Jaded 2: Broken Love Series

BOOK: Jaded 2: Broken Love Series
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Jaded 2:

Broken Love Series

 

Renee Tyler

 

 

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© 2016

Published by Leo Sullivan Presents

www.leolsullivan.com

 

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Unauthorized reproduction, in any manner, is prohibited.

 

Chapter 1
L’oriel

“Who’s Shane?” He didn’t ask with distrust, suspicion, or even accusation. He was simply asking out of curiosity because even as he asked, my phone rang again in his hand. I could see it on his face; he was just simply wondering who the hell it was trying to reach me at this hour. Surely it must have been important or an emergency for my phone to keep ringing.

We’d discussed my Gram, whose name is Resa (short for Theresa), my oldest aunt Rochelle, Uncles Richard and Reynard, my mother Raiel and her twin Robin, my grandfather Richard Sr., my closest cousin Karen, and my father Leonard.

I’d even talked about my lonely high school years. Besides a few cousins that attended school with me, I didn’t have any friends. I even told him about Tonya, who was the closest I’d ever gotten to a real friend until I met Charity and Marcus. I even mentioned Tonya’s husband and their kids.

I’d talked about how I didn’t build any relationships with people at church when I lived in Detroit. I just went to church, choir rehearsal, and back home. I’d never mentioned Shane as a friend or family member, so how do I explain the 313 area code that continues to come through my phone? So yeah, in this cleansing talk we’d just had, Shane’s name never came out of my mouth. Yet Shane is trying desperately to get in touch with me.

Troy’s eyes were smiling down at my phone. He was probably thinking I had another funny story to tell about this person that I forgot to tell him about. Troy enjoyed learning about my family and my life. He was so engaged while I rambled on about my past—while I conveniently left out the part of my past that I was still attached to.

I could feel my lips moving like a fish out of water. I didn’t know what to say. How do I explain now? After he didn’t hear a response from me, Troy looked up to search my eyes. His smile began to falter as I continued to stand there and not respond.
Stupid…stupid…L’oriel, you’re going to lose him
, I scolded myself.

He thought we’d built a closeness – taken our relationship to the next level. When we’d spoken on the couch in his sun room, then each time after we made love, I’d seen it in his eyes. Now he’s wondering who this person was. I’d somehow forgotten to share my stories and memories about. In his mind, I’d given him a clear visual of my life, as if I’d shown him pictures. Clearly I’d forgotten about someone who was very important, or of close association, because they were calling at the crack of dawn.

When I hadn’t spoken and my phone continued to ring in his hand, I saw the mirth leave his eyes; then worry took over.

“What’s wrong? Is there something you want to tell me?” he asks. I did this. I made this mess. Whatever the outcome, I’m going to have to deal with the consequences.

“Troy. Shane is that bad relationship I mentioned.” He flares his nostrils, something I’m learning he does when he’s annoyed, angry, or aroused.

“So. What? Are you still in this relationship? Talk to me L’oriel, let me know what’s going on.”

Then I saw the displeasure in learning that I’d breezed over the one sensual relationship that I mentioned. Now I’m telling him what I made seem as an insignificant association was more. In addition, the associate is calling me at an odd hour. Troy’s stance changed. His body tensed and his eyes narrowed.

I spoke as if my relationship with Shane wasn’t significant. I talked all around my marriage. If there was a memory that involved Shane, I’d mentioned it without mentioning him. Several times tonight, on into the early morning hours, I hadn’t even alluded to being married. I just couldn’t relive my shame. When I talked about many of my memories, flashes of the pain I’d been through in my marriage came to mind in between memories of my life and family, and I couldn’t speak it out loud. It wasn’t my intention to be deceitful. However, it was my intention to not be judged or pitied.

I finally make eye contact with Troy again. My heart aches at the perplexity I’m causing in our connection.

“I’m not in a relationship with him anymore, but I am in the process of divorcing him,” I said with my voice low, pleading with my eyes for him to give me a chance after I finished telling him this story too. He cracks a half smile and searches my eyes. As he looks for the humor in my eyes. I know he’s waiting on me to say I’m playing. Everything that Charity, Marcus, and even Pastor Turner have been telling me about opening up and being honest is ringing in my head now. He narrows his eyes further once he realizes I’m serious.

