The words kept floating around in my head. I was stuck on everything that had been said. The adoption was supposed to have remained a secret. Absolutely no one was supposed to know about it and that was how I wanted it. I knew what everyone had been assuming and I knew it was wrong to just let them assume it, but it was a decision I had already made. I wasn’t mentally capable to raise a child. Not then. Everyone I loved was gone and I didn’t want to lose my baby boy to those same fates. The best thing for him was to be far away from me. To be as far as he could get as soon as possible. Then there was Novian. I think the part that hurts the most is to know that when he came to me begging and pleading for forgiveness for being late he had left my father there to die. If only he had called for help sooner they could’ve found a way to save him.
Again I was alone. Destiny was pissed at me for not telling her that I gave him up for adoption. I couldn’t blame her though. She thought Ronaldo had beaten him out of me. I sat still as a statue as her voice barely registered in my mind as she went on and on about it. I couldn’t move. I was numb to it all. It was like I forgot how to move my limbs. My brain had stop sending simple mobile signals. I couldn’t even cry. Novian had shocked me in completion. Even my tear ducts were stuck. I sat in the dark for I don’t know how long. At some point I managed to move around just enough to close all shades and blinds and turn off all the lights before resuming my stilled position. I wanted to hug my dad right now. At this moment he was who I really needed and I would never have that moment again.
Maybe I was being too hard on Novian. He didn’t know that it was my dad in the other car, but just knowing the simple fact that he’d willingly leave a scene without calling for help sickened me. What if I had been in the car with him? Would he had call for help then? Or what if I had been in the car with my dad? What would have been of me then? What would he had done when he found out that the scene he left his girlfriend had been apart of it? I felt like I couldn’t breathe as the tears finally came strolling down. I was screaming out with each sob my heart not being able to handle all the pain. It felt like I was weeping from my soul.
I wanted my mom. The lady that raised me. Taught me about love and forgiveness. The lady who I looked like. Who I was a spitting image of. The one my dad fell in love with in high school. I missed her hugs. Her kisses. Her scent. I missed everything about her. I could see her now telling me how even though what Novian had done was wrong, I was being irrational about it. How I couldn’t based what he would actually do off of what if’s. She’d talk about how good of a guy he was and how he deserved a chance to really be heard out. Sadly, she would’ve been right. Still none of that changed the fact that his fleeing the scene and not calling for help made things worst.
I wanted my dad. The man who hug me tight to him every night. The man who cradle me in his arms for months as I cried and wept for my mom despite the fact that I was fourteen and what others might classify as too big. The man who endlessly told me that he wanted grandkids before he was too old and gray to enjoy them. The man who bragged that he’d have the cutest grandkids in the world because his daughter was beautiful and her boyfriend whom he considered like a son was handsome. The guy who staged a pretend wedding the first time he heard Novian and I say ‘I love you’. He even cried. There was no doubt that my dad was my bestfriend and that I idolized my mom. Now they both were gone and I’d managed to lose Novian also. I was completely alone.
I wanted my parents and I wanted my child. I shouldn’t have given him up. He didn’t deserve me turning my back on him. I shouldn’t have given up on myself. I wanted him back. I screamed again the pain being too much as I started to gag and choke. I deserved this. I deserved everything. The only thing I knew how to do was push people away. It didn’t matter the kind of bond or connection that we held for however long everyone got pushed away. I was going to be forever alone and that was my own fault. This is what I deserved.
I woke up in my bed unsure how I got here or how I even fell asleep, but I wasn’t alone. I turned to see Novian sleeping soundly next to me. I was secured tightly in his arms. I smiled. I had no idea when he came back or even how he got in, but I felt protected. I truly felt safe for once. I felt all the things that I shouldnt have been feeling after yesterday, yet I didn’t want to move. I felt as my eyes began to flutter shut again only to hear a voice I’d completely forgotten about.
“So this is what I rushed back too?” Yelled Jake dropping his bag on the floor. I jumped up startled and wide eyed.
“A sorry bitch? Yeah I can see that. What was the point of leaving all those clearly misleading voicemails if you didn’t mean anything that you said. Let me guess, the asshat laying next to you is Novian. Great! Just fucking great.”
“Jake it’s not what it looks like!” I yelled. It really wasn’t I had no clue Novian was even here until a second ago. Admittedly I was just going to go back to sleep instead of freaking out, but still. “If you’ll just let me-”
“Oh fuck off bitch! Do I look blind? Are you really going to sit here and lie to my face?” He took a few steps closer and by habit I scooted further back. That’s when Novian stood up. He was shirtless and it was clear to see he could take Jake if it came down to that.
“Calm down macho.” He started sarcastically and in my head instantly things were going downhill. “Can’t you see that you’re scaring her?”
“Why should I care?” He snap. “And why the FUCK are you talking to me?” My eyes widen as I prayed and hoped that Novian wouldn’t lose his temper.
“Because she’s telling your dumbass the truth.” He spat. His veins were starting to stick out and now all I wanted to do was lick up every tone and ripped part of his body. When my tried to restrain his self his muscles became very noticable. Every veins stuck out and it was like he was outlined in sharpie.
