nike's on my feet

we can never stay together. we tried so many times..



marlee.



I just came by to drop off your dress.” I held the plastic draped dress I’d borrowed up.



Without a word she pulled her door open, granting me access to the spacious apartment. I laid the dress on a nearby wingback chair as she fell onto her couch, grabbing the remote.



Where’s that bag of clothes I left?” I sighed, annoyed. I didn’t want to be here.



I was still every bit of pissed about the cruel things she’d said to me last night. Though I’d never admit it, her words left a series of furious lacerations on my spirit.



Despite how much we quarreled and often disagreed I held Erin in pretty high regard. Knowing exactly what she felt about me, how despicable she saw me to be hurt my feelings. I wanted to say I didn’t care about her opinions but I did.



Erin had been the longest running piece of consistency in my life. We’d grown up together, sharing many experiences and hardships. All the lessons I’d learned had been with her, All the mistakes I’d made and dumb shit I did – with her. She was my partner, not just in crime but in life. She annoyed me to no end with her bickering and bitching but I loved her and knew how much she loved me. She was my person.



Knowing how lowly she thought of me struck a cord – several of them. She thought I was dumb and hopeless – an idiot as she’d said.



“Did he cheat?” Her question was stark and zapped me around from my thoughts.



“Erin,” I sighed as defeat slithered through my veins. “I can’t – I don’t have the energy. Where’s my shit so I can go?”



“The energy fa what?! I asked a simple question.”



My eyes narrowed. “Would that make you feel better? If he did?”



She loudly kissed her teeth, broadcasting her displeasure. “Yo, you buggin.”



“You haven’t liked him since the beginning.” I shrugged. “Maybe this is what you needed, a real reason not to like him.”



“Ya nigga been trash since day one.” She insisted through twisted lips.



“He never even did anything to you! He was nice to you – always.”



“Well, if he such a nice person why you on the brink of a divorce? Why he publicly embarrassing ya ass with that white bitch? Where he at? Why you here? Those clothes ain’t important, and I coulda got the dress when ever. Why you crying?”



I touched my face, finding it wet with my tears.



“Did he cheat?” She posed the question again.



It was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the arrow that’s pierced Achilles’ heel. It broke me down like a wrong move in a Jenga match. I went numb as soon as my knees impacted the ground. Ironically the only sensation I felt was my heart twisting and breaking into a trillion pieces. And then Erin’s warmth.



-



Larry, go home.”



Baby, please just listen.” He huffed a sigh, staring down at me through a set of weary eyes.



I don’t wanna hear shit you have to say. Just leave – if you keep at it Erin’s gonna call the cops.”



Fuck her.” He reached for me only to sigh when I dodged his attempt. I didn’t want his hands on me . I didn’t even want to breathe the same air as him.



You need to leave.”



Chinky – just come home and talk to me. What Luzy say – she… I never want to be with her and that piss her off. I love you.”  



Yo, you good?” Erin asked, pulling the door open.



She fine.” Larry’s voice was strained from all the ire he felt towards Erin.



I’m not fucking talking to you. Marlee?”



I talk to you and say she good.” He bit back.



Nigga, fuck you! She wasn’t good when she spent last night crying her eyes out over your bum ass and that white bitch you can’t stay away from!”



Worry for yourself. You so fucking miserable. You wait all this years for something bad happen because you just jealous. You not my wife friend – you a jealous bitch who want everything she have!”



Larry,” I sniffed, blocking Erin from fully exiting her apartment. “Go home.”



Baby, I sorry – please don’t cry.” Larry pleaded with me, grabbing my hand.



Don’t touch ha. Marlee, come on.” Erin curled an arm around my midsection, creating distance between Larry and I. “If you bring ya big bird looking ass over here again I'mma call my cousins to whoop ya ass. Fuck the cops.” Erin japped before slamming the door.



My hands nest had taken permanent residence in my hair. My fingers had grown acquainted with every follicle that lined my scalp. My nails threatened the tender flesh that formed my crown. For the tenth time in the past five minutes I snatched my hand away, tucking it in my lap.



I was anxious and a whole lot of other things. I felt completely and totally unstable. My thoughts were poison and my memories my worst enemy.



My shame and embarrassment burned like a million suns dancing across my bare back. My pride squeezed at my spine, severing nerves and sending the rest into frenzy. Everything hurt. My body, my head, my heart…



I craved understanding more than I craved my next breath. In this moment I wanted nothing more than to understand my husband. I wanted all the whys and hows to be answered. I wanted to know what I’d done to him to make him act with such malice.



I’d been driving myself nuts trying to relate but I simply couldn’t. I would never in a million years talk to Pierre or any person about Larry how he’d spoken to Luzy about me. I didn’t know exactly what he said and how he’d said it but those text messages revealed everything and more.



In Male Larry had nervously blurted the vicious act that took me over the edge, as well as his why but his explanation hadn’t been enough to prepare me for the hole my recollection blew through me. And my fuzzy memories couldn’t prepare me for the Google search I’d done yesterday that pulled up the screenshots Luzy had leaked for the world to see.



That was the funny thing about the internet. Nothing ever died.



I shifted on the couch, seeking out comfort but there was none. Sitting bare assed on the Great Barrier Reef would’ve probably been more comfortable.



My hand moved back to my hair and I snatched it away then stood, exiting the livingroom.



My bedroom was as empty as the rest of the house. I’d asked Larry for space and he’d given it to me without much fight. I didn’t know where he’d gone, I didn’t ask and frankly I didn’t care but if I had to guess I’d say he was uptown at Roy’s.



With no particular place in mind, I shoved my feet into a pair of Nikes and exited my place with my mind set on feeling better.



I walked aimlessly for a while, basking in my neighborhood. All of it felt familiar and that was a great feeling. I could remember everything from the buildings we’d looked at as options before finally finding our place to jogging excessively in an effort to loose the baby weight.



