Sista-Wives Sneak Peek
That was the only word tumbling through my brain as I watched my mother navigate the array of sizzling, simmering pots on the stove all while holding her cell phone precariously perched in the crook of her thickly rolled neck. I may as well have been invisible because my Mama was talking about me as if I wasn’t even in the same room.
“Blair baby, you know damn well you’re welcome over here anytime.We’re family! Yes, uh-huh. I know baby. That’s exactly what I said. Mmmhmm. You ain’t gotta tell me how hard-headed my oldest child is. I never thought I’d say it but she’s worn out her welcome over this way and it’s only been two days!You need to hurry up and come get her ungrateful ass! I can’t deal with all this attitude. I’m too old for this shit. Over here snapping at me like she’s crazy. Son,you know I got high blood pressure. I pop this prescription pill Dr.Devoy got me on every morning. I try to stay stress free!” My mother then burst into a fit of giggles like a 13 year old school girl over the stove where she was stirring a nice pot of creamy grits for our usual Sunday brunch spread.
I was trying to keep my composure but it was hard.
Looking around the opulent kitchen that I had redesigned for my mother a little over a year ago brought me little comfort. It seemed a little out of place given the fact my mother’s home was so modest but when I tried to get her to upgrade homes, to get her into a better neighborhood my mother wouldn’t hear of it. She did consent to a kitchen remodel for her Mother’s Day gift instead. Black,cream and grey marbled granite counter tops. Stainless steel appliances throughout.Every appliance imaginable to make her life easier since she loved to cook. I bought that shit. Hell all my Mama had to do is push a button and she was listening to her gospel music through the damn refrigerator. It made me happy to be able to do these type of things for my mother as an adult because I knew she’d worked hard as a single mother raising my sister and I. But the sense of betrayal that was rising inside of me was almost unbearable. I was her child. Me. Though you could hardly tell the way she was cavorting and cackling on the phone with my damn husband. Was I wrong to want…no expect a certain level of loyalty from my own Mama?
Was it wrong I was having visions of Al Greenin’ my own damn Mama? Oooohweee! I mean grits everywhere. If I get my hands on that pot it’s a wrap for her!
I knew I was dead wrong for having thoughts like that about my own Mama but so was she. All on the damn phone kekeeing in this nigga Blair’s ear. Talking down about me too? My own Mama. I pushed away from the table, quickly walked to the stove and snatched a piece of crispy bacon off the plate. Here I was starving and she on the phone! She’d been chatting it up with Blair dogging me out at least 30 minutes. Before my hand could make it away from the stove I felt a sharp smack on the back of my hand.
“ What Mama?” I cried stuffing the bacon in my mouth and rubbing the back of my hand.
“ Get your greedy ass out all the food. I wanna make Blair and his new little friend Fallon two plates to pick up. I want son-in-law to have a good breakfast! He’s been working hard all week and got all these new contracts. A man needs a hearty breakfast to start his day off!” Mama shouted finally hanging up with Blair. I had to stop myself from cutting my eyes at her …again. My Mama always had advice on how I should be treating my husband. What I was and wasn’t doing right. Which I found odd since she’d never been a wife. Don’t get me wrong, she was a damn good mother and had always gone above and beyond to provide for my sister and I, but she’d never been what I would call lucky in love. My sister and I had different fathers and neither one of her relationships with our dads had lasted long.Nor had she had a lasting relationship with any other man.That I knew of at least. Yet for some reason she thought she was an authority. My Mama had no idea what I was going through as a wife. Especially with the latest bullshit Blair had pulled on me. At the moment I felt like I had signed my name on the worst contract ever. A marriage certificate.
“ Mama I don’t give a damn what Blair and Fallon…,” Before I could get the remainder of the sentence out of my mouth not only was the back of my hand stinging but the side of my face was too. My Mama had slapped the taste of that thick- cut country bacon out of my mouth..literally! I stood there for a few seconds blinking away the tears threatening to spill down my cheeks as my mother glowered at me angrily. So angry in fact that her chest was heaving as if that slap across my face was just the beginning of what she wanted to do to me. Here I was a 26 year old, college educated, professional woman and being chastised as if I was still a child.
