Chapter Eight: Gone Forever
The next few days were painful. I’m glad I got all of Kay’s stuff out of my house. I was miserable without her. I worked from home until I had to go in for a meeting. Ugh. That was the worst. I didn’t want to be around people. I just wanted to wallow in my own self-pity as I went over it a million times in my head how I could cheat on a wonderful woman like Kay.
I was sitting at my desk when I got a text message. I was from Celiene.
I heard what happened. Call me.
I rolled my eyes and continued working. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about my failed relationship. Thirty minutes later, my phone rang. I knew she wasn’t going to leave me alone, so I gave in and answered.
“Hello Celiene…No, no. I don’t want to go out tonight…No; I don’t need to be around friends. Look, I’m busy. I have a lot of work to do and you are disturbing me. I’ll talk to you later. Bye Celiene.”
I sighed as Jeffrey walked into my open office door. “What’s going on?”
“Celiene won’t give it a rest. That was her on the phone…again. I’m tired of her pestering me.”
“Well, have you talked to Kay?”
I shook my head. “She won’t answer my texts or phone calls.”
Jeffrey was also surprised. “Wow man, what in the hell did you do?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “What I normally do. You know.”
“Aw man you didn’t sleep with anyone, did you?”
“Naw man, not at all. I may have kissed on a few though.”
Jeffrey rolled his eyes. “Aw come on, Dude! When are you gonna learn?”
I hung my head in shame. “I don’t know. Perhaps I already have. I love Kay. I didn’t want to hurt her.”
“It seems like you have already done that. How did you get busted anyway?”
It only took me two seconds to remember. “A video. Someone sent her a video of me.”
“Do you know who it was? Did you ask her?”
“Naw man, I was so busy freaking out that she busted me, I didn’t think to ask.”
“Well, you need to find out. Perhaps I can talk to her and find out for you.”
“Thanks man. I would appreciate that.”
My best friend and business partner saw my pain. It was the end of the day, and we were done.
“Come on. Let’s go home. It’s been a long day.”
I sighed and turned off my laptop. It would be good to get home, so I could relax. I walked in the door, met by Josephine.
“Good evening, Darren.”
“Are you hungry? I can cook something for you pretty quick.”
I shook my head. “No thanks, Josie. I’m just gonna go to bed.”
My long-time family housekeeper knew when I was down. She felt that I needed a pep talk. “Darren, you know I have known you almost all of your life. I’m almost like your mother.”
“Yeah Josie, I know.”
“What happened to Kay?”
I looked up at my housekeeper. “What do you mean?”
“You were the happiest I have seen you in a long time when she was here with you. You have been walking around here like a sad sack. Where is she?”
I looked up at Josie trying not to cry. “She’s gone, Josie. I fucked up as I usually do. I seem to run those who care about me away, with my greed. How come I can’t just stick with one woman?”
She shook her head. “It all started with that girl. Lucy, was it?” I nodded. “She was the one who changed your life. Forgive me for saying so, but you probably should have listened to your parents about that one. She wasn’t good for you no matter how she made you feel.”
“I was young, Josie.”
She nodded. “I know you were. That is why you were supposed to listen to your parents. Now here you are almost forty years old and really in love. Stop living the way you have in the past. Miss Kay loves you. I see it. I know you love her as well. If you want her in your life, you are going to have to change your ways, Darren.”
I sighed heavily. “I know Josie. Thanks. I’m going to bed.”
I walked away from her and went to my room still holding back tears. I got to my room and poured a glass of wine trying to relax. It just didn’t happen. I wanted to talk to Kay. I tried texting Kay again. In the text I told her how much I loved her, and sorry I was. I waited for a response. Nothing. I sent another text.
Kay, come on babe. Please answer. I am so, so sorry. I just want to know if you are okay. Please answer.
I paced my room with my phone in my hand waiting on a response. I stood there holding my phone literally trying to will her to reply. I decided to send her another.
I have known you for two years. I have never stayed with a woman that long. Never. I promise I will never do anything like this again. Please answer.
I continued to pace, waiting on a response. Still nothing. Maybe the third time would be the charm.
I love you and miss you so much. Baby, please talk to me.
