Unforgettable. A short story by Shubricca L Bell (Chapter 6)

Y’all should be caught up by now! Geez! 😜 Just joking, but for real. Read 1-5 first. Love y’all! ❤️

Chapter 6

I gotta pee

The next morning,  Chris went down to the station with Jessica to ID the guy who police had in custody. At first Chris was hesitant to ask Jess  to come, seeing that she’d just been released from the hospital, but Jessica quickly agreed. When they got to the station, Jessica confirmed that it was the suspect. She felt as if she was going to lose it. She thought about taking an officers gun and killing the guy who killed Mark, right there in the police station. 

She wanted to confront him and just ask him why. She wanted to break down and cry. She was overwhelmed with emotions and she thought about her baby. She had to put her child’s life before her own. She took some deep breaths in and out, to calm herself down.

“Chris, can you please take me to mom’s now?” she asked. “Of course, sis. You did good. Come on, let’s go,” he said. As they went out the door, the news reporters were there to get a statement. 

Chris told the reporters that this was a very difficult time for his family, so please give them their space. Later on that day, a spokesman for the mayor gave a statement on behalf of Chris, while Chris spent some quality time with his sister and his mom. “Son, I know you have a lot of important things to do. It’s okay if you need to get back to work. Your sister and I will be fine,” Ms. Tina said.

“Mom, my family is top priority right now. I love my city, but I love my family even more; besides, I have people in place to handle business for me when I’m out of office,” Chris said. “Okay, son, but really, everything is fine. You’ve made sure that your sister has all her clothes, personal items, medication for me and her. You’ve bought groceries. 

We’re good. Thank you. How’s my daughter in love doing?” Ms. Tina said. “She’s good. You know Karen. 

She wants to make sure that everything not only goes well, but goes along perfect with this pregnancy. She’s reading all kinds of books and taking all kinds of precautions,” Chris said. “Well, that’s good. Tell her not to worry so much though. The two of you just need to trust God during this process. 

Everything will be just fine,” Ms. Tina said. “Thanks, mom. I’m going to check on sis right quick. She’s been in the bathroom for a minute. Chris went upstairs and knocked on the bathroom door, “Jess, are you okay in there?” he said. 

Jessica quickly wiped her eyes. Yes, I’m good, just showering,” she lied. “Oh, my bad. Anyway, I was just checking on you. You need anything?” he asked.

“No, brother. Thank you, but really, I’m fine,” she said. “Okay, me and mom are downstairs. Holler if you need anything,” Chris said. “Okay, I will.”

The shower had been running, but Jessica had been sitting in the corner of the tub crying for thirty minutes. She was not okay. She knew that she had to pull herself together for her baby, but she also needed time to grieve. She felt guilty  because she was trying to rush herself out of the grieving process, but every time she tried to only focus on her baby, she would become sad all over again because her baby is a part of Mark. It was impossible for her to let go this so soon. 

A few days later, Jessica joined a support group at her mom’s church, for those dealing with a loss. Although her mom had went through what she was going through, Jessica felt as if her family and friends didn’t understand. She felt as if everyone expected her to be normal, but she had to find a new normal and that would take time. The support group helped a lot. There were men and women who’d suffered all types of loss, and their perspectives and ways to cope began to inspire Jessica to live a life of hope. 

In the group, each person had a partner who was called “My brother’s/sister’s keeper.” The partner was assigned to check in, support, and encourage their brother/sister. Derrick, was Jessica’s partner. He’d lost his wife a year ago, and the facilitator filled in as his partner, until Jessica signed up and the facilitator assigned them to each other. Derrick was a supportive partner and quickly became a good friend to Jessica. 

They took walks together, supported each other’s work or personal events, and frequently FaceTimed or watched movies together. They soon became very close. It was now Thanksgiving, Shante, Karen and Chris had come over to Ms. Tina’s house for dinner. Karen was now three months, and Jessica was two. Both of them were dealing with morning sickness.

This was Karen’s second time running to the bathroom during dinner. “My God. Why is it called morning sickness when I feel terrible both day and night?” Karen said, to Chris, who was busy holding her hair while she puked. “I don’t know, baby. Do you want to lay in bed for a while? 

I can bring you some ginger snaps. I know you love those, and they help when you’re nauseous,” Chris said. “But, I want some turkey and dressing,” Karen pouted. “I know baby, but I don’t think the baby likes that. Every time you eat it, you run to the bathroom,” Chris said. 

He walked her to the guest room and made sure that she was comfy in bed. “I’ll be right back,” he said. While Chris was coming out of the guest room, Jessica was running into the bathroom. She began to puke into the toilet. “It smells like gravy in this house,” she said, before puking again. 

I thought you liked gravy?” Chris said. “I used to, but now I hate gravy, and this entire house smells like it. Yuck,” Jessica said, before wiping her mouth with a napkin and flushing the toilet. “You need anything? Karen’s in the guest room laying down. 

