Chapter 10 (Ava)

            Fuck  it. It’s now or never. Ava thought as she walked toward the building she had been circling for the last 45 minutes as she struggled to find the nerve to enter the club.  She was relying on her mom to talk her out of going in the first place, but when she didn’t answer, Ava threw caution to the wind.

Twerk  twerk twerk twerk twerk dat ass!” banged through the speakers as the half-naked girl exited the stage.

“Y’all show some love for Moet. Next up we got one of the baddest bitches out of Houston hitting the stage.”

         Damn! Sure hate I missed Moet. It must’ve been one hell of a show because the crowd definitely made it rain for her.  It was my first time inside a strip club, and I had on so many disguises that I barely recognized myself. I had no idea what to expect. But I didn’t want to run into anybody I knew.  Attempting to be low key, I took a seat at a table near the back of the club.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“No thanks. I’m good for now.”

“You sure? Cause you really look like you could use a lil sumin right about now.”

“What do you mean I look like I could use summin?”

“It’s just that…this is your first time in a strip club am I right?”

“Of course not. I hit the strip club all the time. This is my first time coming to this one, but not my first time in the club, come on now.”

“Yeah okay, whatever you say. You walk up in this bitch lookin like you in the witness protection program sitting way in the back, and I’m supposed to believe you hit the club on the regular?  Boo please.”

“I really don’t care what you believe. I said I’m cool right now. Tell me something, Cherry is it? Does your manager know how you speak to his customers?”

“Whoa!  Hold up sweetie. I didn’t mean to get all up in your business like that. I’m just trying to make sure you have a good time that’s all.

“Who says I’m not having a good time already?”

“Well for starters, you’re sitting in the back of the club, wearing shades, looking scared to death with this jacked up wig on.  It’s cool though, cause I’m bout to bring you summin to take care of all that, give me one second”

“I said I’m goo…”  Well, whatever then. If she wants to bring me a free drink then who am I to say no? I didn’t want to admit it but she was right. I was looking kind of stupid in that wig. I was 207 miles away from home. Plus if I did run into somebody I knew what could they say to me? After all, we would be sitting in the same place doing the same exact thing.

I don’t know what Cherry brought me but it was good as hell. I had already downed two glasses and was working on my third.  I had loosened up so much that I even agreed to a private lap dance. Now I have received lap dances from men in the past, and don’t get me wrong they were hot; but this shit here was off the fucking chain!  I Like by Jeremih filled the room as Flap JaXXXs made her way over to me after sliding down the pole seductively to 50 Cent’s Ayo Technology. Up close she was even more gorgeous than she appeared on stage. She had Caramel soft skin with big saucer shaped green eyes. She had a seductive smile that enticed her victims into her web of temptation. She dropped to her knees and crawled towards me. “Damn,” I thought. “There’s that feeling again.” I allowed my eyes to caress over her shoulders and down to her succulent breasts. I tried to bury that “feeling” like I had for so many years. I watched the way her hips swayed as she crept my way. The way her round ass swallowed that green thong made something in me stir. I succumbed to that feeling. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to kiss her breasts. “Shit,” I said barely above a whisper. Flap JaXXXs had rolled over to her back and had her face between my legs. What she didn’t know was that she could have me if she wanted. There. I said it. I. Like. Women.

That was the first time Ava had admitted to herself that she was gay. She couldn’t even consider herself bi-sexual because Kai didn’t please all of her totally. Admitting her sexuality was like having the weight of the world lifted off her shoulders. Now that the hard part had been done, it was time to indulge…

I took a twenty-dollar bill out of my pocket and rubbed it between her plump breasts. She sat up just enough to retrieve the money between her teeth. The song changed to Juvenile’s Back Dat Ass Up. She wore a look that said, “Aw hell yea!” This woman threw her hair and twisted her body around so I could see her slide her hand between her thighs. Why was she fucking with me? She stood up, and gyrated her hips to the beat. When the hook played, her ass bounced like it had a mind of it’s own! I was mesmerized. Impressed to say the least. She straddled my lap, grabbed my hands and made me hold her ass. “I know you want to,” Flap JaXXXs purred. Maybe she did know she could have me. Right on cue, as if reading my thoughts, she squeezed both of her breasts together and put her left nipple on my lip like a mother would to a newborn. So like a newborn I took it in my mouth. I tickled her nipple with my tongue and immediately knew I would have Flap JaXXXs in my bed that night. I hated to cheat on Kai, but this bitch was bad. She threw her head back and said, “I get off in about two hours, don’t leave.”

