If my life had a theme song it would be “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
As promised, Rock didn’t give up so easily. He was saying and doing all the right things but the only reason why he even had a chance was because Tyrell told me he wanted nothing more to do with me. I had given up hope but that didn’t stop me from still being in love with him. I settled for Rock because he was the father of my two children and being with him was a lot better than being alone. I tried not to show it but I think Rock could tell.
Rock sent flowers, took me out of town for the weekend, paid bills and was a loving father to our children. Any sane woman would be head over heels in love with him but my crazy ass found everything wrong. All I did was compare him to Tyrell. If Rock bought a dozen roses, I compared them to the tulips Tyrell sent to me. If Rock took me to Jacksonville, I compared it to the Vegas trip Tyrell and I went on. If Rock gave me two orgasm, I remembered when Tyrell gave me three. It was unhealthy and unfair to Rock but what was I supposed to do? The heart loved who it loved.
I haven’t spoken with Tyrell since that day he told me to leave him alone. To hear him say that hurt me and even though I couldn’t blame him for being mad, I was. He had a whole wife at home and he’s mad because he’s not the father of my daughter? I guess it ain’t no fun when the rabbit got the gun.
It was Friday night and I was getting ready to go out to eat with Rock. He called me and practically had to beg me to go after I told him I had a long day and I was tired. I wasn’t that tired but for some reason Tyrell was heavy on my mind.
Usually when I got with Rock, I forgot all about Tyrell because he always showed me a good time. He has a great personality and always makes me laugh. I tried to be as into Rock as he was into me but it was impossible. I was still in love with another man.
I was still applying my makeup when Rock came in the house. “Damn, woman I told you to be ready at 7.” He kissed me on my cheek. “You’re looking good though, babe.”
“Thank you, sir. You’re too kind,” I said while laughing. “I’m almost done. Give me a few minutes.”
It was moments like this that thought I could get used to being with Rock. He was considerate and always made me feel attractive. I just wish I could make my heart believe that.
As promised, I was ready to go in a few minutes. Rock brought his cousin with him to watch the kids. She loved her little cousins and they always had a great time when she kept them. I didn’t worry; I knew they were in good hands.
Rock and I went out to Spondivits, one of my favorite spots. I had to admit it was great to be able to spend time with him and it not be a secret. Rock and I were enjoying our dinner, talking and laughing like two friends. An older lady walked by our table and commented on how happy we looked. I smiled and thanked her for kind compliment.
“That smile is really something else. What do I have to do to make it permanent?” Rock asked me.
I blushed and smiled even harder.
“I know we’re just getting back into this relationship thing, but know that you’re going to be my wife one day.”
I stared at Rock and I was momentarily turned on by his confidence. I love a man that knew what he wanted and went after it. That’s the kind of man Tyrell was. But even though Rock was doing and saying all the right things, I wished it was Tyrell sitting across from me, promising to marry me. Before I could respond to him, my phone rang. I wasn’t going to answer it but it was Shay.
“Hello?” I answered relieved I didn’t have to respond to Rock.
“Hey, Justice. I hate to bother you but, can you come to the hospital to get Isaiah? I had to bring Brielle to the ER. They think her flu is becoming pneumonia.”
“Oh goodness! Of course! Do you think she will be admitted?” Shay didn’t come to work for the past two days because Brielle had the flu. When I talked to Shay yesterday, Brielle was still not doing better.
“I think so. But we’ve been up here for a little while and he’s getting so restless. CJ had to work out of town this weekend so I’m a little stressed out.”
“Sure. I’m on the way. He can just spend the night with me tonight. Braxton will be excited to have someone to play with.”
“Thank you so much, Justice. I’ll give you my key so you can get him some clothes.”
“Don’t worry about that. He can wear some of Braxton’s. Just take care of Brielle and I will handle Isaiah.”
Shay and I hung up and I let Rock know what was going on. He didn’t seem disappointed that we had to end our date and he took me to the hospital. As wrong as it was for me to say, I was kind of glad Shay called because the conversation with Rock was getting too deep. He’s talking marriage but I’m not sure I am ready for all that.
Correction: I’m not ready for that with Rock. If I was having this conversation with Tyrell, I would have been ecstatic.
