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  • Writer's pictureKia

#SampleSunday: Secrets beget secrets...

****Lightly edited, subject to change, I do not have an official release date yet.****


"...What do you mean we have more in common? I mean, I know we were both teenage mothers. Aside from that, what commonalities do we have?” I thought about it for a second before rushing to ask, “Does it have anything to do with why you and daddy got a divorce?”

The fierce, headstrong Natalia Washington that I was so used to, the one I grew up under, was missing when I stared at my mother at that moment. She gave me a sad smile and nodded. “Partially.”

“What do you mean partially? What happened? Why did you and daddy split just for you to get back together? It clearly couldn’t have been that big of a deal considering…”

Daddy came strutting into the kitchen with some of the dishes from the dining table with my brothers following suit with a few in theirs as well. His face was balled up like something had upset him. “You sure you wanna open up that door tonight, Nat? One bombshell should be enough for the night, don’t ya think?”

My father’s statement followed by mother’s heavy sighing caused all three of their present children to look between our parents in confusion. “Don’t you think it’s been long enough, Ace? You’ve been saying slick shit about it ever since we found out about Nadi’s secret. It feels like I’m on trial here just for defending my child when she made a mistake. Maybe we should just go ahead and bite the bullet,” my mother cried out.

I’d seen my parents have disagreements before but my mother looked like she was

truly hurting behind whatever secret it was they were talking about. This was the first time ever that I had seen my parents so at odds with one another, even during the process of their divorce, they kept their fights to a minimum around us. I feared that maybe it was best I didn’t know the truth about their divorce if it was going to cause all of this tension.

My daddy mumbled something to himself and his face balled up once again. “What Nadia did was not a mistake, Nat. A mistake is a mishap that you do unintentionally. A accident. Hitting your arm and spilling Kool-Aid on a cream rug is a accident. Pushing a swinging door and hitting somebody you didn’t see on the other side is a accident.

Stubbing your toe in the dark on the way to the bathroom at night is a accident. What Nadia did was withheld information from her child and her child’s father for her own selfish reasons. That ain’t a mistake. Just like–”

“Just like what! Like me? Or do you mean us, Ace? Because if I can remember correctly, you chose to do this with me all those years ago. You wanna keep saying Nadia was wrong for what she did but what about the secret you agreed to keep, even when I tried to clean the slate and tell the truth?”

Shaking his head, daddy refuted. “That ain’t the same thang. Ain’t no point in stirrin’ that shit up if it ain’t gonna help nobody. Don’t go opening doors that need to stay closed,

Nat. What we did was for the betterment of our child.” The inflection he used to the word ‘our’ made my ears perk up. My mind started to race as my mother’s statement about us having more in common and the conversation prior to it began to replay in my mind. I waited with bated breath to see if where my brain had landed was about to be revealed by their argument.

“I been wanted to open that door to clear my conscience, Ace. And because I tried to, you divorced me.”

“No, you trying to do that shit behind my back and defending that motherfucker is why I asked for a divorce. You keeping secrets from me and making me think you were having an affair is why I asked for a divorce. And you didn’t even try to defend yourself when I asked you about it. So, don’t make this seem like I didn’t have a right for my actions.”

“What is he talking about, mama?”

“Mama, you had an affair,” Aidan interjected.

My mother ignored both of our questions. “Ace, you and I both know he had a right to know. Hell, he still has a right to know. Now more than ever. Look at the trouble that kind of secret is causing for Nadia.”

My father straightened up his posture and looked my mother dead in her eyes, steel in his voice as he spoke to her. “I was the one persecuted for stepping up to defend you when they called you whore. I was the one that stood by your side the entire time you were pregnant. And I was the one that has helped you raise that boy as if he was my own because I fucking love you. That weak ass motherfucker betrayed me, then left you to figure shit out on your own as a kid. I don’t give a fuck about you or him clearing a damn conscience because he was dying. He didn’t have the right to pop back up and play daddy then. And him being dead won’t change my mind now. That is my son. He has my name. He is my junior and DNA won’t change a motherfucking thing about that.”

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