“Girl, she kick in my room door, she crazy!” he shrugged when I asked him about his ex. He even flung his wrist just as dismissively. And just like that the relevance of his last relationship which lasted three years was diluted to one sentence. Now I’m the crazy one, I thought, as my chest heaved and my own blood dripped from my right fist.
The drive home was tense. We had maybe three fights while on the road. Two were about her, the other one was about my inability to give directions which could be clearly read on Waze. We passed the market and I managed to get a clear view of the baby blue dumpster and I chuckled.
Earlier that week I discovered her ID card in his wallet. I debated if to launch an investigation into his increasing laundry list of lies. I debated if to confess to him that I knew he was lying yet again. Instead, I left for work. As I passed the market, I came up to the baby blue dumpster. I analyse the card one last time, staring hard at her birth-date ‘1993’. Then, I chucked it. It bumped the rim then fell in.
We pulled into the street and as my duty required, I opened the gate and he drove in. He barked at me for not getting my keys ready immediately because he and our daughter had to wait for me to open the door. As I ushered our daughter in, his cell rings. His face tensed, then he walked towards the back yard.
After I set up our daughter with a snack I followed the sound of his hushed voiced. I found him hunched like he was hiding a secret. He explained to the caller that he was just wrapping up and would be there soon. Over his shoulder I facetiously questioned, “Customer?” He carefully covered the screen with his chest but by now my eyes were slick to his movements. I saw the ‘K’, the first letter in her afro-centric middle name, a contrast to her very euro-centric first name. But the bitch was all Trini. He attempted to dismiss me with the flick of his wrist, urging me to go inside. Ever the good wifey, I obeyed, right after I shouted, “Tell the bitch to get a new ID card because the old one in Sea Lots by now.” then I strutted inside, but felt inspired to hasten my stride when I heard him end the call.
” You did what?!” With a sense of morality on my side I squinted at him smugly. He was always shorter than me. According to his ID card, I had a solid 1.5 inches over him. But he was broad, thick shoulders from the couple years he spent playing American football for his high school in Brooklyn. His waistline filled out over the near decade of our life together. He had a dense build, his fat and muscle intertwined due to years inconsistent exercise, mashed potatoes and stewed beef.
“I found it in your wallet and I don’t want nothing for that bitch in my house so I threw it away!” He flushed from caramel brown to bright red, gritting his teeth and contorting his face like someone stomped on his big toe. He slowed his speech as if talking to a child but his volume raised with every word, “Are you crazy? Why the fuck would you throw it away? That’s illegal!”
I mocked his speech pattern but keeping my voice down, “Why the fuck is it in my house?” Recognising his volume and the fact that our front door was wide open, he feigned calm, “Baby, I had it a long time now. You could have just told me you found it and you don’t want it in the house and I would have gotten rid of it.” I felt my face and neck become inflamed, but while my melanin didn’t betray the rage. My voice did. “Why is it in your wallet in the first place? Why is it here? Why do you have it?” I watched him straight his eyes, I glanced left then right then at his mouth. The corners of his lips would always curl into a slight smirk when he’s about to lie. And curl they did. Before a sound escaped his mouth, I mentally dismissed him, throwing my hands the air. Simultaneously, I aimed for the open front door.
The sound of his left hand connecting with my right cheek was dwarfed by my immediate howl. It was more the shock of the slap than the actual pain that made me cry. I sobbed harder when my daughter surfaced, she rushed to my side to comfort me. I didn’t want comforting. I wanted immediate vengeance. With tears in my eyes I picked up our daughter and placed her on the foot of the stairs. As I was getting up, he had already darted out the door and headed for the back yard. I instructed her to go upstairs into her room and don’t come down. She questioned my request while simultaneously obeying.
I stepped outside, my face wet, my cheek stinging from the rage and the slap. Our eyes connected and he made strides towards the driver’s door. My blood, while clinging to my face and head, it made a detour around my brain. He attempted to apologize. He attempted to explain that he’d go cool off by his cousin. I heard none of it. I kicked the passenger door, screaming that he spend the night by his slut. Sitting in the driver’s seat, he shrieked, “You fucking crazy! Yuh go mash up mih door!”
I am whatever you say I am! And if I wasn’t then why would you say I am!
-The Way I am.
The car was pulling off, I frantically and repeatedly kicked the car door to the passenger seat that he allowed her to sit in like she belonged. He rolled down the window to scream for me to stop. I pulled at the wing mirror, spinning it attempting to rip it off. My rage and adrenaline wasn’t sufficient. Instead I punched it.
By then, the car was in the narrow street. He shrieked, ” What did you do? Are you fucking crazy?” I streaked his white wagon in splashes of crimson, fulfilling my role, because indeed I was mad.