“Give me a reason not to,” I told her. The flirting had me wet as hell.

She leaned back a little, reached between her legs, fingered herself, then slid her finger into my mouth. “That’s why,” she said then sashayed off.

She smelled like water and tasted like honey. Not realizing we had a small crowd surrounding us, I smiled and started texting on my phone. I tipped a few more dancers and had Cherry to bring me a lot more drinks. I sat my horny broke ass there for two and a half hours. Right when I was preparing to leave, one of the other dancers slid a piece of paper on my table as she walked by. Stupefied, I opened it. Flap JaXXXs had written her number and address on the paper. Her note told me she left about thirty minutes ago and wanted to freshen up before I got there.

“Don’t keep me waiting.


was how she ended her note. I finished my last drink and walked out as smoothly as possible. The liquid courage Cherry kept bringing gave me the gall to drive the three blocks to JaXXXs’s house. I sat in her driveway with eight million questions booming through my head. What would I do to her? What would she do to me? Would this be a one-night stand? Did she already have a lover? Was this a set-up? The front door opened and there stood JaXXXs in a red silk robe, wide open. Not another question clouded my judgment. I didn’t know what I was walking into, but I damn sure was walking in!

Chapter 9 (Summer)


         With the soulful acoustics of India Arie’s “Get It Together” playing in the background, Summer sat in her SUV wondering why she had ever gotten married in the first place. She had driven aimlessly until she ended up on Riverfront Drive. While she overlooked The Mighty Mississippi River, angry lines creased her mouth and forehead. She thought about her husband and all he meant to her. Summer and Jason had grown up together. They met in middle school and had been inseparable ever since. From middle school sports, to high school organizations, to college sweethearts it had always been just the two of them.

         Like any relationship, they had their problems, but everyone knew that Summer and Jason had the type of love that could withstand any dilemma. Summer and Jason chose different paths after high school, which resulted in a breakup during college. Against her better wishes, she moved back to Memphis to be with Jason. He had gotten in touch with Summer out of the blue one day and they instantly picked up where they left off. The earth shattering sex, the sweet conversations, the genuine kind gestures, were all enough for Summer to pack up and haul it back to Memphis.

         About six months after relocating, Jason proposed. They attended pre-marital counseling and the pastor said something Summer knew she would carry with her forever. He asked Summer what made her not only fall in love with, but agree to marry Jason? Summer’s reply was instant and it didn’t take much response time. “He completes me. Without him, I’m whole, but with him I’m so complete. His love makes me feel full, the kind of right-after-Thanksgiving-dinner at MaDear’s house type full. He makes me high and forgetful, and I desire him the same now as I did years ago. Pastor, it’s always been him. No man makes me cry tears of pain and joy in one setting, but him. He’s my other half. No matter what he brings to the table, he has my support, even when I don’t agree. I want to give him the love that I feel in my heart because I want him to know how it feels to be loved that much. I never want to let him go. I never want to go a day without inhaling him and breathing his love. My desire for this man runs deep, so much so, that I’m certain that no other man will ever experience it. He is the only person that deserves my love.”

         Summer cried from the overwhelming force she felt when she thought of the love she had for her husband. That love always brought a smile to her face, even during the worse times they faced, she could always rely on the love they shared.