“ Mama…,” I said my tone pleaded trying to reason with her. We’d been at war with each for the past two days. The day I’d packed my bags and left Blair.
“ Don’t you Mama me young lady. Sit your wide tail down right now!” My Mama roared. I knew that tone all too well. I’d dealt with it all my life. My Mama, Geraldine Jones was about to hand my ass to me on a platter. All I could do was sit there ready to chew and swallow it down no matter how bad it tasted. Every time my Mama addressed me she felt the need to mention my “ wide tail”. I’d come to the conclusion is was because it was the only physical trait I had that resembled her. I stood taller than my mother’s 5’4 by a few inches. At 5’7 accompanied by my full D cup breasts it made my body nice and curvy in all the right places, big ass and all. These days on the other hand, the wide hips just made my mother look short and stout. The rich,dark brown complexion I’d inherited from my Father was smooth and clear. I’d always even as a child had a head full of thick hair.
My mother refused to let my sister or I perm our hair as children, something I hated growing up but grew to appreciate the versatility of it later on in life. A few months ago I’d cut my hair to my shoulders and got it flat ironed weekly into a sleek bob. I found the shorter length showed off my neck and highlighted my sharp cheekbones and almond shaped eyes. I wonder how Fallon looked? Blair always described me as his Black Queen. I’d obviously been replaced, my mind thought, drifting from my Mama for a few seconds. The loud boom of her voice promptly brought me back.
“ Now look, enough is enough. You gon’ need to pack your shit back up and head on back over to your husband and that big ass house to work out all this nonsense y’all got going on. Your sister and I have a routine over here in this house since you got married and moved out nine years ago. Your sister is pretty much grown, a sophomore in college and on track to graduate. Thanks to son-in-law I ain’t gotta work as hard as I used to. Now I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t cheering for this marriage from the start. I told you I didn’t agree with this relationship from the jump. I always knew there was gonna be some shit with Blair. He was too smooth and slick for my taste and now we know the reason why! Both of you were too young in the first damn place.You moving in and getting married right out of high-school. But you, young lady shoved it down my throat! But now you’re in it. You’re a married woman so handle your shit.” My Mama spat banging the table with her fists harshly,tears coursing down her face.
“ Mama please…,”
“ I didn’t ask you to open your damn mouth Toshica. You didn’t want your mama’s advice when you married his ass. You brought that playboy ass Negro,fine as he may be in here and shoved him down our throats.Begged me to accept him. You chose him over your own damn family. Wouldn’t listen to a word I had to say. I’m not even going get into how you disrespected me. Throwing up the fact I’ve never been married. As if that has shit to do with anything. Young lady are you under the impression I’ve never been asked for my hand in marriage? Hell yes I have been!By both you and India’s sorry ass daddies but just because I was pregnant didn’t mean I was going to make my situation worse by getting married. You threw damn tantrums and said all you needed in your world was to be in his. Well you got it baby. Put your big girl thongs on Boo!”
I couldn’t believe my Mama was really going in on me like this. Bringing up old things from nine years ago. I guess she’d been holding it all in waiting for the opportunity to throw it all in my face. I just hung my head in shame and listened. I was biting my tongue so hard I could taste my own blood.
“For the life of me I can’t understand what the goddamn problem is? When you brought this bullshit to my door the other day, you told me that man has been telling you this was something he was going to do for years. Since he was a kid! I can’t even believe a child of mine would have agreed to it in the first damn place. Well baby, it’s just like Oprah is always telling us. When someone tells you who they are…believe them! Sounds to me like he told you no lies. So it seems to me you’ve been going through this entire marriage waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now that it has, you want everyone to be up in arms?Now you want us all to hate Blair? Turn our back on him and never speak to him again? I don’t know who or what the hell you seem to think you are, but no way sister!