As I walked the sidewalks that had my stories etched into them I grew hungry and decided to stop at Whole Foods to hit the hot bar.



It was when I got to the hot bar that I actually remembered that the food at this particular Whole Foods was trash. I quickly moved on to plan b – food to prepare when I got home.



I wanted my husband’s cooking but my feelings towards him at the moment were up in the air. I didn’t want to talk to or see him, let alone ask him for anything. I didn’t know what I wanted from him.



You’d wanted a divorce, I reminded myself, knowing we would’ve permanently broken up had I not lost my memory. But everything happens for a reason. Then again what kind of twisted fate would allow me to lose my memory for the sake of getting back with my husband only for me to eventually remember all the shit that led to me leaving him?



Nothing made sense.



I was entitled to the time and space to sort my thoughts out but I knew that Larry would only remain patient for so long. I saw it in his eyes every time I declined his offer to ‘talk’. I heard it in his voice each time he spoke to me. My time was running out.



The finality of my decision scared me. Our fate resided in my trembling hands.



The embarrassment, hurt and anger I felt as a result of Larry’s actions made me want to walk away and never look back. He’d acted with no care or regard for my feelings and our relationship. And that was just with one incident.



He’d neglected me after the loss of our second child, putting me and our marriage on the backburner. He’d left the country without talking to me about it, forgotten our anniversary and skipped out of the counseling that was supposed to help mend us. He’d done so much in the past two years – too much.



Too much to stay?



The question swirled around in my head, dizzying me. It was too heavy to bear and too crucial to just brush to the side. So I stalled.



I stalled to think and cry and pray. I stalled with hopes that another memory would come – one where Larry redeemed himself but I knew better. I knew that what happened had been my final straw. I knew that the chapter following his betrayal featured me being apathetic, and filing for divorce.



Back then I’d been done but after experiencing what love felt like with Larry all over again it felt weird just being done. It felt wrong.



He warned you, I thought, remembering how Larry had been sure that I’d leave him. He alluded in so many ways that he’d done terrible things – unforgivable things but here I was wanting to conveniently forget his doings for the sake of us.



The colorful bags of chips before me blended into one as my thoughts grew heavier. I reached for one and then another, tossing them blindly in my basket. I willed the triggering inner workings of my mind to come to a stop but they refused.



“Fuck,” I cursed, gripping the handle of my shopping cart.



I shifted in an effort to allow the other body in the aisle to pass me. Standing in the middle of the aisle while having a breakdown would cause far too much attention.



Eyeing the contents of my basket I realized that I’d filled it with a ton of bullshit I didn’t need. My purpose of coming here had been to grab a meal from the hot bar and now I had $100 worth of dumb shit in my cart. I quickly debated abandoning the cart and going home and then changed my mind, knowing I needed to cook.



With a heavy sigh I threw the chips I’d uncaringly grabbed back on the shelf.



“I don’t need this shit either.” I muttered, fingering the bagels I’d thoughtlessly retrieved.



“Marlee?” My name was wrapped in the deep velvet of a masculine voice. It was foreign and familiar all in one.



Ignoring the chills consuming my flesh I turned, finding a looming figure behind me. My already slanted eyes narrowed as I drank in chocolate skin and defined muscles. He was tall but not as tall as Larry. He was wider with a sturdy frame. The grey t-shirt he wore told the tale of how much time he spent in the gym.



He was beautiful.



He was first to break our stare, opting to study the random contents of my basket over my puzzled expression.



“You know,” He started with a chuckle. “I don’t think you’re gonna like the healthy version of those Rice Krispie treats as much as you do the real ones.”



Shocked, my gaze dropped down to the yellow box I’d scooped in the snack aisle. “365 is trash for those – tastes like cardboard.” He went on, smiling a small smile.



“Pierre.” I murmured only for his smile to widen, revealing perfect teeth.



He shrugged, peering at me from under dense lashes. “Good to be remembered.”



I blinked, unable to believe I was seeing him in the flesh. He’d been in my memories – the happier ones. He’d impacted me in several ways. He’d left Larry shook, and he was standing two feet away from me.



There was so much I wanted to say to him, so much I wanted to ask. A part of me even felt the urge to apologize though I wasn’t quite sure why.



“This is odd because –“ I paused chewing my tongue. “I don’t know how long it’s been since we last spoke. I don’t – do you hate me?”



Was the grocery store the hub for all the people from my past? Would I run into everyone I knew while buying food? First it had been Erin and now it was Pierre. Was my estranged aunt next? Or my preschool boyfriend?



With Erin I’d dove right in, not knowing exactly where we stood in our friendship only to later find that we weren’t friends at all. I didn’t want to make that mistake again.



While Pierre had been an awesome friend his feelings, or past feelings for me made things a bit tricky. Had we completely stopped talking? If so, when – how? Did I cut him off? Did he cut me off?



“Hate is kinda strong ain’t it?” His brow hitched upward.



“Depends.” I shrugged.



Larry hated me. Delilah hated me. Erin hated me enough to try to fuck my man.



Silence consumed us as he assaulted me with his gaze. His body language gave nothing away, or maybe I’d forgotten how to read him.



His shoulders were squared along with his jaw. His eyes, narrowed and lips slightly agape. He was okay with the silence but I wasn’t. I was nervous and honestly a bit annoyed.



It had been months since the accident and frankly I was tired of not knowing. I was tired of swimming in uncertain waters. Here I was mere inches from my husband’s number one threat and I had no clue how he felt about me.



Just a year ago he was feeding me in ways Larry used to. He’d saved me from famine, giving me attention, making me happy, encouraging me while my husband did the same for another woman. And now we were standing awkwardly in Whole Foods.



“Nah, I don’t hate you.” He finally took me out of my misery and I celebrated with an inward sigh.



“But we stopped talking? Or–“



“I remember getting a very confusing call from your mans some months ago – thought he was fucking with me.” He chuckled, shaking his head. “Clearly he wasn’t.”



