Practice What You Preach

Carrie laid in the bed for a few moments staring up at the ceiling. Her mind was racing heavily. She hadn’t told James about Philip. His prison sentence made his existence null and void. She thought there’d never be a day where she’d have to bring him up. Talk about life throwing curve balls. She had to figure out a way to tell him everything.  She finally sat up on the bed. She took deep breaths to calm her nerves. She needed to be relaxed so she could help James tend to Jr. Just as she was about to get up from the bed, James entered the room. She felt her knees go weak and she collapsed back down on the bed. “Lord I hope he wasn’t eaves dropping at the door.” she thought to herself. She knew James had a habit of eaves dropping on her conversations and then bringing them up in later arguments. She hated it. “Why can’t you respect my privacy? You always complaining about me acting funny when I get on the phone, this is why! You always in my business.”she hissed. James knew she hated it, but he didn’t care. After all he’s put her through, he was just trying to make sure she wasn’t planning any revenge tactics. 

She noticed her husband’s rigid demeanor. She swallowed hard. She knew he had been listening at the door. “So, where do you want me to start?” she asked. “You can start by telling me why your sister felt so comfortable giving our address out to someone in prison. Secondly, who is Philip? Thirdly, what does she have to fix?” he demanded. Carried got up and reached for her husbands hand. “Where’s Jr.?” she asked. “He’s downstairs watching television.” he replied. She motioned for him to lay on his stomach on the bed. He didn’t have a shirt on, so this made it easier for her. She climbed on his back and made herself comfortable. She reached for the baby oil she kept on the night stand. “I hope you don’t have anywhere to be, because this is going to be a long story.” she stated. “I’m all ears.” he countered. She proceeded to massage his back while telling the story behind her and Philip’s relationship. 

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A few moments later, James attempted to get up from the bed. Carrie quickly hopped off of him. “Carrie at what point were you going to inform me that your ex-boyfriend is a murdering drug dealer? At what point were you going to make it a point to even inform me of that?” he boomed. “James, I just told you, I didn’t think it was even necessary. I was at the trials. The judge handed him a sentence of 45 years to life. That was it for me. That chapter of my life closed. There was no need to bring that extra baggage with me.” she explained. “Carrie I get all that, but you don’t think this man is fool enough to try something? Like truth be told, I’m a little concerned.” he stated. She gave him a peculiar look. Of all the people in the world, she never thought her macho man husband would be concerned. “Don’t look at me like that. I said concerned, not scared. I have a family that I am trying to keep together. I know I haven’t been the best husband, but I’ve been doing a damn good job of reconciling. I’ll be damned if I let some prison punk come take that away from me.” he boomed. “No one is taking anything away from you.” she assured. She loved it when her husband talked like this. It gave her a feeling of security.  It also turned her own. His rugged demeanor was her biggest weakness. It made her body succumb to his every need. If it wasn’t for Jr. being downstairs, she’d have made passionate love to him right then and there.

Just as they emerged from the bedroom, they were met with the sound of the doorbell. “Now who is it?” Carrie asked, annoyed. “I have no idea. I’m not expecting anyone.” James said as he made his way downstairs. He walked over to the door and peeped through the peephole. “Well, who is it?” Carrie asked impatiently. “It’s the neighbor.” James whispered. Both looked at each other. They’ve been in their house for almost three years now and not once has the neighbors ever knocked on their door. “Open up and see what she wants.” Carrie stated. He opened the door and was horrified at the site before him. There stood his neighbor bloodied and bruised as if she had just been in World War II. They both gasped. “Oh my God! Joanne what happened to you?” Carrie asked. “It’s David. He’s been drinking again.” she stated through whimpers. She motioned for her to come inside. “Hey Jr. honey, go with your daddy. I’ll be up in a minute.” she said. Jr. ran over to his father and they both went up the stairs and disappeared into the bedroom. “My Lord Joanne. You are nobody’s punching bag. How long has this been going on?” Carrie asked. “It started six months ago when he got laid off. He drinks all day. He yells all day. It’s frightening Carrie. I’m afraid for my children.” she cried. “Joanne you have to get out of that situation. This is not healthy for you, nor the kids. By the way, where are the children?” “I sent them to my mom’s house.” “Alright, thank heaven. Sweetie you can’t live like this.” “I know. I’m just not sure how to leave.” “Well honey, you need to find a way. This is only going to get worse. I hate to see them dragging you out in a body bag.” Carrie stated. She watched as Joanne broke down in tears. She walked over and gave her a warm washcloth and consoled her. “I’m sorry to just barge in here on you all like this. I had nowhere else to turn.” Joanne cried. “Oh, girl it is alright. Any time you want to talk, I’m here. Let’s go out back and sip some wine, to relax you.” Carrie suggested. Joanne let out a half smile and followed Carrie out back.

