Have you ever been in a situation that felt so surreal? So absurd that you have to literally pinch yourself so that you know that you’re not dreaming? Well somehow that’s where I found myself. I came home from a photography assignment a day early, exhausted & ready to curl up in my California King Size bed. I was lucky to get the job of my dreams as a freelance photographer for major magazines & eCommerce companies. I was well known for my work whether it be landscapes, fashion photography, or even artistic portraits.
My uber rolled in my driveway around noontime, and nothing looked out of the ordinary. My fiance, Israel’s, or as I call him “Smitty” car was parked right in front of the garage, which meant he was home. That was pretty routine seeing as he was a chef at a Michelin 5 star restaurant. His hours were pretty crazy but they were at night.
“Would you like for me to help you with your bags ma’am?” The driver asked.
I gave a soft, tired smile, “No thanks, I’ve got it, but I’ll be sure to give you a 4-star rating. Thanks so much, I appreciate it.” I said as I got out of the car.
I pulled my leather weekender bag from the trunk of the compact car, and the driver rolled away. I got my keys out of my purse as I was walking up the winding walkway and pulled my suitcase inside the front door of my spacious 4 bedroom Spanish style home. I closed the door, and put the keys in the mosaic tile bowl that was sitting on a glass and gold metal table in the foyer.
“Babe? I’m home, and I am fucking exhausted!” I yelled as I climbed up the stairs. As I got closer to my bedroom, I heard faint moaning. It startled me at first because it caught me off guard. My first thought was maybe he’d left the tv on loud as he usually does, but when I got right to the closed double door, I heard, “Fuck Is! Keep it right there and PLEASE don’t stop! I want to come all over you!”
I dropped my purse on the floor in front of the closed doors and straightened my spine because I just KNEW that this motherfucker wasn’t cheating on me in my own fucking home. I didn’t give a fuck WHO the girl was, Smitty was disrespecting me in a way that was unforgivable. I opened the doors and on MY bed was a naked, golden, caramel toned woman spread eagle with my naked fiance in the middle of her legs. There was no mistaking what they were doing, as I caught them both in mid-stroke. I was so focused on Smitty, that the woman didn’t even register to me.
“WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING IN MY HOME ISRAEL?!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. Ready to maim, torture and kill, I had tunnel vision, until I heard a faint, “Oh my God Liyah!”.
“No one calls me that but Charlie,” I thought to myself. I snapped myself out of committing murder and saw the one person I didn’t want to, my fucking sister. Both my fiance & my sister were fucking each other in the home I bought with my own money. They tried to scramble up whatever piece of clothing or bedding they could to cover themselves up.
“Babe, I can explain this I swear. There’s a logical explanation on what’s going on right now!” Israel said with sheer shock in his eyes.
“Really? What? She came to borrow some clothes, then slipped and your dick just happen to break her fall?” I said sarcastically, feeling just as weary as I was tired from my long trip home. I shot a look at my just as terrified sister.
“No Liyah, I swear I’m so sorry! We just got caught up is all. We were drinking and then --” Charlie managed to get out in a shaky voice.
“Really? You were drinking in the middle of the FUCKING day?!” I yelled, “You know what? Both of you get the fuck out of my house now, before I end up committing a double homicide.”
Smitty tried walking closer to me, still naked with boxers in hand. “Israel, I swear, if you come anywhere near me, I’m walking into MY closet, getting the gun I hide for protection, and shooting you right in between your legs. If you don’t believe me, still be standing here in 10 seconds.” I said with as much venom as I could muster. I moved from the doorway and walked towards the closet.
“Okay, Lee. I’m leaving, right now.” Israel said with hesitation, “Can I at least put some clothes on before I leave out?”
“FUCK NO! And while you’re at it, leave your keys to the house on the nightstand.” I said with surprising calm. I turned and looked at my sister while speaking to him, “and take this fucking tramp with you. Naked and all.”
“Liyah, can we --” Charlie tried to say, but I cut her off by slashing my hand in the air.
