Nothing is ever perfect right? And we are challanged by many obstacles daily?  Heath, finances, love and so much more.  And though trials and tribulations come and go.  It is us, the person, the individual that decides to push our way through.  To gather strength in the midst of the storm no matter what fate and angst life throws us. If it were you...how would you deal?  Would you be strong and not give up?  Or would you succumb to the pressure?

 BETWIXT BETRAYAL AND DISBELIEF

 

 

“Wake up! Wake up Sinai!”  I was groggy and wiping the sleep from my eyes. I stretched my legs and turned over to look at my husband. 

“What is going on?  I reached for my cell phone to see what time it was.  It was 2:30 a.m. whenever I get up in the middle of the night I always look to see what time it was.  Are you okay?  I had to now focus my eyes in the dark on my husband’s face.  His face was glistening, his cheeks and under his eyes.  Have you been crying?”  I sat up, now alarmed and concerned.

“Jacob…. Jacob is …Jacob is gone Sinai….” I sat there as if my husband were speaking a foreign language.  Was this a dream?  Was I really awake?  Jacob gone?  Where?

“What are you talking about Jerrod?”

“Jacob is dead.”  And then there was silence in the dark.  I could hear my heartbeat. I could hear my husband Jerrod’s heartbeat.

 

Jacob was a very good friend of Jerrod and mines.  When Jerrod and I had first met Jacob thought he was a threat to him. But found out that he and I were friends and Jerrod and Jacob welcomed each other with open arms.  They soon began to call each other brothers from another mother.

Jacob had taken his life.  His wife had left him for another man and had filed for divorced and won custody of the children, child support and they had to sell the house.  Jacob got into a deep depression and he covered it up so well that Jerrod and I didn’t pick up on it.  He was happy and joyful, yes he had his moments and yes he cried over it.  But once we talked I thought all was well, that he was in the healing process.

Soon after we buried Jacob more bad news seemed to come back to back.  As if we were destined to be in a mental, emotional, physical prison.

 

THREE WEEKS AFTER THE FUNERAL

 

I had come home early from work.  I was beat, and I was strained still emotionally drained from the death of Jacob.  My love, my heart, my bestie, my brother who took his life.  And I hated the fact that life moved on and I could not properly mourn his death.  When I walked in the house I heard the shower running.  I knew that it could be no one other than Jerrod.  I assumed his car was in the garage.  I parked in the driveway instead of the garage.

“Helllllloooooo!  I placed my purse on the dining room table along with my keys.  I had taken my coat and gloves off and placed them on the dining room chair.  I walked to the bathroom, and Jerrod was taking a shower.  Hey hun!  Everything okay?”

“Let me finish up taking my shower and I will tell you what is going on.” Oh, oh this didn’t sound good.  I didn’t like the tonality of Jerrod’s voice. 

“Okay….do you want some coffee?”

“Sure that would be good.” I walked out of the bathroom closing the door behind me.  I walked into the bedroom and removed my clothes and put them away.  I grabbed a T-shirt lounge dress I had gotten years ago from Victoria Secrets.  It was my favorite and it was on its last leg.  But I couldn’t part with it; it was too comfy and felt like second skin.  I then walked in the kitchen and got the coffee brewing.  I had begun to feel uneasy and I felt the knots in my stomach form.  I knew that what Jerrod was going to tell me would not be good news. I had pulled down two coffee mugs from the cabinet and placed them on the counter.  Just as the coffee had finished brewing Jerrod walked in; he sat at the counter, I loved when my husband was fresh out of the shower.  Just then I got a good feeling. There was silence briefly as I made our coffee.  I waited patiently as Jerrod took his time to open up.  He took a sip of his coffee.

“I love when you make my coffee, its perfect.”  I winked and gave a half smile.

“Thank you.”  I took a sip of mine.  I didn’t go and sit next to Jerrod.  I stayed standing across from him still in the kitchen as he sat at the counter.  Obliviously what he had to tell me was very difficult.  I was getting antsy.

“I got laid off today.” My heart dropped down in my stomach. Just that quick my mind went ninety million places at one time!  How were we going o pay all the bills, the mortgage, car notes, insurance, life insurance, food, credit card bills that we had almost paid off? I just started my job to help get us out of debt.  Jerrod didn’t want me to work, but I liked making my own money.  He was indeed a great provider.  But I nowhere made the money that Jerrod made!  Not that I wasn’t capable, but Jerrod had been on his job for years! Ever since he graduated from college!  He got this job from interning two summers while in college!  We had just purchased this house two years ago. I didn’t really know what to say.

“Downsizing?”  Jerrod nodded his head.

“They had been moving me around from department to department for the past year after closing all the departments I had worked in.  I have been promoted and demoted and have taken pay cuts.”

“Jerrod why have you not told me any of this hun?”

“I didn’t want you to worry.  I have been looking for a job, but I have not gotten any bites.  I thought that I would be able to get something before all of this happened.  I have been saving as much money as I possibly can.  So that we should be okay for a little while.  I am just hoping that we will be okay.  That I will find a job soon.” I placed my coffee cup on the kitchen counter and walked over to my husband.  I hugged him tightly and held him in my arms for a long time.  I had to be strong for him.  He had been strong for me.  In hindsight I recalled my husband taking his lunch, carpooling, taking public transit.  He had stopped playing pool and golf.  His shopping and weekend getaways with his boys and me had come to a halt. I didn’t think too much of it.  Only because we wanted to pay off all our creditors.  Jerrod and I had just about every credit card you could think of.  And I was the one pressing that we get out of debt and pay off all of creditors.

 

FOUR WEEKS AFTER JERROD’S LAY OFF

 

Jerrod was in a funk, he was hustling looking for a job.  And I was staying joyful, smiling, and doing romantic things for Jerrod.  Making love to my husband more and encouraging him as much as I possibly could.  But in the inside I was stressed out.  Now the death of Jacob and the lost of Jerrod’s job was on my shoulders.  I missed Jacob soooo much. 

Jerrod drove a BMW so he had decided to trade his car in and get an economy car.  Lower his car payments and the insurance.  Jerrod had finally gotten his unemployment benefits but of course it was nowhere near the money he was making all those years.  Even though he still had his 401k and we had a savings Jerrod was trying not to sink into a depression I could tell.

I was on my way home and had turned down the street and there were police, ambulance and fire trucks on our street.  What happened?  The closer I got towards the house the firemen were in front of my house! And when I saw my house, our house I stood in front of it motionless.  I couldn’t talk, tears just raced down my face.  I had started shaking from crying, but they were not loud sobs that came from my mouth. 

“Ma’am….ma’am this your home?  I still could not speak.  Is this your home? I nodded my head yes. Just then Jerrod had pulled up and didn’t even park.  He jumped out of the car in the middle of the street. 

“What are we going to do?” And I walked away and got into my car and drove off.  I had not to talk to anyone in regards to the damages on the house.  So I drove and I drove around.  It was like I was outside of myself.  I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t know where I was at.  I just drove. I called my job and told them what had happened and I checked myself into a hotel room.  I had completely shut down. 

I had talked to Jerrod the next morning who was worried about me.  I didn’t mean to be selfish, I was just in shock!  I didn’t even know I had driven two hours away from the house!  I don’t remember anything!

“Hello”

“Where are you?!!! I have been worried sick about you!!!”
“I am at a hotel…”

“Where?”

“In San Dimas.”

“San Dimas?!!"  What the hell are you doing way out there?”

“I just drove and drove.  I couldn’t handle it.  I’m sorry Jerrod.”  There was silence.

“When are you coming back?”

“I guess I can leave now.”  I hung up the phone and I took a shower and hopped in my car and told Jerrod to meet me at the coffeehouse that we go to in the neighborhood.  When I saw Jerrod sitting there at the table he didn’t look too good. I could tell he didn’t get too much sleep.  I walked over and pulled out a chair and sat down.

“So what’s the word?”

“There was a gas line that had erupted under the house.  The kitchen, living room, dining room is severely damaged.  Our bedroom and office is fine.”

“Did you call the insurance company?” There was a long silence, and I knew what Jerrod was going to say would not be good. In fact I knew it would be bad news.

“Our insurance has lapsed.” I was done.  I wanted to scream cry and yell! But what could it do.  I felt alone and helpless.  I felt betrayed.

