The Other Man

I could feel the warm rays dancing against my eyelids.  Opening them right now would be admitting defeat.  Like last night was a fantasy.  I wasn’t ready to return back to my lonely world, imagining life being different if I would have just stayed the course.  But as I heard my lover singing in the distance, this was no dream.  As I opened my eyes, this was my new reality and I was determined to enjoy every minute of it. 


For the first time in over five years, I was content with staying in bed.  There was no reason to rush anywhere.  I wanted to replay last night’s escapade.  How did I manage to get entangled in her kiss?  Her lips were sweeter than buttercream and I wanted to taste them all day!  Since I never caught her eyes open, I believed that she was feeling the connection too.  I know it sounds strange, but I saw us managing life together.  In one frame, I was prepping dinner while she got the kids off to school.  The second frame was us dancing to “Love U 4 Life” as the crowd cheered for our happiness.  In the final frame, we were on an island for our twentieth wedding anniversary, reminiscing on how we defied the odds.  You see, last night was more than just sex for me.  It was a glimpse at what love could be.


I started to stretch the kinks out of my back when I noticed Naomi’s phone buzzing.  I pretended to ignore it, but it kept on going for several minutes.  I inched across the bed and grabbed the cell.  I noticed that some guy named Carl was calling.  I started to take the phone to her, but seeing that buddy called eight times already gave me pause.  I tried to dismiss what I saw, but my imagination got the best of me.


“Bet you that’s her husband!  I bet you!  She been trying to play you this whole time like she’s broken and she got a whole husband on the side!  See what I told you?”


Quickly my heart interjected.


“But what if that’s her cousin?  Or the father of her children with an emergency?  You can’t jump to conclusions just because one person may have treated you that way.  C’mon Hamilton!  We’ve healed from those past hurts, remember?  Give the phone to her.  She’ll tell us who Carl is.  You’ll see”


“She’s gonna tell us who Carl is?  Really my nigga?  Really?  Look here playa, if she was feeling you like that, why she ain’t in the bed now?  She probably used you to get back at this nigga in a plot to make him jealous!  She’s gonna be dressed and kick your ass out! Watch what I say playa!  You already know the game!  You play it too!”


My anxiety began to build as I started to remember all those times Penelope lied to me.  How I had to work several fucking jobs while she was sharing my goodies with all the big wigs in Grovetown.  I wanted to confront Naomi.  I refused to be a sucker again. I stood up, but when I heard her voice, 


“Hamilton?  Hamilton?”


I decided to play it cool and give her a chance.  I quickly put the phone back and laid down again.


“Hamilton.  You still in the bed?”


I looked her over.  She was already dressed in her bra and jeans.  Damn.


“And good morning to you too, love.  You kicking me out already?”


“No silly!  Now why would you ask that question?”


“I mean, you’re already dressed.  I was hoping to get in some more rounds before I left”


“No baby.  I’m just hungry and I wanted to get to the Starlight before there was any traffic”


“Oh, okay.  But why can’t we have breakfast right here?”


“Well Hamilton, I have this ritual.  I normally order or eat out on the weekends.  It’s kinda like a treat to myself for making it through the week.  I cook all the time so it’s nice when someone else can return the favor, you know?  So yes, I’m treating you to breakfast.  So hurry up and get dressed!”


“But my clothes?  What am I going to wear?”


“If I know you Hamilton, you have an overnight bag in the car”


“How would you know?”


“Because you always have a game plan.  You’re always prepared.  Even when things don’t go right, you have a back up plan ready”


“So you think you know me, huh?”


“I’m getting to know you.  And yes, I would like some more of what we had last night”


She came close to me and began to rub on my shaft.


See?  Your heart knows what it wants.  So come on Dr. Simon.  Chop, chop!”


She kissed me on the cheek, grabbed her phone, and disappeared back into the bathroom.  My anxiety went back on the offense.


“Uh huh!  I told you!  Didn’t I tell you nigga!  She came out to get her phone!  And, and, she’s already dressed!  She’ll probably come back out and say that she’ll get breakfast herself and will let you relax until she comes back”


I took several deep breaths.  I needed to shake the enemy off of me.  If I was ever gonna have a shot at love, I needed to give Naomi the benefit of the doubt.  I had to trust that she was going to tell me who Carl was.  I mean, we all have skeletons.  We all have a past.  Trust me, I had no right throw stones.  Have you seen the way I stick and move?  I had to let that shit go.


I slipped on her fuzzy slippers as I ventured to retrieve the bathrobe.  I grabbed my keys from the rack and proceeded outside.


It wasn’t my steelo to come outside in a pink robe and slippers, but it had to be done!  I hurried down the driveway to where my car was parked.  As I drew near, I saw a man a few yards off leaning against his car with a cell phone in his hand.  I attempted to pay him no mind as I gathered my belongings from the back seat.  Out of the corner of my eye, I could see the man approaching me.  I reached up under the driver’s seat and got my piece and put it in the bag.  I closed the car door and there he was, standing about six feet from me now, examining me.


“Excuse me.  Can I help you?”


He looked me up and down as if I said something wrong.  Yet, he said nothing.  


“Excuse me sir.  This is my car.  Can I help you?”


He looked at me again, like he was distraught.  I didn’t want to give buddy the hands in this pink bathrobe!  Neither did I want to be on anyone’s viral video.  I slowly started to ease my hand into the bag.  Before I could grip the handle good, he spoke.


“Ain’t no need for that homie.  I just wanted to see who was fucking my girl”


“Excuse me?  Your girl?”


“Yeah, you fucked Naomi right?  That’s her bathrobe right?”


“Bruh, I don’t know you.  And Naomi never said that she had a man”


“Well she does.  My name is Carl Tenny, and we’re supposed to get married”


Written by the Wednesday Gentleman




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