What You Do in the Dark Will Come to Light
by Aujeahnaie B. Reed
The bells above the door chimed as I walked in.
“Good morning.” I greeted everyone.
“Hey.” “Hello” “What’s up?” “Mornin’” and a couple of bro’ man nods was what greeted me as I made my way to my designated station.
It’s ten o’clock on a beautiful Saturday morning and my first client wasn’t until eleven. I began to unpack the various items I took home with me yesterday. I could leave them here, but I don’t trust half these people here. Hence, I take home the things I know they will use without permission: my curlers, sheen, spritz, some of my good combs, hair dryer, things like that.
I had finished unpacking and had asked if any of the hairdressers wanted me to shampoo one of their waiting clients.
“Yeah, could you wash and deep condition Lisa for me?” Faith, the girl that was stationed next to me, asked.
“Sure.” I walked over to where Lisa was sitting reading a VIBE magazine with Ja Rule on the cover.
“Lisa? Come on and I’ll shampoo you for Faith.”
“A’ight,” she said as she stood up.
She carried the magazine with her to the shampoo bowl. I placed a cloth neck strip around her neck and a pink vinyl drape over her. As she lay back, she opened the magazine to finish reading the article on Ja Rule.
“Girl, he is so fine,” I commented.
“Ty’Isha, you ain’t never lied.”
“I made my husband buy me tickets to his concert next month.”
“Shit. I wish I could go. I gotta work that day.”
"When I see Ja, I’ll tell him you said hi.” We laughed at my little jokey-joke.
I had shampooed and put the conditioner in Lisa's hair and placed her under the hooded drier when the phone rang.
“I got it,” I yelled.
“Sophisticated Ladies may I help you?”
“Do ya’ll do jeri curls?” I recognized the voice of Deon, my husband of six years.
“Yes, we do. Why don’t you come on in so I can curl your jeri?”
“Ohh, you nasty. Do yo’ man know you talk like that?”
“Of course he does. Who do you think taught jeri how to curl?”
“Girl, you crazy.” I could hear him laughing that sexy laugh of his.
“Naw, just crazy about you. Where you at?”
“Shopping.” That’s one thing I love about my husband, he loves to shop as much as I do.
“What you get me?”
“Huh? Who said I was shopping for you?” I could hear the smile in his voice. Neither one of us could go shopping without getting the other something.
“Anyway. What you doing today? Besides shopping.”
While we were talking, my client walked in.
“Hey, Whitney. You can sit in the chair, I’ll be right over.” I said before she could settle in the waiting area.
“Hey, bring me something to eat,” I asked of my husband.
“Does this look like Deon’s catering service to you?” He joked.
“Yeah. So bring me some of whatever you eat for lunch.”
“How many clients do you have today?” He questioned.
“Not many. After Whitney, I have a one-thirty; a three o’clock and…I think that’s it. Why?”
“Whitney? You client’s name is Whitney? What does she look like?”
“What are you? Secret service? Why all the questions.”
“No reason. Ok, I’ll be there with a piping hot dish for my baby.” He said.
“Oh, you’re sweet. I gotta go. Love you.”
“Love you more.” He said before we disconnected.
After we hung up, my mind drifted briefly to the questions he was asking me about my client.
I shrugged it off and thought no more about it.
“Hey, Whitney. Sorry for the delay,” I apologized.
“You straight. What’s up?”
We chitchatted for a minute while I based her scalp for a perm when her cell phone chimed.
“Hold up a minute, please,” she said.
While she talked I pre-occupied myself with looking in the mirror at my own hair. Damn, I need a perm. I'll ask Faith to hook me up later.
While I was examining my new growth, and new gray hairs, I caught snippets of Whitney's conversation.
“Getting my hair done. I did tell you. For a while now. No. I told you I would. Yes I did. Do that and I will run my mouth and tell all your business.” She closed the phone.
Damn, whoever she was talking to was doing something they had no business doing.
"Alright. I'm ready, Isha," she informed me.
"You sure? 'Cause the way you slammed the phone closed, I'm thinking you need some personal time to take somebody out," I commented.
"Naw. That was this guy I'm seeing. He's married and I'm threatening to tell his wife if he don't start acting right."