At the hospital, we went to the ER and I texted Shay to let her know we were here. Rock was looking at me intently and I know he wanted me to say something about his admission at the restaurant. Instead of answering, I went to the bathroom to try to figure out what I needed to tell him. Of course, the logical thing to do would be to tell him the truth. But the truth would hurt him too bad. Maybe I should just go ahead and marry Rock. I would love to plan a wedding and slay in a gorgeous gown. The more I thought about the possibility of having a grand wedding, the more appealing getting married was. Of course, I’d have to get him to propose officially because mentioning it at dinner would not suffice.
I emerged from the bathroom mentally planning my wedding. I couldn’t wait to tell Devon so we could get to planning the event of the year. I was so lost in my thoughts that I hardly noticed anyone else in the waiting room. Until I locked eyes with Tyrell. He looked as surprised to see me as I was to see him. So as not to make it obvious, I diverted my eyes only to be met with a scowl from his wife.
As if my night couldn’t get worse, I had to see her.
Getting the call my daddy was rushed to the ER made my heart stop. My mama thinks he had a heart attack but she wasn’t sure yet. She was in the back with him while my sister, brother and I waited in the waiting room. I really don’t know who called Tyrell but right now, I didn’t care. I just needed my daddy to be alright.
Tyrell and I arrived at the hospital around the same time. Even though the circumstances were terrible, Marley was excited to see her daddy. I was actually glad he was here for her sake.
Justice went and stood next to a man and I wondered if that guy was her daughter’s father. Instead of feeling relief when I saw them, I felt anger. She was partly to blame for my family being torn apart.
We were all quiet, ignoring the tension in the air. Justice was staring at Tyrell and Marley interacting. I knew she felt some type of way seeing the type of father he was. I bet she was secretly wishing Tyrell was her baby daddy because if nothing else, Tyrell loved his daughter. Even though Tyrell apologized, the petty in me was dying to come out. I tried to hold it in but I couldn’t.
“How’s your daughter?” I said, disrupting the silence of the waiting room. Everyone looked at me. Only Tyrell and Justice knew what I meant. My sister and brother gave me strange looks while Tyrell looked at me like I lost my mind. Justice didn’t say anything so I repeated my question.
“Fallon, why are you doing this?” Tyrell asked through clinched teeth.
I feigned innocence. “What?”
“No, Tyrell, it’s ok,” Justice finally answered. “My daughter is fine. I notice your ring finger is bare so I guess I don’t need to ask about your husband.”
Devoid of all logic, I charged in her direction. Prepared for a fight, she jumped up, too. Tyrell grabbed me and tried to pull me back. My brother and sister had to help get me outside because all the rage I had built up inside me made me stronger than normal. Marley followed us outside with a look of terror in her eyes.
“FALLON WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?” Tyrell exclaimed.
“You’re what’s wrong with me! I hate you!”
“Who was that?” my sister asked. She and my brother had no idea what they just got involved in.
“His side chick!” I yelled.
“Oh my God, Fallon! Are you serious? You acted a damn fool in this hospital when our daddy is fighting for his life because you saw the woman your EX HUSBAND slept with? You’re so damn stupid!” Jamil barked at me.
I was losing control of my life. Tyrell was my life. For ten years, he was my everything and now I had nothing. I took several deep breaths and wiped my eyes. I had to get out of here. I pushed past everyone heading back inside the ER to get my purse. Raven followed me to keep the peace. My brother was too angry to even look at me and Tyrell was doing his best to comfort my daughter. Justice saw me and stood up. I didn’t even make eye contact with her. I was embarrassed. I got my purse and left the waiting room.
“Fallon, wait!” my sister called. But I couldn’t stop. I just got in my car and backed out of the parking lot. I don’t know where I was going but had to go. I turned off my phone and drove. While I drove, tears fell from my eyes.
I don’t know why I couldn’t get myself together. I was in love with him. I loved him with everything in me. It was so hard to accept that he didn’t want me anymore. And Justice…she wasn’t innocent by any means but I bet she didn’t consider what she was doing to my family. She didn’t care. And for that reason, I hated her, too.
I really didn’t know what to do. I had so much anger in me and I needed to do something to get it out. Cause at the rate I was going, I was probably going to end up in jail.
“So what was all that?” Rock asked. I saw the frustration on his face.
“What? You saw I tried to ignore her but you see she wanted me to say something to her,” I reasoned. I know he saw that so I didn’t get the point of his frustration.
“Do you still want to be with him?”
