Thursday, May 20, 2010

Just a Key...

We weren’t together, technically, but I still had a key to his condo because he wanted me to have it. In my heart of hearts, I felt he wanted me to keep his key because he wasn’t quite ready to let go--of me, us, the relationship. He knew if I returned the key I was done, so, he insisted I keep it. For me, the key could symbolize the possibility of salvaging the relationship if I held on to it or its finality should I return it.

He lived in the center of the city, midtown. My place was nestled right outside the city limits. It was a seventeen minute drive, but I decided to drop by his place unannounced one night to surprise him. In my mind, it was a gesture that suggested I was willing to make it work.

When I entered the condo, I could see the light flashing from the flat screen television mounted on the living room wall. He was asleep on the couch. I could see the lower half of his body lying on the couch. He wasn’t alone. Someone was seated beside him, with their shoes off, and feet propped on the leather cube (that I helped pick out) was someone I had never seen. The closer I got to them, the more I was filled with angst, anticipation and adrenaline. I couldn’t reach the end of the hallway quick enough. I wanted to see his visitor’s face. My thoughts raced in succession, “Was it someone I knew?”, “Had he been dealing with him while we were together?” and “Why is he here?” It was eleven o’clock at night. Again I thought, “What is he doing here?” I then asked him, “Who is this?”

“Terrance” he replied. I noticed “Terrance’s” luggage parked in the dining room indicating he was staying longer than a night. To my surprise, the man whose secrets I sheltered and protected from the world had deceived me. In that moment I considered all the horrible things I could’ve said to embarrass him, and all I could do to damage him personally and professionally. More than anything, I couldn’t understand how we had arrived at this. This was the kind of thing that happened to other people, in other relationships. He asked, “What are you doing here?” The better question was what is Terrance doing here? I said, “I need to see you in the other room.”

When we got to the bedroom I looked at him puzzled. I didn’t truly know this person. He wasn’t the person I respected. He was an impostor. Where was the person I had just taken a Caribbean cruise with two weeks prior? In fact, we took our moms along for the trip. This wasn’t how this story, our story was to play out. We had just discussed on the cruise how to get back to us. “Why is he here?!” I asked. “Why didn’t you call before you came?” he countered. “Because I have a key! Why do I need to call if I have a key?! I don't need permission with a key!" I shouted. When he refused to ask him to leave, I grabbed my overnight bag and left. I could hear the words “I’m sorry” trailing behind me.

I called my friend Jessica who lived nearby because I didn’t want to go home. Not because of the drive, rather, I didn’t want to be alone. I climbed in the bed with her and cried as I talked us to sleep.


Follow me on Twitter: @therealcstewart


  1. Regardless of the gender, the same games are being played in all relationships.

  2. Love it craig please stop with these cliff hangers lol I need part 2 like now lol....I cant wait to read the conclusion when is your book coming out?

  3. Absolutely Jenet. Rozie, I gotta keep you coming back. It's coming. Have you read all of April? You shouldn't eve be looking at May yet LOL