“What he said doesn’t matter, Pierre.” His eyes softened as my tongue eased over his name. “The possibility of me – my brain experiencing trauma due to someone telling me something is dead. I’ve already remembered so many terrible things – mostly everything I’m sure.”



“But you don’t remember what happened between us?” He quizzed.



“Something happened, happened?” Fear struck me like a tidal wave.



Light laughter eased through plush lips – unfamiliar lips. Perfect teeth were displayed. Sultry eyes darkened, almost teasingly.



“Marlee you’re married.” Under his smooth voice was apparent amusement. It annoyed me.



“No fucking shit.” I snapped. “That’s not what I asked.”



“You didn’t really ask anything.”



“Have we ever had sex?” He shook his head and my lungs quivered with relief. “Kissed.” Another no. “Have we ever done anything that would shit on my vows?”



“Unfortunately no.” His verbal response was doused in something resembling bitterness, or maybe it was longing – regret.



I’m not understanding. They look the same.”



This one shoots wide and this one is for tighter shots.” Confusion refused to leave his face. “This one,” I held up the lens I’d just removed from my camera. “Shoots a wider scope horizontally.”



Yeah, yeah. I get it.” He nodded, lying.



My smile was unavoidable and soon his mirrored mine, leaving us dumbly smiling at each other. I was first to break the contact and immediately busied myself with finding my lens cover.



Velvet chicken with extra chilli?”



What?” I paused what I was doing, finding Pierre scrolling through his phone.



I’m ordering from Mr. Chow – do you want what you usually get or…?”



My brows rose with shock and then furrowed with confusion. “I thought we were going out to eat,”



You’re clearly happier here. We can just do take out.”



No,” I shook my head. “It’s fine – I just got carried away.” I explained, gazing around my studio space.



He’d arrived nearly an hour ago to take me to dinner and in that time I’d done a million tasks, shoving food to the back of my mind.



You good.” He grinned. “Velvet chicken extra chili?” He pressed again.



And cilantro.” I added, trying to conceal my smile, and the butterflies looming in my gut.



Oh yeah, I forgot about that lil green shit you like.”



Don’t be disrespectful.” I warned, pointing a stern finger even as my smile widened.



I’m just saying.” He shrugged and gave me his back as he made the call to order our food.



When it arrived we wasted no time diving right in. Delicious aromas permeated the space and our laughter acted as the soundtrack. Together both components made for the perfect night.



Pierre was the type of person you could do nothing with and have the time of your life. He was positive and radiated a magnetic energy that not only drew you in but left you feeling brighter and refreshed. He was peace in the flesh.



It wasn’t long before I had a camera in my hand. I hadn’t even finished my food which left Pierre with a ton of shit to talk but being in this space left me antsy and wanting to play with my most prized toys.



Nice.” I murmured to myself as I played around with the settings of my new Mark IV. Everything in the room had ceased to exist including my dear friend who was a total magnet for attention.



I’d been playing quietly, switching out lenses and toying with lighting when a warm tide rolled over me, prompting me to look up. I was more than surprised when I found Pierre’s sultry gaze locked on me.



Seconds slid by as I watched him watch me. I briefly wondered what was on his mind and then decided that I didn’t want to know.



Why you looking at me like that?” I quietly asked.



Like what?” His lips twitched into a smirk.



That.” I gestured.



He shrugged and his gaze never faltered.



I looked back down at my camera, deciding that this was too much. He was too much. The concentration I’d possessed minutes ago was no where to be found as I was too distracted by my staring comrade.



I could still feel his gaze, and the heat it produce. I could also feel my heart rate rising and my belly winding into dizzying knots.



Stop.” I whispered, not looking at him but knowing he was looking at me.



Are you nervous?”



No.” I lied. “I’m annoyed.” I lied again.



Take my picture.” The request drew my eyes to him again.



What?”



You playing with the camera,” He noted. “Play with it on me.”



I didn’t know how to take his words and I certainly didn’t know how to respond. Without a word, I raised my camera and took a shot of him.



Bringing the heavy device down, I gazed at the picture I’d just taken quietly. I adjusted a few things and moved to get a different angle with better lighting before snapping another shot and then another.



That’s all you’re gonna do?” I asked in reference to him just standing there.



What do you want me to do?” He asked almost meekly. It made me laugh.



I don’t know – something.”



He smiled. And my heart exploded.



You photograph beautifully.” I spoke a few minutes later as I clicked through the pictures.



His brows rose as his smile widened. “Beautifully?”



Yeah, you’re very photogenic.” I murmured still looking through the frames I’d snapped.



He smirked. “Just tell me how fine I am and get it over with.”



My laughter boomed through the space as I looked up from my camera. “Nigga,”



Just say it.”



I ain’t even tryna acknowledge how fine you are.” I chuckled.



Why not?”



Cause I’m sure your got mooore than enough people telling you that.” His expression confirmed that I was indeed correct. “Exactly.”



But none of those people matter.”



“So, um – how’ve you been?” I shifted on the bar stool.



“You feel awkward or something?” His question crowded mine.



“I think this is awkward, yeah. Don’t you?”



“Nah.” His response was airy and quick.



“You feel familiar and unfamiliar to me at the same time. It’s – weird.” I explained not looking at him but at the glass of Malbec before me.



“Has it been that way with everyone?” His cognac was in his hand and seconds later at his lips. I watched him drink, saying nothing. “Hmm?” He pressed.



He’d offered me dinner – Mr. Chow and I’d declined. This very bar within the grocery store was a better option for me as I wasn’t sure where we stood.



I thought the middle of the chip aisle was odd place to catch up and suggested the bar to make things less awkward. Needless to say, awkwardness still loomed.



“You know, I don’t know that many people. With Larry the energy was different.” I watched his facial expression change at the mention of my husband. “Everyone else was his family, Tiffany – and that’s really it. I haven’t come in contact with anyone I used to work with. I haven’t worked at all either. I went through my emails and some names stuck out but – it’s weird.”



