Chapter 8, Aisha Exposed

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel 
Chapter 8

Aisha Exposed

I lay quietly on the full size bed in our double which Camie was graciously paying for, and Kayla insisted I stay in against my wishes to get my own room.  Kayla and Camie had quickly decided to share a bed which worked well for me.  I continued to think about the conversation I would eventually need to have with Tony.  I realized that this get-a-way wouldn’t last forever, and that I would soon be on my way back home.  What was I going to do?  Would I ask him to leave?  Would I leave?  Would he lie about his infidelity?  Would I foolishly accept his lie?  There were so many questions floating around inside my head.  Yet, I knew the ultimate question was whether or not I still wanted to be with my husband.  And if the answer was yes, was it because I really wanted him or because I just didn’t want to be a laughing stock.  I knew I loved him—that wasn’t really a question, but how would this affect my love?  And if I stayed, would it send a signal that cheating was allowed or could he be reformed?  Could I ever trust him again?  

As I had expected, Tony did call Kayla a couple of hours before we left for our road trip.  I had asked Kayla to assure Tony that I was okay and let him know that I just needed some time to sort through my thoughts.  When he had insisted on getting answers, I just told Kayla to tell him I would discuss it with him once I got home.  She grudgingly passed on the information, but I could see she wanted to get to the heart of the matter.  I was honestly hoping time could have a positive effect on me—lessen the disappointment; ease the pain.  I just kept telling myself, “Sleep on it”.  The problem was that I couldn’t sleep.  Whenever I closed my eyes, I found myself at the same place in a very persistent nightmare—staring at my husband and another woman.  I couldn’t make out any facial features but her fair skin, long flowing coif, and curvier parts were all apparent to me.  In the dream I could see Tony smiling his enticing smile, nibbling on the unknown woman’s ears and whispering what I assumed were naughty things; the kind of naughty things he would whisper in my ears.  I saw him loving and romancing her between our champagne colored satin sheets which progressed to his head down between her legs, and right there I’ll pop up in a deep sweat.  The tears always followed and then an alarming feeling of rage.

But this second night was different.  I just wouldn’t allow my eyes to close.  I knew I wasn’t ready to have an emotional breakdown even in a room shared by my closest friends.  So I quickly changed my clothes and left the room to take what was supposed to be a quiet walk.  Yet, the voice in my head never stopped talking—not even for one second.  I headed back to the room after a failed attempt to clear my head.  Upon entering the room, I moved intently towards the dresser where Kayla had left her phone.  I picked up the small device and without a second thought, I found myself calling my home.  I listened closely to hear the ring and before I could talk myself into hanging up, I heard Tony’s deep but soft voice.
“Aisha?”  He sounded anxious.
“Yes.”  I could hear myself say.
“Where are you?  When are you coming home?  I know I messed up.  Believe me I know—but I love you.  I swear I do.”  He pleaded. 
“Baby?  Are you there?”
“I’m here.”  I whispered.
“Please say something.  Say you’re not leaving.  Say we can get through this.”
“I don’t know.  I want to say that, but I just don’t know.  I love you, and I thought you loved me too.  Why?  Why would you hurt me like this?”  I was rambling.
“It was a stupid mistake.  You know I love you.  She was nobody.  It’s just... I don’t know.  You just been so busy lately—it’s been rough.
“So you slept with another woman, brought me home an itch, and now it’s my fault!”  I shouted.
“No, it’s not your fault.  I’m just trying to be honest with you.”
“Honest!  Have you ever been honest with me? Is this even the first time?  Are you really even sorry?”  I cried and shouted in the small room.
“Aisha, you’ve got to know that I love you.  You mean the world to me.”  Tony didn’t bother to answer what he must have assumed were rhetorical questions or just my emotions getting the best of me.  But I knew better.  I knew that I wanted and deserved answers.  By now, Kayla and Camie were up, and sitting on either side of their bed full of shock and disbelief.  I didn’t think either of them had ever seen me this way. 
“I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  I feel like someone just kicked me in the gut.  I never thought I’d be here—dealing with this.  I feel like a fool—like you’ve been making a fool of me.”  I held the phone by my side, walked over to my bed, and sat there crying.  
“Don’t feel like that.  It can happen to anyone.  We can’t help who we love.  It’s one of those moments where we find out that we’re not really in control.”  Camie said now sitting next to me on my bed with her arm around me.  Kayla snatched the phone from my hand, hung it up, and slammed it down on the bedside table. 
“Is he seriously blaming you for his cheating?”  Kayla shouted.
“He said I been too busy.”  I managed to form a sentence between my crying and hissing.
“So, you mean to tell me he can’t handle himself once in a while.”  Kayla blurted out—which caused me to smile briefly.
“That’s such a cruel excuse.  It’s like somehow women are always being scolded for being career oriented.”  Camie weighed in, but never stopped holding me.  Just then it hit me, she was a mother!  I had never been vulnerable enough to see her this way, and now for the first time I felt like I really knew who she was.

Tony never even called back.  I felt so hurt.  It was like I wasn’t even worth fighting for.  It was almost as if he was only saying the things he did because he thought that he should.  Yet, his actions demonstrated what I had to assume were his true sentiments.  I looked at Kayla and wondered when she would burst.  I wondered if she would eventually say— “I told you so.”  Given another opportunity, she still only had compassion for me.             

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel © Grace Call Communications, LLC Copyright ©2010, 2016, 2017 by Natisha Renee Williams All Rights Reserved