*It makes sense to do a coronavirus blog with the couples but to be honest, I don't have enough creative juice to spread out between writing Charmed and the blog at the moment. I just have alot of scenes that didn't make the cut for this last book.**
“Percy I’m fine. I just haven’t eaten all day today. I’m weak but I’m better than before,” I promised. “Just turn around or let me drive---”
“You passed out in my arms. I watched you pass out and it happened in my arms,” he repeated.
“SHE’S NOT ALLOWED BACK IN MY HOUSE!” he suddenly yelled out as I closed my eyes. I didn’t feel like raising my voice. As far as Tallulah, we had a pointless argument where she abruptly left. Last thing I wanted to do was argue with Percy so I reached out to touch his arm.
“Turn around Percy. We can stop and get something to eat and I’ll be fine. I promise. I just need food and a bed.”
“Are you pregnant?!”
“Have you been sleeping with other men while you were one state above me?!”
“Are you lying to me?”
“Percy please?” I begged, pulling back as I leaned my head against the door window. “I---”
“Are you lying to me?!” he repeated as I closed my eyes with a deep inhale.
“I haven’t slept with anybody since we’ve been married Percy.”
“Because believe it or not! I took the damn vows seriously! I haven’t been with another woman since! I’ve been waiting on you to come home so we could start over----”
“Please turn the car around,” I begged. “I just want something to eat----”
“I waited for you! You could have just told me you were in South Carolina instead of leading me and my family on----”
“Food,” I muttered with a whine, realizing he was going on a rant.
“I never touched the house. I didn’t want to furnish it without your approval. I did everything I was supposed to do as a husband thinking you would come back! I did my part! I did my part in the marriage but you!? You chose to make me look stupid after the fact!”
“I just really want something to eat Percy,” I finally said.
“Why did you wait all day to not eat?!” he snapped. Angrily while snatching the signal lights on to make a turn.
“I don’t have my wallet or phone on me so I couldn’t call. You don’t have any food in the house except for old take out food which I’m afraid to eat. I have a weak stomach already…”
I didn’t feel the need to explain further as I watched Percy visibly calm down. His shoulders dropped as he let out a harsh sigh. My body was used to eating full meals. Plate after plate to this. I felt like I was on the verge of passing out again with my stomach feeling like an empty tank.
“Had I known you were coming home, I would have stocked the refrigerator,” he muttered in a grumpy tone as he turned the car into the Burger King parking lot. Almost hitting a curve before swerving at the last minute to get into the drive-thru line.
I looked down at myself wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties. Percy sweating through his dress shirt as he rolled his window down to toss out a piece of paper onto the ground. He looked so out of it, So flushed in the face, and tense all over that I cleared my dry throat.
“I’m sorry Percy,” was all I could say, “I’m sorry to put you through this and sorry for lying about where I’ve been. I’ve been struggling to deal with this marriage and this relationship for years and it just took its toll on me.”
“Yeah well you’re not the only one. You’re not the only one that’s dealing with this but I would never run off and lie about it. Never leave the other person in the dark,” moving forward with the car. His eyes started to squint as he rolled the window down. “I can’t even see the damn menu. It just looks like a bright light.”
“I can see it just pull up closer,” I said, leaning forward. We pulled up to the small black box as I looked at the colorful options with a growl of my stomach.
“Go head with ya order,” the woman said as I began to pick out the largest fry, and doubled up on it. Whatever I ordered, Percy asked for, as well. Not even bothering to look at the menu that was in front of his face.
By the time we gathered our food, having three bags stuffed with burgers and fries with drinks balanced on a tray, Percy made no attempt to rush home. Instead, backed into a parking spot beside the fast food spot where a small motel sat with little to no movements from inside. Percy popped the light to dig into the bags while I just sat back with my eyes closed and ate the fresh fries.
Neither of us spoke at first. He reached to cut the light off again as we sat in the dark and ate together in silence. Just like a man, he was downing his burger in less than two bites. Mustard and mayonnaise splattered in the corners of his mouth, he reached in the bag for the fries before realizing I had the fry bag in my lap. Instead of asking, he just went to the next burger. Rather avoid talking to me altogether but something in me just decided to be the bigger person, and just speak up.
“Here,” I said softly, reaching in for his batch of fries, “when I eat a sandwich with fries, I used to put the fries in the middle. You should try it.”
Percy looked at me before taking the fries while I dug into the third bag in between us for a burger.
“Great,” he suddenly muttered, “this is the last thing I need right now.”
I looked at him confused before looking at the windshield, seeing the small drops of rain poke at the glass.
“Do you have enough gas---”
“I have the gas. It's driving without my glasses I’m worried about,” he cut in, “especially in the rain.”
“We can wait it out until traffic dies down. It’s hardly raining anyway.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, a wave of rain just came crashing down against the car like someone dumped a bucket over us as my mouth dropped. The downpour even caught some of the the motel guest off guard as they ran back to their rooms with others dashing down the open hall and down the steps to the main lobby. Using nothing but a jacket over their heads to keep covered.
“Why would anyone want to stay in these hotels?” I asked out loud, watching the window lights pop on with life through the drenched windshield.
“Hookers,” Percy bluntly said with a shrug. “Hookers, prostitutes, drug deals and dealers. You name it. It happens in places like this.”