         Summer realized that her cocaine-high love suddenly turned into a deadly overdose affair. Jason had another woman that he was spending quality time with. A man can have casual sex and walk away, but when he spends his time, in public, he’s not just gone physically, but he’s gone emotionally. For Jason, Summer’s love wasn’t enough to keep him. Sure she could admit that she had not been making love to Jason nearly as much as she had been. It was almost like they had gone from being the best of friends to common roommates.

         Summer didn’t know whether to save her marriage, or walk away and accept that things were just too far-gone. How could she miss the warning signs? Although she knew that she never wanted to move back to Memphis, Summer applied for a position here and was hired. That was the cover up she used to move back home, without being questioned.

         Maybe Summer and Jason were still high off of the high school love that they shared and didn’t spend enough time getting to know the adults that they had become.

         Summer feared that she had spent the last twelve years being in a marriage on her own. She was oblivious to the fact that there was ever another woman. How could she be so naïve? For the most part, she thought she and Jason had a great marriage. They were successful and social and for the most part had achieved all of their goals.

         As Summer sat in her SUV watching the flow of the river, she couldn’t help but wonder if her life had taken on the same rapid flow of the water, spinning out of control all around her while she watched. But this was one time she wouldn’t take a back seat in the story of her life. Summer felt as though she was sinking, and she would take every asshole down with her. 

Chapter 8 (Jason)

        Jason hit the button to lower the garage and shut the door. He stood in the middle of the kitchen while he cried silently. He was in so much pain and the only person he could blame was himself. Nothing mattered more at this moment than fixing his marriage. He had no idea why he even cheated in the first place.

         It was true that he and Summer had grown apart from the lack of sex, affection, and making time for themselves, but nothing could justify him stepping outside of his vows. He truly did love his wife with all his being, and would not know what to do without her. But because of his sexual addiction, his marriage had completely deteriorated. The sad part was that there were so many women before Skylar. Women in the neighborhood, at the church, on his job, in the building at his job, at his gym, wherever he met a beautiful woman, he had the charm it took to have her. Jason was always up front with the women he fooled around with. They always knew that he was married and had no intentions on leaving his wife. He made it clear that he was happily married, but only needed more sexually. Somehow he ended up pacifying Skylar rather than dismissing her, which is how he ended up knee-deep in this load of shit.

         It was something about Skylar that captivated him. She was much younger than him, but she had a certain level of wisdom, and spontaneity that made him feel youthful whenever he was with her. 

         After everything that had happened, Jason knew that none of it was worth his livelihood. At that very moment, standing in the middle of his kitchen alone, he felt that he had the motivation to go back to being the best at everything-The best husband, the best father, the best anything he put his mind to if he could get a grip on life. He didn’t want to recreate the disconnect that grew in his family because of his father’s actions. He worked hard to get his family where they were and it seemed as if he had worked just as hard to tear it all apart.

         Jason sat at the kitchen table and buried his face in his hands as he released a river of emotions. He never wanted to admit that he was a lot like his father with his womanizing ways because that would mean he had to acknowledge the pain and bitterness that he had masked deep within.

         As Jason sat at the table crying his silent tears, he picked up his cell phone and decided to call the one person he knew would keep it straight no matter what. He called his sister Monica.

         The phone rang three times. Right when Jason was about to hang up someone answered. “I knew your trifling ass would call sooner or later,” Monica said when she answered.

         “Hey, I’m great thanks for asking,” Jason replied in a less enthusiastic tone.

         “Jason where in the hell have you been? Summer hasn’t answered her phone since she dropped me off last night, and you couldn’t be contacted. Ava has been calling the two of you all night to tell you about her grades.”

         Monica had rattled off so much so fast that Jason almost regretted calling her.

         “Listen up Monica, I did not call you to hear this shit! I wanted you to let me know what was Summer’s reaction when you two left the store last night. I know this is some serious shit! I know I messed up! I know, and I don’t need you to tell me something I already know,” Jason exploded.

         The line went silent. Monica had a lot of sass, but she was extremely sensitive. He knew that his screaming at her had taken her by surprise and probably hurt her feelings.  