“You keep saying that.”



“Because it’s true.” I shrugged.



I didn’t know any other way to describe the sensation that comes when you’re face to face with someone that you know you know but don’t know at all in a sense. Interacting with a person that knows you deeply, and maybe intimately, and not remembering any events that solidified your relationship is a curse that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.



“I emailed you – a couple times.”



I frowned. “I never got them.”



He chuckled. “Figures.”



My eyes dropped and then my head. I wonder what the emails had said, and how Larry felt reading them. I wondered if he felt as crushed as I felt while reading the exchange between he and Luzy. A part of me hoped so but the other part knew that Pierre and I would’ve never exchanged the kind of words that Larry and Luzy had. I could never hurt Larry the way he hurt me.



“How’ve you been?” He asked.



I chewed my lip and then swallowed the words I wanted to say – the lie I wanted to tell. “I wanna say I’ve been better but based on the terrible things I’ve remembered I don’t know that I have been better.”



Just saying 'good’ would have been easier, I realized as his gaze locked with mine.



“I’m fine.” I muttered, going for my glass and draining the contents.



“You can’t just say that and then say you’re fine.”



“I just did.”



“I forgot how aggy you get when it even seems like someone is telling you what to do.” He chuckled but nothing was funny.



I ignored the statement. The weight of it was too heavy. “How are you?”



“Good.” He nodded, studying my face. “I’m gearing up to move to L.A. In a few weeks.”



“Forreal?” I smiled and he nodded. “That’s awesome. Tell me more.”



“Ain’t much to tell. Majority of Roc Nation is on the west coast now so I’ve been spending a ton of time there. The back and forth is exhausting as shit. It makes sense to move, you know?”



“You love New York though. Will you miss it?”



His darkened eyes found mine as he brought his drink to his lips. “Nah. Ain’t nothing here for me no more.”



The response raked down my spine, dismantling it. The words had an aim and I was the target. They hurt even though I’m sure they weren’t supposed to. He wasn’t malicious. I was.



“I’m happy for you.” I said, and I meant it. His smile was bright and full of appreciation. I returned one, realizing it was the first time I’d smiled genuinely in days.



The conversation flowed like silk afterwards. We laughed, joked and frowned as we spoke about the past few months. It was easy to understand why I’d gotten so wrapped up in my friendship with this man. He was amazing.



It was my ringing phone that broke up the party nearly two hours later. The signature Apple ringtone and the appearance lovey dovey selfie of Larry and I in Male on the screen was like a bolt of lightening.



I’d let the phone ring, silently promising to call Larry back when I was done catching up with Pierre. Tucking the sleek device away in my purse seemed to be the best idea but before I could carry out the act Pierre stood, signaling that he was indeed done with me.



“That’s my cue.” He smiled only it didn’t reach his eyes.



Our 'see you laters’ seemed more like a permanent goodbye even as we exchanged numbers with promises to keep in contact. Our hug was longer than necessary. And as we parted ways I knew deep down that I’d never hear from him.



Coucou!” Her smiling face consumed the screen of my Macbook, adding just a tinge of brightness to my dark day.



Salut Delilah.” I forced a smile.



Ce qui vas pas?”



Rien–“



You lie.” I fought not to roll my eyes as her gaze moved over my face.



I’m fine. How are you?” I managed to force a smile. It was built completely on fumes – residual happiness.



You terrible liar. How I not know my sister?” She pressed.



What did you do today?”



Don’t ask me another question until you say to me what’s make you like this.”



I’m pregnant.” I chirped. “So what did you do today?”



Hearing the words aloud nearly crippled me. They were letters of pure detriment meshed together. Each time I’d uttered those words tragedy followed. They were stated with glee for most, shock from others, regret from a few and horror from me.



I was sure I’d never speak them again as my history had been an ugly one. Birth control made it so that those words wouldn’t leave my lips. But I’d stopped my birth control months ago – when my husband clocked out of our marriage. I never liked the stuff, and the way it made me feel anyway and taking it without having a sex life was pointless. So I stopped.



And then a few weeks ago I fucked my husband.



Now I was pregnant.



How I managed to reactivate my sex life during my most fertile day of the month was a mystery to me. How I managed to conceive despite my past was some kind of twisted miracle – one I didn’t ask for.



My breasts had been achy and my period absent. I blamed stress. I was stressed after all. My marriage was practically over, my husband – missing, my will to do anything – nonexistent.



It took a weeks worth of nausea to propel me to humor myself with a pregnancy test from Duane Reade. My 'symptoms’ weren’t convincing enough to drive me to make a doctors appointment. I knew it was stress but I wanted to explore all possible options, even the most outlandish ones.



When two pink lines appeared on the first stick I realized that maybe it wasn’t so outlandish at all. The blue plus sign that appeared on the second still left me with doubts. It wasn’t until the E.P.T boldly flashed 'Pregnant” at me that I swallowed my reality. It was harsh and severed my throat on the way down.



You joke?” Delilah’s voice was stark.



I wish.” I sniffed, dropping my gaze to the belly I’d worked so hard to flatten and tone. “I don’t know what to do, D.”



What my brother say?” I shrugged. “What that mean?”



I haven’t talked to Larry?”



Her brow shot up.“Since when?”



I called him. He didn’t answer.” My shrug did nothing to hide my despair. In fact, the fact that I was trying to act nonchalant made me feel worse.



Marlee–“



He disappeared a fucking month ago after he fucked up and I haven’t heard from him.”  More words that when spoken out loud made me crumble.



I’d called Larry after the first pregnancy test and then again after the third. He hadn’t answered. I’d tried again thirty minutes ago, and he’d sent my call to voicemail.



After he’d popped up at Erin’s apartment he’d blown my phone up for days and then all of a sudden the calls stopped. Shortly after the texts ceased.