“Bitch, no we CAN’T. I don’t give a fuck if you are ‘family’. That ceased the moment Romeo over there slid his dick in you. Please trust and believe when I say, I will NOT think twice about this shit, so you can run to mommy & daddy all you want. I WANT NOTHING to do with you & your ran through pussy.”
Charlize burst into tears, picked up her clothes, and ran out of the room. I turned my head seeing that Israel was still standing there. I quirked my eyebrow up at him as if to say, “Is there something you’re waiting for?” He must’ve gotten the picture because not a moment after, he ran out of the room after Charlie. I waited for about half a beat and began gathering all of his stuff that was in clear view. Normally I wasn’t one to make a scene because I was raised that problems were private and no one needed to know the drama that was going on in the home, but I was filled with absolute rage.
I opened the window from my bedroom just as he reached his car. “Hey Smitty! I think you’re forgetting some things!” I yelled from the top of my lungs. I began tossing all of his belongings that I could see, out the window. Clothes, jewelry, shoes, and anything I ever bought him.
“Yo, Kaliyah! What the FUCK are you doing?!” He screamed from my front lawn.
“Tossing your shit out of my house! I don’t want it polluting my home anymore, plus if I do it this way, there’s no need for you to contact me about getting your SHIT!”
It was a sight to see, and it would’ve been funny if I weren’t the one on the receiving end of this situation.
“Lee you are really fucking crazy!” Israel said trying to catch his belongings at the same time as I’m tossing them out, still half-naked.
“You just now figuring that out? And you know what? Take this for good measure, cause I sure as hell have no need for it anymore!” I said as I snatched his 1.5 diamond solitaire ring off my finger. I threw that out nearly missing his head.
“What the FUCK?!?!” Israel spit out, “That shit almost hit me in my head!” If he wasn’t mad before, he was FURIOUS now. It wasn’t so much the fact of me throwing his items out, but it was the fact that I took the ring off and threw it at him without a second thought. I’m sure there was a learning lesson in all of this, but I was too furious to care, much less to see.
“Make sure you, nor that whoring cunt don’t come back here either, or you’ll get shot on sight!” I yelled as I shut the window. After closing the blinds, adrenaline was coursing through my veins so bad, my hands were shaking. I walked across the soft plushy carpet to the bedroom doors to get the purse I had dropped to get my phone; there was only one person I cared to call after this sordid ordeal.
“Hola Mami! You made it back from your trip yet?” My best friend Ayana asked with her strong Puerto Rican accent. She was born & raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and lived there until she was 18.
I could tell the adrenaline was wearing off because all of a sudden I grew tired and weary. I replied to her, “Yeah, I did. Ayana, where are you?”
“On my way home from shopping, Kay, what’s wrong? You don’t sound right.”
“You know how I wanted to surprise Smitty by coming home early since he’s always complaining that I’m away too much?”
“Yeah, but I thought that this would be a nice surprise? I don’t understand.” Ayana said growing impatient.
“Well, the surprise was on me since I came home, and found him fucking Charlie in my bed.”
“Espérate, you mean to tell me that this dumb son of a whore was cheating on you? With your sister to top it off? What the ever-loving FUCK? Eso son patrañas” Ayana said with a fire in her only a passionate Latina such as herself could do. I loved her with all of my heart because her fierce loyalty knew no bounds.
“Please don’t start firing off your rapid-fire Spanish, you know I’m still a beginner.” I joked with her.
“Are you home right now? Cause I’m on my way. No questions asked.” She said, sounding resolute.
I gave a deep sigh cause I knew better than to protest otherwise. “Yeah, I’m home. I have to burn the sheets & the mattress from my bed so I’ll be here.” I replied. I hated that this man violated the sanctity of our home, well MY home. As exhausted as I was, I knew my mind would not let me rest before I basically had to perform an exorcism on my bed & in my room to rid the negative cheating energy of what transpired God knows how many times, and how many whos.