         “I apologize sis. I didn’t mean to take this out on you.”

         “I know you didn’t. Look she was much too calm and relaxed for me. When I offered to stay with her until you came home, she told me that she was fine and needed some time to herself,” Monica replied.

         “Calm? Summer is never calm when she’s pissed off.”

“I know,” said Monica, “She had a blank look on her face and was talking low. I ain’t never seen her like this before Jason. Maybe she just needs some space.”

         “Space? Monica we ain’t some suburban couple on TV! I promised momma that I would never go to bed mad with Summer and that I would always remain under the same roof with my wife and work through our problems. Now that has been true up until last night.”

         “Then don’t leave the house. Just go out back to the guesthouse. Leave her a note letting her know where you are and that you want to work this out, but you’re sure she needs her space.”

         “You may be right Monica. Thanks lil sis. Talk to you later.”

         “Hey, Jason? You and Summer are made for each other. Yea, you messed up, but you can make this right. You’re not him, so that means you can fix this. Now go put in some work.”

         They hung up and Jason felt a glimmer of hope. In the last 24 hours he had been made to feel like he was no different than his father. However, when his little sister said he was nothing like him, he knew exactly what she meant and it made him believe that he could change.

         He decided to fix a little dinner, because he was sure Summer hadn’t eaten. He fixed her a spring salad with pecans and a vinaigrette dressing, Parmesan chicken with mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. He chilled a bottle of white wine and had flowers delivered. He ran out to pick up candles and a thoughtful card to express his feelings. He decided to add a personal touch to the card he bought and wrote from the heart.


I want to spend the rest of my life making this right. Just as you’ve spent most of your life loving me. I love you more than you know and I know that you don’t deserve any of this. I messed up baby. I’m sorry. I could say that a thousand times and I’m sure it doesn’t move you now, but know that I mean it. I know I can’t say nothing to take back how I made you feel. My actions may not have reflected it, but I am. You are the perfect wife, mother, and woman. Any man would be lucky to have you and I am. I was just selfish and I wasn’t thinking about how this would affect our family. I have to gain your trust back. I know I have some flaws that I need to fix and I’m willing to work on it for however long it takes. But baby I need your help in identifying those flaws and faults. I want us to work through this and grow old together. Right now, I’m sure you need your time and space, so enjoy this salad and dinner is in the oven. I’m staying in the guesthouse until you’re ready to talk. I love you baby.



 Jason had pulled out all the stops in hopes that he and his wife could see past this hiccup. After packing a few items, on his way out the back patio, he picked up a wedding photo of him and Summer. He had to put the glimmer back in her eyes. He stood in the doorway and looked out towards the sky. “Alright God, this is me. My momma always said that You have a way of knocking us down on our knees, and I’m there now. I know that I haven’t come to You like I should or gone to church with the best intentions, but I’m here now and I need You. I know that I’ve done a lot of wrong in my past, but God I’m begging You not to take my family from me. I love my wife, in spite of all the wrong I’ve done. I love her with all my heart. The look in her eyes last night and before she left… God I just can’t take it. Please show me how to make this right. Teach me how to be a better man for Summer. Please God.”

         Jason walked out towards the guesthouse with the photo in tow.

Chapter 7 (Summer)

Summer never gave Jason the time to saying anything to her. She immediately brushed past him and headed downstairs. Jason dropped his gifts on the bed, ran into the bathroom to shut off the running water and followed closely on her heels.

“Summer! Baby, please let’s just talk about this!” Summer was moving so quickly that Jason was basically screaming for her to listen. He was extremely worried that if she left without hearing him out, they would definitely be destined for disaster. He had to make it right and he had to make it right at that very moment.

Summer moved at the pace of a lioness preying for her next meal. Her pace was quick and furious.

Summer reached for her keys located in the bowl on the table near the garage door.

“Baby, please don’t leave like this. I’m begging you to please just give me a chance to explain.”

Summer stopped in her tracks with her hand on the doorknob.

