“I should’ve known it was you.” Meeka shifted her weight when she opened the door, a clear sign she had an attitude.
“Hey, can I call you right back? Okay. . . Bye.” Meeka ended the call she was on to console her friend, who looked like she was on the brink of crying, and said goodbye to what had otherwise been a peaceful afternoon. Finding a visibly distraught Kyra on the other side wasn’t much of a surprise anymore. These days, it seemed Kyra spent more time over at her house than she did her own.
“What happened this time?” Meeka let out an exaggerated sigh on her way to the living room. Kyra had been unusually quiet at work, and Meeka had been curious as to why, but whenever she asked her about it, Kyra would lie and brush her off like it was nothing. Still, Meeka knew Kyra well enough to know something was wrong. She knew this visit was coming.
“Sorry, but I really need to talk to you. It’s important. . . It’s about Justin,” Kyra started to explain when Meeka cut her off.
“Oh my God, can we please talk about something other than Justin for once?” she groaned like she was dying a slow and painful death. It seemed like ever since she found out Justin was back every other word out of Kyra’s mouth was “Justin this” or “Justin that.” Meeka never even met him before and she was already getting tired of hearing about him.
“Just so you know, I’m about to start charging you for all these little therapy sessions we’ve been having lately,” she laughed to let Kyra know she was just playing, but the look on Kyra’s face told her she wasn’t in a joking mood. The sad look in her eyes said this was no laughing matter, and suddenly, Meeka wasn’t laughing anymore.
“Sike, you know I’m just playing with you. I could tell something’s been bothering you . . . What’s been up?” she prompted.
“Well you remember how I went out to eat with him?” Kyra reminded her of the conversation they had in the same exact spot about a week earlier.
“Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you talked to him,” Meeka showed interest only when reminded. Truthfully, she’d forgotten all about it until Kyra brought it up again. Trying to maintain her independent status meant she had plenty of her own drama to deal with. She didn’t have time for guys, nor did she take them seriously.
“Yeah, I talked to him,” Kyra grumbled at the memory.
“And how did that go?” Meeka cracked a smile in anticipation of a good story, but unfortunately, Kyra didn’t have one.
“Terrible! All this time I’ve been hopin’ maybe we can work things out and get back together, when come to find out, he’s already engaged!” After holding back for so long, Kyra was finally able to let the tears flow. She had been carrying this pain for days, and just because she had a boyfriend, that didn’t mean it hurt any less. Knowing that now there was absolutely no way they would ever get back together was a tough pill to swallow, but it seemed like Kyra was the only one having a hard time doing so. She didn’t want to give up on Justin or the love that they once shared, but it seemed as though he had already given up on her. She had been replaced.
“No way. . . Did you really just say Justin is getting married?” It took Meeka a moment to actually process the information. The look on her face said she was just as shocked as Kyra was when she first found out, if not more.
“In six weeks,” Kyra trailed off in disbelief. Six weeks didn’t seem like very long at all when she thought about it.
“Damn! He liked it and he put a ring on it!” Meeka put her hand to her mouth in an attempt to eat her words, but it was impossible to take them back. She didn’t mean to instigate, but the comment came out before she could give it much thought.
“Oh, Meeka, what am I gonna do?” Kyra’s whine was baby-like as she writhed about on the couch. “Justin is gettin’ married. It’s been almost a week and Cincere still isn’t talkin’ to me,” she complained.
“Well, did you at least tell him you were sorry?” Meeka asked.
“You think I didn’t try that already?” Kyra snapped. “I could say sorry a thousand times that doesn’t mean he has to forgive me,” she noted.
“Give it some time. You know how guys are. Maybe he just needs his space for right now,” Meeka reasoned.
“I don’t know Meeka. I’ve never seen him this mad before. It’s like he can’t even stand to look at me. And when he does. . .” Overcome with emotion, Kyra was unable to finish her sentence. The loving, doting, Cincere she once knew was gone, and Kyra knew it was going to take a lot more than an apology to get him back.
“The way he looks at me. . . It’s like I disgust him or somethin’. I think he hates me.” Kyra hung her head in shame. Just being in the same room as Cincere was enough to make her feel uncomfortable. Everything about his presence seemed distant and cold. He just wasn’t the same.