“Yes dumbass. Now shut the fuck up and listen. First off she didn’t know I moved into the building so she probably thought it was you she was laying next too. Before you disregard that today is her father’s birthday. Her DEAD father’s birthday. A man who so happened to love me. While you were off obviously just thinking about yourself she was left alone to mourn alone. That in itself alone shows me you really know nothing about her. Now I myself wouldn’t have left her alone and here’s why. Around twelve o’clock last night I was coming over to apologize for the way things ended and to check on her because I know how much her father meant to her. What I got was screams and sobs through a thick door. That’s just how loud she was. She sounded so broken, so alone and filled with hurt. Like she hadn’t spoken about any of her pain in years. I knew I had to do something. So I called Destiny and she let me in with her spare key. She cried until she passed out, she literally was passed out by the time I got to her. That didn’t stop the screaming and scratching in her sleep though. Want to see my back? I remember a trick her dad taught me to get her to sleep peacefully. You should know all of this though, so please enlighten me on how she’s a sorry bitch? Or why you’d even think it’s okay to even attempt to threathen here with me standing right here?” Now I was scared. He had that look in his eyes and I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen next. Would he be the bigger guy or would he lose his shit?
“Look dude, whoever you are or were doesn’t mean shit anymore. She’s mines now. So you can fuck off.” Ok now Jake was intentionally taunting him. I had never seen Jake like this and maybe it was because he was targeting Novian, but I didn’t like it. There was silence as more veins popped out in Novian’s neck. He was trying hard to restrain his self as he breathed in and out deeply and honestly I admired him for it, but I knew he was going to break soon. “Did you not hear me get the fuck out of here?” The next thing happened in slow motion, but was still to quick to stop. There was the sound of knuckles hitting skin back and forth before I heard the sound of bone crushing followed by an loud ow and then Novian was kissing me on the forehead and leaving. Now all I had to do was wait for Jake to wake up. All he had to do was let me explain. Until then I was going to go talk to Novian while he laid there unconscious.
I almost tripped as I rushed over Jake to get to Novian, but I was too late. He was no where to be found in the hallway and the elevator wasn’t moving. He couldn’t have taken the stairs that quick and if he really did live here now, I had no idea which apartment was actually his. I sighed. I hoped he tried to calm himself first if he went out. Either or, there was nothing I could do now but go back to Jake and wait for Novian to contact me. Maybe it was time to tell Jake the truth about Novian. My heart still belonged to him and that was a secret I could no longer keep hidden.
Finally I heard a grunt as Jake began to move about on the floor. I left him there for two reasons. He’s heavy as fuck and I really don’t appreciate the way he spoke to me or Novian. It was unnecessary. However, I was glad to see that he was okay.
“I would lay there for a few more minutes if I was you. Getting up too fast will make your head spin.” I spoke causing him to look over at me. He had a nasty buise forming under both his eyes. At first I thought his nose was broken but the lack of blood proved me wrong.
“Why? So you can text your boyfriend behind my back some more?” He spat.
“Excuse you?” I blurted actually surprised by his choice of words. I was speaking from experience and only trying to help. “How dare you?”
“I didn’t just get into a fight with a perfect stranger for my health Hope. We fought because of you and I don’t fight over no damn pussy that I’m not even getting.”
“No you fought because you have a big mouth and was highly disrespectful. Like you are now.”
“Disrespectful? I was- no disrespectful is toying with someone else’s feeling and telling them things you think they want to hear as some sick joke.”
“And what does that have to do with him? You plight is with me. He was leaving. You could’ve kept your fucking mouth shut until he was gone, but no you just had to go and play Mr. Macho.”
“Why are you defending him? I’m your guy. Me not him.”
“He did nothing wrong Jake! You need to be called on your shit. You were wrong and you know it.” I don’t know why I hadn’t seen him stepping closer to me or seen the visible anger on his face. I hadn’t seen the Jake I thought I knew turn into someone that I didn’t. Had I been paying attention that someone would have scared the shit out of me. “Jake you-” Bam! I stumbled backwards as I held my hand over my mouth it quickly filling with blood.
“Shut up! Just shut the fuck up!” He yelled hitting me again and hard enough to knock me against the wall. “We were fine until he came back into the picture. I had you exactly where I wanted you. You were obedient and within just a few days he’s come and undone it all. I don’t know how, but we will get back to how we were. Now go clean yourself up.” I jumped up and ran to the bathroom not having to be told twice. Frantically I searched myself for my phone praying that it hadn’t fallen out as tears streamed from my eyes.
“Hurry up!” He yelled banging on the door causing me to practically jump out of my skin.
“I-I’m c-c-coming.” I stuttered. I didn’t have time for a call, he was probably listening at the door. I had to do something. I needed help.
“Destiny I swear to you I’m going to jail. Something is seriously wrong with that dude and I just wanted to grab her and take her with me, but I couldn’t. I’m more dangerous angry around her than that pansy ever could be. I can’t go back there I need you to go check and make sure that everything is okay.” I ranted as she stood there with a smile. “What?”