I hadn’t seen or heard from him in any capacity. Having deleted the portals to social media from my phone I’d severed the mere possibility at getting a glimpse of him. It hurt. I’d married the man and now I couldn’t even get in contact with him.



I call him now.” She hissed, mumbling a few curses in her native tongue.



Don’t bother.” Another shrug.



A part of me wanted her to call him, as I needed to talk to him but the majority of me knew that I’d die if he answered for her. Her offering a helping hand would only solidify the fact that we were indeed done. I wasn’t ready to face that fact yet.



He’s probably with that bitch.” I added, allowing my bitterness to season my words.



Marlee, he don’t talk to her any more.”



I smirked. “That’s what he told you?”



Is what I know.”



Did you know he was telling her all my fucking business? Did you know she would leak those pictures?”



Marlee, you know I not know that stuff. But I know my brother, and he not friends with her anymore.” I scoffed at 'friends’.



I’m glad you know him because I sure the fuck don’t.”



Silence consumed the room, on both ends. I was busy trying not to cry and she was trying to figure out what to say to me.



I was well aware of the fact that going to her put her in a sticky position but I had no one else. Laure was too emotional and Erin would only dramatize everything, leaving me worse off.



I can’t believe this is happening to me.” The dam I’d constructed to keep my tears at bay finally crumbled. “Why is this happening to me?”



Don’t cry, my baby.” She cooed but her words didn’t reach me. It was impossible for me to be comforted. “Stress bad for baby.”



It don’t even matter.” I scoffed, wiping roughly at tears that I hadn’t wanted to appear.



Her back straightened and her eyes widened. Brows that were delicately shaped arched towards her hairline. “What that mean?”



I have to explore all my options.” The statement left my lungs depleted and tongue raw.



It was the fact that the 'I’ wasn’t a 'we’ that killed me most. I never in a billion years that I would be making such impactful decisions alone.



Marlee,” She sighed and licked her lips. “You not think you want to not have this baby, are you?”



I am.”



How you can say that after what happen with the others? How–“



That’s exactly why I’m saying it! I have had the worst luck with pregnancy! Why would I do it again, and alone at that?”



You not alone, baby.”



Who do I have?!”



Larry – he just be stupid right now. And you have me and Laure, maman and Lau – Sallah, Michel–“



My chuckle was dry and echoed through the room as I eyed my Macbook with a frown. “All people who are linked to Larry. His family.”



Yours too.” She amended. “Why you talk like this?”



Delilah you’re his sister. I know where–“



I’m your sister too!” She snapped clearly frustrated with me.



I wanted to boldly and plainly explain to her that all it took was for papers to be signed to changed her tune. As much as I loved her and the rest of the family they were his family. Their loyalty was to him and him only. I knew they loved me but if – when worse came to worst I knew who they would stand behind.



I’m sorry, D. I’m just tired and – sad.” I didn’t want to upset her. “I’m feeling a bit nauseous. I’m gonna go lay down for a bit.”



Please call me later?” She pleaded.



It’s gonna be too late to call you later.” I offered a small smile meant to soothe her.



It didn’t work.



I don’t care. Call me.”



-



Salut, my baby.” Her voice was light and happy.



I can’t do this?” I sighed into the phone. Though my words weren’t direct, they were heavy.



It had been days since I initially spoke to Delilah. Days of crying. Days of vomiting. Days of being ignored by Larry.



Wha?”



I’m not even going to attempt to have this baby. I mean, it probably wouldn’t survive any way. I’m not doing it, D.”



Wait, wait. What you mean?”



I’m getting an abortion.” I’d uttered the statement a thousand times aloud to myself to make it real and it still hurt to say it.



Marlee!” She shrieked – her accent heavy on my name.



I shook my head despite the fact that she couldn’t see me. I’d avoided Facetime because I didn’t want to see the disappointment and disgust in her eyes. Hearing it in her voice was enough.



I can’t do this, Delilah.”



Marlee, this a blessing. You can't–“



How can you call this a blessing when pregnancy has brought me nothing but pain? If anything I’m cursed – not blessed.”



I know you mad right now but you have to think about this.”



There’s nothing to think about.” I swore only for her to sigh.



I haven’t spoken to Larry – I don’t know where the fuck he is. I– Doing this alone is not an option and I’m not gonna– If he doesn’t wanna be with me that’s fine.”



I call him for you. I do right now.”



No. Fuck him – let him stay where the fuck he his.”



Marlee, he need to know this.”



Why?” I snapped. “I don’t want him and I don’t want his baby.”



Even if you not with my brother you can do this. You so strong, Marlee. I know this. You don’t need him for this.”



You think I'mma be a single mother?” I nearly laughed but my anger wouldn’t allow me to.



I just tell you that you don’t need him. So many women do it alone. Women strong.”



I ignored her. Those words weren’t what I wanted to hear. In fact, they pissed me off.



You know what every happen with you and my brother he be there for the baby, and of course I’m there and Laure too.”



Delilah,” I huffed, wanting – no needing her to shut up. I called her with my mind made up. I didn’t need the single mother pep talk.



You strong and can do this – with my brother or without. You can do this.” She was trying to pound her encouragement into my skull.



My laugh was bitter. “I shouldn’t have to.”



She sighed, clearly exasperated. “Marlee, things happen–“



No Delilah, I did it the right way! I got married after knowing Larry for years. I didn’t go out and fuck some trash ass nigga and wind up pregnant only for him to abandon me. I shouldn’t have to worry about being a single mother because I did it the right way!”



And I do it wrong?” Silence consumed the line. “Is that what you say to me?”



It was no secret the relationship she had with her child’s father was casual before she conceived and nonexistent after. His lack of help caused her tons of hardships. I didn’t want that to be me. I couldn’t allow that to be me.



I mean…” I my words hung in the air, echoing nastily.



Marlee, how you can say–“



Look, I gotta go.” I muttered before ending the call.



