A Different Breed

Part 8: An Array of Gray

Black. Bold. Colorful. Pastel. Katrina perused the enormous selection of pens at The Write Place, a stationery shop a block away from Imani’s bookstore and a thirty-five-minute walk from campus. A walk Katrina needed to clear her mind and process the conflicting thoughts creating chaos in her usually clear conscience. Katrina had always believed that there was right and wrong. A principle both of her parents taught her at an early age. But now as she stood in the middle of the pen aisle she was overtaken by all the variations of gray in her life.

The recent developments weren’t just black and white. Not after spending a week of nights with Keir. He was becoming more than a sleep aid. They were starting to form something deeper than the one-off she assumed them to be. He was becoming a friend. A friend she could see herself being more than platonic with. Did that make her like Terrence; catching feelings for someone while married? Sure, she filed for divorce but she was technically still married. Still someone’s wife. No matter how mad or hurt she was, she still loved him. It was a truth she loathed but it was still a fact.

“Bitch, you need to stop overthinking.” Imani’s voice came out clearly through her AirPods.

“I’m not overthinking.” She insisted, picking up a pack of gel pastel pens thinking they’d be fun to write with even if she couldn’t read them in the sunlight. “I’m trying to make adult choices. Use sound reason.”

“Blah. Blah. Blah.” Imani sang in her ear. “I knew this was going to happen. You take one bold step forward then overanalyze and stall.”

Was she overanalyzing?


Was she stalling?


“Are you really going through with it?” Imani asked, her tone serious and devoid of the playfulness that had just been there.

“I—” Katrina lost the ability to speak when her eyes landed on the woman that walked onto her aisle.

The blonde stopped for what felt like hours, days, a month even but was more like a few seconds. Then she did something that surprised Katrina. She didn’t turn around and scurry away. She walked towards her with her head held high and determination in her eyes.

Katrina’s eyebrows furrowed as the woman’s footfalls stopped in front of her.

The blonde emitted a breath then nervously tucked a clump of her wavy tresses behind her ear displaying dainty butterfly earrings.

“This is awkward but…” The woman started speaking. “I didn’t want to make it worse by acting like I didn’t see you.”

Katrina couldn’t stop the chuckle that rose up to her throat. “We are way past awkward. Don’t you think so, Sage?”

Sage toyed with the strap of her Prada purse letting her sight slip momentarily from Katrina’s. “You must hate me.” Her tone quivered midway through the statement.

Katrina shook her head. “I don’t.”

The two words made Sage’s eyes go wide. Katrina knew that it was probably hard to believe but she didn’t have any feelings toward the woman standing in front of her.

“You don’t?”

“No.” Katrina sighed with annoyance. This was the last thing she wanted to discuss in the middle of a stationary store but here she was having a conversation with the woman that her husband screwed. “I’m not married to you. I didn’t make a vow with you. My issues are with Terrence.”

“It was a mistake.” Sage quickly spoke the words as if they would absolve everything. “We got caught up in the thrill. I’m sorry. He’s sorry. And I feel awful for the part I played.” Her hand went to her chest. “He loves you…you. What we had was just sex; nothing more.”

“Nothing more?” Katrina huffed with words out, leaning back wondering if the woman’s audacity was because of youth. “Don’t you think that’s enough?” She kept her eyes on the woman as she thought of an answer as irritation swelled inside her.

“While…” She started switching on her feet and casting a brief glance upward. “Love…and sex.”

“That would be worse.” Katrina nodded with a slight smirk then sidestepped the woman no longer desiring anything of the notebooks and pens she picked up. She just wanted to escape the building before she had silver bracelets and a court date.

“Which is why you should take him back.” Sage scurried in front of her blocking off her path. “He loves you and misses you.”

Katrina unconsciously leaned back from the woman’s audacity. The irritation that was building in her had skipped passed several levels and went straight to seething.

Sage witnessed the shift of emotion of Katrina and moved to the side with a low, “Sorry.”

“You apologize for a whole hell of a lot for someone that does whatever the hell they want to.” The woman’s lips parted to speak but Katrina interrupted her. “Just because my husband was in your pussy doesn’t mean your opinions and thoughts have a place in our marriage.”

Katrina stormed out of the store not caring about the shocked look on the woman’s face. She was pissed. So pissed she searched the parking lot for her car only to remember that she walked five minutes later. Rage and heartbreak fueled her walk back to the bookstore. Fury amped up her footsteps but her quick pace abruptly slowed on the empty sidewalk at the sight of the notification on her phone.

Aunt Flo

Congrats, Lil’ Soldier. You survived.

Tears pricked the bottom of her eyes. Her rage simmered and gave way to sadness. Her cycle had never come and now she no longer believed it was just stress that postponed it. Things had just gotten a little grayer. 

Should Katrina feel conflicted about sharing her bed with Keir?

What do you think Katrina is going to do next?

What would you have done if Sage/side chick talked you in a store?

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