“How dare you try to embarrass me in
front of all of my friends? Your soul purpose the entire time that me and
Richard have been together was to break us up, you fat bitch!”
“Laura!” shouted Richard in shock.
That’s when she threw her glass of
red wine in my face. It stung my eyes as I rubbed it out. I looked down at my
dress and saw that big stain of wine going down the front of it, and that’s
when I slapped the taste out of her mouth. It was hard because it made several
folks from the inside come out to see what was going on.
She held her cheek, looked at me in
horror, and started to cry, “You fucking bitch, how dare you hit me!” she
shouted, still holding her cheek.
“You’re the bitch, and don’t worry,
you’ll be getting my cleaning bill for ruining my dress. I am out of here!” I
went inside to clean myself off.
Marie handed me some napkins as I
went to get my coat. Marie and Andrew had gotten their coats and walked out
with me. I looked at Richard; he was so in shock at all that happened.
I mean, who wouldn’t be blown away by
this turn of events.
First, he has an awesome night at his
gallery, then tells everyone that he’s going to France with his girlfriend, and
now, his best friend tells him how she feels about him and slaps the hell out
of his girlfriend. Yeah, I am surprised he didn’t die right there.
When I got home, I took off my
clothes and took a shower. When I came out of the shower, the phone rang. I
didn’t even bother answering it. I was still in a mood from hell.
“Marley, it’s me, Richard. Listen, I
wanted to talk with you, and I know your there right now, so please answer the
I looked at the phone again, still
not bothering to answer it.
* * * *
Except for hearing from my mom, Agnes, or Marie, I didn’t
answer the phone or respond to any of Richard’s numerous calls.
The rest of my week consisted of
keeping busy with book signings around the city. I kept my mind occupied with
other events, other than the “coming out” party that happened. I decided the
best thing for me would be to get away from the city, to go out to the country
with my parents.
“I will call you when I get there
Marie, and please, don’t tell Richard where I am going, ok?” I hung up the
phone after I heard my seat number called.
Getting my purse and bag, I made my
way down the tunnel to my plane. It wouldn’t be long before I was on my way
My dad was there to greet me once I
got off the plane. I hadn’t told him or my mom about why I came back home, only
that I needed a break from the city and some time back home would do me good.
“Here is my baby girl!” he smiled as
I walked into his open arms and gave him a hug. We got my bag and soon we were
on our way home.
“Your momma has been cooking all of
your favorite things, and your grandma can’t wait to see you either,” he told
me as I sat in silence. “Is there anything wrong baby?” he asked, putting his
hand on mine.
I looked at him, smiled, and shook my
head no, “Just tired poppa, just glad to be home again.”
When I got home, my mom was waiting
on the porch. My momma was a wonderful lady, always doing something for those
who needed help. “There’s my baby, come here!” she squealed as she hugged me.
I didn’t say much but smiled as we
walked inside the house. It was good to be home after all this time, and it was
good to see my grandma too.
“Grandma, oh it’s good to see you
sweetheart.” I shouted as I walked up to her sitting in her favorite chair. She
smiled and opened up her arms for me to hug her.
Grandma Rosa was probably my favorite
person besides my parents. She was the only other person who knew my personal
secrets and thoughts. I could tell her anything without her telling others. Our
bond was our loyalty for each other.
“How’s my little momma doing?” She
always called me little momma, even though throughout my life I had been a big
“I’m doing fine grandma, how about
“Besides my arthritis, I am doing
just fine. How’s New York and how’s Richard doing?”
“Yeah, how is Richard doing?” asked
I looked at them and flatly said, “He’s
fine, I guess.”
The look that my parents and grandma
projected showed that I must have sent a shock to their system.
“Sweetheart, are you ok?” momma asked.
“Yeah, I’m fine; just hungry and
tired. I’ll go and put my things up in my room and I’ll be down for dinner.” I
got my bags and started to walk upstairs. I really didn’t want to think about
Richard while I was here, but that would be as hard as a fish trying to breathe
out of water.
When I came back down for dinner, the
food was already out and my stomach was growling like crazy, as I sat down at
“Can you pass the potato salad please,
dad?” I asked while munching on some ham.
Passing the bowl, I scooped out two
big spoonfuls onto my plate and started to scarf it down.
“Sweetheart, don’t do that to your
food, eating it like a hungry dog.” Grandma told me.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to eat like
The phone rang and my mom went to get
it, “Hello? Yes, hold on a second please, it’s Richard.”
I shook my hands and head ‘no’ as her
smile disappeared. “I’m sorry, Richard dear, she isn’t available. Alright then,
goodbye my dear and take care.” I continued to eat as if nothing happened, but
everyone else stopped and kept their eyes locked on me.
“Marley Stacy Rockford, can you
please tell us what is going on? Richard just called, and you didn’t even
answer his call. That’s not like you at all.”
“You guys, right now is just not a
good time for me to talk about what is going on between me and Richard. And if
he does call back again, tell him that I don’t want to talk with him at all.” I
got up with my plate, piled on some more ham, took my tea, and walked outside
on the porch.
When I got out of the shower after
dinner, my mom was sitting on my bed looking at me. “Now, will you tell me what
is going on with Richard?” I went to the door and slowly closed it as I
continued patting my face with the towel.
“I told Richard that I loved him.”
She sported the biggest smile that I
had ever seen in my life. My mom has always had a thing for Richard, and no
matter what, she always wanted Richard and me together.
