Friday, November 6, 2009

Chapter 23

The car ride to Charlotte’s house was very quiet. She was still trying to process what just happened. She couldn’t believe what Jeremy had just done. She was ecstatic that the man she wanted, no needed, felt the same way about her. She wouldn’t change anything about the way he showed her that, except for the consequences he was dealing with right then.

She could clearly see the hurt and pain he was trying so hard to mask. And he was right to feel the way he was.

To be married to someone for some years and not know they are living a double life is shocking. Charlotte thought back to one of her favorite tv shows, CSI: Miami. She remembered an episode where something similar to what they were dealing with happened and the hurt spouse wound up killing the one who was cheating for all those years. She was super happy that Jeremy was not like that character.

But, no matter how hard she tried to put herself in his shoes, she would never know the pain he was going through. All she knew was that whatever he needed from her, she was going try her best to be that for him.

When they pulled up in her driveway, Jeremy’s expression still hadn’t changed. After she turned the car off, she unbuckled her seatbelt and turned to face him.

“If you want me to take you somewhere else, somewhere you go to get away and think, I can do that. I guess it was just instinct for me to come home, but its up to you,” she said, trying to make the situation as comfortable for him as possible, given the situation.

“I just want to be where ever you are,” he replied.

He mimicked her movements and turned to her. He, once again, caressed her face.

“My god, you are so beautiful,” he complimented her.

She blushed, and him seeing that, it made him smile. She started thinking back to how sometimes, when they were younger, he would say little things like that to her, but then would make a joke or something to erase the tension it made between them. This time, in the present, there was no tension, just the love they both wanted to express for each other.

She put her hand on his and moved it around to his mouth and kissed his palm.

“You’re not so bad yourself, Mr. Johnson. At least, I’ve always thought you were the most handsome man I’d ever met,” she teased him.

They just stared into each other’s eyes for a moment, talking without having to say words. Jeremy snapped out of his daze when he felt his cell phone vibrating. He took it out of his pocked and looked at it.

He didn’t recognize the number on the screen and thought about whether or not he should answer it. He decided not to, thinking about everything that happened. Someone calling whose number was not in his phone already could mean more drama on top of what he was already dealing with. So he stuck the phone back in his pocket.

“Come on, let’s go inside,” he said to Charlotte.

He gave her a quick kiss and then grabbed the latch on the door and pushed it open. She met him at the front of the car and he took her hand, like he did at his house, and led her to the front door. He held out his hand for her keys once they reached the door and unlocked it.

Charlotte liked the fact that he was a subtle ‘take-charge’ kind of guy. He was a man’s man, but it didn’t overpower his gentle, sensitive side. She saw that in him early on, another thing that attracted her to him. She also knew that was one of the reasons that the girls used to flock to him. He had developed that skill even at an early age. She figured being raised by his single mother, she taught him how to treat a lady.

Once they entered the house, Charlotte headed straight for the kitchen.

“You want anything? I think I’m gonna fix a sandwich and some chips. I got so caught up in trying to catch up with you this morning, I didn’t eat breakfast,” she told him.

He just sat at the bar overlooking her kitchen and watched her “float” around it, effortlessly. He was in awe. This must be what it’s like to be in love, he told himself. He’d never felt what he was feeling for her with Robin, not even in the beginning. It paled in comparison. This, he figured, was really real.

His phone was vibrating again in his pocket. He took it out and looked at it, only this time to see that it was message letting him know he had a voicemail. He figured that whoever that was that called a little while ago must’ve been kind enough to leave him a message.

He opened the phone and pressed the button for the automatic voicemail. He listened to the message.

“Hey man, its me, David. I was just calling to check and see what’s going on. Robin called Rhonda and told her that you left her in the hospital and that you’re not answering her calls. What’s up, because that just doesn’t sound like you? Man, who is this Greg dude up here with her. She said it’s her co-worker, but something about that ain’t right. Oh, this is a phone at the hospital; the nurse made me cut mine off. Call me back on… excuse me, what’s this phone number? Oh, 555-9528. Holla!”

If Jeremy hadn’t calmed down a bit from earlier, he would’ve probably had a heart attack from all the anger that was building up inside him.

He closed the phone and looked up to see Charlotte staring at him.

“What’s wrong? Who was that?” she asked. She noticed the change in him immediately. She was getting nervous because his eyes had changed colors again.

He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself again. He said a quiet prayer for the strength to not blow up before he spoke.

“That was my boy, David. He and his wife are at the hospital, with Robin, and she’s telling them all kinds of lies about what went down. She told them that I abandoned her in the hospital and won’t return her calls. She lied about who Greg is, too. She’s trying to make me out to be the bad guy in all this.”

He shook his head and just sighed. There really was only one thing left to do. He told himself that he needed a good reason to do it, and by his calculations, this was as good as it could ever get.

Charlotte waited for him to say something else, but when he didn’t, she spoke up.

“I know some people, if you want their information,” she told him.

He looked at her and smirked and smiled.

“Who do you have? Pookie and ‘nem?” he laughed, teasing her.

She couldn’t help but smile. She knew that if he was joking, he feeling better.

“Maybe, but let’s save them for something that we can’t handle. I was thinking more along the lines of a couple of attorneys? I mean, that is your next move, right?”

