Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poker Face

David dabbed the sweat from his face with his large towel. “I needed this workout today. I’ve been so stressed it’s not even funny.”

Kevin towered over David bouncing the orange basketball. “What’s going on now?”

“What’s not going on? Sherry’s out of control.”

“What is she doing now?”

“For the past couple of weeks she’s been MIA. If she doesn’t come home by two in the morning, she doesn’t even bother at all. She’ll stay gone for days at a time.”

“What are you going to do about it?” Kevin steered clear of voicing his opinion when it came to Sherry and David’s messy relationship.

“I’ve already had her name removed from the lease. Whenever she decides to come home she’s out.”

“So, you’re actually throwing her out this time?”

“Yeah, what would you do if it were you dealing with this kind of disrespect?”

Kevin held his hands in the air and backed away. “I’m not in this mess. This is your life and your decision.”

“Some help you are big brother.” He playfully hit Kevin’s arm.

“You’ve got to make decisions for your own life. I don’t need you to be upset with me later on talking about I threw salt in your relationship in any way.”

“I hear you. So, how’s my baby niece doing?”

“Ah man, she’s like a little princess. David I never understood the bond and love a parent has for their kid until Reese came into my life. I think and act differently because I always think about how my decisions will impact her life. I love her so much I don’t even think about myself anymore. She’s perfect in every way. She’s my saving grace.”

“It’s weird to hear you talk like this. You used to be a ladies’ man. If someone mentioned the word marriage you would literally take off and run in the opposite direction. Now, listen to you. You’re a married man with a baby girl. I wish I could say that for myself.”

“If I could be totally honest, you were well on your way to having exactly what I have with Nai. But, you couldn’t let go of that player mentality. You were always worried about missing out on something else. Nai loved you without a doubt. But, you pushed her away.”

David stormed away mumbling, “How many times do I need to tell you to stop bringing her name up? She wanted to be gone, so let her be gone.”

“You didn’t give her much of a choice.”

“She had a choice but she chose to walk away. I love Nai and I’ve tried to work things out with her but nothing is working in our favor.”

“You shouldn’t give up baby brother.”

“Let it go,” he yelled jumping in his car.

“She’s getting married David.”

“When,” he asked.

“The wedding is in November. My invitation came in the mail the other day.”

“That’s only a couple of months away.”

“Yup,” Kevin replied.

“I’ll call you later,” David sped away pushing the button to make a much needed call.

“Hello,” Nai answered.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were getting married?”

“I didn’t think you would care.”

“That’s a total cop out. Why didn’t you say anything about getting married when we had dinner two nights ago two nights ago?”

“I didn’t think I needed to tell you. That’s my business and I don’t need your approval to move on with my life. I don’t owe you or anyone else an explanation about the decisions I make fore my life.”

“Nai, are you crazy? You’re carrying my baby in your stomach,” he yelled flying towards the exit off the narrow highway.

“Whoa, keep your voice down. Are you in mixed company?”

“No, I’m alone.”

“Keep in mind we agreed to keep this between us. My fiancé is the only person who needs to know about this since he’s agreed to step up and be the father my child will need.”

“I’ve been thinking about that and I don’t feel right having another man be a father to my child.”

“Oh, grow up David. It’s always something new with you. One day you want to be a father and the next you don’t. Brendon is a safe choice. He knows what he’s never gone back on his word since I’ve known him. You just make sure no one else knows about this.”

“Why not,” he asked.

“I don’t need people in my personal business. People thrive on messy family affairs.”

“Don’t change the subject. We need to talk about this. I’m not going away just because you want to run off and get married. It may be easier in your eyes for Brendon to play daddy because you don’t want to deal with a blended family. Open the door. I’m coming inside.” He parked in the narrow driveway.

Nai stormed outside. “What is your problem? Why are you here?”

“You knew I would ask you about getting married. You send an invitation to my brother.”

“Have you been crying,” she asked rubbing her round belly.

“I don’t want you to do this. I know I’ve been a jerk and I haven’t been there for you like I should have, but don’t marry him. I love you Nai and I want to be a better man for you and our child.”

Nai shook her head. “You say that now. What happens when you wake up tomorrow and decide you can’t handle the responsibilities that come with being a father?”

“That won’t happen because I won’t be changing my mind. Our child is on the way and I will turn it around. I’m going to be the man I need to be for him or her.”

“her,” Nai whispered.

“Oh my God, we’re having a baby girl. I’ve really got to get it together.”

“Kevin was right.” She smiled.

“What are you talking about?”

“Kevin said the only way I could get you to grow up was to make you feel like you were losing me forever. He said you would man up and fight for what you wanted. I would know where we stood. I was never getting married. He’s been waiting for the right time to say that to make you step up and be a man.”

“I’m going to kill him,” David exhaled.

“Now that you know the truth, where does that leave us?”

“I still need to grow up. I love you. So, you need to tell Brendon to move on with his life. I’ve got this under control.”

“I sent him on his way weeks ago. I didn’t feel right being in his life but carrying your child. The timing was all wrong. I knew it would never work. What about what’s her face?”

“I’ve already had her name removed from the lease. I was planning on moving sometime next month once I settled on a place.”

“You need to move out today and come back home. This is our home and this is where you belong.”
Kevin rested his hands on Nai’s stomach. “I can’t believe you kept your poker face for that long when you knew my heart was breaking.”

“Sometimes you've got to play the only cards you're given and pray for the outcome you desire.”


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