Pain was an intriguing thing.
It happened when you fell, skinned your knee playing tag as a child, or when you touched the blaring hot stove when Granny said not to. Or perhaps when you were in a rush and slammed the car door on your well-manicured fingers. For Kalani Patterson, the type of pain she was feeling was unexplainable, unimaginable and unforgettable. At times the pain could be considered self-inflicting, the kind of pain brought on by the one person that she came to love and trust with her whole heart and soul. The type of pain that no one person should ever have to tolerate when being in a committed relationship.
It had been two years of the consistent arguing over things that had to do with money, money that Kalani worked so hard for, or why Jerome had been neglecting to get a job himself and was freeloading off of Kalani’s every paycheck. Jerome had issues with controlling every aspect of her life. Her staying late hours at work and not coming home at her normal seven in the evening time automatically constituted her as going out and cheating, and he made it clear to her that he knew she was stepping out on him. The lack of sex between the two had become apparent when Jerome stopped making love to her. She thought he was just going through his own issues and was completely in denial that he would ever cheat on her, until Kalani found out that he was the one going behind her back and stepping out on her.
After a few moments of reminiscing on the couch Kalani collected the rest of Jerome’s belongings and placed the last few boxes in the hallway with all his other junk that had taken over her apartment for the past few weeks. Kalani walked outside onto her patio to get some much needed fresh air, she witnessed children running around enjoying the autumn leaves of gold, red and brown dancing from the now naked trees. How she remembered being a kid was so carefree, no worries, no need to think about relationships or responsibilities. “Man, how I miss those days,” Kalani said as a quick breeze caught her off guard from her thoughts. Then the unwelcoming sound of knocking on her front door started.
“Just a minute.” Kalani yelled walking slowly to answer the door.
“Open this door Kalani, I know you’re home.”
“That’s great, and I’m pretty sure the rest of my floor knows I’m home as well, Charlene!” Kalani said as she let her loud mouth friend inside.
“What is all of this, now you’re moving?” Charlene asked looking at all the boxes that were taking over her friend’s hallway.
“No, not me, Jerome.” Kalani said walking down the hall towards the bathroom to wash her face and brush her teeth.
“See Kalani I told you that bastard was no good. So now you’ve finally gained the strength to pack up his shit, huh? What caused this new plan of action? Does he even know that his shit is all packed and waiting for him? Kalani?”
“Charlene! I just finished packing his stuff this morning and don’t know where he’s at.” Kalani said with a mouth full of toothpaste.
“We haven’t seen you in about two weeks, what happened between you and Jerome this time?”
“Hold on.” Kalani said wiping her wet mouth. She wasn’t in any mood to relive that moment all over again in great detail, but then again she hadn’t told anyone about the events that had taken place a few weeks prior to her wanting Jerome to finally be moved out of her apartment and out of her life for good. She felt it was time to relive those moments one more time. To get angry, to feel hurt, to feel the disappointment and shame one last time. She needed to really feel this pain all over again to really let herself know that she would no longer accepted anything more from Jerome. To finally just let everything that once meant something to her, to finally let it all go. Since Charlene was her best friend and she felt that the rest of her friends didn’t need to know every last detail of the horrible events that had taken place she sat Charlene down and give her the play by play of that night. “Okay so you ready?”
“Sure am, sit here.” Charlene said hitting the couch for Kalani to sit right next to her.
It was the usual Tuesday night Kalani was trying to catch up on documents that needed to be sent off to the Director of Program Operations for the Kidz Club After School Programs. Kalani wasn’t able to leave the office until about eight-thirty, which would mean she wasn’t going to get home until about nine thirty, ten. Jerome’s schedule was always up in the air and she never knew what he was ever up to and made it very clear to never offer any information unless he was asked. Once she was finished typing up the last few documents, she signed sealed and made sure they were ready to be dropped off in the mail first thing in the morning. Kalani grabbed her coat and was on her way home in hopes that Jerome would be there waiting for her.
All Kalani could think about was taking her shoes off, letting down her hair and crash on her soft couch. The day had seemed to drag on for the longest, especially since she couldn’t keep the students with bad behaviors out of her office, which kept her in the office later then she had anticipated. As she was driving home traffic had died down, but the street lights were not on her side. Every other light turned yellow causing her to slow down because the car in front of her were being too cautious, or she caught ever other red light. “Of all the days the lights have to be on crack when all I want to do is be home already.” Kalani Said hitting the steering wheel impatiently waiting for the light to turn green. After many unexpected stops from the yellow and red lights Kalani finally pulled into her parking spot, grabbed all her belongings and made her way up to her apartment. The relief of finally making it home was a thought that was almost far from her mind, but once she placed her key into the keyhole she knew she was home free.
As Kalani walked through the front door she could hear the soft sounds of jazz being played on her stereo, the strong scent of incense flowing throughout the apartment that she didn’t recognize. Jerome had left the apartment completely dark with just a trail of flickering candles leading from the front door down the hallway towards the living room and finally down the hall leading to their bedroom. Kalani’s entire day went from bad to worse to amazed as she stepped foot into her apartment. She knew Jerome had a passionate side, but she never knew that she’d ever see the day he put any effort into being romantic. As she slowly walked into the living room with her mouth wide open with amazement to see rose petals scattered about she wanted to know where Jerome was hiding so she could tell him how much she appreciated his efforts. Keys still in hand, purse hanging off her shoulder she wasn’t sure if she walked into the wrong apartment but she made her way down the hall to their bedroom where she could see a light shining through the half open door. She was still smiling from ear to ear as she slowly opened the bedroom door. Kalani was speechless; her body that was filled with joy and warmth had now turned into a block of ice as her heart and mouth dropped to the floor. She thought to herself this was too perfect to be true, she was in the wrong apartment, and she was right she would never see the day when Jerome put any effort into being romantic for her ever. Her mind was playing wicked tricks on her and her eyes had been deceiving her all at once.
It was happening too fast, Kalani couldn’t understand the events that had taken place in her home, in their bedroom that they once shared. As she was watched Jerome grind on the body underneath his, the unfamiliar noises that played over and over in her head. How the sweat glistened off his well-defined muscled body, how the person underneath him moaned his name, was a mockery of their relationship. She knew he was cheating, but she didn’t think he’d bring trash to her home, the home she worked so hard for. She stood in the hallway and continued to watch, not knowing what she was really witnessing before her very own eyes, not knowing what she should do next; tears filled her eyes as she flicked on the lights. Her eyes had not deceived her and her mind was right about what she was witnessing was beyond anything that she would have ever imagined, and the rest was history.