His question caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting that from him. My shock resorted in silence and Rock took that as a yes. He shook his head and chuckled a little bit.
“When you called me to tell me Tionna was my daughter, I didn’t trip. I just did what I had to do and I take care of my kids. Because you are the mother of my children, I wanted to be with you, be a family. Now, I know I wasn’t right for leaving you and getting on the road but I wanted to make money to be able to take care of my son. But even when I came off the road, you still didn’t care.”
Logic and speech were gone to hell; I couldn’t think straight enough to respond to him.
“Women like you are a trip, Justice. You want a good man. You want someone to treat you like a Queen. You want someone to be a good father. Then when that very thing is staring you in your face, you hold back. For someone like him.”
“Come on, Rock. That’s not fair! I got caught up with him and I can’t help who my heart loves!”
Rock looked at me with pity. “You’re right. You can’t. But you had every available opportunity to walk away. But from where I’m standing, you were just stringing me along, holding out hope your married boyfriend would take you back.”
I hung my head, embarrassed. Rock was a great guy but all I wanted was Tyrell. And he wanted nothing to do with me. Tonight, I saw the way he looked at me. His face registered what he told me the last time we talked: he regretted getting involved with me.
So why wouldn’t I give Rock the time of day? He was right. I strung him along so I wouldn’t have to be alone.
“Rock, I’m sorry. If you can just give me some time, I’ll-“
“You’ll what?” Rock interrupted. “You’ll get over him? You’ll finally be ready for someone that wants you?”
Again, my words were stuck in my mouth. Rock looked at me and I saw the hurt and pity in his eyes. He kissed me on my forehead and turned to leave. I wanted to call out for him but instead I watched him walk out the hospital and essentially, out of my life.
That night at the hospital was an eye opener for me. I was so hurt, angry and bitter that I couldn’t even be there for my family like I was supposed to. The next day, my brother called to tell me my daddy passed away. It broke my heart that my mama needed to be surrounded by her children but I was off pouting over my marriage. A marriage that had been over for years.
My father’s death hit me harder than my siblings. The guilt of not being there weighed heavily on me. Not that Tyrell didn’t have his part in this but some of this was on me. Some of this was my anger. Some of this was my bitterness.
After my daddy’s funeral, I was lost. I felt guilty. I was angry. I was still hurt. When I met Tyrell, I was celibate. He knew that but it didn’t bother him. He waited for me and what we created should have been beautiful and infinite. He didn’t want that. And as much as the onus of this belonged to Tyrell, the truth of the matter is Tyrell did what I allowed.
I was so in love with him until I accepted everything. People always said marriage was work and I worked overtime to be the wife he needed. Tyrell could do no wrong in my eyes, even when he did so wrong. I really didn’t understand where this huge need for putting up with him came from. My daddy was an active man in my life. I wasn’t a daddy’s girl but my daddy and I had a pretty good relationship. Maybe it was pride. No one thought we would make it this far and I wanted to prove them wrong. Maybe I wanted to show them Tyrell was mine. Maybe I desperately wanted my husband to love me the way I loved him. Whatever the reason, I put myself through so much unnecessary hurt and drama only to end up alone anyway.
When Tyrell and I were first married, he was the sweetest man I’d ever met. He did everything a husband was supposed to do. I had no worries about any other women; I was the only one Tyrell wanted. Somewhere along the way, I lost him. I blamed myself when he had his son. It was completely devastating but I stayed with my husband. Why? I loved him even though he proved his definition of love wasn’t anything close to what he promised the day we got married.
I stayed in shape for him. I glammed up every day for him. I wore the clothes he liked. I bought only the perfume he liked. I only cooked what he liked to eat. My eyes were for him and for him only…does he know how many men I’ve turned down for him? Wait a minute…
I sat up in my bed as the epiphany hit me. I knew what I had to do to get over Tyrell…I just had to get with someone new.
I grabbed my phone and clicked on my social media app. I didn’t get on often, another casualty of respecting my husband, but I scrolled every now and again. My page was pitiful. There was nothing but pictures of my family.
Everything I posted had to do with either Tyrell or Marley.
I went on a deleting frenzy and deleted all pictures with Tyrell and I and then changed my relationship status to single. I decided tomorrow I was going to take some pictures of just me. I needed to put myself out there if I was going to find a new man.
I just wanted a normal life again.