When I went to the house I was devastated by all the damages!  The house…the house was wrecked with water, soot, smoke and certain parts were a mere shell!  I cried and I cried and Jerrod and I packed up all of our shoes and clothes in boxes.  It was so draining to do all of this.  We had to go to the laundry mat and wash all of our clothes and take our clothes to the cleaners! What we couldn’t salvage we had to just leave there.  I was now mad at Jerrod!  Mad that he had not told me what had been going on and keeping a lot of what had been going on to himself! All the things that he had been keeping to himself had been now brought to light and had now come to haunt him and me and hurt us in the process.  I told Jerrod he had to handle everything and keep me a breast of everything and keep nothing from me. 

I went to the post office and purchased a PO Box.  Jerrod and I had to stay at his parent’s house which was the last place I wanted to stay. Not that I had anything against them, we all loved each other very much.  I just wanted my own house to live in. Jerrod had to take over the business of the house.  I couldn’t do it.  I begged him to not keep anything from me in regards to what was needed and what he had planned to do.  All I know at the end of the day was that the mortgage still needed to be paid. And the house had to be fixed no matter what!  We could not sell it, how could we? And the savings that we had, well all that money had to now go and fix the house.  Now I will say this, I was stressed more stressed and a big emotional bag of stress.  The only thing that made me feel better was that I had a job at this point.

TWO MONTHS AFTER THE FIRE

 

It seemed forever that it took to get the house back in order.  One more week and we could move back in. We would be moving back in to what some would consider a better house than before.  But there would be no furniture in the house.  We simply could not afford it!  The only thing that Jerrod and I could buy was a new bed for us to sleep on.  I will say that his parents along with my parents had given us gift certificates to buy things for the house and my co-workers had pulled together and had done the same.  My girlfriend had thrown me a housewarming so that I could cash in on some new things.  And though it touched my heart as well as Jerrod’s.  We still did not have enough money for furniture.  But we had a used stove, fridge, and used barstools to sit at a wonderful new breakfast counter and kitchen island that we didn’t have before.  I mean coming into the house now was a huge difference from the house we had before.  There had been some extras added. I believe Jerrod did this to make things better between us.  I mean so much had to be knocked down and replaced! The house was a showroom and a huge conversation piece when Jerrod bought the house for us.  Now it seemed as if it were transformed into a bigger and yet better home than before the fire.

Jerrod was taking jobs here and there through temp agencies.  He was still collecting his unemployment.  And every check he got he handed over to me. I guess to make me feel better.  I in turn paid the bills, the car insurances, house insurance, and Jerrod’s car note.  And the mortgage which broke the bank every month and was not cheap at all.  We had not been in or house long enough for me to feel comfortable in taking out a loan.  And who refinances a house they have only lived in for two years? We were in deep!  And it looked as if I would need to find away to bring in some extra dollars.

I was browsing on the internet one day sitting in bed aimlessly watching TV or it was watching me.  I guess the noise was soothing to me and keeping me company.  Jerrod had been hustling lately, and I mean just that! He had been doing everything from cutting grass to washing cars, to painting houses and collecting cans.  Any and everything he could do so that we would not have to use the 401k money!  It was for us to retire on.  And I knew as well as he did that if we touched it, it would be a wrap! I just hoped and prayed that something good would happen and we would have some sort of break through.  I didn’t realize all the bills we paid out to!  And insurance was a big part of our lives! We paid on our insurance, life, burial!  We had two policies a piece on each other in case something happened to either of us we would be financially okay. 

Something caught my eye, escorting!  I wonder if I could make some extra money escorting.  No sex just escorting.  Business men come to town and need date and I would be their escort.  I delved into it, I researched it, and I looked up companies.  I read the good, the bad and the ugly on it.  And there was a lot of ugly!  But no SEX was what I was interested in.  When I called around and asked various companies how it worked and what the pay was, I was knocked over!  They did ask me personal questions and they also wanted an updated picture.  And I would need to come in and they would have to excess me.  I was fine with that!  I was looking at the elite agencies, and all of them stated I only had to take the jobs that I was interested in.  Nothing was forced. I figured I would go in and see and ask questions.  Jerrod and I didn’t go anywhere or really do too much anyways.  I mean we did make the best of things.  We had picnics, took drives, and when he hustled up a few extra coins would take me out to eat or take us out to a movie or some inexpensive play.  We did a lot of free concerts in the park.  He tried and I couldn’t knock him for that.

I got up and I took a shower and put on something conservative yet sexy cute.  And I mapped out the escort places and I readied myself for the ordeal of being placed on the auction block.  Because that what it was going to be.

When I went to the three agencies I was a bit uncomfortable.  I didn’t like all the questioning.  And I damn sure didn’t liked being asked to take an AIDS test! Why did I have to do that?  I wasn’t and had no intentions of having sex with anyone!  I was a married woman and I was doing this because money was tight!  But my last interview the owner and older lady who had been in the business for years had a very direct conversation with me and asked me to open up to her.

“So tell me Sinai, what type of trouble are you in?  Of course you need the money.”  I took a deep breath and then exhaled.

“My husband lost his job that he has had since he was in college.  Or should I say right out of college.  He was laid off.  We purchased a home that we could afford the mortgage on his salary.  And though I make a nice salary the mortgage takes all of my check.  My second paycheck goes to the bills of the house and insurances we have.  My husband has been working temp jobs and side jobs.  Doing things he has never done before.”
“Like?”

“Painting houses, cutting grass, detailing cars.  Hauling dirt any and everything you can think of he will do it.”

“What was your husband bringing in a year when he worked?”

“Over a 250,000 a year.  We don’t want to touch the retirement and pensions.  If we do that we will have nothing left.  And not only that we are in a house that caught on fire a couple of months ago and the savings we had accumulated over the years had gone to paying creditors off and rebuilding our house back.  Jerrod had let the home insurance lapse so our insurance didn’t cover anything of course.”

“Why not refinance your home?”

“I wish! We have only been there for two years! I work my job not because I have to.  But because I couldn’t take sitting home.  And I said that I would pay all of our creditors off.  That would be my contribution financially.  We had just about every credit card you could think of.  But now, well the good part is we owe no more credit cards.”  She smiled.

“Wow you have been through a lot!”

“Yes and all of this has happened in the last four months! We cannot even afford to put furniture in our house.  And you know unemployment is not giving my husband anywhere near the money he was getting when he worked.”  She nodded her head.

“I see. Well let me be brutally honest with you.  I have a had a lot of women and young girls come in here.  I have seen a lot go.  That is the beast of this business.  I am what some would consider a madam of sorts except I do not promote sex nor do I sell sex.  But there are going to be many men that will ask and offer to pay you for your services and I do not condone that at all.  However, the minute a client of mine ask you to sleep with him and offers you money and you go ballistic on him that will make my organization look bad.  Not because you said no.  But because you went ballistic on him.  And that I cannot have at all.  There is a way to say no thank you and be a lady about it.  Now some women or girls that have worked here and have gotten tired of being asked, and trust me as beautiful and sexy as you are you will be asked.  Now eventually you will grow tired of this and quit the agency.  Or you will succumb to the money.  And trust me when you have an offer of 3,000 or more to have sex you will give in.  Some of the men have fantasies that are not sexual at all.  And some do want sex.  In order for you to make money just escorting men here you would have to be available at least five nights out of the week to make at least 1,500 a week or more.  Depending on the hours you are needed.  And you may make more than you do on your job.  I don’t know.”  

“Wow! I had no idea.  I mean I have had men hit on me, I mean all the time. But….”

“But that is different in regards to being asked and offered money for sex Sinai.  Now if you just stay with the escorting only then you are looking at a minimum of 6,000 a month you can make.  And I already know that you will be discreet and this is not something you will be telling your husband.  The escorting right?”  I looked down into my lap. I shook my head no.

“No.”

“Of course not.  Again I have seen this episode too many times.  Women who say ohhhh no I will not have sex with a client.  Married women, women who love their husbands, boyfriends and partners and I can tell you that if I were to line up all of them they all said what you said.  No to the sex, and when they were offered the money they took it.  Of course they love they love their significant other.  But in my eyes not really because six out of ten of those girls have not told them what they do. Maybe you should think about it for awhile and then come back and see me in a week.”  She smiled, stood up and shook my hand.  I smiled and walked out of her brightly lit office that looked over the city.  I felt some kind of way, what way I couldn’t really say.

When I got in my car I thought about what she had said.  And honestly I had felt why not?  Jerrod had kept so much from me.  And we needed the money badly!  If I were to do this, I would indeed go back and deal with Ms. Paddington, she was one hundred straight with me. 

“Hey” Jerrod looked tired and worn down.  My heart had instantly crumbled and I had begun to feel bad about even going to the escort agencies.  Jerrod kissed me on the cheek.

“Would you like me to run you a hot bubble bath?” I rubbed his back.