I'm thinking, what the hell does she mean, act right? The man is married and sleeping with you. What made her think he would even tell his wife that he was cheating?
"Hmm." Was what came out of my mouth.
"I know what you're thinking. Why am I even kicking with somebody else's man? Hey, he approached me. I knew what I was getting into from the first date. True, I didn't expect things to go this far, but what's happen happened and there's no way to change it." From the look on her face, I could tell she had more on her mind.
Hairdressers are like bartenders; our customers will bear their soul if we leave the door open. And right now, my door and windows were open to hear her problems.
"Whitney, you can change whatever has happened. Stop seeing him. You know that man is married, and his wife is obviously in the dark about his indiscretions, so just let the man go. What makes you think that he would leave his wife for you? And even if he did, who's to say he would be faithful to you and he's not faithful now? Why should you be the one to break up a happy home?" I'm telling her piece of advice and in the back of my head I'm thanking the good Lord that my husband has never strayed.
"Ty'Isha, I can't change it. It's gone too far. I'm 3 months pregnant and I want to tell his wife so bad. But, I know if I tell her, she'll be devastated."
"Why should you be the one to spill the beans? And if you know her, don't tell me you are looking this woman in the face on the regular and not saying a damn thing. And why would she be devastated? Because he'll be a better father to your child than he probably is to theirs? Come on and let me rinse you out." Ohh, this was getting sticky, I thought as I led her to the shampoo bowl to rinse the perm out of her hair.
"I do know her. I see her just about every week. The guy doesn't know that I know who she is, until recently. But what he failed to realize is that I've been to their house and I've seen the pictures of their life on the walls, fireplace, next to their bed. So I know what she does for a living and I guess my curiosity got the best of me, so...I went to where she works and....striked up a conversation with her. And to answer your other question they don't have any children. She can't get pregnant."
Damn, that’s fucked up. I can’t imagine seeing the broad my husband is cheating on me with and not even know what’s going on. Damn, and that not being able to have children, I know how that feels. I can't get pregnant either. I have severe endometriosis and the only way I would be able to have a baby, would be to have artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization. Deon knows this and we both decided that if after ten years of marriage, a tiny miracle hasn't occurred, we would look into adoption. We have four more years to go.
I could hear my clock ticking so loud that it keeps me awake at night. Here I am, twenty-seven years old, and I don't have anything to call my own. Yes, I own a home, I have a new car, a successful husband (Deon's a morning radio personality for one of the top radio stations in Detroit), a wonderful nine-to-five (I'm an assistant to the director of a local television station), and I get to do what I love, hair. My dream is to own my own shop one day, I'm working on it.
"Isha! Isha!" I heard a frantic voice interrupting my thoughts.
"What?" I yelled back.
When my eyes focused on what I was doing, I learned that I had practically drowned poor Whitney. I had water all over the place.
"Oh my God. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." I rushed to my station to grab some towels and ran back to where Whitney was shaking water out of her ears.
"Isha, it's ok. It’s ok. I'm fine. Are you ok?"
"Yeah. I guess I got a little preoccupied in my own thoughts. I'm so sorry."
I'm standing here apologizing to her and the entire shop is just cracking up.
"Damn, Ty'Isha. I can't believe she did that. Oh my Jesus. She soaked the hell out of that girl." And a few other thoughts were what I heard coming from the people laughing like they were at Coco's House of Comedy.
After the laughter died down and Whitney was partly air dried, I began styling her hair.
I was gluing the weave around her ponytail when I heard the door chimed. I had my back to the door and I didn't pay it any attention until I heard some ladies commenting: "Damn, who is he?" "I hope he's the delivery man because I can give him a tip he'll never forget." After hearing that, I just had to look up and so who this man was.
Hmmm. He is fine. Tall, dark skinned, chiseled body, beautiful legs, and headed for my station.
"Hey baby." The deep, sexy voice sang right before he laid his plump lips on my cheek.
"Damn. That's her man?" "Lucky her." "I wonder if he has a twin?" "Shit. Fuck a twin. I'll take brother, cousin, uncle, hell, daddy if he's available." Were the comical comments I heard.
"Hey babe. What's up?" I asked.
"Shit. Here." He handed me a white restaurant paper bag.
"Thanks. Put it next to my hair dryer for me. What is it?"
“Food,” he said smartly.