“Oh, come on now Kyra. I’m sure Cincere doesn’t hate you! It’s just you gotta understand his feelings are hurt. I doubt he would be this upset if he didn’t care about you,” Meeka tried to rationalize the situation, but Kyra was too emotional to listen.
“Well he certainly doesn’t act like it,” she continued. “It was like I couldn’t keep his hands off me before and now I can’t even get him to sleep in our bed. . . He hasn’t touched me in days,” Kyra’s chin began to quiver, as did her voice. Seconds later, more tears came streaming down her cheeks.
“I just feel so fuckin’ stupid! You were right. I should’ve listened to you! I should’ve never went to dinner with him!” Kyra vented her frustrations while Meeka calmly listened. An “I told you so” had no place in their conversation.
“I don’t know. I mean, at least now you know. You can stop beating yourself up about it, wondering what might have happened, what might have been. . .” Meeka shrugged. “I mean, Kyra, really? What did you hope to get out of it? You’re lucky he’s even talking to you,” Meeka hinted at what happened in Chicago, but refrained from going into the details so as not to upset her further.
“I guess you’re right,” Kyra’s sadness escaped in her sigh. She couldn’t even get mad at Meeka for telling the truth. All she could do was accept it. “I don’t know what I expected to be honest. It’s been so long. I should’ve known he would find someone else,” she moped.
“I mean, Kyra it has been five years. Things change. People change. . . That doesn’t mean you guys can’t still be friends,” Meeka tried again to reason with Kyra, but it was clear there was no getting through to her when it came to Justin.
“But you don’t understand! I don’t want to be his friend Meeka!” Kyra wailed at the ceiling as though she were truly wounded. Meeka almost tried to make it sound as if she was getting a good deal, but to Kyra that was unacceptable. She wanted all of him or nothing.
“And I already know what you’re going to say,” Kyra held her hand up to stop her from talking, and Meeka let her speak. “I know I need to get over him, but it’s like for some reason I can’t. It’s just . . . everythin’ ended so suddenly. We never even really got to talk about what happened. I think that’s why it still bothers me. I need answers. Closure . . . Something. . . Not this!” her anger flared.
“He’s getting married to another woman in six weeks, Kyra, how much more closure do you need?”
Kyra was taken aback by Meeka’s bluntness and the cold tone she used.
“Gee, thanks, Meeka! You always know what to say,” she laced her compliment with sarcasm, making her vexation obvious. “Thanks for throwin’ it in my face.”
“I’m just saying! There’s no sense in dwelling on the past when you can’t do anything to change it. You’ll only drive yourself crazy.” It didn’t take Meeka long to come to her own conclusion about Justin, but for Kyra it wasn’t that easy.
“But I just don’t get it. It doesn’t make any sense! If he doesn’t care about me anymore then why would he go out of his way to see me? He could’ve come, dropped off my ID, and left it at that. Why didn’t he? Like you said it’s been five years so what’s the point?” she couldn’t help but question Justin’s motives behind their meeting in hopes they were in her favor. While he has claimed to have moved on and found a fiancé, the look in his eyes at dinner that night told a different story.
“I don’t know, Kyra, I’m starting to think maybe reading too much into this. . . Maybe you just need to let it go,” Meeka shook her head.
“You know, I almost wish he hadn’t told me. I’m startin’ to wish Justin never even came back to Prince Paul in the first place.” Kyra hurried to catch the tears forming along the rims of her eyes.
“Well would you rather he lie to you or tell the truth?” Meeka asked what seemed like an easy question.
“I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know what to think anymore,” Kyra’s admission came with a troubled sigh. There was still so much emotion pent up inside of her she felt like she could explode at any moment. She needed to find a way to release, and soon.
“Don’t worry, Hun. Things are going to get better,” Meeka tried her best to cheer Kyra up, but her kind words only propelled her to keep ranting about it.
“Ugh! Why does shit like this always have to happen to me? Why me,” Kyra screamed, her voice hoarse from crying. “I swear! I’m startin’ to think I’m cursed!”
“No. You’re just dramatic,” Meeka corrected her.
“Seriously, nothin’ ever goes the way I want it to! Nothin’ ever turns out right! Meeka, this is not the way my life is supposed to be!” Kyra’s rage died down to a whimper rather quickly.