“How would you know?” I questioned, looking at him.
“I know people in low places,” he stated like it was the coolest thing to say. I felt the corner of my mouth lift before I let out a small laugh.
“Okay Percy. Sure you do---”
“It’s a lot you don’t know about me Jasmine so don’t assume you do.”
I laughed even harder when he glared at me. I don’t know what was so funny but no longer carrying the weight of this soulmate crap on my shoulders seemed to force me to look at Percy in a different light.
“I um,” clearing my throat, “I want to really apologize for my behavior these last few months. I just,” I inhaled before releasing a cool exhale through my nose. “I think I put so much pressure on myself when it came to this relationship that I kind of got lost in it all. Pressure in trying to avoid what I thought was…”
I shook my head, realizing this entire time I tried to do everything in my power to avoid Percy being the man for me when all I had to do was just not accept it and move on. Instead, I dragged myself further into a hole I couldn’t get out of and wanted everyone else responsible for me, and my future.
“I don’t think it was fair to you. To expect you, and everyone else to be responsible for my feelings and happiness. I see that now,” I said as I dug into the fry bag. “I get it's too late now that we’re officially married but I still want to apologize. I should have told you I never left but I never messed around, and I’m not pregnant. As insulting as that is to hear that you think I’m pregnant because I’ve gained weight, I’m not,” I laughed. “I just really enjoyed the food out there. I got to learn a few things. I learned how to read palms and do a few favors for people. I learned so much, I just got comfortable and wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back to my life, this life. Now that I’m here, I do miss being with my family, and I missed Atlanta. I thought about getting a summer home out there in Charleston but Tallulah pretty much just went off on me to the point of no return and I honestly don’t blame her. She said instead of trying to poach in on her life, and her culture, I should worry about my own. Focus on my marriage and not whine every chance I get because I don’t like it. Have I really been that annoying?” I laughed before shaking my own head, “accepting who I am, what I was born into, and then accept that only I have the power to change it, and make it work for me. That’s what I learned in South Carolina…”
That soft yet eerie voice floated into my ears, hearing that sacred phrase, you are protected, and you are protected, and you are loved. That energy was constant around me, and I could feel it each time I closed my eyes. Something was definitely about to change.
Percy sat still in his seat with us both staring ahead at the white motel as the rain calmly came down at a steady drop. I figured he wouldn’t say anything, and I’m glad I’m at the point of expecting nothing in return from him.
I looked over at Percy seeing he was staring at the motel before pulling his gaze towards mine with a question.
“Do you still want to be married to me?”
Everything surrounding my family, my life, my future and the society came swirling into my mind with what felt like seconds on the clock to answer. He was not my soulmate. Nor was he the man I was going to fall in love with.
“I want children. I want a real family, I want a wife active in my life, in our marriage and in return I will be the best man I can be for her if she will let me. I want stability like my parents but I want it to be something we both can enjoy like your parents. They’ve lasted this long together---”
“Because one chose to follow her heart, and the other chose---”
“To be realistic. I know what they say about your father and how he’s not allowed to most functions and most social gatherings where your mother was basically raised. I know you don’t want that for yourself. No matter what you say, you wouldn’t downgrade the way she did, and live a life where nobody wants to be friends with her. She’s lonely. That much I do know. It’s the reason why she and my mother became close friends at one point in time.
“Honesty, trust, and loyalty is what I can offer you Jasmine. Even friendship. I… I don’t have many friends as it is because I like to keep to myself but I would like it if we could just be friends. Talk about things like normal people do. Share what’s going on with one another. I may not have shown it in the past but you are my wife now,” he continued. “You come before any woman in my life and I want the chance to prove that to you.”
The lingering words repeatedly trickled into my head. No matter what choice I make in life, I am loved, and protected. I could feel that energy wrapping tight around me like a hug as I inhaled and exhaled before finally giving in.
“Okay,” I said. Percy sat back in his seat, stunned for a moment before nodding to himself. He didn’t think I would say yes.
“I know you want an emotional connection, and love from me Jasmine, but---”
“Stop,” cutting him off with my hand in the air, “let’s just focus on a successful partnership, and build something great together. We know how this goes. We see the examples laid before us. Let’s start over officially. Surpass our parents and become their wildest dreams. Something they could never be.”
Percy’s grin stretched across his face before he sat back in his seat, eyes never leaving mine. Only to then sit up, unbuttoning the top part of his shirt like he was getting comfortable. He reached to pop the light on and extended his hand out towards mine.
“What are you doing?” I asked as he nudged towards his hand.
“My name is Percy Hugo Milton. I am a successful lawyer. Homeowner, two siblings, and a beautiful wife I believe is too good for me, and my shit.”
I smirked before gently taking his hand in mine to shake.
“My name is Jasmine Milton. My father is from the streets, and my mother is from old worldly money. I have a brother we called Nicky, and I plan on expanding my knowledge in spirituality and learn how to love myself. I also have a handsome husband who I am ready to get to know, and understand better.”
“Nice to meet you Mrs. Milton,” he said smoothly as he took my hand to his lips for a light kiss.
“How romantic of you Hugo,” I said as he grinned.
We sat back in our seats, relishing in the moment when he cleared his throat.
“Are you ready to go home?” he asked.