Kickin' It With Mary, Again
by Lawrence Christopher
Dedication: Sonya, thank you for your wanting to know more. Part two is for you and other readers of Kickiní It With Mary. To the brother who had a Mary last year, I hope you are reading.
"Insanity is continuing to do the same things and hoping for different results." ~ Unknown
It was a mistake for me to make my way back into Maryís arms and bed. Especially after I partially paid for an abortion of the child she was carrying. No, it wasnít mine. That is not to say that I didnít have opportunity for it to be mine. The sex is the part of this relationship with Mary that makes it hard to let go. By the only other term I can think of, the woman is a "sexually uninhibited." I say this, not only to the variation of the kinds of sex we have, but the skill that she has and is involved.
And Maryís body is so soft and supple. Sheís is one hundred and eighty some odd pounds of smooth baby fat. Whether it is baby fat still with her from birth, or gained from the two kids of her own, it doesnít matter. Her thighs remind me of fresh baked Krispy Kreme donuts, soft and warm and my face is ready to be covered with glaze. Yes, the sex hooked me initially, but in the time I have been with Mary, I have grown to genuinely care for her and her two children Sapphire and Gerald.
My caring for Mary is based on the potential I see in her. The pure sense of affection that she exudes and her intense passion when we embrace tells me that she is capable of love. When we do talk, she tells me of her dreams to have a comfortable, worry free life for her and her kids. She doesnít possess dreams of grandeur, just to have a car to get around, a home of her own and money to feed her and her family. Not once has her dreams involved a man. I donít take personal exception to that. I do ask myself, then why am I here. Also, the new found feelings I have for Mary hasnít made it any easier dealing with some of her thoughtlessness when it comes to her dealings with me.
First, let me give some background on me. I am a second line bank manager, who makes decent money. Professional and sophisticated women surround me all day long. Not to toot my own horn, but I have these same women asking me out to lunch on a regular basis. I havenít gotten into a serious relationship with any of them because of the games most of them play. Where they arenít playing games, I find some of these college graduates to be straight up knuckleheads. Most of the time I lose at this dating game or "kickiní it" because I play by a different set of rules. Actually, Mary plays by a different set of rules too, hers.
Iím from the old school. I treat a woman like a lady, paying for lunches and dinners, buying her flowers and small token gifts. What do I get in return? Dissed. "I can buy my own lunch and dinner." "No one told you to buy me this tennis bracelet, but thank you though." This is what I get for being a nice guy to these so called "millennium women." Then these same superficial women will come crying on my shoulders when they have lost a bout of the dating game, after Mr. Wrong has had his turn at play. Kickiní it is cool until you are the one kicked, to the curb. Iím through with it. Well, almost.
We all have baggage that we carry with us from past relationships. You just heard mine. When it comes to Mary, I feel that if given the chance to show her sincere love and affection, that I could win her over and make a change in her life. I donít plan to be anymore than myself or do anymore than what I would normally do to show someone that I care. As a start, I cut back on the booty calls with Mary and start spending quality time during the daylight hours getting to know her outside the bedroom.
Nights of dancing and eating out are a refreshing change to sitting around Maryís two-bedroom apartment. Both of us were introduced to new experiences and places. I took Mary to some of the upscale restaurants in the city. For the first time, Mary had lobster, "this thing look like it wants to eat me," she loved it. Instead of her regular E&J brandy at the bar, I introduced Mary to Courvossier. "Hell, I can buy a bottle of E&J for what youíre paying a glass for this stuff," was her impression of the cognac. To enrich Mary culturally, I took her to jazz festivals, art shows and poetry readings. She told me, "you are the whitest black person I know." I am not sure if that was a compliment or not.
As I said, the new experiences came from both sides. Despite my efforts, Mary and her kids still loved their fast food. The kids were well skilled in fast food self-service. Mary would order the kids food and a two cups for water. Sapphire and Gerald knew to go to the soda fountain machine and pretend to get water, but instead they would fill their cups with soda. Not just any soda, they knew to select one that was clear to keep up the appearance. You can save a lot when you shop at the Save-A-Lot and Family Dollar stores. Mary fed her family on a hundred and fifty dollars worth of groceries to last close to a month. That is what I spend on food every two weeks, not counting lunches out. When it came to finding places to party, ask Mary. From smoke filled hole in the wall bars, to off the hook all night dance clubs, Mary knew them all and the people there knew Mary.
Outside one club, some guy driving a black Ford Explorer called Mary over to his SUV. She told me she would be right back. Right back was thirty minutes longer than I would have liked for it to have been. We argued about her show of disrespect to me as her date. All she had to say in her defense was that I was tripping.
"Listen Mary, you need to make a decision about me and this relationship. Either you are with me or you arenít."
"What are talking about? I am with you. But that donít mean you own me." Mary shot back.
"Weíre not talking about anyone owning you. Itís about showing me respect."
"You just like the rest of the dudes, beiní insecure and shit."
"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO TURN THIS AROUND ON ME? YOU NEED TO START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS."
"Who do you think you yelling at? You act like we married. We ainít married and you donít have no papers on me, no kids by me, no nothing!"
"YOU! YOU . . . you need to understand that unless you change your behavior, nothing is going to change for you. Have you ever thought that if Iím not the only guy who felt insecure about being with you, then maybe itís you that is causing it?"
"OH, so what, you going to do, beat my ass too . . . just because I was talking to some guy?"
"What? Hell naw. I donít believe in hitting women. Iíd rather walk away."
