Chapter Thirteen: Freedom
I was sitting in my hotel room watching television when I suddenly, and almost instantly, got hungry. At seven months pregnant, I had no idea when I was going to get hungry. Maybe I’ll cook something.
I got up to go to my tiny makeshift kitchen to make a hot snack when there was a knock at my door. I turned and looked at the clock. It was almost nine at night. Who in the hell would be at my door at this hour? I mused.
I turned my burner off. “Who is it?” I asked loud enough to be heard on the other side of the door. Nothing. Perhaps it was one of the hotel staff. I walked to the door and opened it without looking out of the peephole. Huge mistake.
I opened the door to a man who towered over me at least by a head. Wavy, short, dark brown hair was somewhat groomed around his almost perfect face. His ice blue eyes held both love and anger at the same time if that were possible. Of course, it was. I had seen it many times. Jacob.
How in the hell did he find me? My heart beat wildly out of control. I’m not sure if it was fear or not…well, yes, it was fear. I hadn’t seen Jacob in months, and suddenly, he was here. Not to mention, my belly was huge. Would he notice?
The grin on his face was wide and I will say a bit intimidating. “Hello Kay,” he said pushing his way into the door and closing it behind him.
“How did you find me?” I asked, afraid, but angry too.
He walked closer. “I spent quite a bit of money to find you. It’s good to see you, Kay.” He smiled a creepy smile.
I crossed my arms and squinted in anger. “What do you want?”
He stepped a little closer and reached out to touch my cheek. “It’s obvious isn’t it? I want you to come home.”
I stepped back. I didn’t want him to touch me. “I’m not leaving here. Especially not with you.”
He looked down and my huge belly and grinned again. “Well someone is going to have to take care of you. I see you’re going to have my baby.”
“It’s not your baby.”
The smile he had on his face quickly melted away after my statement. He was getting angry, but I wasn’t going to back down. I hoped that he would just leave. After that, I would find somewhere else to go.
“Stop lying to me, Kay.”
I closed my eyes and repeated myself. “It is not your baby, Jacob.”
He stared at me with his cold eyes, suspecting something, but I didn’t know what. “Well it doesn’t matter. You’re my woman which makes that my baby.” He stated nonchalantly. “How are you affording to stay in this suite? Is Darren helping you?” I’m sure he thought I was going to say yes. This way he could accuse me of sleeping with Darren and have reason to hit me. I wasn’t going to give him that.
“No. I haven’t seen Darren. I have my own money. I did have a house once, remember? You forced me to sell it.”
He smiled; very proud of the power he had over me. “Oh yes. Your house. Look Kay, I’m sorry. I just love you so much. I didn’t want you to leave me.”
Love me? How could he love me? He beat on me constantly. That just pissed me off. “You didn’t have to hit me! You just wanted to control me!”
He shook his head and softened his tone. “No baby you have it all wrong. I just wanted to love you. And I wanted you to love me.”
“You have a funny way of showing it,” I smirked, rolling my eyes.
Ignoring my comment, he smiled widely. “Well I want to start fresh. I came to take you home.”
I shook my head violently. “I’m not going with you, Jacob.”
My guess, he took from me all he was going to take. He moved so fast, I didn’t have time to get out of the way of his very hard opened hand slap. I couldn’t believe it. He hit me. I was pregnant, and he thought the baby was his, yet he hit me anyway. I was shocked, and afraid. How was I ever going to get away from him?
His eyes widened, and he placed his hand over his mouth. “Oh! See what you made me do?” His demeanor changed almost instantly. “Now pack your shit let’s get out of here.”
I had no choice. If I didn’t go, he was going to drag me back. I was afraid for my life. I was afraid mostly for my unborn baby. Would I get to meet my little boy? I hoped so. I turned on the ball of my foot, went into my bedroom, and started packing my clothes. As I packed, I let a few tears fall. How in the world did I get involved with this asshole? He stood in the doorway to my bedroom, so I couldn’t run. I turned to see the look on his face was cold and angry, which only made me cry more.
With bags in hand, I reluctantly got in the car with Jacob. He drove home and helped me out of the car with a huge grin on his face. He got my bags out of the car and waited until I started walking toward the door. I didn’t want to go in. After so long, almost a year, I found myself back in the prison I thought I had finally escaped.
I walked into the house after Jacob unlocked the door. The memories of past beatings were all over me. My heart raced with fear.
The door closed behind me, and I heard it lock. Since I have been gone, he installed new locks with a deadbolt on each side. In order for me to get out, I would have to have a key. It was then I knew he found me long before he came to see me. Fear took over my body again.
He walked over to me, and placed his lips to mine, and tried to kiss me. I pushed him and backed away. That just pissed him off. He slapped me once again, and I ran.
“Get your ass back here woman!” he yelled.
I didn’t want him to hurt me, so I yelled back, “Jacob, stop! Please!”
He caught up with me as I ran through the house. When he hit me again, it was not an open-handed slap, but a punch to the face. That is all I remembered. The next thing I knew, I was in the hospital. When I woke, I asked to get in touch with Josephine.
