Excerpt of Loved by a Savage 2
Rain beat on the windshield as the windshield wipers fought to keep the pouring rain away. The sun called off for the day making Atlanta dim and gloomy. Though the sun didn’t cast its rays on the city today, the air was still muggy reminding us that it was summer.
Because the weather was so ugly all morning, I wanted to cancel Jason and my counseling session with Dr. Cohen. Our relationship finally put us both in a good headspace and here we were a year later. One missed counseling session wouldn’t have made a difference. I just wanted to cuddle and sleep all day in his arms while the kids were with Craig.
Regardless of how good we were doing for the past year, it was because of the sessions with Dr. Cohen that got us to where we are today, so I didn’t want to risk missing any appointments unless I had a legitimate excuse.
It was just before noon when we arrived at our counseling session. Jason and I sat next to each other on the love seat in the lobby. Another couple shared the lobby with us. My mind began to wonder what their issues were. Neither one of them looked like they cared about trying to make their relationship work anymore. The wife sat next to her husband with a chip on her shoulder while he sat there nonchalantly scrolling away on social media.
The wife with the chip on her shoulder made direct eye contact with me. Her eyes were cold. A fed up woman stood behind her cold dark eyes. I nodded my head at her and gave her a half smile. She didn’t smile back. Instead she rolled her eyes and looked away, folding her arms. My guess, their issue was infidelity on his part.
Paying attention to the couple’s mannerisms made me think back to our first session a year ago. Today, I sat there like I was a regular because I was. I knew what to expect and we were in a better place. Back then, I sat next to Jason trembling and fighting back tears because I didn’t want others to see how hurt I was. I wanted to keep our issues as private as possible.
“Mr. and Mrs. Greene. I’m ready for you now.” Dr. Cohen smiled in our direction as her last appointment walked out of her office.
Jason grabbed my hand and we both smiled as we sat down on her brown leather sofa.
“So, you two must be doing great since our last session last month. You’re both smiling and holding hands like you’re in high school.” She gave us a warm smile while crossing her legs and putting her yellow notepad on her lap.
Jason and I glanced at each other before he responded. “Yes. I think it’s safe to say we’re doing great!”
Dr. Cohen nodded while jotting down information. “Good to hear. Would you agree to that, Rhiana?”
I nodded confidently. “Yes. He’s accurate. We haven’t had any anger issues or anything that has come up from his past.”
“That’s wonderful! Speaking of past, I want to talk a little about your past, Jason. Is that okay?”
Jason pushed his body back into the sofa with an uneasy expression written all over his face before he answered. “Yes. That’s fine.”
Reading his body language and from the little bit he already told me about his father, I already knew this was going to be a touchy subject. I trusted that Dr. Cohen had a purpose and this was not only going to help us, but it was going to help him as well. I wanted him to know I was there for him, so I squeezed his hand, giving him a head nod.
“Okay, Jason. So, what was life like growing up in your household?” Dr. Cohen quizzed with her silver pen in her hand ready to take notes.
Jason and I were still hand in hand. His hand was already sweaty. I knew both Dr. Cohen and I were in for a ride, but I’m sure what he had to say was nothing she hadn’t heard before.
His eyes quickly moved towards the window, focusing on the beads of rain that spied in on our session. “My parents didn’t have much while I was growing up. My mother worked two jobs just to support me and my two older brothers. My father got odd jobs here and there working on people’s cars, but for the most part, he was considered the town crackhead.”
Jason was already giving me information he never told me before. We never dug into his past that deep and I never bothered to ask because I don’t like the feeling I get when I speak on mine. The only thing he told me was his father abused his mother. I sat next to him attentively while Dr. Cohen listened and took more notes.
After taking notes on his last statement, she asked another question. “What was life like living with your mother working two jobs and your father being on drugs?”
Jason shifted around in his seat and let go of my hand before answering. He wiped his wet hands on his jeans. “It was tough. My mother was the breadwinner so she was rarely home. When my father wasn’t doing his odd jobs, he was strung out in the streets somewhere. Sometimes, maybe a couple times a week, we would all be at home at once. For the most part though, my brothers and I had to fend for ourselves. I was pretty much raised by them.”
Dr. Cohen kept jotting away. “And what type of interaction was there when everyone was there together?”
Jason chose another focal point in the room. This time, he choose to look at the plethora of knowledge on Dr. Cohen’s bookshelf. I sat with him patiently, making a mental picture of his past.
“It was rarely good. My father always had an issue with something. If he didn’t have an issue, he would create one by stealing from our home to support his drug habit.”
“Tell me about a time you remember, Jason.”
“My brothers and I were in the front yard playing football when my mother pulled into the driveway with some groceries. We helped her bring the groceries in and my father was sleep on the couch. He had been drinking heavily. You could smell whiskey throughout the whole downstairs. I guess my father didn’t like the fact that we were making too much noise putting the groceries away so, he woke up out of his sleep screaming through slurred speech at the top of his lungs.”