-



the truth is, love can be so ruthless…

Working Out is Infectious

No one knows why it’s happening, but it keeps happening in gyms all around the world.  They’ve had to add med stations to each gym, and people to staff it.  Trainers, mostly.  People who know the body and can help the patient.  I’m here reporting.  Watching for it to happen again.  It’s a total wasteland in here, except for a handful of dedicated bodybuilders.  Watching them lift is almost mesmerizing.  There’s a set of sounds, and it all happens in a weird rhythm.  Up, the pulley cable squeaks and grinds; Down, the pulley cable squeaks and grinds.  Up, the bodybuilder inhales deeply, all the way down to his root; Down, the bodybuilder exhales, hard, and the blood rushes into his face. 

I feel a tap on my shoulder, and it’s a big dude.  He’s about my height, but jesus christ, I can count the individual muscles on him.  One, two, three, on his shoulder.  One, two, biceps.  One, two, calves.  I can count the veins on his arms and his chest.  One, two.  Snaking over his muscles, little rivers, little ridges.  He’s dressed modestly, but only just.  Black stringer tank, with the brand UNDER ARMOUR stamped over the fabric.  Baller shorts.  A splash of red against the sweep of his quads.  Similar red and black Nikes make his feet look really fast.  I shake my head and make an apology in his direction when I notice he has the same kinda look on his face, like he’s gonna ask me to leave.  I can’t go.  It’s time to workout.  I mean, I have to get the background on this.

“Dude,” he starts, and a heavy tone of sympathy greys his voice.  “You signed the waiver, right?”

What the fuck is a – oh, yeah.  “The thing, the thing I signed.”  It’s a little hard to talk.  Fuckin hot in here, too.  I can feel sweat prickling on my cheeks and … in my shorts?  I shift uncomfortably.  I’m not dressed for the gym, I’m in shirt and tie.  I have to roll up my sleeves.

“Yeah, the waiver.  Says we can’t be held responsible if anything happens to you.”

“Yeah,” I say, dumbly.  What the fuck is going on?

“Okay, dude.  The locker room is over there.  You’re gonna wanna change.”

Change?  “What do you mean, bro?”  Bro?

The dude is grimacing a little bit.  “I mean, before you rip out of your clothes.  Sorry, bro, but you caught it.”

“Caught it?”

And then it hits.  All at once.  It’s the hardest fuckin thing to explain.  It’s kinda like you’re about to vomit, you can feel everything inside of you kinda rising up and falling down, like you’re on a big ship on a big ocean and whooooaaaaa…

The muscle dude is wincing and lookin at me funny.  “Toldja.  We got some extra gear in the med station.  Why don’t you come with me, bro?”

Bro.  Okay.  Time to work out.  Time to pump.  Yeah.  “Uh.  I don’t got no clothes on.”  Where the fucks my clothes?

“It’s OK.  Follow me.”  He pulls out a phone from his pocket.  Talkin to someone.

“Yeah.  Got another one.  What do you want me to do with him?”  He’s quiet.  Leadin me by my arm to the med station.  Im a little pissed cuz thats MY huge arm, not his.  I almost pull away from him but then I realize Im not wearin any clothes.  What happened to my shirt? 

The dude hands me a pair of shorts.  “Here, bro, put these on.  You’re probly gonna wanna work your bis.  That’s what most guys wanna do first.”

“Fuck yeah!”  The words are out of my mouth just as quick as they came into my head.  Biceps fuckin rule.  “I’m gonna start on the preacher curl.”  Fuckin love the preacher curl.

“Okay.  You go do that, and I’ll call your editor and let him know … the news.”  He sighs and puts his hand to his face.  “I did warn him.”

What the fuck is this skinny dude talkin about.  Nod impatient and go curl.  Big weights.  Heavy weights.  Need to put more weights on.  One guy is watchin me curl and I curl fuckin harder and grin at him.  He grins back and flexes his muscles in a double bicep.  The guy next to him is lookin in the mirror and grittin his teeth and pullin some hammer curls.  Looks like a 75 lb dumbbell.  Thats fuckin nothin.  I’ll show him.  I can do more.  “Nice pump, bro!”  The first dude yells at me.

“Fuck yeah!’  I yell back.  “Fuckin beastin out bro.  Kill those reps.”

And nothin else matters.

3

Some stuff from today: my feet in the sun.
I’ve bought a pair of nike shoes for the first time since i was like 12 cause my feet and legs and back were killing me (i wasn’t able to properly walk (!!!)shout out to my parents who listened to 10 y.o me who refused to have her back healed yayyyy) and tbh these shoes are so fucking comfortable i feel like im living again. Waiting for the bus for 10 minutes standing with no need to bend down to relief my back pain?? Done (!) and was so fucking happy(!!!!) also walking feels easier and way less heavy.
Then there’s my hand (!) got some good bubble tea today while neglecting some physics lecture.
The last pic is a nice package which came yesterday ❤❤❤ my cousin bought the alice socks and I got the corgi ones for the dork’s birthday.
Also today I planned my study for the next weeks and exams for this summer (i want to cryyyy~~~~) but yey i’m somehow full of hopes and I want to work real hard to take and pass every exam I want to take (!).
Byee~

Dirty Diana.

Secrets.

I held a lot of them. Secrets about myself, secrets about others, secrets I didn’t even really want to have. They were stored inside of me like some sort of script that could fill 100 pages in 8 size Calibri font. I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that I let one of those secrets slip.

It was just that it wasn’t like I let it slip by accident. I let it slip purposely all for my own personal gain.

I guess I hadn’t thought out this whole plan of mine. I had only thought about the positive effects in the aftermath but now I was sure that this decision to share more than I should have, someone else’s secret to share, was going to bite me in the ass sooner than later.

Sooner came before later.

The sound of my doorbell chiming made me nearly jump out of my seat. Something told me it was him and that only made me slower to get up and answer. I didn’t want to face him. Call me a coward. It’s what I was. I had done the damage but wasn’t willing to live with the punishment.

