“Baby, don’t. Don’t move.” He’s by my side in a second. He puts one arm under my thighs and the other behind my back and sits me up. My breathing is small and quick, the pain is immense and it’s hard for me to get words out.
“I didn’t. Know. Where.”
He cuts me off.
“I know darling. It’s ok. I’m right here.” His eyes are red like he hasn’t slept, his face is full of sorrow and anger. He won’t actually look at me. It breaks my heart. I know he didn’t mean for this to happen. “Jackie will be up in a few minutes with something to eat. Then you can have more pain medication.” He just stares at my side for a second and walks back into the bathroom.
I rest my head back against the headboard and close my eyes trying to put things in place in my own mind. Mentally, it feels like a dream, a really bad dream but physically feels brutal. Like getting ran over by a semi. I feel so weak and exhausted. I pull the sheets down and lift up my shirt, it’s all covered up. I run my fingers over the bandage gently, like if I feel it then it will seem more real. My own light touch sends pain through my body. I squeeze my eyes tight and lock my jaw. I let out a deep breath and that hurts as well.
Jackie opens the door softly and peeks in, she sees me awake. I look at her and she gives me smile, I can tell she’s going to try and make the best of this and I can also tell she is so angry with J.
“I’m not even going to ask how you are sweetie. You have to have bland foods for now but I promise once you are better I am making you a feast!” She brings me a bowl of broth. Just straight chicken soup broth, nothing else in it and a side of crackers. I’m not that hungry so it doesn’t bother me too much. “Thanks” I smile at her. It’s on a bed tray and she sets it over my lap. I look over to the bathroom door and stare for a moment and then look at the soup. I put a few spoonfuls of the soup in my mouth. Jackie sits on the bed next to me being careful not to move me too much.
“I was so worried about you dear, still am. But seeing you makes me feel a lot better.” She rests her hand on my knee.
I continue eating the soup, the pain is setting in and my need for that pain medication intensifies.
“How long till I can get the medication?” I wince as I take a breath in.
“Honey, Mr. J won’t let anyone handle, well, anything regarding you. I don’t know where he is. I can see if someone can find him, ok?” She goes to stand up.
“He’s in the bathroom.” I say in one breath. When I breath in it feels like I’m being punched in the stomach.
She gives me a confused look, “Should I?” She takes a step toward the bathroom, I give her a shrug back.
“I don’t know what he’s doing in there.”
She walks over to the door and gives it a light knock, “Mr. J. Uh, she’s eating now but is asking for pain medication.”
Nothing is heard from the other side for a few moments. Jackie comes back to my side and sits with me while we wait.
The bathroom door opens after a few minutes, “I’ll get it. You can leave Jackie.”
She nods and gives my leg a slight squeeze and closes the door behind her. He still can’t even look at me. He walks over to his side of the dresser and pulls out a syringe and a small bottle.
“What. Is that?” I try to get his attention.
“To help with the pain.” He’s looking at the bottle and he is being short.
‘Thanks for the information Sherlock’ he comes to my side of the bed, still no eye contact.
“Small pinch, ok.” He fills up the syringe and sets it down on the night stand, he takes the small table off my lap and puts it on the floor. I expect him to go for my arm but he helps me lay down. He lifts up my shirt and doesn’t even give a warning, the needle pierces my skin right on my hip. I bite down and a few tears roll down the side of my face. I let out a groan that lasts a few seconds. I’m gripping the bed, trying to release the pain into something else.
He sets the syringe down on the night stand again. “It works faster this way.” He tries to walk away and I reach for his arm.
“What?” He still won’t look at me.
My head is propped up with the help of a few pillows, I have his wrist in a tight grip. I tug on him to come to me. He does. I reach up with my other hand and touch his face.
“This isn’t your fault babe.” I whisper.
He eyes open, I feel like he is burning a hole through me. They are clear ocean blue, and around them is bloodshot red. My heart gets a stinging feeling. I don’t know what he’s feeling or thinking right now.
“Who’s fault is it then? Yours?” He walks away.
‘Ok. That hurt.’ I feel like I’m losing him, or i’ve lost him in his own self pity. Like he has drowned himself in this abyss that I can’t reach into, partially because he won’t reach back. The pain medication starts to set in, my body feels heavy but at least I don’t feel pain. My eyes close.
