Saturday, June 25, 2016

Chapter 9, Hell Hath No Fury

***WARNING!!! My stories often contain strong language, sensitive issues, and, at times, other content that could be construed as offensive. Beliefs and viewpoints of characters are not necessarily the beliefs and viewpoints the Author holds in true life.***

I knew this day would come, but I dreaded it nonetheless. "Won't you come in," I said with measured politeness.

Ericka perched herself stiffly on my couch, looked around my small house as if it were a hovel, then studied me like a specimen under a microscope. It took utmost effort on my part not to squirm.

"You have here," she said.

I shrugged. "It keeps the rain out. Would you like some coffee? Tea?" I don't have roaches, lady, so stop acting like Snob Extraordinaire, I thought to myself.

"No, thank you," she replied simply.

I shrugged again. "I highly doubt you came here to scrutinize my house, so why don't you get on with the real reason for this surprise visit."

She narrowed her eyes at me. "You're more dense than I imagined if you don't already know." She picked at her skirt as if to remove a piece of lint although she looked impeccable. "I came here to find out exactly what your motives are and to give you a warning."

"I see," I said. I wasn't going to get into a pissing contest of the female variety. It was best to let her get it out without interruption; anything else would be highly nonconstructive. I waited for her to continue and didn't have to wait long.

"You and Simon have put me in a difficult position," she said in measured tones. "Do you know what it's like to find myself in the role the as unsuspecting wife? Do you realize the pain you've caused me?"

"For what it's worth, Ericka, this wasn't a personal vendetta against you, not by me anyway." I tried to speak calmly, wishing my heartbeat would slow down. "It just...happened. I was lonely and Simon was there. I just needed..."

I heaved a sigh, looking down at my shoes. "I needed someone to hold me."

"Well, he certainly did a lot more than hold you, didn't he?" she spat out as she shot to her feet. I felt awful enough as it was but it was nothing compared to how low I felt at seeing the tears standing out in her eyes. "I thought the worst of it was when he stepped out but to find out that he fathered another woman's child..."

She wiped angrily at the tears, composed herself, and looked at me with nothing but coldness. "I'm not easily made a fool of and won't stand by idly as you and Simon laugh at how you've humiliated me."

I felt my blood start to simmer and I, too, was on my feet. "Look, for your information, there is no me and Simon. Our relationship, in all forms, is done. You surely must know he signed over the cosmetics company to me in order to get me out of his hair. As far as hurting you," I lowered my voice, "I never meant you any personal harm. Simon and I made a mistake, one that I am still paying for. I never laughed at you or remarked on any stupidity you believe I felt regarding you. I knew he was married and that it was wrong, but...things happen in moments of weakness. I am truly sorry for hurting you, Ericka. What's done is done though and we need to live with the fallout."

"Sorry doesn't ease the situation, Debbie. What you did--"

I looked her squarely in her eyes. "I take responsibility for my part in this, Ericka. It was a mistake, a very big one, and I own up to it. What you must remember also is that I'm not the only guilty party. Simon obviously strayed for one reason or another. It it hadn't been with me, it would have been with someone else. If you're going to blame someone for this mess, do yourself a favor and place the blame where it belongs and in adequate doses. I'm sorry for your pain. I get that, but I will not take full responsibility."

Ericka reached for an elegant alligator handbag that must have cost a small fortune. "You're right. What's cone is done and we must live with it. Not only must I live with it but I must clean up the mess." She fished inside and pulled out a checkbook. "As I said, I came here to find out what yo wanted and to give you a warning. As to what you want, it must be money."

"I don't want your money. Simon signed over the cosmetics company and that's all I care about. I'll make a very nice living from it and be able to support my son without any additional help. Put the checkbook away."

"Then what is it you want, Debbie?" She fixed me with a thin-lipped scowl.

"I want to be left alone to live my life with my son. I want nothing from either you or Simon."

She looked around my small house again with undisguised distaste. "You call this supporting your son? Why, there's barely room for one person here. He's going to grow, you know, and when he does, he'll require more space."

"I'll deal with that," I said icily. "I might not be able to provide us a huge mansion or send my son to fancy private school like you can do and have, I'm sure, but I manage quite nicely. Now, if there's nothing else--"

"Don't forget that I came here to warn you," she said.

"Right. Fine, then. Give your warning and let's be done with it," I replied, wishing this whole thing to have been over five minutes ago.

As Ericka narrowed her eyes at me, she reminded me a a saber-toothed tiger on the prowl. "I'm warning you to stay away from Simon, me, and any of my family. You are not to demand or expect him to have any kind of relationship with your bastard son, nor are you to change your mind and ask me or him for more money." She still hadn't put the checkbook away. Instead, she opened it and began writing furiously with an ornate gold pen. I goggled at her as she finished the last strokes with a flourish. "This is all you get from either of us."

