Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

A Chapter by Cre8nFrmWithn

Darren reflects on his misdeeds...


Chapter Twelve


Exodus 20:14 & 16  You shall not commit adultery or give false testimony against your neighbor.




The shock of the voice in his head startled him away.  He flung his body and arms this way and that, causing him to fall from his bed.


When he landed, he looked up at his bedroom ceiling in shock.  Zen.  Was that Zenolyn calling to him?


He got to his knees and peeked at his children.  They had taken to sleeping with him since the accident.  Darian had really taken this hard.  She was the last one to see her mommy before she fell.


He’d never seen his daughter so emotional towards her mom before.  She was always smarting off and acting like she didn’t need her.  Now that Zen was in a coma, she cried every night, refusing to sleep in her room. 


Damon mimicked her, wanting to make it a sleep-over he supposed.  Darren was over-whelmed and didn’t know what to do but allow them the space.


It had been almost two weeks since Zen fell from the ladder.  And two weeks since he’d been having the strange dreams, troublesome dreams.  He didn’t know what to do but refused to see anyone.


Their Pastor had stopped by one night and offered prayer and words of sympathy.  Darren didn’t like the visit, although he knew that the man was only trying to help.  He told Darren that during times like this, things could get extremely stressful and he would need someone to talk to. Darren refused.


Why did he have to talk to someone?  He had family and he had his children, granted he had the slightest clue to what he would do with them.  Work was getting downright damaging!


His boss told him to take time off but Darren didn’t want to lose the accounts.  He also didn’t want to not be there when Zen woke up.  But the doctors told him to go home.  That he was doing nothing for Zen or himself by staying there day in and day out.


His children needed him.  He had to cook and clean up behind them.  Since his job load was spread out amogst his co-workers, he had tie to work with the children’s lessons.


Mergers, power meetings and loans he could deal with.  Teaching his twins to read, add, subtract and get alone was more than he could handle!  Then there was the cooking, cleaning and… His children needed him.  He needed Zenolyn.


The first Sunday when she’d fallen, they went to church.  Everyone had heard about Zen and gave their sympathies.  Darren couldn’t stand it.  It was embarrassing!


People that he didn’t know, friends of Zen’s of course, all speaking of how God was going to bring her home to them- it was uncomfortable.  He didn’t like it.


He decided to not go back.  He should have known Pastor would pay him a visit instead.  He’d shown up with a platter of cookies and a twenty-eight pound ham!  Darren didn’t want to invite him in but hadn’t a choice.  The mac n’ cheese had burned and the twins were looking at him as if he were their next meal!


“How did Zen do it?” He asked Pastor while they sat at the coffee table in the living room.


Pastor sat back and smiled, lacing his fingers together across his knee.  “Our wives are truly God’s gift.  They were made to be our companions but ended up being our caretakers.”

“Yeah.”  Darren put his head in his hands and sighed.  He didn’t want to show that he felt defeated but didn’t have the energy to put up a front.


Pastor stared at him intently and then bit into a cookie.  He waited patiently, listening. When Darren spoke, he surprised them both.


“Pastor, last night, I thought I heard Zen.”


Pastor was a big man.  Not in size but in presence.  He was intimidating but not in a negative way.  His demeanor was always professional yet soft.  He didn’t make you feel like you were an idiot or had a stupid question or statement.  He always came off as understanding.  It shocked Darren when that didn’t change after such a statement.


“You heard Zen, how?”

“In my head.  It was like she called out to me.”  He waited, never taking his eyes from the man across from him.  “That’s not all.”


“Okay”, he said while waiting.  He placed the cookie on a napkin and sat back. 


Darren felt like he was speaking to a shrink instead of his Pastor.  He barely knew him.  Pastor Donaldson was Zen’s friend since they stepped into the church.  When they felt their marriage was falling apart, Zen called Pastor Donaldson. 


When the children were cutting up and stressing her out, she called Pastor Donaldson.  He was there for everything they needed.  He was a friend of the family, not just a leader.  They knew him and he knew them.


It just didn’t feel right.  Darren decided to clam up.  He wanted someone else to speak with.  He didn’t want his pastor thinking he was cracking under the strain.  It wasn’t manly.


“Do you still have someone I can talk to.  You know, the counselor thing.?”

“Yes.  I can be the one you speak to  if you like Darren.  You don’t ‘have to be worried about being judged or anything-“


It wasn’t the judging thing he was worried about.  “No, I don’t want to bother you.  Can you set me up with someone?”


“Sure, we have Stephen’s Ministers.  They’re trained to listen.  No judging, sarcasm or telling you what to do.  They meet with you once a week so you can talk.  If you like, I can assign someone to you.  They can contact as early as you like.”


Darren thought it over.  Did he really want to talk to someone?  Upstairs he heard something fall and the twins arguing with one another. 


“Yeah, that would be nice.  I would appreciate that.”