“Don’t you dare call me your baby!” She spat out. You have the audacity to bring your black ass in here telling me to give you a chance when you didn’t even have enough common sense to come home after I caught you with that damn middle school girl?

Summer was walking towards him slowly and saying each word through clenched teeth.

“Just give me a chance—-“


“You don’t deserve a chance, or shit else that I have to offer a man for that matter,” Summer shouted, cutting him off.

Jason reached out for her hand, because it was possible that some sort of physical contact would comfort her. Summer smacked his hand away as hard as she possibly could. She looked like a mad woman. The fury in her eyes scared Jason for a split second.

“Don’t you even think about putting your hands on me! I can honestly say that I have no idea where they’ve been.

She walked up so closely to Jason that he could feel her breath on his face.

“You know, sometimes we try so hard to runaway from the inevitable. But the truth is that you are no different than your no-good ass father.”

Jason’s shoulders slumped with the verbal haymaker Summer had just delivered. His eyes welled at the mention of him resembling his father in any shape, form, or fashion. It was bad enough that he thought that very same thing about himself the night before in the hotel room.

Then to hear those exact thoughts spoken from his wife and best friend, tore him down piece by piece.

“Baby please, hear me out! Think about us!”

“Jason are you fucking serious? Think of us? I’m the only one who gives a shit about us apparently! I’ve spent over half of my life making decisions for everyone else except myself! I moved back to Memphis for YOU! I got married for YOU! I had our children for YOU!”  Summer was poking her finger into Jason’s chest with each “you”.

“Then I spent the last twenty plus years making decisions based on what was best for my children! After all of that, this is the thanks I get? You sleep with someone else? I’ve done all of the things that I don’t agree with, and for what? I tried being submissive and cooking dinner every night, keeping a clean house, raising the children alone so that you could work sixteen to eighteen hour shifts. You should have had the courage to just slap me in the face if that’s how you felt.”

Summers voice began to crack as she looked away from Jason. “I gave up everything for you.”

With that, Summer turned on her heels and walked out the door. She hit the garage opener on the wall and got into her Infinity SUV, wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible. She started the engine and began pulling out of the garage. Summer paused in the middle of the driveway long enough to see Jason standing in the doorway looking at her with pleading tearful eyes. For a split-second, she wanted nothing more than to be in his arms allowing him to make this situation nonexistent like he does any other problem in the family. But this time, he was the problem. As she sped off, she wondered if things would be better if he were nonexistent.

Chapter 6 (Skylar)

Skylar, sat on her living room sofa waiting on Jason to show up. After the run in they had with his wife, she was sure he would need some loving. Skylar could not believe that Summer was actually in the same place as they were. Talk about irony. She was a little anxious about the run-in but mainly relieved that it had finally happened. She was beginning to think that Jason would never leave his wife and be with just her. It was because of his little hesitant behavior that Skylar had begun taking matters into her own hands.

Here it was almost two in the morning and Jason had yet to walk through the door! He wasn’t responding to any of her text messages or answering his cell phone. If she didn’t know any better, she was certain he was forwarding her calls to voicemail.

Skylar had become afraid, agitated and desperate. She wasn’t willing to lose Jason. He was an amazing man who had money, status, and could lay some serious pipe! How could she maintain her lavish lifestyle without him? Honestly, she was beginning to fall for Jason.

If Summer was handling her business, then he wouldn’t have to look anywhere else, and she was damn sure he wasn’t leaving her for anyone else.

Skylar picked up her phone, pressed the code that would make her number private and dialed Summer’s number. It went straight to voicemail. The videotape was set to play at the perfect moment.

Jason had suggested that they make a sex tape the other night. He normally insisted on keeping them all in his possession, but he seemed to forget about this one. He left in a rush one night, saying something about his kids needed him.