I wake up and it’s completely dark outside, there is toast and a banana next to me on the tray, as well as a large water. I force myself up, letting out a few deep breaths as I move. The pain isn’t unbearable right now. I grab the water and start drinking. I almost finish the whole thing before setting it down and looking at my surroundings. I look at the time and it’s 11pm. ‘What kind of pain medication is that!’ I look over and J is on his back, fully clothed with his eyes closed next to me. I mean, he’s here right? At least physically, I have no clue where his mind is.
“You ok?” My heart pounds, I didn’t know he was awake.
“Yeah. Are you?” i keep my voice at a whisper like its a secret.
He opens his eyes and actually looks at me, “Yes.”
I reach my hand out and grab his, he lets me and i close my eyes. A few moments go by and he pulls his hand from mine, it’s silent. I can feel the pain setting in my lower stomach again. I reach over and squeeze whatever part of him I can find.
“What?! What is it?” He jumps up and starts sitting me up.
“The pain. It’s getting. Bad again.” It takes me a second to relax my body in its new position he put me in.
“It’s too soon.” He lays back down. Like he’s not even concerned. I let out a few exasperated breaths. It’s an intense throbbing pain now. I bite down on my lip as I scoot myself up a little more, I lift up my left leg and loudly groan.
“What are you doing Kat?!” He springs out of the bed and helps me get my leg on the ground. I push his shoulder weakly. “I’m trying to help you!” He yells at me.
I slowly look up at him, my eyes are filled with rage now, “Help me?” I breath out the words, “You can barley fucking look at me!” I push him away again.
He throws his hands up and slams the door as he walks out. It takes me a few minutes and a couple of almost screams to stand, but I do it. I walk to the bedroom door and open it.
The office door is open and I hear Jackie, “Mr. J, I can’t say I don’t blame you, but I know she doesn’t.“
’What the hell is she doing! He will kill Jackie!’ I feel sick as my heart rate increases, I use the walls as support as I walk towards the office door.
I can hear him laugh, "You’re a maid, your opinion is worthless.” He yells at her.
“Sweetie, you can say it over and over again but I know you care about her. I know you blame yourself and I know you are trying to get rid of whatever feelings you have for her by hurting her, but it won’t work.” She walks out of the office door. “Kat! What are you doing!?” She rushes to my side and holds me up.
J walks out of the office and just looks at me. I meet his eyes. I just want to touch him, but he walks back in the office and closes the door.
“Does he not realize that hurts more?” I say aloud.
“I know dear.” Jackie helps me turn around to go back to the bedroom.
“Could I go outside?” I ask her as she still is holding me up.
“I don’t see why not honey.” She gives me a smile and we make our way down the stairs.
It takes us a couple of minutes but we make it, she helps me sit on a bench and she sits next to me. I lean my head on her shoulder and she puts her arm around me.
“What’s wrong with him?” I ask her. I’m in pain but I figure he’s not giving me that medicine anytime soon so just suck it up the best I can.
“I wish I could tell you dear. I really do.” She gives me a soft squeeze, “Im going to make you something to eat ok?” She helps me sit up and I sit there with my eyes closed. I enjoy the cool, fresh air on my skin, the smells of the garden so close to me. I take in a few tiny deep breaths.
“I have to clean it.” J breaks me from my relaxed state of mind.
“Ok.” I still keep my eyes closed, enjoying the last few seconds outside before he helps me up and back inside.
Walking isn’t so bad, it almost is easier to walk than to lay in bed all day. He helps me up the stairs. One step at a time. I get to the top and catch my breath, I didn’t even realize I was holding it. We make our way into the bathroom and I can feel the tension between us grow. He turns the bath on and fills it with warm water.
I reach for the bottom of my shirt and lift it over my head, my back is sore from being tense with my movements. J walks over to me, his face is close to mine but he is looking down as he slides off my pants and underwear together, he kneels down and i use his back for my balance as I step out of each leg. He carefully undoes the bandage. My heart is starting to race. He walks behind me and gently pushes my hair to the side as he unhooks my bra. I bite my lip and he notices in the mirror. I want something so bad to happen but I know that any movement like that will break open any stitches I have. He knows it too.
He helps me into the bath. I sit there, we sit there, in silence. He is sitting on the floor on the outside of the tub facing me.
“I don’t know how much more i can put you through.” He is finally looking at me.
“J this isnt yo…” He doesn’t let me finish.
