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  • @TheArieIman

When It's All Said And Done: The Finale

“Which one we get to kill first, Smoke?” the younger man gave a sly grin, and cocked the gun. “I wouldn’t mind having my way with shorty though.”

Smoke lifted his hand to silence him. “Shut up nigga! Alright, bitch, where the fuck Two-Face at?!” Puzzled and petrified, I looked at Smoke, Calvin, and then Smoke again. “Aye hoe, I’m talking to you!”

I felt the cold metal of the gun press against my temple. “I don’t know who that is! Who, who is Two-Face?”

Calvin interjected. “Smoke, man! She only knows him as Jeremy, and she don’t have nothing to do with this!”

“If she know that nigga, she involved. Now tell me where he at!” Smoke snarled. The room fell silent. Smoke took a drag from him cigarette and blew in my face. “So nobody wants to talk? Ok cool, Trent tie her up!” Trent smacked his lips and left the room.

I lowered my head and sobbed, realizing my fate. This was not the way I imagined my last moments. Realistically, I saw Jeremy and I growing old together surrounded by our children and grandchildren after having a fulfilled life. But now I felt like I didn’t even know who Jeremy, Jay, or Two-Face was. Were the last four years of my life a complete lie? Was the man I once loved ever coming back?

Trent scooped me up off the floor and threw me over his shoulder. “Don’t worry boo, I’ll be gentle.” He laid me down in the bathtub and hogtied me, then put masking tape over my mouth. “Just don’t try anything stupid or I’ll get mean.”

Back in the bedroom, Smoke now pointed the gun at Calvin. “I know you’re in on this shit Cal. Just tell me where Two-Face is at so we can end this.”

“I ain’t heard from that nigga in five months. Even when he did call he would never tell me his location,” Calvin mumbled. “C’mon Smoke. Just let the girl go. We can settle this without dragging her into it.”

Smoke yelled to Trent in the bathroom. “Hurry up with that bitch so you can tie this nigga up next.”

As his head was turned, Calvin was able to knock the gun from Smoke’s hand. “Fool, is you crazy?!” They tussled back and forth, throwing punches and attempting to reach for either of their guns.

I heard the commotion and figured it was now or never if I wanted to get out of this situation. I struggled to get loose from the rope and felt a blow to my head. Trent had pistol whipped me. There was a series of gunshots in the bedroom as I felt myself drift in an out of consciousness. Someone kicked the bathroom door in and there was another gunshot, then I felt blood splatter on my face. My mouth was open behind the masking tape as if I was screaming but no sound came out. I kept my eyes shut expecting I would be next; instead the ropes around my wrists and ankles loosened and a voice called out to me.

“Baby let’s go.”

I slowly opened my eyes to see Jeremy reaching out to me. I stared at him in disbelief, just knowing that I was hallucinating from the pistol whipping. When Jeremy saw I wasn’t moving quickly enough he picked me up and I nestled my face in his neck. I caught a glimpse of Trent and Smoke’s bodies lying lifeless, but there was no sign of Calvin. As Jeremy carried me to the front door I continued to look around for Calvin. Once we got inside the elevator to the parking garage, Jeremy set me down.

“Are you good to walk baby?” I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even look at him. How could he leave me, the love of his life, high and dry and then swoop in like he was saving the day? My initial fear turned into anger. I repeatedly hit Jeremy in his chest. This wasn’t my choice, but he was too tall for me to punch him in the face. “Let it out….let it out Adrian.”

“Where’s Calvin?” I quizzed Jeremy. He led me to a waiting SUV, but didn’t respond. “Jeremy, where is Calvin?” Still no response as the car skid out of the garage. “Oh so do I need to call you Two-Face to get an answer nigga?!”

Jeremy stopped the car in the middle of the street and clinched his jaw. “Don’t fucking call me that…EVER.”

I raised an eyebrow and rolled my neck. My man would never talk to me like that. “Or what, you’ll shoot me like you did those men up there?” I folded my arms and turned my head towards the window. “Just get me out of here.”

After driving for three hours I fell asleep. When I woke up, we were passing signs entering Tennessee. Jeremy glanced over to make sure I was alert. “Are you ready to listen now?”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Fine.”

Jeremy explained that he had a deal go bad at his job, and it ended up being a cover company for Smoke. Smoke felt like Jeremy let the deal fall through on purpose due to their bad blood so he put a hit out on him, which is why he had to leave town and have Calvin protect me. But the fact that he didn’t just take me with him didn’t sit right with me, and something wasn’t adding up.

“So you chose to leave me in a dangerous situation to protect yourself? How noble of you,” I rolled my eyes.

“I needed to set us up elsewhere before coming back to get you. Calvin took care of things.”

I snickered. “In more ways than one.” I knew that my words cut deep, but I was hurt. I wanted a man who would protect me in all aspects, not just skip out of town when it was convenient for him.

We pulled up to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. The lights were already on, and a shadowy figure appeared in the window. “Where are we? Why are we here?” Jeremy was silent as he exited the car. He walked around to the passenger side to open my door, then walked into the house. I came in behind him, and saw Calvin sitting on the arm of the sofa with a glass of whiskey. I loudly breathed a sigh of relief. Jeremy cut his eyes at me as he walked upstairs.

When I heard a door close, I inched over to Calvin. “Are you ok?”

He nodded. “I’m straight. You good?”

Tears welled in my eyes. Calvin held me hand and wiped my cheek, but quickly let go and moved to the other side of the sofa when he heard Jeremy come out of the room.

He called to me from the staircase. “Adrian, come get some rest.”

Jeremy ran his fingers through my hair and lifted my chin to kiss me. I was still mad at him, but gave in. His kiss didn’t feel the same as it did that morning six months ago before this whole ordeal started. Nothing would ever be the same. I didn’t even feel like I loved Jeremy anymore; he abandoned me and left another man to pick up his slack. That was something I just couldn’t overlook.

“Jeremy.” I backed away from him. “I can’t do this.”

He scrunched his face. “Can’t do what?”

“I don’t even know who you are. What do you expect me to do? Fall back into the same rhythm we had almost a year ago?”

“Well….why not? Nothing’s changed but the scenery,” he tried to lighten the mood, but nothing was funny to me.

I scoffed at him. “The fact that you think we can go back to what we used to be is delusional. I didn’t sign up to be with this version of you.”

“Baby, we can start over. New city, new job…new everything.” Jeremy reached for me, and I shook my head.

“I wish you the best, but I don’t want this anymore.” I turned to walk out the room.

“Yea alright, good luck with that nigga down there. Don’t try to come back either!”

Calvin stood at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me. “You want to get out of here?”

I was taking a risk leaving behind a love that I knew would last forever for something new, but when it’s all said and done, I had to follow my heart.

I smiled and took his hand. “Absolutely.”

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