There's only so much sleep a person can get before that even becomes exhausting. I know I needed sleep and rest to restore my health and to find peace within, but I'm really tired of being in this bed. I finally felt okay. I know I have a lot to overcome and it wasn't going to happen overnight. I wanted to somewhat get back into my normal routine. I was ready to move and be the old me, be the mother I once was. I missed my kids more than anything.
I got out of bed and went to Maddie's room. She was playing with her dolls and cars. The purple and teal room was neat despite the pile of toys in the middle of the room. Avery recently repainted it, when Maddie announced that she was over pink and purple was her new favorite color. Maddie being the spoiled brat that she is, begged her father to change and he happily obliged. It's why I fell in love with him in the first place. For a man to love a child that doesn't have his DNA like his own flesh and blood is admirable, loving, and kindhearted.
Madison looked up at me and smiled. Then she got up and ran to hug me. I bent down to kiss her head. She grabbed my hand and guided me to her bed.
"Mommy, you can rest in my bed and watch me play.”
I sat down on the bed and wrapped a teal throw blanket around myself.
"You're so sweet. Always helping me out... Where is your brother?" I asked.
"With Nana. They are downstairs in the kitchen. Nana is cooking dinner,"
"That's good. You didn't want to help?"
"I did, but she told me to go play. Mommy, has daddy called today?"
"No. He's doing a show with Aubrey tonight. He's probably rehearsing right now. But I'll call him tomorrow."
She pouted and put her head down. It was hard seeing her like that. I know she missed him and so did I.
"Okay. I just miss him. I hope he doesn't leave us again," she said solemnly.
I felt so bad. Things were so tense lately between Avery and I. Then she witnessed us fighting. I hated that it affected her so much. I had to be more mindful of how we interacted in front of our children.
"Daddy isn't going to leave, honey. He's just working like he always does. He'll be back before you know it," I explained.
"But he was mad at you. He's always upset ever since I was taken by that bad man. He yelled at you. He left and didn't say goodbye to me. Does daddy still love us?"
"Yes, he loves us. Sometimes daddy can get upset or mad. I get upset and you do too, but it doesn't mean he doesn't care and love you. We were both so sad and scared that you were taken from us. We are so happy that you came back to us unhurt. I promise it will never happen again. We will always protect you and make sure you are safe. It's not your fault why it happened. I don't want you to feel bad okay, baby," I said, trying not to cry.
"Okay, mommy. You have been so sad too. I just want you and daddy to be happy again," she said.
I pulled her close and hugged her tightly as I softly ran my fingers through her wild curls. I didn't want my child to experience this. I had to be better for her, Aiden, and my unborn baby.
"Don't worry baby. Everything is going to be okay... Let's play," I said with a smile.
She smiled and jumped out of my embrace to grab a few dolls. Then she got into bed with me. We pretended to have a fashion show with her Barbie dolls. We were having a really good time. Then there was a knock on the door. I told whoever it was to come in. It was Andria, my nurse. Since she went beyond her scope of work at the hospital. Avery hired her to be my home care nurse. She is a Nurse Practitioner. She came a few times a week, usually a few hours before her night shift. She's caring and nice. I wasn't sure of her motives until she told me she was just a big fan that wanted to help and she's not interested in men.
"You are supposed to be in bed, Missy," she chastised me with a smile.
"Technically. I'm in bed, just not mine." I smiled.
"Come on. I'll help you get back to your bed.”
I agreed as she helped me get up. I told Maddie to go find her Nana. Andria and I went back to my room. She got her equipment from her backpack including the portable ultrasound machine. She checked my temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Then it was my favorite part checking on the baby. I lifted my top so she could rub the lukewarm gel on my lower belly. She used her wand to search for my little nugget. I saw the baby on the tiny screen. Then she turned up the sound so I could hear the heartbeat.
"Everything looks fine. The baby is doing good. You seem to be doing better. I'll let your primary doctor and OBGYN that you and your baby are doing great... And Dr. Andrews still is waiting on that phone call," she said.
