“See, when a man and a woman love each other, they tend to --”
“Ew mama! I’m only thirteen; I don’t have to know about all that.”
“Well you should listen because my Gucci ass ain’t ready to be an aunt anytime soon.”
“Your sister is right Jae,” Mother sighs tiredly “but you probably won’t find yourself in such a situation.”
“What? I was only twelve when you told me mama.”
“Well Jae is...different. I doubt she’ll even fall pregnant in her lifetime.”
Oh how I wish Mama continued to give me the pregnancy pep-talk.
A lot of thoughts cross my mind as I stared into the twinkling sky. If only I remembered that after my wedding I had to get my contraceptive shot because that was the day it was scheduled for.
Unless...unless Mason knew about it and wanted our wedding to be on that specific day.
I shake those thoughts away as quickly as they made way into my head and I frown. Mason couldn’t have access to my information and he wouldn’t do such a thing whereby he’d want to get me pregnant deliberately, even though he wanted to be a father so badly.
“Bìtch better ride my dìck!” Mason laughs quietly with hooded eyelids “after you heal of course.”
I was healing quickly from operation to remove the result of the cyst fluid and my husband hasn’t left my side ever since he found out he was going to be a father. The cyst fluid crystallized on my womb and it had to be removed before the life growing inside of me lost oxygen. We didn’t get a full sonar screening since the procedure was brief but Mason was adamant on seeing his child.
We were seated outside the patio, being coaxed into bliss by Labrinth and Mason was by my side. It was a serene evening although something kept eating at the back of my head. I’m pregnant, a life is growing inside of me and that alone gave me a lot to ponder about.
My mother may have not been involved in my life as much as I wanted her to but she did teach me one thing. I can’t run away every time my husband and I argue or pack my clothes and dramatically walk away, hoping that he will run after me. Mason is not one of niceties. He doesn’t beguile for anything he wants at that time and at the end of the day, you will give in like it or not.
His harsh demeanour is something that helped contribute to my conclusion; I am going to assist Mason with his drug mule business. It won’t be something I’ll do every day but rather occasionally, it’s the least I could do for them because they have Mason as their boss. My husband was ecstatic, professing his opinion about Mona’s case and I wasn’t grinning after his statement.
Did Mona’s case consume my schedule to the point where I couldn’t perform my matrimonial duties?
“You’re awfully quiet,” Mason murmurs quietly in my ear while nudging his nose into the crook of my neck “are you feeling okay?”
“Well...uh,” there were his cool lips, sucking gently on my neck and my thoughts dissipate into non-existence “just thinking.”
"About?" he whispers and my body awakens instantly “is it the baby?”
“Are you ready to be a father?” I shift so I can stare at his curly hair moving in the light breeze “are you ready to guide and teach our child about life?”
Without missing a heartbeat, “Yes mia moglie.”
“You’re telling me that you’re ready to help me bring a child into utter insanity? Into a place where people with debts are treated like animals? A world where his or her father kills people and does unruly things?”
“I want to be a papa,” he states clearly and darkly might I add, as if I just accused him of being unfit for being a father “I want you to be the mother of my children, bella. You are amazing, do you know that?
You can grow life inside of you. Your sweet pússy, you know the place where I drink from every morning to wake you up and drink from every night to make you fall asleep? Yeah, you’re going to bring a new life into this world and it’s absolutely mind blowing. Your femininity materializes into maternity and you lactate.
You’re going to be the safe haven for our child and you’re going to have a killer body. Jae, you’re going to finally have boobs.”
I laugh, hard before Mason’s lips find my own. We couldn’t kiss properly because of the blaring laughter that escaped our lips but I would take this over having a pistol aimed at my temple any day. To be honest, I would take diaper-excited Mason Giuseppe DeLuca any day.
I was dressed by four in the morning, surprisingly, and my husband was on the brink of waking up. Slowly, I force my feet into some pumps until I hit my head hard against the wardrobe accidently.
“Jae,” Mason calls softly while searching the covers “mia moglie?”
“I’m here,” I semi-cry while rubbing the back of my throbbing head.
It hurts like a motherfúcker!
“Are you hurt?” he groans quietly before turning to face me in the slight darkness “why are you awake so early?”
“Uhm,” should I lie? “Walter asked to see me then I’ll be heading down to see the girls.”
Well I wasn’t technically lying because half of that sentence wasn’t the honest truth but the third of that sentence was from my heart, crossed and hoped to die.
“Pacify me micio,” he yawns quietly “I need you and the baby right now.”
As per usual, I slide next to him whilst being careful not to kick off my shoes and my arm skims his built torso.
“Now kiss my neck,” he slurs tiredly and I bring my heated lips on the skin, even though my head ached every time I did this action.
Compromise your clumsy behaviour for our husband just this once, my conscience scolds while sucking on a finger coated in brownie mix.
“Before you I couldn’t sleep.” He chuckles lowly “I never slept mia moglie because I kept of dreaming of the one thing I’ve always wanted.”