An hour later, she showed up in my room. I must have looked terrible by the way she looked at me.
“Miss Jacobs? I’m here.”
“Thank you for coming, Josephine.”
“How did you end up here? I thought you were in hiding?”
“I was. Jacob found me. Then he beat me.” I paused for a long time. I’m not sure I should ask her what was going on in my head, but I did anyway. “Josephine, I want you to tell Darren I’m here.”
She looked surprised. “I thought you said-”
“Never mind what I said. Don’t tell him why; just tell him I’m in the hospital.”
She looked at her watch. “It’s late. He will be sleeping now, Miss Jacobs.”
I nodded. “I know, so don’t disturb him. Tell him in the morning. And please don’t do it in front of Celiene.”
“Thank you so much, Josephine.”
“Is there anything else you need?”
“Very well then. I’ll be going.”
I watched Josephine walk out of the door and prayed that Darren would show up.
The following morning, I was running late for an early meeting. Celiene was still asleep, and I was a little hungry. I decided to grab something from the fridge. I entered the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. I reached for the left-over pizza on the second shelf. I warmed it up in the microwave and took a bite.
This is so good. I thought.
Moments later, Josephine walked into the kitchen and startled me. “Good morning, Darren.”
“Good morning, Josie,” I said as I bit into my pizza.
“If Mrs. Smith is still sleeping, I can make you a quick breakfast.”
I shook my head. “No time, I am running late.”
She paused and watched as I put the last of the pizza in my mouth. “I saw Miss Jacobs last night.”
I almost choked. “You did? Where?”
“She called me from the hospital, and I went to go see her.”
I was instantly angry, and I didn’t know why. Kay had been out of my life for a year. “Was she banged up again?”
“Yes. She said she wanted to see you.”
She wanted to see me? For what? “Alright Josephine, thank you. Well, I better get to work.”
I walked out of the door and got in my car. I backed out of my driveway with Kay on my mind. Go see her but don’t get involved, I thought. I started on my long commute into my office.
Kay was on my mind all day. I found it hard to concentrate on anything, but I made it through. I called Celiene to let her know I was going to be late, and I made my way to the hospital.
I found Kay’s room, and went in. Her back was to the door as she lay sleeping. I really didn’t want to wake her, but she wanted to see me. “Kay? Wake up honey.”
Moments later, “Darren?” She woke up.
She rolled over to talk to me. The first thing I saw was the bruising in her face, and black eyes. It made me angry.
When she swung her legs over the side of the bed, I got the shock of my life. “You’re pregnant!”
She nodded and gave me a gentle smile. “Yes. It’s good to see you Darren. I really missed you.”
She missed me. What did that mean? I wasn’t going to read anything into it. Celiene was pregnant, and I was happily married. Kay was supposed to be a thing of the past. “What the hell happened this time?” I asked, really wanting to know.
She told me the story of how she ended up in the hospital. I was ready to kill him. “Where is that black hearted son of a bitch?” I asked, obviously more than annoyed.
“I don’t know. Darren, don’t go after him. Just leave him be.”
“How can he still hit on you and you’re pregnant?” I said ready to kick his ass.
She shook her head. “Never mind, Darren. I didn’t call you here to talk about Jacob.”
“So why am I here?”
She took a deep breath and lowered her eyes. “I got pregnant when we slept together the last time.”
“What?” I had to hear it again.
“This is your baby,” she said with tears in her swollen eyes.
I was in shock. “How far along are you?”
“Almost seven months.”
I began to pace. What in the hell was I supposed to do? And why didn’t she tell me before? “You were pregnant when you moved out of my house?” She nodded. “I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not, Kay.”
Her tears came faster. “I didn’t think you would be happy. I never should have told you.”
Oh shit, she was crying. I think she instinctively knew how her tears affected me. I hadn’t seen her in forever, and her tears still touched my heart. I had to explain myself. “No, no. It’s nothing like that. But two months after you left, Celiene got pregnant. Are you sure this is mine and not Jacob’s?” She nodded. I made a rash decision at the drop of a hat. I didn’t know if I was going to regret it or not, but it was the best option. If Kay was pregnant with my baby, I had to put a safety net in place. “Well if that’s the case, you can’t go home. And you can’t come home with me.”
“Where will I go?” She asked, still with so much sadness in her voice.
It’s a good thing that I had shit tons of money. For what I needed to happen needed to happen in just a few days. “You just stay here until I come back. I will find you somewhere to go. No one will know where you are except me.”
She managed a small smile through her tears. “Thank you, Darren.”
“You’re welcome, Kay.”
I called one of my realtor friends and asked him to find a small house for Kay. I was going to buy it, so I could keep her and my baby a secret. I went out to look at the house, and it was perfect. I put her in a hotel close to the house, so no one would know where she was. It needed to be furnished before she moved in, so I took care of that as well. The house was in Jericho, and it only cost me half a million dollars. My child would be safe, and so would Kay.
When it was ready, I picked her up and drove her to her new house. We walked in the front door. “It’s not much, but it is out of the city, and no one knows you are here.”
She gave me an appreciative yet awkward look. “Darren, I appreciate this, but...”