I was royally pissed now. I glared at her, sure I'd be the one winning the saber-toothed tiger contest. "You can say anything you want about me but I draw the line at my son being referred to in such a filthy way. If you're spoiling for a fight, you'll have a huge one on your hands if you mess with my boy."

"I wouldn't go near your brat even if he was dying in the street," Ericka spat back. She reached for her checkbook again, tore the check loose, and slammed it down on my end table. "I want yo out of my life and if that means paying you off, then so be it. I can afford it."

"I said I don't want your damned money!" I yelled.

"I'm not taking it back so you've no choice. I suggest you use it to buy yourself a house out of town. Let me give you some advice. You'd be better off. Everyone in Aurora Skies hates you. You slept around with a pillar of the community and got yourself knocked up by him. Everyone will figure you blackmailed him into giving you the company and he complied in order to keep you silent about your torrid trysts. Everyone thinks you're a shameless hussy who just wanted to bilk money from the boss." She smiled a fake syrupy smile before turning on her heel and marching toward the door. "If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the brat. What kid would want to be known as the illegitimate one whose father doesn't even acknowledge his existence? Tough break or a young, impressionable tyke, don't you think?"

I wanted to bitch-slap her but kept my temper in check with great effort. What she said hit home and I knew Nathaniel would have tons of questions for me on this very subject when he got older. Still, I wanted to throttle her but realized it wouldn't do Nathaniel or me any good if I took a swing at her and landed myself in the hoosegow. Ericka was an embittered woman and Lord knows she had reason to be. I had to be the bigger person and not let her rile me any more than I already was.

The slamming of the door and squealing of tires told me that Ericka was gone. The only part of her that remained was the check on the table staring me in the face. I picked it up gingerly and swore under my breath. It was made out for a hundred fifty thousand dollars. As much as I really didn't want the money, I had to think of my son. Ericka was right. This place wouldn't hold the two of us for much longer. I'd wanted to get us a bigger place but had to put that on the back burner. I felt it was important to put away as much as I could for Nathaniel's education and figured I could get us something better when I made more from Countess Deborah Cosmetics. Even though my circumstances had started to look more promising, I was still very conservative with what I doled out. However, with this new development, I realized I could put a down payment on a nice, comfortable house for us, still have some leftover money to put away for his education, and still be in good shape.

I decided I would call a realtor first thing Monday morning. Oh, I'd be getting a new house, all right, but it wouldn't be out of town. I never ran from my problems before and wasn't about to start now. I would just deal with whatever the town threw at me. If I ran, it would only be teaching Nathaniel to do the same; I didn't want that. I want him to be able to face adversity with courage and self respect.

I was about to go check on Nathaniel when my cell phone rang. I groaned as I looked at the caller ID. "Hey, Debbie, it's Terrill. I was thinking that since we had such a great time at lunch yesterday, we could have dinner together tomorrow night. What do you say?"

Now was not a great time to deal with this new wrinkle in my life. With everything that happened with Ericka still fresh in my mind, the explosion erupted and I couldn't hold it back. "No, I do not want to have dinner with you tomorrow night or any other night. No more lunch dates and no more making nice. I certainly don't need a man to keep me comfortable. I'm perfectly capable of running my own life."

"Whoa, hold the phone." He sounded completely perplexed. "Let's take it down to thirty-three and a third, and then you can tell me what I've done to piss you off."

"It's just...just..." I was aghast at myself when I burst into tears. "Awww shit!" I put the phone on speaker, set it down on the table, and bowed my face into my hands.

"Debbie, what is it?" the concern in his voice undid me. I bawled, really bawled, and couldn't stop.

"Debbie, please talk to me. You've got me really worried. Are you hurt? Ill?"

"N-no. Not sick. Not h-hurt...physically. I'm s-sorry. Please f-forgive me," I stammered through sobs. Good God! He must think me completely certifiable.

"It's okay. No apologies necessary. I'm just concerned about you. If ever there was a lady who needed to unload some troubles, you're that lady. I make a good listener. Will you let me come over and be that friend you obviously need?" Terrell's deep, rich voice went right to my very soul. If I let myself, I could start to care for him; I could care for him too much and that was how I'd gotten into trouble before.

"I'll b-be okay," I said.

"Bullshit. Friends, remember? I'm unattached and have nobody to answer to. You need to talk and I'll gladly lend a listening ear. What've you got to lose?" he persisted gently.

My soul, I almost said. Instead, I sighed, then sniffled. I truly did need a friend; a friend with no conditions or commitments. It was a lonely existence with only my son for company. I needed adult companionship and I needed someone to listen, truly listen for once. I wiped my tears, gathered my courage, and took a giant leap of faith. "Fine then." I gave him my address and directions to my house.

"I'll be there in ten minutes," he said.

As I waited for Terril's arrival, I went into the bathroom to fix the damage my weeping had caused. I looked at myself in the mirror and heaved a great sigh. "Well, Evans, what have you done this time?" I fervently hoped I wouldn't regret taking this leap I'd been so scared to take.