His story was reminding me of my childhood memories. I felt his pain as I witnessed his eyes tearing up as he looked up at the ceiling. I couldn’t help but console him by rubbing his back as he relived the horror.
“After he was done yelling at us about making too much noise for his liking, he harassed mom for money. She told him repeatedly she didn’t have any and that all she had was the rent money after buying groceries. My father wasn’t having it, so he snatched my mother’s purse off her shoulder and dumped everything on the floor, searching for the money. There was nothing there. We were all scared. Me and my brothers weren’t even twelve yet, so we didn’t know what to do besides watch as my mother cried and my dad kept pressing for the money. He was furious that the money wasn’t in her purse, so he punched her down to the ground. He searched her pockets while she was knocked out cold.”
Jason broke down crying. Visualizing the painting he created for Dr. Cohen and I, I grabbed both of us some tissues off the end table on my side of the sofa. He took a moment and wiped his face before he continued.
“My brothers and I were so helpless as we watched my father continue to search for the money that wasn’t even there. Each new place he looked and didn’t find anything, he hit my mother even though she was passed out. He even checked her bra and panties. Finally after searching everywhere he possibly could, he left my mother on the kitchen floor with her blood permanently staining the carpet. He forced me and my brothers to grab the tv and our radio and put it in the car as he took her keys off the counter and sat in the car. We never saw the tv or the radio again because he traded them for crack. After we raced back in the house to help mom, my oldest brother who was eleven, called the ambulance, but by the time they got there, it was too late. She died on our kitchen floor three days shy of her turning thirty-one.”
Dr. Cohen filled her notepad with notes as Jason finished telling us about his terrifying memory. We both wept while she watched how we interacted with each other.
“Jason, I’m sorry you had to witness that. That sounds like a tough memory to have. Why don’t we pick this up another time.”
Jason and I stood as we wiped the last of our tears. “That would be great!” I replied while heading out the door holding Jason’s memory next to my heart.
The next couple of weeks were pretty tough for Jason and I. We had a difficult time getting through the days and nights after our intense counseling session with Dr. Cohen. We’ve had plenty of sessions with her before, but they were about the things that transpired in our relationship and ways to avoid certain things from happening again. Our last appointment with her opened a wound that was cut deep to the bone for Jason.
After that day, Jason woke up out of his sleep with sweat pouring off his whole body and soaking his side of the bed. Those were the days he did sleep. Sometimes, he was too scared to sleep and I felt his pain. I tried my best to stay up with him and talk through it or help him keep his mind off it. Sometimes, I just held him as he laid his soft curls on my chest.
If he wasn’t going through it, then I was. I too, suffered from night terrors from my past. They had been haunting shortly after Jason’s lies and abuse. Regardless of who was going through what, we were still there for each other, no matter how challenging it was.
On this day, we decided to take the kids out for some fun to help get our minds off our past. It was a great day of movies, skating, and shopping. We stayed out from sun up to sun down. Seeing the kids enjoy themselves the way they did today, made me feel so much better. Even Jason had a great time and kept a smile on his face. It was as if neither one of us were haunted by our tragic past. Now we were all exhausted and on our way home to get some sleep and rest up for the next day.
“Fuck!” Jason uttered under his breath. Fear danced in his eyes as he glanced into the rearview mirror.
“What’s wrong, babe?” My eyes matched his, but I had no idea what he was so afraid of.
He slowed down pulling to the shoulder of the busy highway. A blue and red hue grew brighter against the humid nighttime sky as the police car sped behind us.
Jason placed his hands nervously on the steering wheel after rolling down his window. The summer heat filled the car as the cool air fron the air conditioner quickly escaped. “We’re being pulled over.”
There was something about the police that made every black person nervous. Between slavery and the never ending cycle of police brutality, we had a permanent subconscious fear of the uniform behind those obnoxious lights. Even I was scared and I wasn’t behind the wheel.
The stern cop shined his flashlight on everyone in the car while keeping a firm grip on his holster with the other hand. He stood slim and tall. “Are you aware you were doing eighty five when the speed limit is seventy, sir?”
Jason gave him respectful eye contact as he responded. His forehead wore an army of sweat beads. “No. Sir. I didn’t realize that. I was just going with traffic, officer.”
The blue eyed cop remained guarded and ready. He kept shining his bright flashlight at us making our eyes beg for mercy. He had a deep cut on his right cheek that stood out on his milky skin. “License and registration.”
Jason nodded reaching slowly in the glove compartment. He gave the officer the registration and reached in his back pocket for his license.
“Give me a minute. I’m going to get you your ticket and send you on your way after I check a few things.”
“Yes, sir.” Jason squinted his eyes and looked away while the cop peered in the car with his bright light one last time.