"I'm glad to hear that. Does she look out for all her patients like this or just me?”
"She's just a good doctor. She really advocates and fights hard for her Black patients since we are more likely to die in childbirth. Also, our pain is often dismissed and our treatment is subpar. She is why I decided to move up and become a Nurse Practitioner. We need women that look like us fighting for us," she said passionately.
"I'll call her soon. Thank you much for taking time out of your busy schedule for me and my baby.”
"No problem. Before I go. You haven't been experiencing any pain or spotting?"
"No. I actually feel better."
"Good. How do you really feel? Emotionally? Mentally?"
"I still have bad days. It's still hard dealing with my miscarriage. Today was better than most though."
"That's good. Well, I'm going to go. I'll see you on Monday. Have a good weekend."
She got up and grabbed her bag. We said goodbye to each other and then she left. I grabbed my phone to see if Avery called but so far nothing. I went to my bathroom to shower and got ready for dinner. I was finally gaining my appetite back and was looking forward to my mother-in-law's Italian cuisine. She's a really good cook, but of course not better than my mom.
After I cleaned up, I got dressed in some comfy leggings and Avery's old hoodie. I went downstairs and was surprised to see my mom, Brooke, and Hazel in the kitchen helping Sandy.
"Hey, everybody," I said cheerfully.
They all turned their attention to me and smiled. Everyone took turns hugging me and kissing me on my cheek.
"You look good. And baby Rowland is growing," Hazel said, rubbing my belly.
"I know. I wasn't this big with Maddie and Aiden," I said.
"Well, you look good regardless. I'm happy you are moving around.” Brooke smiled.
I just smiled. It was nice to be with my family and I felt like me again. My mom was holding Aiden. I went to her to grab him.
"You know you can't pick up this child in your condition," mom said sternly.
"Mommy, I promise you I'm fine. I picked him up earlier today with no problems.”
She reluctantly handed him to me. I sat at the table and sat him in my lap. He was busily eating a teething biscuit. Maddie was helping Sandy and my mom cook.
"I saw that Profit finally released a statement. I didn't think he was going to do that," Brooke stated.
"Me either. I guess it was Kai's idea," I said, shrugging my shoulders.
"You mean he sent that out without telling you first?" Sandy asked.
"Yes," I answered.
"Oh, no. I'm going to have a word with my son," she said.
"It's not a big deal. Everyone relax. Let's just enjoy dinner. Then I want to go watch a good movie while stuffing my face with ice cream.” I smiled.
They all agreed, but I could tell they wanted to talk about Avery doing things without talking to me first. I knew that everyone in my immediate family knew that Avery and I weren't doing good. If they didn't know the details they sensed something was wrong. I couldn't blame them for worrying. I was worried about my marriage too. We've only been married for 17 months and I never would have thought that we would be here.
I’m going to fix us by putting everything on the table. When he gets home, I'm going to tell him everything except who did it. He has to know what I did and why. I have to explain to him why I can't tell him who kidnapped Maddie. I also have to tell him something from my past that I never thought I had to ever talk about.
We ate dinner in the formal dining room. I figured why have this big fancy dining set and never use it. It was fun talking to everyone and catching up. I've been so out of I didn't realize how much I missed in just 18 days. Blake has a new girlfriend, Maia. Bryce and Keisha are back together. My mother thinks they will last this time since Bryce is about to retire from the NFL this season and will become a sports reporter for CNN Sports. I always thought Keisha was too good for him. I hope he finally sees what a gem he has in her.
After dinner, we cleaned up the kitchen. Well, I watched them clean since they wouldn't let me do anything. Then we headed to the theater to watch some movies with ice cream and snacks. We decided to let Maddie pick the movie and she chose Beauty and the Beast. We were all into the movie eating. My mom got me another bowl of cookies n' cream ice cream. All I needed was some Cheetos to dip in my ice cream and I would have been in heaven. My pregnancy cravings were really strong today.
