“Hey you . . .”
“Hey Cassandra. We need to talk”
For a man who didn’t worry about anything, I could sense trepidation in his voice. It wasn’t like my king to call me in the middle of the afternoon. His calls were normally early morning so we could discuss business and where we could meet up for . . . . well . . . . . payment of services.
“You’re old man called me while I was in the gym about an hour ago”
My heart began to bolt out of control. Beads of sweat and anxiety trickled down my face. My hand began to shake as I braced myself for what was yet to come.
“Well . . . what did he say?”
“Well . . . . . . buddy called me several times. Since I didn’t know the number, I didn’t pick up. That’s when he decided to message me from your profile questioning me about who I was and why did I take you to lunch?”
“So what did you tell him?”
“Hell, I told him the truth. I told him that I use your services when I’m preparing property for rent or sell. I informed him that we had lunch to discuss being the contractor for several hotels in town but he wasn’t satisfied. I told him that he needed to check in with you regarding anything else because nothing outside of business was going on. He started to curse at me, telling me that I was a homewrecker and some other shit. I quickly blocked the profile but buddy started calling me again . . leaving messages on my phone . . crying and shit. He asked me if I ever slept with you. He said all he wanted to know is if I ever slept with you”
I began to formulate my defense as I paced back and forth in my office.
“Thank you for letting me know babe. I’ll handle it”
“Cassandra, if this is going to cost you your marriage maybe we should stop. I don’t want to jeopardize your family.”
“No Solomon, I don’t want to stop seeing you. I’ll handle this matter with Stanley today. Trust me, I got this”
I took a minute to exhale as I sat back in my chair. I began to retrace my steps. I never kept anything on the computer or iPad. I never had conversations about our affair on social media. Most conversations were either face to face or over the phone. If we texted, the messages were normally deleted several minutes later. After every encounter, I went to the gym and used the shower there to give myself an alibi. Stanley knew how the gym soap smelled and was none the wiser. And that’s if he cared. As long as he was able to drive the Mercedes to church, every thing was fine. After all, it was me paying the mortgage. It was me paying the car notes. It was me paying for Ronnie’s tuition. And it was me giving him an allowance for the past year while he’s been out of work. If it wasn’t for Solomon coming into my life, I wouldn’t be as successful as I am now.
I wasn’t about to feel terrible for this. Solomon was exactly what I needed. He came along and breathed hope into a vision that was turning into a nightmare. My business went from me and a broom to a twenty man team with painters and lawn maintenance. And the sex? My, my, my! Where Stanley only cared about ramming my crown through the head board, Solomon took the time to address my needs. If I required a slow hand, he provided it. If I desired to be taken on my desk from behind, he could sense that too. More than anything, Solomon listened to me. Where Stanley would shit on my dreams, Solomon would encourage and challenge me to make them reality.
One thing was for certain, I wasn’t going to let Stanley take me away from my happiness. Since he hadn’t contacted me regarding his afternoon conversation with Solomon, I was going to beat him to the punch. I picked up my phone and called. It rung several times with no response. It wasn’t like he had a job interview or anything so I called again. To my surprise, the call quickly went to voicemail. How was he going to swipe me over to voice mail?
I grabbed my keys and headed toward the door.
“Stacy, I’m going to check on the new properties in Monroe. I’ll be out for the rest of the day”
“Okay Ms. Phillips”
I got in my car and sped out of the parking lot. I had begun rehearsing my counter points to Stanley’s accusations. As much as I didn’t want Stanley to find out, Solomon had taught me to always be prepared. I didn’t want this pending argument to last all night. I was tired and I needed sleep. If everything went according to plan, I could spin this whole thing and put the blame on Stanley for not being there for me.
The ride seemed to end abruptly as I neared the house. From the stop sign I could see a white SUV in my driveway that I had never seen before. As I parked along the curb, I could see the SUV had a clergy sticker on the back. Stanley didn’t tell me that anyone was coming over today. Maybe this argument would be tabled until later? At any rate, I was going to sleep well tonight.
“Hey Cassie. I . . . . .didn’t expect you home so soon”
To my chagrin, I saw Stanley’s pastor and one of his armor bearers sitting in my kitchen. By the look on their faces, I could tell that I was the subject of their discussion. I nodded in their direction and started to head upstairs. However, the good pastor wanted to engage.
