Chapter 26, Ketly Broken Again

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel
Chapter 26

Ketly Broken Again 

I landed in LA at 7:55a.m.  I was all kinds of out of sorts.  For one, I had left Shayne back in Florida with my neighbor.  It was all so quick and panicked.  It wasn’t like me to get so comfortable so quickly, but I really trusted Raina.  I didn’t want to bring my sweet prince into what I perceived could be an awkward and shaky environment. 

I had gotten an alarming call at nearly three in the morning, from one of Jeff’s infamous one-night stands, telling me that she had found him passed out in a tub of running water.  It sent chills all up and through my body, and wounded my already broken heart.  She explained that she had only met him for the first time earlier that morning.  She didn’t know who best to contact, but my number was labeled as “baby”.  I wondered if it was related to the way he felt about me, or to his son.  The news didn’t make any sense to me.  Jeff was successful, handsome, and definitely very sort after.  I had no knowledge of any real hurdles in his life.  I did however know that he was raised by his grandmother, and had never met his mother.  I also knew that his father had passed away when he was very young, but he seemed to be at peace with that part of his history.  I just couldn’t imagine what could get him so unraveled, and why the beautiful light and life of our son wouldn’t at least level things out— give him something to live for.  I certainly wanted to see him, and have a heart to heart with him; like we often would in the beginning. 

            I jumped in a cab, holding my one small overnight bag close to me.  I had asked the woman to wait with Jeff at the hospital until I made it there, yet most of me was not prepared to see her.  I didn’t want to be sucked into a place of making comparisons.  Although, if I were honest, a small part of me wanted to know what he was into.  Nearly thirty-minutes later, I pulled up to the hospital, and called Jeff’s phone with the expectation of hearing another woman’s voice.
“Hi, Ketly.  Are you here?”
“Yes, I just pulled up.  I’ll be right up.”
“Thanks Candace.  I really appreciate you staying.”
“No problem.”  I entered the building, got into the elevator, and closed my eyes to pray.
“Lord, please let this go as smooth as it possibly can.”

            I stepped into the room where Jeff was lying asleep, and a young woman, about twenty-two years old, stood up from a chair right next to his bed.  We extended our hands simultaneously and said our names in sync.  She was cute.  By the way she was dressed I knew that she had no intentions on being in the hospital on this day. 
“I’ll leave you alone.”
“Okay.  Do you have a way home?”
“I’ll get a cab.”
“Okay… Thanks again.  I am really grateful to you for your quick response, and for staying with him.”
“I really hope it all works out.”  Candace said in a meek and sincere way before leaving.  Yet I knew Jeff didn’t go for meek, but I did feel her sincerity.

            I was compelled to kiss Jeff’s cheek near his ear as I whispered, “hey handsome”.  I sat on the side of his bed, and held his hand.  I felt his grip although he didn’t wake up.  When the doctor came in, I introduced myself, and got an overview of his condition.  It was basically as Candace had indicated.  She was so freaked out when she called.  I couldn’t help but wonder how it would affect her going forward.  But mostly I wanted to know what had happened to bring Jeff to this moment.  The room felt lonely.  I thought to go through his phone also, and see if there were any other indications of close friends or relatives.  It reminded me that my relationship with Jeff had been so cut off, and set apart from the rest of his life.  I hadn’t met a single relative or friend the whole time we’d been together.  All of a sudden, I realized how low my expectations had been.

            A few hours later, Jeff woke up, and I called for the nurse as I had been instructed to.  He didn’t remember much right away.  He didn’t seem to know why he was in the hospital, or why I had come so far.  The doctor briefed me that they would monitor him for at least a full twenty-four hours, and then recommend he see a psychiatrist.  I planned to stay with him while he was in the hospital, but I knew I couldn’t stay past the next day.  I had left Kayla a message asking her to pick up Shayne, but I had to get back.

            After the nurse left the room, Jeff mumbled, “Thanks for coming”.
            “I was horrified by that call.  What happened?” I asked taking his hand into mine.
            “I don’t know… just a little depressed.”  He made light of the circumstances.
            “Why are you being so guarded with me?  I love you…”   Tears began to flow from my eyes.
            “It’s just hard to think you would plan to leave without even a goodbye.”
            “It’s not as simple as you think.”  I allowed Jeff’s words to linger and I thought for a moment about his words.
            “I love my son.”  Jeff assured us both.
            “And what about me?” I cringed.
            “You’re the one that ended it.  I don’t chase women Ketly.”  I pulled my hand away and stood to my feet. 
            “So you punishing me?”
            “I just don’t get… how you escort me out of your life—after you claimed to love me the way you did.”
            “And you claimed your love for me just the same, yet you parade around with other women!  What’s the difference?”  I could hear my voice get louder.
            “It was different when we were together.”  Jeff’s voice was low, and his words came slow.  I had humbled myself and professed my love, but he couldn’t receive it.  It was then clear to me that I wouldn’t be staying long. 
            “So will you be okay going forward?” I began planning my exit.
            “I’m good.  Obviously, it’s not my time.”
            “When did you get so insensitive?”
            “When I got that no one really gives a damn.”
            “And yet I’m here.” I cried some more.
            “Yeah and I nearly died for that to happen.”  Jeff retorted without a second thought.  Obviously he was angry with me, but I never expected he could be this cruel.  This was not the man I knew.  This person had no compassion, no gratitude, and certainly no love for me.  I picked up my bag; certain to walk away forever, but I took the second thought.  I stopped, turned around, and saw the coarse shell of a man I used to be so in love with, and then I did as self-love instructed me to do.  I left.
            “Ketly!” Jeff tried to get up.  “Ketly!”  … “Hell.”  I heard his faint cries as I left a part of my heart behind.

            I moved swiftly, trying to get into the first bathroom stall.  I knew I would completely fall apart, and I couldn’t bear to be seen.  What had happened?  I totally didn’t see it going this way.  Why didn’t he hear me say, “I love you!”?  Why didn’t he see my urgent response?  He didn’t even ask about our son.  Who the hell was this jerk?  And what the hell did he do with the love of my life? 

            I thought about the e-mail I had written Jeff, and I began beating myself up.  I couldn’t help but feel like I had caused this whole thing with my hard hitting words.  I hadn’t realized how much it would wound him, but I was so hurt.  I was broken into a hundred little pieces the day I had finally gotten the courage to hit send on the email I had written two days earlier.
            I just couldn’t let go.  I thought to stay, and call him the next day, but instead I called a cab to take me straight back to the airport.  I knew my son loved me, and I needed to breathe in such a pure love.  I needed him to heal my broken heart.  I needed to hear his giggles. I needed his undying love.

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