Ten years have passed since the last time I was in Jade Fontane’s home for the first time after getting arrested and attacked in the holding cell. It has been life changing events since that day she and I became more acquainted.
“Babe? Will you pick up Jasmine from school today? Remember I have that meeting to discuss my performance at the State Theater.”
“Sure love. I can swing by and get her on my way to pick up Jonathan from practice.” I remarked while getting my morning coffee, gazing out of the window wondering, how did I get here? Someone might look at us and think everything has been smooth sailing for the duration of our marriage. That would be the furthest assumption from the truth imaginable.
The day we got married is the day I found out about Jade’s set of twins. She had children that she never told me about. There I was standing at the alter with the minister in the most beautiful church. The decorations were fit for a king or queen. The seats were filled to the very last row. There had to have been over 200 people in attendance. I knew most of them, but of course there were a select few that I’ve never seen. Her family was large, almost into fifth generations of grandkids. I didn’t think anything of it. When the minister asked if there was anyone in the room that had a reason why we should not be married, to speak now or forever hold your peace, that is when a commotion began as twin children jumped up and proclaimed that I was a drug dealer and I’m not good enough for their mother, Natalie. To my surprise, Jade and I looked at each other with looks that could kill as we both had a secret that was revealed.
The five of us excused ourselves and scurried off to a room located near the choir stand behind the alter. One could feel the thickness of shock and confusion from the guests as we entered the room and slammed the door.
Clarence! You have some explaining to do!
Me? You’re the one with children that you didn’t feel was essential enough for me to know about!
This isn’t about me, you’re the one selling drugs behind my back and lying to my face everyday! Did Slim put you up to this?
What an interesting choice of words about lying. What exactly would you call not sharing pertinent information about you giving birth what, nine, ten years ago? Somehow you felt the man that you are marrying wouldn’t like to know that part of your life? And I had to go into business with Slim. I didn’t have many options suitable to maintain your lifestyle with a quick turn around time. From the day that I first saw you I knew I wouldn’t be able to have a chance with you unless I could afford you.
That’s not true Clarence. I’ve told you countless times that I didn’t want you for your money.
So what did you want me for? To give your kids a father figure? To play daddy to kids I’ve never met?
“Umm, Mr. Richards and Ms. Fontane, maybe we can have the kids go into the other room while we work this out. This isn’t ideal for them as they’re meeting their… umm… kids, come with me, you can get a head start on the reception food.” commented the minister.
He’s right, we have to work this out without them seeing us fighting.
There’s nothing to work out Jade, you can go in there and tell all of those people to leave, because there’s not going to be a wedding.
Clarence! You can’t do this. I still want to be with you. I’m upset that you lied…
I mean, we lied. The truth is I had a rough time with my kids. Since they were babies, I asked my aunt to take them in and raise them. I didn’t even want them to know my name as Natalie. It was too painful. Their father never was in the picture. From the time of meeting him to their birth, I’ve seen him all of two times. The last time I ended up in the hospital because he used my body as a punching bag when he found out I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t tell my parents, they disowned me because he was a White man. They told me I was a female version of an Uncle Tom. I never really knew what that meant. After I healed, I didn’t want to go into my career with half white babies. I already heard names directed at me because of my fair skin complexion, and as you know both of my parents are Black. I didn’t want to put my kids into that demeaning cycle of heartache.
You’ve been through a lot. I’m still not understanding why you didn’t feel compelled to share this with me until today, the day that is supposed to be fueled with love and bliss. I don’t think I can go through with this. We would be starting a marriage with lies as our foundation. I truly feel bad for your situation, but what do you expect me to do? I can get out of my extra curricular activities with Slim, but no one can just walk away from two dependent humans.
Please Clarence, I really need you. I won’t be able to face myself in the mirror or look at anyone if I can’t move forward with you. I’ve already lied to so many people about my kids. I need your support, I need someone to be with me and see this through. I don’t want to feel empty with my kids anymore. If you don’t want me, the world doesn’t need to have me either.
What are you saying Jade?
Let’s just get married and put this behind us.
I didn’t want someone else’s blood on my hands. It sounded like Jade contemplated suicide a time or two. I didn’t want to read about an accident in the papers in the upcoming weeks. I went through with the wedding. However, Slimmy and I were never the same, neither was the relationship with Jade and I. What actually managed to get better was the time shared with the twins and I… until we made the announcement that a sibling was on the way.