“Don’t. Fuck, don’t say this isn’t my fault. Everything you have been through is my fucking fault Kat! You are still here though? Why? Why are you fucking still here! I can’t take seeing you like this! This isn’t, this isn’t living!” He lets out a deep sigh and runs his hands through his hair roughly, “I am living, but you, you are barley surviving with me.” His eyes are full of emotion.
“I love you.” I mange to get out.
I wait for a response, for something. He looks at me slowly, I can’t tell what emotion he is feeling, really feeling. He stands up and I am waiting for the worst, instead he walks out of the bathroom and closes the door behind him.
I feel paralyzed. My stomach turns into knots. Im staring at the porcelain white tub, lost.
Jackie opens up the door and I don’t break my stare.
“Honey?” She calls out I don’t answer. She comes and kneels by the tub and wipes my hair out of my face, “Whats going on dear?
I look at her, “I told him I loved him.” I look back at the tub.
She reaches in and hugs me. i push her off. I get stand up, my moves are in short motions, the pain is torturous. I step out of the bath and the water is dripping off me, leaving puddles behind me. I am careful walking i don’t want to slip and fall. I grab the syringe that he left on my side of the bed and the bottle from his side. Jackie is watching me, she knows she cant stop me. I fill up the syringe halfway and give myself a shot in the side. I do it again. I set it down and wait a few seconds.
I push my wet hair back and out of my face, i slip on the first pair of shorts I see, as well as a shirt. i cant feel anything now, but the mix of anger and agony.
I walk out of the bedroom, the office door is closed. I lock my eyes on the door. I am trying to grip the wall, i can barley put pressure on my left side. It feels like its taking me forever but I finally reach my destination.
I push the door open.
“Who the fu..” He stops when he sees me.
He stays sitting in his chair behind his desk as I walk in. I reach his desk and lean on it for support. I take a few seconds to catch my breath. I move so i am sitting on the edge of his desk facing him in his chair.
“I get it.” I take another deep breath.
“Get what?” he ask, his look confused.
“I get you. I understand you, for the most part. I know you refuse to let ‘love’ shine through your bubbly personality, but i know you fucking feel things.” I lean in a little bit, “I know you don’t love me, I don’t care. I fucking love you J. Everything about you. Every annoying little thing about you.” i smile at him but its not returned. “You don’t scare me anymore J.” I roll my eyes at him and stand up.
The walk from the desk to the door seems longer now. I stumble trying to reach for something to catch me. I hit the floor and let out a painful moan.
J comes down to my level, “You have fallen for much worse darling.” He smiles at me.
I give him what I can of a smile, and he helps me up. His arms are around my waist and out noses are almost touching.
“You do things to me doll, I can’t explain a fucking one of those things.” He kisses me.
Everything stops. I wrap my hands in his hair pulling him closer.
“Let me finish taking care of you princess.” He pulls away.
I pull him back and kiss him again. I can feel the tears start rolling down my cheek.
“What, whats wrong?” He pulls away feeling my tears on his own face, he has his hands are on the sides on my face.
“Im happy.” I pull him in one more time.
‘This is happiness and madness.’ I smile
He helps me back to the bedroom. He redoes the bandage and has jackie bring me up something to eat. He sits next to me, staring at me.
“What?” I look at him.
“You are something else doll.” he lays back against the headboard and closes his eyes.
I wish things could always be like this.
Jackie comes in with more bland soup, I eat it the best I can. It doesn’t taste like anything. i eat a few crackers and drink the rest of my water.
When Ethel’s sixteen-year-old Bobby and Eunice’s sixteen-year-old son, also named Bobby, were arrested for possession of marijuana, Eunice and her husband, Sarge, sat down with their boy and tried to reason with him. They finally convinced him to curtail his friendship with his cousin.
Meanwhile, Ethel chased her Bobby around the yard with a broom stick, yelling, “I’ll beat the daylights out of you if I ever get my hands on you!” The youngster ran to Jackie’s home, rushed in and began pleading to her for protection. “Look, Jackie, you can keep him,” Ethel told her sister-in-law when Jackie tried to talk to her about Bobby. “I don’t want him. Maybe you’ll have better luck with him.”
The teenager stayed with his Aunt Jackie for a few hours before Ethel finally retrieved him. “Please promise me you won’t kill him,” Jackie told her, perhaps only half-jokingly. “I can’t promise you that,” Ethel answered. “Well I guess I can’t blame you,” Jackie said trying to keep the mood light for fear of further antagonizing her sister-in-law. “If John ever smoked marijuana, I’d be the mother chasing her boy around the yard.”