When Nadhira got home, she went straight to her bedroom, tossed her handbag into a corner, then flopped down unto her bed. The tiredness she felt was probably comparable to that of a railroad track builder. Her shoulders were tight and she felt burdened by her thoughts, which were all over the place. There were no logical explanations for her to be this physically tired. None. She didn’t have to either lift, pull, push, carry or toss heavy things, or anything for that matter, for a living, but her body sure did feel like she did. She didn’t know what was going on with her and there really wasn’t anyone she could talk to about it. Unfortunately, on her quest for success, she managed to only make decent acquaintances along the way, never really a true keeper friend, and there was no way she was going to talk to her mother about how she was feeling.
Though Nadhira’s mother was very proud of her daughter’s academic achievements while she was growing up and happy that she was doing financially well, she had always considered Nadhira’s crowning achievement to be snagging Evan. Imagine that. A woman’s psyche can be so complicated, that one that was maternally attached to another, could still consider their female child’s best accomplishment, was not building her own home without the help of a man before she was 30, or building a home for her own mother, or beating out a stellar group of applicants for a job that paid beyond a scope either of them could have ever wished for, or being just a truly nice and decent human being, who for the most part only brought accolades to her parents about their child rearing skills, but having a man who was just barely said child’s equal. This bothered Nadhira to her core. If she called her mother, the only thing she would have said to her would be…
“Call Evan nuh. Tell him you still love him and ask him to take you back.”
That was a heaping smelly pile of bullshit right there and Nadhira wanted no part of that, especially with the way she was feeling.
She had always heard about people being at a crossroads in their lives, but this would probably be the first time she’d ever come across any. The thing about Nadhira, was that she always had clear set goals and back-up plans, should set goals fall through. Evan had been an integral part of her life for a few years now and initially she thought he was ‘The One’.
They had met at Antigua State College and had always had brief, but pleasant passing interactions. They really connected however, in art class and soon became inseparable. Their only extended time apart, was when they went to two different universities in the United Sates. They were however both in the same state, so were still able to physically connect and keep the relationship fire burning. After they completed their studies, they both returned to Antigua. Evan scored a job quickly at Taft Craig & Shields Architecture firm, while Nadhira taught art at her old high school for the first year upon returning. She loved teaching, but the pay sucked and she had bills to pay, so when Evan told her about a couple of openings at the firm where he worked, she applied and was thrilled to get a job. They’d never worked directly with each other, which was perfect for them, as they didn’t want to end up getting sick of each other, due to constantly having to be in each other’s space. All was well in Evan and Nadhira land.
Evan was so handsome. Even her mother thought he was a walking GQ Magazine. He was extremely intelligent and very driven. In her mind, she had graphed out their relationship successes, even keying in when they would get married, start their family and then open their own business together. The problem was however, that after a while, Evan began to look good only on paper. Technically, he was supposed to be her perfect match, but after getting over the initial ‘I’m so very much in love with you’ honeymoon phase of the relationship, she recognized that he could be a real asshole at times. Also, what started to bother Nadhira, was that he acted as if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and tried to get her to act that way too. He had started to succeed, but she began to hate herself a little bit more each day. The relationship was stifling the life and the joy out of her. Evan was way more spontaneous and fun-loving in the initial stages of their relationship, but over the years, he’d become consumed with trying to climb the social ladder. The people he was trying to rub shoulders with, were not people Nadhira would even want to set foot past her front gate. They may have had money and social clout, but as her late father used to say, “A turd in a suit is still a turd.”
Nadhira was proud of her background, struggle and all. It made her the person she was, but anyone never knowing Evan as a child, would have thought he grew up in a mansion with maids and not that his mother was one, and worked her ass off to help him become the man that he was. Nadhira wished for her father to just manifest out of thin air, hold her in his arms and calm her until she fell asleep. He was such a good man and he was taken from her life far too soon.
