Thank God for credit alerts. Sitting in my office at work, my BlackBerry lighting up every five minutes I thought someone had stolen my credit card. Two thousand dollars on luggage, a plane ticket to Cozumel, seven hundred dollars at Victoria’s Secret. My first instinct was to call my credit card company and cancel the transactions but then it hit me that they couldn’t have gotten a plane ticket without their driver’s license or a passport.
Calling the airport, hearing the name of the person that purchased the one roundtrip ticket I sent out an email saying I’d be gone for the rest of the day and rushed into the parking garage. Driving seventy miles an hour in pouring rain running off three hours of sleep I didn’t know what this was about but I knew it wasn’t like her to act spontaneously. She was a thinker, an academic; she was maybe the most logical woman I knew.
Taking a credit card I gave her for emergencies and charging five thousand dollars worth of stuff and leaving town in the middle of a work month wasn’t her.
Pulling onto our street, double parking in front of our brownstone I tried my best to control my anger and my questions. A surprise vacation, a sick family member but no matter what I came up with none of it made sense? She was from Houston, all her family was either here or in Nigeria. She wouldn’t plan a vacation using my money or hers without me so what the hell was this about?!
Walking inside our home the strong smell of bleach and smoke hit me immediately! Even with the rain and cold the patio doors were open and there was a fire in the fire pit.
“WHAT THE FUCK!” My heart dropped to my stomach and for the first time since I could remember I cried. My watches, suits, ties, original manuscripts, my customized laptop, they were all burning and what wasn’t burning was sitting in the lounge chairs covered in bleach. My two dogs weren’t barking, they weren’t doing anything… “Where are my dogs!?”
Picking myself up off the ground, following the music to the bedroom she was in the closet picking out clothes and shoes like it was a Sunday before church. Leaning against the door, trying not to run and grab her neck I just watched her humming and smiling.
“Bitch! Are you crazy? Why would you do that? Why would you destroy my manuscripts?! My laptop?! My watches and pictures of my family!? My writing!!!” She took a handful of things out the closet and placed them in the suitcases she’s just bought with my money! My money!
“Do you remember who you were before me? Do you remember where you lived or where you worked? Do you remember coming to Dallas and begging me to come back to Houston? Asking me to leave a job I loved, friends, a home I made because you “loved” me. Because we could be “great” together. I took you from a college dropout to a degree. From a bullshit job to a career. I TOOK YOU FROM WRITING FOR FUN TO WRITING ON THE COAST OF FUCKING CANNES! Why did I destroy your shit, those clothes and watches and shoes you wear like a badge of honor for those groupie bitches you don’t think I know about! Why did I burn your awards and manuscripts and laptop you treat better than most people?! Why did I give those MUTS you love like children to some Mexicans that had an add on Craigslist?! I did it because you’re a fucking disappointment, because I’ve spent the last year pretending you’d stop flirting and going to lunches and happy hours and taking your little weekend “writing” trips! Went to the doctor today… I’m two months pregnant. I wanted to tell you, thought maybe it would change you. I saw Lacristy there, she told me he was yours, he looked just like you. You thought you could hide a fucking child! I’m just starting with you, when I’m finished you won’t have shit nor will this bastard inside of me have a father! Bleach and fire! Bleach and fire! You think I destroyed those material things you love?! Wait until I get started on destroying the life you love. You’ll regret the day you ever met me!”
The biggest medical city in the country, how in the hell did they run into each other. I guess I’d told the lie to myself for so long that I just figured she’d never find out. How could she…
Seeing the look in her eyes, the gun lying on the pillow next to the suitcase, I couldn’t stop shaking. My rage told me to choke the life out of her but common sense told me that if I launched for her she would take my life.
“Let me explain.”