Bearing My Mothers’ Scars

A Vivi B Novella

I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I have come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

Psalm 69:2

Mired Soul

Dark and austere, were the words that came to her mind as she stood behind the closed door, looking around the room, her eyes taking in the well-worn carpet, washed out bedding and faded curtains. A room  where she sensed the desperate or needy came, including professional workers who of course  had their own set of needs.  As she walked towards the lumpy bed she could feel her body sinking, of it’s own accord, upon the dingy spread.  She placed her Christian Louboutin Heels by the edge of the bed and removed the jacket of her Armani Collezioni Suit, allowing it to drape over her briefcase.  Yes this was definitely a place for the desperate or needy and she fell into the category of both. 

You see she was desperate to get away from the painful ghosts of her past, ghosts that followed her wherever she went and needy because she felt so alone.  She longed to call her mom, oh how she longed to call her but she couldn’t, knowing that she would never understand and that giving into that desire could lead to the disaster of him.  She wondered how she allowed herself to get into these predicaments.  Sighing she lay back on the bed and allowed her mind to flow to her last session with Justine.

“Alexa” Justine said looking at her intently, “why do you think you allow yourself to go through these cycles with him”

Frantically she looked away her eyes taking in the greenery, soft lighting and exotic aquarium of the office.   She was so tired and her thoughts ran together as she tried to think of a response should I tell the truth?  Would she understand that ever since that episode so long ago I have a problem saying no, that I feel I have no authority over my own life, that I am always trying to please others.  It seems to be my lot in life.  She opened her mouth but it wouldn’t come out, so she simply shrugged and replied “Love I guess” Justine shook her head “That is not love”

The jarring sound of the phone brought her out of her reverie and without thinking she picked up the receiver “hello” she said hesitantly “Tamara?” the deep voice questioned   “I believe you have the wrong number”   she said relieved.  She had told no one of her whereabouts but she knew he always had a way of keeping up with her so she had to be careful.  She caressed her slightly swollen belly, as her thoughts drifted to the moment she’d told him about their baby

“Baby you have made me the happiest man in the world” he’d said with that crooked smile “and I promise I am going to be here for you and the baby” He held her for a long time that night after a tender night of love making.  She was happier than she’d been in a long time and she just knew that they would be happy once again.

She was wrong.  It’d been 5 months and nothing had changed but now she’d made up her mind “Don’t worry baby girl, Big Mama is going to take care of you.  No one is going to hurt us anymore” she said choking back the tears as she rubbed her stomach “I’m not going to let them, Big Mama loves you too much for that, we’re going to a safe place” She reached into her purse and grasped the bottle of pills tightly “no baby a female doesn’t have it easy in this world but Big Mama is going to keep you safe.  We don’t have to go through this pain anymore.”

*******

“Oh Victor you really know how to satisfy me” Sherita’s soft sexy voice floated across the room as she watched him put his clothes on.

“I should by now don’t you think?”  he said sarcastically, smiling as he buttoned up his shirt.  Sherita rolled her eyes at him.

“Baby I know you have to go back but it seems like you just got here and I miss you so much when you’re gone.”   

He smiled at her softly as she pouted “It’s not going to be like this forever.  I’ve just got to get things in order and when it’s finalized it’s going to be just you and me.”

She rubbed her abdomen and frowned a little “Don’t forget little man so you can’t take too much time” 

He paused with his back to her, turned around, walked to the bed and kissed her belly.  “Baby you know I can’t forget my Lil Vic”

“You’d better not” she said pulling him onto the bed with her as they kissed.  When they came up for air the cell phone rang

“Baby I have to catch this” he said after checking the name “hey man what’s going on?”

“I thought you’d like to know your wife is at Little Star Motel”

“What’s she doing in a dump like that?”  The line was quiet “Who is she with?”  Victor said angrily walking to the great room so that Sherita couldn’t hear.

“Man I don’t know she checked in by herself.  I got the room number, called, she answered and I pretended I had the wrong number.   That’s all I have.”

“Well stay there until I arrive.  I was wrapping things up here anyways”  He said looking around to make sure Sherita hadn’t followed him but he heard the shower running.

“How long is it going to take you?”

“Not long why?  You’re getting paid right?”

“Yeah, but I have another engagement tonight this is going to cost you extra”

Greedy bastard he thought.  All the money I pay him and he wants extra   “Alright, I’ll be there within the hour” As they hung up Victor heard the shower turn off and went back into the bedroom. “Who was that?”

He let his eyes rove over her body; enjoying the curves that were in all the right places; except for her stomach, larger now with his son.  Well he couldn’t get mad at that but she was going to have to hit the gym as soon as she had him.  “My business partner, something came up at the office I have to go” he said giving her an absent minded kiss.  She knew he was lying but didn’t say anything.  “I’ll call you later” he said rushing out the room

“What? No I love you”

Victor slowed down and looked over his shoulder “Woman, haven’t I been telling you that all this week?” but when he saw the look on her face he turned around and said “I love you okay, I love you, now I’ve got to go”

“Well go then, I love you too” She wondered what was going on with his wife as she watched him walk out the door.  “Well I might as well get dressed” she said to herself her voice seeming to echo back at her in the empty house.  She looked into her closet and could not find anything that she thought she’d be able to wear.  Settling on a sweat suit, she twisted her dark hair into a bun and oiled down her caramel smooth skin.  She put on the sweat suit and went into the great room to call Pat.

“Hey girl”

“Well I know your man been in town cause I haven’t heard from you all week, so let me guess he’s gone now right?”

