Zane's the Other Side of the Pillow

BOOK: Zane's the Other Side of the Pillow
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Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) and Quinton Canosa (William Levy) in ADDICTED.

Sharon Leal stars as ‘Zoe Reynard' in ADDICTED.

Tyson Beckford stars as ‘Corey' in ADDICTED.

Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) and Jason Reynard (Boris Kodjoe) in ADDICTED.

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Some people never get to meet their heroes.

I gave birth to mine.

For my children.

JEMISTRY
Prologue

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.”

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

2000

I
t had been three weeks since the abortion. What a way to kick off the new millennium. At a time when I should have been happy—recently getting my master's in Education, working as a high school Social Studies teacher, and making decent money—all I felt was ashamed.

Wesley had been making an attempt to improve his behavior. He had no idea that I had been pregnant. As far as I was concerned he never would find out that I had killed our child. I didn't want to do it, never thought that I would find myself in that place, not to mention that I had never imagined that I could go through with it. But I had, and not another living soul knew about it with the exception of the people at the clinic. I had not shared it with any of my family or friends. I could not bear to have them think anything negative about me.

“What's for dinner?” Wesley asked as he walked into the kitchen of the town house we were renting in Georgetown. “I'm starved.”

“I made some chicken and noodles, and a spinach salad,” I replied, washing the pots in the sink. I always preferred to clean up before eating. Afterward I would be too stuffed to do it and I did not believe in leaving dirty dishes overnight. “I'll get you a plate.
Why don't you go wash up and I'll have everything together by the time you get finished.”

After I had served both of us, I sat down across from him at the dining room table.

Wesley started digging into his food like there was no tomorrow. I stared at him and even though he was incredibly good-looking, that was not enough to overshadow all of his actions.

You're too good of a woman to keep putting up with his shit!

He was guzzling his beer, having not noticed that I had yet to touch my plate, when I blurted out, “I'm leaving you.”

He almost spit the liquid out but managed to swallow it as he placed the bottle back down. “Don't be ridiculous, Jemistry. You and I both know that you're not going anywhere.”

“I am . . . going. I'll leave tonight and come back tomorrow, or this weekend for my things. If that's cool with you?”

“No, the shit is not cool with me!” he yelled out in anger. “You're not going anyplace. I won't allow it.”

I sighed. “I'm grown and I can do what I want. We're not married and—”

“Yet!” he interjected. “We're not married yet, but we will be.”

“Never!” I exclaimed, getting loud myself. “It's over, Wesley!”

He smirked and took another bite of his food. “All you've ever wanted was me. Now you think that you're going to walk off into the night like everything is everything? You sound foolish.”

“No, I've been foolish, and that's the point. I've allowed you to walk all over me for two years and I will not do it another day. Not even another second.”

I had truly reached “that second.” The second that I realized that I would not tolerate his bullshit for another second of another hour of another day.

“You act like you can keep doing whatever to me and I'm going to take it,” I added.

He smirked again, his gray eyes staring me down as if I were an enemy, which is how he treated me half the time, like a gladiator he was facing in an arena. “You've been taking it. What's the difference now?”

“Wesley, I'll admit that I have been weak. I've held out hope that one day you would wake up, a light bulb would turn on in your head, and you would understand that cheating on me, beating on me, and treating me like your property isn't appropriate.”

He sighed. “I haven't done anything lately, Jemistry. Give me a break.”

“It's true, and ironic, that I've finally arrived at this point when you're actually acting decent. But it's only a matter of time before you fuck around on me again, or have me getting bandaged up on an emergency room table.”

“I thought you were over that,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Over it? You put a pillowcase over my head and beat me half to death. How does one get over that exactly?”

The bastard actually laughed. “You tell me. You dropped the charges, came back home, and went right back to sucking my dick every night. Seems to me like you got over it pretty damn quick!”

“You disgust me!”

In truth, I disgusted myself because he was right. I had relinquished all my common sense and self-respect in the name of love. I used to scoff at women who stayed with men who cheated on them, or hit them. Yet, there I was with one who took pride in doing both.

I got up from the table and headed to the kitchen to get my purse and keys. I didn't plan to stay there another minute. I would get a hotel room for a few days and figure things out from there. Look for an apartment that was available immediately or at least within the next few weeks.

Before I could even get the strap of my purse situated on my
shoulder, Wesley was punching me in the back of my head. I dropped to the floor and covered myself to prevent his rage from causing too much damage.

“You filthy bitch!” he screamed. “No one leaves me! I leave them!”

He hit me until he lost his breath and, eventually, his footing. That was all the opportunity I needed. I got up onto my knees and grabbed the cast-iron skillet out of the drainer in the sink, then stood up, and with a swinging motion, hit him across the temple.

He was caught completely off-guard and stunned and then dropped to the floor, wincing in pain while I grabbed my keys and headed to the door.

I paused and looked down at him. An expression of shock was still on his face. “You'll live,” I said. “I did, and I hope this makes you think twice before you put your hands on another female. I'll be back here tomorrow with a sheriff to get my things. Now you can go to the emergency room and say that you fell.”

When I got outside into the fresh air and started walking toward my old 1987 Buick Century, a sense of pride overcame me. It had been a long time coming, but I was reclaiming my life, my dignity, and my heart.

I refused to believe that all men were like Wesley. I had simply made the wrong choice and had attempted to change him. I now realized that it was never about me. It was about a sickness within him and a need to humiliate and control women.

Little did I know back then that Wesley was only the first of a string of men who would run ramshod over me. It would be a cycle that would continue for the next twelve years.
Shame on it all!

Chapter One

“People put up walls. Not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

—Socrates

2013

P
oetry night at The Carolina Kitchen near the Rhode Island Metro station was packed. There were a handful of people there that I recognized from Howard, but most were strangers. That gave me a feeling of relief. I had never recited my poetry live before. Actually, I was not a poet at all; I was a venter.

I had placed my name on the list to read a piece that I had appropriately titled “Bitter.” It was the way that I felt, so it made all the sense in the world to select it for my first—and probably last—time reading in public. I was nervous, but sipping on a chocolate martini was helping.

BOOK: Zane's the Other Side of the Pillow
7.09Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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