A half an hour later, she still hadn’t responded. Crap. Perhaps I would ask about the video. Maybe that would get her talking.
Okay fine. I get it. You hate me. Who sent you that video?
I stood there waiting for an eternity, and I still got nothing. It was at that moment that I got angry. The Darren, who I was trying to be, gave way to Dude. Okay fine. If this is what she wants, then okay. But I still want to know who sent that video.
I laid down and tried to get some sleep. I tossed and turned for at least an hour. Then in the quiet of my bedroom, I got a text message. I reached for my phone. The light temporarily blinding me, but when my eyes adjusted, I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was a text from Kay, and it was only one word.
I jumped out of bed and flipped on my light. Son of a bitch! I thought. I should have known.
I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t even lay down. Not sure how he did it without me seeing him, but Jacob ruined my future. My father was a fighter. He was ruthless in business, and he loved his family, though I didn’t always think so. I was going to be a fighter like my father. I was a Smith after all. It was in my blood to be so. Jacob was not going to step in the middle of my relationship. Kay was only the second woman who I was in love with in my life. I had to stop him. I figured that I was going to put the fear of Dude Smith in his ass. I had no idea where the meathead lived, but I had to find out. I was seriously going to kick his ass.
The next morning was Saturday. Since I couldn’t sleep, I waited until at least six thirty and took a shower. Not long after that, I got dressed and was out of the door. I drove to Manhattan and rang Jeffrey’s doorbell. I’m sure he was pissed, but it couldn’t be helped. It was seven fifteen in the morning.
After several times on the doorbell and impatiently waiting for Jeffrey to come to the door, it finally opened. I pushed my way past him and allowed him to close the door.
“Dude? What the fuck man?”
I gave him a one-word answer. “Jacob.”
Annoyed that I woke him up, he was my best friend, and obligated to listen to me no matter the hour. “What?”
I began to pace. “Jacob was the one who sent Kay the video.”
Jeffrey asked, “How did you find out?” I gave him the sorted details. He was just as surprised as I was. “Son of a bitch! He hasn’t given up on her yet?”
My anger had gotten the best of me. “He’s going to. So where does that black hearted bastard live?”
Jeffrey recognized the signs. “Dude, you can’t seriously be thinking...”
I nodded. “Yes, I’m going to beat his ass to a pulp.”
“If Kay finds out, you’ll never get her back.”
Though I loved her, I didn’t have a chance with her ever again. “It doesn’t matter. She doesn’t want me anymore anyway.”
“Man, are you nuts? She loves you.”
“If she loved me, she wouldn’t have believed what she saw in that video.”
Jeffrey, my best friend, was always honest with me, and I appreciated that. “Come on now, Dude. You were caught kissing those women on film.”
I sighed. “Okay, okay. But she didn’t believe that I was sorry. She just yelled at me and kicked me out.”
“I would have done the same thing.”
“Kiss my ass, man. So, do you know where this piece of shit lives?”
Even if Jeffrey knew where Jacob lived, he wouldn’t have told me. He knew that I was going to do some serious damage to this asshole when I found him. “I don’t.”
I nodded. “Thanks man. I’m out.”
I turned to leave. Before I got to the door, Jeffrey stopped me. “Hey.”
I turned to him. “What?”
“Do not get yourself arrested. We have another presentation for the Harrison account.”
I agreed. “Yeah, right. I’m out man.”
I had no clue who could help me find this man. Perhaps Melissa knew. She was with him in the restaurant that night. Maybe they met at his house before they went to dinner. I left Jeffrey’s house and went straight to Melissa. It was still insanely early for a weekend, but I didn’t care. I hit her doorbell like five times in a row and waited. I got no response, so I hit it again. Moments later, I heard, “Coming!” I waited. Soon after, her door opened. “Dude, what are you doing here at this god-awful hour?”
“I came to ask you something. Can I come in?”
She nodded and backed away. “Sure.” I pushed passed her just to get inside. It was rude, but hey, I was angry. “What’s going on?” she asked, with sleepy eyes and cute pajamas.
“Do you know where Jacob lives?”
She shook her head. “No why?”
“I have to find that vile piece of shit. He caused Kay to break up with me.”
Mel couldn’t believe it. “You have got to be kidding me!”
