“I’on know what you want me to say Lu,” my boyfriend Travis said on the phone as I stepped out onto the porch. Thursday afternoon at the Skye House. The sun was out but the air was muggy from the morning rain as I sat down in the rocking chair trying to hold myself together.
I let this man run me clean out of South Carolina just to escape to Atlanta to hide. Embarrassed couldn’t describe how I felt at this moment.
“You still there?” He asked, hearing his heavy tone filled with fake hurt. “I’on know what you want me to say except for I’m sorry. I only messed with her a few times, and stopped, baby. I swear on everything I love it didn’t mean nothing. Shit just happened. It all happened so quick! I had no way of knowing it would turn out like this!”
I watched a single car drive by as the footsteps of my cousins moving about upstairs with their clients continued on.
“Tallulah? Baby? You still there?” Trav called out. I pulled myself out of the chair to walk back into the house. “I’m sorry. You gotta believe me when I say I’m sorry on everything I love. I didn’t do this to hurt you. I didn’t do this on purpose. It just happened.”
“And you don’t…”
I could barely get the words out as I walked past the empty dining room towards the kitchen for a thing of tea to drink.
“You don’t know if the baby is really yours?” I asked. “But she claims it's yours?”
“That’s what I’m saying!” He stressed. “She was out fucking around so ain’t no telling if the baby is mine. We won’t know for sure until it comes out but I don’t think it's mine.”
“You don’t think,” I repeated with a nod, feeling myself grow sick as I walked back out towards the screen door. I need all the fresh air I could breathe to keep from passing out. A man I’ve been dating on and off for years went and fooled around with a girl I don’t fuck with. A girl who has been trying to claim him since we started dating, and the reason we fell out in the first place.
“I know I’ve done a lot of fucked up shit in our relationship, but this… I know this one hurts the most because of who she is---”
“SO IF YOU KNEW THAT?! WHY DID YOU SLEEP WITH HER?!” I cried, slamming my drink down on the porch. “IF YOU KNEW THAT TRAVIS?!”
“It just happened! Shit just happened.”
I could hear a small cough coming from inside as I sat up trying to wipe my face free of tears.
“I’m not doing this anymore. I dealt with the cheating, and the lies.”
“If you listen to me! I’m trying to tell you I’m sorry! I don’t even think the baby is mine!”
“It doesn’t matter Travis. I’m not going to block your number or on social media. I don’t deal with men who have children that didn’t come from me. You’re spoiled goods at this point---.”
“I hope you enjoy watching me live my life for the better without you.”
I smashed my thumb against the screen to hang up before getting up. Expecting to fully see one of my cousins being nosey, listening in on the conversation until I stepped inside and noticed a man sitting in a wooden chair. He kept his head down, looking at the floor at his bare feet.
I looked around, confused. The backdoor was still covered by a curtain and nobody came through the front because I would have definitely noticed. He wasn’t any client from upstairs because none of the girls came down to say so, and what the fuck did he have on?
I slowly walked around him, cautious as he held a brown wide brimmed hat between his fingers. Blue button up shirt with black suspenders stretched down from his wide shoulders and pants that looked worn and torn around the ankles. He looked like a man that just came from the damn fields. Everything about this man made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up at alert as he looked up at me. Eyes the color of dark honey, his full brown lips smiled as he stood up. His height reaching like a growing bean stalk, he stook out his hand for me to shake.
“I’m here for the interview,” he said. His voice was a deep baritone with an accent I couldn’t pinpoint, but he was country enough.
“Where did you come from?” I questioned.
“I’ve been sitting here,” he said as my head fell back dramatically.
“Nobody has been sitting here for the past hour. Unless I missed you walk through that door or somebody let you in through the back…and your shoes?” I pointed at his feet as he looked down before showing me his dress shoes that were tucked underneath the seat.
“Never walk in somebody’s house with shoes on. You never know what you’re carrying into their home, and what you’re taking back with you so I keep my feet to the floors at all time.”
“Uh huh…” I dragged out as I looked around again.
The sudden sound of footsteps came knocking down the steps as I looked up to see Ominaya Skye’s short self rushing down with her hand sliding against the banister.
“Hey Lu, I need you to run to the store and grab some… Hello?” She greeted, eyes smiling before her eyes as she adjusted her headwrap on her head. She licked her lips in obvious attraction as the man smiled in greeting. “Who do we have here?”
“Antwon,” he said as the two shook hands.