“Ha, ha. What mall did you go to?” I asked as I twirled Whitney around in the chair so she could face me.
“I went to Somer…” And his voice trailed off when he laid eyes on Whitney.
I was so busy trying to make sure Whitney’s ponytail was straight, that I didn’t notice the electricity of nervousness that went between she and my husband.
“Deon, where did you go?” I asked a second time.
It was then that I looked at my husband in the eye and followed to what he was focused on. My eye trail led to Whitney’s soul. It was there that I re-heard our conversation from earlier. It was there that I payed closer attention to her phone conversation. My brow started wrinkling and a question was on my lips when my husband broke the tension.
“I’m sorry, hon. I went to Somerset and I happened to stop in Victoria’s Secret.” He said with a half smirk.
“Oh really. What did you buy?” My eyes never left Whitney’s. I was desperately trying to peek back into the window of her soul.
“Nothing. Just wanted to see the half naked mannequins.”
I playfully punched him on the arm. “You are so silly.”
“Hey, Deon.” Faith said as she sauntered past him on her way to the shampoo area.
“Hey girl,” he responded.
“Well, Isha, I’ll see you at home. I’m about to go over to my mother’s and then I’m supposed to meet Jerry and ‘em at the bar later.” He explained with the keys to his Escalade dangling from his fingers.
“What time will you be home?”
“Well, if you beat me home, call me so I can be on my way.” I leaned in for my good-bye kiss, which never came. I turned just in time to his broad back and plump ass push open the door to the shop and then he was gone.
Later that night, while I was folding clothes and talking on the phone to Krystal, my best friend, I heard a knock at the front door.
“What the hell?” I said cutting Krys off in the middle of her gossip.
“What’s wrong?” She said in a worried voice.
“Girl, somebody’s at the damn door at one-thirty in the damn morning.” I said while getting off my comfortable spot in the middle of the den where I was folding sheets and listening to Wil Downing.
“You gone answer it? Where’s Deon?” Krys asked.
“He’s sleep. He came in about an hour ago. What if it’s some house invaders or something?” I had a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach as I tiptoed to the door.
“Well, don’t hang up the phone. Ask who it is. If something’s amiss yell, and I’ll call the police while I’m getting in my car to come over there and kick some ass.” She is such a mother hen.
“Yes, Mother.” I whispered while standing on my toes to peek through the peephole.
“Well,” she whispered.
“It’s a lady.” I said as I strained my eyes focusing on the ponytail that was sitting atop the strangers’ head.
“It’s too late for Avon to be calling. Do you recognize her?” She kept whispering.
“Why are you whispering? She can’t hear you.”
I chuckled. “Who is it?” I yelled with my hand on the doorknob.
“It’s Whitney,” the mysterious lady said.
“Well,” Krys asked. “Who is it?”
“Whitney,” I said as I was unlocking the door.
“Houston?” She said sounding stupid.
I laughed. “No fool. It’s one of my clients.” Why is she here? How does she know where I live? What does she want?
“Why is she there? How she know where you live? What she want?” Damn, is there and echo in here?
“I don’t know.” I opened the first door, but kept the black security screen door locked.
“Hey. What’s up?” I said as I took a good look at her. She looked like she had been crying.
Again, why was she here ran through my mind. It’s not like we hang or anything. She comes in every Saturday to get her hair done, we talk about meaningless shit. I don’t think she knows my last name let alone where I live. This seemed strange.
“Krys, I’ll call you back.” I hung up before she could protest.
“Whitney, come in. What’s wrong?” I unlocked the door and swung it open so she could step inside.
“Thanks,” she sniffed.
After she came in and I locked the door, we just stood in the hallway. Me looking at her and her looking at anything but me.
“Look, I’m gone cut to the chase. What do you want and how did you know where I lived?” I said.
She slowly lifted her head to look me in the eye. Fresh tears started welling up in her eyes before she spoke.
“Ty’Isha, it’s no easy way for me to say this. But, you know you’ve been doing my hair for about 8 months, now.”
“Well...,” she started and then stopped.
“What? Are you leaving me for another stylist? Spit it out.”
“I’ve been sleeping with your husband. It’s his child I’m carrying.”
