Freeborn: Chapters 8-9
The Decks and the Road
book 1- Freeborn
Erilyn- My Husband was a strong and handsome man. He had so much heart. I knew he still had heart for me, but I didn’t know how much. We were happy to have each other, but I don’t know if we were happy with each other anymore. I saw him every day, but I wasn’t sure if he saw me. We danced around each other, sometimes we bumped into each other, other times we pecked each other on the lips, and we always slept together, but the distance between us continued to grow. I knew the secret I held had always kept me at a distance, but I didn’t know if all the distance between us was my own. Over the years it grew. It felt as though it was too big now to close, and now that Natalie didn’t need us as much, even she looked uncomfortable with it. Each of us looked at it, thought about it, and probably in our own mind examined it, but none of us dared to go near it. Anyway, I had too much respect for my husband and the way he had fought for me when his father was alive, to tell him I was thinking about leaving. Instead, each day I passed the purple cat shaped card I’d picked up in the bathroom at Jennifer’s engagement party, and thought about calling the number. It’s funny, Nathan never seemed to take notice or mention the card, even after so long. After all that wasn’t so surprising. Nathan was not bothersome. He was like this quiet entity you knew you could count on. I didn’t want someone else; I just wanted a different feeling. Sometimes I wanted to shake him and say wake up, but he was too big, and I was too small. The family name alone could crush me, and it did. Everyone knew I wasn’t his wife, and in public I was referred to as Nathan’s lady. It just felt like anyone could have that title—although, his actions said different. He tried. We’d tried. I don’t know… it had worn me down. If I could hide my face, at times I would. This day, I decided to put the card in my purse. I hadn’t decided on calling, but I felt like the move meant progress. Anyway, we had a lot to be proud of in Natalie. She was smart and beautiful. She was always in her own world, but her world was not small. She only mingled with a couple of girls, but they all had big goals and lots of commitments. I enjoyed standing aside and watching her put her life together; even at this age. It was impressive. I hardly got in her way, and she never seemed to need much advice on anything. Even as a child. I always made her breakfast though. It was just a little thing we did together. Sometimes we didn’t speak, but we came and we sat, and our hearts knew what we were saying. I was always the last to leave out in the mornings, and this day when I left, I thought maybe I’d go somewhere after work. It wasn’t etched in stone. It was just a thought.
Dr. Kat Shepherd- I met a guy at a funeral. Hopefully, he’s thinking, “I met a girl at a funeral”, because I don’t have his number. Well, he is more than just a guy. I actually know more about him than he would probably like for me to know. It wasn’t supposed to be a thing. I was just following the protocols. Then his eyes started dancing, and his face started smiling, and none of them wanted to stop. I think my heart wandered a bit on this one. I’m not sure if I have it back with me yet. I didn’t have time to fully consider these things. Mr. Simpleton was coming in. I always needed all my faculties to work with him. He came fully loaded with more wisdom than answers. I sometimes felt as though we would switch places. He made my questions seem small. I still didn’t know why he came. I knew something about his family and an inheritance. After many months this was still all I really had. Anyway, I was trying to relax for the remaining fifteen minutes I had before he was scheduled to come in. Thirty minutes with Mr. Simpleton was like a day in the sun doing construction work. It was more than I had prepared for the first time I met him, but now I knew not to pack my schedule the evening before his days or the hours after he left. I’d tried to get rid of him by raising my prices, but he didn’t blink or ask any questions. So, I had turned my attention on what I could learn from Mr. Simpleton because certainly he felt he had a lot to share. Five minutes hadn’t even passed since I’d sat down, and then I got a knock at the door. My receptionist informing me; Mr. Simpleton had arrived. And that was the other thing, why couldn’t he wait. He always came early, but didn’t seem to acknowledge that fact. He expected to be seen right away. I had learned not to combat his antics. No, it took too much energy from me. So, I got up, and washed my face in my adjoining restroom. I needed to be fully awake for this.
“Good day Mr. Simpleton. Come on in.”
“Hey Kat. How’s it going?” He acted as if we were friends.
“Great. How was your weekend?” I went along.
“Great. Couple of my buddies came down. Had a blast.” He took his place on the sofa with his legs stretched out. I took the moment his back was turned to shake my head.
“Okay, so let’s continue down the path with your brother. Have either of you taken a step towards meeting in the middle?”
“Kat, sometimes the middle is a luxury the ego cannot afford.” He offered with no follow up.
“And what is your definition of a luxury Mr. Simpleton?” I had to try.
“Well, luxuries are the throwaways, you know. The stuff you don’t need.”
“Do you feel your brother is a luxury?”
“I wouldn’t say that. There are always things we don’t throw away, but we never seem to use them or remember where we’ve put them.” He was so laid back; so unreachable. Yet, he spoke so much. It was puzzling to me. But I sometimes enjoyed putting my money to work and testing my knowledge and capabilities.
“What is the outcome you would like to see in this matter Mr. Simpleton?” I’d tried this question before, but I thought to try again.
“Well, you know Kat, if we’re set on the outcome we miss the whole journey.” He laid back with a blue rag he always brought with him covering his face.
“Right, and how would you describe the issue you’re facing with your brother right now?”
“Well, I tell you, I haven’t reached my end yet. He’s a fighter. We both are. I suspect we’ll both fight on.”
“If there was another route you might take, what would it be Mr. Simpleton?”
“This road is in pretty fair condition, but I’m not opposed to other roads.” He may not have heard the question. I don’t know. He was impossible. I glimpsed up at the clock and only eight minutes had passed. I reach into my bottom draw and pulled out my favorite paper weight. It always brought me joy, and got me thinking about all the bliss that awaited me outside of my meetings with Mr. Simpleton. I was officially at the point where I would begin thinking of things I might learn from him.
“Tell me about growing up with your brother?” Now I’d met silence. He was thinking. It was the magic question I thought, and I was right.
“My brother and I have been in contention for a long time… “ I listened and listened, and before I knew it, my alarm sounded. I was relieved, but more importantly I had grown up in my field. Mr. Simpleton had taken me down a trying road, only to bring me to wisdom. All of a sudden, I thought about God. I thought how he was using this man. I also thought about the invite he’d given me again, and the purple card. What if Mr. Simpleton had a bigger role to play than I’d considered? I was intrigued. This time after he left I didn’t feel so abused and beat up. This time I made lots of notes, and when my next client showed up I wished I’d scheduled a bigger gap.
Freeborn, a novel
© Grace Call Communications, LLC
Copyright © 2017 by Natisha Renee Williams
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