Now here you sit…in my damn kitchen done left your comfortable situation. Hell you low-key trying to fuck up my understanding with Blair and for what? Because this lil’ nigga done decided he want a second wife?” My Mama asked sucking her teeth loudly, placing a hand on each side of her wide hips. The same hips I’d inherited from her. “ Second wife” my goddamn ass! The man just wants permission to cheat without the hassle of lying to you every time he wants to slide his dick in some new pussy. Hell you and I both know Blair’s goddamn ass can’t have more than one wife! It’s illegal. Don’t let those damn reality shows screw with your head! I watch some of them every now and then just to see the foolishness but don’t buy into all that ol’ mess! That’s your goddamn husband.” My Mama ranted leaning down until she was in my face breathing heavy.
Hell I had watched Love and Hip-Hop and the show Sister-Wives a few times, I thought in a few states it was legal. I just knew it was some White people stuff until Blair came to my black ass with the bullshit. Blair had my whole head so messed up with the thought of him being with another woman period, I didn’t know if I was coming or going the last two days. The next thing I knew,my Mama was tapping the side of my head with her fingertips.
“ For you to have gone to college you’re sitting here acting like you don’t have a lick of sense! Is that a fake diploma you gave me to hang on my wall? Now are you going to sit back and let this hussy have your husband or what? Shoot! Now days wives are suing these damn home-wreckers! Alienation of Affection I hear it’s called. So from where I stand, it’s all about how much you even want Blair’s ass after pulling this stunt. Y’all got married right out of high school and he hasn’t made a dime without you right by his side. But if you want my advice, don’t leave your entire marriage behind this. Make him do right by you.Especially if you’re in love with him still. Blair is doing what all men do anyways. They all get an itch to cheat. Don’t go fuckin’ up your good thang…and me and your sisters, over one indiscretion.”
What was lower than dirt? That’s how I felt right now. The only person in this world I thought I could count on to be on my side was clearly team Blair Carmichael. Yeah she was giving me what she thought was her best advice but at the end of the day she didn’t want me rocking the boat with Blair. Not for my benefit but for hers. As long as she got the two thousand a month cushion a gave her every month she was fine with her daughter being disrespected. Publicly humiliated.
This nigga Blair had taken over my entire family and I’d handed them to him on a silver platter. I had no where to turn. No soft place to land in my time of need. In just nine years I’d gone from an independent college graduate, excited about everything on the horizon. To where I was now. I’d easily morphed into a needy,dependent woman. Even though I was putting on a brave front with my mother, I’d cried myself to sleep every night night this week. I missed Blair so much my body ached ached. It felt like I was missing a limb. Truth be told, I already had one foot out the door heading back to him and instead of supporting my frail decision to leave Blair and not become wife one of two. My own family was turning their back on me.
In nine short years he’d stolen my family from me. The lines had clearly been drawn in the sand and my own Mama had made it clear that since Blair was paying the cost to be the boss at our house…and hers, or so she thought,Geraldine Jones was team Blair all the way.
I rose from the table feeling sick and dejected.
“ Okay Mama. I get it, I’m going to lay down I don’t feel good.” I said.
Mama pulled the biscuits out of the oven, slammed the door shut and cut her eyes at me.
“ Ain’t shit wrong with your ass. You wanted to be grown, well heffa you grown now! Got me over here cussin’ up a storm this blessed Sunday morning! Don’t bring your ass over here making waves in my ocean! I like a calm sea. Now India is in school with her tuition paid every semester without her having to take out any loans. You damn sure ain’t paying the bill. Blair is. I worked like a Hebrew slave so you and your sister could have a house to grow up in and I can’t even begin to say it was easy. But Blair came on the scene and paid the rest of the mortgage and the back taxes.I was about to lose this house I broke my back working for. This house is mine free and clear now. That was Blairs’ doing. Not yours. Now you wanna fuck it up for everyone? Uh-uh little girl. You better think about that.
You’re the one who thought it was all right to have a big ass California king bed big enough for all y’all to lay up in!The more I think on it, there has to be some reason Blair is so comfortable bringing another woman in your home. What have you been letting him do all these years? I can’t imagine the things Blair got you in that house doing. Licking and lapping all in Fallon’s twat. But that’s your big ass bed. My own child turned out by a nigga! The nigga done made you a lesbian! Well sister you made that big ol’ nasty bed. Now lay in it! What’s the big deal anyways at this point ? Two wives,three wives, sista-wives. Shit you threw all ya’ damn morals out the damn window once you agreed to go along with that bullshit. If you had told me this was the type of mess Blair was into from the jump, I would have ran his ass from around here the minute he came sniffing asking for your hand in marriage. But you knew!” Mama ranted on. I didn’t think I could feel any lower than I already did. I was wrong.