“Not now, I just want to just sit back for a minute and relax.  My back is hurting.  Can you get me bottle water and some aspirin?” I nodded my head yes and went and got what Jerrod had requested. I opened the bottled water and I gave him the aspirin.  He took them and drank all the water down.

“You wanna talk?” Jerrod looked up at me.

“I think we need to.” I sat down on the edge of the bed.  And I waited, Jerrod waited.

“I know you and I are stressed.  You probably more than me.”  Jerrod nodded his head.

“I am not going to waste anymore time.  I have kept and done a lot that has not been good.  But I do want you to know this.  And I want to be honest and straight forward with you.  Since I have lost my job, the fire, the separation of us has taken me through it.  And it has taken you through it.  I have made some bad decisions.  I do want to say this.  There were times in our marriage that I have been tempted to do some horrible things.  But the love that I have in my heart for you, and the love I know you have for me prevented me from doing it.”

“Thank you.  I really don’t know what else to say.”  He gave a weak smile. Why was he saying this?

“Sinai I haven’t been losing weight because I am stressed and been working these temp jobs and hustling.  I have cancer.  I went to the doctor today and I hadn’t been to the doctor in over a year.  I have liver cancer and it has spread.  The doctors want me to start chemo and radiation.” I sat there in pure disbelief!  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk I was in utter shock.  I cringed on the inside, my pulse quickened; my eyes had started to burn.  I couldn’t look at Jerrod.  There was a knot in my throat, and it was hurting.  Like the knot was going to choke me if I spoke. My hands had begun to shake and guilt had taken over me.  I felt guilty for even going to the agencies.  Here it was my husband was sick and he didn’t even know it.  I had noticed the weight loss and that he was looking ragged.  And for that alone was one of the reasons that I wanted to join an escort service so that Jerrod wouldn’t have to work so hard.  There were a plethora of reasons.  But cancer?  Cancer? 

 

TWO WEEKS AFTER JEROD REVEALED HE HAD CANCER

 

My parents, Jerrod’s parents and I had instantly gone into overdrive! We found the best cancer center in Arizona for Jerrod to go to.  It was simply amazing how so many people came in and rallied to help Jerrod.  Even the CEO of his old job had pulled some strings to make some things happen.  He put Jerrod on the company’s insurance and made sure that he got the best care. We all were so overwhelmed with the news that it put all of the family in overdrive!  I cannot tell you when I slept, ate or how I even worked!  I just know that it was getting done and I with the support of our loved ones was getting it done.  Jerrod was holding on and maintaining his spirits as well. 

It was hard I will not tell a lie that it was easy.  And shipping my frail husband to Arizona and not being there with him or him not being here with me was empty.  But with all the things that had happened in our lives recently.  They all fell to the weigh side.  Having a house full of furniture was not important.  The fire, the lost of his job.  I had even stopped grieving for moments over Jacob because my husband’s life was in the balance.  The things that Jerrod had kept from me didn’t even matter.  The pain and hurt we had suffered over the last few months no longer mattered.  I just knew that I had to be strong for him.  

I had called Ms. Paddington and asked her if she could meet me for lunch.  It was to be my treat, for some reason I felt the need to talk to her. I had her meet me at a cozy yet upscale bistro not far from her office. 

When Ms. Paddington saw me she waved, smiled and walked towards the table.  When she got to the table I stood up and we shook hands. 
“You look great Ms. Paddington.”  She smiled.

“Please call me Lara.”

“Okay Lara.  I am so glad that you were able to meet up with me today.”  Just then the waitress came to the table.

“Good afternoon ladies.  Welcome to Bistro 99 may I get you started with some beverages today?  Water, tea, wine?” I looked over at Lara.

“Yes I will have a ginger ale please.”

“Okay and for you Miss?”
“I will have an Arnold Palmer” I stated.

“Okay let me get your drinks for you and then I will give you ladies some time to look over the menus.”

“Thank you. Lara I want to tell you thank you so much for the talk that you had with me at your office a few weeks back.  I needed that, and you were the only one that had spoken so openly to me.”

“I just saw something different in you.  I see it at times in a few young women.  Not many.  But with you, I could just tell that it was something that would not be befitting for a woman of your caliber. So how are things going?” I took a deep breath.

“Wellllllll my husband was recently diagnosed with cancer.  And it has spread through some of his vital organs.  He is at the cancer center in Arizona.  Matter of fact the day that I came from your office and went home was the day he had told me.”  Lara looked into my eyes I could the see sadness and empathy in her eyes.  She reached her hands across the table and I placed my hands inside of hers.

“I see a lot of me in you when you walked in.  I was down on my luck it seemed.  Rent was due I had just lost my car I was on public transportation.  My boyfriend had left me with all the bills and took most of the stuff we had bought together out of the apartment.  I had no idea of who he was with and where he had gone.  I was completely done.  She took a deep breath.  My mother had died a year ago from the hands of my abusive father.  And he was in prison, my sister and brother were not an option.  They were the reflection of my father.  Mean, heartless and cruel.  So asking them for help was out of the question.”

“So what did you do?”

“I did some things I am not proud of.  I ran some dope on greyhound for some dope dealers around the way.  I made two runs, I was nervous as hell!  And after the second time I was done! I had managed to pay up my rent for a few months and I took my behind to school.  While I was in school I stripped in bars.  And that is when I was approached by this madam pimp at one of the clubs telling me I could make a whole lot more money than what I was making.  She ran everything down to me.  I went on a few dates, and when it came time for me to sleep with the first guy I was petrified!”

“So you went through it?”  She nodded her head yes.

“It wasn’t until my last year in college I had a client or john as some would call it.  That saw how antsy and how uncomfortable I was with having sex.  He was a good looking guy that was rich!  Well of course he was because the lady I worked for only dealt with high end men.  I hadn’t had sex with too many men at this time.  He was my seventh guy.  But I was getting tired, and I knew that after him I was going to quit and just go back to dancing.  Something I could handle.  Even though it was a messy business to be in I preferred it.  The women were crazy, jealous, hateful and messy.  But at least I could tell a man no. But this man saw something genuine in me and took the time out to talk to me.”

“Wow!” Lara smiled.

“We ended up talking most of the night and he took me out to breakfast.  He gave me his number and told me to call him on Friday.  He also gave me $3,000 dollars that night and told me not to go back.  I didn’t.”

“So how did you get into the escort business?”

“Well that is a long story.  But I have had many businesses.  I worked for this man and his law firm for three years.  He paid for me to continue school as well.  I learned business law and entertainment law just working for him.  Sooo much I learned from him.  He told me that if I wanted to be in the business of sex I needed to run it and not give myself to any man.  I ended up with my Masters and later on in life got my PHD.  We eventually became lovers and he took very good care of me.  He was much older than me, well by ten years at the time and I had no idea he had left me money in his will or his house when he died!  He had no children.  And he had been married once and refused to ever get married again.  With everything he had taught me and we spoke about I took my monies and invested it.  I just don’t own the escort business.  But I own a bed and breakfast, a coffeehouse and I supply a lot of mom and pop business’ with office supplies. I do the escort business because I know the struggle.  I know some women are cut out for it, and some women are not.  I know the ins and outs of it.  And I do not make any money nor do I promote and sexual favors.  I run a strict business.  But I am far from stupid. I know that these women will sleep with these men.  And that is why my fees are so high and I am very picky of the men and women that can use my service and work for me. I drug test randomly once a month.  I test for STD’s and AIDS.  So for me it is a legitimate business.  And I do very well.  I am much older and wiser.  And I have been where you and so many women and young girls have been before.”

“I so thank you Lara…I felt tears coming.  I hadn’t cried since the news of Jerrod having cancer.  I wanted to, but every time the tears wanted to come I would stiffen up and fight. It has been hard.”

“I know it has.  But you stay strong and take care of yourself in all of this.  Get your mani and pedi.  Get a massage.”

“I can’t do that stuff.”

“Sure you can!”  And Lara reached in her purse and grabbed her checkbook and a pen and had begun to write out a check.  When she was done she handed it over to me.

“I can’t take this!  I looked at the check and it was a thousand dollars! This is too much!”
“You take that check and you use it only for yourself!  I will not take it back and you go and deposit it in your account and use it only when you need a relax release day.  You are going to need it Sinai.  Now let’s eat because you have a long road ahead of you.”