“Yes he’s gone and I’m happy, satisfied and satiated”

          “Well it’s good to be satisfied at least one week out of the month” she said sarcastically

          “See I knew you was going to go there but honey when my man gets done, the loving lasts just that long but of course you wouldn’t know anything about that”

          “Nope and don’t want to know” Pat said stoically as she finished putting the final stitch in her new suit.

          “Yeah Pat I know.  How is the business going?”

          “Moving to safer ground, that’s good.  It’s going great.  I got a new client for my casuals and a presentation next week for my special occasion line”

Alexa was proud of her friend, she had worked so hard on this business and it was finally starting to pay off.

          “That’s great Pat why don’t you tell me all about it over dinner, cause girl this baby is hungry”

“You mean that so called man of yours couldn’t feed you before he left?”

“He had to leave something came up with his business”

“Yeah, I bet it did” She reviewed her work for any flaws and hung it up to press later “I’ll be over in twenty minutes”

“Okay” Sherita said happy to let it go for now.

*******

Victor Knight loved the powerful feel of his candy apple red Alfa Romeo Giulia but most of all he enjoyed the looks he always received from the people in K’Town.  He had worked hard to get where he is now and was not going to allow anyone to spoil it. Not even his beautiful but needy wife. 

He grew up in Chicago’s Cabrini Green, one of the toughest projects around.  His father was serving a life sentence for killing his mother; he was twelve at the time.  He was adopted by his mother’s bet friend.  His adopted mother loved him, gave him the best of everything and treated him like she’d given birth to him.  His adopted father did also but because he was white Victor felt like he just didn’t understand his background and some of the things he had to go through as a black male.  They often got into arguments because Victor didn’t like the all-white private school he had to attend or the bourgeois crowd they hung around.  He missed his people.

  His mother understood this and despite the arguments it would cause, she would take him back to the old neighborhood to visit friends.  His father felt like this was a bad influence, something that would hold Victor back from the success he envisioned for him.  Victor felt that his father only felt this way because his friends were black, real black, not those stuck up people he tried to introduce him too.  Although they had this disagreement all in all he had a pretty good life.  He received a four year scholarship to Harvard where he decided to become a lawyer after passing the LSAT the first time.  Once his education was completed he was courted by many upscale law firms.

He reached the motel spotting his wife’s white Mercedes SLR, parked beside it; Reaching into his glove compartment he grabbed his Glock 17 Gen 4 , just in case.  He flinched when someone tapped on his window, seeing James, his partner, he opened the door.

          “What’s she doing in a dump like this?”

          “Apparently trying to hide from you”

The gun felt comfortable in his hand, as he surveyed his surroundings

“Any activity”

“Naw, must be in for the night”

Victor looked at him hard

 “You know what I mean”

James flicked his cigarette onto the sidewalk as they fell into step.  Victor could feel the anger running like ice in his veins “What room is she in?”

          “Up the stairs to your right” When they reached the stairs Victor nodded at James to go first.  James took two steps a time, Victor right behind him, by the time he reached the door James was pounding on it but there was only silence.  In a loud whisper Victor said “Kick it in” James held up a master key smiling at Victor’s surprise.  He inserted the key and turned the knob.  Victor pushed pass him, his gun still in his hand yelling “What’s going on in here?”  His wife’s back was to him her body curled in a fetal position apparently asleep.  James walked through the room looking for her lover but he found no one. 

Victor walked over to the bed and grabbed her, shaking her but she made no response.  Beside her he saw an empty medicine bottle and on the table was an opened bottle of water and a note, picking it up his heart pounding with apprehension as he silently read the words, ‘no more tears, no yearning for love, no pains….for my baby girl.’  He picked up the medicine bottle and seeing the label he began to shake her limp body harder, fury mixed with fear.  “Alexa wake up” he yelled but still there was no response.  He checked for a neck pulse and felt a faint beat.  “Call 911”

“Man we can’t do that” seeing Victor’s fury he spoke quickly “Listen do you want this to get out?  That your wife overdosed in a ratty motel?  Let me handle this, that’s why you hired me.”

          Victor’s eyes narrowed as he struggled to think it through.  What’s your plan?”

“I’ll take her up the road to McCleod’s you have influence there so it’ll be private.

“Okay” his eyes narrowed once again as he said softly “James I’m going along with your plan, but she’d better not die”

James gently lifted Alexa into his arms while Victor gathered all her belongings, including the pill bottle.  He maneuvered the stairs while Victor went ahead and opened the car door.  James slid her into the passenger seat so he could keep an eye on her.  Victor stood by her while he got in the car

“I got this Man, shut the door so I can go” The door had barely closed  before James sped off. 

“Come on Alexa you have to pull through” He reached over to see if he still felt a pulse and breathed a sigh of relief as he did.  He knew all the back roads and maneuvered them well as he rushed her to McCleod’s.  His mind drifted to the first time he’d met her.  She was pretty in a common kind of way.  Slim with smooth dark chocolate skin.  She was also very intelligent.  She didn’t fit Victor’s usual type of woman. 

He remembered wondering what she saw in him.  “I guess it was the money” he said out loud.  “The lifestyle, but is it worth all this?”  He hated the way Victor talked about her and how he was also playing her; but he knew some women liked a certain kind of lifestyle and that’s why guys like Victor could get them.  They were the power couple in town and some women would do whatever to keep that.  Funny though, she just didn’t seem like that type of woman.  “Come on Alexa you got everything you could ever want, the husband, career and now the baby.  You have to fight”

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Photo Credit: https://unsplash.com/@nynnes

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