By the time I had just finished ordering me a new mattress to be delivered today and some new sheets to accompany, my doorbell rang. I got up from my microfiber sectional that sat in my spacious living room and walked to the front door. I didn’t bother asking who it was, because I already knew. I opened my door and Ayana turned around with a big bottle of Patron Tequila in her hand. She managed to give me a full bear hug with the bottle in her hands.
“Ay mami! I can not believe that piece of shit! Does he know how much you’ve done for him over the years?”
“Does it matter anymore?” I tried my best to hold back the tears. It hadn’t hit me yet the level of betrayal that this man & my sister no less had both done to me, but one look at my friend and it all came back, live and in color HD. I managed to keep myself from full-on ugly crying in the doorway with the front door wide open for all of the neighbors to see.
Ayana soothed me by a low shush & rubbing my back. She led me to the kitchen as though it was her house instead of mine. I followed her to the tan marble granite top island counter in the center of my kitchen. Me on one side of the island, and her on the other. She places the bottle of Tequila in the center and heads for cabinet beside the refrigerator and grabs two shot glasses. She then proceeds to open my industrial size sub-zero custom made fridge and grabs a few limes. With shot glasses and limes in tow, she walks back to her original spot, all without uttering a single word. Still silent, she pulls out the cutting board from underneath the counter on the island & pulls out a knife.
With little concentration, she slices the limes as she has done 1,000 times before for us. I decide it’s time to break the silence between us.
“I can’t believe I actually made them get out of my house naked.” I chuckled.
“I would’ve paid good money to see that. Not because of them being naked, but to see you tell them to get out period. I know how reserved you usually are, but then again I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t here. I probably would have been egging you on.” Ayana said as she poured both of us hefty sized shots.
“Jesus Ayana! It’s only in the middle of the day! The way you’re pouring, I’m only going to be able to drink 2 MAYBE 3 shots.”
“What? Like you have to be to work or something? And I KNOW I don’t have to go tomorrow. Matter of fact, I’ve already called out telling them I had a family emergency and will not be able to come in tomorrow.” She winked and smiled at me.
“Lord, what did I get myself into?” I thought to myself. I knew her intentions were well, but I just wasn’t feeling like having company. I also knew better than to argue with her. We both clinked glasses shook salt on our hands, swallowed the shots down our throats, and bit into the limes.
Once we finished, Ayana looked at me and said, “Okay, so now that he’s gone, what are you going to do?”
I gave her a puzzled look, “What do you mean ‘What am I going to do?’ I’m not sure!” I always hated when Ayana asked me questions to answers she knew I didn’t have. However, I also loved her for it because she made me think, and outside the box to boot.
“What I mean is, Israel held you back from the things you’ve always wanted to do, and out of respect to him and your relationship, you chose not to do them.”
“Like for example, you always wanted to take an extended vacation outside of this country. You told me so yourself. Not only that, but you also wanted to be free to do some things that tended to be frowned upon by ‘society’s standards’. Listen, I know you want to mourn your relationship, but he was a fucking bastard. There’s no need to mourn a selfish, cheating prick as he was. He doesn’t deserve your tears, and if I catch you crying while I’m here, me and you are going to absolutely FIGHT!” Ayana demanded.
I chuckled at her statement, cause she knows I would absolutely beat her ass, but she was right. Ayana was right on all accounts, as she usually was. I took a few minutes to think about what she said. This time, I poured us a hefty shot and took it with no preamble.
“I fucking hate it when you’re right,” I said jokingly.
“So are you going to think about what I said? Cause if not, you & I? We’re going to drink this entire bottle until you do.” Ayana was all of five foot four, but don’t misunderstand, where she lacks in size, she makes up for in her personality.
“Alright, FINE I will! And when I come to a conclusion, you’ll be the first to know. I promise.”
I got up from the stool that sat underneath the island, and walked from the kitchen, and went upstairs to take a bath. Before I could even get my clothes off, my phone rang. I looked down at the screen, huffed, then answered.