Just as she was gathering the wine glasses from the kitchen, there was loud banging at the door. “Joanne you in there! Get out here now!” David shouted. Carrie looked over and noticed a frightened Joanne standing in the doorway. He continued banging on the door. “Go out back, I’ll be there in a minute.” she told Joanne. She sat the wine glasses down on the counter. Before she could get to the door, James emerged from the bedroom with his gun by his side. “Carrie what is going on down here?” he boomed. Just as she was about to tell him, the banging continued. “Who the hell is that?” “That is David. He’s trying to get Joanne.” “Where is she?” “Out back on the lanai. ” she stated, pointing to open glass door. James rushed down the stairs to open the door. “Aye homeboy, you are going to have to stop banging on my door like that. I have child in here!” he shouted. “Where is my wife? I need her home now!” David demanded. “First of all you are going to calm down before you come up in here!” James demanded. David looked at James and then noticed the gun in his hand. “I don’t want any trouble, I just want to speak to my wife.” David said, in a low tone. Carrie looked back and noticed Joanne coming from the patio. “It’s alright David. I’m coming.” she stated. Carrie watched as Joanne made her way up to the front to greet her husband. “Joanne are you going to be alright?” Carrie asked. “Yes, I’ll be fine.” she mumbled. With that, the two of them exited the house. James and Carrie watched helplessly. Who knows what kind of destruction was unfolding in their house. “All I can do is pray that God sends her an angel in the midst of her turmoil.” Carrie stated. With that, she turned around and went upstairs.

 

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Practice What You Preach

The next morning, Carrie awoke to find James downstairs watching television with Jr. “Good morning, sleepy head. I thought you’d never wake up.” he greeted. “Well, I’d elaborate on the events of last night, but we have a child in our presence.” she cooed. James kissed her cheek and turned his attention back to Jr. “Good morning Jr., how are you?” “I’m fine Mrs. Carrie. Look at the new trucks my daddy bought me.” he replied as he eagerly rushed over to show her. “Oh wow, these are nice. Show me how they work.” James watched as the two of them sat on the floor playing with the toys and making mock engine sounds. “Daddy come play with us.” Jr. urged. James rushed over to the circle and joined in.

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Despite all of the troubles that life has thrown their way, they truly were a happy family. Even though Jr. didn’t belong to her, Carrie treated him as if he was her own child. They did everything a mother and son would do together. She took him shopping, planned play dates, movie nights, and even helped him with his homework. On nights that James had to work late, she’d offered to keep him. This made things easier between him and Jessica, and gave their household some balance. She didn’t mind Jr.’s company. After all, this would prepare her when she and James decided to have a child of their own.

A few moments later, their play session was interrupted by the doorbell. Carrie and James both glanced at the clock on the microwave. It was only 8 o’clock in the morning. “Who on earth could this be?” James said as he got up to open the door. Carrie watched impatiently as he jogged over to the door. He peeped through the peephole and then proceeded to open the door. “I come here for my son.” she blared. Carrie let out a heavy sigh as Jessica stepped inside. Just as she started to get Jr. ready to go with his mom, she was interrupted by the sound of a man’s voice. “Jessica can you hurry up. I got things to do.” he boomed. “Preston don’t rush me, I have to get my son.” “I don’t know why you won’t leave him here. I don’t have time to be watching after no kid!” “Excuse me? This is my child, you knew what it was when you got with me.”

