Yes indeed – our girl had a lot to learn about trust. She believed and trusted in God. She believed and trusted in herself. And she trusted her husband: that he loved her, that he had her back.
By now, Avid Reader, you’re probably expecting the usual he-done-her-wrong-he-cheated tale – am I right?
He didn’t cheat on her. If he’d cheated on her, she could have handled that. But what he did was – in her eyes – worse. He lied.
He lied to her about having a job. He did have a job when they first got married, but after he realised how ambitious his wife was, and that she was happy to work, he stopped working, preferring to stay home and smoke weed, drink beer and 151 and hang out with his friends from his high-school wrestling team, who all congratulated him on his good fortune. He was careful his friends did not mess up the immaculate rooms, and always made sure they were gone an hour before our girl got home from the restaurant.
This state of affairs would have continued indefinitely had our girl not had one of those accidents only experienced by women at certain times of the month. Her boss – a jolly Greek guy with four sisters and six daughters – was unfazed, magnanimously telling her to not bother about returning to complete her shift, but insisting she just go home, have an early night and get some rest. He even got the bus boy to drive her home.
The sound of ELO filled the dirty ground floor hallway, mingling with the pungent odour of marijuana punctuated by the mouth-watering smell of frying bacon. She immediately decided she would make a grilled bacon and cheese sandwich after she cleaned herself up and turned the stereo down; what was he thinking, playin’ the music so loud? She entered the apartment, stepping into a scene from Bachelor Party.
“Y’all havin’ fun?” she yelled, crossing the room to turn the stereo down. Her husband’s friends embarrassed, smiled.
“He-ey baby,” her spouse slurred, “You home…c’mere!” He tried to rise from the sofa and promptly lost his balance and fell back.
“That’s your drinks cut off!” one of his friends laughed.
“All y’all is cut off,” she snapped. “Party’s over – y’all need to leave.”
No one protested, although one of the guys made a whip-cracking sound and she was sure she heard a muttered “bitch.” But they all rose, gathering cigarettes, Zig-Zags and the last of the beer, filing out the door single file like elementary school children being led to the toilet. She locked the door behind them and, giving her husband a look of disgust, walked through the living room to the bathroom to clean up.
“You home early,” he smiled sheepishly at her when she returned. “Why you home – you sick?”
“I messed up my clothes,” she replied, gathering the empty beer bottles from the coffee table. “Why you home?”
“I kinda lost my job.”
She snorted, not pausing in her cleaning. “Nice of you to tell me. You said that shit like you was tellin’ me you lost your keys. How you gone lose a job – what’d you do?”
“I wuz just tryin’ to make some extra money. See, TT, he had this plan, an’ he said – “
“I know – don’t tell me. Y’all was stealin’ from the docks, an’ you got fired. Thanks for tellin’ me.” Laden with empty Miller Lite bottles, overflowing ashtrays and crumpled Doritos bags she made her way into the tiny kitchen. “So nice of you to tell me, when I been goin’ outa here each an’ every day, bustin’ my ass at two jobs, tryin’ to make a home, tryin’ to make somethin’ nice for us.” The beer bottles protested angrily as she dumped then in the trash.
“I been lookin’ for sumthin else,” he said sullenly. “An’ I can always sell some weed til I get another job….you know mah niggas gone always buy them some weed.”
“I know you and yo’ niggas gone always smoke you some weed,” she responded caustically, re-entering the living room and wiping down the coffee table and end tables. “Just like I know you an’ yo’ niggas need to learn how to use coasters….look at my tables!”
“Your tables. Your house,” he muttered. “My mamma called it: she tole me I shouldna married yo’ high-yella ass.”
“An’ I never woulda married yo’ stupid, lazy ass if my daddy hadn’t kicked me out the house an’ I was scared I couldn’t make it on my own!” she screamed at him. “What a fuckin’ joke – here I am, scared I couldn’t do it, an’ my ass has been takin’ care of both of us for God knows how long! What the fuck do I need you for!”
“I know, I know, you right,” he sighed. “Men ain’t shit, I ain’t shit.” He rose from the couch.
“Where you goin’?”
He didn’t answer. The only sound was the snick of the door as it closed behind him.