“Mrs. Phillips, could you please sit with us for a few minutes. There is a matter that Stanley would like to discuss with you.
“Ummm . . . . . . if Stanley needs to discuss something with me, why are you all here?”
“Well Mrs. Phillips, I’ve been talking to Stanley and he felt it best if I was here to mediate things”
“Mediate? Stanley, what is going on?”
Stanley looked down at the table. The good reverend, sitting next to him, patted his hand and encouraged Stanley to look up and converse.
“Cassie . . . . . have . . . . have you been cheating on me?”
“Cheating on you? What do you mean?”
Then out of the blue, the sweetish armor bearer chimed in.
“You know what he means you harlot!”
I glared over at the peanut gallery. This ninja was attempting to get bold in my own damn house! Before I could read the moist mother fucker, Pastor Arnold interjected.
“Cassandra, I apologize for Minister Corvin’s remarks. This is a conversation between you and Stanley. Minister Corvin, could you please excuse yourself so that the two of them can talk candidly?”
Mr. Corvin apologized to the good reverend and Stanley and walked out of the front door, giving me the evil eye as he exited.
“Now, where we? Stanley, I believe your wife asked you a question?”
“Cassie . . . . I . . . . I went through your phone last night . . . . . . and I saw the text messages between you and Solomon David. I didn’t think much about it all until I saw the message about how wonderful last week was at the hotel”
“Well Stan, Mr. David is one of my employers. I have to talk to him for business. I thanked him for landing me the deal with the new hotel downtown. I told you about it that same day remember? If you looked at all the messages I received, you would see that there are no messages received after 12 PM from him”
Stanley began shaking his head in disdain.
“So why is he always regarding you as “babe”? Better question is why do you have half-naked photos of yourself in the phone? You’re not sending them to me! If you’re not cheating with him, then who are you sending the pictures to?”
As much as I was prepared for all other comebacks, I wasn’t prepared for the picture evidence. I forgot to delete the last few pics I sent Solomon which was gonna get me caught one way or the other. I had to keep Solomon out of this so I did the only thing I could do.
“To answer the first question, Mr. David calls all women “babe”. As for the pictures . . . . .there is no good excuse for that. I’m sorry Stanley. I’ve been entertaining one of the trainers at the gym who has been hitting on me. We’ve been talking for the past two weeks”
Stanley did what Stanley normally does when the truth hurts . . . cries. . . . .
“I can’t lie to you Stanley, I’ve wanted to have sex with him but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t violate our vows”
“But why are you entertaining him Cassie?! Why are you trying to break up our home?”
I reached for Stanley’s hand.
“Stanley, he makes me feel special like you used to. Since you lost your job, it’s like you don’t even see me anymore. You’re at the church more than you are at home. I’m the one stuck paying all the bills while you are out with your church crew”
Pastor Arnold sighed deeply as he looked at me intently.
“Mrs. Phillips, are you sure that you’re telling Stanley the truth?
I looked at the good reverend rather bewildered.
“Stanley spends more time with you than he does his own wife! So in a sense, Stanley’s been cheating on me with you!”
“Well Mrs. Phillips, if you feel that Stanley is spending too much time with me doing the Lord’s work, I will place him on sabbatical so that you all can mend your marriage. How does that sound?”
Stanley and I both nodded in approval. After Reverend Arnold prayed for us, Stanley showed the marriage crusader out. I needed a different spirit and anointed my tongue with some Hennessy and Coke. I wiped the sweat from my brow as Stanley wandered in.
“Cassie, I have a confession to make. I called Mr. David and accused him of cheating with you”
I took the glass from my lips and looked at him surprised . . . even though I wasn’t . . . .
“I’m sorry babe. I hope I didn’t ruin your business by acting childish. When I saw the pictures and saw his correspondence . . . .”
“It’s okay baby. I’m as much to blame as you. I shouldn’t have led that young man on. I just needed to feel wanted again”
“Baby, I’m sorry. I love you and I will show you my appreciation every day . . . . “
“I know you will baby. I know you will. . . . .”
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of The Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the Forthcoming Novel “Addicted to Chaos”