Across the table he sat looking at me. Tevin is the type of man I despised. He was too kind, too sweet and too perfect. I was tied to him without consent and then forced to share DNA with him that I never asked for, nor wanted.
“Honey, why are you so quiet?” Tevin asked me.
“I wish you would stop calling me that.” I replied. I was not his honey, nor would I ever be. “I went to visit your mother-in-law today. She is a cold piece of work.”
“Why do you say that?”
“She’s a mess. The house is trashed and she’s a drunk. I don’t know why I thought she could help anyway.” I meant to say that last part in my head.
“Why did you visit with her? You know, I’ve never understood your family dynamic. I know you don’t like talking about it, but I hoped one day you would open up to me. For instance, I know you have siblings, though I’ve never met them. Your dad-“
I pounded the table with my fist. He didn’t flinch.
“Why is it I’ve only met your mother? I was surprised you invited her to our wedding. It’s been three years, and this is the first time you’ve gone to visit with her. I just want to understand Courtney.”
My insides heaved from his pathetic attempts to draw information from me. He would never understand. Not to mention, I hadn’t seen that woman in eight years. Before he could piss me off any further, I decided to excuse myself.
“I hate it when you do this. I just want to be there for you.” Tevin said with a heavy heart.
“Shut up! I don’t want anything to do with you. Leave me alone!”
Before I knew it, I had my plate of spaghetti in hand and hurled it at the wall behind him. He should’ve learned to leave me alone when I asked him to. My intention wasn’t to hit him, it was a warning. I was a much better shot than that. Immediately he got up to clean up the mess. Just weak.
For a while, I didn’t know why I acted this way. I’d always been an angry person. I remember as early as Kindergarten, getting sent to the principal’s office a number of times. Cameron was always sick that year. I wanted to be with him, but April and Tony forced me to go to school. The reason I would get in trouble was because of this girl, Payton. I liked her but didn’t understand how friendships worked. I would push her around, say mean things to her, the only thing I knew naturally. She told on me each time and I didn’t understand why. I was just playing. Apparently, it’s not acceptable to be me, thus I had to disappear into myself which made me grow resentful of the world. My outbursts of anger felt like a morning stretch to my soul. It felt like a good night’s rest, it felt like-
“Oh my goodness, Tevin. Are you ok?” I asked.
I quickly retrieved the trash can from the kitchen. As he gathered the shards of ceramic, I scooped the food from the floor and tossed it into the bin. One simple action said more than words ever could. I reached for his hand to look at the small cut on his palm and he pulled away from me.
“It’s happening again, isn’t it?” I quietly asked, though I already knew the answer.
“It’s fine. We will call Dr. Rivera tomorrow.”
He stopped moving and looked up at me. I could see the pain in his eyes. His face softened. He knew I had come back to him, but I could tell he was hurting more than he ever had before. Perhaps it was fear for our children. I was close to term for a woman carrying twins. They could grace the world with their cries any day and all he could feel was fear for them. I too was afraid. Fear of hurting them, along with fear of knowing one will hurt me. I needed to tell him everything. One, if not both, of them could inherit my mental illness. I knew that had to be the reason they would want me dead. The conversation was long overdue at this point.
“Baby, I have to tell you what happened. I need to tell you everything.”
“Court, that is going to have to wait.”
“No Tevin, I need to tell you now. We shouldn’t have done this. I should have stopped it.”
He got up, pulled out the nearest chair and eased me into it.
“Stop. Come on, I’m trying to tell you something important. This is life or death. Will you stop running around the house?” I shouted.
“Courtney, your water broke!” ~
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