He nodded his head yes and stepped down off the stool he was sitting on. He made his way around the wall separating him and Charlotte and wrapped his arms around her waist as she finished making the sandwiches for them.

“Finding this stuff out, the way that I did is messed up, I know. But in a way, I’m kind of glad that it did happen this way. Not only do I have the excuse to leave her, but it works out to where I won’t feel bad once everything is all said and done, don’t you think? Or am I crazy for thinking like that?” he asked her.

She shook her head and turned to face him. She kissed his lips and then wriggled out of his grasp.

“No, that’s not crazy. I was just thinking that same thing a little while ago,” she responded.

She reached into the cabinet and got a couple of wine glassed and asked him to grab a bottle from the wine rack. He suggested champagne, since that was the first thing he saw. She agreed and he followed behind her as they made their way towards the living room. He was about to sit down when she kept walking. He trailed behind her as she made her way to the patio off her bedroom.

“Wow, I could get used to this,” he said once they stepped through the sliding glass doors.

Charlotte had a huge backyard behind her house. She had two patios, one off the living room and a private one off her bedroom. The one they were standing in had 8 foot cement walls and green vines growing up and down them. There were candelabras coming out of the wall that held tall and short candles and a small intimate table and chair set off to one side. The other side off the small patio held two side-by-side cushy lounge chairs. There was a small three-drawer dresser set between them that held throw blankets to be used when the weather got cold.

Charlotte led the way over to the small table to sit and set the food down. Jeremy popped the cork on the champagne and poured them both a glass.

“To us,” he stated. “May this time we’ve spent together grow into many more to come.”

He toasted to them and they both took a sip. They sat out in the cool air and talked. Charlotte asked how Jeremy knew David and Jeremy returned the question to her. She told him who David was to Damien and Jeremy mentioned meeting him a couple of weeks before. They talked about how small Houston was, apparently, because they kind of, sort of, ran in the same circles, they just didn’t know it.

They were talking about going out to eat that evening when Jeremy remembered that they were supposed to have had Brunch with his mother that past Sunday.

Charlotte covered her mouth as she thought about it. Ms. Johnson was going to kill her, she thought.

Jeremy pulled out his phone and called his mom. He figured now was as good a time as any to tell her the news about him and Robin.

“Ma,” he said into the phone once she answered, I have some good news and some bad news.”

“Jeremy, what is going on? What are you talking about?” Ms. Johnson asked him.

“Ma, go with it, okay? Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?” he asked her.

She sighed heavily into the phone. She wasn’t one for playing games, especially when Jeremy sounded so serious.

“I guess give me the bad news. Maybe the good news will counteract that.”

“You sure?” he asked.

“Jeremy,” she huffed, “just spit it out. I need to get ready for my spin class.”

Jeremy laughed. His mom was almost 60 years old, but she led a very active life. Her and her girlfriends were always doing something. She’s been on more cruises than he could count on both hands. She’s been to Hawaii, Alaska, Italy and even France. Jeremy still had yet to leave these 50 states.

“Okay, well, the bad news is that Robin and I will be getting a divorce. Ma, you will not believe the mess we’re in right now. First of all, she’s pregnant, yeah, about 8 weeks along. Secondly, Ma, she’s been cheating on me with some guy she works with almost since the day we got married!”

Charlotte took that as her moment to leave and let him talk to his mother. She got up and started to walk towards the patio doors when he stopped talking and reached out and grabbed her hand.

Jeremy pulled Charlotte down onto his lap and changed his tone when he started talking again.

“Ma, you know what? None of that matters right now,” he said as he caressed Charlotte’s cheek.

She noticed that that was becoming a habit of his, one that she definitely didn’t mind.

“Jeremy, what the hell is going on? I told you that girl was no good! See, you should’ve listened to me in the first place. I knew there was something off about her, I just didn’t know what it was.”

Jeremy had to pull the phone the phone away when his mother started yelling.


Jeremy and Charlotte both started laughing, which prompted his mother to ask who that was. When he told her, it started a whole other round of yells.

“HA-LLE-LU-JAH! HA-LLE-LU-JAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HA-LLE-LU-JAH!” was all that could be heard from Ms. Johnson.

“Ma, I take it that you like my good news, huh?”

“All I have to say is its about damn time! It took ya’ll,” she counted on her fingers, “too many years to finally get together! It’s about time.”

“Okay, Ma. Go on to your spin class. We just wanted to say hi and I wanted to fill you in on what’s going on. Oh, and David called and told me that Robin is telling everyone lies about what’s going on. Don’t believe her if her or her mom calls you.”

“Baby, you know I never liked that girl,” she spat. “Whatever they got to say, they can do it in court. Besides, my real daughter-in-law is sitting right there beside you. Hallelujah, baby, hallelujah.”

Jeremy talked to his mom for a minute or so more before hanging up.

“You think she was happy about the news?” Charlotte asked him, standing up.

“Not as happy as I am about it,” he replied.

He stood up and kissed her, all the while leading her back into the bedroom. He then closed the curtains to give themselves a little more privacy.


Lady said...

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to give you all something to read going into the weekend. I had to get this post out today. It was burning me not to.

I wanted to get it out earlier, but work got in the way. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!!!


Anonymous said...

I am loving it so far!

Anonymous said...

Love it...Thanks.

mum said...

So good. Robin is going to do whatever she can to play the victim, but it's all out there. LOVE IT! mum