Chapter 33 and 34, Tony's Mantle and Ketly Broken to Write

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel
Chapter 33 and 34

Tony's Mantle

I entered the unknown home behind Aisha.  I’d hope she would let me try to fight for her.  I hadn’t before, because I was looking at our life through public lenses.  I’d stepped out of our marriage, and joined everyone else as a spectator.  I saw things the way they saw things.  I judged the situation the way an outsider was expected to judge the situation.  I played right into the disaster Reece had meant to unleash in my marriage.  I hadn’t seen it from my wife’s shoes.  I couldn’t just then.  I was too embarrassed.  I still wasn’t a hundred percent comfortable with her secret, but I suspected that could never happen anyway.  I thought long and hard about what I should do, and I heard something say, “Love her”.  Right after that, I felt this kind of peace about it.  Like I was prepared to deal with whatever else would come—not just in this situation, but any other situation we’d have to face.  So, I decided to give it my best shot.
“Can we talk?”  I stood some feet away.
“Just tell me why?”  Aisha hadn’t changed her question.  I suppose it was the real answer to the whole mess.
“I just messed up.”  I listened to myself put all the responsibility on my back. 
“Why didn’t you use a condom?”
“I was drunk—it was unexpected.”  I told the truth, and felt my shame.
“You don’t even drink Tony.  How can I trust you when you continue to lie?”  Aisha continued.
“Look babe… something happened—it had my mind all messed up.  I put myself in a bad situation, and some things happened that I didn’t plan on.  Aisha, here’s the truth…  I love you.  Is there any way we can save what we have?”  I asked hoping that we could get pass the past; both hers and mine.
“I’m humiliated.  I feel like a fool Tony.  I can’t tell you that it’s going to be easy.  I can’t promise that when I look at you, I won’t see a cheat.”  Aisha’s words pierced me.  It took me back to the night Pete shared with me what everyone was whispering about.  I thought to lay down my cause, and just tell her like it really was.  But I knew what she would have to face in the world, and I didn’t want her to face it in our marriage as well.  So I continued to love and protect her.  After all, my assumption was that the news wasn’t to devastate her, but to throw me.  No doubt someone didn’t want to see her happy, but I knew that we would be happy together.  We always were.
“If you give me a chance, I’ll prove to you that you made the right decision.”  I gave my last and final plea, and prepared to step back if I needed to.
“Tell you what.  Let’s date again.  Let me take you out.  I’ll work for it.”  I heard myself plea some more, and go further out on the ledge I was on.
“I don’t know.  Let me think about it.”
Just then, I decided to step in closer, and invade my wife’s space.  She quickly turned her face from mine as to deny the love between us, but I kissed her anyway.  I kissed her cheek; her lips; and spoke in her ear.
“It will never happen again.  You have my word.  Please.  I need you.”  She stood still and didn’t utter a word, but there were tears. 
“Please don’t make a fool of me.”  She finally spoke.
“I won’t, and in fifty years no one will remember this for how wonderful our story will be.”  I assured my wife that I did have a plan for us.

“Then let’s try.”  Aisha surrendered to our dream.  I stood chest-to-chest with my wife, while she leaned against the short wall, outside of the kitchen, of the home we were in.  We locked hands on both sides of our bodies, and we kissed for a good while.  After about ten more minutes of kissing and hugging and whipping each other’s tears—I led her out of the dimly lit home, and into the light of day.  Right before we crossed the threshold, I looked up and gave quiet thanks to God.  He had not forsaken me.   

Ketly Broken to Write

In the aftermath of my shattered hopes and dreams with Jeff—somewhere out of the ashes, I found the strength, will, and a few flurries of inspiration to write.  I’d been collecting notes of all kinds of cute scenes and events happening around me.  I was ready to see where they would all fit, in my newest attempt to heal myself, using the relationship between words and thoughts.  So in the moments between nap time, play time, and feeding time, I sat at my dining table and began stringing my notes together. 

Still heartbroken, I resented my love to write.  It was my healing and my brokenness together at once.  At first I thought I would just wait until the hurt had faded a bit, but I woke up a few days ago, and found myself sitting down to write.    I’d always been known to take my time between offerings.  It was my promise to my readers—nothing rushed; nothing uninspired; nothing wasted.  I usually wrote from the outside looking in, but this time I would attempt to write this story from the inside-out.  And although no one would really know the difference, except my friends, it would be a great challenge for me.  It would still be fiction, but a tight fitting one. 

I sat at the table crowded with pieces of papers of all sizes and shapes, and two empty coffee mugs, trying to course out my story and infuse the sweet poetic touch I was known for.  I knew Jeff’s book was set to be released in about two weeks, but I hadn’t really planned on reading it.  I assumed what it would be about, with a title like, “Any Woman I Wanted”.  Not to mention, I didn’t want my book to be sucked into becoming a fire back in any way. 

Just then, I remembered I had been putting off calling him to let him know about the christening I was having for Shayne.  I really wasn’t into religion, but as far as I was concerned, it was tradition and certainly couldn’t hurt.  I settled on just sending an email.  Either way, I was almost certain he’d come. 

I finished up on the introduction for the new book, and began packing a few things to take over to Raina’s.  Shayne and I had become regulars at her weekly game night, and I always looked forward to having a blast.  I had flaked out a couple of times while Aisha was staying with me—only because I knew she probably wouldn’t have a good time.  I think.  Anyway, Raina was really shaping up to be a great friend, and an asset in my circle.  This was exactly what I needed to unwind from writing and sorting through all my raw feelings; fun and laughter. 

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