The Pantry: Chapter 2

“Girl, you already know he ain’t no good. Why do you torture yourself like this?!” Kim exclaimed while leaning over to her left and grabbing the box of tissues she brought over just in case there was another crying fit from Trish. And to her satisfaction, there was. Playing her role perfectly, she hastily snatched a couple of tissues and lightly dabbed Trish’s eyes.

“I don’t know why. I love him… I guess.”

Well, I love him too, and I have been loving him since I was fifteen, long before you showed up! Kim screamed internally. As each day passed, Kim found it harder to keep her love private but at her ex-husband, stepfather to her three teen daughters, and the love of her life’s request, she had no choice but to do what he asked. It’s just until I get the business off the ground baby, he said to her as he packed his bags, readying himself to go forward with the plan, his plan to break free of poverty. She begged him not to go, to stay home with her and work things out; continue their path of getting back together and bringing their estranged marriage to the picture-perfect romance novel love as it once was. She pleaded with him to find another way to get what he needed from this woman he’d told her about, but he swore to her that moving in with her, gaining her trust, and most importantly, making her feel like he loved her and only her, was the only sure way to get what he wanted. Forcing her mind to the present, her eyes brushed over at the pictures on the wall and she frowned. Humph, having kids with the bitch was not a part of the plan. Not just one but had the nerve to have two!  Inhaling a deep, cleansing breath, she slowly exhaled it and forced her eyes away from the family photos. She looked over at Trish, plastered on her rehearsed smile and moved closer to her, gently wrapping her arms around her. “Sometimes, love just ain’t enough,” she said softly. Stroking Trish’s hair, Kim’s mind went into overdrive again, this time, replaying images of all her naked glory while Tyrone explored it. The art of making love was truly one of his strongest attributes. The type of love that penetrated the deepest levels of a woman, bringing her to waves of ecstasy that most of them have never felt before. In turn, earning a spot in their hearts, invading their minds, and controlling every aspect of their thoughts.

“I don’t know Kim. I mean, have you ever loved somebody so much that you’d do just about anything for them?”

Kim nodded her head but remained silent. The number one rule in this thing was to never go into detail about herself, to always let Trish express her feelings. At least that’s how Tyrone put it before he walked out the door that day with the promise that once he got what he needed, his business, he would be back to rekindle his marriage with the one woman who truly had his heart.

“I mean, I spent my entire college fund that my father saved for me to help him buy that store. Every penny of it went to him.”

Kim gulped in a healthy helping of the French vanilla fragrance that the candle on the table spread throughout the small living room. She had all sorts of feelings swimming through her mind. All from pity to amusement, with the green-eyed monster parading its wings of jealousy somewhere in between. If only I had a rich daddy who could give me some college money, my man wouldn’t be all up in here, living with this bitch.

“Mommy! I’m ready to get out!”

Trish wiped her eyes before fanning the air with both hands. “Coming baby!”

“Hey,” Kim smiled, “let me get him. You sit here and get your shit together.”

“I’m fine,” Trish answered through another set of tears that were burning the corners of her eyes.

“No, you’re not and I’m tired of watching you cry over that bastard anyway. So, I’ll help him get dried off and into his pajamas. You go pour yourself some wine or something.”

“Okay. Maybe I’ll have some tea.”

Kim stood up, put her hands on her hips, and threw out a nasty side-eye. “What? Tea? Since when you turn down a drink for some… tea?”

Trish chuckled, stood up, and shook her head. “Just in the mood for tea tonight, that’s all.”

Kim raised her eyebrows and lifted her left hand. “Alright… then go and get you some tea. Pour me a glass of wine.” She waved her right hand towards the kitchen before making her way to the bathroom. Her stomach churned at the sight of more happy-go-lucky family photos that greeted her as she entered into the hallway. Pushing through the maze of her pain, she cheerfully walked into the bathroom and opened her mouth in excitement.

“I cannot believe you took a bath all by yourself!”


Kim laughed aloud. “Well, come on. Let’s get you out and into those new pajamas I bought you.”