Though Evan had begun to really chip away at her, she never really entertained thoughts about leaving him beyond 10 minutes , because on paper things seemed technically to be as they should be . She was just too busy trying to be happy, to actually do what was really going to make her happy. She knew him leaving her was the best thing to have happened to her in a long time, but she’d never gotten around to the relationship back-up plan. So now she felt as if she was faltering. She wasn’t really shocked that he ended up going out with someone like Terah. She was pretty, she came from a very wealthy and respected family, so she knew that was a major step for him on his social-climbing quest. What confused Nadhira about her though, was that even though Terah came from all of that money, she was just never on pointe. She seemed to try really hard in the fashion department, but she was just always off somehow. The clothes she wore may have been expensive, but she still managed to look cheap in them. The one thing that Nadhira was surprised to find out about Terah, was that it took her 6 times to pass her bar exam and that even though she was now technically a lawyer, her father only had her doing clerical things at his law firm, which unfortunately was on the third floor of the same building that she worked in.
Gossip is a helluva thing. Nadhira had only ever seen that girl in the elevator occasionally when they were both going to and fro about their business, and never knew didly squat about her. From the moment Evan and her had broken up, she had heard Terah’s life story from just water cooler chat in the office. The only thing about her relationship demise that she found a little difficult to take, was the way it had ended. Evan had started talking to and seeing that Terah person, probably close to a year before he ended things with her. It disgusted her that he was more than likely sleeping with both of them at the same time. She was just really thankful that she was always adamant about using condoms with him, though she was more trying to stick to her plan about when they should have kids and not save herself from a disease.
Things had really begun to unravel about fourteen months prior, after the firm had a position available only being offered to existing employees. Nadhira’s name was thrown in the ring, because she had been performing remarkably, and worked a few major projects. She was very surprised and elated to get the position and most people seemed happy for her. She however noticed, that the person who was supposed to be her biggest champion and the one who should have been so proud of her, couldn’t muster anything more that congratulations. That job was apparently like getting a fast track to possible partnership in the firm and though he wanted his woman to be successful, Evan wasn’t trying to have her outshine him. It was the beginning of the end.
Nadhira was so tired, she couldn’t even find the strength to take a shower. She took her clothes off and threw them into her laundry hamper, heated up the slice of extra cheese pizza that had been in her fridge for a few days, had it for her dinner, then washed her face and brushed her teeth. She didn’t have to wash and freshen anything for anybody, and she felt like just laying in her funk and feeling miserable. She jumped into bed in just her panties and cacooned herself beneath her fleece comforter. When she turned off the night-light, she thought about three things. How she must really be depressed, because she can’t recall going to bed before 10 o’clock since she’d been a child, how she dreaded going to work now and the beautiful face of that guy named Dillon who nearly had her killed earlier in the day. She smiled.
After tossing around in her bed trying to invoke sleep, she grabbed the remote for her stereo and turned and pressed play, hoping what came out would have been soothing enough to lull her to sleep.
Nadhira considered taking Mason’s offer of taking some time off. She thought about just not going in from the following day, but figured instead of taking a leave where she would still be doing work from home, she would finish the project she was working on, then take an official vacation. That was the last thought she had before drifting off to sleep.
The next morning she woke up feeling really refreshed. There really was something amazing about going to sleep early. She felt energized, however, the closer it got to time for her to leave for work, the more drained and unwilling to leave the house she felt.
“Suck it up chica.” she said to herself.
When Nadhira got to work, she went directly to her office. She’d gotten in around 7:30am and most of the staff was not there yet, which was exactly how she liked it. She hunkered down at her computer and was getting some serious work done, but then she started feeling kind of nauseated. She didn’t have any breakfast, so the gas was kicking in. It was 11:45 am before she showed her face to the rest of the office population. Nadhira went to the staff lunch room to make some hot tea. She chit chatted for a bit to her assistant, who was in there having an early lunch, then headed back towards her office. It was then she got the shock of her life. Down the hall on the way to her office, she saw something so familiar, it felt like she got punched in her stomach. Evan stood holding his fiance’s hand laughing and talking to Glen Taft, who was one of the partners. The shock was not seeing Evan and Terah be affectionate to each other however.
It was that Terah was wearing her clothes. Clothes that she had left behind at Evan’s, but never bothered to pick-up, then subsequently forgot about . Nadhira felt her skin get hot, and she felt a muscle throbbing in her neck. She also noticed the large ceramic cup in her hand with hot tea shake, til the liquid inside looked as if it was going to erupt.
‘THAT CRAZY BITCH IS WEARING MY CLOTHES!!’……