When Do You Say....Enough
Traveling down I-95, Lorraine was thinking about Tyrone and how he was never there for her. She reminisced on all of the times she could recall, like when she was stranded on this same highway. She called him from her cell phone that she hardly gets a deal on and no free air time, he put her on hold, came back four minutes later, and then he left her waiting for an hour only to pull up with three friends in the car.
"Baby, I'm sorry it took me so long but Mike's girl put him out and I had to help him move his stuff." he says jumping out of the car to open the passenger side door. See that is the type of stuff he would do, act an ass and a gentleman at the same time.
"Oh while I stay out here on this highway?" She said looking at him the way she does when she is super pissed.
"Baby it's not dark and he sounded vexed."
"And I didn't?"
"Yes, you did. That's why we hurried and got his stuff." He said closing the door and running around to the other side to get up and going again. He knew that she was about to fuss and fight so he wanted to hurry up and get his boys somewhere so they wouldn't see him squirm. Though they already have, they just don't say anything about it. Lorraine watched him as he put the car in gear and drove some ways. She thought about why he was late and looked around for 'Mike's stuff'.
"Where's your stuff Mike?" She asked but looking at Tyrone.
"In the trunk, Loe." He said.
That was the last she said in front of them but she lit into him later for having her wait in the middle of nowhere. Or like that time when he sent a single rose and a note attached saying meet me at our favorite little restaurant at 7:30. She was all excited because that was sweet and romantic and all that stuff, but it sure didn't get any points when he didn't show up. She worried and got all scared, but if nothing's wrong, she would of course have be pissed.
When she got to the door she could hear the stereo blasting some new Ja˙ Z record. He didn't hear her come in and she watched him for a minute and saw that he wasn't injured, listened to him, and then cut the radio off.
"DO YOU NEED A..." He cried out then looked around to see what happened.
"Loe, why you do that?" He said and looked around for the remote.
"What happened to you?" she said trying to sound calm.
"Loe, what are you talking about? Where is the remote?" He said still looking for the dumb thing.
"Tyrone, you know what I am talking about. Is this my normal time getting home after work?"
"No, but I figured you worked late and that you would be home when you were done."
"I am talking about dinner!! What happened to dinner?" She yelled just a little fed up with his absent mindedness.
"What about dinner?" He said and thought for a second. When he remembered he dropped his head.
She went to bed and thought long and hard about all of the little things that she didn't mention, those that she did, and realized that she was more tired of all of that than from being up since 4:30am.
After traveling down the beltway, she thought about when they went to Jamaica for five days, and for five days he stayed high. It was just her luck that he met up with one of his old club pals, hooked up with one of the locals and found some nice weed or what ever they call it down there and stayed high the whole time. She could have left him there and gone back home.
Getting out of the far left-hand lane to the right so that she can make her exit, she remembered the trip home to her Grandmothers in Syracuse NY two years ago. The disaster it was. She certainly couldn't forget when her best friend got married the year before when he made a fool of them both by getting in and catching the bouquet instead of the garter belt and hand it to her just so everyone would know who he was with. She was so embarrassed that she is still apologizing to her friend. Now my favorite is when he made plans to take her on a dinner cruise, it was romantic... and he showed up! Everything was set when he went to surprise her all dressed up in a nice pair of cream wide-leg slacks and a cream ribbed turtleneck and a black blazer with the cowboy boots she bought him on their third anniversary. It was Valentine's day and he was ready to wine and dine her.
"Baby?" He yelled up the stairs to her. By then he had a key and could come and go anytime.
"Hmm?" She said from the family room.
"Come out here." He said still trying to surprise her.
"You come here Ty, I don't feel good." She said, so he walked into the sunken family room and could not believe his eyes. He knew that he hadn't talked to her all day, but he hadn't expected to see the sight before him.
"What the..." It's 7:00! Why aren't you dressed in work clothes... gym clothes... something! Anything but those ugly ass house clothes! And why is your hair all over your head? Didn't you just get it done?" He yelled from the doorway.
"Why are you making all that noise." She asked not looking over at him.
"Loe! Why are you laying there like you sick or something?"
"Maybe because I..." She said as she spun around and saw that her man was decked.
"What's going on, why are you so dressed?"
"Maybe because today is Valentine's Day!" He said in the same tone she started in.
"Oh, baby, you made plans? I didn't know. Why didn't you call?"
"How would it be a surprise if I called and told you first? I can't believe this Man, I'm out." He said and walked out. She didn't know where he went, and didn't hear from him until the next day when she called him.
"Where did you go? I called you at the house but you weren't there."
"I went out. Did I look like I wanted to be in last night?" He said and she left it at that. She couldn't believe that he would go without her. Now that's something else.