There it was again, the monster with the nasty green eyes. Kim held her composure as it stomped all over her heart and greased her stomach muscles, causing them to rumble so hard that it began to hurt. He appeared anytime she locked eyes with TJ. Seeing her ex-husband’s deep dark eyes in his brought on the pain of not being able to have her own son with Tyrone. Years of naturally trying, hundreds of dollars spent on books and empty doctor’s appointments, only to have a woman bear his child in a few months of having sex was torture for her. Damn, I hate her ass, she muttered while pulling the towel off the towel rack and motioning for TJ to step out of the tub. Sighing, she worked hard to remove the grim thoughts and to focus on the task at hand.

“Come on! Let’s get to those pajamas!”

“Yeah!” TJ cheered.

Tightly wrapping TJ up in the towel, Kim lifted him up, kissed him on the cheek, and playfully put him back down. For a brief moment, she pretended the kid was hers and his father was on the way home to their house. She quickly shooed the fantasy away as it was her plan to continue to try for her own deep eyed, splitting image of Tyrone. I mean, this dude is half that bitch’s in there. I’ll have my own son with him. And then… she stopped mid-thought to grab TJ’s eczema lotion out of the medicine cabinet and handed it to him. He’ll be back home, where he belongs, with our family, she finished the lingering concept. “Go on in your room and put your lotion on your itchy spots,” she smiled. “I’ll get the pajamas for you and guess what?”

“What?” TJ jumped up and down.

“They have Scruff all over of them!”

TJ balled his fist up and jumped up in the air, dropping his towel.

“Boy! Don’t be showing all yo’ lil business,” she chuckled

TJ quickly snatched the towel and laughed aloud “Okay,” he happily replied and scurried off to his room.

Letting the water out, Kim shook her head and walked out of the bathroom, deliberately looking straight ahead to avoid giving her eyes another burn from the family portraits and headed to the couch. Digging in her oversized purse, she pulled the bag out and looked over at the kitchen island.

“Did you pour my glass?”


“Okay, now pour yours and put that damn tea away.”

Trish chuckled before taking a small sip of her drink and lightly shaking her head.

“Hold on, let me get this bag in there to my godson and then I will pour your drink for you.”

“I’ll take it in there. You’ve done enough.”

Kim trotted over to the island, walked over to the opposite side of it, pulled a stool out, and sat down. Good! My ass is exhausted and definitely need a drink. Tossing the animated, animal themed decorated bag to Trish, she grabbed her drink and downed the entire glass.

“Damn girl.”

Sitting the glass down, she shifted her weight on the stool, tilted her head to her right, and shrugged her shoulders. “Told you I needed it.”

Trish shook her head and proceeded to her kids’ bedroom.

Filling her glass up to the rim, Kim took a sip and surveyed the living room, working hard not to allow her eyes to fall on more pictures but, she lost the battle, connecting with Trish and Tyrone’s daughter. Shaking her right leg in irritation, she bit down on her bottom lip and sighed. Not one but… two of them.

“You really did it this time auntie!”

Picking her feelings up, she turned her attention on Trish. “He really like them huh?”

“Girl yeah. I don’t know what it is about that big ass bear that got all the kids up in their feelings.”

“What?! Scruff is that dude!”

 “Whateva,” Trish giggled and waved her left hand at Kim. “I told him that you’ll be in there before he goes to sleep so he can thank you.”

Kim nodded her head and took another sip of her wine.

Flopping down on the stool in front of her tea, Trish smiled a gleeful smile at Kim.


“Guess what?”

Tilting her head, she batted her eyes and lifted her glass. “What?”

“I’m pregnant!”

The glass fell out of Kim’s hand and onto the floor. Her heart palpitated, and the nerves in her stomach dropped, creating a strong sense of nausea. She looked over at Trish and then at the mess of shattered glass. Not another one, she whispered as her heart pounded, feeling as if it too would burst into pieces.

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Copyright © 2021 by RettieBooks & Yolanda Randolph Publications

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without the publisher or author’s written permission. The exception would be in brief quotations embodied in reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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