I watched the woman I loved with everything in me, the same woman who made me forget who I was and where I’d come from. Nadia brought out a part of me I never knew existed. Up until our reunion I was always known as the diffuser…the voice of reason… the one people flocked to for comfort and understanding. All those good qualities vanished when she re-entered my world. When we dated in high school, I understood my role very well. I was the filler. I knew that and I accepted it because even being the filler was fulfilling for me, at least for a while. Eventually, that got old. Being her go-to person when she had nothing better to do. Yeah, after a month of playing that role I wanted more. I’d planned to tell her everything the day she called me to the woods. I was going to pour my soul out to her and hoped she’d say she felt the same way, but when I arrived, and saw her lying in the dirt, all my words fell to the ground. I nearly fainted when I saw all the blood that covered her clothes. This is why she called me. She needed me. I picked her up,took her to my truck and drove like a bat out of hell to the hospital. She was very weak, but still able to talk. I hung onto each word and nearly crashed into the car in front of me when she told me what she did. My heart shattered and I didn’t know if I wanted to stop and push her out or keep driving and save her life. The girl I loved was no longer the girl I knew. As soon as we made it to the hospital and I contacted her grandmother, I left. It took a while for forgiveness to set in, but eventually it did.
When Nadia came to me over a year ago, professing her love and declaring how much she wanted to start a new life with me, I dropped everything to make sure that happened. I never told her how much I gave up for this union to happen. She didn’t know my life was on an upward path and I gave it all away just to be with her. If she’d known, maybe she’d understand the rage, but it’s too late now. She’d made it clear that her feelings were the only ones that mattered to her. I loved Nadia, but right now…in this moment…I loved me more.
“I better get going.” I looked back expecting Karen to be standing at the door watching Tasha and me as she normally did.
“You sure you don’t wanna come in and eat?” Tasha offered. “You know it’s Thanksgiving around here.” She laughed.
“Ohhhh, it is isn’t it.”
For as long as I could remember, Tasha and her mom never celebrated holidays on the actual day. One, if not both, of them were always working so their tradition had been to celebrate as close to the holiday as possible.
“I’m sorry. I forgot. I didn’t mean to interrupt your time with your mom.”
Tasha’s eyes narrowed. “Really? You think interrupting my time with her is a bad thing?” She laughed again.
“Say what you want, but you love that woman.” I lightly pushed my body into hers.
Her smile vanished and was replaced with sadness.
“What’s wrong?” I leaned forward to get a better look at her face.
Tasha looked behind her. I’m sure it was for the same reason I’d looked just a moment before, to make sure Karen wasn’t there. She took a deep breath.
“Don’t tell me you have more bad news. I really can’t take anymore right now.” I warned her.
“No, not bad news. Not good news either.” She said softly.
“Then what is it?” I questioned again.
“I’m tired, Nadia. I’m tired of this life. I’m tired of living in this house and working this dead end job. I’m tired of being the responsible one, having to look after a woman who should be looking out for me. I’m ready for more.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at her.
“What?” She asked with attitude.
She knew me well enough to know exactly what I was thinking behind my lifted brow and poked lips. I didn’t say a word.
“I know you’re tired of hearing this same ol’ story, but I’m for real this time. I want more.”
“Then do more. Stop whining and complaining about wanting something then settling back into this life. I’ve heard this too many times and until you’re ready to make a move, it’s just talk.”
Her facial features dropped and I knew I’d hurt her feelings, but I didn’t’t do pity parties and she knew that. She’d always known that.
Tasha stood and dusted the dirt from her pants. “You’re right. I should get back inside to Mama.”
“I’m right or you’re angry? Which one is it?”
She stared at her feet then locked her eyes on me. “I’m angry.”
“Why because I won’t tell you what you already knew?”
“No, because you don’t ever tell me what I need to hear. You know I wanted you to tell me that I should do it, I’m capable of moving away from here and living life on my own, but you never say it and I know why.” Her sad eyes turned angry.
“What are you talking about? I always tell you that. I’ve said it too much over the years. If you want to move, then move but stop talking about it and do it.”
“That’s easy for you to say.”
“And it’s easy for you to do.” I stopped before she could go into my life versus hers. She always went there.
“No it’s not. Not when I have someone depending on me to be here. I know it was easy for you to walk away and live your life but it’s not that simple for me.”
“Well, what the hell do you want me to say? No matter what, you’re not leaving Bayou. You’re never leaving Bayou so why do we keep having this conversation? It’s pointless.”
The moisture in her eyes made me regret telling the truth. I hadn’t learned that sometimes people don’t want to hear what you really think, even though they pretend to want your input.
“Throughout high school you talked nonstop about moving away and I always told you that you could do it. When your dad died you talked about it even more and I listened and continued to encourage you.”
“In high school, Tasha. High school. We’re thirty year-old grown women, not teenagers. We no longer have time to talk. Either do it or be content, but stop whining about it.”
“Bye Nadia. Enjoy the rest of your stay.”
She was behind the door before I could blink. I looked around before walking to my car. Every since I’d arrived I had a strange feeling. Not sure what it was, but I didn’t like it. Normally when I have this feeling it’s followed by something bad. I had this very feeling the night my dad died. It had occurred a couple more times throughout the years and it was always on point. I didn’t know what it was or who it was for, but something bad was about to happen in Bayou and I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was very close to home.
Written by: L.A. Lewis
Edited by: Gina Phillips Johnson
A note from Nadia: Thank you for allowing me to share a piece of my overly dramatic life with you every week. Since you’ve enjoyed reading about me, I have no doubt you’ll love watching my very eventful life play out on film. As you can imagine writing the blogs and working on the scripts can sometimes get a bit confusing for L.A. Lewis. Because of this, she’s made the executive decision to discontinue the weekly blogs and pour all her energy into the scripts. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging. You’ll get to see, up close and personal, as ALL the Bayou secrets are exposed :).