Part 2: Broken Promises
Katrina’s thoughts took on a mind of their own once her eyes slid over the embossed author’s name on the book she held. She’d been at Imani’s bookstore Word Lust, which was a good walking distance from campus, for the last handful of minutes. Lingering in the two-story store that was a popular hang-out for students and creatives looking for a cool, quiet workplace wasn’t on her evening plan. She wanted to head back to her suite, get out of her work clothes, and sink into a luxurious warm bubble bath with Ari Lennox’s cozy saccharine voice filling up her atmosphere. But Imani was busy talking logistics with one of her staff about the upcoming poetry night. So, Katrina disappeared into the land of words; leafing through books to kill time.
The book she presently held was a shock to her but she should’ve known her friend would keep a couple in stock. Lilac Dreams & Ocean Memories; is her first and only book. A collection of poetry she crafted after getting her doctorate and rocking her thesis. It was a way to have fun with words again; parlay with the English language. She never imagined that her Instagram posts would catch the eye of so many, let alone the attention of a publishing house. But it did and there she stood with her own creation in her palms. Too bad her happiness in her accomplishment left bitterness upon her tongue. The lyricism within the book still made her giddy with mystification but now she couldn’t get past the cover. The name on the surface. A person she was no longer going to be in a few months’ time.
Thinking back, it was stupid of her but she was blissfully wedded. Still high on honeymoon wonderment and merging two lives into it just came second nature when her editor asked her what name she was going to use for the book. Getting her name changed on her passport was such a hassle that she took the easy win when it came to her. But now, she regretted it. For three years she’d been an Evans. She thought it would be a lifetime. Not four years of wasted time and broken promises.
“Sequel in the works,” Imani’s jovial yet breathy voice lured her eyes away from the book.
Katrina slipped the book back onto the shelf without flipping through the stark white pages not wanting to be haunted by the alliterations of her younger self; doe-eyed and drunk off love.
“No time for that.” Katrina drug her white painted nails through her silken tresses contemplating wasting hours in her stylist’s chair and a couple of hundred dollars for a moonlight swim in the Pacific. She received the small shopping bag from her friend before her hand settled back at her side. “I have bigger things to deal with.”
Imani nodded with sadness cloaking her midnight eyes. Not wearing one of her many wigs, her bald head permitted one thing; for one to be overtaken by the sheer beauty of her features. Feline eyes were accentuated with a few strokes of mascara and eyeliner. Plump lips that caused whichever gender she was greeted mouthwatering to taste her breath. A wide nose with a stud that commanded attention. Some women would feel some type of way having a friend that frequently got mistaken for a model but not Katrina; she loved having a bestie that was a bad bitch. They were kindred souls.
“Are you going to tell him?” Imani adjusted one of her door knockers that rested slightly above her shoulder.
Katrina rolled her eyes to the side letting her sight linger on the line that started to form at the coffee area in the corner; the new barista needed a little more practice. Tears blurred her vision. She got off birth control a year ago when they decided that it was time to start a family beyond their three-year-old Rottweiler, Clive.
“I had this plan for that moment. You’re going to be a daddy on a onesie.” She didn’t fight the trickle of tears that poured down her face. She was with Imani and with Imani, she could be vulnerable. “I already had it made; I was just waiting for when the time came.”
“Oh, Trina,” Imani said soothingly with a comforting stroke to her arm. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault.” Katrina shook her head and dabbed her eyes dry with the bottom of her hand. “But you know, how is it that I could keep my vows but he couldn’t. Like one week out of every month, my hormones are raging to have a big dick, balls deep in me but did I—” She flashed a tight smile at the co-ed that halted in her tracks.
Imani didn’t turn to see if her customer turned around or kept walking. “So, are you saying his dick isn’t big?”
“Mani,” Katrina swatted her hip with the bag. “Not the point. I had chances.” She pointed to herself remembering the graduate student that flirted with her every chance he got or the soccer coach that asked her out not knowing she was married. “And he keeps saying it was a mistake. How is it a mistake when you buy condoms?”
She felt her anger rising again and stopped to take a deep breath. “I feel like a fool. Cooking meals. Hosting dinner parties. She sat at my dinner table and ate my hors d’oeuvres. I’m an idiot.”
“No, you’re not.” Imani grabbed her shoulders matching her sight with hers. “Stop berating yourself. This is on him and of course, you didn’t cheat. You have class and are loyal to a fault but now…” Her sight momentarily dipped to the bag. “It’s time to see if you’ll be able to cut him out of your life for good.”
Katrina sadly smiled, up until last week all she wanted was to carry his child but now it felt like some sort of life sentence.
“I need a shot.”
Imani shook her head. “Not until we see if it’s positive or negative.”
“Tragic,” Katrina said as she walked hip to hip with Imani’s arm slung around her shoulder. “What do I get if it’s positive?”
“Ice cream,” Imani said confidently.