“Married? You’re married?” He questions as he points toward me with my phone. I slowly nod my head yes.

The irony is that I’m standing here naked. Everything about me has been thoroughly exposed. I have nothing else to hide. Though I hadn’t been forthcoming, fearing judgment from my past, my personal confidence has been slowly expanding. Troy has given me a new confidence. Troy made me feel coveted and sexy. I now can strut around all day with nothing on in his presence. Though he’s discovered what I was ashamed for him to know, I’m not embarrassed standing here naked in front of him. I’m standing here bare, and the only thing that I feel ashamed of is that I allowed Shane to stand between us.

Shane’s my husband. However, when he and I finished having sex, I always felt ashamed. I’d cover up immediately. I felt ashamed of my body. I was ashamed of how I let him abuse it. I was ashamed of who I allowed myself to become with him. I may have been unsure of who I was at the time, but I knew who I became wasn’t who I was meant to be.

I finally respond when I notice Troy losing his battle with patience. “Are you going to let me explain?” I ask, switching uncomfortably from hip to hip.

“I’m not stopping you from talking,” he deadpans. I inhale and exhale, letting out a cleansing breath.

“Troy, so much happened to me in my marriage. Bad doesn’t even begin to describe it. You’re young and accomplished. I felt embarrassed and flawed. I didn’t want to tarnish whatever good you thought of me. I mean, I don’t have a fancy degree. I’m not a model or actress. I’m a regular girl with a whole bunch of baggage. I didn’t want to think about the shame I felt, or have you judge me-” He cuts me off.

“Nope,” he says, shaking his head. “L’oriel. Don’t try to put that shit off on me. You not telling me was purely you choosing to withhold information. We’ve been talking for a while, and I’ve never given you any indication that I would judge or shame you. I met you coming for an interview. I knew you didn’t have a degree and still pursued you. Any insecurities you felt about your relationship was all you. I was giving you time to come and talk to me. When you’d deflect, I allowed it. I wanted you to feel comfortable enough to open up and be honest with me. That’s all I ever expected,” he said as he folded his arms across his chest, challenging with his eyes to come better than that.

He’s right. Troy’s never made me feel like he’d judge or shame me. That was purely me. I felt that Brian would hold or manipulate my situation to his advantage, the same way he tried to start a relationship with me because he allowed me to purchase my condo without him officially listing it, which is why I was apprehensive about telling him about my life in Detroit. However, I knew Troy wouldn’t. I just felt ashamed. How do you tell someone that you perceive as perfect that you’ve allowed yourself to be abused in some of the most embarrassing and demeaning ways? Just so you can have someone love you because you don’t think you’re loveable? Then say that you’re still attached to the person that treated you poorly so you don’t feel guilty about leaving them and finding happiness and peace without the relationship you thought you needed? Then learning, in the process, that the only person that needed to love you was you. Shouldn’t I had figured that out when he first hit me that night at that college party? Or the time the girl felt the need to let me know just how good my husband’s dick was in the middle of the grocery store aisle? Then proceeded to tell me that she liked what I’d done to my living room, just to drive home the point that she’d fucked my husband there?

My shoulders deflated. “You’re right. I’m sorry.” He shook his head again with his nostrils flared.

“Naw. L’oriel. You gotta come better than that. You’re married and didn’t tell me. I don’t need an apology. I need an explanation.” My phone began to ring again, and Troy looked at it and turned it off.

“I thought you wanted to finish cutting your record tonight.” He flared his nostrils again. He jutted his head towards me.

“It can wait.” His tone was so stern, almost as if he’d smacked me. I purse my lips, then speak.

