Kareem (part 8 of 10)

Continued from Part 7

kareem 8

“What?”, Joe is in disbelief.

“He… He paid me for sex”, I repeat. And I start crying.

“I don’t understand… When did that happen?”.

“I don’t remember. Maybe two or three years ago”.

“Well, is he the only one you’ve fucked for money?”, he asks.

My crying intensifies.

“Kareem, are you still fucking guys for money?”, he screams.

I don’t reply.

“Oh my God…”, he says. “Oh my God… Kareem, you’re a fucking whore?”.

“I didn’t want you to know… I’m sorry I kept this from you for so long”, I tell him.

I come closer to him and try to touch him but he walks away.

“Please don’t go. Please. Lemme explain”, I beg him.

“You’ve been cheating on me this whole time. Fucking guys and getting paid for it. How can you explain yourself? You heartless son of a fucking bitch. Leave me alone”.

He whistles to a taxi and it pulls over. He grabs his wallet, takes out a $20 bill, and throws it in my face. “Here’s for tonight”, he says with tears in his eyes.

There it was. The truth was out there. The truth I’ve been trying for four years to hide. And this is why I’ve been hiding it for so long. I know people won’t understand. They don’t get that you have to do what you have to do. That it’s just sex. That it’s a means for survival.

I walk home and as soon as I open the door, Bisi runs into my lap. I cry all over that furry little thing.

“I still have you, don’t I?”.

I grab Bisi and lay on the bed with her.

He definitely won’t be calling me ever. The only guy I’ve ever loved. I fucked it up.

He’s right. Why would he want to be with someone who allows other men to fuck him for cash. It’s my prerogative to do what I have to do, but it’s also his not to want anything to do with me. I just feel bad I dragged him into this mess to begin with.

I look at the pic he held in his hand yesterday. That day on the snow. I wish we can have that back.

Right next to the pic is a calendar. Yep, March 2013. Officially one of the worst months of my life.

Then it hits me.

“Wait… March 16? Bisi…It’s her birthday tomorrow”.

I totally forgot!

“I have to see her”.

It’s always a hassle to do so. I have to wake up really early if I wanna make it on time with all the traffic. But it’s worth it. I feel better when I see her. And the nurses always tell me she lights up for at least a week after I’m gone.

I arrive there and the people who work there recognize me.

“I’m here to see Youmna”.

“Come with me”.

“Is it okay if I bring those with me? It’s her birthday.”

The nurse at the psychiatric facility looks at the cake and the balloon and smiles.

“Akid, no problem”.

I enter the room and she’s looking out the window.

“Mama… habibte”.

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Read Part 9 here.

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