Before Tyrell, everything in my life was going fine. After him, my life was nothing but a big mess. The love I had for him finally faded and was replaced with hate. I despised him for the way he strung me along. I was so over men and their lies.
After that night at the hospital, Rock moved on with his life and any hope I had for a wedding was shot to hell. He stopped taking my calls and after a few months, I finally realized instead of chasing after Tyrell, I should have let Rock take care of me and his kids. He still took care of his kids but he refused to give me the time of day, no matter how much I begged.
I tried to stop him from seeing his kids because that would hurt him more than anything else. But Braxton cried so much when he couldn’t see his dad, I had to let them go with Rock. Then I found out Rock was dating someone new so she became my new enemy. I harassed the hell out of her. From making snide comments when she posted pics of them to telling her that Rock tried to sleep with me, even when he wasn’t giving me the time of day. I tried to make her life hell so she would leave my man alone. Fed up, she even came to my shop to tell me to leave her alone because if I wanted Rock, I should have been with him while I had the chance. She was right but I didn’t care. I was going to keep on until she got tired and left Rock alone. Unfortunately, she called the police on me and they warned me that if I continued, I would be charged with harassment. I finally relented but hated my place was reduced to just a baby mama.
My pursuit of getting Rock back made my salon suffer, too. In the span of a few months, I went from a successful business owner to a second (third or even fourth) choice stylist. Even my loyal customers left me, claiming I had too much drama surrounding my name. Even Shay got tired of dealing with my almost daily drama. She grew weary of me beating the dead Rock and Tyrell horse and just left. She didn’t even give me a notice. After I hired her on the spot and helped her with her kids, that's the way she did me. I wanted to pretend I didn’t need her but with my clients becoming fewer, I depended on her booth rent. Unable to afford to keep my salon, I went back to doing hair at my house.
I was at my lowest, so I called Devon. I was surprised she answered because she was busy getting ready for her wedding. I needed to ask her why she hasn’t said anything about my matron of honor dress. I trusted her taste but I hated last minute stuff. After having two kids, my figure wasn’t was tight as it used to be so I needed to see the style to determine if I needed to lose weight or if Spanx could handle my baby fat.
“Justice, I don’t understand. Why are you letting these men bring you down? You’re better than this!” she pleaded with me.
“Easy for you to say. Your wedding is coming up and Darren is a one of a kind guy.”
“So was Rock. But you wanted to chase after a married man that wanted nothing more to do with you. Why?”
I sighed heavily. “You just don’t understand the way I loved him. If you did then-“
“Love? You think Tyrell loved you? So where is he now? If he loved you, you wouldn’t be here. How the hell can he love you and be married at the same time. I know you are smarter than this!”
“So you’re saying I’m stupid? Cause I was in love?”
Devon was so exasperated with me. Her and everyone else these days. “What has loving him got you, Justice? You lost your shop. You lost the father of your kids, and the man that loved you. Please tell me where was the love in that? You weren’t in love, you were in lust. Nothing about this was love.”
I was speechless. My best friend was essentially calling me stupid. When I was down to almost nothing. “So you’re just going to dog me out when I’m already down? And you’re supposed to be my friend and the god mother of my kids? I’m your matron of honor and this is how you do me?”
“Listen. I have no sympathy for you falling for a married man. You did this to yourself. Your life is where it is because of the choices you made. So if you think I’m putting you down, I’m not. I’m just telling you the truth and it’s not what you want to hear. You want that fake social media love where your “friends” co-sign with your foolishness. I’m not that type of person and if that makes me a bad friend in your eyes, then so be it. But because I am a real friend and I love you, I would be doing you wrong if I didn’t tell you this.”
“Whatever, Devon. When Tyrell talked about you, I defended you. But I guess that doesn’t mean anything to you.”
“You defending me to your married piece of shit boyfriend means absolutely nothing to me and why would it? He used you and you are still holding on to some hope. I just can’t.” I heard her sigh heavily in the phone. “Anyway, you missed your deadline for getting fitted for your dress. So you’re still invited to the wedding but you-“
I didn’t even let her finish. I hung up and fell back on my bed, my tears stinging my eyes. How dare she kick me out of her wedding! And talk to me like that! Fine if that’s the way Devon wanted it, so be it. I deleted her from all of my social media pages. She didn’t deserve to know what was going on in my life.
