Lies, Sacrifices, and Alibis

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Chapter 32

Three months later, things were finally back to normal. It took me forever to get back on track at work. One week was all it took to totally disrupt an entire office. It was as if someone ransacked our files. Some were misplaced, receipts missing, and some of the files had disappeared.

Usually, the files were kept in three different areas, the yard, the main file room, and my office. If we were missing a file, one of those two other places would have them, but they were gone from both. I had to get my whole crew to help fix it. That involved a lot of researching and many hours of printing out new receipts, and lots and lots of overtime.

I went to so many meetings, I thought my new position was chairperson. That’s because my ass was in a chair all the time. Too many times the word espionage circled the meeting. Tania and I were the only ones off that radar because we were in California. I found it odd that this happened as soon as I was out of the office. It was as if someone was trying to make my squad look bad.

However, everyone looked at Brian as the one who mishandled things. I argued his case. I told them that he was the obvious mark and that’s why it wasn’t him. I spent hours on the phone with the bigwigs trying to save Brian’s ass. It was no good. They wanted his head on a platter. They needed a scapegoat and he was it. I had no choice but to fire him.

I didn’t like firing people. It was just a mean part of my job. I just ruined someone’s whole month as they had to get another job, wait for money to pay their bills, and feel like a failure. I felt bad. He told me someone set him up. He ranted and raved about how it had to be someone in charge because of the files. There were certain ones he didn’t have access to, yet, he was taking the fall.

It’s hell being the fall guy. I found him another job with a friend of mine making more money. He was thankful, but I did it more to ease my guilt. I couldn’t pile any more on the mountain I already felt. There were too many things that twisted that knife and caused me such heartache, and this was going to add to it. It was better that I got him the job.

I wondered about his claim. Who would set him up and why? I thought about researching to find the answer, but I didn’t want to make waves. After all the researching I had to do to fix the problem, it was easier to find him a less complicated job.

My marriage was a different story…

Mike and I didn’t fight anymore. We rarely did anything together. As far as I was concerned, my marriage was over. You’re probably thinking that was for the best. I thought so too. We were nothing more than roommates. The two of us would get up in the morning and go to work. He was still in bed when I left the house. After work, I would go home and make us dinner. After I finished eating, I wrapped his up and put it in the refrigerator. Usually, I’d fall asleep with the TV on and he still wasn’t home. On the weekends, I swam in the pool while he piddled around the house.

He didn’t boss me around like before, finally learned where the boundaries were and he didn’t cross them. Before he learned, I spent many nights in the guest rooms. At that point, I had slept in all of them. It got to be where we rarely even spoke to each other, we just slept in the same bed.

I woke up one particular morning feeling like shit. It was as if zombies invaded my room, morphing me into one of them. The usual routine when the alarm clock went off was to wake up. I’d jump out of bed and hit the shower. Not this time. Picking that loud bitch up, I slammed it down on the ground, breaking it into a million pieces… so much for the snooze button.

Lying in bed, it was a struggle to keep my eyes open. It almost felt as if I had been asleep for years. My eyes were almost glued shut and had to work to get them open. Sleep… I just wanted more sleep. I laid in bed, wondering when I got up in the middle of the night and downed a full bottle of whiskey. That had to be what happened because I felt like I had a hangover from hell. My stomach hurt, my head ached, and my nipples were on fire. I quickly pulled the blanket off, turning to look at Mike. I knew he did something to me, but I wasn’t sure what. For a split second, I thought he poisoned me.

Sitting up, it was finally time to get dressed. I was going to do that small feat. Standing, I felt the room dip on me and my stomach flipped upside down. I was on a ship. I had to be. Stumbling against the rocking, I raced to the bathroom, slamming the door behind me. The noises coming out of the bathroom didn’t sound human at all. I wasn’t sure what sparked that bit of disgust, but it was inhuman.

When I finished throwing up, I brushed my teeth, rinsed out my mouth with Scope, and staggered back to bed. Crawling back under the covers, I waited to die. On Fridays, we didn’t have to worry about getting dressed up. We were allowed to go to work in jeans so I didn’t have to waste energy getting gussied up. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had a few meetings to attend, I would’ve called in sick. I ignored the coffee and muffin. I didn’t think my stomach could handle it.

Grabbing my keys, I headed out the door to pick up Tania not caring that I was makeup-less and looked like death warmed over. On the way, I tuned in to The Kane Show as usual.

“So, we have an interesting show for you this morning. We’re going to do the Roses and on this one, you guys will not believe what happened,” Kane said through the speakers.

“Oh, I knooow. I kept wondering what would possess this woman to even threaten him like that,” Sarah said.

“Some women are truly like that. You think those movies like Dressed to Kill and Skanks R Us aren’t modeled from real people?” Sammy volunteered.

“Oh stop,” Kane told him. “…but we’ll bring that up in ten minutes. Text me or call me and let me know if this makes sense to you. A survey claimed that more men want babies now, more than at any other time. It’s like they’re ready before the women are.”

I rolled my eyes. “Wish mine was more prone to that idea. Then I wouldn’t be so miserable an’ now I’m sick to boot!”

“I don’t believe that,” Sammy said.

“Believe it. It’s true,” both Kane and I said at the same time, for different reasons, obviously.

After I finished talking to the radio, I pulled up to the curb.

Before I honked the horn, Tania came out with her cigarette and coffee in hand. She hopped in the car way too chipper for the way I felt. “So, what’re your big plans for this weekend?”

The smell of her cigarette hit me and I thought I was going to lose my mind. It stunk. I pointed at it, holding my nose. “Ugh, please throw that thin’ out. I feel like I died an’ I’m waitin’ for someone to throw dirt on me.”

“What did ya eat? Maybe it was somethin’ that didn’t agree with ya?”

“I don’t remember what I ate, but that’s what it feels like. I thought about callin’ in sick, but I’ve got that stupid meetin’. Ya know, it’s a damn good thing I didn’t get pregnant because Mike didn’t hear shit this mornin’ an’ I was loud. That means I’d be a single mother.” I pointed at her cigarette. “Hurry or I’m gonna puke on you.”

She quickly shoved the cigarette out the window. Taking a drink from her coffee cup, she looked at me, arching her brow. “Tie one over last night?”

“No. Mike an’ I haven’t really been doin’ much of anythin’ anymore, for about a month now. He goes out an’ does whatever. I stay in an’ swim, or just... think.”

“Oh, my God, are ya still thinkin’ about him after all this time?”

“Yes. I still wanna be in California with Corey, instead of here with Mike. I’ve given up wantin’ a baby. I figured it wasn’t meant to be. I’m not meant to be a mother, but I could have Corey unless of course he’s moved.”

“Wow, you really are cranky this mornin’.”

“I am. I think I got a stomach virus too. Ugh… or I’ve got food poisonin’.” I rubbed my stomach, groaning. “I guess this is my payback, my punishment for sinnin’. As long as I don’t eat, an’ barely drink I’m okay. They last what… twenty-four hours?”

“Unless it’s food poisonin’. That could be days… weeks.”

I glared at her. “Ya know… I’ve never wanted to hit you more than I do right now.”

“Don’t kill the messenger. I didn’t do this to ya.”

I got to work and managed to get through the day. I wasn’t sure how, though. Anytime I had a little sip of water or a bite of candy, it came back up. I was on my way back to my office when I was literally yanked off my feet and pulled into the women’s bathroom.

Staggering, stumbling, I caught myself against the wall. Turning just in time to see Tania locking the bathroom door, I arched a brow while looking at her. “Yeah, there’s nothin’ weird about this. I hope ya don’t do this to all the women.”

“Have ya had to pee more than normal?”

If my expression looked surprised before it was nothing to the one she got now. “Correction… this shit just got really weird.”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m serious! Have ya?”

“Yes. I take a drink… I have to pee. I think I have a bladder infection to go with the food poisonin’.”

“Are your nipples sore?”

Looking at her in shock, I furrowed my brows. I wasn’t sure what shocked me more. The fact that she asked me such a question, at work no less, or that she knew. “How do ya know that? I didn’t tell ya. My nipples are so sore it’s like walkin’ around without a bra.”

“When’s the last time ya had a period?”

“I… don’t know. I wasn’t keepin’ track anymore. I think two months ago, maybe?”

Tania jumped up and down. She was so excited, I thought she was going to have heart failure. “You’re finally gonna make me an aunt!”

Correction, I was going to have heart failure.

“Slow down! You’re just assumin’ things from food poisonin’, bladder infection, an’ that Mike got a little rough on my nipples.”

“Did Mike get rough on your nipples?”

“No. I get sick at the smell of food cookin’. It’s food poisonin’ an’ I slept on my boobs wrong.”

She slowly shook her head. “No. You’re pregnant. However, it’s better to be on the safe side. I think ya should schedule an appointment an’ go make sure. What could it hurt? If you’re not, they’ll give ya somethin’ for your food poisonin’ an’ bladder infection an’… n-nipple issues, but if ya are…”

I thought she was being ridiculous. I wasn’t pregnant. I couldn’t be. I’d already given up on that. “I don’t think I’m pregnant, but I do wanna get something for this food poisonin’. Can ya get a ride home?”

“Don’t worry about me. I have an unlimited supply of guys who can give me a ride home, but call me an’ let me know what he says.”

“Don’t get your hopes up.”

I had my hopes up high enough for the both of us. She had my mind reeling about the possibility that I was. I called and set up an emergency appointment with my doctor.

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