Posted by Eyesofphases at 11:17 PM | Monday, May 4, 2009
It's 1AM and the party is over. The limo has taken Shannon to an airport hotel for her early morning flight to LA. Only family is left along with a few caterers who are taking equipment to their vans. I stand in the kitchen proudly watching David take care of the final details of the event. Everyone is pleased. He walks over to me and hands me an envelope. "This is yours" he says and gives me a heartfelt hug. "Thanks for trusting me this event." he smiles. "Sweetheart, you owe me nothing, this is event was all you. You made it happen," and I place the envelope back into his hand. "But I can't it take it back," David informs me with a raised eyebrow. "It wasn't apart of the service fee, it's a surprise bonus gift for you from Marcus."
"Don't look at me like that, besides you need to call it a night. Your girlfriend has been patiently waiting for you to finish up , so get out of here !" I wave for Monica to come over. I open the envelope and see that Marcus has given me a check for $3000. Attached is a yellow post it note that reads, "The best things come in threes or at least I hope at 3!" I inwardly pray, "Jesus, please help me."
"Catch your mind sis", David surprisingly responds to my inward prayer. "I know everything's not peaches and cream with you and Will but promise me you won't get caught up again?" How could I look him in the face and promise him something I couldn't promise myself? David sees the bewilderment on my face and says, "Well at least try, you know broken hearts do compromising things. When we hurt, we revert back to that which is familiar for comfort. Marcus for you is someone close, very familiar and a true friend. I won't excuse your actions but I can understand them." "Your wisdom has been heard and noted David, but please don't you allow my indiscretion to detour you from keeping a chaste relationship with Monica." I speak with a shameful heart for I still pondered about making that same mistake once again.
"We’re keeping it holy but it's so hard on a brother cause my girl is FINE!" David replies as Monica aka Megan Good number two walks past him. He stares at her, but not with lust in his eye but with love as she hugs me good night. We walk toward the family room door to bid each other farewell. "Here is the key to my apartment, drive safely and I'll see you later on." David says while handing me his key. "No thank you buddy, I am staying ALONE at the Embassy resort. No kids, no hubby and no one calling me mommy for an entire weekend, paradise! And anyway if I come and stay with you I will end up doing your housework." I respond placing the key back into his hand.
Mama Pansy gets up from her chair and interrupts, "Am I hearing you right child, did you just say you're staying in a hotel? Cat! You know I raised you better, you mean to tell me you have all these empty bedrooms in this house and you didn't ask baby girl to stay here with us for the weekend?" Cat smirks and slyly answers, "Mama she didn't want to!' I give Marcus a sharp mean look. With her hands upon her hips, Mama Pansy continues, "She may not want to BUT she is going to! Your clothes are in the car right? Cat get up and go get them! With her demands being met she smiles, blows the family a kiss and begins walking out of the room, "God bless you babies, now we’re going to bed, come on Charles." Papa Charles gets up from the sofa shaking his head and smiling. Marcus passes by me and mumbles, "She told you, didn't she?! Now go tell her where you're sleeping!" Marcus quietly sings the group Silk's song, "There's a meeting in my bedroom, bedroom, bedroom." Although he is smiling as he walks out of the door, his eyes are cold and distant.
Henry walks over from the kitchen, "Go on upstairs and rest Lil Sis, I'll have Cameron or one of the nephews around here bring up your luggage instead of Cat. I need to talk to him, our boy's hurting," he says as we both walk out into the night. Now that explains Marcus's eyes, I say to myself. "That darn Shannon! I could literally stab her for being a "platinum digger" and breaking such a good man's heart! As my mom would say, don't you better not call all men "DOGS" unless you're willing to call all women "CATS". They do the same "mess" but a cat covers theirs up so you won't find it or see it! And when it is uncovered, it still STINKS just the same! My heart goes out to Marcus but thank God their "guy talk" has become my open door of escape, it's now 1:30 am.
After taking my shower, I pamper myself in the rich body cream of CoCo Chanel, my signature fragrance just before I put on my favorite Victoria Secret silk pajama set. I pay close attention to every detail of my body, trying hard to quiet the voices of criticism that I so often hear concerning my battle scars of youth, age, weight gain, or childbirth. But tonight, I will reaffirm the beauty of me, my arms, my neck, my hips, my legs and my thighs, all of me. I even put on some flavored KLS lip gloss to make myself feel "pretty."
In the stillness of my room, David’s words resound in my head. Marcus was indeed safe and very familiar. I was free to be myself with "Cat". With him, I could talk loud and laugh even louder especially during our times at the lake playing with my boys. William on the other hand complained about my "country" loud voice and laughter and made sly comments about me only enjoying playing with the boys just to relive my childhood. When I happened to stumble over or mispronounced my words in conversation, William felt that it was his God given right to make me feel inferior to his vast vocabulary prowess by belittling me for sounding "dumb" in front of friends or even in conversations among ourselves.
