’s dropping Asia to daycare” And all along Asia was just her scapegoat for her infidelity.
In fear of what he may have done next I immediately fled her house leaving the front door wide open.
Wide open to the abundance of trouble that was bound to settle her way.
It was worst than the last time, much worst. Because this time, I had zero control of what he’d do next.
Bow had left not too long ago, Tikira kept blowing up his phone so he figured he’d take his ass home before shit really hit the fan for him. Asia was asleep so the house was quiet. The lights were turned off and the only light came from the outside street lamps peeking through my blinds. I was just sitting down in my living room thinking about my life and where I was really going. In a couple of months’ time I was going to be 21 years old, I had 2 kids both under the age of 5 with 2 different women, I figured it was really time to get my shit together and for once figure out what it was that I really wanted.
What Bow said about me playing between two different girls had me thinking, obviously I wasn’t trying to be a player or anything but shit just was too damn complicated for me to comprehend. I put it like this; me and Jen as far as I was concerned were flat. Too much shit had gone on between us to ever go back to what we once had, I won’t lie and say I was happy or comfortable with the way things were between us, but like I said, there was too much water under the bridge with us. And me still having to see my PO every Thursday was just a reminder of the shit she’d put me through in the past year and a half But in the same breath it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be just letting her go like that. I told myself everyday I was going to lay shit straight for her, and just end this, clearly we just weren’t happy together, but in all honesty I still had a lot of love for her; I weren’t IN love with her but I still had something there, something that made it a struggle to just break it off with her. And it was crazy because breaking up with her should have been the easiest thing for me to do with all this shit, but it just wasn’t. I just didn’t want to hurt her in that way.
And then with Jhene it was something completely different, I loved that girl beyond normality. She was the only female I would walk across water for; she was the only girl I could genuinely see myself settling down with in the future. I wanted her to have my last name, my first son all of that. I wanted to give her the white wedding all women dreamed of, the house on top of the hills all that shit. I wanted to give her everything she deserved and if I could I would. There was no doubt in my mind that I was in love with her, I couldn’t even deny that shit because it was so clear. But in all honesty I just felt like I couldn’t put my all into her like that again because I just didn’t trust her 100% like I did before. And it weren’t nothing to do with me worrying about her fucking around or anything like that, I knew when it came down to that she wasn’t the kind of girl, but what it was due to the fact that Jhene she reacted of impulse. Rarely did she stop to think about the long run when she said or did things, she just did it and then dealt with the consequence later or rather didn’t, and that’s what fucked me up. She wasn’t the type of person to deal with her problems face on, she just ran away from them and I was always just waiting for the day she up and left again because I just knew it was coming. She could tell me she’d never do me like that again until she was blue in the face but it was always in the back of my head that she lived out in New York, so that was her scapegoat, she had family over there and a whole other life she could merge back into without me so when shit got real she’d just run back there, I knew she would and this time she’d take my daughter back with her.
With Jhene I just had more to loose than I did with Jen, and I weren’t tryna put my all into her if that was bound to be the outcome. It was bad I felt like that, and I should’ve been able to trust her words but I honestly didn’t.
At least when it came down to it l, I knew Jen wasn’t going anywhere, it didn’t matter what I put her through; she loved me way too much to just let go, she was always gonna be there for me to fall back on. I knew I had stability when it came down to me and her, with Jhene not so much.
I didn’t want two girls, but both of them made sense and in a crazy way balanced me out, but I knew I HAD to choose sooner or later.
I was brought out of my thoughts by the loudness of my ringing phone, knowing it was in my bedroom across the hall I got up in a rush to go and answer it before it woke Baby Girl up. It was already hell trying to get her to go to sleep earlier on, so I really weren’t trying to have her woken up. Thankfully when I got to the phone, she was still fast asleep, I picked it up and then frowned seeing it was Jennifer’s mother Mrs Cantese calling me, what the fuck was she calling me at this time for? Cautiously I answered the call
"Yeah it’s me…"
"Hi, It’s Angela, you need to get down to Ceaders Hospital as quick as possible" she informed. I felt my body begin to go numb,
"W-why what happened?" I asked in a cautiously