Authors: Renee LaRuse
A ReneeRomance eBook
Copyright © Renée LaRuse 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, by photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the author.
To my best friend and to my sweetie. Thank you both for seeing the beauty in me.
Veronica Ferris hid her five-eleven frame behind the back of the sofa, crouching as another piece of her beautiful white china was thrown across the living room where it hit the wall and exploded into bits. She prayed her behind didn’t split the seams of the brown pantsuit she was wearing, her favorite courtroom ‘power suit’.
Her knees and her thick thighs were screaming at her for squatting so low in her high heels. Flats were her usual shoe of choice since Quincy refused to be seen in public with her if she stood any taller than him. But this morning she’d dug her suede heels from the back of her closet, dusted them off and slipped them on, knowing that at the end of the day Quincy would be out of her life for good this time. She got home from work around 6 and had all his shit packed up by 6:25. When Quincy came home from “the gym” around 10 and saw the boxes by the door he asked if they were moving to a new place, so sure that Veronica needed him too much to ever kick him to the curb, no matter how badly he treated her.
After Veronica broke the news that she was breaking up with him, he went insane and started a path of destruction, breaking lamps and smashing picture frames. She’d never seen him act this way before. Now he was in her kitchen, digging through her cupboards and smashing everything he could find. Like he was a woman scorned! Like
was the one wronged! Veronica peeked over the couch and shrieked, “Quincy! Have you lost your damn mind?!”
He frisbeed another salad plate in her direction. It hit the clear glass flower vase on the end table, shattering it and the plate too. “Yep.” He was on the thin side, but still muscular. Naturally light-skinned, his skin was tanned brown by doing landscaping work under the California sun, while Veronica on the other hand had a milk chocolate complexion and a bottom-heavy hourglass figure. He needed a visit to the barber to freshen his fade. “You think you could tear my heart out and evict me from my own house and I’d just go just like that?”
A part of Veronica wanted to believe that she was important enough to cause pain to his heart, but she knew that the only thing she’d hurt by dumping him was his oversized ego. Seeing a pause in Quincy’s pelting, she stood up from behind the sofa citadel, adjusted her suit jacket and flipped her long black hair—she paid for it, so she considered it hers—over her right shoulder. “I didn’t break any of your things! So why are you tearin’ up
pay the mortgage on, not you? Breaking all my dishes like a, well, like a little bitch. Just leave!”
“Oh, now I’m a bitch? Couple nights ago I was your King.” He mimicked her in a high-pitched voice. “Oooh, give it to me, King!
Veronica softly bit the tip of her tongue. Sweat was glistening on his skin, the parts that were exposed by his white tank top and black breakaway pants. Unfortunately, she found him sexiest when he was angry. The sex was great, but so what? The other twenty-three and a half hours of the day being with Quincy were miserable. Veronica squared her shoulders and said in a calm but serious voice, “Get out.”
Quincy promptly found a tea cup decorated with gold swans and slammed it to the tile floor.
“Dammit, I’ll call the cops, Quincy, I swear!”
“Call the fuckin’ cops, man! I’m sure when they take one look at you they’ll understand why I’m pissed. I put up with your judgmental ass for two years. I could’ve had any woman I wanted, but I made the decision to always come home to you, and this is how you do me?”
“Fuck you!” she exploded, angry tears scorching the apples of her cheeks. “You went ahead and had any woman you wanted while we were together! The problem is you!” She stormed across the living room and stood face to face with him. “I’m sick of your cheating, your lies, and your manipulation. I’m sick and tired of you. So
of you, Quincy, you couldn’t even fathom how done I am. I want you out of my life, so I can do better and find a better man who will treat me the way I deserve. Go. Now.”
He laughed, cackled, held his stomach and stomped his feet, making a big production.
“I’m serious, Quincy.”
“Yeah, okay. Alright. I’ll leave,” he said, a smile in his eyes. He opened the front door and hoisted the stack of boxes onto his shoulder. “You have my number. We’ll talk soon, Nica.” He winked and slammed the door behind him.
Veronica walked to the door and stood there with her hand outstretched, conflicted about whether to twist the doorknob or turn the lock, as sweet memories, few but potent, popped into her mind. If she opened the door and called Quincy back in, he’d return, and she wouldn’t be sleeping alone tonight without his warm solid body cuddled close to hers. But inviting him back meant allowing him to use her, disrespect her, ignore her needs, disregard her feelings, poke holes in her self-esteem, treat her like his personal maid and put her health in danger by sleeping with other women. Veronica sighed and locked the door. She was done being a fool for love, a lonesome love that only existed in one heart rather than two.
“Hey, Mother Goose,” joked Veronica as she walked across the healthy grass toward her best friend.