I shook my head. “No Mel, I’m quite serious.”
“I don’t have time to talk about that now. If you don’t know where he lives, I have to go.”
My anger took control of my body, and it was making me an extremely pissy asshole. I was on a mission and wanted to finish it.
“Dude wait,” Mel stopped me on the way out of the door.
I turned to face her. “What Mel?”
Mel was friends with me before she was friends with Kay. How dare she ask me that? “I just told you she broke up with me. If you want to know, why don’t you call her? I’m out.” I got in my car and started to drive. I had no idea where I was going, I just drove.
I was shocked to hear about Dude and Kay. I had to get the details, so I picked up my phone to call Kay. I paced my living room waiting on Kay to pick up the phone. Come on Kay, pick up. Pick up, pick up. I thought.
I was worried, because I knew how Kay felt about Dude. Kay and I had become close friends. We often talked to each other about our men. Kay never answered her phone. My worry became serious concern. I went outside and got in my car. I dialed Kay’s number before I pulled off. Kay’s phone rang and rang. I drove faster. When I finally reached Kay’s house, her car was in the driveway, and I felt a little bit of relief. I parked my car, got out and rang the doorbell, expecting Kay to come to the door right away. Nothing.
I rang the doorbell four more times before I looked into the window on Kay’s porch. I saw nothing. Then I decided to call Jeffrey. I hoped he wasn’t in a meeting or something. This was rather important.
“Jeffrey Hughes speaking.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank God. Babe, have you seen or talked to Kay?”
“No, what’s up?”
“I’m at her house now. Her car is here, but she’s not answering.”
Jeffrey, went into panic mode. “Call Dude. I’m on my way.”
I was sitting in my great room eating pizza, and half ass watching a random baseball game on TV when my phone rang. I looked to see who it was and picked it up. I almost went bat shit crazy when I heard Mel give me details, but I kept my head. “I’ll meet you at the hospital.”
I made it to the hospital in record time. I wanted to know what the hell happened, and why my Kay was in the hospital. “What the hell happened to her?” I asked as soon as I found Jeffrey and Melissa.
Melissa was visibly upset. “I went to check on her after you left my house. She didn’t answer so I called Jeffrey.”
Jeffrey also looked like someone stole his puppy. “I called 911 on my way to her house. We have no idea what happened.”
Just then a good-looking older Hispanic doctor walked up to us. “Which one of you is Darren Smith?”
I turned to the doc and replied, “I’m Darren Smith.”
“Mr. Smith I am Dr. Hernandez. I was wondering if we could speak in private for a moment.”
I nodded, and the doc and I walked a little way down the hallway. I immediately asked, “Is she gonna be okay?”
“Certainly. She just needs some rest.”
Rest? What the fuck? I wanted to know what happened to her. “Why did she pass out?”
“She was a little dehydrated, and she hasn’t had much sleep. She’ll be fine tomorrow. We’re just going to keep her overnight to re-hydrate her.”
I was happy that she was going to be okay. I was still pissed that she didn’t reply to any of my phone calls or text messages, but I had to see her. Shit I still loved her. “Can I see her?”
“I don’t see why not. We gave her a sleeping pill to help her get some sleep, so don’t stay too long.”
I nodded. “Sure doc. Thanks.”
When I got to her room door, I hesitated. What was I going to say to her? I had no idea. I sighed and pushed the door open. She was looking out of her room window when I came in. Upon hearing the door open she turned to face me. The look on her face was shock. “What are you doing here?” She asked.
I shrugged. “I came to check on you.”
“How did you even know I was here?”
“You have friends who care about you; that’s how.”
Suddenly we had no more words for each other. We just stared into each other’s eyes. I was so happy to see her, but I was still angry about the video. I wanted to hold her in my arms, but would she let me?”
She took a deep breath and said, “I still don’t want to see you Darren.”
Angry I replied, “Fine. I’ll leave.”
I turned to go out of the door when she said, “Goodbye, Darren.”
I didn’t like the sound of that. The way she said goodbye sounded so…permanent. I wasn’t going to leave without telling her how I felt about her. “I still love you, Kay. Take care of yourself.” I walked out of the door with my tail between my legs, sad as hell that I fucked up my relationship.