Lorraine was heading home from work and was not really sure what brought on all this about Tyrone. Maybe it was last night when she sat on the cold rim of the toilet, or could it have been this morning when he nearly used the last of the milk and put the carton back in the fridge? It just maybe from all the rushing to get out of the office and she hit her nail on the steering wheel and looked at her ringless finger. Tyrone and Lorraine have been together for almost five years and nothing.
"Not a damn thing." She says out loud. The sound of her voice scarring her a bit from all of the silence. She thought about how many times he brought up the 'M' word and all the times that she never did. Thought about all of the 'we will grow old together's' and the 'you are stuck with me's' and all that stuff that a woman in love wants to hear.
But never the ring. She dwelled on that for a moment and before she knew it she was home. She sat in the car for a while longer then suddenly jumped out of the car. She left her gym bag, her suitcase, and purse. Though, she went back for her purse, she liked her neighborhood but that meant so little these days, and went in the house.
Surprisingly enough, Tyrone was not there. He usually stops by after he gets off and waits for her. Sometimes he would even cook... for himself and there would be nothing but dishes left for her. She rolled her eyes at the thought of him cooking her food, in her house, and leaving her nothing but her dishes to clean. He wouldn't even put them in the dishwasher or anything. Just a sad sad soul he could be. She walked upstairs and took off her work clothes. She put on her housecoat, and tied her hair back to take a shower. She stood in the running water to collect her thoughts. She thought about how she remembered all of the bad, the nerve wrecking, and the irritating things that he do, and thought that she hadn't thought of any good things.
So she washed herself and thought there must have be something keeping her around for all of these years and found little to nothing. True he is good around the house, he does have some culture, he buys her nice things (a few nice things), and he must have some good conversation that she was just overlooking, and she was almost sure that when they did have sex it was at least good. But she was drawing a blank. All of these years and she can hardly remember one good thing in the whole thing. She shut off the water and dried herself and decided to put on some sweats. She didn't take her hair down for not wanting it all in her face. She got some things and gathered them in a gym bag. Not a lot of stuff, just what she saw.
"I really liked this sweater too." She said out loud as she was putting the stuff away. She moved fast. She didn't know what kind of time she was working with. So she hurried and filled the bag. Just when she zipped the bag she heard the door down stairs close, some fumbling around, a long pause, and then footsteps up the stairs. She hesitated and then went on and stood where she was.
"Hey babe? Where you getting ready to go?" Tyrone asked when he walked in and saw her standing there a few feet from the door. He was dressed up again, she assumed that he worked late.
"To the gym?" He probed.
"No." She said not moving and without facial expression.
"Then what's the bag for?
"Oh this," she says looking at the bag, " I was just getting your things together." She said and held the bag with two hands in front of her.
"My things? What do you mean my things?"
"I mean that this has gone on long enough. I mean that I can't think of one reason to continue. I mean that we have reached the point where there is no where else to go. Not ahead, side ways, anywhere."
"Girl what are you talking about? What point? Sideways? What?" He said as he walked past her and sat on the bed.
"She turned and watched him. She couldn't tell if he was upset or amused. She searched his face and body language for some sign of acknowledgement as he searched for the TV remote. She stood there with the bag in her hand and tried to find the words to make him realize that she was serious and that she didn't make threats. She felt that threats only teased a person and that it was action that caused the real effect. Actions like her throwing every piece of his clothing out of the window, actions like attempting the roundhouse kick she learned at the gym's Judo class on him, and actions like throwing the glass paper weight ball on her desk through the TV, but that means she would have to watch Millennium downstairs. She always watched Friday night shows in bed. That is if Tyrone wasn't busy trying to get busy. That was just like him to want to do it when she was interested in something other than him.
"Tyrone, I am serious about this."
"Okay," he said then turned off the TV, " can't we talk about this. I know that we can work this out. We have always been able to talk."
"Have we? Have we really been able to talk? Or have you always done whatever Tyrone wanted. That's how I recall it." She said to him and walked out the door and down the stairs. Tyrone followed her and saw her stop in her tracks when she saw all of the flowers and the garment bag on the chair in the foyer.
"Ty..." She shouted and turned to find him right behind her. She could feel his breath on her cheek.
"What is this all about?"
"What is this about? Well that doesn't really matter now." He said, took the bag from her, sat a little red star shaped box on the garment bag, and walked out of the house. She stood there thinking that he was coming back but she heard his car (the loudest thing she ever heard) pull off and away. She stood there for a minute and stared at her surroundings. She didn't go down stairs until later that night. She moved the box determined not to open it... first anyway, and found the most beautiful gown. She saw the Shoe box underneath it and saw shoes that matched. Then, in the red star box, was the biggest rock she had seen in a long time.