The way she talked about Tyrell wasn’t fair. I know he wasn’t perfect, but he really wasn’t that bad. He was just having a hard time. The more I thought about what Tyrell and I had, the more I realized I was still in love with him. I went back and forth about calling him and finally decided that I needed to shoot my shot. After this, if he turned me down, I promised myself I was done with him.
The phone rang two times before he answered. “Hello?”
“Hey, Tyrell. How are you?”
“I’m good, Justice. How you doing?” he replied. I was pleasantly surprised he didn’t sound like I was disturbing him. He sounded normal.
“I’m good. I was just seeing how you were doing.”
“Oh ok. I’m good. Thanks for checking on me.”
There was an awkward silence and I really didn’t know what I needed to say next. I wanted to ask him to come over but that was too forward.
“Well, if that’s all…” his voice lingered.
“Can I see you?” I blurted out. I didn’t mean to say that but I panicked.
I was shocked he was willing to see me. “Whenever you are free.”
“How about this weekend? We can meet downtown on Friday at 7.”
“Ok. Friday it is!”
We hung up and I felt like a giddy kid. I went to my closet and tried to find something to wear. I hadn’t quite lost all the weight from Tionna so I knew I needed to go shopping tomorrow. I couldn’t wait to see Tyrell again and since I knew he was single now, I was going to do everything I could to get him back.
Friday night came and I was dressed to kill. I wore a black and royal blue dress that fit all my curves and showed off ample cleavage. This baby fat was stubborn but Spanx were a gift from God and had me looking like I was still in high school. I did my hair last week so I just decided to wand curl my hair and beat my face to the gawds. I was looking fly, if I did say so myself.
Just as I was leaving the house, Tyrell called me. I lit up when I saw his name grace my screen.
“Hey there. I’m about to leave the house now,” I told him assuming he was trying to see how far away I was.
“Don’t leave. I’m sorry I have to cancel but Fallon called me last minute to switch weekends with her so I have my daughter. I apologize. She just sprung it on me.”
I was disappointed but I tried not to show it. “Aww man! Well…do you want me to come over there? I could pick up some pizzas.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. Marley isn’t dealing with the transition well. I’d have to prepare her more if she was going to meet someone.”
I wanted to be selfish but I understood. Dating with kids wasn’t easy. I was glad that Braxton and Tionna were young and they didn’t understand this kind of stuff. Reluctantly, I let him go and I plopped down on my sofa. Rock had the kids this weekend so I was kid free, something that didn’t happen too often. I could just stay in and make it a Netflix night. But I’m already dressed so I may as well go out. I grabbed my purse and keys and headed out to make the best of this night.
“Hello?” I answered annoyed.
“Hey, Fallon. What’s up with this slumber party Marley’s asking me about?” Every week, Tyrell called to check up on Marley. She’d been going to therapy and she was doing better in school. Her therapist suggested that I come to therapy as well but I wasn’t ready for that.
“I talked to the girl’s mother and I told her I would have to talk it over with you since it’s your weekend.”
“I’m glad she’s making new friends. If you’re fine with it, I’m cool with her going. I’d rather her make new friends than to be cooped up with her old man.”
“What’s the matter?” he asked. I could hear the concern in his voice.
“Just tired. I’m fine.”
“You don’t sound fine.”
“Well, I will be.”
We were just holding the phone and I was about to hang up when he finally spoke up.
“Would you like to go to dinner on Saturday? It’s fine if you say no. I just…you know what? Never mind. I don’t know why I asked you that. I’m sorry.”
“NO!” I yelled startling myself. “I don’t mind.” What the hell was I saying?
“Are you sure? I mean, I don’t want to pressure you. I know I’m the last person you’d want to see.”
“It’s fine. Really. I don’t mind.”
“Ok. Good. I’ll pick you up Saturday at 8.”
“Ok. See you then,” I agreed until I remembered I couldn’t meet him Saturday. “No wait. I forgot I can’t go Saturday because we’re going over to mama’s for dinner. Can we go Friday?”
Tyrell paused before answering. “Ummm…yes. The office was going out Friday but I can move that to Saturday.”
“Oh. I don’t want to you to break your plans.”
“No, Fallon, it’s fine. I’d rather see you.”
I tried to hide the smile in my voice but I knew he could tell. “Well, I guess I will see you Friday then.”