 

THREE MONTHS AFTER JERROD’S CANCER TREATMENTS

 

I had flown to Arizona to go see Jerrod.  It had been a hardship going back and forth.  But it was worth it! It was good to go and see him; it was good to see his smile and to see him looking better. It seemed as if being at the Cancer Center was helping him.  And that there was some progress.  When I spoke to his doctors they all seemed hopeful and full of good report.  They were counseling Jerrod, trying experimental drugs.  They changed his diet and they were giving him all sorts of vitamins and live herbs.  I was hopeful, very hopeful.  Jerrod was putting on weight.  What I loved about the center is that they provided a place for the family to stay.  So when any of us visited we all had a beautifully decorated and comfy place to rest our heads.  It was like a mini apartment.  And Jerrod would be right in there with me, and whoever came and stayed the night week or weekend with him. Jerrod was floored that so many people had reached out to him and were there for him.

“Hey! I went over and hugged Jerrod.  He was in the kitchen making some tea.  Jerrod no longer drank coffee.  He said he didn’t like the taste anymore. 

“Hey beautiful!  How are you?”  I smiled I am doing well.  How about you?”

“Today is a good day.  Seeing your face and you being here.  I feel good I have some strength today.” I smiled.  Jerrod winked his eye.  I knew instantly what that meant.  Jerrod and I hadn’t made love or even had any close touchy feely intimacy since he had told me he had cancer.  And our love making had been strained before then.  Both of us being under so much duress, I hadn’t really been thinking about it due in part that I was doing so much.

“Feeling frisky I see.”  He smiled.

“Yes I am and I haven’t felt this way in a long time it seems.”

“I know.”

“Sinai if this, I mean these treatments and all I want you to know that I love you, I never cheated on you in our marriage.  I will be honest I have been tempted many of times.  But the love I have for you, the love that I have for myself and what we have built together was not worth it.  I want you also to please forgive me for keeping things from you.  Who would have ever thought that I would be dying so young?” Why?  Why was he repeating himself?  Jerrod had told me this already. Or was he delusional?

“Jerrod please let’s not talk about you dying and all of this right now.  Let’s just enjoy each other and the moment. Please…”  Jerrod nodded his head yes.

Jerrod and I had a great weekend.  He cooked me healthy meals and I cooked him healthy meals.  We sat down and talked to the doctors and nurses together. We had even managed to get out and catch a movie and take a long walk and have a picnic in the late evening.  It seemed at that moment I fell in love all over again with Jerrod.  We were like two young teenagers that couldn’t get enough of each other.  We made love every chance we had gotten.  And I was taken aback by the energy and stamina that he had. 

AFTER MY VISIT WITH MY HUSBAND AT THE CANCER CENTER

 

I had come home and had decided to do some cleaning.  I had taken a personal time off from work since I had some PTA.  I had a lot to do, paperwork and making a sleuth of phone calls.  Though I really didn’t want to deal with certain things when it came to Jerrod I had no choice.  And I had let the house get a bit awry.  So I needed to clean the house.  I had just come back from the insurance office and did exactly what Lara said do.  I had a mani and pedi and also had a sweedish massage. I was up so early in the morning.  It seemed as if this was the longest day I had ever had.  But after I came home and had a brief nap from my massage I had gotten a bit of energy and decided to go ahead and clean the kitchen. 

As I was mopping the floor I had slipped and fell on the kitchen floor!!! Aaaaarrrrghhh!!!! I screamed out to no one that could help me.  When I tried to get up the pain had shot up in my leg and it had instantly swelled up around my knee.  I was hoping that I had not broken my leg.  Though I had never incurred a broken leg or bone I really had no idea of what I had hurt in my leg. 

Pain was running up and down my leg, and my knee felt like it was on fire!  I cried and yelled from the pain.  And I then had to pull and push myself to get to my cell phone which was in the bedroom on the bed!  Ohhhhhhh!!!! The pain I was in and it seemed it took me forever to get to the bedroom.  I had to stop more than several times to catch my breath, be still from the pain.  When I got to my phone I cried that I had made it.  I called 911 for an ambulance.  And then I had to pull and push myself back to the living room so that I could unlock the door.  And that was another hard task.  This time I pushed without taking a break because I knew they would be to my home quick.  Tears running down my cheek and the pain gripping my body!  I had gotten a headache, I was having one of those quick moments that I was glad I had cleaned my house with little to no furniture.  And that I didn’t look crazy. 

I lay on the floor by the front door and now wished I had grabbed the Ibuprofen 800 in my purse.  As the tears were running freely down my face from the agony of pain I was experiencing I was really trying to be a big girl as they say.  The paramedics had rang the doorbell and I had told them through the pain the door was unlocked and to come in.  Immediately they asked what had happened, I showed them my leg.  And as one took my vitals the other went and had gotten a stretcher.  After questions were asked and my vitals were taken.  I was placed in the ambulance and whisked off to the hospital.  I had the EMT get my purse and sweater from the bedroom.  I wanted to be clear that I had health insurance so that I would not be treated like crap in the hospital.

When I got to the hospital I asked immediately if they could give me something for the pain.  Of course I was asked if I was allergic to any medications.  They hooked up my IV and I was given some pretty great drugs.  Of course the doctor came in and asked questions and so did the nurse.  I was wheeled in to have an X-ray.  And it turned out that I had torn my meniscus in my knee.  So this now meant that I could not return to work anytime soon!  Tears ran down my face, going to work was my sanity.  I wasn’t worried about anything as far as my finances, only because I had short and long term disability through my job.  So I would continue to get a pay check.  But I would not be able to go see my husband for awhile. 

I called my parents and now I wished how I had Jacob here with me.  My rock, my joy, my friend, my brother! He would be right here next to me and he would be right there with Jerrod. Giving us both the support and love that we needed.  Though I was grateful for my other friends and family, please believe that!  But when you have a real true ride or die person in your life.  That has been there for you through thick and thin, and you have been that person for them.  It hurts!  And there have been so many nights still to this day that I have dreams of Jacob.  Nights where I have awaken from my sleep crying and my pulse racing and heart beating fast. 

It seems at this point in my life so many things have been going on back to back to back.  That there has been no breathing room to adjust and work my way through and sort it all out.  I was worrying that I was losing weight, having sleepless nights.  I had to eventually get a prescription from my doctor so that I could sleep.  Something light, not too heavy and non-addictive.  The last thing I needed was to be addicted to anything; I felt I was drinking wine too much in the evening just so that I could fall asleep.  It wasn’t for the buzz, it was strictly to sleep.  Alcohol was a serious downer for me. While other’s lived to get drunk or get a buzz after I had a couple of drinks I would buzz, then I would be non-buzzed, and then the sleep would hit me quick.

I had to have minor surgery on my knee, nothing I was looking forward to at all.  I had to first see some specialist and go through all the probing and extras that my injury had caused me.  I called Jerrod, my girlfriend who was the second closest friend I had other than Jacob.  My parents of course and then I called my boss and left a message on his voicemail.  Being sure to give him the number to the hospital and my room number. I have not missed any days from my job since I had been there.  Well except for today when I used my PTO.  And then as I laid there I thought, had I went to work and not taken today off this would have never happened!

 

THREE WEEKS AFTER I HAD TORN MY MENISCUS

 

I was in the hospital for a week and after I checked out okay I was released.  I was so uncomfortable with being down.  My mom and dad came stayed with me the first week both taking turns feeding me, and my mom bathing me.  Ohhhh how I hated that she had to help me, not that I was ashamed being naked in front of her I just felt so damn helpless. 

Jerrod and I talked everyday on the phone for hours. Sometimes talking each other until we both fell asleep.  Oh how I missed him and how he missed me.  Jerrod was feeling guilty because he couldn’t be here for me.  And felt if he hadn’t had cancer I would not have had to take a day off to handle business in regards to him.  Could have would have should haves.  We can go back and back and keep dredging up the past and trying to see things in hindsight.  We can place blame, we can point fingers and we can get frustrated mad and angry.  We can do a lot of things, but at the end of the day it still is the same.  It was the past and yes how easy it is for me to say that now. Because I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions, and no matter how angry, sad or mad I have gotten.  No matter how many times I have complained.  It has not changed anything! 

I was glad when I was able to get on crutches and move around.  I was going stir crazy in that big house! I read so many books, watched a plethora of movies.  I even started practicing and sharpening back up on my Spanish! I had bought Rosetta Stone a year ago, and I was on lesson three! I had taken Spanish in high school and when I was in college.  And I had gotten rusty! I was so bored that when I made calls out to various businesses I was speaking Spanish so that I could speak to a Spanish rep just so that I could stay sharp.  I was watching some movies online in Spanish!  Boredom…

 

EIGHT WEEKS AFTER I TORE MY MENISCUS

 

I was feeling a lot better and was now doing therapy.  I was able to walk with a limp, I had to go back and have another minor surgery.  But I had to wait to I heal I understand and didn’t understand that at the same time.  I was getting weary of the whole process and was ready to get all of this over and done with.  I needed to go and see Jerrod.  His parents and my parents went to see him. The last time Jerrod and I skyped this is when I had noticed a change in my husband. He didn’t look the same, he looked as if he was losing weight and his face had broken out.  This was causing a stress for me.

