What I Should Have Said

“She’s pregnant.”

He said it in the same voice he used to say he going on a lime. Like it was a given, an expectation and there was nothing I could do about it.

“How did that happen?” I answered looking straight at him.

“What kind of stupid question is that?” he raged before realising he was the one in the hot seat.

“I’m thinking it must be an immaculate conception or some outer body experience because every time I’ve asked you if you were sleeping with her, you told me no.”

I continued to stare him down although my knees were shaking inside. What did this mean? Was he leaving me for her? What would happen to me and the kids? Shouldn’t I be relieved that my suspicions were true all along? My heart hurt and so did my stomach.

“What are you going to do about it?” I asked averting my eyes.

“She’s keeping it and I want us to raise it.” He continued in that same tone as if he was talking about us taking in a kitten. “She can’t take care of no baby of mine. I want my child raised up like ours here.”

“So she was good enough to ride but not good enough to mother your baby? You thinking about her parental suitability a little too late.”

“The baby is due in a couple of weeks and I want us to take her in when she is born okay.”

“Hell no! You all didn’t ask my permission when you started this and I won’t be cleaning up your mess now.”

“Look baby, I sorry. I really am but let’s not hurt an innocent child over this. If she is here, I know you will take care of her and treat her like you treat our three.”

My stomach was in my chest as I considered what he was asking, what he was demanding in that way he always demanded, without regard for my feelings. His I’m sorry was no apology. It was his way of placating me and manipulating me as he always did. He was not sorry. He hadn’t even made an attempt to say things were over between them. I was just expected to go on being the happy wife and mother and not care that he continued to shame me in the streets.

“You’ve got two days to clear your things out of the house. You need to make sure that money for the kids is here on the 15th and last day of each month. If you even come up short one time, I’m finding and shooting your ass. When the divorce papers show up sign them. Any attempt to interfere with me until I am good and ready to speak to you again and I will make sure you lose permanent use of that dick you seem so fond of.”

There was silence as he realised that this was not like old times. Like every other mistake that I cleaned up and covered for him. This was the proverbial straw on the donkey’s back. I turned and walked into the kitchen preparing to find a knife or some other implement to reinforce the message. I knew he would come after me.

“Neri I’m sorry nuh. I am really sorry.”

“Get out!” I shouted. “Just get out!”

I closed my mind and wished it all away. I wished we weren’t having this conversation and I wished I’d had the courage to say everything that was in my heart to say all those words out loud but I didn’t. I was too afraid to defy him.

Written By Nerissa Golden. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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