The money stowed away in my dresser now felt like a burden, useless papers I was willing to set a flame to if that meant I could take all of this back but I couldn’t.

That’s how life worked right? You made one big mistake, watched it blow up in your face and wished to have it all vanish only for it to be blatantly sitting right in your face with a martini and a taunting laugh. I wanted to sink into the ground beneath me rather than have to face him. I just knew I couldn’t do it.

The doorbell chimed again and I could feel the pressure of tears wanting to break the barrier of my tear ducts but I blinked them away. I realized now that I was standing and slowly but surely moving to the door.

I took a deep breath before I pulled the door open and there he was on the other side.

Marco looked nothing like himself. His normally neat, slicked and styled hair was a stringy mess. He looked exhausted, fed up and unpleasant and the way his eyes seemed to grow shades darker when they landed on me let me know I was the source of all this damage.

“How could you?” I could tell it took a lot of his energy to utter that question because right after the last word was uttered, his breath stammered and tears began falling from his eyes. I hated seeing Marco hurt and realizing I was the source of this betrayal.

He had always warned me of his fear of bringing new people into his circle because he thought they would turn on him at any point and now I was doing exactly that. And for what?

Money?

To keep my parents from having to give up the house they loved?

Those thousands of dollars didn’t seem that much worth it anymore. Not when I had to see the hurt look in Marco’s eyes.

“Marco, I…”

I stopped. How could I even explain this? How could I justify receiving such a hefty sum of money by a sleazy journalist all for revealing that Marco planned on leaving Dortmund this summer to join Manchester United?

It was a secret he had revealed to me with full confidence that I would share it with no one and in his most vulnerable state he had told me this.

He had revealed other things to me to about himself but nothing quite as worth it as that revelation.

And sure, everyone would find out soon once he made the official announcement but they weren’t supposed to find out like this. His friends and family weren’t supposed to find out by some article that spread its way online like wildfire because an ‘unidentified source’ had leaked the information.

That unidentified source was me and I wasn’t all that hard to identify since Marco had only told one person.  

“You what?” He harshly spat. “Huh? What fucking excuse do you have now?” He was nearly shaking as he glared at me and I wanted to grab his hand, to make him feel better but I knew that nothing could. “You told them everything. Everything! I asked you not to tell anyone and you run off and tell the media?!”

He was in disbelief. Probably because I was the last person he expected to share his secrets. I had become trustworthy after just months of knowing each other and yes, he wasn’t the only one to share secrets but my secrets didn’t have as much worth as his. I was no one.

I felt I needed to explain to him my reasoning even if it fell on deaf ears. “Marco, I’m sorry and I know that’s hard to believe but…I got caught in the moment. I kept thinking about the money I would get from giving up this information and I…I cracked. I really needed the money for my parents not to lose their home and I know that’s a sorry excuse but…”

“You couldn’t just ask me for the money?!  Hell, I would have rather you blackmailed me than to go run off and tell someone else for the money. Now I have to fix this and I don’t even know how. My Dortmund teammates are pissed at me, my family is pissed at me. Even my best friends aren’t talking to me because I ran off and told you rather than them.”

The sight of Marco crying was painful. It was even more painful because I had never seen him cry. He had seen me cry tons in the past few months and he would always grab me into his chest and assure me that everything would be fine. I couldn’t quite reciprocate that feeling.

“Was it worth it? Is this worth it to you?”

I knew he didn’t really want the answer to my question. How could I even answer? The truth was it definitely wasn’t. “No.”

He didn’t care that I had answered. He just pointed his finger in my face harshly and said, “Fuck you. Fuck you.”

Marco turned and quickly headed from my door before I could even call after him. Not like I had tried anyway. I was a coward.

A coward that may have possibly lost the best friend I had.

I didn’t know what I was doing here. I mean, aside from the guilt that was sitting heavy on my chest, I had no reason to be here. It wasn’t even a guarantee he was here or that he would answer my knock. It wasn’t like he had answered my calls.

Or my texts.

Or my voicemails.

Or my DMs.

They all went unanswered for weeks like I didn’t even exist and maybe I didn’t. Maybe he had blocked my very existence from his memory forever but I had to do something so I went to his place. I almost decided to go to the training grounds knowing he’d have to be there but the last thing I wanted to do was cause a scene where I was sure cameras would be. This was the safest and quietest place.

I knocked on his door and I could hear soon after feet shuffling inside. I felt a pang of relief but when the door opened it wasn’t Marco who answered.

“It’s you.”

The bitter voice belonged to Marcel who had pulled the door open and was simply glaring at me with hate lacing his gaze. We had only met a few times before but I knew for sure he knew who I was and what I had done.

“Is Marco here?” My voice was shaking like a scared child.

“He sure is but does he want to see you? No.”

“I need to talk to him.”

Marcel leaned against the door as if he had all day to sit here and entertain me before allowing me inside. “I’m sure you know he doesn’t want to talk to you.”

“This is important, Marcel.”

“Is it really? Is it as important as that sum of money you got?”

At the mention of that I reached into my bag and dropped the wad of cash that had been packed together into rubber bands. I didn’t even want it in my possession anymore. I didn’t even want to use it for the purpose I had intended. I just wanted to give it back. It felt dirty and though I wouldn’t give it back to the journalist it came from, it had to go somewhere aside from my possession.

Marcel just looked at it, amused. “You know, as Marco’s best friend I’ve been offered money like that before too but I’ve never traded him out like you did. I really think you should pick up your cash and get going.”

“Leave her alone, Marcel.”

I could recognize the tired voice immediately and as if I needed any more confirmation, a shirtless Marco showed up at the door. He looked better, at least compared to the last time I had saw him, but he was still not looking like his usual self.