“I got married right out of high school to my
high school sweetheart
,” I say as I use air quotes. “Our relationship was never perfect. Nevertheless, I chose to ignore some things about his personality that I probably should have addressed. He seemed so sweet in the beginning. Giving me attention that I’d never received from anyone. My family-no one paid me attention. So here comes this boy interested in me. Despite my old clothes, worn shoes, and fuzzy hair. I couldn’t believe my luck; one of the most popular and charismatic boys in high school was interested in me. He’d seen past it all and wasn’t ashamed to hold my hand or tell people that I was his girlfriend. But then he began to control my friendships and relationships. Initially, I didn’t think much of it since most people ignored me anyways. Besides, there weren’t many girls that wanted to hang around me. Like I told you earlier, I didn’t have friends in high school. Just a few cousins that went to school with me. So, I went along with him controlling my relationships. I didn’t question his motives. I was so removed from anyone in high school that when he began cheating, the only way I found out was because I would overhear girls talking. He’d deny it, saying they were jealous and I believed him.” I paused, shaking my head. “No, that’s not true; I didn’t believe him. I knew Shane was lying, but I just felt that I wasn’t enough anyway, and I was lucky to even have him look in my direction, so I chose to ignore it. Then when the abuse began, I was too ashamed to tell anyone, still carrying that shame is what kept me from telling you.”

I divert my eyes. This is the first time that I’d ever admitted that I knew Shane was lying, but chose to ignore it because I didn’t think I deserved to be with him, so I allowed him to cheat. I allowed him to abuse me. I expected him to eventually leave me for some more put-together girl—maybe a girl that came from a better family. When that never came, I felt I’d won the prize despite being poor and unwanted by everyone else. This beautiful, charismatic boy wanted me. He had other options and chose me. I’d been apprehensive about marrying Shane, especially since he controlled me so much already, but who was going to love me? Where was I going to find love, even if it was dysfunctional?

“Then when we were married, he controlled my life: the way I spoke, wore my hair, dressed, make up, everything. I had no identity. He and his mother planned our wedding, right down to my wedding dress. His parents furnished our home; I didn’t get a say so on anything. Not even where I worked. Then even with me doing everything the way he wanted, it still wasn’t satisfactory. He still found flaws and when he did, which was often, I was stupid, worthless, unattractive, and occasionally beaten. I left him when I came here. I’d found him in our car having sex with another girl. That was finally the last straw. I didn’t know where I was going to end up when I left. I was just tired – tired of the merry-go-round we were on. I knew if I didn’t leave, I’d stay and continue to be abused. I didn’t come here looking for a new relationship. I just wanted to be L’oriel, to not have anyone plan my life or tell me what I was or wasn’t doing, or what I couldn’t do. I wanted my independence. I didn’t think I could stand on my own. Every decision was always made for me. He didn’t listen to what I wanted or what I thought. It was always his way. Still to this day, when I talk to him, he learns things about me that he should have known being with me as long as he had. But he never listened to me - my thoughts or opinions weren’t important to him. I’d finally gotten the strength to file for divorce when I came here. He hasn’t signed, so I have to go back to Detroit to finalize without his signature.”

When I finished I finally looked up, giving Troy eye contact. I searched his eyes, looking for the repulsion and disdain that I assumed would come. I assumed he’d be repulsed by me. Surely, I have some type of sadistic personality to put up with what I’ve put up with. I’d allowed myself to be abused because of some sick need I possessed to be loved.

I was absolutely certain he’d say I brought this on myself. He’d escaped his difficult past, then made such a positive life for himself and his brothers. However, I was still letting mine affect me. I was sure he’d think less of me as a person.

Except no, I saw compassion and understanding. He walked toward me and folded me in his arms. I let out the breath I didn’t even realize I was holding. He released me and led me to the bed, where he held me until I feel asleep. I was thankful he just simply held me. He didn’t try to talk to me or get me to talk anymore. Admitting the ugly truths about my relationship with Shane and why I’d stayed was draining. I didn’t have the strength to give him any more than I already had. Once comfortably secure in his arms, my heavy eyes closed, and my comforted body found rest.

When I woke, Troy wasn’t in bed or anywhere around the room. I put on one of Troy shirts, my panties, and a pair of yoga shorts, and went to the bathroom to relieve my bladder, wash my face, and brush my teeth. Heading downstairs to find Troy, I found him shirtless, in the kitchen whipping eggs, bottom lip pulled between his teeth and dimples on display. His bare muscled chest bore a tattoo of a tree that held his Grum-Grum’s (Merriam) name at the root. His mother (Tracy, his Grum’s middle child), Aunt Kim (the baby), and Uncle Damon (the oldest) were branches. He and his brothers were leaves. His tattoo alone showed how he felt for his family. Despite his mother’s drug use, he’d been rooted in love so he gave it freely.

BOOK: Jaded 2: Broken Love Series
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