“Kaliyah Rayne Sessoms! What did you do to your sister to make her pure sob into the phone when she called me?” My mother exclaimed.
“I did nothing that she didn’t deserve Ma. Did she tell you what SHE did?” I asked impatiently.
“No, she didn’t, but does it matter? Your poor sister was hyperventilating.”
I rolled my eyes at the phone, not really caring what she was doing. “Ma, I really don’t care what she was doing. I just got home, and I’m rather tired. I want to take a bath and go to sleep. I’ll talk to you later. Love you.” I hung up, and turned off my phone without even letting her answer. Charlie was always my parents’ favorite, so it didn’t matter what she did or didn’t do. I turned my phone off because I didn’t want to speak to anyone else.
I went into my palatial bathroom. It had a black jacuzzi tub, big enough to fit at least 3 people and a separate stand-in shower with black and white granite tiles with a huge shower head. I wanted to soak my troubles away, so I decided to take a bath. After I ran the water, with bubbles and chamomile oil, I got in.
I began to reflect on exactly what Ayana said. At first, it didn’t make me feel good because I thought to myself, “Was I not good enough? Did I neglect Smitty to a point where he felt like he needed to turn into the arms of my sister? Was I selfish to want and try to further my career? Was it just the one time that he slept with her or was it multiple times?” But just as soon as those questions entered my mind, they left. I don’t care how bad Smitty felt like I was treating him, it didn’t warrant him to cheat on me. Instead of thinking of my failed engagement, I began to think about me. “Where do I want to go? How long do I want to take a vacation? How will I manage by myself for a long extended period of time? What do I hope to gain from this vacation?”
One thing I did know was that I was off commitments to ANYONE. Being with someone that you gave your all to for 4 years, only to realize in live and living color they aren’t the one for you, will kind of kill the idea of “forever” with just one someone. I didn’t really know where to begin in answering any of my questions. I dozed off while trying to think about my extended vacation, and I woke with loud banging outside my bathroom door.
“Kay! Your new mattress is here! What do you want them to do with the old one?” Ayana asked.
“Tell them to take it and burn it!” I yelled out to her.
I washed myself up feeling only slightly better. That was always my remedy for everything. Had a bad day? Take a bath. Felt weary? Soak for a bit. Felt dirty? You guessed it, take a nice relaxing bath. I knew that when I left my bedroom, I needed to have some answers because a tiny, spicy Latina would have my head & I’d get cursed out. So while I dressed, I started to map out all of the places I wanted to go, starting with Spain.
I had a love for all things with the Spanish culture, except the men. I could understand the allure of debonair, panty-melting Don Juans, but what also came with them was the harem of women & their problems following behind. Now, the curves of a Spanish woman? Abso-fucking-lutely. I appreciate all things woman, but coming from such a conservative and reserved family made repress that appreciation. But what made me fall in love? The Spanish guitar. Watching the guitarist pluck the chords so melodically, made you often wonder what else they could pluck so fluidly.
I also knew I wanted to go to New Zealand. I had a fondness for their Polynesian culture and history, how they’d call upon the gods to give them strength before a battle (which was called haka), and their open arms. It was funny really, considering that was supposed to be where Israel & I were going to go on our honeymoon, but I refused to allow that bastard to sully that country for me.
I figured after New Zealand, I’d go to Sicily, then Italy because who wouldn’t be in love with anything Italian? Food? Yes. Men? Check. Women? Yep, that too. After visiting those 3 countries first, I didn’t care where else I visited, I just knew that I needed something different for myself.
By the time I’d had SOMETHING mapped out, I was dressed in some loose lounge palazzo pants & a loose-fitting t-shirt. Thankfully I had sobered up a bit from the shots we had poured earlier. I knew that if I found her, she’d be curled up on my sectional damn near passed out from drinking. I turned my phone back on begrudgingly, knowing I was going to have a few choice texts from a few people.
Sure enough, as soon as my phone registered it was powered on, I kept getting alerts, mainly from my parents, but also Israel.