I brush his curls with my fingers, rubbing his scalp tenderly as he releases a long exhale, “what did you want, morito mio?”
“You.” I could feel the smile on my lips reciprocating on his “I wanted you so bad. We would’ve been the weirdest power couple in high school.”
That dark hostile place – never will I dwell in there ever again.
“Weirdest power couple?” I echo and Mason cuddles closer to me, the heat of my baby and I combined radiating onto him “how so?”
“I was the odd kid who was more English than Italian and you were a chubby cute teddy bear.”
Should I be offended now or later?
“Okay Jay Z,” I smile timidly “could you please sleep? I have to get to work.”
He yawns once again, “pacify me once more.”
And as I’ve done every day of this week, I kissed Mason’s neck and held onto him tightly as if he were my lifeline when I’m lost at sea.
My taste buds relish the odd combination of cheese sticks dipped into nutella that I had picked off multiple shelves. The taste was sweet yet salty – not my usual gourmet -- and tasted absolutely heavenly.
My shopping was going well until nostalgia slapped me with a gloved hand. Scratch that, nostalgia grabbed me by my underwear and threw me down a cliff clouded with fog. That’s what it felt like seeing Twanika in front of me after so long.
She looked...old. That may have sounded wrong but her once curvy frame was now sickly thin. Her glorious dark chocolate skin was patted with purple and poor white attempts of bleaching. Her eyes were tired, droopy and the child wailing on her back, the one screaming in the trolley and the quiet, coffee-cream-skinned boy holding her hand weren’t helping the situation either.
As the noble human being I am, I instigate the greeting, “hey girl!”
She looks dumbfounded for a moment, cocking her head behind her before snapping back to me in realisation. Yes, I was her ex-best friend whom she sabotaged in order to score a date with my husband.
My hair, outfit and braces appointment were already planned for until she got to the details first and ruined everything. I wanted to dye my hair into a fiery chestnut-orange colour but she swapped the dye for some heated syrup which ruined the texture of my hair beyond what words could explain. She called my seamstress posing as me and had my dress reduced to three sizes smaller, excusing the original measurements as ′evidence of a binge weekend’. And yes, it gets even better. My braces were due to have the wires removed so they looked like cool studs but she had me wear headgear for six weeks in public and out of the public.
Mason tried to talk to me after their flawless prom picture was plastered everywhere and from then on, I vowed to study hard and get away from that school, everyone who attended it included as well.
Twanika, what’s good? My conscience grins with her boxing gloves out on display.
I put all of my orchestrated chivalry on display, “oh heavens, you look mighty flawless! Who is this?” I ask grinning at the young boy but his cheeky smile reminded me of the man who put a ring on my finger – odd “isn’t he just a handsome devil?”
Twanika being Twanika fell into my trap of mock-friendliness and began blabbering like the stupid bìtch I know she is. She was on a roll until she let something hard to swallow slip from her lips.
“Mase here hasn’t seen his father since yesterday and I wanted to cook something for him.”
“Mase?” I echo out with a plastic smile “that’s an interesting name?”
Twanika snorts loudly, “oh, we grown now. I know it’s been six years and I bet you’re over it now. Mason wasn’t really into you and this is his current heir, Mase Dantѐ DeLuca.”
Should...should I tang that aṡṡ up now or sing ′Lips are moving′ while shoving my rings into her face?
“Oh,” I grin even wider and it wasn’t mockingly, I wanted to chew Mason Junior up right now “how old is he?”
“Six,” Twanika smirks confidently “he turned six years old just last week.”
I found out I was pregnant last week.
“Are you still in contact with Mason?”
Twanika is quick to nod, “he absolutely adores Mase and Mase will forever be the only heir Mason will ever have – wait!”
Oh no, her eyes are locked on my rings and she looks incredibly embarrassed, “you’re married ma?”
“Sure- I mean, yes. Yes, I am definitely married. Yes, I partook in the official ceremony of bearing another man’s surname --”
“Uh, still so bombastic,” she snickers “who the nigga?”
Inside my head the sirens were blaring, the red lights were flickering on and off and my conscience just threw herself off my sinking boat.
“Treyvaughn, Treyvaughn? Treyvaughn Williams, Treyvaughn?”
I nod once with a sad smile, Mase’s face looking more like Mason every second I stare at him, “yes – uhm, I should go. Do you mind if we still stay in touch? I’d really like to hear more of you.”
Enrique was crooning Hero in DeAndre’s car, forcing me into endless tears and I allowed them to fall. Betsy was nearing recovery so for the time being I used the mafia black Cadillac.
′You can’t take, my breath away,′ I sob following the instrumental climaxes to the song. Everything was so obvious. It was a definite fact that Mason slept with Twanika after his prom and that didn’t anger me the most, Mase being kept a secret angered me the most.
While my husband was snoring quietly, I let the beans spill. Coaxing him into sleep, I told him that I loved him, I whispered the feeble words into his ear in hopes that they wouldn’t lose value but they seemed void to me now. I wasn’t sure whether my sudden tears were directed to the hormones my brain released to racket my body or because I was sincerely heartbroken. Seeing him now would entice the morning sickness and that alone requires so much self-pacification.