  1. As much as we might want to hate Ericka .. I cannot say I would do differently!

    1. Ericka was very hurt by the betrayal and wanted to lash out and blame someone. We've never seen any interactions between Simon and Ericka, but we can assume they've had plenty of words about the situation. Debbie was also a cause to the pain she's in and is an easy target for Ericka to vent her rage adn animosity to. Unfortunately, she was very cruel, but people say cruel things when they're hurting. An affair and being the unsuspecting wife is a hard pill to swallow.

  2. I know what you mean, but taking her anger out on the innocent child is where I draw the line of her attack. Debbie is calmer than me Ericka would've gotten kicked clean out of my house. That baby is innocent and didn't cause the affair he was the result of it. If she wanted to throw blows be it at her unfaithful husband and the woman he slept with. Also I hope Debbie gets a better ending and Ericka and Simon fix their home up, their baby will surely be experiencing soul searching issues and probably end up hating either both or one of her/his parents.

    1. At this point, Ericka didn't care who she hurt, even if it was an innocent child. It's unfortunate and Debbie will never forgive her for what she said. Maybe Ericka will do some soul searching and realize she crossed a line. Only time will tell.

      Debbie...yeah, she was calmer than I'd be too. I'm sure she'd have liked nothing better than to plant a fist right in Ericka's face but her son was in his crib in the next room, so she didn't want to let him see a potentially violent physical attack.

      Debbie doesn't know it yet, but someone special is in her life now and she'll get what she deserves. :) As to Simon and Ericka...not sure waht's going ot happen to those two. They've got kids and these kinds of things have a way of coming out and biting you in the butt.

  3. Well, Ericka sure took a bitter pill. She could have handled things better imo, though. I hope Terrill really turns out to be a friend :)

    1. Ericka was a real bitch but she was also very hurt by the situation. I might have reacted the same way myself if I were in her place, although taking it out on Nathaniel went a bit far. :( Terrill seems like a nice guy and will hopefully give Debbie the boost she needs.

  4. Well Ericka has every right to be angry with Debbie. But to take it out on little Nathaniel is wrong wrong wrong. It's not his fault he was conceived out of an affair and as he gets older he should have a right to at least meet his half siblings. If I was Debbie I would've kicked Ericka out the door. As for Ericka she should divorce Simon and take him for all he's worth. After all he should have known better. Not take it out on the boy. I'm off to the next chapter. Sorry I haven't been contact in so long life has been very very hectic for me.

    1. It's always great to see a comment from you, and I hope life calms down a bit for you. It's a tough situation for all of them and Ericka was very hurt by what went down. Yeah, she did go too far taking it out on poor Nathaniel and Debbie should have kicked her ass. At least she kept a level head though and didn't get physical, which could have landed her in the slammer for at least an overnight visit. Aurora could tell her all about that. LOL! Maybe in time, she healing can happen and Nathaniel can possibly have a relationship with his half siblings. Time will tell. Yeah, Simon would deserve it if Ericka divorced him and took him to the cleaners.

  5. I honestly felt bad for her because she has the right to feel mad and sad, but the whole threatening thing is not okay. I would have shoo'd her out for real once she started getting nasty, especially when she started criticizing Debbie for bringing her son up in a small house.

    1. Ericka did have the right to feel the way she did but yes, she carried it way too far once sh really got going. Debbie handled it as best she could but yeah, she probably could and should have thrown Ericka out once the nasty viciousness started. What goes around comes around and I'm sure Debbie will get the happiness she deserves.

  6. Woah, what a chapter. Ericka was a bitch, but sadly I think anyone who was hurt the way she did would react the same way. It is not fun being cheated on, and I am sure she is just trying to put on a brave face.

    I hope that Debbie accepts Terrill's help, and opens up to him. I think he could be really good for her.

    1. Ericka really was a bitch and carried things too far once she got started. When someone is hurt, though, they say things they regret and a lot is taken out of proportion. I might react in a similar fashion if it were me in Ericka's place and yeah, it's not fun being cheated on. :(

      Terrill is a nice guy and they look really cute together. Let's hope something good will happen for Debbie this time out. :)

  7. I certainly can understand why Ericka was angry however her anger should be aimed at the right person, her husband. He was the one who betrayed her not Debbie. Not that Debbie is an innocent in this situation as she knew she was sleeping with a married man but Debbie did take full responsibility for her part in this whole situation. Ericka did take it way too far she should have not mentioned the child but of course she did. She could have just asked Debbie what her intentions were and let it stay at that. With a personality like that no wonder her husband cheats on her. If you ask me she is embarrassed by this as she probably doesn't want her uppity friends seeing Debbie or Nathaniel running around town so she wants Debbie to move. I'm glad Debbie is taking the check and staying in town anyway.

    As for Debbie taking it out on Terrill that was wrong and I'm glad she recognized that right away. She does need a friend and hopefully something more.