PART VI “No, this can’t be!” Tears began falling from Chantal’s eyes onto the item in her hand. She turned it over and read the expected engraving…I’ll forever love you, Chanti. She was staring down on the 14k gold wrist watch she purchased Deon for their first wedding anniversary. “Chantal, are you leaving?” Kyla’s drowsy voice startled Chantal out of her devastation. “It was you!” “What?” Kyla gazed, baffled by her statement. “You slept with my husband!” “I…what?” Kyla was fully alert now. She wasn’t sure she heard that statement clearly. Before she could pose the question again, Chantal rushed her and seized her by her hair. Digging her nails into Kyla’s scalp she shoved the watch into Kyla’s face with the other hand. “*****! I gave this to him on our anniversary. You ****** my husband.” “Ooouucchhh….Chantal, I’m sorry! I didn’t know…” Kyla’s screeched out. “You didn’t know…what the **** do you mean you didn’t know! That $3000 band on his hand should have told you he was a married man.” “I didn’t…I…I…” “I…I…I…didn’t what *****. You didn’t care?! It’s obvious you didn’t care! Then you took advantage of my ***.” “What?! You came onto me…” “The hell I did! You knew what I was going through. Getting me drunk and ****! You’re nothing but a triflin *** ***. How many other marriages have you ruined?” Chantal was enraged. Her face felt like it was on fire. This was the woman that seduced her husband. Chantal yanked Kyla up by her hair and hurled her up against the wall. She wrapped her hands around Kyla’s neck and began choking her. Kyla pounded on her arms trying to free herself from Chantal’s grip. But the harder she struggled the stronger Chantal’s grip became. Chantal’s gray eyes were now blackened and her stare was of death. Images of Deon kissing and fondling Kyla raced through Chantal’s mind. “All I remember is this lady coming up to me and whispering something into my ear. Next thing I know, I wake up in a strange bed…a strange room…a strange house! Baby, believe me, I’m sorry…I’m truly sorry!” Deon’s voice hummed through her head. Suddenly Chantal froze and her hold loosened around Kyla’s neck. “What am I doing?” She promptly let go and Kyla slide down the wall sobbing. “I’m sorry Chantal…I’m sooo sorry. It was a simple mistake….we were drunk and dancing…then one thing led to another....I’m so so sorry!” Kyla cried out. Chantal just glared down at Kyla, who was now lying on the ground in a fetal position rocking back and forth. How did I end up here? God I need to get out of here. Chantal grabbed her things and ran out the door not caring that she was still missing her shoe. She jumped in her car, rested her head against the steering wheel and began to wail. She cried for what seemed like an hour. Maybe this is all just a bad dream. Any minute now I’m going to wake up wrapped in my husband’s arms on a beautiful warm sunny Saturday morning. Chantal squeezed her eyes tightly shut just waiting to wake up but to no avail she was still drowning in her misery. With tears overflowing her eyelids she started up the car and headed towards I-85, full speed. She wasn’t sure what she was going to say or if they would be able to fix this critical mistake but she had to get home. *********************** Deon was awoken by the telephone ringing. He jumped up and fumbled to punch the talk button on the cordless. “Hello…Hello?” “Hello, Mr. Waller?” an unfamiliar voice rang back through the receiver. “Yes, this is he.” He answered with the sound of disappointment in his tone. “I’m calling from Northside Hospital. I’m sorry to inform you but your wife was involved in a major automobile accident and…” before the nurse could complete her statement Deon had keys in hand and sprinted towards the front door. He jumped in his Navigator, charged out of the driveway, and raced towards the hospital like Mario Andretti. Weaving in and out of traffic at 95mph, Deon couldn’t help but think the worse. He clutched the steering wheel and began to pray. Lord, please don’t take my beautiful wife away from me. I need her in my life. I’m nothing without her. She doesn’t deserve this, Lord. Please, we always kept you first in our marriage. I’m coming to you with head bowed Lord and asking you to please spare my love. I need her! Please let her be okay. Please. Please. Please… Deon wiped away his tears. He arrived in front of the hospital in record time; quickly located the parking lot, parked, and raced to the emergency room. He reached the front desk gasping for air; he frantically asked the petite Asian nurse located at the front desk, which room his wife was in. “I’m sorry sir but…Deon felt his heart plummeting…they still have her in the operating room.” “Operating room…Is she all right?” “Right now sir, I don’t have all the details but if you would just take a seat in the waiting room; the doctor will update you as soon as he can. Oh and sir, can you please complete this insurance information.” The nurse handed Deon a clipboard and directed him to the waiting room. As he sat there staring at the forms, the letters seemed to reposition on the page. Suddenly, he was dyslexic; all the words seemed upside down and backwards. When he was finally able to read the words and tried to fill out the forms his hands were shaking. Finally, he gave up and laid the clipboard aside. ****…tell me this is all a bad dream.