I shook my head. “You are having my baby. I don’t want to lose you. Your kitchen is stocked, and your new car will be here tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Darren.” She smiled widely and gave me a hug.
I pulled back from her and stared into her beautiful, brown, doe shaped eyes. The next thing I knew, I was kissing her. Her kisses still set my brain on fire. My heart beat was out of control, and I realized after all this time I was still in love with her.
“You’re welcome, Kay.” I had to leave. “Let me know if you need anything.”
She smiled at me. “I will.”
I walked out of the door and got into my car. On my way home, I thought about Jacob. If he found her, however unlikely, he would kill her. I was not going to let that happen. Jacob had to disappear. If he continued to live, my baby would not.
I was sitting in my home office when I called Danny.
“So, what’s up?” Danny asked.
“I need a huge favor. Remember Jacob?”
“Yeah, what about him?”
I took a deep breath and thought carefully about what I was going to say. “I want him gone.”
“It’s gonna cost you.”
“No problem. I’ve got plenty of money.”
Our conversation lasted about thirty minutes. When I hung up the phone I was satisfied that it was going to happen. I didn’t know when, but I’m sure it was going to happen. What hurt me about the whole thing is that I couldn’t tell a soul. Not even my wife.
I had to get her back. I was lost without her. I had no idea where she was, but I found her once, I would find her again. I was walking through the Brooklyn late at night. I know. Stupid. But I couldn’t go home just yet. I had to pin down her location, so I could have someone abduct her and bring her back to me. Where are you Kay? I thought as I was looking around to see if she might have been walking down the street.
I heard a gunshot in the distance. I jumped, but I wasn’t afraid. I walked across the street to see things going on that I had never seen before. But I was determined to find her. Come on, Kay I know you are around here somewhere, I mused.
I heard another gunshot. This time it was closer. Screw this shit. I’m outta here! Afraid of being shot for no reason, I walked back to the street I just left. Or at least I thought it was the street I just left. I looked around trying to get my bearings. Holy shit, I was lost. I began to run. For some reason, fear gripped my body and I couldn’t think straight.
I dipped into an alley to catch my breath. Holy shit, how do I get out of this dump? As I stood catching my breath, two young men walked up to me. I stood up straight, even though my breathing was still ragged.
One of the young men appeared to be Hispanic, the other was Black. Perhaps they could help me find my way to the train.
They approached, and I froze. Were they the ones shooting? I had no idea.
“Wow, what do we have here, CJ?” The black kid asked.
The Hispanic kid was eyeing me like a piece of meat. “Looks like he has a bit of cash to me.”
My heart rate sped up. I had to get out of there. I smiled nervously. “Hey fellas, I’m looking for a pregnant woman. She goes by the name of Kay. Do you know her?”
They both laughed. “There are lots of pregnant women around here. This is the Brooklyn. Lots of single mothers around here, bro. We don’t know all of their names,” the black kid replied.
The other kid, CJ, I think is what the black kid called him, was still staring at me. After a moment he said, “Wait, wait. Leon, I wonder if this is the one we have been looking for.”
The other kid, Leon, stared at me. “The one Danny wants?”
CJ nodded. “Yeah. We take him out we get way more money than what is in his wallet.”
Take me out? Seriously? I should have just stayed home. I had a feeling that I was not going to make it out of this alley. I hoped I would, but it didn’t look good. “Fellas wait. Please just let me go.”
CJ laughed and puffed on his cigarette. “Hell naw man. If you are the one Danny is looking for, I’m gonna live like a king. Let me see your ID, bro,” CJ said.
I pulled my wallet out of my back pocket and handed him my ID.
CJ looked at it, then showed it to Leon. Leon grinned widely. That was when I knew I was the guy they had been looking for.
I looked in my wallet and thought I could just by my way to the train. “I have two hundred...two hundred ninety in my wallet right now. I just want to find that pregnant woman.”
They both laughed at me this time. Leon lit a cigarette. “You must not know what you are worth, pretty boy.”
It was obvious now that I had a price on my head, but why? I was no one. “Worth? How much am I worth?”
Leon puffed his cigarette. “Word on the street is that you are worth ten grand.”
“How? I mean, why?”
“You sir, are a woman beater,” Leon said. “We love women, and don’t like it when a man hits a woman.”
It suddenly dawned on me. Darren. Darren put a hit out on me. He was rich; he could do what he wanted. I didn’t want to die. If I made it out, I would find someone to kill him, but only after I found Kay. “I’ll change!” I shouted in fear. “Just show me the way out of here!”
The CJ kid pulled a gun from his pocket and pointed it right in my face. The look on his face told me I was not going to leave the alley. “Nope. Time to get paid.”
I heard a gunshot, and it was close. I suddenly felt my abdomen burning. I looked down my chest to see blood gushing out of my belly. This was it, I was going to die. The second shot to my belly took me to my knees. I quickly prayed for the Lord to take my soul. I didn’t want to go to hell. The last thing I remember is CJ smiling widely, and he pointed the weapon at my head. He chuckled a bit; I heard a loud sound, then darkness.