When Summer was giving her standard message, Skylar pressed play. She allowed the video to play long enough for Summer to hear her scream Jason’s name and long enough for Jason’s distinctive voice to be recognized. Then she hung up. After a couple more glasses of Moscato, Skylar was certain that she just hadn’t done enough. She wanted Jason to have a clean getaway. So, she decided to call back. Grateful to not have to be confrontational, Skylar spoke in her most sincere and endearing voice on Summer’s voicemail. She explained her relationship with Jason to his wife. Surely this would be enough to fuel the fire a while longer.

Skylar sat on the plush ivory sofa wearing one of Jason’s blue button-down shirts, with her fourth glass half-filled with Moscato. She fingered the tassels of the throw pillows while thinking of the first time she and Jason made love. It was the most beautiful and innocent experience, if you can even call adultery innocent.

Jason had told his wife he was out of town for the weekend, so they were free to be free. She was a little nervous about being alone with him like that for so long, and was beginning develop feelings for Jason. They had come so close to making love a few times before, but him being a married man made making that leap a little harder for Skylar than Jason. So, on the Thursday before they were set up to rendezvous, she participated in some diminutive retail therapy to help ease the tension. There was nothing better than spending Jason’s money to put her in a better mood!

The two of them were on their second movie, final plate of take-out, and third bottle of Moscato, when Skylar needed to use the restroom. Stumbling down the hallway, she heard Jason say to use the one in the bedroom instead.

When she opened the door, her mind was blown by what he had done. Rose petals, and soft music filled the room. There was even lingerie at the foot of the bed. When Skylar turned to go ask Jason how he had time to set this up, she walked right into him. He grabbed the back of her neck and kissed her passionately. Damn! Either this was true passion or the wine. Either way, she was much more relaxed and that kiss had lifted her at least four more levels. Jumping on Jason and wrapping her legs around his waist, the rendezvous had begun, and they never came up for air. He walked her to the bed where he undressed her slowly. First he raised her shirt and kissed Skylar’s stomach, stopping at her breast. The girls were alert. There was a gulf rushing between her legs at this point.

He caressed her breasts in each hand as he kissed gently down her neck. His tongue flicked over each nipple and ever so often he would bite, then suck them.

Without warning, Jason pushed her knees back and sucked every ounce of life out of her… Or so it seemed. He sucked on her clit and flicked his tongue on the tip at the same time, how the hell he did that she had no idea, but that shit had Skylar seeing unicorns and leprechauns at the end of rainbows.

She heard the crinkling sound of a small package. It was time, and Skylar was ready. Jason kissed up her body, making one hundred percent sure to hit every corner. He kissed her again and that time she kissed him back with the same hunger he gave her. Her intense feeling could only be compared to starvation. She needed him.

She wrapped her arms around Jason and lost herself in the moment. Slowly, Jason slid his manhood inside of her. “OHHHHHH!” Sklar yelled loud enough to receive a noise complaint. He took his time, but that shit hurt like all hell. It was one of those pleasurable pains. Skylar came violently when Jason aggressively thrusted deep into her. This orgasm was nothing like the ones Skylar had given herself lately. This one radiated throughout her entire body. She lost control of everything. It was like every inch of her was awake. The sexual sounds and heavy breathing they created filled the room like smoke in a small cabaret.

Jason rested her feet on his chest, but never missed a stroke. Skylar grabbed the headboard and held on for dear life when she felt that tremor simmer below. “Oooo baby I love the shit outta you.” She thought she heard Jason whisper. She wanted to profess her love to him too, but that simmering tremor turned into an eruption. Skykar’s moans were so euphoric, that she almost didn’t recognize her own voice.

When he kept hitting that small sensitive spot that’s up high and to the right, she moaned loud and deep. She yelled Jason’s name and he sped up. He was so forceful that she kept climaxing, he let out a barbaric growl, and their pleasures became one. It was colorful, dark, twisted, and unraveling all at once. They collapsed on the bed in each other’s arms. Jason pulled Skylar closer to him and rested his chin on her head. She allowed herself to let go of her inhibitions, realizing that unlike her past flings, Jason wanted her there afterwards. She knew at that moment that this was where she wanted to be as well.

