Short Story: Gladly (Flashback Friday)

This story was originally written 8/8/2008. It’s one of my favorite short stories to date. Every Friday you can look forward to a new mini-adventure. For now, here’s a snippet from the past.

Gladly ©

 Written via Blogger on 8/8/08

 By: Diamond Cartel

 *This story is inspired by the song “Gladly” by Sy Smith

Four in the morning, and he still isn’t home. This wouldn’t be unusual if it was the weekend, but it’s late Tuesday night…early Wednesday morning…however you want to look at it. Either way, the bastard is still not home…and Maya is pissed!

She’s been dealing with Jamael for three years. Three long years. Their relationship was solid in the beginning. No one could split them apart. It was like they were conjoined twins, always together…always smiling…always happy. Then one day it just stopped. No warning signs, no slow progression to change, nothing. He just woke up one day and was never the same. Everyone told her that the signs were always there. He was “too clingy” as her BFF Chante’ put it. He was “too happy” was what her brother Raheem said. “Too emotionally attached” was how her father put it out to her. She didn’t take heed to any of their warnings though. She thought they were all just jealous that she finally found someone to love her like he did. Jamael used to buy her all kinds of gifts; from diamond bracelets, to weekend vacations in Miami, to flowers just because. He was buttering her up, and once he had her marinated just like he wanted, he stopped. That was two and a half years ago, and there is no sign that he’s going to go back to his old ways anytime soon.

Five AM; still no phone call. “He must be out fucking somebody!” Maya thought to herself, becoming even more enraged. This was happening more and more often. Especially in the past two months. Was it the summer heat? The parading of loose, young girls leaving nothing to the imagination except how quickly you can get them out of their thongs? Was it his boys getting into his head? They were all single…maybe that’s what he was missing. Maybe he was trying to be like his friends and have freedom.

“Then what the fuck did he give me this ring for?” Maya screamed. She wanted to take the 2 carat diamond and platinum engagement band and haul it across the bedroom. As she sat on the side of the bed she stared at the ring, twisting it back and forth on her finger. It felt heavy…so heavy. Not because of the weight of the diamond, but because of the weight of the burden associated with it. She couldn’t do this anymore. She couldn’t stand being left alone and neglected anymore. Too many lies. Too many mistakes. Too many infidelities. She almost wished he would hit her, then there would be nothing left he could do to her. Two miscarriages, one abortion, and one encounter with the one-two punch of gonorrhea and chlamydia….she should have left him when the fire died. Instead she stayed and got burned…literally.

“That’s it!”, she said. She’d had enough. She got out of bed and started towards the kitchen. As she walked away, her cell phone rang. Quickly, she lunged across the bed to answer it.

“Hello?” She didn’t even bother to look at the number, but before she even heard the voice on the other line her stomach turned into knots.

“Maya?” A woman said.

“Yes, who’s this?” Maya asked with concern. Her anger turned into fear, thinking something happened to Jamael.

“That’s ar-relevent.” Hoodrat was Maya’s first inclination. The girl couldn’t even pronounce irrelevant right. Instantly, she knew where this call was going. “I just wanted to let you know that Jay is on his way home. Sorry I kept him out so late, but it’s been a while and I needed him to break me off real bad.”

Maya’s skin got hot. She was beyond pissed now. Not only was this chick calling her at all odd hours of the night…hell morning now…she had the nerve to tell her what her man was doing out so late.

“Are you fucking serious? You’re going to come at me with that bullshit bitch?” Maya was about to give her the business, then she stopped herself. She knew this chick obviously had no self respect, so what would cursing her out do? “You know what….thanks for the update. I’m hanging up now before I make you feel any more insecure than you already do.”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?!”

Click. Maya could barely contain herself. Her eyes were red and blazing. She barely slept, and after two thirty she was just up…waiting…wondering…fearing…and this is what was going on. The girl could be lying. Sadly, with Jamael’s history that was unlikely. She proceeded to head to the kitchen again. She needed something to calm her down. She had to clear her head before her alter ego came out and wrecked shop. She grabbed a shot glass and the bottle of Citron left in the fridge from their BBQ two days ago. For twenty minutes she sat, drank, and contemplated. Then she got up, with a sly smile. She knew EXACTLY what she was going to do.

It was a quarter to seven before Jamael stumbled in the house. He got there around six thirty, but was sitting in his car in the driveway. Maya was watching him through the blinds, becoming even more enraged as she looked at his silhouette. As soon as he came in the door, she was all over him.

“So…you finally made it home, huh?”

“Come on man, don’t start. I had a long night and I’m not up for arguing with your ass right now.”

“Damn, her pussy wore you out like that?”

Jamael stopped. He knew she knew what was going on, but was not about to admit to a damn thing.

“Here you go, accusing a nigga of shit. I ain’t been out fucking no bitch.” Jamael headed towards the kitchen.

“That’s not what she told me.” He stopped. Jamael turned towards her with a look of shock, but it came across as a look of guilt. “And there it is.”

“Who called you?” Jamael asked, in an almost demanding voice.

“I don’t know her name, and at this point it’s IRR-elevant. By the way, tell the bitch if she’s going to use twenty dollar words, she needs to at least know how to pronounce them.”

“What the fuck ever, ain’t nobody call you.”

Maya walked back to the room. She came back into the kitchen and slammed her phone on the table in front of Jamael. He shot up. “You can also tell the bitch that if she’s going to call somebody being funny that she might want to learn how to block her number as well.”

He was caught. There was nothing he could say. He recognized the number. Lisha. He tried to reach out for Maya, but she backed away.

“I have to get ready for work, and when I get back you better be gone.”

“Let me explain…”

Maya was already in the bathroom by the time he even got the sentence out. Jamael sat at the table. He was drunk, tired, and busted. A bad combination. On top of that he felt like he was going to be sick. He was so drunk that he could probably make himself sober with one more shot. He grabbed the shot glass that Maya left on the table. He threw it back in one gulp. Then he put his head down again. The next thing he knew he heard the door slam. Maya was off to work, without so much as a goodbye. Jamael got up and headed to the bedroom. He fell on his back and passed out.

Six weeks later, Maya was beginning to feel like herself again. Jamael had done a lot of damage to her physically, mentally, and emotionally, but since that faithful day when she ended it all she had been working on rebuilding what she let him destroy. Her family was surprisingly supportive. No “I told you so’s”, no “See, if you had listened to me’s”, she only got love and support which was what she needed right now.

As she walked into her home, she was sorting through her mail. She got a letter from the state of Georgia. Nervously she opened it. It was the results of the autopsy done on Jamael. They ruled his death as a result of alcohol poisoning. She was no longer a suspect of murder. With tears in her eyes, she cried with relief. She called her family immediately with the good news. It took about an hour to get though the phone calls and conversations, but she was glad she was no longer a suspect. Granted she was a nurse and had access to many medications, but none were found in his system. Just a Blood Alcohol level of .596, marijuana, evidence of ecstasy, and another brewing round of gonorrhea. Luckily, that was what he caught from Lisha.

Once she was done, she poured herself a glass of champagne. She toasted her release of being a suspect. Then she said a prayer. She asked God for forgiveness and to heal her spirit from negative karma. Afterwards, she took a sip and walked into the living room to watch the news. Since she would no longer be the headline story, she could bare it again. As she sat there, she couldn’t help but to smile. Freedom was finally hers….and no one would ever know what was really in that last shot of Citron.

Copyright 2008 Diamond Cartel All Rights Reserved

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