I hung up and my head started spinning. Why did I agree to have dinner with him? Because I missed him, that’s why. I wasn’t going to hold my breath but maybe this was the beginning of a new us. It wasn’t unheard of for people to get divorced and then remarried.
Plus, after the luck I’d had with dating recently, I needed a normal night. Whoever said the best way to get over someone was to get under someone else is a bald face lie. In the past few months I’ve gone on the most dates and met the most losers until I wondered how single people did this on the regular. Every time I found someone half way decent, I ended up disappointed. I even tried to have casual sex but his sex was nothing like Tyrell’s. I was on the verge of giving up when I met Andre.
We met at my co-worker’s wedding and even though I didn’t want to go to an emotional event, weddings were a good place to meet new people. Andre and I hit off immediately. Our dates were fun. The conversation was great. He showed me affection. And the sex was good, damn good. I was sure Andre was going to be the man to help me get over Tyrell.
But I ruined that when he didn’t show up to our date and I popped up at his house. Andre hopped to the door on the crutches and told me he had been in a car accident and broke his leg. Instead of the compassion a normal person would have, I questioned why he didn’t call me. Andre and I argued and in my anger, I called him Tyrell. Mortified, I had no choice but to leave his house completely embarrassed by my behavior. I gave up on dating after that.
Fortunately , I was going out with Tyrell this weekend.
Friday finally came and I opted to show Tyrell another side of me, simple but sexy. I wanted to look good but I wanted to look like I didn’t put much effort into my appearance. I wore a pair of red jeggings and a black and white shirt that showed off my perky breasts. My black peep toe heels showed off my fresh pedicure and my hair was pulled up in a bun. Instead of my full glam, I toned it down a little bit. Andre told me once that all that make up was unnecessary and made him feel like I was hiding something. I was surprised to hear him say this because I assumed most men wanted that well put together chick; make up, nails done, toes done, hair slayed. Never imagined a man would be attracted to a plain Jane kind of woman.
As promised, Tyrell came to pick me up at 8. He looked handsome in his jeans, white Polo shirt and seafoam green blazer.
“You look great, Fallon,” he admitted while kissing my cheek.
I should have still been angry but I enjoyed his attention.
“Thank you. You look good yourself,” I told him.
We left the house and headed to one of our favorite spots downtown. On the way there, we made small talk and I was in disbelief at how much I was loving his company. In these few moments, I remembered why I loved him.
We arrived and while Tyrell secured us a table, I excused myself to the bathroom because I needed to get my thoughts together.
I used the restroom, fixed my hair and touched up my lipstick. I decided that Andre was right; the full glam look wasn’t necessary for every day. And Tyrell couldn’t stop staring at me so I knew he was feeling my look as well. I smiled to myself as I thought about the possibility of us working things out. Fallon, It’s just dinner. Don’t read too much into it.
In my rush to get to back to Tyrell, I walked right into someone coming into the bathroom.
“Oh, I’m sorry! Excuse me!” I said surprised at my blindness. How did I not see a whole person?
“It’s no problem,” the woman chuckled. She was just as embarrassed as me.
It took a second for both of us to realize who the other was. Of all the people I would literally run into…it was Justice.
We stared at each other for what seemed like forever. She looked like she wanted to say something but decided against it. Instead, she brushed past me into the ladies’ room. I started to follow her in there but decided I didn’t want to ruin my date with Tyrell.
I wasn’t back at the table for a full two minutes before I saw Justice heading towards us. I rolled my eyes but kept my cool. I wanted to see how Tyrell was going to handle this crazy chick.
“So this is why you canceled our date? To take her out?” she announced coldly.
My eyes went wide and Tyrell hung his head in shame. Satisfied with his response, Justice shook her head.
“How is it possible that you still ain’t shit, Tyrell? How are you going to ask us both out? On the same night? To the same place?”
Tyrell was silent, I could tell he was trying to think of a way out of this but there was really nothing he could say.
I wanted Justice to look like a fool but I couldn’t ignore the fact that Tyrell was still playing damn games. “Well, Tyrell, aren’t you going to answer? Is that why you asked me out on Saturday? Cause you had plans with her tonight?”
“Listen. I don’t know what kind of games ya’ll are trying to play but I don’t have time for this stuff. Justice, I never asked you out. I don’t even know why you’re here!”