“And what did he say?” she smiled as
I went to my dresser and got a gown.
“He smiled and he told me that he
wished that he had known. Said that of all the girls he had been with, he
should have known that he had the best one of them all in front of him all
along. Then it looked like we were about to kiss but…”
“But what my dear, what happened
“His God damn girlfriend came in, I
told her what was going on, and she threw some red wine all over my dress and
called me names.” I started braiding my hair.
“Exactly, that’s why it felt good to
slap the taste out of her skinny mouth in front of all her high fashion
friends. After all that, I left and I have been avoiding Richard since.”
“Well, there is one question that I
have to ask you then?” she said, standing.
“Yeah, what is that momma?”
“Why are you running away from him?
You have no reason to be here at this house. You finally got the man of your
dreams and like an idiot, you up and run away.”
She was right; I was an idiot for
leaving like I did. Hell, I was a schmuck for leaving Richard and avoiding his
phone calls as I did. I gave my momma a hug, and she held me close as I started
crying in her arms.
When I got up early the next day, my
grandma was up drinking her morning coffee and eating her toast. “Hey grandma,
I see you’re up early.” I smiled, pouring me a cup.
“Yeah baby, I am, you know I’m always up at six,” she said to
me as I gave her a kiss on top of her silver hair and sat down next to her at
“Sweetheart, I want to tell you a
story about when I fell in love with a boy who lived in the town I grew up in.
Oh, he was such a sweetheart to me, Jason Milton was his name, and he was so
handsome too. Sometimes, he’d leave me candy on my windowsill, or he’d swing me
on the swings. We had loads of fun being around each other like we were. But I
never did tell him how I really felt about him until it was too late. He moved
up North to live with some relatives of his when we were teenagers. Oh baby, my
heart broke that day, and I never was able to get over it afterward,” she
solemnly said as she sipped her coffee.
“You never tried to get in touch with
him or anything like that, Grandma? I mean, there are ways to find people, you
know.” I assured her as she smiled at me.
“Back then, we didn’t have the means
we do now. His entire family up and left right after he did. Come to find out,
the Klan was after them for something that I still don’t know to this day. I did
try to get in touch with him but come to find out he passed on about 10 years
ago. That hit me most of all, because I could have told him how I felt but I
I could tell that it hit her hard. I
saw the tears welling in her eyes, so I held her hand and she put hers over
mine for reassurance.
“Plus your momma told me about what
you said to Richard,” she said as I rolled my eyes and put my head down on the
“I hoped she hadn’t told you.”
“Well she did out of concern for you,
baby, I just don’t understand why you are here. You need to be there, getting
We sat in silence for the longest
time, drinking, and then my mom came into the kitchen and got herself a cup.
“Richard called three more times last night while you were sleeping.”
I looked at my Grandma who was
looking at me with a smile, and I smiled back. “Why don’t you call him back,
baby? It seems like he’s worried about you.”
“I told him that you would be on your
way back home this evening,” Mom said as my dad came in the living room with my
suitcase in tow.
“You really planned all this out,
didn’t you momma?” I said shaking my head.
“Go on upstairs and put on the outfit
I laid out for you to wear, and your dad is going to take you back to the
airport. I can’t stand being in the way of true love.”
When I did get back to New York, and
finally made it back home, my voicemail was full of messages from Richard. I
sat and listened to every last one of them, “Marley, please answer the phone. I
am so sorry about what Laura said to you at the party. Please answer the
phone!” That’s how most of the messages went, asking me to answer the phone, to
call him back right away, that he was sorry for what Laura said and did to me.
“I see you made it back home, what
happened?” Marie asked once I did settle in at home.
“My mom found out and sent me right
back here to get things squared away with Richard. How is he, by the way?”
“We went out last night, and he asked
me if I heard anything from you at all. I told him that you went away for a
while. That’s when he picked up his phone, and he called your parents. But when
they said that you weren’t around, he said goodbye and the look on his face,
Marley. I don’t think I have ever seen Richard look so down before, like he
lost his best friend,” she told me as I breathed a heavy sigh of sadness.
“You need to call him and let him
know you are back.”
“I’ll talk with you later.” Pressing
the button, I hesitated for a while before deciding to press the speed dial to
his number at the gallery, but eventually I did.
“This is Richard Collins Gallery,
this is Richard speaking,” he said richly over the receiver.
“Hi, Richie Rich, this is Marley Mar,”
I said quietly.
“Marley, I’ve been worried sick about you. How have you been
doing?” I could literally hear the concern on his voice, and in a way, it made
me feel good that he cared so much.
“Been keeping busy; Thinking things
over in my head as well.”
“I hope that you didn’t forget about
what you said to me, because I sure as hell haven’t forgotten anything you told
me out on that terrace, Marley.”
I had to sit down when he said that,
I really and truly had hoped that maybe he forgot. I really wished that the
event had never ever happened.
“So you just made it back home, huh?”
“Yeah, my mom sent me right back
after she heard what happened that night, told me I needed to solve it and get
it over with.”
He started to laugh and so did I, but
then, we stopped and I heard him say, “What are you doing tonight, Marley? Why
don’t we go out and we can talk some place quiet, just you and me.”
“I don’t know; I really don’t feel
like it right now, Rich. The only reason why I called in the first place was
that Marie told me to. She said you were concerned, I still need some time.”