Torn: A fictional love story, by Shubricca L Bell. (Part 5)

Brenda was off work the next morning. She called Eric and asked him to come over. He did so, with hesitation. She didn’t tell him why she invited him over, but truth is, she wanted to know what he knew about Marcus. Eric came over. “I knew you’d come back to your senses and come crawling back to me,” he said jokingly as he tried to lean in for a kiss. Brenda quickly moved her face. “Boy, bye,” she said. “I just want to know if you had anything to do with Marcus being arrested,” she said. “What? Wait. That’s why you called me over here? Hold on,” he laughed. “Old boy’s in jail? When?” he said. “Don’t act dumb, Eric. He was being arrested at the same time you texted me the other day,” she said. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he said. “Just because I’ve known what he’s been up to, doesn’t make me a snitch.” “Yeah, right,” Brenda said. “I guess it was all a coincidence, huh?” she said. “I guess, so,” he said. “Look, I have some business to handle. I’ll be back tonight, to take you and the kids out to dinner.” “No thanks, for me. But that’s fine, if you take the kids to dinner. Please have them back at a decent time. It is a school night, and please don’t be having any drugs or whatever you be doing, around my kids,” she said. “When have I ever had drugs around my kids?” Eric said. “Hell, you rarely even have them,” she thought to herself. “Whatever, they’ll be ready,” she said. “Cool. I’ll be back around seven,” he said. “Great. I’ll let them know.” She closed the door and locked it, behind him. Eric was a lot of things, but he wasn’t a good liar. So, Brenda knew he was telling the truth when he said that he didn’t have anything to do with Marcus’s arrest. It was just a weird coincidence, but there was only one thing wrong with coincidences. Brenda didn’t believe in them. Everything that happens, happens for a reason. There’s always a purpose. She was determined to find out how all of this connected. An hour later she called Tonya. “So girl, what are you going to do?” Tonya said on the other end of the call. “I don’t know,” Brenda said. I love Marcus, but I’m torn. How do we come back from this? How can I trust him? I do love him and believe that he is done with this lifestyle. He goes to court next week, but he has a pretty good lawyer, so I don’t think the case is going to trial. What do you think I should do, Tonya? Do you think this is God telling me to walk away? Or is this the enemy, trying to come between my happiness? Girl, if me and Marcus don’t work out, I’m going to just give up, all together, and become a nun.” They both laughed. “Girl, please,” Tonya said. “I think it’s a little too late for you to be a nun, but I don’t know what to tell you best friend. I think this is your shot at love, but you have to make this call. Yes, he has his flaws, but who doesn’t? He’s acknowledged his, and is ready to be a changed man for you and the kids. Nobody is perfect, Brenda. Is this something that you can get over?” “I’ve already forgiven him,” Brenda said. “Aht. No, no, no. That’s not what I asked, best friend. I asked you was this something you can get over? You’ve forgiven him. Can you forget?” Brenda sighed, and thought to herself, “How do I forget about this?” “Do I catch selective amnesia? I don’t know what you’re saying, best friend,” Brenda said. “I’m just saying, don’t dwell on this,” Tonya said. “If the good outweighs the bad, then marry that man. Don’t lose him over something like this. You don’t want him to get right with you, and some other chick comes along and reap all the benefits. Keep your man, boo. I don’t want you to end up like me, because it’s slim pickings out here, honey. It’s rough dating in your mid thirties. Most of these dudes still has a sixteen year old’s mindset. They want a momma, not a wife.” Tonya was right. The dating pool was rough. Which is why she had put up with Eric for so long. She would’ve rather dealt with the father of her kids bull crap, than to deal with someone else’s, but eventually she got tired of Eric too, and when she believed she deserved better, that’s when she met Marcus. After she ended her call with Tonya, she began to think about Marcus. He hadn’t called since she put him out last night. She wondered what he was doing. Then she began to think about the day that they met. She was at the supermarket, getting groceries for her client. She was looking through the watermelons, and couldn’t decide which one to get. Marcus said to her, “Get the one with the yellow bottom.” “Huh?” she turned around, and said. Marcus smiled, showing off his pearly whites. “This is the melon,” he said grabbing the watermelon with the yellow bottom, and placing it in Brenda’s cart. “Don’t worry,” he said pointing at the melon. “It’s going to be perfect. I’m Marcus, by the way,” he said extending his hand to shake Brenda’s. “God, he looks and smells so good,” she thought to herself. “Hi, Marcus. You saw me over here struggling, huh?” she said with a smile. “Well, yeah, maybe. Just a little bit,” he said with a small chuckle, while making a pinch with his thumb and index finger. “I’m Brenda,” she said. They shared a few minutes of small conversation and then he gave her his number. “Call me and let me know how the melon tastes,” he said. “Actually, the melon is for my client. I’m a CNA, thus, the uniform,” she said, displaying her scrubs with one hand. “Oh, okay. Nice,” Marcus said. “Do you like your job?” “I love it,” she said. “But I’m going back to school soon. I want to take my career a step further and become a behavior analyst,” she said. Marcus saw a spark in her eyes as she talked about her career. He could tell she was passionate about it. “Ambitious. I love it,” he said. “Well, call me and let me know how your client liked the melon, and if you’re free, maybe we can go out sometime?” he said. “Sure, if my schedule permits,” she said. She really wanted to say, “Yes! Sure! When?” But she didn’t want to come off as desperate, which she wasn’t, but that man was fine, and he knew it. So, she played it cool. “I’ll be looking forward to your call,” he said. “Okay,” she said, holding up her cell to let him know she had his number locked in. He smiled, and walked off. Immediately, she called Tonya. As she was thinking about all of this, Marcus called. “Hello,” she said. “Good morning, babe,” he said. “Hey, Marcus.” “Are you still mad at me?” he asked. “I’m just disappointed,” she said. “I know, baby. I will do whatever it takes to regain your trust. I love you, and more than anything, I want us to work,” he said. “Me too,” Tonya said. “So, since you’re not working today. Do you want to go grab brunch, and maybe look at some furniture for the new house?” he said. “Sure. Why not?” Brenda said. “Good. I’ll be over in twenty minutes.” he said, before they said their goodbyes and ended the call.
A week went by and it was Marcus’s court date. Brenda drove Marcus to the courthouse. She couldn’t stay, because she had to work. They both agreed that it was best for her to drive him, in case he went back to jail. As she was leaving, she saw one of Marcus’s “co workers” talking to the cop that arrested him. “What the hell?” she said, as she slowed down and parked across the street, out of view. The co worker was the woman that she was having a conversation with at the ball. She saw the woman hand the cop an envelope. He put it into his jacket, and went into the courthouse. The woman got into her car and drove off. “What business does she have with the police?” Brenda thought. Did this woman set Marcus up? And if she did, why? This entire situation was bizarre. Brenda drove to work. “Watch your back,” a text message read on her phone, as she pulled up to her client’s house. She looked around. Then she tried to call the number, but the operator said, the number was no longer in service. “O-kay. That’s weird,” she said as she got out of her car, and looked around once more. Then she went into her client’s house. A few hours later, Marcus called and said the prosecutor didn’t have enough evidence, so all charges were dropped. Brenda was so happy. She told Marcus that she had to tell him something though, and he said that he had to tell her something else, too. He said that he didn’t want to tell her at work, because it may upset her. So, she agreed to wait until she got home.

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