Chapter 3

     Behind the Scenes_Ch3 

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    The next morning I walked downstairs and saw that the girls had already left. I had received a text from Bryce a few minutes before saying that we needed to talk. I didn’t know if I was ready but I know we were going to have to talk about this sooner or later. I got dressed really quickly. I didn’t have time to do something to my hair so I put it is a ponytail. I threw on some makeup then ran downstairs and cleaned the front room as quickly as I could. I heard the car pulling in the driveway so I quickly put tossed the rest of the junk lying around inside the hallway closet. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed my coffee that was on the counter and sat at the table in the seat facing the outside door to the kitchen. As soon as I sat down and took a deep breath I hear the keys jiggling in the key hole and the door opened with Bryce standing there staring at me.

      All the cards were on the table. He is the one wrong this time. There is no way he can just blame me for this one. He sits across the table in front of me and starts to speak. “First off I need to say that I did not sleep with that woman.” I roll my eyes and gripped my coffee cup as he continued. “I am not happy, Autumn. We argue all the time and I am sick of it. I don’t know what happened but you lost it. All you seem to care about is the kids and what they want. You never care about what I want. You never do your hair. You always talking about you not pretty and you want to go out with your friends but you never do anything about it. I am tired of you being so lazy.” My heart was beating so hard it nearly popped out of my push up bra I stuffed my damn breasts in. My teeth hurt from grinding them together so hard and my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. I finally opened my mouth, “So instead of working on our marriage you found some bitch that you think is going to take care of you?” He responded, “She is not a bitch.” I roll my eyes and stand up with my coffee cup and continue, “Does this bitch know about me?” I pause for a second and keep going, “Is this bitch going to clean up after you, take care of your kids, and get your shit ready for work like I do, or is she just one of the snake ass bitches that is ‘there’ when you need someone to talk to?” I was getting so mad I could jump across the table and choke him until he passed out. Bryce stands up from the table and walks over towards me. I back away and give him the look that meant stay the hell away from me. Bryce stopped in his tracks and said, “It is not like that. I mean I started to talk to her just as friends then it was like I fell for her. It started out just venting to her about the financial problems we were going through. I couldn’t talk to you because you were always talking about what Lelani needed for her damn pageant. I was tired of hearing about shit we couldn’t afford. We were going through problems and still are going through problems so I just felt justified. We were not having sex or barely even talking. We were damn near separated.” That did it. I threw the cup out towards him. He ducked and it hit the wall and shattered to the floor. I screamed, “I am a good wife to you and a good mother to our children! You lying bastard I take of this family. All you do is provide financially, you don’t do shit else. You don’t play with the kids. All you do is discipline them or tell them to go ask me about some dumb shit you could have handled. So don’t make it seem like I was a fuck up in our marriage. You are the one that cheated!” I grab another mug that was sitting on the counter near me and throw that towards him too. He ducks and runs towards me then grabs my wrist really tight. “You need to get the hell out of my house!” I scream loudly. “I am not going anywhere. This is my house too!” Olivia bust through our kitchen door and pulls out her switch blade and says loudly, “Bryce I advise you to let her damn wrist go before I have to cut your ass!” I yank my wrist from him and walk towards the hallway to grab my purse. I go back into the kitchen and see Bryce sweeping up the broken glass. I kick a few across the kitchen floor and walk out the door, slamming it on my way out. When we pulled off in Olivia car she said smiling, “Girl it is time for a new look. New hairstyle and a new way to dress. We are going to show him what he missing.” I smile feeling a little lighter than before. That was the first time I had ever went off on Bryce like that. Olivia kept talking. “Plus I feel like I owe you since I bleach one bag of his clothes.” I laughed and said, “I figured you did that when I heard you sliding the bag across my floor.” We both laugh and give each other an air five. Olivia continued, “Girl that man got J’s on both sides of the city!”

     The next few weeks was hard for me. Bryce had moved out of our bedroom and into our guest bedroom. I did not speak to him unless it was pertaining to our children. I borrowed some money to help get Lelani her shoes for the pageant. I lied and told Bryce that I had money stashed away. I was not giving him the satisfaction of knowing that I couldn’t financially pay for the pageant myself and I damn sure was not asking his ass for any money. Some days we would have small conversations and sometimes even laugh about things we talked about. Still it was more so as we were more friends than husband and wife. I guess I couldn’t complain because he had been taking the girls out more so I could have time to myself. I have been dressing up more so than none because Sheree divorce was almost final and she wanted to celebrate almost every other weekend. I even stepped on the scale and saw that I lost 5 lbs. I can thank Shun T for that.