Carrie looked in awe as the two of them stood arguing in front of Jr. She couldn’t believe that Jessica was actually dating this clown. If he couldn’t accept her child, then why the heck was she with him? “Umm, James, I’m going to take Jr. upstairs and finish getting him ready. He doesn’t need to be around this.” He nodded his head and watched as they both disappeared into the upstairs bathroom.

“Jessica who the heck is this?” James asked. “My boyfriend, why are you worried?” She snapped. “Why am I worried? You got this clown around my son talking all crazy and you asking me why am I worried?” he replied. “Man listen can you go get my son from upstairs so I can go. We got things to do.” “No, as a matter of fact, you go do whatever it is you have to do. Jr. can stay here.” “He isn’t staying here. I want my son with me.”

Before James could reply, Preston butted in “Listen bruh, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. We don’t want any trouble. All we come here for is to get the kid and be out.” James looked at him up and down and let out a heavy sigh before replying, “Bruh, I don’t know you and I’m not trying to get to know you. This is between me and her. I don’t appreciate neither one of you coming up here disrespecting me and my household. Both of you all need to leave.” “I’m not leaving until I get my son.” “He’s not going with you.” James stated firmly. James watched out the corner of his eye as Preston’s hands slowly started to form fists. “You going to assault me in my own house?” he snarled. “Listen bruh, it’s nothing like that.” He then turned to Jessica and said, “I’ll be in the car. This has nothing to do with me.” They both watched as he left the house. “I suggest you follow him.” James stated in a low, yet stern tone. Jessica glared at him. She tried for a minute to think of new ways to insult him. When she could think of none, she quickly turned around and walked out the door. James relaxed his shoulders and walked over to the kitchen and pulled out a large bottle of wine.

A few moments later, Carrie emerged from the bathroom to find James pouring a large glass of wine. “Sweetie is everything alright?” “I can’t believe her. I mean how can she do my son like that? That clown doesn’t care about him. There’s no telling what he’s doing to my son over there. I think I need to get full custody of my son. I can’t take not knowing what’s going on.” “Sweetie, Jr. is old enough to talk. Why don’t you just ask him. You know he isn’t going to lie to you.” “Carrie, I don’t know how to.” “Babe you just have to talk to him. He’s a child. Ease into the conversation. Don’t be to harsh with the questions. Be discreet about it. He’ll open up to you. We talk all the time.” she assured him. She watched her husband closely and noticed he was crying. She took the glass out of his hand and turned his face towards hers. “Everything will be alright. I think now is the perfect time for you to talk to him. He’s in the tub splashing the bubbles everywhere.” He nodded and made his way upstairs to the bathroom.

While they were upstairs, Carrie went outside to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. She looked in the box and saw she had a few envelopes inside. She pulled them out and started to sort through them. As she was thumbing through the mail, she noticed a handwritten envelope. She read it and felt her heart start to race. Her palms became sweaty as she read the name and address it came from.  She quickly tore it open and read the contents.

Dear Carrie, this is Phillip. I know it’s been a while and I know this is kind of out of the blue. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be getting out in two weeks and wanted to see you. I got your address from your sister Monica. Me and her boyfriend are still tight and we talk to each other from time to time. She told me you had gotten married, but I’m not concerned about that. You’re supposed to be mine. We made a promise to each other before I went away. I want to make good on our promise when I come home. I want you to be with me. We can have our own little family and be like we were before I got locked up. Well, I hope this letter reaches you. I look forward to hearing from you. See you soon.

She couldn’t believe what she had just read. Phillip her long time boyfriend before she had even met James was coming home. She thought he would never get out. After all the charges the district attorney rattled off in the court room, the judge handed him a sentence of 45 years to life. He had only been locked up for eight. She wondered what he did to get out early. The case was pretty much open and shut. Either way, she had to figure out what to do to keep Phillip from coming around and bringing more trouble to their marriage. Just when things started to look on the up and up for them, things always seemed to take a turn for the worse. I guess that line in the marriage vows for better or for worse was very real, because through all of the worse times, they still seemed to prevail.