I was able to get on the plane and go see Jerrod.  Which I felt was much needed for him and I just to calm my nerves and his.  One thing I was grateful for was that I had long and short term disability on my job.  I needed it at this point.  I had been off close to three months and now was on long term instead of short term disability.  My short term disability was only going to cover three months.  And now there was another small surgery that was needed as soon as I got back from this trip of seeing Jerrod.  Talking to his doctors I was told that he would be able to come home for a little while.  I was happy for that and I am sure he was.  They said he was making great progress, but from what I seen in him he didn’t look as if he was doing that well.  What were the doctors seeing that I wasn’t? But I wasn’t a doctor they were, and if they said he could come home then so be it.

 

JERROD COMING HOME FROM THE CANCER TREATMENT CENTER

 

The minor surgery I had to have done did not have me down for the count like I thought it would.  It actually had me feeling better, much better.  I was down for a week.  And Jerrod was pulling up the strength to take care of me.  I appreciated his help, but I could not help but wonder what was going on with him.  I could feel it, and then yet as I really wanted to ask my husband what was wrong and tell him that he looked really tired.  I declined it for a minute.  I only had two more weeks off from work and I knew that I needed to get back to work ASAP. 

“It seems as if you are getting up and about real good.  And your knee looks good.  They did a good job not a bad scar.  You can go have plastic surgery if you like and cover it up Sinai.”  Jerrod and I were sitting in the backyard having some ice tea.  It was a beautiful day. I looked down at my knee.

“I am not too worried about that.  In due time.  I took a deep breath and then I exhaled.  I looked straight ahead and took a sip of my ice cold tea.

“So how are you feeling?  I mean really feeling.”  I looked over at Jerrod.

“I have my days. I have my days when I want this to be over and move on with my life and you.  I have my days where I am tired and don’t want to fight.  I have my days where I get tired of all the probing, pain and all of the meds I have to take.  And I get tired of fighting.  I have good days where I have that ray of hope, you give me that hope Sinai.  You really do.”

“Jerrod?”

“Yes.”

“This may sound crazy, but if you don’t wanna fight anymore and you are tired I will be okay.  Of course I will hurt and be sad for a very long time.  And I will always have love deep love in my heart for you always.  But if you are tired……” Jerrod sat up from the lounge chair he brought his self to the edge of the lounge chair.  He grabbed my hand and held it.

“I will fight as long as there is fight in me.  I will fight and believe that nothing is impossible. Nothing! I can’t give up even though so many times I want to. Look at all we have been through in the past year alone! We have managed it through the storm. Some people are doing worse than us.  But no matter what may come or what may go we have managed to stick it out. Stay together, things like this have broken marriages and love, family and so much more.  I know you may have wanted to leave me.”

“No I never had those thoughts, I was angry.  But I never thought about leaving you!”

“I thought that you had.  We can do this!  We can fight for each other, and we can fight for love.  We can fight to live. It is crazy how I thought buying this house and driving expensive cars, designer suits.  Being able to go on luxury vacations.  And it brought me angst and debt.  I have learned a lot about so much.  And I am grateful that I have a woman like you, a wife like you, love like yours to keep me going and to keep me strong.”

As Jerrod was talking and more seemingly motivated by me and our love.  I felt as if he was convincing himself.  He had begun to talk of having a baby! A baby was the last thing we needed and could afford.  And I didn’t want children not in this state nor condition of our lives.  Was he not thinking?  There were bills we had accumulated from my traveling, though we had help.  Our house was not completely furnished; I was the only one working.  Health issues, and how would I pay babysitting fees? How could we buy anything for the baby?  Was he now or we now going to break into his retirement? No! If something did happen to Jerrod I wanted to pay off all bills and live comfortably.  Not that I was being selfish, but the last thing I wanted was to raise a child by myself.  And even the thought of having a child made my stomach churn!

Jerrod and I got back settled in.  He and I were getting reacquainted with one another.  I had managed to get a little furniture for our living room.  A sofa, some artwork, plants and a chair.  Very nice pieces from a furniture store that was going out of business.  I had a little help from my mom she put in a couple of hundred dollars.  She had insisted that I take the money.  She wanted to make it as comfy for Jerrod as I did when he came back home.  Nothing really wasn’t going to change as much.  I mean at least for me, I would still have to go to work five days out of the week. And added to the plate was that I had to keep a watchful eye on Jerrod.  Though he had finished his sessions with chemo and radiation.  And from what the doctors said there weren’t any traces of cancer left. 

This was great news, but it would take awhile before Jerrod really got on his feet.  Jerrod needed to keep his mind and self busy.  So what he did was buy a lot of how to books.  Jerrod had always wanted to speak Spanish, so I gave him my Rosetta Stone disc.  He also got into self help and motivation books.  He wanted to learn how to read and invest in stocks.  He kept himself busy.  But he also did a lot of sleeping!  The radiation and chemo was very draining and he was always dehydrated.  He studied and researched so much online about cancer.  He ate very well and was getting into holistic healings, herbs and vitamins.  Jerrod in the next month had also begun to work out and put in some of the weight he had lost from worry and depression.  He slept so much while he was at the Cancer Center in Arizona.  Jerrod had lifted weights.  At one point of time he was on steroids and loathed the weight he had put on.  Jerrod was like a madman.  But I supported all that he wanted to do and did do.  It helped him to stay in a good place. And it gave me a bit of relief.  Mainly it took his mind off of the baby fever he was having.  Because there was no way I was going to stop my birth control. Like I said, the last thing we needed was to bring a baby in this world!

 

FIVE MONTHS AFTER JERROD CAME HOME FROM THE CANCER CENTER

 

So far so good.  Jerrod had made a trip to his doctor here and he had a clean bill of health.  So far the cancer had not come back.  Jerrod had put on some weight and was doing very well now speaking Spanish.  I mean he seemed to be almost fluent!  I was proud of him!  He was doing things to keep himself busy.  I was pulling and hoping for the best.  I really was I was so grateful that there were people that loved Jerrod so much that they had helped him or should I say helped us.

Jerrod and I were sitting outside on the patio when we heard the doorbell ring.  Both looking at each other as if we were asking “Who is it?” because neither of us were expecting anyone.  I got up and went to the front door. When I got to the front door there was a woman with sunglasses on dressed very nice and yet eclectic.  Giving me a classy urban Erykah Badu vibe.  I must say she was very beautiful.  I asked “Who is it?” while still looking through the peephole.
“Morgan Sydney.  I am looking for Jerrod is he here?” I frowned, who was she?  How does she know Jerrod? I opened the door.

“Jerrod is here. I didn’t want to ask her inside and neither did I want to act up nor jump to any conclusions.  So I yelled for Jerrod to come to the front door not once moving. Jerrod looked at me with a confused look.  He mouthed the words “Who is it?” And I mouthed back “I don’t know” she had told me her name. But who was she? When Jerrod made it to the door, and he saw that it was.  His whole demeanor and body language changed.  I immediately got a bad vibe. Something was about to go down and I knew I would not be a happy camper.  My stomach had begun to do flips!

“So you were just going to keep ignoring me Jerrod?  I have been cool, kick back.  I had compassion for your situation and I feel bad that you are having a health crisis.  I sat back when you lost your job and I have been patient.  You have been ignoring me, us. And this is not something that can be ignored.  I hate coming over here like this but what do you expect Jerrod?”  And tears started to fall from her eyes.  Whatever she was going through I felt, for some odd reason I felt her pain in the angst and hurt in her voice.  Who was she? The hairs on my neck were standing up! My mind and thoughts were spinning around like crazy!

“I am so lost and have no idea of what is going on here.  But I am sure I will not like it.  So it seems as if you need to come in.” She nodded her head.  And Jerrod was caught up and could say nothing.  He looked as if he had been a deer caught in headlights. My insides were jumping around and my heart was beating so fast I felt as if it was going to jump out of my chest! Morgan looked behind her and raised her hand holding up one finger. I could see there was someone sitting in the passenger side of the car. When I looked towards the car I couldn’t quite make out who was sitting in the car.  At this point it really didn’t matter.  The pressing issue was finding out what was going on and who was this lady that had made it her business to come to my home and seek out my husband whom she knew and he apparently knew her. I offered her a seat on the couch while Jerrod just stood there still acting as if he saw a ghost.