“Then it’s up to you to change it,” Meeka paused for a moment to let her message sink in. “Look, Kyra, I know how much you love Justin. I know how much he means to you, but life is too short to stress over any man. I don’t care who he is or what he’s got.”
“I wish it was that easy, Meeka, but when it comes to Justin, it’s not. If it wasn’t for everybody tryin’ to break us up, we would still be together. I know it.” Just thinking about it had Kyra fuming. She felt cheated out of Justin’s love and robbed of her relationship with him, all thanks to their exes always meddling in their business. It hurt to know his family hated to see them happy, and would do anything in their power to keep them apart.
“At least that’s what you’d like to think, but there’s no real way to know for sure,” Meeka pointed out. “You know, Kyra, one thing I’ve learned from my past relationships is that sometimes you will fall in love with someone who won’t always love you back. You can’t force it. If it’s meant to be, it will be,” she added.
“But don’t you think me runnin’ into him that day at the marketplace was a sign? That’s where we first met! What are the odds we would run into each other there of all places? I’m convinced it was fate that brought us there that day – not circumstance. Don’t you see, Meeka? There was a reason we were both at the same place at the same time. We were meant to find each other!” Kyra reflected on that day, and the way she felt when she first laid eyes on him came rushing back.
“Uh, Uh, Kyra, you know they say there’s a special place in hell for women who cheat with married men!” Meeka scolded her as if she already knew what she was thinking. The smirk on her face was a dead giveaway.
“He’s not married . . . yet,” she schemed.
“Maybe. . . But say you do hook up with him while he’s here. Then what? Do you think really he’s going to leave her for you? . . . And even if he does, could you trust him?” Meeka posed questions too difficult for Kyra to answer at the moment. She hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“I mean, he said he wants to see me again before he leaves, but I don’t know if that is such a good idea. . .” Kyra sounded even more nervous than she did before. Seeing Justin seemed to do more harm than good, and after what happened the first time, she wasn’t sure she was willing to try again. She didn’t need to go making things any worse with Cincere and besides, being around Justin would serve as another painful reminder that he wasn’t hers anymore. Pursuing him would be a waste of time.
“Yeah, me neither. I think its best you just leave it alone. Forget Justin,” For the first time in their conversation, Meeka agreed with her, but Kyra wouldn’t let it rest.
“And can you believe that after all that, this motherfucka actually had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to come to his engagement party?” she huffed in offense.
“Oh, girl, I know you were pissed!” Meeka chimed in.
“Hell yeah I was mad! You damn right,” she snorted.
“I know you’re not really going to go. . . Are you?” Meeka wondered aloud.
“Now why would you ask me that?” Kyra dismissed Meeka with a look. She could barely stomach the thought of Justin being intimate with someone else as it was, so she definitely couldn’t imagine having a front row seat at what she was sure would be the biggest PDA-fest to hit the island this century.
“That’s okay. I’ll just tell him I already have plans that day. It’s not like I have to go. . . I mean, I thought about it, but after talkin’ it over with you I need to stop worrying so much about Justin and just focus on my relationship with Cincere.” Kyra took a deep breath thinking of all the damage she caused her relationship. Other than saying sorry, she didn’t know how to fix it, or if it could even be fixed. For all she knew, she was already single. She just didn’t know it yet.
“I don’t know girl, sounds to me like you need a drink,” Meeka changed the subject in an effort to lighten the mood.
“More like I need a break,” Kyra mumbled.
“What are you talking about you need a break – a break from what?” Meeka asked with a chuckle. Kyra’s answer was plain.
“My life,” she said.
“Ha! Ha! You’re funny,” Meeka laughed. Kyra didn’t.
“Hey, you know what? We should go out tonight! What do you say; you down for a girls’ night out?” Meeka perked up in excitement, but the solemn expression on Kyra’s face didn’t change.
“I’m good. I don’t really do the club scene like that no more,” Kyra was reluctant to go, and for good reason. After all the violence that transpired surrounding nightclubs in the Chi, just the thought of partying made her physically ill. Breaking news broadcasts and grizzly tales of murder still haunted her dreams every so often. She hadn’t so much as stepped foot in a club since she left Chicago and that was all the way back in 2007.
“Aw! I don’t want to hear it,” Meeka dismissed Kyra’s refusal with a lazy shoo of her hand. “Now go put on something cute,” she ordered. “You’re coming out with me tonight.”