Pastor Donaldson looked up at the ceiling too.  He had seen Damon and Darian in action and felt for Darren.  All alone to deal while the woman of his life and coordinator of all was in a hospital bed.  He had to feel completely lost.


“I’d like to pray with you, if that’s alright?”


Darren did not want to pray.  He hated praying with other people.  Zen made them pray before every meal- even in public!  Every time they did it, he felt eyes on his neck, face and family!  Being a public spectacle was not on his favorite to-do list!


“Sure Pastor.”  Just make it fast, he thought.




The children were asleep in his bed again.  Darren laid on his back, waiting for sleep to come.  He was afraid of what he would dream though.


For nights, he was experiencing strange dreams.  They made no sense but frightened him.  He felt like there was some connection to his dreams and what he was going through but there couldn’t be.  He didn’t like feeling helpless either.  Someone needed his help and he hadn’t a clue who they were or where they were to lend assistance.


Besides, who were the people in his dreams anyway?  They were back in medieval times or something- far beyond his reach!  And yet, he felt as though he knew them.  Owed them something.


Sleep was not coming to him and waiting for it was no good either.  He looked over at his beautiful children and wondered if they were alright.  Were they experiencing normal dreams and not feeling in debt- undone?


No, he decided.  They were fine.  He on the other hand needed something strong.  He needed a drink.  A shot of whiskey would help him go to sleep just fine.


Zen didn’t like when he drank.  She said he didn’t act like her husband when he drank but a stranger.  She didn’t like the change.  She didn’t like the smell either.  He did. He loved it!


Whiskey was a man’s drink.  It put hairs on the chest and gave you the juice to please the women!  Yeah,… but she didn’t think so.  She didn’t like it one bit.  She always froze him out when he drank.


He couldn’t help but get a little bitter.  She was always telling him what he should and shouldn’t be doing.  He hated it!  He didn’t marry her to have another mother. 


He loved Zen but she was always whining about something.  She was always complaining about the kids too.  She wanted children- was it his fault that she had them both at the same time?  Well, actually yeah.  Yeah it was.


Twins ran on his side of the family and he knew that there was the possibility they’d have a set too.  He just wanted to make her happy.  She wanted kids and she wanted them bad, salivating every time she saw a baby carriage coming.  He knew she’d feel complete once pregnant.


And she was, for the most part.  He didn’t imagine he’d have to work so hard once she got so far along!  She became constantly needy and looking for food.  She was unbearable.


That’s when he decided he was happier away from home.  He did his best from the time she was about five and a half months pregnant to delivery, that he needed to stay awake from the house.  He needed space from her.


As soon as he would walk in the door, she’d be on him like white on rice!  She had to hug him, hold his hands and stuff.  Dang!  It was awful.


Without realizing it, Darren was standing before the liquor cabinet.  He didn’t have much in the beautiful oak case but he loved the look.  It gave his home a regal feel.  All the furniture had to be just right, to give off the right impression to visitors.  He loved it when friends and family came in, mouths agape.


Looks were everything to him.  That’s why he dated Zenolyn in the first place.  Yeah, he’d always been attracted to black women but she was something else.  She was intoxicating and innocent.


When he was growing up, he was in a house of all boys.  His household was always yelling, cheering and competing for the top!  All of the Maysfield boys competed for what they considered the best. 


They were all two to three years apart in age.  They all were active in sports and all of them had trophies to show their abilities.  They all made their father and mother proud but that wasn’t enough.  They didn’t just work at beating one another in school grades, sports and extra curricular activities.  They also competed in the girl department.


Darren had four other brothers: David, Dawsey, Daniel and Dean.  The Maysfield boys were known by all in the neighborhood.  Handsome and kind but to the girls, dominating and on the ‘hot’ list!


Those boys didn’t think about their future and the act of selibacy.  All they knew was the girls wanted them and they were happy to oblige.  It was the game and they all played well.  Even Dean, the baby scored regularly.


Once they got into college, of which they all chose the same alma mater, they were the same way.  The coaches all loved them and they worked hard to stay on top.  Top of the Coach’s list, the school papers’s list, the dean’s list….and the list of the ladies!


They felt they were God’s gift to the world and they were took as much as they wanted, as they pleased.  It wasn’t until David graduated, leaving his brothers that things changed.


The grades and friends stayed on top but they were slowing in the competition of being with the girls.  Then it happened.  David got married.


They were disappointed for a little while.  The disappointment turned to shock and then the games began again.  Dawsey married while in his last year of college.  He still managed to graduate Sigma Cum Laude too!  It was amazing!


David married an Asian gal.  She was lovely and named Kim.  She had a million dollar smile and evidently it made David feel just as rich! 


They moved to Toledo when David got the job of a lifetime.  Periodically, he called or sent photos of his children via e-mail.  David was happy and his brothers were happy for him.


