Kareem (part 10 of 10)

Continued from Part 9

kareem 10

Joe holds my hand.

“But Kareem… you have to quit it because I wanna be with you. And I can’t be with you and share you with other men”.

“I don’t know what to do. I wanna stop but I feel like I’m stuck”.

“We’ll figure it out. We’ll find another way for you to make money. There are other ways. You don’t have to live this life. Let me take care of you. No more lying”.

“I’m sorry for all the times I lied. I was just protecting you. I didn’t want you to know”.

“I know… It’s okay. I know everything now”, he says.

“We’ll figure it out, right?”, I ask him.

I really don’t know the answer. I want to believe we can.

He takes my hand. “We’ll figure it out. You have me”.

“I know I do”, I say.

We sit on the sofa with my head on his lap. We don’t talk. We sit silently through the night.

I’m so relieved that he wants to give us another shot. I feel safe, even if just for a night. Tonight, I don’t worry about the bills. About how I’m gonna manage. When I’m with him, I’m free from all that.

We slept on the sofa that night. Took off our shoes and got comfy. With a weird mix of love and doubt in the air. That feeling when you wanna believe something is possible… but you’re not sure how to get there.

Three weeks later, I think I have it all figured out.

I arrive to my apartment with a great smell coming from the kitchen. I walk in there and see Joe lookin so cute in the apron.

“Babyyy. What’re you doing?”, I ask.

“What’s it look like I’m doing? I’m devirginizing your oven! I know you’re stressed out cause of the exams. Just giving you a little treat”.

“Well, it smells great. I’ll be right back. I’m gonna go feed Bisi”.

“Don’t I get a kiss and a hug?”, he asks.

“I just dissected a frog. You sure you want that?”, I reply.

“No”.

“Okay then”. I blow him a kiss.

I go inside, feed Bisi then brush my teeth.

When I come back to the kitchen, I see Joe with a concerned look on his face.

“Babe what’s wrong?”, I ask.

Then I see what he’s holding in his hands. I come close to grab the book.

“Babe, don’t look through that”, I scream.

“All of these men? Four years worth of men”, he says.

He flips through the pages.

“December 1? On my birthday? How could you?”

I don’t know what to say.

“We talked about this. I’m done with all that”, I say.

He keeps flipping through the pages and lands on today’s date.

“Elie 12:30 pm Rawche. Is that where you were today?”.

“Baby, no! I wrote that a long time ago. Joe… it’s all in the past. You can’t be paranoid about this anymore. I’m done with it. I swear”.

I finally get a hold of that book and close it. I hug him as he cries.

“You have to believe me. You made a wonderful lunch. Let’s not ruin it”, I say.

He wipes his tears away.

“Okay”, he says.

I give him a kiss. “Okay”.

I take the book and throw it in the trash.

“There. Done”, I tell him. “I’ll pour us some wine”.

“Okay”, he says.

As I walk inside, I feel bad for making him feel the way he is now. For not trusting me. For always being paranoid. And I don’t blame him for it. I just wish he never thinks of that again. Never thinks of me that way again.

I go to my room to undress and get into something more comfortable.

I open the closet door and hang the jeans I just took off.

As I close the closet, I heard a weird sound. Like something falling. I open the closet and see them lying there.

A couple hundred dollar bills.

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Thank you for reading this story. You’ve been amazing.

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Special thanks to my amazing friend for taking the above pic of me. You being a ‘top’ and an ‘ass man’ came in very handy.

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