I don’t remember what happened after she said that. I don’t remember running away from her. I don’t remember running up the stairs. I don’t remember swinging the door to my bedroom open. I do remember jumping on my husband.
“What the fuck?” He yelled as he reached out to grab my fists from hitting him again.
He flipped me over on the floor, which only made me madder.
“Ty’Isha Janine Montgomery! What the hell is your problem?” he yelled as he jumped on top of me trying to pin me to the floor.
“Get the fuck off me! Get the fuck off me!” I screamed as tears streamed down my face.
“Ty’Isha. Calm down,” he screamed.
Neither one of saw Whitney standing in the doorway. We only heard her voice.
“Deon,” she said quietly.
He and I both stopped struggling long enough to look at her.
“Whitney?” He questioned like he’s never seen her before in his life.
“Deon. She knows. I told her.” She explained while tears of shame, hurt, and pain streamed down her cheeks.
My husband of six beautiful years looked me in the eye and said nothing. He loosened his death grip from around my wrists and gradually got off me.
Whitney was still standing in the doorway, I was lying on the floor rubbing my wrists and Deon was sitting on the floor with his back up against the side of the bed, rubbing is head.
“Well?” I broke the deafening silence while still staring at the ceiling.
“Well? Is it true?” I said as I struggled to sit upright. I scooted myself back until my back was leaning against the wall.
My husband just sat there looking stupid.
“I’m guessing by the silence from both of you, that it is true. Why, Deon? Why?”
“Answer me gotdammit!” I yelled right before I reached over and smacked the shit out of him.
“I don’t know,” he yelled while massaging the side of his face.
“You don’t know? What type of shit is that?” I turned and looked at Whitney, who by now had slumped in a heap by the door.
“Whitney? How long have you been fucking my bastard of a husband?”
“For almost a year.” She whispered.
“A year?!” I yelled. “A fucking year! A muthafucking year!” I screamed while jumping at Deon.
“Muthafucka I’m gonna kill you. How fucking dare you.” I was crying, kicking, screaming, biting, scratching, I was hitting him like he was a bitch on the street.
I guess he finally got tired of me kicking his ass, so he slapped me to calm me down.
“Ty’Isha!” he yelled. “Listen,” he started and took a deep breath. “I didn’t plan this. It just sort of happened. I had no idea that Whitney would do that. I swear to you, I had no idea that she was going to the shop. Until today.”
Then it hit me, that’s why he asked me what my client looked like. So, he’s who Whitney was talking to when I was perming her hair. I wondered how many times he had called her while she was at the shop grinning and talking in my face. All the while she’s looking at me and talking to me, while I’m doing her hair, making her look like something, just so she can look good while fucking my husband.
“Bitch!” I yelled while I jumped up and leaped over to where Whitney was sitting and crying on my damn floor. I grabbed her ponytail. The ponytail I put in her head this afternoon. I snatched that muthafucka and some of her real hair out her head before Deon could get to me.
“Ty’Isha! Stop she’s pregnant.” He yelled as he grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me away from her.
Then it dawned on me. He had told her that I couldn’t get pregnant. That made me even madder. But by this time, I was tired. I was tired of fighting.
So, I walked away. I walked away from them lying muthafucka’s and went downstairs. I went into the living room, grabbed my purse off of one of the glass end tables, snatched my keys from the glass coffee table and walked towards my front door.
I glanced back to see the two of them coming down the stairs.
“Ty’Isha. Don’t leave. Please, let’s talk,” my sorry ass husband pleaded.
“Oh, no. I’m not leaving for good. I’m leaving to give you enough time to get your shit out of my house. I don’t care where you go. I can really give less than a fuck. I do, however want you and all your shit gone. I’ll be back and you and definitely you, better not be here,” I said before I slammed the door.
I pushed the keyless entry button on my Lexus GS 400, opened the door, threw my purse on the passenger side and closed it back.
I then walked over to the side of the fence that separates our yard, from our neighbors’s and searched. I found what I was looking for, picked it up, and walked over to where my husband’s Cadillac was sitting.
I then proceeded to throw all four bricks that I had in my hand at his windshield, back window, driver’s side window, and with the last brick, I held it tightly in my hand and scratched up his car. I walked from the front to the back and back around.
I dropped the brick and walked back to my car. I got in, started it up, and took off.