Many nights I have argued with William trying to defend myself but after 20 year of trying, something in you dies, so you I learn to play the game. I am William's wife in William's Circle and I am "Me" with everyone else, especially with my true friend, "Cat."
Often times I've questioned my beauty, strength, intelligence, and even my own self worth. The wounds of my marriage's heartbreaks, frustrations, William’s affair, and our non-sexual existence had taken its toll; the battle of infidelity with Marcus was raging fully in my mind. Just like the movie title, "He's Just Not Into You, I questioned what is wrong with me in Williams’ eyes? William enjoys the "idea" of having a smart beautiful business savvy wife and an awesome mother to his children but in reality, we live totally separate lives, the compliments and affection from him are rarely given. I still turn clients heads at his high profile business luncheons that he insist I attend but yet I lay in bed beside him untouched. I use to beg him to be with me and the kids, to hold me, or to just touch me but I was quickly reprimanded and told to enjoy the fruits of his labor; M-O-N-E-Y instead.
Now Marus’ touch was damn near erotic, and readily available. Since high school he has had a way of placing his hand on the small of my back, softly rubbing while whispering, "Are you ok?”And if no one told you yet, let me be the first to say you look absolutely beautiful." Just the thought causes me to yearn for it. "Catch your mind, Deb catch your mind!" I tell myself.
Its 2:30am, my cell buzzes, the text reads, "Come meet me in the theater" Of course it's Marcus. I text back, "No, It's late..." Marcus calls me and says slowly, "I really need you, please come down." His voice sounding as if he has been crying. I try to reply but he hangs up. Among all the wonderful party festivities, well wishes, and loving friends and family, Marcus was still broken. So I prepare myself to console my often time comforter.
The house is quiet so I tiptoe down the hall to enter the elevator; hoping no one hears or sees me. Once the elevator doors closed, I sigh a breathe of relief thinking to myself, "This is so high schoolish sneaking downstairs in the middle of the night with Cat's parents in the house!" Once I stepped out of the elevator, I am suddenly gripped with fear. I am alone in a dimly lit replica of a 1940 movie theatre lobby. How creepy everything seems, old horror movie posters on the wall, a shadowy video game area, and the ticket booth with that weird life size wax ticket lady that I loathed. The eeriness of it all has me spooked and ready to turn back around. But I drum up the courage to press forward only to be stopped in my tracks by the motion sensored ticket lady turning towards me saying "Enjoy the show!
Frightened, I lean up against the theater doors to calm myself from shaking. I now can hear strange music playing inside the theater. I open the door to an unusually darken room. The only lights that are on are the aisle lights, a few dim ones in the front, and a few red glowing ones scattered about. I recognize the music it's Prince's Beautiful Ones. Marcus's voice speaks harshly through the darkness, "Lock the door and leave the lights as is." Startled by his instructions and seeing that on the screen is his and Shannon's Vegas wedding ceremony I nervously call out, "Cat I can't see, what’s going on, where are you?" Cat blusters again, "Leave the lights alone and lock the doors. I'm down here." As my eyes began to adjust to the light, I could see Marcus waving his hand which held a glass. This whole scene is something straight out of horror flick but silly me still turns to lock the doors. My heart is beating fast from fear telling me to "run away" but my mind is saying "This is Cat, he's not going to harm you." "Yeah famous last words", I think to myself and I pick up a pool stick from the wall just for precautionary measures.
Walking to the front of the theater, there I find Marcus seating on the floor in brown silk pajamas, arms resting on his knees, head bowed. Beside him is a tray with a mini ice bucket, tongs, and a half empty bottle of Crown Royal. "Cat, baby are you alright?" I ask. Without looking up he begins to spiel, "Why did she leave me? Was I not good enough? Did I not give her enough? What's wrong with me?" With tears running down his face, Marcus looks at me and ask a question that pierces my heart, "Why didn't she love me, wasn't I worth being loved too?" I drop the pool stick and kneel by side wrapping my arms around his shoulders, "Shh... Cat please don't talk like this, she's the one who has lost out not you, not you baby!"
I sit down and lay his head on my chest, holding him in attempts to calm the affects of his brokenness. He continues to weep then he speaks, "Deb, I gave Shannon my heart, treated her like a queen, gave her everything needed and she asked for. Trips to Milan, Paris, diamonds, and furs and when I was at my lowest and needed her most she up and leaves me. Deb, after surgery I was in so much pain I asked her to just hold me throughout the night and she wouldn't even do that for me. Heartless! I knew all along she had someone else but I couldn't accept it. While I was out giving her everything, making this life for us, she had this dude lying up in my house, watching my TV, driving my cars and eating my pop tarts!"