The movie was almost over when my phone kept buzzing at first I ignored it because I was really into the movie. Then it buzzed again and again, so I decided to step out of the room. I thought it was Avery. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't him. It was Jade. After our last conversation, I was surprised she even wanted to talk to me.
"Hey, baby mama. I missed you and I'm sorry about the other day. I shouldn't have pushed you to talk when you aren't ready. Anyway, I have good news and bad news," she said.
"Hey, Jade. Girl, it's okay. You were right. I have to talk to my husband... Well, the good news first."
"I knew you would say that. Anyway. You know Max wants another baby. Even though Mason drives me crazy, but I want a little girl so bad. I only agreed if we have a girl. So we are going to the fertility clinic to select the gender. I hope we can be pregnant together. That was always a goal of ours.”
"I'm so happy for you two. I hope we can be pregnant at the same time too. Okay, Jade, what's the bad news?"
"You do know that Profit performed with Drake, right?"
I was starting to panic. If Avery found out I slept with Aubrey from someone else, I don't know what I was going to do. I knew I should have told him, but it was before I even met Avery. They weren't really friends until about 6 years ago. We weren't even together back then so I didn't think it mattered. Aubrey always acted like he didn't know who I was and maybe he did forget me. So, I didn't see the point of bringing it up. I decided to just let that situation stay in the past.
"Yes. It was a surprise for his fans. Why? What happened?" I said nervously.
"That thot Ana- something was dancing all over your man. I mean all extra nasty, grabbing on his dick and all. Girl, I'm sending you the video right now. It's trending all over Twitter and Instagram," she said with a hint of anger in her voice.
I was trying to stay calm. I had to stay calm. Stress was not good for the baby. I wasn't going to even look at that video. I couldn't.
"I'm not going to look. I know you meant no harm, but I don't need that kind of stress right now. Why is that hoe always around him? I- You know what? I'm not trying to believe that my husband is cheating on me. I'm not going to think about it. When he gets home, we are going to talk. This could just be a big misunderstanding. That girl might be stalking him," I rambled.
"I understand, but I didn't want you to be blindsided. I hope it's just a misunderstanding too. I don't think Avery would do anything like that on purpose when he knows how you feel about her and what you have been going through lately. I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. I just saw it and my first instinct was to tell you without thinking about your stress levels.”
"No, you were being a good friend. I would have done the same for you."
"Don't stress and call me if you need anything. I love you."
"Okay. I love you too."
We hung up and I went back into the theater. The movie was over. Aiden and Maddie were knocked out. Hazel and Brooke were on their phones with pissed expressions. I knew they saw the video too. Sandy and my mom each grabbed a child and took them upstairs for bed. Brooke pulled me to her and made me sit down. Without saying anything, she showed the video to me.
I can't even describe how disgusted I was at that moment. That hoe has no shame at all, dancing and feeling up on my husband like that and Avery did nothing to stop it.
Did he enjoy it? Does he like her? Did I push my husband into the arms of another woman?
I had so many things going through my head. I just couldn't take it anymore. I began to cry. At that moment, I was so unsure about everything. I wasn't sure if we were going to make it.
Hazel and Brooke tried to comfort me. They wiped my tears and told me it wasn't as bad as it looked. That she seemed to be just a random girl that got pulled up on the stage and wanted some attention. As much as their excuses or scenarios seemed logical, there was no comforting me. There was no easing my mind or mending the hurt and anger.
“You want us to stay with you?” Hazel asked.
“No, I’m okay. I’m tired. Thanks for stopping by. I had fun,” I said with a faint smile.
“Okay. Well, you call us for anything. I mean it,” Brooke said.
I hugged them and then I went upstairs into my room. I got in my bed. As I laid there crying, I was trying to figure out what did I do to deserve all this pain. What else could go wrong? I was tired of my life always falling apart.