“I know how this must look to you.  And before I get started I want to apologize.  And you may not like me and even hate me when I am done.  For the past eighteen months I have been kept on ice.  So I will get directly to the point. Jerrod and I have a nine month old son Jerrod Sydney.  I had no idea that Jerrod was married until I was five months pregnant.  I found out he was married when we out having lunch and we were approached by someone that knew him and assumed that I was his wife and was glad to have finally meet me, or you.  I played along as if I was his wife.  I was hurt and in total disbelief.  I had no idea.  Here I was five months pregnant with our child.  Too late to have an abortion.  Because honestly I would and have never had an affair with any woman’s man that I knew of.  Jerrod had convinced me through tireless talks that you two were separated and did not live together and were getting a divorce and that he would marry me and we would raise our son.  Jerrod and I have been in a relationship a year before I had gotten pregnant.  Jerrod bought us a condo to live in once he found out I was pregnant. She then held up her hand.  On it was a huge engagement ring. I was sitting there speechless and had nothing to say, what could I say?  I was going through a range of hurt emotions! When Jerrod first lost his job he didn’t come around as much.  He made sure he paid the bills and gave me money.  It was then that he had opened up and started telling me about the job, the house catching on fire and him being diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t want to pressure him because I knew that he was under a lot of pressure.  When he was at the cancer center Jerrod Sydney and I went there many of times to see him.  I was shocked!  I mean shocked.  Morgan got up and went to the front door, went outside with the door still open and waved to the car in a “come here” motion.  Soon there was another woman walking in with a baby in her arms.  I assumed to be my husband’s son.  When she took the baby out of the lady’s arms she walked back over and sat on the couch.  I studied this baby’s face.  And there was no denying this was not Jerrod’s son.  It was if he had carried this baby and not Morgan.  I could see some of her in him.  But this baby had Jerrod’s eyes, nose, chin and lips.  He was the same fair complexion of his mother and had her high cheeks.  Again I sat there numb. I looked over at Jerrod who said nothing the whole time she was speaking.  Looking like a dunce.

“So Jerrod was living a double life. Wow!.... I mean I don’t know what to say! This man who told me he could never cheat on me.  Was tempted, but never did it because of the love he had for me……  Asked me to have a child for him.  I am … well how can I be angry with you Morgan? You had no idea and you were…. I then got up and went in the bedroom and grabbed my purse.  I found some shoes and I slipped them on and I left the house.  I had heard enough.  I was too many things.  When I got in my car I called my mother and I ran down everything that I was told.  My mother was shocked to say the least and just as hurt as I was. I didn’t stop there, as soon as I got off the phone with her I called Jerrod’s mom and told her.  Since I was outted, Jerrod would be outted to his family.  And I knew that it would not be pretty!  At this point I could care less who knew because what is done behind closed doors always comes to the light!

At this point and time there was no way that I could be married to Jerrod any longer.  Lies are the life I had been living with him.  I was no fool.  And while my head was clear and I had the strength.  I drove over to my girl’s office who was an attorney and I filed for divorce. She was shocked and I told her a little of what had happened.  She understood and said not to worry about any money she would take care of me.  I was grateful. I was in her office for an hour or so. I then text Jerrod and asked him to meet me at a restaurant that would take him at least forty five minutes to get to.  He replied back that he would meet me.

I was on a street parked when I sent the text, my nerves all bundled up.  No tears yet.  I was surprised.  It took maybe about twenty minutes before I saw Jerrod’s car, when he was completely out of sight I went back to the house and I packed my clothes up.  My mom came over and I filled her car up.  We said nothing to each other.  I knew if I went to my parent’s home Jerrod would come over there.  I felt I had nowhere to go.

I went to a coffeehouse with my tablet and looked up some reasonable motels that had kitchenettes that I could pay for weekly. When I found one that was suitable for me I checked in.  When I dragged some of my luggage in the room I looked around and that is when I finally cried and let all of the hurt out.  I cried and wailed myself to sleep. 

When I woke up it was dark, and the feeling of the dark room and the dark outside combined left me empty inside.  I was surrounded by hurt and pain and felt lost and so deceived.  My nerves were completely rattled.  Never have I been so betrayed and unloved.  This for me was beyond repair and I at this point had begun to think I had moved to quick in leaving the house and filing for a divorce.  But then again it was going to eventually be the inevitable.  When Morgan stated that she had been up to the cancer center, the baby, the engagement ring and the condo? Where was this money coming from to support a whole other family?  There were now many more questions that I had but would probably not be answered are answered because I knew that at this point did I not want to speak nor see Jerrod.  Let his future wife from this point on take care of him and see to it that he was okay.  It was no longer my job at this point.  And all this thinking had me crying again, had I lost.  Who had I married?  Who was the man I had dedicated my life to?  Who I had been faithful to?  I had been living a false lie of a marriage and I had been duped into thinking that there was no other woman for Jerrod but me. I felt that at some point someone would knock on the door and tell me this was all a joke! That this was someone else’s life!

“Hello I said in a weak voice.”

“How you holding up doll” It was my mom.

“I don’t know mom.  This all seems like some bad dream.  I sad in a weak voice from all the crying I had been doing.

“I know we all are surprised by the news. I know this may not be a good time.  But Jerrod’s parents are very hurt by the news.  And he has been calling me and Joanie asking where you are.  Apologizing like crazy.  Joanie called me and said she is meeting up with that girl Morgan to see the baby.  She says she doesn’t believe the baby is Jerrod’s and that she was some scandalous woman trying to get over and saw dollar signs when she met him and doesn’t believe anything.  Even though Jerrod told her it was all true.”

“Mom at this point I could care less.  I went over to Leslie’s office and filed for divorce.  As soon as she gets the paperwork all handled she is going to serve Jerrod.”

“You filed for a divorce Sinai!?”

“While I had the courage.  Yes I did mom.  Even though I rushed into it.  It is the best thing for me.  What if you found out what I found out?! Do you know that Jerrod said he had never cheated on me but was tempted? No.  That he wanted me to have a baby? No. All the things he had kept from me about the job, bills, and investments.  Insurance lapsing.  All the debt we had been in due to him?  That baby looks just like Jerrod there is no denying that!  I seen his son mom and Jerrod not once denied what Morgan had said when where she came over to the house. Jerrod has had me on the clouds.  All the things I have been caught up in.”

“Joanie said that the girl had hired a private investigator to find out where Jerrod was.  Because he wasn’t answering her calls or coming by like he should.  Yet he was still sending her money!  Where did the money come from mommy?  We are over there struggling and having it hard I just bought furniture for the living room after all this time since the fire.  No, no, no!!! There is no coming back after this mess!  None whatsoever! My husband the man that I love did something that is unforgiveable for me right now!  He was living a double life! And it makes sense now why he was working so many jobs and hustling so hard.  He had another family to support.  And all of that so-called business trips and weekends away and long nights.  He was with her! I can’t right now!  I really can’t! And I am over here working overtime and doing extra projects to pay the bills!”

“I know baby, I know. Where are you?”

“I am at the Sunnyvale Inn and suites.  Off of Rampart and 12th St.  It’s a studio with a kitchenette.  I paid up for two weeks.  There is no way that I can look at Jerrod or be around him right now.  And counseling or reconciliation is out of the question for me.  If I didn’t file for that divorce I would have never done it.  We can sell the house and he can take half.  And whatever monies he has Leslie will find out; she will get me what I deserve.  The year that we have been having, I have been having has been a complete nightmare.”  I started back to wailing uncontrollably.

“You want me to come over and stay the night with you doll?”

“Yeah, I would love that mom.”

Two weeks had come and gone.  And still I had not spoken to Jerrod.  He had not given up by calling me.  But of course I ignored every call and text message.  I was over it.  I was not ready to talk to Jerrod or see him.  And at this point I could really care less if I had seen or spoke to him again.  I wanted to move on as quickly as I could.  I knew that I was in for a long road of tears, hurt and anguish.  And that my road would not be easy.  But it was a road that I had to take, a road that only I could walk.