With that statement I begin to laugh. "I'm sorry Cat, but your pop tarts?" He looks up at me with a smirk, "Hold up, I am having a heartfelt moment here and you're laughing? Yeah, my strawberry pop tarts with the sprinkles!" We both break out into laughter while he continues to lie against my chest. "Where is the remote?" I ask. "Let's turn off your heartbreak cinema and turn on another song. Just turn on the stereo and whatever plays we will listen. If it's a fast song we will get up and dance, if it's slow we will just cry together, deal? “I kiss Marcus' graying temple. He obliges.
It was as if an angel had heard our pain, the perfect song begins to play, India Arie's He Heals Me. Marcus continues to rest on my chest holding my hand at the point where they lay upon his. I whisper "You know you do," referring to his ability to heal my many wounds throughout the years. I rock him slowly in my arms to the Indie's soothing words. He kisses my hand and says, "It's been my pleasure, thanks for being her for me tonight." His cheeks are still wet with tears. "Cat look at me," I insist. He looks up with tears clouding his magnificent eyes. "Why us, Deb?" he questions. "I don't know dear heart, I just don't know." I answer softly. He kisses my lips lightly. I close my eyes just as the song ends and receive his tenderness.
Marcus changes positions as Princes voice coons in again, this time with "Adore." His stare is spellbinding; he searches my face for a spot to plant his lips but chooses my neck instead. I react to his passionate love bite with a pleasurable sigh. "Hmm, so you like that", Marcus whispers in my ear. "Then love this" His warm tongue gradually moves down from my ear, to my neck toward my cleavage, he stops at the top button of my pajamas. Taking the toss pillows off of the theater chairs, he rests them on the floor and delicately places me upon them. Continuing in his seduction, he unbuttons my top, exposing my breast. "May I?" he says provocatively while licking his lips in the trademark LL Cool J fashion. Without awaiting an answer, he proceeds far beyond my upper body and my expectations. My mind is now in a complete haze.
After he sensed my pleasure, he lies beside me, pulling me close and kisses my forehead. “I won't force you do something that you don't want to do." he relays looking in my eyes. "I know," and I kiss him deeply. I unbutton his shirt to revile years of disciplined training. I kiss every ripple, every muscle as I approach his heart, I slowly kiss his scar. Marcus quickly reaches and tries to stop my actions, he pleads “Don't," while holding my chin. There are again traces of tears on his cheeks. "Cat, this is not a sign of your weakness but a sign of your strength." I removed his hand and continue kissing the nemesis that has so easily vexed this powerful strong man's being. From his body's reaction, I could tell he was crying silently. Determined to bring comfort, I taste every drop of his honey touched skin. With every touch, every kiss, Marcus' anguish subsides.
Kissing passionately, comfortable in our own skin, touching each other, exploding one another, fully exposed yet unashamed. Marcus pauses and ask, "Please don't say no, let me love you." I allow him to enter. The burdens of our past afflictions send shockwaves through my body as we connect over and over again. As the weight of our heartache becomes too massive for me to bear, I whisper in his ear, "Dear heart, I am not going to leave you again." All is released every frustration, every disappointment, every fear, simply flows into mere nothingness. Jill Scott's "He Loves Me" lulls us into peace under the faux mink throw Marcus has so thoughtfully placed over us.
"Cat, we can't keep doing this," I quietly say. "I understand," he answers. "But what about birthday and holidays?" he jokingly persist. "No not even those days, Mr. Catman Jones!" I smile. "I've got something for you," Marcus says as he gets up puts on his pajama and walks to the bar. He brings back a tiffany box. In my mind I am thinking, "This better not be a gift that was intended for Shannon", so I look at him suspiciously. He reads my body language as he sits down beside me to present the gift."Snoopy, this gift was brought just for you and you alone" and kisses me again on my forehead. Snoopy was a childhood nickname Marcus had given me when I and his sister were caught "snooping" around in his room. Hearing him call me, "Snoopy," always made me smile and he knew it.
Inside the box is a tiffany bracelet with two charms, one's a diamond and emerald dog charm, and the other an engraved T&C pink enamel finish disc with the words "2 Snoopy My Forever Friend" 143. We kiss and we learn to laugh once again...
Bambi has plans in the works to continue developing the characters of "Playing The Game" into a book. Be on the look out for the book information here on this blog! Next blog short story by Bambi, a suspense thriller, "Scorned!" How far will a daughter go to seek revenge for her father's death? Find out this summer...
PLAYING THE GAME PART 1
PLAYING THE GAME PART 2
PLAYING THE GAME PART 3