As she walked back into the house, she was greeted at the door by a naked Jr. “Jr. where are you clothes?” she asked looking at James. “Soon as I got him out the tub, he ran downstairs looking for you.” She chuckled nervously. “Jr. let your daddy put your clothes on. I have to use the phone.” “Babe are you alright?” She swallowed hard before she answered. “Yes, I’m fine. I just have to go call my sister.” “Your sister? You don’t like your sister.” “Well she called and asked me to call her.” she replied as she hurried up the stairs. James watched as his wife disappeared in the bedroom. Her sudden demeanor change puzzled him, and he couldn’t quite pinpoint what caused it. She was jittery, and her breathing was labored. He fixed Jr. a snack and turned on cartoons before going upstairs and eaves dropping at the door.

“Monica, why would you tell Phillip where I lived?” she blared. “Carrie, I didn’t tell him.” “Bullshit Monica! He clearly wrote in the letter you told him! I am happily married. I don’t need this man coming around causing problems for me and my family. It’s bad enough we have to deal with James’ baby momma and all her drama. We don’t need Phillip.” “Carrie I thought it would be nice if you heard from an old friend. I had no idea he was going to try and break up your home.” “Well you’d better fix it before he gets out. This is the last thing I need right now. Me and James are in a happy place right now.” she replied before slamming the phone down. She dropped back on the bed and sighed heavily. “Lord what am I going to do?”

 

 

Practice What You Preach….

6 Months Earlier

“James where are you going?” Carrie asked. “I’m going out with the boys. Is that alright with you?” he sneered. Carrie hoped out of bed and rushed over to the closet, where James was buttoning his shirt. She glared at him. Of all the nights he picked to go out with the boys, he had to pick this one. Apparently he must’ve forgotten about the dinner plans she’d made for them tonight. This was a very special night for her, especially since they hadn’t been able to spend time alone in almost three months. Ever since she had gotten a promotion at work, quality time with her husband had almost become non-existent. It’s bad enough their sex life suffered because of it. James had complained to her many of times about them not being as sexually active as they used to. She tried calmly to explain to James that the long hours were just temporary and that once the inventory at work was at a reasonable level, then her hours would go back to normal. For a minute he was alright with this. He would massage her when she came home, run her bath water, sometimes he’d even fix dinner. Everything seemed to be going smoothly, that is, until he started hanging around Phillip, his friend from high school. She couldn’t understand what it was about Phillip or why James hung around him. She preferred to stay away from him. Phillip was more of what you may call a womanizer. He would fill women’s heads up with hopes and dreams of them being together, all while playing with their emotions. She had witness one to many times the dangers of what came behind Phillip and his lies. She would be damned if any of that rubbed off on her husband.

As James finished buttoning up his cuffs, he turned to notice Carrie standing in the doorway. “What’s wrong with you?” he asked dryly. “Umm, hello! Have you forgotten what tonight is? I made dinner reservations for us. We talked about this for three weeks now. I know good and goddamn well you aren’t about to go hang out with the boys and leave me hanging?” she snapped. James’ whole demeanor changed. “Oh damn baby! I’m sorry I honestly forgot. Can I take a rain check?” he asked sincerely. “Unless that check is going to find you a new place to stay, I don’t think so. You’d better tell Phillip not tonight!” she demanded. Carrie stormed out of the closet and made her way to the bathroom to take a shower. James follow closely behind her trying to plead his case. “You know what James, it’s been three months since we’ve spent time together. I take off tonight and plan a special evening where we go to dinner, come back home, have dessert, and make sweet love to each other, and you’d rather go fraternize with Phillip!” she shouted from the shower. “Fraternize? Baby, come on with all that. I’m sorry baby. I forgot. It was an honest mistake.” he pleaded. “Forget you James. Go! Go ahead and piss off with your friend. Just know your bed will be the sofa when you return!” she heaved. Carrie slammed the bathroom door just as James was about to say something. Defeated, James went over to the bed where his phone was charging and picked up the phone to call Phillip. He could deal with Phillip being mad with him, but Carrie, was a separate ball game. He was married to her for Christ Sakes. If it was one thing he knew, a happy wife equaled a happy life, and right now his wife was not so happy.