The past couple of weeks more and more info had been brought out.  After Leslie had done a bit of digging she found out of some accounts that I had no idea of.  It seemed as when Jerrod was claiming broke he really wasn’t.  He had broken a money marketing CD and was paying the mortgage of the condo.  He had also bought Morgan a car to get around in three months after the baby was born.  It was a push gift, whoever heard of that?  You get a gift for pushing a baby out in the world!  It all began to make sense to me.  It was apparent that Jerrod was in love with Morgan.  While he had downgraded his car so that she could drive a Mercedes Benz.  I didn’t drive a Mercedes, and Jerrod had given up his BMW and downsized to an economy car.  The hurtful thing was Jerrod seemed to be doing all these sacrifices not for me but for the real loves in his life.  And that was Morgan and his son Jerrod Sydney.  While we went or I went without and stressed out on how I would make ends meet.  And just to think I was going to join an escort service just to bring in more money.  How I was going to degrade myself.  Noooo Jerrod did not love me.  He loved Morgan, and just thinking that and knowing that seemed to drive the knife in my heart even more.  I would get angry and want to drive over to the house and curse and yell at Jerrod.  And as much as I was close to doing it, I wanted to keep as much dignity as I possibly could.  That was all I had left, and I knew that if I went and acted a pure azz I would later regret it.  So when it came down on me, I would get in my car and take a drive.  Turn the music up and scream yell and cry. I would curse and berate Jerrod.  And that would make me feel a little better.  Not much, but the point for me was that I was getting it all out.

Jerrod of course called me when he was served the divorce papers.  Soon I would have to face him and there was nothing that I could do to change that.

 

FOUR WEEKS AFTER LEAVING THE HOUSE AFTER FINIDING ABOUT JERROD’S AFFAIR AND SON

 

It had now come where Jerrod and I along with his attorney and mine had to sit in the same room at a table across from each other and talk.  Everything would have to be discussed and final arrangements of what we would do about the house and spousal support.  Leslie had told me I had nothing to worry about because she had quite a few aces in the hole.  Leslie had found out about some overseas accounts that Jerrod had set up.  As far as I was concerned I would not have to pay spousal support.  My revenge was hitting Jerrod’s pockets.  Now he had to pay up big time!

Crazy as it may sound I wanted to look my best when I showed up. The day before I had a massage so all the tension that had resided in my body could be removed.  I had a facial, mani and pedi.  I had my hair done and had bought a tight form fitting suit.  I had even managed to even get an early appointment to have my teeth whitened.  I wanted to look flawless!  And so was my make-up! The make-up was really needed because I had cried so hard the past couple of days. And the dark circles from worry, no sleep, crying and late nights had taken its toll on me.  I wanted Jerrod to get the impression that I was fine without him and that I had not suffered any at all.

Just before I walked into the conference room I had a flashback of the last time Jerrod and I had made love.  It was the same day that Morgan had showed up to our door.  Jerrod and I had just gotten out of the bathtub together and it was a very passionate raw animal sex we had! It seemed as if we could not get enough of each other.  I was sure that the neighbors had heard me the with all the moans and cries of passion that I had screamed out. Jerrod had also had a few cries of passion.  It was like we were making up for the many nights and days he had been gone at the Cancer Center in Arizona.  And that Jerrod was getting back healthy and strong.  Our connection had been so strong and beautiful. 

I had to quickly remove the thought from my mind.  As I walked in and saw Jerrod and his attorney sitting at the table.  Jerrod looked like I had been feeling the past month.  Though he was very well groomed and had worn a suit, the toll of the stress was all over his face and under his eyes.  And seeing him that way made me feel better and had boosted my confidence!  Happy now that I had spent the money! I know it was wrong, I know it.  But my pride was on the line, my feelings, my emotions all of these crazy feelings were swirling in my stomach, my head and my heart! Hate was in my heart and it had reared its ugly head.  I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me.  I had no idea of all the things that Leslie had found out.  I told her to just handle it.  At this point Leslie was my Olivia Pope, she was my savior in all of this shyt!

It was if Leslie and Jerrod’s attorney was speaking in a foreign language.  It was waa waa waa.  Jerrod was looking directly in my face with watery eyes.  I could see him from my peripheral vision.  My eyes drifted back from Leslie and Jerrod’s attorney.  I totally ignored him I had to shut him out!  Jerrod was trying to lure me in by his sadness, I know what he wanted.  He wanted me to forgive him, give him a third chance, a fourth chance.  How many chances was I suppose to give my husband?  I understand the life of a married couple.  We want things to be perfect.  No arguments, no fights, no disagreements and no pain.  But that would not be life.  Nothing is perfect, so many married couples have apologized for things said and done and have also asked for forgiveness.  But these lies and crisis we have had over the past months have taken us through it.  And while it taking us through it.  There was a bigger picture, he was involved, loved, had a child and going out of his way for another woman more than the woman he said “I do” to.  And that is why we were here!  We were here because I was dragged into a lie, to live a lie. To be in a plot and movie that I was not getting paid nor ask to be in.  I no longer wanted to be in this movie, play or theatrical play! Jerrod proved his point! He was the master puppeteer!

“My client has suffered a great deal from Mr. Tram.  In the realization of all the evidence before us Mr. Tram has been living a double life at the expense of his wife. Mrs. Tram working overtime and draining her savings in order to keep the household a float when Mr. Tram lost his job and also found out that he had cancer.  In lue of the present evidence before you.  Mr. Tram had monies in various accounts that could have been used to take care of the finances with the home.  Instead he was taking care of his mistress.  Excuse me his fiancé and his son.  Paying the mortgage to the condo, car payments, life insurances, health insurance, and car insurance.  There is also a private nanny hired, a monthly stipend given to the fiancé and child support for his son. After the fire of the house that Mr. And Mrs. Tram had to their home.  Mr. Tram who was responsible for paying the fire insurance on the home had allowed it to lapse.  They lived with no furniture in the home while Mr. Tram was still taking care of his fiancé at this time.  I have every account, annuities, retirement plans, savings and many money marketing CD accounts that he has been living off the interest.  Those documents are before you.”

“I have them and have discussed this with my client.  What is it that you would like for your client? I could see that Jerrod had lowered his head.  Though Jerrod knew and didn’t know that Leslie was a thorough attorney and very good at her job.  He probably didn’t know that she would uncover what she did.  But she did!  And I am sure that his attorney told him what Leslie had uncovered before they came to this meeting. 

“The sale of the house and Mrs. Tram gets all the monies from that.  Mr. Tram apparently has a home that he can live in as well as a vacation home he can live in.  My client asks for $6,000 a month in spousal support until she remarries or until the death of Mr. Tram.  A settlement of 1.2 million dollars in an account for Mrs. Tram at the end of the week and her attorney fees paid for as well as the filings.  We all know that Mr. Tram is getting off very easy on this one.  If he does not want to settle, we can go to court and ask for more.”

“Can you please let me speak privately to my client?”

“No problem.”  Leslie looked over at me, nodded her head and I got up from my chair and followed her out of the conference room.  I followed Leslie into the break room. She had gone directly to the coffeemaker, grabbed a cup and poured some coffee.  Adding creamer no sugar.

“I, I…. I had no idea that Jerrod had so much. I didn’t even know about the vacation home.  All ……”

“Listen I was one of the cheerleaders for you and Jerrod getting married I thought he was a great man and that you two made a wonderful couple.  Trust me. I found a buyer for the house and you can get one million for the sale of that house.  It is considered prime reality.  A settlement of 1.2 million dollars is him getting off way easy.  And $6,000 for spousal support is nothing with all the money he has saved up and has in various accounts and investments.  You two have not been married that long so I cannot push for too much.  However he did marry you and you were living an upscale lifestyle.” I pulled a chair out and sat down.  I was getting dizzy, I was overwhelmed.  How could Jerrod do this to me? I had been asking myself this question over and over.  And still there were no answers.  From the timeline that was presented from Morgan. Jerrod and she had been involved with each other shortly after we got married.  And here I was thinking the man I had dedicated so much of my life to was wholly mine. It was far from the fact that I had just met Jerrod and we rushed and got married!  Noooooooo!  We had his-story and her-story together!

I knew before we had even walked back into the conference room that Jerrod would settle out of court.  He did not want to go to court and drag this out and did not want to contest the divorce.  I knew that he had spoken to his mom.  And how hurt she was, and I could only imagine what she said to him.  Having a grandchild, her first grandchild and all these secrets exposed.  I was very close to his family as they were close to me and my family.  I remember how my mother and Jerrod’s mom loved helping with the wedding. We vacationed together, holidays, dinners and so much more.  Lies, lies, lies!

Jerrod had got up and walked out when Leslie and I walked in.  Jerrod’s attorney let us know that Jerrod had agreed to our terms and had already signed the papers for divorce, spousal support.  The sale of the house and the 1.2 million dollars Leslie had asked for.  Jerrod had also had his attorney draw up papers that if he were to die or anything happen to him that there would be a trust fund set up to continue to pay me the spousal support and that I was beneficiary on one of his life insurances that would give me $600,000! We signed the paperwork, and with that my attorney fees were paid.  And I am sure that Leslie hit Jerrod with a nice fee.  Tears streaming from my eyes, I jumped up and hugged Leslie so tight!