“Than please explain to me why you just knocked a perfectly harmless guy unconscious.”
“I already explained this to you Destiny.” I growled.
“And what I heard sounds like words of a jealous ex-boyfriend. Or better yet, a secret lover.”
“Destiny-” I sighed. Maybe she was right and I was just over-reacting, but I knew in my gut something was off about him. “Yes, I do still love her and yes I’m a little jealous, but I swear that wasn’t my intent. He was threatening her. She was scared. I could see it. I know I’m not wrong.”
“Novian listen to me. I have never heard that man raise his voice. Not even when she blacked out and attacked him out of fear. He doesn’t have a threatening bone in his body. Trust me.” She shook her head laughing just has her phone went off. The moment she opened the message the blood drained from her face and the amused look was gone.
“Who is that? Is that Hope? Is she ok?” She stood frozen not moving, barely breathing as tears filled her eyes. “Destiny what the hell is going on?” I yelled as I snatched the phone from her.
The picture barely registered in my head before I was running full speed out the apartment, up the stairs and towards Hope’s apartment. I could only see red as I got closer to her apartment. I could hear him yelling, her crying and it only fueled my anger more. Before I knew it I had his neck between my hands throwing him against the wall and away from her. I could hear both her and Destiny screams, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was on top of him throwing punch after punch after punch. I was letting everything out. The guilt, the pain, the hurt, the self-hate and everything else I couldn’t put into words. That I’d been feeling for these past three years.
“Novian! Stop!” She yelled finally getting through to me. Her hands were gripping mines tight as she held my fist stopping me from connecting with his face again. I looked at her and seeing the blood coming from her lip only made me madder. “Please stop Novian. He’s not worth going to jail for.” She cried and just like that I had her in my arms as Destiny announced she was going to call the police.
“I shouldn’t have left you here. I shouldn’t have...” I breathed as I held her tighter. Me coming back here was not worth it. I only made things worse for her.
“If I have to tell you to hurry up one more time.” He threatened making it clear that he was still waiting by the door. I jumped as I rushed to wipe away the drying blood while simultaneously looking for a place to hide my phone. Placing it in the wastebasket and throwing the now soiled tissue on top of it as it called Novian’s number I opened the door and slowly stepped out. I was barely over the threshold before I felt the palm of his hand come across my face.
“Jake stop!” I cried. “Why are you doing this?” He glowered at me making me cower backwards as I tried to put some distance between us. The look in his eyes said it all.
“I did not waste seven months grooming you into the women that I deserve just for a nobody to come back and take you away. I did not spend seven months months making sure that you were obedient to everything that I desired just for you to run off with your ex. I DID NOT spend seven months making sure you were clean just for you to give yourself away all over again. You are mines Hope. I don’t know how clearer I can make it.”
“Jake I belong to no one but myself.” I blurted out trying to gain some confidence as I stood up. “I don’t deserve to be treated like this or talk to like I’m your pet. I’m a good woman and I know my worth.”
“YOU’RE WORTHLESS!” He yelled his knuckles coming in contact with my abdomen sending me to my knees. “YOU AIN’T WORTH THE DIRT UNDER MY SHOES! THE MINUTE I’M GONE YOU AND YOUR EX ARE IN BED TOGETHER! YOU NOTHING HOPE! YOU’RE JUST A PIECE OF SHIT WRAPPED IN USED TISSUE!” He screamed as I begged him over and over to stop hitting me. Tears were streaming down my cheeks. I should’ve beg Novian to stay. I should’ve continued to look for him. I should’ve went down to Destiny’s and beg her to let me stay there until Jake calmed down. This was not the Jake that I knew. I curled into a fetus position as I tried to protect my face and abdomen like I use to with Ronaldo. I laid there crying and screaming stop until the hits no longer came.
I looked up just in time to see Novian in full on rage mode as he slammed Jake against the wall his hands gripped tight around his neck. He had him pinned up against the wall as he drew his arm back and punched him in the eye. Jake tried to fight back but it was obvious that Novian was stronger. Again Novian grabbed him and tossed him over his shoulder as if he weighed nothing. Jake came crashing down hard, grunting as he landed on his back the air clearly knocked from his lungs.
Novian was livid and looked crazed as he climbed on top of him and threw punch after punch after punch. I lost count but somewhere in between Jake had gone unconscious and was leaking blood everywhere.
“Oh my- Novian stop!” Yelled Destiny as she stood there crying.
“Novian! Stop!” I yelled running over to him and grabbing his arm. He stared at me that crazy dazed look still in his eyes.“Please stop Novian. He’s not worth going to jail for.” I cried as I hugged him and soon felt his arms tighten around me. “Please don’t hurt him. I can’t- I can’t lose you again.” The tears where streaming and stung as they reached the cuts on my face and lips.
“I shouldn’t have left you here. I shouldn’t have...” He breathed hugging me tighter.
“It’s not your fault....” I cried. “It’s not your fault.”