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.
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.