Look What You Made Me Do
by Kandra Grant
My face is wet with tears washing away the pain you’ve caused me through the years. This knife covered in your blood is still gripped tightly in my hands. What have I done? No. Look what you made me do. That was always your favorite line. May I borrow it just this one time?
I had come home early today to fix you a big romantic dinner. Cruised the aisles of the Dollar Store for candles to light our table for two and the aisles of the ABC store for the perfect bottle of wine. I had had a revelation to at work today. Heard some relationship therapist on the radio saying we all needed to make choices in life to either make ourselves happy or the one we’re with happy. I decided to do both, by making you happy I’d save myself from taking the usual “beat-down” two or three times a week. Save myself the time of spending hours treating my wounds and begging Monique, my best friend, to just shut up and help be cover the bruises on my face.
When I walked in the door, there was a little boy sitting in our living room playing some video game. We don’t children, so where did this one or the video game come from. I stopped in my tracks still holding the bags of groceries, my purse, and my briefcase in my arms.
He didn’t turn his head from the TV. “Hey.”
I bent over and placed the bags on the floor right there in the hallway. “What’s your name?” It was Keith, same as yours. His skin light, pecan brown and his hair in soft curls, much like you. I narrowed my eyes and asked whom he was here with and how he got into my apartment.
“This is my daddy’s place and I came with my mom. She’s in the back talking with Daddy now”. He must be mistaken or maybe my key fit into the wrong door. His Daddy! Who is his daddy and why was he in my house? “In the back where?”
A door opened from down the hall and a chocolate brown, slender woman came walking out. “Keith, who you talking to?”
She turned the corner into the living room wearing only my silk, midnight blue negligee robe and an anklet. Her toenails freshly polished with my Japanese Violet nail polished and her hair pushed back off her face with one of my headbands. Ours eyes locked for a moment, her mouth hung in shock, and my eyes squinted in anger. I lunged at her and she sprinted back into the bedroom and slammed the door. Locked. This mystery woman has locked my bedroom door. My bedroom door! I could hear her breathlessly babbling to you that I was out there as I banged at the door for it to be opened.
“Who the hell are you?! Open this God- damn door!” My breath short and my chest heaving up and down, I turned to see the little boy, Keith, watching me. I took a deep breath. I needed to think. What were you doing in there? I couldn’t make out what you were saying to her, but it was in a low and calming tone. How dare you talk soothing to her while your wife of 13 years stood furious and confused on the other side of the door!
I began pacing the hall, 7 seven in each direction. I needed to think. I needed to bust down the door. Just kicked that bitch in. I was standing there in 3-inch heels, but they might work. Lord knows the door is no stranger to being kicked in. I’d seen your foot hovered in the air on many occasions as the door flung open into the wall behind it. No, I needed a hanger. A wire hanger to pop the lock. I wanted all the energy I had when I made it into that room. I stormed to the hall closet and snatche d a hanger from it with a coat still intact, threw your damn coat to the floor, and made my way back down the hall to carry out my mission.
The bedroom door opened and you calmly stepped your 5’10, gym-fit self out. No shirt on and fastening your pants closed over the boxers that I bought you last Christmas. Smelling like fresh bottle of Sex, you walked to face me. Eyes drooped long. No apologizes would do this time. I had been through too much behind you. Lost my house when you beat me into a 3-week coma and you in your drunken stupor spent our savings on women instead of paying the mortgage. Couldn’t hear out my right ear because of a busted eardrum you gave me one evening when you thought I didn’t need it since I didn’t listen to you anyways. Couldn’t have kids because of the emergency hysterectomy you caused by stomping me bloody while I was 5 month pregnant. Yeah, I had been through too much behind you to let this excuse mean anything to me. The names I heard from your mouth fit to be called to your worst enemy’s dog. The bruises and scars I carried when life got you down and here you walked out that bedroom into my face and what do you think you could possibly say that would make me still stay.
“Marion, I’m moving my family in here. Get out.” You spoke those as if you were ordering cheese on your burger and no onions. Like saying, kool-aid and no ice.
My voice came out in a whisper. I think I was in shock. “Keith, what are you saying? Who are these people?”
“That’s my son, Keith Junior and Tamika is his mother, my future wife.”
“Your son? How old is he and just how long have you been with Ta-mi-ka?” Shock and disbelief spilled over my words like hot fudge on ice cream.
“I’ve been with Tamika eight years and Keith is six.”
“I’ll be seven in 23 days”, Keith Junior chimed in the background.
My world was spinning. Eight years. Six years old. And there I stood with healed physical wounds and gaping mental and emotional wounds, in my home in front of my husband of 13 long and painful years, while he nonchalantly told me that he was moving this woman and child in with him and I had to go. Yeah, my key did open the door to the wrong house after all.
“Marion. Marion, it’s over. I heard this radio therapist this morning and she said something about doing the right thing to be happy or to make someone else happy, or something like that. Anyways, I decided to make all of us happy, by letting you go on with your life, and me and Tamika and Keith Junior will go on with ours."
What! I was speechless. How could we have heard the same damn therapist this morning and come up completely different solutions to find happiness? I turned away from you walked into the kitchen. I returned to the place of your confessions in the hall to find you gone, walking back towards what you thought was now yours and now Tamika’s room. With all my energy and the power of my angry Gods, I ran at you and plunged a knife into your back. The same knife I used to cut the watermelon open for you last week. The same knife I chopped the meat with for your beef stew. That knife was serving a greater purpose for me now. It was releasing the life from your body and the hurt and pain from mines.
Screams came from everywhere, but me. You screamed and attempted to drag yourself towards the front door. Keith Junior screamed as he watched his Daddy take his last few breaths and Tamika screamed when she realized that her eight-year dream of being your wife was seeping onto the linoleum floor along with your blood. I didn’t scream though. Naw, I stood there in silence and felt the chip fall from my shoulders, the shackles release from the legs, and my spirit fly free.
My moment of glory was broken when the sound of sirens filled the air and came closer and closer. I slid down the side of the wall beside your body and then it happened. Tears rushed from my face like a brick that held a dam’s wall up had been pulled. I cried and gripped the knife tighter in my hand. Look what you made me do.