Justice looked like she wanted to punch Tyrell in his throat. “Are you serious right now? We didn’t talk the other day and you didn’t ask me to meet you here?” Tyrell looked as if he would give up a kidney to get out of here right now.
Justice looked at both of us before storming off. As much as I wanted to question why she just wouldn’t leave Tyrell alone, I would also have to question myself seeing as to how I was on a date with my ex-husband that has cheated on me more times than I could count.
I sat quietly at the table while Tyrell stared at me, trying to prepare for what I was going to say. I pulled out my phone and contacted Uber for a ride.
“You know, Tyrell,” I began. “I really need to blame you for this but I would be less of a woman if I did that. Truth of the matter is, she is right. You still ain’t shit.”
“Baby, listen. When I called you the other day, I did have plans with her but…I could tell you needed to get out of the house. I didn’t think she was going to show up for real!”
“That’s the crap you’re going to feed me? That’s the excuse you have for me?” I stood up from the table. I couldn’t believe that even after we are divorced, Tyrell is still the same person he’s been for the past ten years. “This was a mistake, one that I will not make again. Trust me on that.”
I walked out of the restaurant, ignoring Tyrell calling my name and inviting the other restaurant patrons to wonder what could have happened between us. I tried to walk as if I was unbothered but inside I was upset that I got my hopes up for him. Outside, I saw Justice again and I was sick of seeing her. I tried to stand as far away from her as possible but when she saw me, she walked over to me.
“Can you believe him? Trying to play us like that?”
I looked at her blankly. Surely, she didn’t think we bonded over that little moment back there. “Justice, don’t do that.”
“Do what?” she asked feigning innocence.
“We aren’t two strangers that found out we were dating the same man. We aren’t magically sisters because we both left that piece of shit sitting there alone. You knowingly and willingly slept with my husband. This moment doesn’t change any of that.”
Justice rolled her eyes and chuckled to herself. “But you’re out on a date with the man that cheated on you with me? He should be your enemy, not me. Hell, you should hate him more than you hate me.”
“I don’t owe you any explanations. I don’t have to defend myself to you. Just know that if you want Tyrell, you can have him. I refuse to give him another second of my time. Come to think of it, I don’t know why you would want him anyway. I put in ten years, ten blind years. You got what? Six months of borrowed time? What has he shown you that would make you think he would be different?”
Justice didn’t get a chance to respond because my driver pulled up. I left her standing on the curb, hoping my words resonated with her.
On my way home, I couldn’t cry. I had no more tears for this situation. Even when I thought things could be different, Tyrell proved to be the same person he was before we got divorced. I really thought being away from Marley would have changed him but men like Tyrell don’t change until it suits them. I had to give up hope and find the place where my happiness lived.
I really didn’t know how I was going to do it, but it had to be done. I had to purge myself of this man. Maybe I needed to finally go talk to someone, professionally. Nothing I was doing was working. I realized how much damage I’d done to myself, my daughter, my family and my friends and I knew I needed to do heal; my sanity depended on it.
I heard once that bought sense is better than borrowed but sometimes you need to save your money and learn from someone else. A few months ago, Fallon told me that Tyrell wasn’t going to be any different but I needed to “win” so bad, I was going to show her. She gave me permission to have him so I did just that.
I got back with Tyrell partially out of loneliness and partially out of pride. When we lived together, I knew he was cheating on me but I was going to show him that he didn’t’ need to look for another woman. I was going to channel Chaka Khan/Whitney Houston and show him I’m every woman.
That lasted for every bit of two months. Two months was all it took for me to give up on having Tyrell to myself. He wasn’t going to be with me and only me. I don’t think it was possible for him to be monogamous. In the two months we tried to make it work, I spent all my time posting how happy we were while simultaneously checking every chick that was brave enough to hop in his inbox.
But the killer was when one chick inboxed me to tell me she was pregnant by him. It was so devastating and heartbreaking but at the same time, I felt stupid for even trusting his dumb ass. Reading the message that my boyfriend, the man I just bragged bought me a new purse, got another chick pregnant let me know how Fallon felt when she thought Tionna was her husband’s. Fallon called me stupid. Devon called me stupid. In a nicer tone, my daddy said I was crazy for dealing with him. And now, Tyrell proved they were all right.
As much as I hated to admit it, the borrowed time Tyrell rationed to me, the time I begged for, the time I took like my life depended on, the time that proved I was never a priority, ended up not being worth much.