“Fine.” With a roll of his eyes, Marcel disappeared from the door to leave me and Marco standing there awkwardly. Every idea I had of what to say disappeared from my mind. The sight of him left me frazzled. It wasn’t the same way I had pictured in my daydreams of him when I would burst through his door and make my apologies until he could ignore me no longer.

“Yes?” Marco interrupted my daydream with his questioning of why I was here.

“You didn’t answer my calls.” Well, that was obvious.

“Yeah?”

Now it was me standing on the stoop crying though my tears weren’t really tears but heavy sobs instead. I couldn’t control them but through the flood of tears I was trying to speak. “This was the stupidest decision I’ve ever made in my life and if I could take it back I swear I would. I’ll own up to being the person who betrayed you. I’ll put my face out there so everyone can hate me instead of you if you want just…I can’t stand not talking to you. I’m a fucking idiot and if I would have thought this through I wouldn’t be in this position. I would have never allowed that guy to talk me into something so incredibly stupid and I’m sorry. I understand now why you’re so afraid to let people in because they do ridiculous shit like this and…”

My eyes dropped to the ground beneath my feet. The sight of my lime green Nikes was usually comforting but right now not so much. I was forced to look up though when Marco’s hand went to my chin and tilted my gaze up to meet his eyes. His eyes were usually so enchanting for me. Welcoming, warm but right now they were blank and I had no idea how to interpret that.

“Your mother called me.”

That was all he said to have me at a loss for words. “How did she…”

He shrugged. “Mother’s intuition I guess.” I had called and cried to my mother about what I had done but never revealed the reason for my telling of Marco’s secret. “I guess she put two and two together. Things made a lot more sense coming from her mouth than yours. I don’t want you to think I forgive you for this but at least I…somewhat understand it and this?” He let go of my chin then, bent down and picked up the wad of money I had dropped to the ground that he was now holding out to me. “This can be returned or given to someone deserving because you don’t need it anymore.”

“I wasn’t going to use it,” I began to explain.

“And you won’t need to. Your parents have their house.”

I couldn’t even begin to speak but Marco did instead. “Maybe I was too dramatic. Maybe I wasn’t,” he shrugged. “Maybe I should hate you for the rest of my life but I don’t really want to. I guess one day everyone was going to find out anyway.”

I was at a loss for words but if I ever needed proof that Marco was another worldly being, a man deserving of all of the good things that came to him, this was it.

“It still wasn’t my business to tell.”

“It wasn’t,” he agreed. “But what can you do about that now?”

“Anything you ask me to do,” I blurted. It was the truth. I was willing to do whatever he asked in order to get back on his good side, to get him to trust me again.

“I’m in the middle of a game of FIFA. I’d like to get back to that.”

“Oh. Right. I’ll leave then.”

Marco stopped me with his next statement. “Marcel absolutely hates you so I guess you deserve the torture he’s going to put you through for at least the next month.” He stepped to the side and held the door open for me to enter.

Reluctantly, I stepped inside of the home. Marco closed the door behind me and I could feel his hand land on my shoulder as he leaned over my shoulder and closer to my ear to say, “Welcome back.”

gif credit to marcohan

My Fashion Week Survival Kit

10 things every girls needs to get through New York Fashion Week

We’re less than a week away from New York Fashion Week Fall 2015, which means if you’re attending any of the shows or countless fashion events, it’s time to start gathering your necessities. Being a veteran, I’ve learned the ins out outs, plus, through trial and error, discovered the most important items to bring and wear. When I’m bouncing from presentation to presentation, there are ten things that are a must. From the perfect caryall and my handy Nikon to a pair of stylish sneakers and a pressed juice to go, take note of what I need to survive fashion week and update your go-tos today!

The Perfect Caryall

I know that mini bags are trending, but let’s be real, I have a lot of stuff to lug around. During fashion week, a caryall is a must! My go-to is this classic Madewell transport tote.

The Transport Tote

A Fancy Camera

When I’m at fashion week, I like to keep a nice camera on hand. The quality is much better than my iPhone and its compact size still fits perfectly in my tote. Whether I’m snapping pics of style stars or detailed shots of pieces I love, a Nikon is a great addition for any fashion week goer.

Camera Courtesy of Nikon

Long-Lasting Makeup

I’m applying my makeup early in the morning and possibly might even be dragging myself to an afterparty, without any stops. To help my makeup last, I use this Laura Mercier primer before I put on my other beauty essentials. 

Foundation Primer, 50ml

Emergen-C

During fashion week, my immune system always gets rundown. With one of these little packets, I can shock my system with a mound of Vitamin C, helping my body stay strong and fight off those evil germs. 

A Portable Charger

Without my iPhone or iPad, I’m lost. That’s why a portable charger is a must. I love this gilded one from Nasty Gal, so I can change my electronics wherever needed.

Gilded Portable Charger

Pressed Juicery

Finding time to eat breakfast or even think about lunch, is few and far between. Pressed Juicery becomes my new best friend during fashion week. I keep a green juice in my bag and sip it throughout the day. 


Stylish Sneakers

Thankfully, sneakers are (still) one of hottest footwear trends. With Nikes, my feet don’t get blisters, I can walk for miles and still look stylish - it’s a win-win all around.

Nike Lace Up Sneaker - Women’s Flyknit Zoom Agility

An Organized Wallet

Staying organized is key. I don’t want to lose anything, so having a zip-around wallet, like this Comme des Garcons wallet, keeps all of my cards, passes and hard invites, all in one place.

COMME DES GARCONS WALLET ‘Embossed B’ zip-around wallet

Comfortable Designer Boots

On days when I want to be a little dressier, say I know I’m going to an afterparty, I wear comfortable designer boots. It’s still cold outside, but I want to look cute, so these Burberry boots will do just the trick!

Double Buckle Leather Ankle Boots

Notebook

Last but not least, I’m old school at times and prefer to handwrite my notes. Whether it be an addresses to the next event or keywords from a collection, I love my Kenneth Cole leather notebook

Large Leather Notebook



Check out the full New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2015 schedule here.