The two of you should keep each other company,” Chris said. “No, I need some fresh air. Sis is more than welcome to join me, but I’m going to go for a walk, and I’ll be fine. Chris went to ask Karen if she wanted to go for a walk, but she didn’t have the energy. Dinner was coming to an end, and Shante was going over to Travis’ parents house to meet them for the first time. 

Afterwards, she and Travis was catching some Black Friday sales. Chris helped Ms. Tina clean up, and afterwards, he and Karen left. Jessica came back and the house smelled clean. There was no gravy smell. “Thank God,” she said, as she inhaled.

“How was your walk, baby?” Ms. Tina said. “It was calming and refreshing. Sorry, I had to run out of here, ma. I never thought I’d hate gravy, and usually that is the only way I’d eat mashed potatoes or dressing, but now, it’s disgusting,” Jess said. Ms. Tina laughed. 

“It’s okay. I hated all kinds of foods that I normally love, when I was pregnant with you. So, I totally understand. Hey, why didn’t you invite Derrick over?” Ms. Tina said. “He’s having dinner with his late wife’s family. 

You know, they’re all really close. We’re going to catch a movie later though,” Jess said. “Oh okay. Good,” Ms. Tina said. Later on, on Jess and Derrick’s way to the movies, Shante called. Shante said, that they were at a jewelry store and Travis had just proposed to her in the mall.

“I had no idea that he was going to do this, but we have been dating a couple of months. I didn’t think it was this serious, but he has always taken our relationship serious. I don’t know what to do,” Shante said. “What do you mean, you don’t know what to do? What did you say after he proposed?” Jess said. 

“Girl, I was stuck. I was like, ‘I. I.. I gotta pee, I’ll be right back.’ Girl, everyone was looking at him as he knelt down on one knee, and then they watched me run away. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared as hell. 

Does he seem to be rushing to you?” Shante said. “Listen, friend. What do you feel? Do you love Travis?” Jess said. Shante took a deep breath in and out. 

“I’ve tried to run from this, but yes, friend. I love him, but I’m scared. Is it really love? Can you fall in love and know that this is the person you’re supposed to marry within a two month time period? I’m just really afraid, friend. 

I want to get married some day, but what if we’re moving too fast?” Shante said. “What is it about Travis, that’s making you question this? Life is full of what if’s, but you can’t be afraid to take a chance, especially when it comes to love. I hate what I went through with Mark, but it taught me not to take love or life for granted,” Jess said. “There is nothing wrong with Travis, and that’s what scares me. 

He’s perfect,” Shante said. “Well, he’s not perfect. None of us are. I think his flaws are just different from what you’re used to dealing with, and I can’t really say his flaws but his weaknesses. So, let’s think about this. 

He’s persistent, but he’s consistent as well. I don’t think that’s a flaw but maybe a weakness, because he goes after what he wants and he doesn’t mind putting in the work, even if it doesn’t work. That says a lot about him as a man. Not many men these days will put in the effort if it’s no guarantee that they’ll get what they want. Friend, this man loves you. 

He has been celibate for two years and could have married any woman. Have you looked at him lately? He is fine, and he has a successful business. This man is a man who’s sure of what he wants. He loves you and is willing to be humiliated to prove it. 

Now, what are you going to do?” Jess said. “That’s why you’re my best friend. God kept you here for me, because had he not, I would’ve just walked away from this,” Shante said. “So, what are you going to do?” Jess asked again. “I’m going to get married,” Shante said, with excitement.

“Yes,” both Jess and Derrick yelled. “Now, get your butt back out there and say yes, and put me on speaker phone so that me and Derrick can hear,” Jess said. “Okay, girl. I love you,” Shante said. “I love you too. Now, go!” 

Shante rushed back out the bathroom and Travis was standing at the jewelry counter. “I’m so sorry, Travis,” Shante said. Travis thought that Shante was turning him down. “It’s okay, Shante. I shouldn’t have,” Travis said, before Shante cut him off. “No, no, no. 

Do it again?” she said. “Huh?” Travis said. “Ask me again,” she said. Travis got down on one knee. “Shante, will you?” 

“Yes, yes, yes,” she interrupted Travis mid sentence. “I will marry you,” she said, as she kissed his face all over. Travis stood up and they hugged. “She said yes, y’all!” The crowd cheered and some recorded the engagement on their phones. 

Travis wanted Shante to pick out her ring. She chose a 2 Carot Radiant Cut Halo Engagement ring with side stones in platinum. Shante took her phone out of her pocket and hit FaceTime so Jess could see. “Whew wee! Bling, bling,” Derrick said. 

“Yes, friend. That is a really, really nice ring. Congratulations y’all,” Jess said. “Congratulations,” Derrick said. “Thank you,” both Shante and Travis said. 

“We gotta celebrate. We pulling up. Where y’all at?” Derrick said. “We’re at the mall, but definitely, let’s meet up,” Travis said. “Ok, cool. Send the address,” Derrick said. 

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