🎊 Surprise 🎊

One

Camara sat next to her bay window, exhaling smoke from her nose. Her body was riddled with rage as she looked into the inky night sky. Her eyes roved down to the screen on her phone and noticed it was five minutes after three o’clock in the morning. She had been calling her husband, Kiyan, for over an hour and he had yet to return her calls. Camara wished that this wasn’t a weekly routine. She wished she didn’t have to stay up, wondering if and when Kiyan would come home, but somehow, this had turned into a jaded, weekly ritual that she’d grown weary of.

“I swear I'm sick of his shit,” she muttered before taking another pull from her blunt.

Camara had never been a smoker, but these days, she’d welcomed any vice to help soothe her frazzled nerves. She and Kiyan’s marriage had been on the rocks for a while now, and she had run out of options for them to get back on the right track. Long gone were the days of marital bliss and fulfillment. She once looked at her husband with pure adoration. Now that had been replaced with resentment and detestation.

Camara’s thoughts were suddenly halted when she heard the alarm beep. She quickly put out the blunt and stood to her feet. Her hands were planted on her hips as her heart rate sprinted to a rapid tempo. Camara was prepared for a fight; she was ready to confront her husband of four years for his terrible behavior.

Seconds later, Kiyan entered the bedroom with bloodshot red eyes, alerting her that he too had been smoking. He was handsome with toffee-colored skin, almond-shaped eyes, and full lips. His thick, kinky hair had grown into a small ‘fro, accompanied by a kempt beard. He stood at six feet even with an athletic frame that used to drive Camara insane. But now, not so much.

Kiyan smirked at Camara, prompting her anger to spread like a wildfire.

“Why you smoking in the bedroom?” he asked, taking off his jacket.

The nerve!

Camara stared at him, wondering why he couldn’t get it right. Their relationship had started off rocky, but after she bore their first child, he swore that he would do better. Now here they were back at the starting point of their union, and she was completely fed up.

“Why the hell are you just now coming home?” she seethed, not bothering hide how upset she was.

Kiyan dismissively waved his hand and ambled into their walk-in closet. Camara quickly followed after him.

“So you're not going to answer me?” she hissed.

He offered her an uninterested expression before saying, “I was at the bar with Dinero and Big. Now leave me the fuck alone.”

“The fucking bar closes at two o’clock, so why the hell are you just now getting home? Do you think this shit is acceptable?”

“Yeah, it is,” he shot smugly.

Camara was appalled as she jerked her head back. It seemed as though Kiyan was becoming more disrespectful by the day.

“Oh, so, I can come home after three o’clock in the morning too? If so, just say the word.”

Kiyan shrugged. “Shit, if you want to. I really don't give a fuck what you do,” he responded casually.

“That’s the difference between me and you. I respect you, but you continue to give me your ass to kiss. Since when has it been okay for a married man to come home whenever he feels like it?”

“Cam, you don't give me a curfew. Shit, actually I can do whatever the fuck I wanna do. I'm a grown-ass man, and I don't need another mama telling me when and what time to come home.”

Camara chuckled bitterly. “You're really fucked up in the head if you think as a married man you can do whatever you want.”

Kiyan smirked. “Why you wanna argue with me?”

“Why the fuck you keep disrespecting me?” she countered.

He rubbed his hands down his face. “This is why I hate coming home. You're a fuckin’ nag. All you do is complain and quite frankly, I don't want to hear that shit. I give you everything you want, and you're still not happy. That’s some crazy shit to me.”

Kiyan’s words stung, but Camara refused to display how hurt she was. He wouldn’t care anyway because somehow, he had become unaffected by her sadness.

“Well, I wouldn’t complain if you did what you were supposed to do as a husband and a father. You leave me to do everything while you carry your ass on like you don't have a family. The only thing you do is pay the bills and give me a fucking headache. If you think you're a fucking joy to be around, you're sadly mistaken.”

“Can you get out? I at least want to take a shower in peace without hearing your bitchy ass.”

Camara grabbed the cologne bottle that was sitting on the dresser and hurled it at his head. Kiyan ducked just in time for it to hit the wall.

“Aye, if that shit would've hit me, I would've whooped your ass,” he threatened.

“Fuck you,” she spat before stomping back to the bed.

Camara snatched her phone off the nightstand and walked out the room. She headed down to the guest room and decided to sleep there. Kiyan had no regards for her or her feelings, and that left her with a feeling of dejection.

As Camara laid down and covered her legs with a comforter, tears slid from her eyes. She had spent many nights crying and wondering when things were going to get better. She had prayed, fasted, and hoped for her marriage to improve, but the fact was her union was deteriorating right before her eyes, and she didn’t know how long she would be able to hold on before she completely threw in the towel.

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