Atlanta’s heat wasn’t being very friendly with us that night. With a combination of nerves, me, Jason, and the kids were all sweating like we pulled an all nighter in a sweatshop.
“What’s going on, Mommy? I’m scared.” Christopher’s eyes teared up as he followed the officer with his eyes. He watched intensely as the cop viewed classified information on Mr. Jason Greene on his computer.
“It’s okay, Christopher. You don’t have to be scared. Jason was driving too fast. The cop is giving him a ticket as a reminder he can’t drive so fast next time.”
I had to play mommy, but I was just as scared as he was. I could tell Jason was too although he tried not to show it. We still shared a connection, so I knew how he was feeling at this moment. I felt it, too.
“Yeah, Jason. You can only drive fast on the race tracks, not on the street.” Christopher stopped stalking the officer and turned around in his seat.
Jason laughed nervously and rolled down the rest of the windows. He turned off the car, allowing the cool air that still circulated to disappear. He left the music on hoping it would calm everyone’s nerves. “I’ll remember that next time, Chris.”
Busy traffic drifted by slowly as drivers risked breaking their necks trying to see what was going on. One car almost rear ended the car in front of them who slowed down a little too much. Like a majority of drivers, they were paranoid that the cop would drop everything he was doing and go on a high speed chase just to give them a ticket, too.
Leah sat next to her little brother with an attitude. She tossed her tablet in between her and Christopher, folding her arms while smacking her lips. “Oh my god! Can you tell the cop to hurry up? He’s taking too long. Just give him the ticket already.”
I turned around so I could talk to her directly. “Calm down, Leah. We can’t do that. Just be patient.”
I redirected my focus looking at the bright stars against the clear night sky. If it wasn’t for getting this ticket, being under the stars would have been romantic. All of the constellations were out tonight. Jason fidgeted with his fingernails for a moment and played around with the radio, but he didn’t want to move around too much and give the officer the wrong impression. Everyone knew that would start something that would end as a devastating fatality.
The pale cop tapped the roof of the car. “Mr. Greene. Get out of the car. Looks like you have a bench warrant, sir.”
Jason looked confused as he unfastened his seatbelt. “Bench warrant for what, officer?”
The cop stood back with his hand on his holster once again as Jason eased his way out of the car.
“Looks like it’s for unpaid child support in the state of South Carolina.” The bright eyed cop placed the handcuffs on Jason.
“Fuck!” Jason was escorted to the police car and placed in the backseat.
I remained in the passenger seat until the cop drove off and they were out of sight. Although he was only taken to jail for child support, my nerves were still on edge. I felt paralyzed. I was reminded of all the baggage he dragged on my doorstep. It still hinders our relationship and here it is over a year later. We were doing so good after our last incident. After I left him for a short time because he put his hands on me, it was as if that taught him the lesson he needed. Marriage counseling helped a great deal, too. Now we were faced to deal with this shit. It was always something. This relationship never had any dull moments, that’s for sure. Maybe, just maybe, the universe was trying to tell me something by making our marriage something I didn’t bargain for.
“Mommy, why they taking Jason to jail?” Leah was intrigued by him being arrested because she still didn’t like him. She was sitting up in her seat looking around for more action.
Leah got me out of my daze by her question. I climbed my small frame from the passenger side to the driver’s seat. We didn’t own a self driving vehicle so, it was now up to me to get us home.
“Because he owes money. Now, sit in your seat and put your seatbelt on, please. We’re going home.” I turned the key to the ignition and maneuvered my way into traffic. Before we were suffocated by the stuffy air and the aroma of the loudest marijuana in the city, I rolled up the windows and cut the air back on.
Leah did as she was told. “Okay. I recorded the whole thing on my tablet just in case. I’ve heard about people getting shot for no reason by these shady cops out here. I just wanted to make sure we got evidence.”
I looked at her through the rearview mirror giving her a half smile. I was proud of her for being so smart for her age, but I was also stressed about the situation. I knew I needed money for his bail if there was one, but there was barely any money left to pay bills and put food on the table.
“Thanks, Leah. I swear you’re not eight years old.” I looked at Christopher through the rearview mirror also and he was fast asleep.
“So, when are we going to bust him out of jail?” Leah questioned excited.
“Um, I don’t think we’re going to bust him out of jail. I may be able to pay so he doesn’t have to stay in jail, but I’m not sure when. It’s Friday night so, I don’t think I will find out anything until Monday or Tuesday.”
“Is he going to get beat up in there like in the movies?”
“No, Leah. He isn’t going to get beat up.” After answering Leah, I thought about how the universe works in mysterious ways. I wondered if good old karma was going to pay him a visit while he was locked up after all the lies and treating me so badly after we got married. Deep down inside my loyal soul, resentment rested.
Want more? Click here for your copy!