A perfectly manicured hand firmly presses the “end” button belonging to a cell phone that has just completed the action of receiving devastating news of a definite affair.  The victim, a woman of substance possessing brains as well as subtle beauty, takes a deep breath and sinks her back into the sofa. This is the same sofa on which she and her man often shared movie nights cuddled together exchanging passionate heartfelt kisses. While rubbing her damp and tear stricken cheek in attempt to regain her sanity, the phone bellows out the song which signifies her boyfriend of five unfaithful years is calling. She is not fooling herself by a longshot. Never has. The woman has always known he was like a dog that would rather accept the warm table scraps from a pretty stranger’s table than the traditional Kibbles n Bits which were served daily from behind her bedroom door. Yet her red glossed lips still part and deliver a faithful and shaky “Hello” in hopes of hearing his apologetic voice ready to plead his case. Instead the sultry voice of a female stranger hums into her ear the melody of deception to the rhythm of defeat. She lowers the phone a bit to let out a muffled whimper so that the enemy won’t hear her but quickly lifts it again as to receive the final jab between her ribs. Her boyfriend’s child, his son was delivered two weeks ago, but not through her own womb.

With the pressure of reality bearing its full weight, she throws the four hundred dollars’ worth of evil communication against the wall to its full demise and rushes towards her hidden stash of paradise. In the closet amongst her most valued handbags, she retrieves first a brown liquor, then a clear, and tosses each fifth to the back of her throat without hesitation. With her conscience functioning now at below twenty percent, she makes her way to her garden tub desperate for a scalding bath to wash away the filth of the memories floating in her mind. How many more children will she let him father during their relationship and she not share the joy of conception? Maybe a many as he sure and well pleases due to her own sterile state because of a silent disease he had given her years back? How could she, a woman of substance, be such a fool? Surely she could have her pick of just about any distinguished man who worked at her law firm or studied in her PH.D program. They all swooned over her intelligence and the respectable way she carried herself and a few even offered her diamond rings and fancy dinners in exchange for a slim chance at replacing the hell they knew she never deserved.

The bills were all in her name and paid for by the same so what did she need this man for anyways? Blackness engulfs her and dizziness welcomes her as she slowly slips beneath the bubbly oasis of pity she prepared for herself. Realizing that danger is in her midst, the woman, woman of substance, attempts to pull her body upward and gasps for air but her drunkenness will not allow her too much leeway. It had been so long since she drank because she had vowed to never do it again after the near death experience of alcohol poisoning from his last child’s birth . Now her tolerance level was once again at its weakest point and her now fragile one hundred and thirty five pounds of ebony body was ready to give out. She’s tired. Tired of living a life of misery. She’s tired of always returning to pain as a dog to its own vomit. Tired of being not even number five on his priority list, but only the trash to be taken out at night. So why not? Why would he care if her soul perished to the bottom of the bathtub drain? He would probably take each mother of his child on a shopping spree with the money from the insurance policy of which she had made him the sole proprietor.

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Just as the last bit of available oxygen was soaking into her lungs, a strong arm, then another wraps themselves about her waist and hoists her into the air and leaves a trail of soapy water from the tub to the bed a few feet away. After regaining her sight and her thoughts she begins to make out the face that is the cause of it all. He had used his spare key to get into their apartment and rescued her from her own doom so that she could continue to be a part of his. His eyes seemed concerned, but not at all that much hurt as he strokes her tangled mess of a hairstyle and whispers synthetic apologies in her ear. They are the same apologies that she has heard time and time again but she eagerly accepts them into her heart, into her mind, allowing them to control the substance of her being in every way possible. What can she say…she loves him. He might not love her the way he should but for right now this would have to do. She will worry about the worst of things later but for now it is time to show her man how much he means to her. How much she loves him. She needs him.

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