Chapter 5 (Summer)

Summer was sitting on the chaise lounge gazing out the window with tears still running down her cheeks when she realized the sun was coming up. She hadn’t slept all night and felt like hell. She was depressed, confused, and hung-over.  Her face felt tight and puffy, and her head was pounding. No matter how hard she tried, she could not control her tears.

Although she powered her phone off last night, Summer was shocked she hadn’t heard from Jason. Come to think of it, that trifling bastard didn’t even have the decency to bring his punk ass home after everything that had happened! “If he didn’t care enough to at least come home and apologize, then why in the hell am I sitting here crying,” Summer said aloud. She stood up to head downstairs; it was time she got herself together.

Summer guessed she stood up too fast because as soon as she was upright she had to run to the bathroom to violently spew all the liquor she drank on a completely empty stomach last night.

After that painful ordeal was over, Summer went to retrieve the empty Merlot bottles from the floor and trash them. The house was silent and cold. Summer stopped at Jason’s office and wondered what she would find tucked away somewhere in there. Reluctantly, she continued on downstairs to the kitchen. She poured a tall class of orange juice and grabbed a banana off the counter and headed back upstairs to draw a hot bubble bath.

After turning on the steaming hot water and adding her favorite Bubble Bistro fragrance, she grabbed her cell phone from her purse and powered it on. She sat the phone down on the dresser to finish her banana and headed to the closet to find the perfect outfit for the perfect day.

Ordinarily, Summer never spent money from the joint account, if it wasn’t an emergency, but she was certain that today’s depression would be considered an emergency and a full day of pampering would be just what the doctor ordered.

Deciding on a coral and tangerine colored floor length summer dress and her favorite Five North sandals, Summer headed into her bedroom when she heard a consistent buzzing. She realized it was her cell phone. Thinking it may have been Jason calling, she picked it up only to see that she had seven new voicemails! “Well at least he thought enough of me to leave messages,” Summer said.

Feeling somewhat relieved, she sat at the vanity and listened to each voicemail on speaker so she could pin curl her hair.

The first message was from Tamara, Summer’s assistant, reminding Summer that she would be about an hour late for work because her son had an interview at MUS-one of the most prestigious all-male grade schools in Memphis.

The second message was someone holding the phone. So was the third, fourth, and fifth. She assumed it was Jason, and he just didn’t know what to say. The sixth message was a female voice. Summer was so stunned she had to replay it just to be sure she heard the voice correctly.

“I tried waiting for Jason to come home, but he hasn’t yet. So could you please tell my fiancée to come home? Please stop begging and pleading with him to stay there. We’re buying a house together in Germantown where we can raise our unborn child. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it is definitely over between you two. So could you please let Jason come home? I would appreciate it if you did.”

Summer sat there literally with her mouth in the shape of a perfect letter O. She was amazed that this child had the audacity to call her! Within five seconds she envisioned the most effective and efficient way to kill both of them and not get caught. How did she even get Summer’s number? Had he really purchased her a house in Germantown? That was a very exclusive part of town!

Summer played the message over and over again, and each time she heard the young girl say, “…where we can raise our unborn child,” she felt sick to her stomach. Had she really been that bad of a wife? Had she really failed her marriage and family this way? Summer was shaking with seething anger.

Somehow she managed to save that message and move on to the next. The next and thankfully last voicemail message was apparently a recorded sex session between Jason and his “jail bate”! This was definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back. She needed to get out of this house and clear her head. With tears in her eyes, Summer jumped up, knocking the vanity stool over, and turned to leave when she saw Jason standing in the doorway, looking terrified, holding a Jared’s bag and a dozen red roses. This was certainly nothing that flowers and jewelry could fix. Did he really think that materialistic objects would make up for him fucking another woman??? The tears flowed freely once she laid eyes on the one man who had annihilated her world in one fell swoop. She finally understood what overcame those women on that television show about women who had snapped and killed their significant other. She was headed in Jason’s direction with tunnel vision and her fist balled. When she neared the bathroom door, which was directly between where she and Jason had been standing, it was then that Summer noticed that the tub water was overflowing. A lot like her anger.

