Fri. Jun 7th, 2024

HURDLES

 

_43_

 

The week has flown by quickly, I really can’t remember the last time I worked this hard. Maybe because I haven’t worked this much in a very long time, along the way I just lost it and started taking advantage of work. When the week started I was so sure I wanted to prove to my new boss that I was the right candidate for the job but after finding out that Jayden is the person that now owns the company, I am just putting in my sweat so that Michel doesn’t term me as a failure. And my own ego can’t allow me.

 

I sigh deeply as I get out of the vehicle, Catra confessed to being the one that kidnapped Cassie and tortured her which led to her death and she was sentenced to life imprisonment. She has been asking that I visit her together with Michel and I have been postponing it but I have finally made up my mind to see her.

 

‘Good morning.’ I say when Marsha opens the door

 

I must say she has grown and I can’t understand how I have been this mean to her.

 

‘Hai.’ She says composed

 

 

‘You can come in, she is just getting dressed.’ She says formerly

 

I go in as she opens the door widely for me.

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Afterwards she closes it then disappears into the bedroom, the house is rather quiet and I am guessing the kids are not around.

 

Michel comes out minutes later clad in a blue jean and white chiffon off the shoulder shirt. On her feet are black pumps with a matching handbag. I can’t help but notice the watch on her wrist, it matches the one Marsha is wearing.

 

‘You are starring at me.’

 

‘You look beautiful.’

 

‘Peace makes one look beautiful.’ She responds instead

 

I smile

 

Marsha comes out of the bedroom wearing a brown dress that is just above the knees with white trainers.

 

‘You look good.’

 

‘Thank you, Sir.’ She responds

 

I feel a sting at my heart hearing those words but what can I do? I caused all this.

 

‘Is he here yet?’ She asks

 

‘He is parked outside.’ Michel responds

 

I did hear a car drive in and I was hoping to see the person but no one came in.

 

‘Good to go.’ I say looking at Michel

 

‘Alright.’

 

I stand up and walk out of the house, that is when I notice Jayden there. He has one hand behind him

 

‘Good morning.’ He says hugging Michel with the other hand before kissing her on her forehead

 

‘Good morning.’ She responds with a smile

 

‘And if it isn’t the lady after my own heart.’ He says with a huge smile looking at Marsha

 

‘I missed you.’ She says going to him

 

‘I got you this.’ He says giving her a bouquet of lilies that was behind him

 

‘Oh my God no one has ever gotten me flowers.’ She says tears rolling down her cheeks

 

He wipes them lovingly using his hand

 

‘Don’t allow any boys to wow you with material things, I will make sure you know how best to be treated so that they never get you excited with just anything.’

 

She hugs him tightly

 

‘You are by far the best thing that has ever happened to me.’ She says

 

‘And you my lady is everything I could ever ask for.’ He says

 

‘Now let us go.’ He says

 

‘Bye mummy.’ She says hugging Michel

 

‘Bye Sir.’ She says to me

 

 

Jayden gets her girly clutch and bouquet of flowers before opening the car door for her. Once she is nicely bulked up inside, he closes the door then puts the things in the back.

 

‘I will see you later.’ He says kissing Michel on the forehead

 

‘Take care of yourselves and have fun.’ She says

 

‘We will.’ He responds

 

‘See you around.’ He says to me

 

They drive off and we get in the car, we are using mine. The drive is silent until we join church road. Catra was moved to Central Police.

 

‘Marsha seems pretty close to Jayden.’

 

‘they all are.’

 

I swallow hard

 

‘Michel I am sorry.’ I say when we stop at the traffic lights

 

‘I know you are Vashawn, and trust me I am not mad at you. Laura and Shawn love you that is not a hidden fact, as for Marsha. You have hurt that child deeply, maybe deeper than you ever did me because she will have to live with the fact that she no longer considers you anyone special in her life. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying.’

 

‘And Jayden? Do you love him?’

 

She laughs, its like she has been waiting for this question for a while.

 

‘You have finally gathered the courage to ask me?’ she asks

 

‘Just answer the question.’