Brooke, pushing a stroller loaded up with her two-year-old toffee-skinned twin girls, laughed and glanced behind her at the rest of her diverse ducklings, three little boys, each with different skin shades and hair colors, products of strawberry blonde Brooke and her Trinidadian husband. “Hey, Single-and-Ready-to-Mingle.” When Veronica gave her a sad smile, her eyelids puffy from a long night of crying, Brooke reached out to give her best friend a big hug. “Aww. You made the right decision,” she said as she rubbed Veronica’s back.
“I guess,” she muttered. They were around the same height but Brooke was toned and slender. And blonde. She had a small waist that Veronica had envied since the first day they met in high school. Plus, Brooke actually
weight after having her kids. It made Veronica consider squeezing out a few little ones herself so that they could worry her skinny. The two friends would meet up at the park at least once a week for a brisk walk, kids tottering behind them and soaking up every word of their mother’s and auntie’s conversation, making it necessary for them to use code words from time to time. Brooke was too ‘germaphobic’ and worrisome to leave her children at the public playground while they walked; the slides and swings were all petri dishes in her opinion. The kids didn’t mind the walk at all, a chance to harass birds, lizards, flowers and bugs, what Brooke called “bonding with nature”.
Brooke huffed. “You guess?” They ended their embrace and started walking. “The only thing that guy was good for was... ‘bouncing on top of the bed’ with you.”
“But I love him. I miss him, even though he’s bad for me.”
“What was there to love? I’m your best friend, so I’m going to tell you the truth. Veronica...Quincy’s two front teeth were two different sizes.”
She laughed. “It looked cute on him though.”
Brooke burst out laughing. “Plus, he was balding. Badly.”
“Brooke!” She swatted at her blonde ponytail. “You really can’t tell from the front, and he knew how to rock a hat.”
“Yeah, he dressed like a teenager. Wearing baseball caps and saggin’ his pants. He’s thirty years old. He needs to grow up already. Every time I saw him he had a new hat or some new kicks.”
Veronica chuckled. “Stop exaggerating.”
“How often did he bring home bags of clothes from the mall?”
“Um...Only once a month. Maybe twice.”
“Yet not one time did he buy something nice for you. He always ‘forgot’ to get you gifts for your birthday and Valentine’s Day, and even claimed he didn’t get you a Christmas gift last year because he ‘got confused’ and thought Christmas day was on the 26th instead of the 25th.”
“We had a big fight about that. It’s just not his personality to be romantic. But he did help me with the bills and fixed things around my house. That made up for it.”
Brooke’s lips curled. “Being an adult and paying for a roof over his head made up for him sticking his... ‘burrito’ in any ‘taco’ that walked by?”
Veronica went quiet.
“I’m totally not trying to rub salt into the wound. I just want you to want better for yourself. Don’t settle for Quincy. DO NOT get back with him. You’re beautiful, you have a career, you have a home, and you have a lot of love to give. Find a man who is on the same page is all I’m saying.”
“You’re right. I was thinking about it last night. Quincy and I had almost nothing in common. I want to travel. I love art and I’m interested in other cultures. Their food, their languages, and all that. Quincy’s mind is so closed and he’s so judgmental. I used to think he was insecure but really he was just plain prejudiced. And cheap.”
“Uh oh. Let’s watch out for that doggy doo, Sweeties,” she said over her shoulder. “Walk around it. Good job. I don’t know why these...these ‘grass moles’ don’t pick up after their animals.”
“Grass moles,” Veronica repeated, laughing.
“It’s ridiculous that my babies have to step around dog crap. Why are people so self-centered?”
“Because it’s so much easier to not care about anyone else’s feelings but your own.”
“Yep. And the world is getting lazier and lazier every day. They don’t want to think for themselves, cook for themselves, or pay their own way. Kids these days think they should be rewarded for existing. All this technology made everyone instant gratification junkies. And the narcissism and bullying that social networking sites promote is insane. I’m keeping my babies away from the Internet for as long as possible.”
“You are so negative! Come on! You wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for the Internet. How else would you be able to sell so much of your organic homemade body creams?”
“Stop frontin’. The Internet is a godsend. You can learn things and connect with people.”
“Yeah. Connect with pedophiles.”
. Goodness. Is there such a thing as post-partum paranoia? ‘Cause you have it, woman,” she teased. “Ever since you became a mom, you are so annoyed with the world.”
“Don’t judge. Wait until you have kids. I bet you’ll turn Amish just to keep your kids away from videogames and off the Internet.”
“Nah. The Internet isn’t all bad. I couldn’t have finished my paralegal degree without online classes. And I get to connect with my fam, relatives I didn’t know I had, old friends, new friends, and fake friends from high school who now have double chins.” They both laughed. “And I like connecting with people who are different than me. You know? People on the other side of country or the other side of world, but who share the same interests as me. There’s this blog I like to read, about this black girl from Kansas that was studying abroad in Japan. It’s so interesting. And she ended up meeting a Korean guy at a karaoke bar and now they’re engaged,” she chuckled.
“Aww. That’s so romantic.”
“She’s 23. Eight years younger than me and already engaged.” A sore lump formed in Veronica’s throat.