I had made arrangements with Jerrod’s mom so that he could pack up the rest of my things so that I could pick them up.  I wanted nothing from Jerrod, furniture nothing I purchased in the house.  Just my personal things that I had bought for myself that the fire didn’t destroy. Jerrod would be using his attorney to talk to Leslie in regards to the selling of the house.  Since she had already found a buyer for it.  I actually was happy, no thrilled that a lot of things I did not have to deal with.  The only issue I was having was finding a place to stay and not answering Jerrod’s emails, text messages or phone calls.  And soon I was going to eliminate that by blocking him on my phone and my email address.  Why had I not thought of this before I don’t know.  Technology was a beast, and there was an app that could be downloaded to my phone.  I had refused to change my number.  And I was tiring of seeing Jerrod’s number and name on my phone. As far as I was concerned Jerrod and I were over and done with and there was nothing he had to say.  And I know hearing his voice would creep me out and make me angry. 

 

LIFE AFTER JERROD MOVING ON AFTER THE DIVORCE

 

It didn’t take long for me to find a place.  Now that I didn’t have to worry about keeping the house afloat, taking care of Jerrod I tried my hardest my thoughts when he popped up in my head.  He was now and belonged to HER and HIS son.  Jerrod had my account number so the first of the month I got my first spousal support check and the divorce was not even final yet. There was also an extra three thousand in my account which I am sure was guilt money.  No problem at all because that guilt money and spousal check moved me into an apartment that I was leasing out for six months.  A bed, some furniture and other necessities for my place.  I moved into a high rise on the west end with concierge service that was costing twenty-five hundred a month courtesy of my soon to be ex-husband.  I would not have to pay for anything out of my pocket.  I was to only stay here until the divorce was final and the sale of the house.  I was going to use the money from the house to purchase my home.  And the monies from the settlement I would be investing towards my retirement.  I figure I would retire in life in a few years.  I could live off of the interest alone.  Now was the time to do me!  To look out for me and cater to me. 

“Hello”

“Hi. It was Jerrod he was calling from another number.  I assumed he figured out I had some sort of blocking app on my phone. Before you hang up just let me say what is on my heart Sinai.”

“Jerrod….”

“Please Sinai! He yelled and that took me off guard. I do not expect you to forgive me and everything be okay.  But I am sorry for all that I have taken you through.  I needed you to know that I never loved or wanted to be with Morgan the way that I have been.  I got caught up is all.  I made the mistake of telling her that I loved her so that she could get off of my back.  When she found out she was pregnant and told me she wanted the baby I could not convince her to abort it nor give it up for adoption.  When she found out I was married and threatened to tell you that is when I got the condo and the ring and told her I would divorce you and marry her.  I do have feelings for her, deep feelings and yes I was living a lie.  Once my son got here and I saw him be born, that is when I fell in love with him.  I had a paternity test done and he is my son 99.9% it was then that I was basically giving Morgan hush money.  When I broke three promises of leaving you and being with her she hired the detective to find me.”

“Great and no it doesn’t make me feel any better Jerrod.  Because we, you and us have been fake.  All lies! You had me stressed out and had others believing we were doing bad.  That we could barely make it! Do you have any idea of what I was going to do to bring in some extra income Jerrod?  No! No you don’t! And you apologizing doesn’t make up for the fact that me, your wife had no idea of all the accounts you had, vacation home?! So you had me paying the bills, you had insurances lapsing and you had me working like a dog with overtime to keep us a float.  I assume that when you were quote unquote hustling you were really with your son and fiancé! Look Jerrod you played and you played me good.  You love Morgan, you do Jerrod!  I know you better than you think I do!  You love Morgan Sydney more than you are claiming Jerrod.  And now that she has your son and only child that I know of.  You being the man that you are want to be in her life and his life.  So she got her wish!  And now your parents have a grandchild.  The one they have been wanting since we got married Jerrod.  Well I am sure that Morgan is happy, she can forgive you and move forward and marry you! Now I have some things I need to do.  So if you will excuse me! And please do not call me anymore! You can leave any messages you have with Leslie!” And I hung up.

I made up in my mind that this was truly it! Each thought of my divorce, losing my home and my husband and the other woman would be my motivation to move forward and be a better person.  I would be telling a lie to myself if I said that I no longer loved Jerrod.  It is far from the truth.  And deeeeep deep down inside I wanted him to be in remission from his cancer.  And deeeep down inside I wished that this never happened and we could be together and that he wasn’t the liar and cheat that I had found him to be. That we could cuddle and make love and enjoy our lives together and be happy.  But this was not so. I knew that I didn’t want to be an angry spinster questioning every man that I met and being bitter.  I knew that it would take time to get over everything.  But I was willing to do the work.  I was willing to love myself and not beat myself up!  And that in itself was going to be a huge chore!

 

MOVING AND MOVING BEING AND LIVING AND OPEN

 

The house had sold.  I had gotten my settlement money a while back and I had also decided to move to another state.  It was just upstate, or a state over that would allow me to drive and see my parents.  It was just a brief drive of four hours or a plane ride of an hour and twenty minutes.  My parents hated to see me go, and I was saddened to leave.  Trust me! But I knew that I had to do this for me, myself.  I had even decided to get some counseling; I wasn’t happy at first but glad that I had.  At the end of the day I really didn’t have too many people to talk to and I didn’t want to wear my parents out with my constant complaining.  Neither the few people that were close to me in my life. 

I ended up buying a three bedroom two-story Tudor home in a beautiful subdivision.  I also met some fabulous people and a single man who is simply gorgeous and a loner most times.  We are taking it slow, and I do mean slow.  We cook for each other and go out on dates.  I like him a lot and he genuinely likes me.  I have not talked about my past relationship with Jerrod to Angelo either.  I did not want to talk or hear of his past relationships.  Because one thing I did know, there were two sides to every story.  And neither his exes nor mine were here to tell their side. Even though I was duped and done in I didn’t want to be looked at as a victim nor babied.  So I never spoke of my marriage.  Just my job and what I use to live, my family, and special interest.  We spoke on what we liked and didn’t like and we had a lot in common.  And there were of course things we didn’t have in common.

I had an online boutique that sold everything from candles, shoes, handbags, clothes and accessories.  I had hired a few people to work for me.  It actually was doing quite well because I had great word of mouth and I invested in promoting my website and business.  I had also sold the products of designers that hadn’t made it big yet but were extremely talented.  I did some other things on the side to keep me busy and generated some money for me.  But with the sale of the house and me buying this house outright and not having a mortgage and just paying taxes I made out like a fat rat!  The house was cheap in my opinion. I had a three thousand square foot home.  It was not as grand and huge as the home I once shared with Jerrod.  But it was mine and it was nice and very beautiful.

As for Jerrod we had not talked since our last conversation when he called to apolo-lie.  Well that is how I felt about it.  It has been two years since I have talked or seen Jerrod.  And though I loved Jerrod’s parents and we were very close.  I asked them if they could get me some space and not call and be understanding if I didn’t call them as well.  They did understand.  Though I did tell my mother to tell Jerrod’s mom and all of their friends about my online boutique.  They were both extremely social and were involved in a lot of clubs. 

I told my mother that I did not want to know anything in regards to Jerrod or his son.  To only tell me if he was sick and not doing well health wise or he had died.  Not that I wanted him to die.  But I still cared what happened to him.  I was hoping that Jerrod would live a long life to see his son grow up.  I wanted that much for him, even though I had been hurt and lied to.  I still wanted Jerrod to be okay and healthy.  And so far I guess all was well with him and his son.

Because of Jerrod having cancer I was sure to donate monies to cancer research.  Jerrod’s mom and dad had started a cancer foundation in his name.  Calling it the obvious “Jerrod’s Cure” I made sure I gave monies to his cause.  After all I was doing very well.  And the monies I donated to his charity were with the money I had made from my business.

Life was moving forward and I was moving on.  My life was indeed getting better and I was feeling a whole lot better. Angelo, my business, my newfound friends, and new home kept me content, happy and hopeful.

 

 

 

This story is dedicated to my loving and wonderful “play” daughter who has battled cancer and is a survivor, battling continuously.  To all the cancer patients in the world who are fighting and who are in remission.  To all of the family members and friends of those who have been diagnosed and have been right by the sides of those suffering from cancer.  My love and support to you all! This is for you as well keep fighting and keep hope alive!

 

12/2013

“Just Toy”

Written Expressions

 

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