Chapter 4 (Jason)

I damn near wore the carpet to just a thread in that small hotel room. I had been pacing for what seemed like days. I didn’t have the strength to deal with Skylar, and going home to be a victim of domestic homicide wasn’t an answer either. I didn’t know what to do. When I realized that I was somewhat short of breath and had sweat dripping from my forehead, I decided to sit down to calm my nerves. My phone vibrated and I nearly jumped out of my skin.

Skylar had been texting and calling since I dropped her off. She was starting to get on my fucking nerves! After all the shit that just popped off, she had the audacity to give me an attitude when I dropped her off. She left a voicemail.

I decided to check it, just to see what she wanted. The first couple of messages were from the office. The next message caused me to go numb and allow the phone to slip from my hands. It was the message I cutoff when I ran to make love to Skylar in the shower. It was Summer. She was letting me know that she was going to Roxanne’s and had a surprise for me later. If only I wasn’t thinking with my little head, I would have heard her message and all of this could have gone down differently. I felt like shit. Summer and I had been having our share of problems, and here she was trying to get us back good and make it work and I was out giving her time to someone else.

My initial thought was to call up my boy Anthony and have him to run the “rise & fly.” Whenever one of us got a text that read, “rise and fly” we knew some shit popped off and to say that the chick was really with me. Summer knew the game though. She saw me run that game and she was a part of it years ago. I racked my brain for about thirty minutes trying to come up with the best way to slide out of this shit I had stepped in. I remembered something my daddy would always tell me, “Son, sometimes you’re the puppy and sometimes you’re the hydrant.”

I had to man up and deal with this one. Out of all things I’ve done, and all the times that I’ve cheated, I’ve never been caught. Hell, Summer probably didn’t even know that I was cheating.

I can’t even believe to think about what the kids would think if Summer and I went our separate ways if she can’t get past this. Ayden has always looked up to his mother and me, telling us that he would find a wife just like his mother, and treat her just like his dad would. He still says the exact same things now.

I respected the fact that my son never hopped from girl to girl. He played the field, but he was so smooth with it. That boy really took after his old man. He had the utmost respect for women and it showed in his actions towards both his mother and sister.

I always shook my head at the men who instilled their trifling ways in their sons, and by the time that adolescent monster developed, that “rolling stone” was long gone.

Summer and I had always agreed to be our children’s advocate. Even when we trust them to make wise decisions, we still back them up.

As I stood in the mirror looking at my own reflection, I saw that I had become the one person I swore I would never be. Looking at me from the mirror was my father. All of the feelings of neglect and anger came flooding back and before I knew it, “SMASH”!

I was standing amid broken glass with a bleeding hand. I wasn’t even aware that I put my fist through the mirror until after it was done. How in the hell could I let myself turn into that low-life?! He never thought twice about what he did to momma, and had no idea what it was doing to my brothers, sister, and me. That gigolo didn’t give a damn about nothing, or nobody except his third leg. I remember how momma would just keep going on with her life, like she hadn’t just caught daddy in their bed with Ms. Frazier, the lady that lived at the end of the block.

Momma still made his plates, kept the house clean, drew his baths, and loved him unconditionally. Even though she never broke her routine, she lost the sparkle from her eyes. Momma once had eyes that could tell stories and move mountains. It was like pops stole tiny pieces of her with each woman he ran his dick into. Now, here I stood, in the middle of a grimy hotel room with a bleeding hand and was that same heartless bastard that was stealing tiny pieces of my wives sparkle. I’ll never forget that empty look. It was the same look I saw in Summer’s eyes just before she walked out of Roxanne’s. On the outside she was smiling and walking with confidence, but the eyes are the mirrors to the soul. The look in her eyes, before she walked away, was equivalent to that of a child whose world had just been shattered after realizing Santa Clause was merely a figment of his imagination.


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