 

 

‘Vashawn I love my kids more than anything in this world, and I am learning to love pieces of me that you trashed and made feel unworthy. Honestly if I had to pick someone to raise the kids with me, it would definitely be Jayden because he has proven his worth. But no, I am not ready to settle down with anyone right now, not even him. I have too much to pick up, too much to learn, too much to do and none of that involves settling down. Do I love Jayden, I have feelings for him yes but I am not settling down with him any time soon.’ She responds

 

After that we don’t say another word to each other, we get to central police and are taken to the visiting room where we wait for Catra. When she is brought, she looks really pale and has lost some weight.

 

She sits down and faces us.

 

‘How are you?’ I manage to ask when none of us is saying anything

 

‘I am breathing alright.’ She responds

 

‘I am sorry for your loss.’ Michel says

 

She shakes her head

 

‘That is nothing compared to what we lost emotionally; death was an easy way out but thank you.’ She responds

 

Silence

 

‘You wanted to see us?’ I ask

 

She takes a deep breath

 

‘Michel, I wanted to apologize for everything we ever caused you, especially Cassie. She asked me to apologize to you on her behalf before she died

 

Michel holds out her hand and holds Catra’s

 

 

‘You know I don’t hold anything against you, you know I don’t. Your sister too, the only crime she ever committed was mistreating my babies. Aside from that it is on Vashawn, he did that.’

 

She says it as if I am not even here

 

‘Thank you for being with me when I lost my baby, not even Cassie could have done half the things that you did. You were there, you took me to the hospital, waited for the doctor to attend to me. You even stayed with me as I discovered that I had lost my child. Michel, I remain indebted to you.’ She says crying

 

Michel shakes her head

 

‘Being good to people doesn’t mean that they owe you, trust me you don’t owe me anything. If anything, I am actually glad that I was able to help. Stop beating your head over it.’

 

‘Thank you anyway, it means so much to me.’

 

‘Can I have a word with him alone?’ She says again after much silence

 

‘Sure.’ Michel responds

 

She gets up and goes to where Catra is and hugs her

 

‘You take care of yourself okay.’

 

‘I will.’ She responds

 

Once Michel is out of sight Catra faces me

 

‘I won’t take much of your time.’ She begins

 

‘Okay.’ I say

 

‘When last did you get tested?’ she asks

 

‘What?’

 

‘When last did you get tested?’ she asks again

 

‘I don’t know, why?’

 

She chuckles

 

‘Please do.’

 

‘Why?’

 

‘Cassie was living a positive life, I hope you know that.’

 

‘What?’ I ask

 

‘And you?’

 

‘Vashawn I never had s£x with you without a condom.’

 

‘But you conceived.’

 

‘I was on Prep.’

 

I stand up and hold my head

 

‘How could you?’ I ask

 

‘I guess we are even now.’ She says

 

‘Catra really?’

 

‘Vashawn I don’t hold anything against you, I have lost so much to hold a grudge against you, just take care of yourself and start taking your meds. It’s not my fault you chose to leave your matrimonial home, besides you were supposed to know about Cassie’s status. You married her.’

 

 

I stand up at a loss of words, I go into the car and just sit there with nothing to say. Then I remember the one time I had gotten really sick and Cassie gave me these weird big drugs, I had wanted to ask what they were but she flipped asking why I didn’t trust her. I never brought it up again but I was glad to be fine. This other time I noticed some bottles of medicine in her cabinet and I asked what they were but again she had another excuse. Claiming they were her vitamins. I had fallen deeply for her and I would never suspect anything.

 

‘Cassie was HIV positive.’ I finally say

 

‘Oh.’ Michel responds

 

‘aren’t you scared?’ I ask her

 

‘Why?’

 

‘You were my wife.’

 

‘Vashawn you didn’t touch me in three years, and you were with Cassie for two before you made it official.’ She says

 

Silence

 

‘I can go with you to the clinic.’

 

I am too scared to go but I do it anyway, the counselling is what has me more scared. We get to Coptic hospital and the nurse attending to us is really friendly but no matter how nice she seems I can’t concentrate. When she is done counselling us, she does the test and we wait ten minutes before the results are out and unfortunately mine come out positive whilst Michel’s negative.

 

..

 

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