Happy Friday and thanks for stopping by! This is the next installment from my unpublished (and unedited) manuscript Cut to the Chase. If you would like to read previous episodes, click here.
It’s hard watching the man you love fall in love with someone else or at least head down that path. Even harder is when you were responsible for his new love interest because you were careless, downright reckless with the love he once held for you.
Over the next few weeks, I suffered in silence as Renny continued dating Brandy. I accepted the fact that we were co-parents, nothing more. I did what I do best, put on a brave front and move forward. My energies were focused on caring for my boys and preparing for the CPA exam.
CJ wanted a huge party for this seventh birthday. Grateful for the distraction, I happily obliged. We planned a party at the skating rink, and the guest list included CJ’s soccer team, a few friends from school and church, and family. This was CJ’s second year playing soccer, and he enjoyed it immensely. Once he discovered that his dad actually knew players from the Brazilian National Team, my son was vexed. The walls in his bedroom were now covered with the Brasil flag and pictures of national team.
CJ requested a soccer theme and the colors green and yellow. My mom baked his cake, and Bianca and Janay helped with the decorating. All of the kids were excited, and CJ was elated. My heart swelled. The vibe changed immediately when Renny and Brandy arrived. An intense headache seized me as I watched them enter the building hand-in-hand. Of course, CJ saw his father as soon as he arrived, running over to him before he made into the rink. He picked up our son and tossed him in the air. Soon all of the other kids were begging for the same attention.
While the guests were distracted with Renny, I searched my purse for some headache relief. Unfortunately, Janay and Bianca cornered me, both sporting bewildered looks.
“Who invited her?” Bianca asked.
“CJ.” It was the truth. CJ prepared his own guest list, and Brandy’s name was included.
“Why is she here?” Janay demanded. “She’s not family!”
“This is a family affair. I see Mommy. Daddy. Granny. Uncle Danny. Aunt Janay. Godmother.” She exaggeratedly pointed out each of us, placing extra emphasis on her words. “She does not qualify.”
“Really, Bianca? Don’t you start, too. Sheesh!”
“Renny started, bringing her to this party. That is so disrespectful, Sissy.”
“It is not disrespectful, Janay. Renny and I are divorced, and Brandy is his girlfriend. Why shouldn’t she come? When Renny asked if I minded, I told him it was okay.”
“Yes, really. This is CJ’s party. Everybody is here to celebrate his birthday. I won’t let you all ruin today by trying to start some drama.”
In typical Janay fashion, she sucked her teeth and walked away. I had no energy to deal with her foolishness. Bianca glared at me briefly before walking away, shaking her head. Grateful for the moment’s peace, I located my relief and downed two tablets with water. I sat in the empty party room with my eyes closed, massaging my temples while taking deep breaths hoping to ease the tension that held me captive. I needed all of my wits to deal with my ex and his girlfriend.
I opened my eyes as Danny quietly entered the room and sat next to me. I laid my head on my brother’s shoulder and exhaled. He threw his arm around me and kissed my forehead. Although we did not exchange words, I was grateful for Danny’s presence after Renny’s arrival and the verbal confrontation with my sister and best friend. We’d never discussed my relationship with his best friend, but Danny was keenly aware of the remorse I carried in my heart. His support was a balm to my broken spirit, doing more to ease my headache than the medication.
Eventually, Danny broke the silence. “Ready, Sissy? CJ’s probably looking for you.” I nodded against his shoulder before sitting up. Danny stood first, offering his hand. I grabbed it and stood. He didn’t let go, instead leading me out of the party room into the rink. All eyes were on us. My mother made eye contact, silently asking if I was okay. I nodded briefly, offering a weak smile. Janay took one look at me before turning to Renny and eyeing him in disgust. Bianca gave an exaggerated eye roll, causing me to giggle.
CJ and his friends zipped happily around the rink. Renny was in the kiddie rink coaching Cam on how to maintain balance on his skates. Thankfully, Brandy was nowhere to be found at the moment. Renny’s eyes darted from my mine to Danny’s to our clasped hands, a puzzled look on his face.
“Mommy! Uncle Danny!” That was an excited CJ as he skated past us. I smiled.
“Come on, Sissy. Let’s go get some skates. We can’t let these youngsters have all the fun!”
“Let’s go!” I agreed.
Copyright 2016 Kay Morris Writes