"Stop procrastinating, Nicole. Get down to the jailhouse and pick up your husband,” my feisty mother, Leona, ordered with a finger pointed in my direction.
My eyes drifted away from her across the room to the red and green holiday gift containers on the tan granite counter top ready to be filled with treats. I had taken the day off to bake cookies for the school Christmas Talent Jam, not whisk down to the Racine County Jail and rally up an inmate, even though that inmate was my husband, my soon-to-be-ex. After three years of waiting, “what’s his name” has been found innocent and released from the RC Criminal court, but not from my courtroom. The evidence I had stacked against him proved him guilty as charged. Contrary to his recent victory, there would be no dismissing the “other woman” case by me.
It took just over two years, eight hundred and twenty-two days to be exact, for me to finally adjust to living single. I wasn’t about to drop all my freedom and grant him access into my life. A man has to put something into an account in order to withdraw from it. The negative balance of time and love belonged to him, not me.
Our account is closed, sweetheart.
“Nicole, I’m serious. You need to pick up your husband.” My mother, who my siblings and I called Ma, sighed as she repeated herself.
Without even a glance in her direction, I pouted my lips and poured sugar from the measuring cup into the yellow mixing bowl for the last batch of cut out sugar cookies. I creamed in a helping of butter with the white rubber spatula and then stirred as loud as I could with a wooden mixing spoon. I hummed a familiar tune to drown out the noise of my conscience that whispered, “Go get him.” I could hardly say his name anymore...
“I know you hear me talking to you,” Ma snapped.
“Yeah, Ma,” I responded.
“Nicole!” Ma’s salt and pepper curls shook with conviction when her neck jerked from yelling at me. “Don’t yeah Ma, me!”
“I’m not going,” I answered her matter-of-factly, mimicking a melodic version of Jennifer Holiday’s song, And I Am Telling You.
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