A few moments later, Carrie emerged from the shower to find James sitting on the bed flipping through the television stations. “I thought you were going out?” she scoffed. “No, I changed my mind. After really thinking things through, I realize that this will probably be the only night in a long while that we will get to spend together before you go on another long working hiatus.” “Long working hiatus? Are you kidding me?” she replied trying to stop the grin that was forming along her lips. Carrie loved when her husband caved into her. She was especially elated now, because they could spend the whole evening together, just the two of them. She threw off her towel, exposing her naked body. James tried his best to peel his eyes away from his wife’s exposed body, but it was to no avail. He couldn’t stop looking at the beauty before him. Carrie was 5 feet 5 inches tall and very petite. She had smooth brown skin and curves in all the right places. He stared at her. This made her smirk. “Well, are you just going to stand there, or are you going to get up.” she swooned. James was so fascinated by her beauty, that the sound of her voice made him beckon to her every call. He got really turned on when he noticed her shaved middle. He loved when she was hairless down there. Just as he proceeded to remove his shirt, the doorbell rang. They both sighed heavily. “Who in the heck could that be?” Carrie asked, now frantically searching for something quick to put on. “I have no idea, I’ll be right back.” he replied. As she started to dress, she could hear James opening the front door and the sound of a woman’s voice was heard. “Must be his baby momma. Lord I swear that woman always picks the most inopportune times to show up. I think she does this just torture me.” Carrie mumbled. When she finished putting on her socks, she proceeded  to make her way to the front door. As she got closer, she could hear the two arguing. “Jessica, you cannot just show up at my house. I have a wife!” “So, I don’t care. I’ve been calling you for the last hour. I need a babysitter. I’m going out!” “I can’t watch him tonight. Me and my wife are trying to enjoy some quality time together.” “Alright, well you can include Jr. in your quality time.” she shouted just as she was pushing the little boy inside. “Jessica! Jessica! Get back here!” James roared. He ran out the door after her, but she halfway down the street before he could reach the driveway.

Carrie and James had been together for five years and only married for one. Jessica was a one night stand that turned into a lifetime of turmoil. Before Carrie and James got married, James went out with the boys to Diamond’s, an upscale gentleman’s club. That’s where he met Jessica. She was one of the dancers chosen to dance for his crew in the club that night. Things got a little crazy, and next thing you know he was waking up next to her in a hotel room. He rushed home the next morning, and explained everything to Carrie in hopes that that would make everything better. It didn’t she put him out and they split up for about a year. During the split, Jessica found out she was pregnant. This changed everything. Carrie and James had been working on putting their relationship back together and telling her about the baby would just make everything worse. Needless to say, everything worked out and they were able to get through all of the drama he caused and move on. The only problem was getting Jessica to understand her place in James’ life. The two women were at odds quite often, and it started to take a toll on their relationship. “James if you don’t straighten your little hoodrat out, I will!” Carrie shouted. “Baby I will handle it. Just calm down.” he replied. After a few more altercations, Jessica eventually got the picture and backed off. Now they just had to deal with her surprise pop ups. This was also taking a toll on their marriage. “James I love your son and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but this has to stop. This was supposed to be our night.” she cried. “I know baby. I know. Let me see if I can call my mom.” After countless efforts to reach his mother, she finally answered, “Hey mom, are you busy?” “No James, I’m not busy. Me and your father are just watching television. What’s wrong honey?” “Carrie took off tonight so we could have some quality time, and Jessica showed up with Jr.” “And you want me to babysit?” “Please momma, if you don’t mind.” “No James, I don’t mind. What time are you coming back to get him?” “I be there at around 8 in the morning.” “Alright, that’s fine bring him over.” “Thank you mom.” he replied as he hung up the phone.