I made my way back to the waiting room where Mel and Jeffrey were waiting for me.
“How is she?” Melissa asked.
I took a deep breath. “She’s fine. Look. Keep an eye on her for me. She doesn’t love me anymore.” I attempted to walk away when Jeffrey stopped me.
“Dude, come on. What are you talking about?”
“I’m not coming back to work until I find that asshole.”
“Dude, don’t do this,” Melissa pleaded.
I shook my head. “I have to, Mel. She doesn’t want to see me anymore. I’m gonna kick Jacob’s ass and after that he can have her. I’m done. If you need something Jeffrey, call me.”
My best friend was sad for me. In any other situation, he would argue with me for what I was going to do. This time he just said, “Take care man.”
I nodded and left the hospital.
Now that Kay told me again that she didn’t want me, I was going to find someone else. I was tired of the games women play, and I figured I would go back to being Dude. Being Darren was too hard. But first I was gonna kick Jacob’s ass for wrecking my life.
The following day, I spent my time trying to figure out how I could find Jacob. I knew he worked with Kay, so for days I watched her building. When he came out, I tailed him in my car until he went down into the subway. Shit! I went back home all but giving up on how to find this asshole.
It was Saturday night and I decided that I was going to go out. I called Celiene, and she agreed to go out with me. I was happy that she said yes. I needed some time away from my big empty mansion, and my life without Kay.
I’m sure Jacob was watching, so I didn’t give him anymore ammo. I waited until I got Celiene back to her place for that.
At three in the morning we walked into her apartment slightly inebriated, laughing about one of the people we saw in the club.
“Oh my goodness. Did you see that guy with those pants on?”
I laughed. “Yeah. Someone should have taken him shopping. He thought he looked good.”
Celiene laughed loudly. “His ass obviously does not have a woman!”
I laughed again. She was right. Then she had to go and ruin the mood. “I hate to bring it up, but have you heard from Kay?”
I rolled my eyes. Just someone mentioning her name made my heart beat out of control. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t get over her. “I don’t want to talk about her, Celiene.”
“I know you don’t. But I just wanted to know. I know how you feel about her.”
“Oh bullshit, Dude.”
“Why do you care anyway? I don’t. She doesn’t want me anymore, so I’m gonna leave her alone.”
Celiene shrugged. “Well I just thought I would let you know I saw her with Jacob.”
“I don’t care.” That was a lie. Of course, I cared.
“I also have a friend who might be able to track Jacob down.”
I got excited with this news. “Really?”
Celiene crossed her arms and smirked. “I thought you didn’t care anymore.”
“It’s not about Kay anymore. I’m gonna kick his ass now on principal.”
“Why don’t you just let this go? The only reason I said that is see where your head is.”
“Don’t tease me, Celiene. This is serious.” Was she shitting me? Jacob was no joking matter.
She nodded. “I know you’re serious, and I’m not teasing. I care about you.”
I didn’t care about all the fluff. She dangled a worm in front of me, and I was certainly going to bite. “So, who is your friend?”
“His name is Danny Sanchez. Low-key drug dealer and leader of The Sharks. You want to meet him?”
I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. “The Sharks as in West Side Story?”
“One in the same.”
“You are pulling my leg Celiene. The Sharks and the Jets were totally fictitious.”
“In the movie they were, but someone a long time ago started a real gang by the same name. So yes, they are real. As of today, Danny is their leader.”
She didn’t crack a smile, she didn’t tell a joke. She was serious. I rethought her initial question. A man from the underworld. Those type guys seemed to have connections that even the cops didn’t have. Of course, I wanted to meet him.
We got into her car and drove to his house. It was an older house, not what I was expecting, but Celiene did say he was low-key. She pulled into the driveway and honked her horn. To my surprise, a very average looking man in his mid-thirties came out of the house. He leaned into Celiene’s window. “Hey Celiene, what’s up?”
“Hey Danny. I have brought someone who I’d like you to meet. Danny, this is Dude.”
His smile was way too wide for it to be normal. I was a bit suspicious. But if he was cool with Celiene, he was cool with me.
Danny smiled a mischievous smile and said, “I hear that you might need my help.”