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I do? Part II

“Carson, Dave, Allison, I’d like to introduce you to my wife, Zahara.”

Devon wrapped his arm around my waist, beaming with pride as he introduced me to the partners of his firm.

I stuck out my hand for each of them to shake, smiling politely, commenting on how great this party was. It was almost scary how easily I could feign interest in these things. It was a necessity that Devon make a good impression since he was angling for a promotion to senior associate. So I smiled, held onto him, gushed at their compliments, laughed at their corny jokes, and pretended to be the supportive, happy wife.

I was almost hoping he didn’t get the promotion, but he was being invited to these mixers more and more often. He put in the work, hours and hours away from home, litigating complex corporate law. Most wives would object to their husband’s late nights and weekends in the office, but I welcomed it. The less time I had to spend with Devon, the easier my life was.

We’d been married almost a year now. He was already planning our first anniversary trip to Greece and I was looking forward to the sights and food, just not spending a week having to pretend to be happy. I could do that here because he was pre-occupied with work. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up the façade when it was just the two of us.

As I mingled with some of the other wives and girlfriends, I lamented my decision to get married and live this simple, mundane life. A life of regret wasn’t a life at all. I wish I had the strength and the courage to go through with leaving Devon where he stood.

In my fantasy, I ran out of the church and hopped in the black limo, giving the driver directions to Trevor’s apartment. When he opened the door, Trevor took one look at me and pulled me into a passionate kiss, the kind of passion I’d been longing for. My wedding dress would have been discarded on the floor without a care as Trevor made love to me, proving to me that Devon was not the man for me.

That’s what I wished happened.

Instead, I let my daddy pull me to the altar and, with my brain screaming at me, trying to talk me out of it, Devon and I exchanged vows. He was choked up at the reciting of our vows while I just repeated what was asked of me. When we were pronounced husband and wife, the church applauded, and everyone smiled at the display of black love.

All the while I knew I made the biggest mistake of my life. When people commented on our pictures online, I wondered how no one saw that I was not happy. It was almost like I had to pick between being happy and being married; I couldn’t be both.

For the past year, I struggled with being married. I don’t know how I did it. Luckily, Devon’s work schedule gave me time alone. But his time away from home also opened a door I should have closed years ago. Two months ago, Trevor called.

I knew I shouldn’t have answered the phone.

I knew I shouldn’t have continued to text and talk to him the next day.

I knew I shouldn’t have agreed to coffee the next week.

I knew I should have gone home.

I knew I had no business in his apartment, letting him undress me.

But when he made love to me, my soul came alive. I missed this. I missed him. I needed this. For almost a month, I gave Trevor what I vowed to give only to my husband. At first, I didn’t feel guilty. I was perfectly fine with having an affair with the man I truly loved even if it meant hurting the man that loved me more than anything.

Until the night, Devon came home after a long day at the office and he pulled me into him, kissing my forehead.

“I know I’m working a lot babe. And I want you to know it’s a means to an end. Once I get this promotion, we’ll be set. Our children’s children won’t have any worries.”

The guilt that choked me was unexpected. While Trevor had free reign over me, my husband was actually working for our future. Not just mine, our future children and grandchildren. He was working for his legacy. Creating a better life for people who hadn’t even been born yet. My brief stint of insanity was coming to an end. Devon didn’t deserve a wife that cheated on him when all he was trying to do was love me and give our future generations a better life. All Trevor offered were orgasms. And no matter how much I craved Trevor physically, my husband deserved my loyalty and respect.

The next day, I ended the affair with Trevor. He understood and respected it, but that didn’t stop us from making love one more time. He gave me his all, taking my body to a bliss that seemed unreal. Leaving his apartment that day was necessary, but even now, my stomach jumped at the thought of Trevor’s hands and mouth all over my body.

I was bound and determined to be a woman deserving of a man like Devon, but two weeks later, I was still missing Trevor. No matter how much I tried to shake him and how he made me feel, the life he breathed into me, I wasn’t going down that road again. I never knew I could have a physical reaction to emotional heartbreak. But I felt absolutely terrible.

I was at the nurse’s station, willing myself to get it together, but I was unsuccessful. But when I felt my breakfast rise up in my throat, I practically ran to the bathroom. After rinsing my mouth, I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked as bad as I felt.

“Girl, you don’t look so good,” Deja, my coworker commented after I returned to my seat.

“Yeah, something I ate isn’t sitting well with me. I just need to lie down for a little while.”

“Damn, I was hoping it was because Devon shot the club up!”

I cut my eyes at Deja. “Huh? Shot the club up? What does that mean?”

“Zahara, you are not that old,” she laughed. But when I continued to look at her dumbfounded, she rolled her eyes. “Shoot the club up means he got you pregnant.”

I scoffed at Deja. “Girl I’m not…”

Reality gripped my throat, cutting off my thought. Pregnant? I couldn’t be, right?

I pulled out my phone and scrolled to my calendar app. I stared at my phone unsure of how this was even possible.

Surely I just forgot to mark my calendar when my period came on last month.

Because there was absolutely no way I was pregnant…


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