Practice What You Preach

 

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“Mmm, yes baby, that’s the spot.” Carrie moaned as she lay across the bed in pure ecstasy. She squirmed around in the bed as Fred worked his tongue in between her legs. She was in so much bliss, that she hadn’t heard the alarm going off to indicate the front door had just opened. Just as she was about to reach her climax, she popped open her eyes to see her husband standing in the door. “Oh my God, James!” she screeched as she pushed Fred’s head from between her legs. “What the hell is going on in here? Carrie what the hell are you doing?” he shouted. “James, baby wait. I can explain.” “Explain? Explain? You are really going to try and explain his head in between your legs Carrie? Really. Go ahead, I’d like to see you try.” he replied angrily. Carrie rushed off the bed and grabbed her sweatpants off the chair and hurried to put them on. Carrie knew her husband had a temper, so it was only a matter of time before Fred would be sitting in a dentist’s office trying to realign his jaw. Just as she ran over to shield Fred from James’s blow, she was caught in the face with his elbow as his fist connected with Fred’s jaw. She stumbled back while holding her left eye. She knew she’d have a black eye later, but right now she had to stop the WWE match that was going on in her bedroom. “James stop! Get off of him. You are going to kill him!” she shouted. It was to no avail. He turned around and pushed Carrie so hard that she flew back into the closet mirror shattering the glass. Carrie was a petite woman that stood about 5 feet 5 inches tall and only weighed about 130 pounds. James on the other hand was all muscle. He was about 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed a solid 250. So, his push was very forceful. Carrie attempted to get up and rush back to Fred’s aid, but was halted by the sharp pain that ran through her foot. She lifted up her foot only to find the biggest shard of glass poking out of the heel of her foot. She attempted to pull it out, but the pain was so unbearable. She carefully crawled over to James who was still pouncing on Fred, and with all her might, pushed him off of him. “James would you stop. Look at him. I believe you’ve gotten your point across!” she shouted. “My point across? What point would that be Carrie! Tell me, what’s the point?” he yelled. Carrie fell back in defeat as the tears streamed down her face. Between sniffles she managed to whisper the words “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” “Sorry? You didn’t look sorry a few minutes ago.” She sat on the floor as he tossed insult after insult after insult. The sting of his words cut her so deep, she forgot all about the glass shard sticking out of her foot. “What’s that in your foot?” he asked once he was through belittling her. She wiped her face, and looked around at her room. She noticed all the destruction she had caused. A broken closet mirror, a cracked dresser drawer, a broken head board, and cut foot. She had almost forgotten about her eye until she winced at the pain of her foot as she tried to get up off the floor. “Carrie let me help you.” he replied apologetically. “No, no James. It’s fine. I’ll manage.” she said through sniffles. Just as she looked up, she noticed the tears streaming down his face. “James I’m sorry. It’s just that we had been arguing so much for the past three months, I let my assumptions get the best of me.” “Yea but Carrie, that’s not the way we handle things. How long?” “This was the first time. I promise. There hadn’t been any other times. No, we hadn’t went all the way. I’m not sure if that makes it any better, but we didn’t.” “No, Carrie that doesn’t make it any better.” She turned her face away in embarrassment. He turned her face back towards him. It was then that he finally noticed the swelling to her left eye. “Did I do that?” he asked sincerely. She nodded slightly. “Oh God Carrie! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you.” Just as she was about to say something, Fred’s moans brought them both back to reality. James dropped Carrie on the bed and went over to help Fred up to his feet. “Bruh you need to leave!” he said sternly. Fred attempted to open his eyes and look around. His face was so badly beaten, that he could barely be recognized. “Carrie, what happened?” he whispered. “Just go Fred. Just go.” she replied. “Bruh I just told you to go. Do you need anymore help?” James replied, frustration rising in his voice. They both watched as Fred drug himself to the front door and left. Carrie fell back on the bed and nearly passed out. “Oh God, Carrie!” James shouted as he rushed to her aid. “I think I’ve lost too much blood. The room is starting to spin.” she explained. “We’re going to the hospital.” he assured her. Before she could say anything else, the room went black and fell into darkness. 

 

Stay tuned for Part 2  #everydayinspiration