Every day I go outside and see if Chauncey is on his porch and if so we spend hours just talking and laughing about everything that comes to mind. He is a really good friend and is a big part of the reason I keep telling myself to move forward and “do me.”

“Today is the big day for my baby girl.” I said on the phone to my mother. Today was the pageant me and my daughter have been preparing for. I was on the phone with my mother because she had just agreed to help out the last down payment on her dress. I was going to rush and pick it up right after I cooked the girl’s breakfast. I walked over to my door when I noticed a note on the floor in front of it. The note was from Bryce. He decided to take the girls for breakfast. I folded the note up and threw it in the waste basket once I got downstairs to the kitchen. I am happy that he is spending more time with the girls but I think that it is sad that we had to go through all of the mess we are going through just so he could see my side.

     I decided to fix a cup of coffee and enjoy it by myself for once before he brought the girls back and my chaotic life would really begin. After my coffee I rushed upstairs to get dressed into something more appealing. Lately I had been dressing up more because I have been getting more and more compliments from Bryce. I do admit that I have been getting a little weak when we are alone together. I would tease him a little bit by walking around completely naked, knowing he would be in the kitchen getting a beer or up front watching TV. Hell it’s not like haven’t seen all of this before. It is just hard to be in the same house with someone who you are emotionally connected to and not want to jump on top of him and just rip his clothes off. But I know if I did that he would assume everything is okay between us and it isn’t. I need him to understand just exactly how I feel.

     When I went back downstairs and sat on the couch to watch TV, my phone rang. When I saw that it was Sheree, I debated for a few seconds on whether I should pick it up or not. I had been screening her calls because it is annoying to hear about divorce all the damn time. She needs to divorce his ass and leave me out of it because I am starting to feel like I am her damn therapist. I decided to go ahead and accept her call. Today she sounded pretty normal which is somewhat depressing. She said quietly, “Well the divorce is final.” I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for her. She really did love her husband. She continued, “He came by last night to get the last bit of his things. He is moving in with that bitch and he said I pushed him to it.” My heart ached for Sheree right now. I responded softly, “Sweetie, do you need me to come over there? I am not busy.” She sighs heavily and says, “No. I just want to be alone. I just needed to hear someone else voice. This house seem so empty right now. Even with my little one here.” I couldn’t imagine how I would feel if me and Bryce went all the way through with a divorce. I don’t know if I want that. We have been through way too much. “Well you know you can call anytime you need to. No matter what time of the day or night it is.” Sheree does not say anything for a few seconds. Then she replies, “Okay girl. I will see you later on tonight at the pageant.” I hang up the phone after our goodbyes.

     The door opens and Lelani bursts through extremely excited holding her dress. She said loudly, “Daddy took us out to eat and picked up my dress.” I saw that the dress was different from the one I picked out for her. I couldn’t afford the one she wanted so we had to go with something a little different. Lelani continues, “I am going to go try it on right now.” She runs upstairs. Bryce lets go of Kya’s hand and she runs following her holding an outfit she had just got, “I want to try on my princess dress too!” She yelled while slamming the door to her room. Bryce looks towards me after yelling towards the girl’s room about slamming doors and says, “I hope you don’t mind. Lani told me the dress she wanted when I went to go pick up her dress for the pageant, so I got it instead. I want her to look her best.” I sighed heavily, “She would have looked great in my dress.” I protested. I know I was lying. My daughter would have looked like the pole holding up the circus tent in the dress I had picked out but we didn’t have a lot of choices. I was more upset that all that money I put down on the dress was gone now. Bryce sat beside me on the couch and place money on the table. I could tell he was smiling but I had refused to look. “Here is the money you spent on the dress.” He places some more money on the table. “And here is some more just for you to spend on yourself.” No he is not trying to buy me back. “So giving me money is supposed to solve our problems.” I said still looking away. He grabs my face and turns it towards him. “No but it is a start. I am always talking about us having financial problems but we are not. We never were. I mean of course I would like to make more money so we can do what we want at the time we want it but we are living very comfortably. All the bills get paid, we have food in the house, our girls got clothes on their backs and every now and then you can go out and treat yourself.” He puts his hands on top of my thigh and continues, “You deserve it. You are here all day with the kids, cooking and cleaning. I miss coming home talking to you and being able to touch you. Especially the last few months, you have been looking sexy as hell but I can’t lay a finger on you.” I feel the tears running down my face. I wipe them away and say, “Well why you couldn’t notice that before you decided to fuck that bitch! I can’t deal with this right now. We can talk later after the pageant.” I get up and walk off. I turned around and grabbed the money. Hell he is right I do deserve to treat my damn self, starting today.





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