Smitty: Babe, please talk to me, I’m sorry.
Smitty: Tell me how to fix this.
Mom: YOU BROKE UP WITH ISRAEL?! CALL ME NOW.
Dad: Call either your mom or me, it’s about your sister.
I left all of them on read. There was no point trying to argue with all three, the only one who had any good sense to not text or call me, was my sister. That bitch knew she was dead wrong, and she also knew beyond this? She was fucking dead to me.
Ayana, being the good friend she was, made my bed for me while I was in the tub. So I just pulled the sheets over me and sobbed. Sobbed over my what-ifs with Israel, sobbed over the future that I was robbed of. It wasn’t so much the fact that I was crying over him, but all of that time spent, more like wasted with him. Time that I can’t get back no matter how hard I try. That’s what pisses me off the most, not the ring, not the person, but the time we spent getting to know one another, quality time we spent enjoying one another was all for naught. And my sister to boot? Yeah we had our ups & downs, but we were taught through thick and thin, to be there for one another. Not betray each other like we were strangers on the street! I cried until I gave myself a headache & it felt like all I had to cry left was dust.
I hadn’t woken up until the next morning. I knew my body was tired, my mind was tired, and my emotions were all over the place. I got up from the bed, stretched, and put on my black silk robe to leave out of my bedroom. I checked the room Ayana usually slept in and was met with a surprise to see her not only up and about, but the bed was made too. I knew she was still in the house because I heard her clanging my pots & pans together downstairs in my kitchen.
By the time I went down to see what she was doing, she was plating my breakfast, with a glass of orange juice. I sat at the island straight gobsmacked because the only time Ayana cooked, was when there was a death in the family.
“Oh God. Who died?” I asked her just to be sure.
“What do you mean?” She looked at me puzzled.
“The only time you cook is when there is a crisis in the family,” I smirked at her.
“Ay Dios Mio! Shut up! Anyways, tell me, have you decided what you’re going to do? Where you are going to go?”
“Well damn, we’re just going to jump right into it?”
“Straight no chaser. Now eat up and tell me.”
“Okay, well I don’t have everything mapped out; however, I was thinking I start with Seville, Spain, and stay there for a couple of weeks. Plus while I’m there I can upload some beautiful pics of architecture for my sight you know? Then, I want to go to New Zealand and soak up some of their culture, and live in their sunsets you know? Ever since I watched ‘Lord of the Rings’ I’ve been OBSESSED with anything New Zealand. I also want to go to the Maldives. No vacation is complete without going to a beach, and then my final stop will be Italy.”
“Well it actually does sound like you have it mapped out,” Ayana said with a chuckle.
I gave a hard stare knowing I was playing with her. “Yeah, I guess I do.”
“Do you know how long you’ll be gone?” Ayana asked directly.
“To be honest? Not at all. I just know I need to get out for a while, maybe a month and a half? Maybe a little more?” I answered truly unsure of the length of time I’d be gone.
“Ooh! Well, I just got a great idea! While I can’t be with you the whole time, how about I meet you in the Maldives? I really need to work on my tan anyway.” She joked.
“Now, why would you think I’d answer anything other than ABSOLUTELY! Matter of fact, if you can spare about 10 to 14 days, then you can take an extended vacation there.”
“Um, hell yeah I can spare that long. That job has been working me like a runaway slave for nothing! Do you know what else I need for you to do? They always say, the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else. So I need for you to go ahead and handle that.” Ayana said with a wink.
I rolled my eyes because the LAST thing I wanted was sex right now. I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with another being touching me or violating me. Ayana & I spent most of the day lounging with one another, watching movies, or talking about nothing in particular. She helped me pack up whatever was left of Israel’s items, so that it could be delivered to his parent’s home. I also made arrangements for my flight to arrive in Spain, the day after tomorrow. At the end of the night, Ayana went home but before she left she promised that she’d be the one to take me to the airport.
This trip was definitely something that was new for me, and I for one couldn’t wait.