Later, when Dawsey married, he caught a girl while on holiday in Jamaica.  She was from London and on a trip with her family.  She was a dream too.  Long dark hair framed her clear, blue eyes and olive complexion.  She was something to drool over.


That left Daniel and Darren to step up to the plate.  Daniel joined the Marines so that left Darren.  He had looked long and hard before he came across Zen, while working his way up the ladder in the company.  Back then he felt he was going to lose the game, always thinking Danny would call with the big news breaker.


Darren hadn’t found anyone that made his heart flutter.  All the girls in college were fine and all but they didn’t strike him, didn’t strike him. 


Now Zenolyn, she struck him in the right way.  She was gorgeous in his eyes and he did everything he could to win her over- even buying her lunch and not eating with her!  He would get butterflies in his stomach whenever he saw her.  He was almost stalking her for a while.


He would see her getting out of her car, eating lunch, if he spotted her, he stopped in his tracks to watch.  She was like an angel in motion and he wanted her for himself.  And he did it.  He charmed his way into her heart and married her.


The Maysfield brothers were envious, never thinking to date a black woman.  At the time, he didn’t see her as a woman of color but as the only woman who could own his heart.  She was his living dream walking.


But one she got pregnant, he’d been promoted to Assistant Director of the department.  A lot was on his shoulders and he didn’t want to fail his boss or his family.


They were able to get the house, allowed Zen to decorate, as long as it all carried a particular look.  He even gave her the car of her choice.  He wanted her happy and he wanted to shower her in all the niceties she desired.


That’s when the twins came into the picture.  It was way more than he’d bargained for.  He couldn’t take the crying, the diapers, the periodic stinking of the diapers.  It was way too much for him.  He then used the job as his escape.


Until Justine came into the picture.  She was an old friend from college.  Zen worked with her for a long time but hadn’t known that Justine was one of Darren’s many conquests.  He feared how Zen would have received his past, so he never disclosed his actions.


Darren didn’t like keeping secrets but once the affair had begun, he knew that it was trouble.  Justine was demanding and hungry.  She craved for more than a sneak every now and then.  She wanted him to leave Zen.  Divorce her and leave her to the wolves but he didn’t have the heart to do anything so rash.  He didn’t love Justine.  He loved his wife. 


The affair lasted for months and it began to take its toll on his body and mind.  He kept lying and sneaking and making Zen feel worthless.  He had decided he couldn’t do it anymore.


He grabbed the bottle of whiskey and a shot glass.  He poured three fingers and quietly placed the bottle down.  He closed his eyes and remembered how he had to break the relationship off with Justine.


She didn’t take it well.  She cried, begged, pleaded with him before shouting undesirable names at him.  She then apologized and fell to her knees.  It was pathetic.  So bad that he felt he had to make her happy again, so he could leave guilt-free.


With the lie of a future together, Darren left her and then came up with a plot to have her fired.  Luckily, he had friends in higher places " they believed his lies, defaming Justine to the worst.  She was fired the following day.


Even though he lied to get her terminated, he didn’t feel he’d truly lied on her.  He used her words against her.  Got rid of his dirty, little secret and got ahead in the business.


When Justine got in to work the following day, she was a pariah.  Everyone eyed the woman who did her best to manipulate the happily married man with a set of twins on the way.  For shame, harlot, skank they whispered.


From then on, Darren focused on his wife.  He did his best to see Zenolyn as the woman he’d always loved.  The woman he saw before the babies and the stress of being the Assistant Director.  He was happy again,…


Until he’d started on the bad habits with the twins.  He knew that he was doing wrong but he was having fun with the kids.  He was there and being a part of the family, that’s what she wanted, right?


Darren threw back the shot of Wild Turkey and gasped.  The liquid was warming and strong- very strong.  He squeezed his eyes shut until the burn passed and then poured another.  He took the glass over to his winged back chair and plopped.  He was lonely and sad.


He missed his wife.  He thought back to the argument he’d previously had with Zen.  Why did he make things so hard for her?  Why didn’t he tackle the gutters himself?  She was always trying to do things she wasn’t supposed to do.


Why Zen?  Why, why why?  His heart sank.  He leaned his head to the right side of the cushioned chair and closed his eyes.  He missed her so much.  His wife, his friend, the mother of his bad-assed kids.  He needed her back.


“Please God”, he cried.  Tears streamed down his face.  He hated crying.  It wasn’t manly and it was a huge sign of weakness- something he didn’t like one bit but who would know?


The tears didn’t stop.  He placed his palms over his face and pulled a deep inhale.  He blew outward and grabbed his whiskey.  The golden liquid didn’t burn as much this time.


“God, please bring my wife back.  I’ll do whatever it takes.  I just need her back.  Our babies need her.”

© 2012 Cre8nFrmWithn

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Added on March 23, 2012
Last Updated on April 4, 2012
Tags: covet, lie, reflect, remorse, depression, alone



Kirkwood, MO

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