Why was my own mother so ready to give Blair credit for all the blessings we’d given her? I was her child. I was the one who made sure this damn house was paid off so she wouldn’t have to work so hard. I was the one who stepped in to handle India’s tuition so she could actually enjoy some of her college years unlike myself. I worked and struggled so hard during my college years it was just a blur for me. My mother certainly didn’t have the money to help me. At that point I’d tuned her out and made my way to the stairs to pack my shit up.I refused to entertain the thought of another woman in our relationship. I needed to draw my own damn line in the sand with Blair. It was either this Fallon chick or me.
My Mama was right about one thing. Blair had never hidden the fact he wanted to live a polygamist lifestyle from me. But how was I supposed to take something that he said at 17 years old serious ? Granted he’d spoke on it throughout the years insisting he was going to do it. Blair spoke to me about how it began in Africa,even started by African women and that the Black community needed it more than ever since the “Man” was killing Black Brothers left and right and some men weren’t stepping up to the plate in regards to marriage and being fathers to their kids. Blair insisted his heart was going to lead him in this direction of taking another wife.
After so long it went in one ear and out the other with me because despite all his talk, Blair had never cheated on me or so much as looked at another woman.At least to my knowledge. I was the envy of all of my friends in regard to our relationship. From day one as a 17 year old boy Blair Carmichael had stepped in and stepped up for me. When my Mama didn’t have money to buy me the things I wanted…don’t get me wrong, I had everything I needed. Just not what I wanted most of the time. Blair was right there. Anything materialistic I wanted he provided.All during high-school and summers, his mother had a family friend who got Blair and his brother work doing various odd jobs on the construction sites. So he always had money in his pocket. Not that I was some type of a gold-digger mind you.
We had each others backs.
Pushed each other through graduating high-school and college. Started this damn company together. Shit I was the money team.I was the one who went back to college and obtained my Masters Degree in Business a year ago. All the money needed to get Blair’s dream of having the top Black owned construction company in the state of San Antonio, I set that shit in motion. Now here I was in the position to have to compete with another bitch for my entire fuckin’ life? It was bad enough I’d been keeping bitches off my man for years, yeah Blair was faithful but that didn’t mean many women hadn’t tried to coax him away from me.Oh no, just screwing my husband wasn’t enough for this Fallon bitch. Did this nigga have her head so blown up that she felt like she could be me? Take my spot?
The only thing I did know,was that I didn’t want to be here with my mother. I didn’t feel safe,loved or valued by the one person in this world I thought I would be. Without question. So I was going to leave. I did have my own home. I’d just have to get Blair to see reason. If he was really willing to risk losing me behind another woman it was a wrap. Enough is enough. I’d sacrificed too much through the years in this relationship to take a back seat to another woman. About that my Mama was right. I made it to the top of the stairs and jerked my head back. Now wait just a damn minute! I turned right back around and leaned into the kitchen.
“ Mama, I really do want you to know one thing.”
“ And just what might that be?” Mama said rolling her eyes at me.
“ Not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian if that’s what you are. But I have never licked Fallon’s twat! Ever!As of yet all I know about this home-wrecker is her name. When I do lay eyes on this bitch I’m putting my foot up her ass for even thinking about coming for my husband!” I yelled before quickly running back up the stairs before my Mama slapped fire from me! I ran up the stairs to my childhood bedroom and looked around. I’d been gone from home so long it no longer resembled the room I used to sneak Blair into when we were teenagers and my Mama was at work doing overtime. It was a proper guest room but I’d long outgrown the full-sized bed even my mothers style. I was used to more. I’d worked hard to get the material things I had and I wasn’t dropping all that in another woman’s lap without a fight. At the end of the day, Blair could very well decide he wanted her. But he’d have a fight on his hands if he thought I was leaving with nothing.