After searching the whole of New Orleans for five hours for this particular address, I finally found myself in front of a very expensive crystal door with a sparkling doorknob. The security let me in with ease and I was now awaiting him to answer the door. The security was immensely tight and if news of me being pregnant broke out then I wouldn’t even be allowed to be here.
“African goddess,” Nathaniel smirks widely while gesturing me into his expensive glamorous abode “you look lovely.”
I hand him one of the many plastic bags I was carrying and cock my head to the car parked outside, “there’s more in the boot.”
“They are in the basement, I’ll allow one of my men to direct you there,” there goes that chilling smirk of his “it brings great delight to my heart that you are willing to help these filthy young girls – you are truly our redemption.”
That statement was drenched in pure sarcasm and layered in a secret inside joke, “I’m doing it for the girls, not you.”
The basement was a small cottage with one bathroom all twenty three girls were forced to share and the odours surrounding that place were haunting. The stench of perspiration, excrement and odours as result of menstrual cycles filled the room. I couldn’t possibly imagine a human being living in such conditions, let alone twenty three young women and they were pretty sights.
Like their den mother, I force myself into their small bedroom (where some were even sleeping on the floor) and I placed individual paper bags before them.
“Ladies,” I call firmly and all eyes were on me “good day, I am Jaenelle DeLuca and I am your --”
“Den mother?” a blonde young woman sniggers rudely and I roll my eyes at her immature behaviour.
“I prefer caretaker.” My smile reeked of an utter Kim-Kardashian-phony-arse-smile.
“We’re not orphans though,” a squeaky voice pipes in and the young females erupt into a series of giggles.
Alright, I won’t be nice then. “In the bag you will find all your basic sanitary items, basic make-up units and fresh underwear. It will be up to you whether you will accept my items or continue to live in utter filth.”
“Who’s fault is that?” the blonde woman of earlier snaps harshly and that’s when I feel my heart drop into the pit of my stomach ”huh?”
Without any shame, I answer her truthfully with stern eyes “my husband and for that, I will rectify the mess he has created.”
A day couldn’t go by without me allowing my inner black goddess snooping around for information that could assist me anyhow. Somewhere in my head, I thought it would be grand to sneak into Nathaniel’s bedroom without being acknowledged, search through everything he owns to find a key in my case and leave everything untouched (no sign of hair or skin fragments that have been shed.)
I spent the day cleaning out the filthy bathroom, scrubbing every droplet of blood, excrement and dirt away while being on my knees. The drug mules were talking about me, completely stunned by my sudden interest in them and a few of them chatted up the bodyguards, leaving them utterly distracted.
While the Jaenelle DeLuca Comedy Central Roast commences, I manage to slip out of the impressively clean bathroom unnoticed and I stalk down the empty hallway. To say I looked and walked like a boss would be an absolute lie – I was scared out of my wits. My palms were incredibly moist, my chest constricting immensely and I had to look out for anyone who could be following me.
A soft voice alerts me instantly and I find refuge into the frame of an open door, hindering myself from clear sight until I felt something haul me into the room, the door sliding shut completely afterwards. The act wasn’t drastic or sudden that it actually didn’t result in me making a harsh impact on the floor.
Nathaniel’s room was a strong contrast compared to his house and I liked it. There was a certain warmth, a certain sweet scent and the soft toffee coloured-components in his room were evidence of a female’s touch. Funny enough, Mona was absolutely obsessed with the colour toffee and she even went to the edge of dyeing her hair into a toffee colour to prove her love for the colour.
Sentiments aside, I search through Nathaniel’s walk-in wardrobe where I thought important documents may be. The amount of female underwear I encountered was beyond my words and I had an impression that some of them were still fresh from today. Many of them were lace tiny bits that Mason wouldn’t even find me wearing on a good day, believe me.
The searching was put on a slight hiatus until I went through some old family pictures of Mason and Nathaniel dating far back as their first newborn pictures and boy was Mason an ugly baby. Forgive me but he was extremely chubby, cursed with red blotchy skin and Dina DeLuca pouted mockingly at her wailing son in every picture.
The pictures become better, Nathaniel and Mason cycling down the streets of Venice in Italy while being shirtless and Mason was gaining a tan pigment in his skin, following clear blue wide eyes.
One picture sends my heart into instant palpations with frequents coos. Mason’s young face was caked in chocolate, his large blue eyes staring into the camera in guilt and his pudgy cheeks were tinted red. A small smile spans on my lips, the idea of having a caramel-skinned child swelling in my belly with my exact eyes and Mason’s mischief sent me into utter bliss.
Continuously, I scan through the pictures of adorable Mason slowly acquiring his father’s handsome looks until I found a picture that made me do a double-take.
Correct me if you were to see this but I’m pretty sure I’m holding a picture of Nathaniel and my Ramona Marks on their wedding day.
My heart falters.
I was meant to marry Nathaniel.