“Are you sure about this Stanley? Just because she asked you to hear her out doesn’t mean that you have oblige her”
I had to admit, a part of me didn’t want to go. It had been six weeks since I left the house. There really wasn’t anything to talk about. Cassandra couldn’t tap dance her way out of this no matter how hard she tried! But still, I loved her . . . .
“Well Henry, I want to hear her out”
“Which is what I can’t understand right now. Didn’t you say this side piece came to your house?”
I didn’t want to go there but I had to. As far as the congregation was concerned, things were ideal between me and Cassandra. Everyone was unaware about the mediation that Cassandra and I had with Pastor almost a year ago. I had suspected my better half of cheating then, but had no concrete evidence. However since the intercession, Cassandra had been the most supportive, attentive, and loving wife any man could ask for! With her support, I was able to acquire a new gig in two weeks! My blessed union was now being ruined by this whoremonger! And here I sat, trying to get over recurring images of this marauder spraying himself all in my wife’s mouth! The same mouth that I kissed every night! Needless to say, my temper began to get the best of me . . .
“Yes! This motherfucker came to my house right after we finished dinner! He had the gall to tell me to my fucking face that I wasn’t man enough to satisfy Cassie! That nigga told me that he was not going to live a lie any longer and that I needed to leave! Can you believe that nigga asked me to leave my own godda . . . . .”
Minister Henry waved me down as the pancake patrons began to gawk at us. I didn’t realize that I had gotten so loud. I sipped some of my sweet tea in an effort to stifle my rage.
“I can understand you being upset Stan. If we need to sit in the car so you can yell in peace, then let’s do that. I don’t think all of Athens needs to be in your business. You know how small this town is!”
I nodded in agreement. I took a few more swigs of my beverage before I continued.
“According to dude, he had been seeing Cassie for a little over a month now. He said that he was tired of meeting in hotels and rental properties and wanted to be the only one”
“I’m almost afraid to ask. What did you do after he said that?”
“Henry, I wanted to punch the shit out of him! But seeing that he was built like the Rock on steroids, I did the only thing I could do; I grabbed my gun”
“Don’t worry, I didn’t kill him! Now if I would have had my specs on at the time, we’d probably be having this conversation behind six feet of glass rather than IHOP!”
“I see. So you’ve been away from your wife for over a month? Does Ronnie know about this?”
“No, thank goodness! He’s working this summer at The Six in Atlanta”
“Well that’s good. So since your wife has the house, which hotel have you been staying at?”
I paused for a moment. I didn’t want to disclose the truth. I didn’t know if Henry could be trusted.
“I . . . . . I’m not exactly staying in a hotel . . . .”
“Not exactly a hotel huh? Let me guess, you’re laying your burdens down at Sis. Bailey’s house?”
I felt a cold rush of wind whip across my face! I needed a good lie . . . .
“I’m staying in her basement apartment Henry! Honest! I give her some money for the groceries and rent . . . . . ”
“Look man, I’m not here to judge you. I can believe that you’re not doing anything with Sis Bailey. However, word around town is that she is quick to give it up. If these Athenians find out you’re living there, it would be bad for optics. Catch my drift?”
“What if I was getting something on the side from Sis Bailey? Would that be so wrong?”
“Yes . . . . yes it would! You can’t compound a mess by adding more to it! C’mon Stan!”
“Well to ease your mind reverend, I haven’t smashed her. I’m not going to give Cassie more ammunition in the divorce proceedings! I just needed something to fit my budget while I continue paying the mortgage and bills at the house”
“You never asked me Stan?”
“I didn’t want anyone in the middle of this, especially my brothers in the ministry”
“I see. Well it’s seems like you’ve got everything accounted for”
“But what should I do Henry? Should I try?”
“I really don’t know why you should continue to waste your time my brother. Your wife has been cheating on you for some time now. Hell, she probably got buddy up in your house right now! I think it’s time that you move on Stan”
I sat my sandwich down and began to scratch my head. I couldn’t fathom why my brother in Christ (who I thought was here to encourage my strength) was now trying to convince me to bail on my marriage?
“What about trying to work this out reverend?
“My brother, things are different in 2017. You don’t have to stay in a home with a cheater like our parents did back in the day! Our mothers and grandmothers were so miserable that they were sleeping in different beds in the same room!”
“That may be so, but I don’t subscribe to that”
“Well then you’re a fool!”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from my covering! He was giving me advice to break my family apart!
“Isn’t that what you wanted to hear? I mean, that is what you were angling for right? You wanted me to justify you leaving your spouse correct? After all, those television counselors are selling that same fiction right?
I paused for a moment. I stared at my friend as he continued to sip on his coffee with a slight smile on his face.
“So you weren’t being serious about leaving her huh?”
“Listen Stanley. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. I see so many people say that they want to be lead in the right direction, but they only want you to justify their selfishness. Whether they were the one that was wronged or if they were the one committing the sin, they want to be absolved. When I begin to speak about Hosea and Gomer to the Single’s Ministry at church, everyone turns a deaf ear to Hosea’s forgiveness! Everyone believes that every marriage should be like the Huxtables. But marriage is work! Lots of work! People make mistakes!”
“You do know that the story of Hosea and Gomer never took place right Henry? That the writer used the story as a metaphor to talk about God’s undying love?”
The honorable cleric just smiled.
“So you don’t believe that any man could love a woman who has committed transgressions against him?”
“Honestly I don’t. I mean what man in his right mind would forgive a woman who continues to sleep around with every dick she can find?”
“Yet here you sit, asking me for my words of wisdom”
I dropped my fork on the floor! The good minister sat across from me smiling with his fore finger across his lips. I had already lost the debate before it could even begin!
“Look Stan, I wish I could give you my own personal account of marriage but truth be told, I’m still figuring things out as well. When I divorced my wife seven years ago, it was the worst mistake I could have ever made. I had all these so called ministers of the gospel in my ear telling me what I needed to do even though I was the one wrong! I let pride get the best of me and I lost a good woman for that”
“Yes, and believe it or not, I’m not the best person to give advice. You would be better served talking to Bishop about the matter. I’m single. I can only tell you about my mistakes and how not to make them. I can’t tell you how to sustain a marriage in the midst of chaos. I flunked that class!”
“But people are giving their opinion all the time?”
“Yes, and that’s the problem. People are giving their opinions and it’s mostly singles! I was doing that at one point as well but all singles can teach you is how to stay single! Listen my man, if I were you, I would fight for your marriage. Listen to her side of the story”
“But why should I listen to all of that?”
“Because it will give you a better understanding and you both can start to fix the problem”
I couldn’t do anything but agree. With a little hesitation, our waitress came over with the bill.
“It’s okay darling, my friend is not going to hurt you. He just needed to get something off his chest”
The petite angel smiled as my companion took the check.
“Henry, I got this! I requested this meeting”
“Indeed, but the more time you sit here, the less time you have to meet with your wife. Go fight for her!”
“But aren’t we going to pray before we leave?”
“Go in peace!”
I smiled and shook my brother’s hand and headed out of the restaurant. I took out my phone to see that Cassandra had called several times. My body began to tingle. My head and eyes were beginning to spin. I took a deep breath and hit redial.
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman