(NOTE: Contains explicit language and adult themes suitable for ages 16+)
© K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to K.L. Hall and www.authorklhall.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
When I was a little girl, I prided myself on getting a good education, saying my prayers at night and before each and every meal, and most importantly, finding a man who I could build my future with, the king to my queendom if you will. My king was Terrence Cordell Love.
Have you ever known what it feels like to love somebody to death? That’s how I felt about Terrence. He was everything to me. We were so in tune with one another, if he were to get shot, I would feel the bullet pierce through my skin and bleed. We were one, you hear me? One being. One entity. One everything. However, don’t get me wrong, Terrence Love was no saint. No indeed. In fact, he was far from it…
February 14, 2017
I laid awake that night, unsettled and battling with the insomnia of my emotions. Terrence was lying next to me with his back turned, sleeping peacefully like a newborn baby. I turned my head to stare as his back and that’s when I heard the muffled vibration from the iPhone tucked deep inside his pants pocket. Knowing it was well after one in the morning, I rolled my eyes. This nigga must think I’m stupid, I thought to myself.
Being the proud nosey female that I am, I crept out of bed, grabbed his True Religion jeans and made my way into the bathroom adjacent to our master bedroom. As soon as I locked the door, I sat on the toilet and dug in his pockets. His phone was vibrating consistently like a washing machine. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before looking at the screen. Nah, fuck this, I thought as I dug into his other pocket.
"Bingo," I whispered, as I pulled out a freshly rolled blunt and red BIC lighter.
I put the blunt up to my lips and sparked the flame, inhaling slowly. My nerves were jumping around my body like frogs and I needed something to calm me down. Once the smoke filled my lungs, I could instantly feel my body start to relax. Although I wasn't ready to face the truth, it was time for me to find out exactly what Terrence had been hiding from me. I pulled the smoke into my lungs once more as my eyes darted from right to left across the screen. I sat there, rereading the text messages between him and an unsaved number repeatedly as the pain vibrated my chest. How could he? I thought to myself as I looked down at my ring finger.
You see, there was no ring on it, but Terrence and I had agreed that jewelry was for show and wouldn’t solidify the bond between us, so instead of visiting Jacob the Jeweler, we visited Travis at the nearby tattoo shop and carved each other’s initials into the skin of our ring fingers. I thought it was romantic at the time. Terrence made me feel like everything we did was new and something exciting that no other couple had ever done before. That was six months ago. In that moment, I felt like the stupidest woman on earth. Most women could pawn a ring or even flush it down the toilet, but every time I caught a glimpse of my hand, I would be reminded of him. It would be a constant reminder of his infidelity and his lies branded on my skin.
I shook my head and continued to read the messages that were tearing me apart word by word. By the looks of it, he’d been conversing with that unsaved number for weeks, maybe even longer. He was reciting the same words to some bitch as if she held the same clout as me, his wife, as if he was an actor in a movie. That’s when I realized our entire three-year relationship was a facade. It was all pretend. Maybe I never had him. Maybe I never would.
When Terrence and I first met, it was magical, for me at least. I got pregnant after only having sex with him a few times. I should’ve known better back then, but I didn’t. All the signs were there. He had two other baby mamas who each swore they were the apple of his eye. He was still in a “relationship” with the second baby mother, Veronica, when he got with me. She hated my guts back then and she still does. I bet she would have laughed right in my face if she saw me then. Serves me right, I guess. Anyway, for years, I’d been a sucker for him; turning a blind eye to his infidelity and his lies. I guess if you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife, you can’t turn a fuckboy into a good husband either. Now, before you start judging and pointing the finger, hear me out. I only stayed with him because of our son, Akeem. I didn't want him to be a statistic. You know, another black boy growing up without knowing what it was like to have a full-time father around. I didn't want to be just another one of Terrence’s "baby mothers" either, but if the shit didn't work, it didn't work.
I smeared my tears and mascara against the back of my hand as I read the words that made my heart stop. “I love you too, and I can’t wait for our prince to be born.”
I never knew what it felt like to die until that very moment. I had died a thousand deaths by just reading 14 words. There I was, thinking things were going fine, while he had plans to run off and start a new life with a bitch who he didn’t even care enough about to save her number in his phone. Or was it me and our son that he didn’t care about? Or his other two children? At that moment, I didn’t know. I didn’t know if any of it mattered either. I had so much hope for the two of us, but in the blink of an eye, it had all disappeared.
I stared at myself in the mirror, but all I could see were the text messages looking back at me. My thoughts were consumed by the words he’d sent to some other bitch. The bitch who thought that she was going to get my husband and take my family away from me. The bitch who thought that she was going to easily rip my heart out of my chest and I would give up breathing just like that. No. Hell no. Fuck no! I loved him. He was mine. He was always going to be mine until death did us part. Terrence was my king, but I never knew I had placed him on a pedestal until he was too high for me to reach. So high up that he could walk all over me and disregard our vows whenever he saw fit to scratch an itch. I’m even ashamed to say that at times, I worshipped him like a false idol. It was the good things that kept me in line, you know? From his kisses to his touch, to the family photos of the three of us hung up high in frames like my most prized possession.
Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was smile, laugh, play and be loved? That’s because when you’re young, adults teach you about how it’s the right thing to do to be good to people, to spread love and to be kind. But what happens when you’ve done all you can and you don’t get the same thing in return? The more time I spent in the bathroom, the closer I came to the revelation of my bittersweet love story. When I needed comfort, he gave me dick. When I needed reassurance, he gave me blank stares and excuses. When I needed love, he gave me sugarcoated lies. That’s when I realized that my love was never enough to make him want to step down from that pedestal. My love was never enough to break him out of the fuckboy mentality he’d etch-a-sketched in his brain. My love was never enough for him because my love was never enough for me. I didn’t love myself enough to know when enough was enough or that the cat and mouse game shit was for suckers.
With Terrence, I knew I couldn’t just go out and fuck his homeboy or have a random one-night stand with another man. That wouldn’t be enough. I longed for the sympathy that I knew I was never going to get. But I knew what I would get. Revenge. That was the only thing that would get him the fuck out of my system for good. Just that hint of satisfaction in my most desperate and vulnerable hour made me snap. I hit the blunt one last time, then ashed it and put it out in the sink. My eyes were bloodshot red and puffy. I splashed some water on my face, closed my eyes and prayed to God for forgiveness for what I was about to do.
"Amen," I mumbled and then turned on my heels to walk out of the bathroom with his phone in the pocket of my sweatpants.
I swung the door open and let the smoke that packed the bathroom filter into the bedroom. The fresh air was cool against my skin. I looked over at him with disgust written all over my face. Forgiveness was a hard pill to swallow and I was gagging. I walked out of our bedroom and down the hall into our son’s room. He was an angel, but not even he could take away the amount of pain and rage boiling inside me. I walked over to the side of his bed and bent down to kiss his forehead.
“Mommy loves you, Akeem,” I whispered in his ear and then gently closed the bedroom door behind me.
I stood in the hallway, staring at the door frame to our bedroom, frozen in my step for a few seconds. Possibly contemplating, reconsidering the extent of my premeditated actions even. The longer I stood, the more I could feel the watered seed of doubt blossoming in the back of my mind. It’s now or never. He hurt you, Chan. Are you really going to let him get away with what he did to you? He got you out here looking crazy. He’s playing you! You need to show him what’s up! Payback is a bitch; I heard all the voices scream to me inside my head. Nevertheless, I walked back into our bedroom and opened his nightstand drawer. His silver pistol was buried underneath old receipts and other knickknacks that were just taking up space. I slowly pulled it out of the drawer and held it in my hand, getting used to the weight. I’d held a gun plenty of times before, but never that one. His pistol, or the ‘Silver Bullet’ as he called it, was his favorite piece.
"Wake up, Terrence," I said, pointing the gun to his back.
"What?" He mumbled, still half asleep.
"I said wake up! What is this, huh?" I asked, holding up his cell phone in my other hand.
He took one look at me before I threw it at him, hitting him in the side of the head. He groaned in pain.
“Yo, Chan, what the fuck is your problem?” he yelled, gripping the side of his head.
“You know exactly what my problem is! How could you cheat on me and get a bitch pregnant, T?”
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Stop playing dumb and be man enough to own up to your shit! It’s right there in black and white!”
“Just hold up a second and put my gun down! What are you even doing with that shit, huh? You gon’ shoot me? Over some bitch?” he yelled.
I slowly turned my head from left to right, cracking my neck. I could feel beads of sweat populating on my forehead and in the palm of my hand. My index finger was wrapped around the trigger like wrapping paper on a birthday present. I slowly backed away from him and flipped on the bedroom light. Our eyes landed right on each other’s. I searched his eyes for a trace of me, but all I could see was fear. I guess maybe if I would’ve saw remorse, repentance or even sorrow, it would’ve halted me. Stopped me dead in my tracks, you know? But his fear…that just fueled me.
“Why? Wasn’t I good to you? Huh? What did I do to deserve this?” I married you! Even with the two babies and all the fucking baby mama drama, I fucking agreed before God to love and cherish you for the rest of my life! Look at what you’ve done to me! I’m a fucking mess and it’s all because of you!” I screamed.
“Look, Chan. I fucked up, aight? I can’t change the present situation, I’m not a magician…but baby please, please just put the gun down. Let’s just talk about it. We can figure this out, together,” he pleaded, trying to reason with me.
“Didn’t anybody ever tell you, you can’t reason with a crazy person?”
“You’re not crazy, baby. I don’t think you’re crazy. You’re just hurt and I get that. That’s on me,” he said, pointing to his chest.
“Oh, now you don’t think I’m crazy? That’s not what you were saying to that bitch!”
Terrence sighed, knowing he couldn’t lie his way out of the tangled web he’d woven for himself.
“You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that,” he nodded.
“I never wanted to do anything but love you,” I said as a single tear slipped down my cheek.
“I know baby, and I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” he said, breathing heavily with his hands in the air.
“And you…all you ever did was take, take, take.”
“Is this what you want? To kill me? I know you don’t want to do this shit, Chan. I know you hate me right now, but even through all that, you still love me. Just put the gun down, baby. Put it down and I promise it’ll be different, okay? I don’t love her. I don’t. I swear to God I don’t. I only love you and my kids, baby. You got my heart. No other broad can take that from you. You still got me, I swear.”
The sounds of his pleads made my ears bleed. My head was spinning a million miles a minute. The air in the room was thin and my vision was getting blurrier by the second. Soon, all I heard was the sound of my heartbeat, increasing with every breath I took.
“You’re right,” I told him as I cocked the gun.
“Chan! Stop! Just think about what you’re doing!” he yelled.
There was no more thinking for me to do. There was no more talking, no more crying, no more anything. My mind was made up.
“I do love you, Terrence. I love you to death,” I told him as I pulled the trigger three times. One bullet for him, one for my broken heart and one for the man I longed for him to be but he never would.
POW, POW, POW
May 3, 2017
So you see, your honor, I would be lying if I sat here and told you that I didn’t mean to kill him, or that I didn’t want to kill him. He deserved it. He deserved every single bullet I lodged into his body that night. In love, just like in life, two people could look at the same thing and see something very different. As for me, I used to see forever, but he didn’t. That night I learned one of the toughest lessons I’d ever learned. Nothing lasts forever…not even love.
With that, I stepped off the stand and was escorted back to my seat with handcuffs wrapped around my wrists. The judge and jury wanted to hear my truth, so I gave it to them. So yeah, I did it. I killed him. Am I sorry about it? Hell no. Truth was, he cheated. Truth was, I still loved him, but I would be lying if I said I would ever forgive him. But hey, that’s just the way love goes...