Thatís what I thought to do. Just walk away. As we lay in bed that night, Mary told me of the guy who beat her within an inch of her life. She was in the hospital for a week. I didnít know what to say. All I could do was hold her tender supple full body in my arms. I thought that was the worst that there could be until I noticed a thin line on Maryís neck. In an attempt to change the subject, I asked her did she have her tonsils taken out.
"No." she replied.
"Then what is this mark on your neck?"
"Thatís from when Sapphireís daddy raped me. Thatís how I got pregnant with her. He held a knife to my throat."
I didnít want to know, but then again I did. The vision of some man lying atop of Mary with a knife at her throat filled my thoughts. Then my analytical mind offered a diversion. She said Sapphireís daddy raped her. That meant Gerald was by a different man. Do I dare ask? One diversionary question brought me an unsuspected response. Being an analytical man, I had to know.
"Where is Geraldís father?"
Damn! I silently exclaim. "What did he do?"
"He was one of Sapphireís fatherís boys. He would come around and we would kick it and stuff. Then one night, he decided that he wanted to rape me too. So he did."
I felt sick to my stomach. A lump in my throat grew to a size that almost choked me. My eyes began to water and I didnít know why. The more I got to know Mary as she opened up to me, the more I wish she hadnít. The story of rapes and sexual abuse from her motherís boyfriends carried on through the night. Mary never cried as she relived the painful memories. But I did. I cried because I was angry and I cried for Mary, if she couldnít.
I didnít runaway from Mary. That would have been wrong. I remained by her side, whether that meant being a friend, a lover or whatever she needed. This may sound insane or selfish. But I thought if I was there to have sex with Mary whenever she wanted it, there would be no opportunity or need for some other man to come into her life to abuse, use or misuse her as others had done in the past.
Gerald and Sapphire look forward to my visits and I look forward to seeing them. Sapphire was the first to accept me of the two children. She loudly announces me when Iím at the door and greets me with a hug and a kiss. We played a game that she was my little girlfriend and that her mother was my big girlfriend. Gerald was still a little standoffish. There are few times when I saw a glint of happiness on his face when I tell he and his sister to get their jackets, "weíre going out." I like kids. That included Maryís kids. They were well mannered for the most part.
The idea of a ready-made family was appealing. Sapphire, six and Gerald five had them in the molding years. After three months of being in their lives, they listened to me and obeyed me when I chastised them. We got along great. They began inquiring whether I was going to stay the night or not.
"Not tonight. Iím thinking about going to church in the morning." I told Sapphire.
"I wanna go to church with you." She informed me.
I look to Mary who said Sapphire could go. Gerald said that he wanted to come along. Mary didnít volunteer to join us. I didnít try to persuade her one way or the other. I knew it was a personal decision that she had to make on her own. Maryís only comment or expressed thought about church was of the fashion show that goes on there. That was an argument that I wasnít going to take on.
On the way to church, the children and I listened to gospel music on the radio. Sapphire sat in the front seat, enjoying taking the place of her mother. They loved it when Kirk Franklin and Nu Generationís "Stomp" came on. I turned up the volume and we would yell "STOMP" in unison with the choir. Even Gerald joined in. Children are beautiful and a gift to be shared.
Again, the thought of being a part of a family entered my mind. I was a few blocks away from the church. That didnít stop me from getting an early start on a prayer that was on my heart. I started to ask God for some guidance in this situation and to help me. Then a song came on the radio that told me I was praying for the wrong thing, and for the wrong person. Mary and her children didnít need me. The songís chorus, "someone needs you, more than I. So I pray, Lord hear them when they cry." "More Than I", Luther Barnes & The Red Budd Gospel Choir the disc jockey announced at the end of the song. It would take more than me to make a difference in Maryís life but if allowed, I may be able to positively influence the children. I was willing to try.
I hugged Gerald and gave him a soft punch in his chest, and then I tucked him in bed. Sapphire waited anxiously for her turn.
"Good night girlfriend." I tell the little girl.
"Good night boyfriend." She replies. Then she asks, "Are you going to marry my mommy?"
"Why are you asking me that?"
"Because I want you to be my daddy."
"Well, that depends on what your mommy wants."
"Donít tell her I asked you, okay?"
"Cause she told me to stay out of her business."
"I wonít tell her. Good night little girlfriend."
In bed, waiting on Mary to join me, the crossroad of where do we go from here is before me. The kids like me, I like them. I have very little idea what is up with Mary. She takes everything I offer. In return, I go to sleep with a smile on my face, a tingling sensation throughout my body and pillow softness lying next to me. Is that all that Mary is to me? That is all she has shown. I feel that if given the opportunity, I could provide for her and the children for all their needs and many of their wants.
I have a business trip out of town for a week. The night before leaving, we make love as if I was going off to war. Thatís when it happened. It slipped out and I didnít care. There was no reaction from Mary, so did that mean she didnít care either. We didnít break our rhythm and no mention was made of the act of my saying, "I love you."
Something had indeed happened though. While away, when I called Mary, she always seemed preoccupied or she was short in talking. When I would call her late when I got to my hotel room, she didnít answer the phone.
The night I arrived back in town from my trip, I went by Maryís to drop off some items I picked up for the kids. Parked in front of Maryís apartment was a familiar SUV, a black Ford Expedition. Music was coming from inside. When I knocked on the door for twenty minutes, no one came to answer. I hung the gifts on the doorknob, turned and walked away . . . never to return again.