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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I Invited My Ex-Girlfriend To My Wedding . . .a short story

Reed didn’t want to let her go and he didn’t want to open his eyes. This had to be a dream.
                “Get off me,” Layla said, pushing against his chest.
                “Wait,” he said.
                Reed eased off her and shook his head. “I can’t believe this, I can’t believe that I allowed this to happen,” Layla said as she snatched her clothes on. “This was some . . .”
                “This was meant to be. Layla, you came back into my life. . .”
                “To write a damned story, not to be your last fling before you jet off to marry the supermodel!”
                “Maybe I need you to stop me from doing that.”
                Layla pulled her tunic down and glared at him. “You’re a grown ass man, if you don’t want marry Zora then why are you doing it?”
                “Because I thought I’d never see you again and there was a time when I thought I loved her. She helped me forget about you.”
                Layla’s mouth dropped open and she turned her head to the side. “Forget about me?”
                “You don’t get how much I love you, do you?” he asked, closing the space between them.
                “I’m not doing this, not until you put your clothes on,” she snapped.  Reed simply stepped closer to her and pulled her tunic off. “Better?”
                “Reed,” she said.  “You’re being an ass.”
                He pulled Layla against his chest then took her face in his hands. “You aren’t going to stand here and pretend that what happened meant nothing to you.”
                “If it did, it really doesn’t matter. When’s the wedding, Reed? Why don’t you send me an invitation?” She punched him in his chest and the tears began to flow again.
                “Layla, how did we end up in this mess?” he asked as he stroked her hair.
                With tear stained cheeks and a mix of fury and sadness, she glared at him. “You really want to go there?”
                “You’re going to blame me because I wanted you by my side?”
                “No,” she hissed. “I’m blaming you because you wanted me to forget who I was because we were together.  But the woman you’re marrying isn’t even here. Is she even in the country right now? And you couldn’t handle me being in Washington, D.C.”
                “I really don’t care where Zora is. This is all your fault.”
                She snatched away from him and started to punch him. “How is this my fault?”
                “You’re a tough act to follow,” he said. “I realized too late that I was wrong and. . .”
                A loud banging on the door stopped him from finishing his statement. “Reed,” Yolanda called out. “Are you in there?”
                “Yeah,” he said.
                “Are you going to open the door?” she asked.
                “No. What do you want?”
                “Your spread with your fiancée in Glamour is out,” she said. Then the magazine slide underneath the door. Layla picked it up and looked at the cover. There it was, Zora and Reed on the cover, naked and hugging each other as if they were so in love. Happy to be engaged and ready to be married. She threw the magazine at him.
                “I’m out of here.”
                “Wait,” he said as he caught the book. “This isn’t. . .”
                “Just shut the hell up. The whole world thinks you’re in love with her and I’m supposed to believe that you’ve been pining away for me over the years?”
                “It’s the truth. This is just. . .”
                Layla pulled her clothes on and stuffed her feet into her shoes. “Have a wonderful life and enjoy your wedding. I never want to see your black ass again.”
                “What about the interview?”
                “I’ll email you the questions and if I were you,  I’d answer them otherwise I’m going to have to make something up. Or, better yet, pull a Superhead and write a tell-all article about how you’re not in love with your model fiancée.” Layla stormed out of his office then left the studio. Reed started to go after her, but by the time he dressed and started for the exit, he had Yolanda and Debony in his face.
                Three days later, Zora had returned to Atlanta. Something was different about Reed, she thought as they shared a breakfast in her midtown loft. “Why are you so quiet?” she asked as he ate his omelet.
                “Why are we getting married?” he asked, setting his fork on the side of his plate.
                Zora sipped her coffee. “Are you seriously asking me this a week before our wedding? What’s going on?”
                “We’re not in love, not the kind of love that’s going to last a lifetime. You know it and so do I.”
                She slammed her coffee mug on the table. “It’s Debony, isn’t it?”
                “You can have your little whores, but I’m not going to allow you to make me look like a fool. We’re getting married. And if you don’t show up, I will sue your ass for everything that you’re worth.”
                “How much?”
                “Zora, I can’t marry you,” he said.
                She leapt from her chair and reached across the table attempting to claw at him. “You son of a bitch! Why did you ask me to marry you if you couldn’t go through with it? If it isn’t Debony, it must be one of your rapper friends. Are you on the down low?”
                Reed grabbed her and dropped her in a chair. “You need to calm down. How was Paris?”
                “Yeah, the Parisian model you fucked made a video.” Picking up the remote to her flat screen TV, he pressed the power button and the image of Zora and the male model filled the screen. Reed watched and pointed to her twisted body. “Didn’t I teach you that.”
                “You set me up?” she cried. “How could you?”
                “I didn’t set you up. But this proves that we don’t belong together and our marriage wouldn’t even last 72 days.  Zora, it’s over. Keep the ring and say it was your idea.” Reed stood up. “If you want this video to stay under wraps, you will do exactly what I say.”
                “I fucking hate you.”
                Reed nodded then walked out the door.

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