4.

The next morning my phone was ringing off the hook, I picked it up off the table and glared at the screen to see that it was Sinn calling. What could she possibly want from me?  I noticed it was six in the morning. What could she possibly want from me at this hour?  I ignored the call and tried to go back to sleep. I would have to be at the studio in five hours to record some songs for this mix tape. As I lay trying to go back to sleep the phone rang again. "Ugghh!" I groaned and picked up the phone. "Why are you calling me at six in the morning? Matter of fact, why are you calling me at all?"


"Oh, my bad." I looked at the phone to see that it was Jamie.


"Shit! My bad, Jamie. The girl I was with last night was calling me just a minute ago. I thought she was trying to get me to answer again."


"Well, you did answer. So you would have made her a happy woman."


"I couldn't care less. Why are you up so early?"


"Well, Todd is being a douche. I thought I'd go visit my mom, but then I decided to call you, see what you're doing. You've always had something to do early in the morning."


"Not much these days. I sleep in a lot until ten most of the time. Again, why are you up so early? How could Todd get you out of your own house?" I sat up facing the floor to ceiling window.


"Ahh, it's not my house. I moved into his place. He has every legal right."


"What did you do?"


She sighed heavily, "It wasn't what I did. It was what I saw and when I expressed my feelings about it he got upset."


"What'd you see?"


"He had porn right under the bed. That is so disgusting. Why look at porn when he has me to look at?" I laughed. "This is not funny, Michael."


"Sorry." I laughed. "Jamie, you mean to tell me you've been around me so much and you still don't know what men are like?"


"Not all men look at porn, ya know."


"Name one man that doesn't look at porn." Her end went silent. "Exactly. Get used to it, sis. It's not like he's going to fuck the magazines or dvds. Whatever type of porn he has."


"They were magazines. It's lusting, Mike. What if he starts to lust after those girls so much that he doesn't want me anymore? What if he tries to get in contact with them? What if-"


"Jamie, chill!" I laughed. "He wouldn't do that to you. He loves you too much otherwise he wouldn't have married you. If it's that much of an issue to you, have a civilized conversation with him about it. I assume you just yelled at him about it, didn't you?"


"Well..."


"Exactly. Apologize to him first then discuss it with him like adults. Don't just jump down his throat about magazine pussy."


"Mike, you know I hate that word."


"I know, that's why I used it."


"But-"


"Point is you need to apologize to him for it. I'm pretty sure you've seen porn before, you shouldn't be that surprised."


"I haven't, thank you. I never would have imagined Todd to look at porn though."


"Jamie, his name is Todd. Any nigga named Todd is almost meant to get porn with a stupid name like that. Think about it." She laughed. "See!" I looked at my watch to find that it was six forty. "Now that I've given you the advice needed, it's time for me to try to go back to sleep. I have to go to the studio soon."


"You're gonna record another song with that beautiful voice of yours?"


"Aha, sure. I'll talk to you later, Jamie."


"Alright, I love you, Michael."


"Love you more." I hung up and ran my fingers through my hair. The sun was already starting to come up and I was no longer tired enough to go back to sleep. I would have to go to the studio early today. I scrolled through my phone and sent a text to Darryl telling him to meet me at the studio at eight. I think I would have a lot to cover today.


•                            •                            •


I sat on the floor in front of the door of our space. I had been texting her all morning. She happened to tell me that she actually missed me. That was a lie, but I lied back to her. Technically I didn't lie. I missed her a great deal. But I convinced myself that it was a lie. I leaned my head back on the wall resting my wrists on my knees. When would Darryl be here? I have so much on my heart right now.


Just then Darryl arrived. He took one look at me and shook his head, "You've got a lot on your mind, don't you?" He asked as he unlocked the door to our studio.


"I look that bad?" I stood up.


"Unfortunately." He said as he opened the door and turned on the light. I walked in behind him and shut the door. "What happened to you this weekend?" Darryl asked, beginning to set up his equipment. I took one look at him. "Her, huh?" I nodded. I didn't even need to say anything. Darryl knew everything about me. He knew that I was in love with this woman and that I tried to convince myself I wasn't in love with her every day. "She went back to him?"


"As usual."


"Man, tell her how you feel." Darryl looked at me, a frustrated look on his face. "I hate seeing you like this."


"I'm pretty sure she knows how I feel." I went into the mic room and locked the door behind me. Before I sat on the stool, I took my stash out and placed it on the music stand.


Darryl shook his head. "Man, you're the most difficult guy I've ever worked with. But you know what, all of your emotion, your heart and soul goes into these songs without a problem. I have to pull that out of everyone else. That's the easy part about working with you. The hard part is helping you when you don't want help." I sat on the stool waiting as he messed with the soundboard. "Ready, Mike?"


I nodded and adjusted the mic. He counted down and played the track. I lost myself in the beat. I had written this just for her. It was about our relationship if that's what you would call it. "I tell myself that I'll take you for the last time.... I'll be over you eventually... Time after time you seem to brush me off... I understand what we have become... You wash your neck when you leave, now I know your routine... I was in love with your mystery... Now I just take what I can get from you... I'm not embarrassed to be what you want me to be..." Darryl paused the track. "What's wrong?"


"That was good; I have to put that in there."


"You know I was really into it, right?" I rolled my stash and lit it.


"Oh yeah. I could see it all over your face. Had to stop it so you wouldn't cry although it was just the first stanza."


I looked down ashamed. This girl had me feeling all kinds of ways. I started smoking without thinking.


Darryl looked up at me and rolled his eyes. "Mike."


"What?"


"You know you're not supposed to be smoking in there."


"I'll air it out before we leave."


"You said that last time and the landlord ate me alive."


I laughed, "Start the track again."


"Yeah, as long as you put that joint out." I heard him mumble before he played the track.


"'Cause unlike you I've got nothing to hide... I don't pretend to have any shame... I got a box we could put all your lies in... Until the end of days... You know that I will be a call away... The call you make when you're all alone... And I know that I will always be the one... You repent when you are done..." Just then my phone vibrated. I took my phone out to see that she was calling. "Stop the track. I have to take this." I hurried out into the hallway. "Hey." I breathed a sigh of relief. I don't know why I'm so excited to see that she called.


"Michael, we have to stop this." She said.


"Stop what?"


"You know what." She sniffled. "I can't keep doing this to Drew. He loves me and I keep treating him wrong." I rolled my eyes. She does this all the time. I'll just play along like I always do. "Michael, I know what you're thinking."


"Oh, really? What could I possibly be thinking?" I sighed.


"I do this all the time. You're right, I do and-"


"Put the cigarette down. You're messing up your skin."


"How'd you know?"


"Just put it down."


I heard shuffling on her end and a quick exhale. "I'm sorry."


"Don't be. So, you're done, huh?"


"...yeah. I have to stop. WE have to stop."


"Okay."


"You're mad at me aren't you?"


"No."


"...you are. You're only saying one word."


"I have to go."


"Four words."


"Goodbye." I hung up and went back into our space.


"What's up?" Darryl asked without looking up from the soundboard.


"She broke it off with me again. She'll be back in two days."


"Mike...you're in denial. She's not going to come back. You're becoming delusional now."


"That's one thing you don't know. I'm not delusional. This is her usual routine. She hates him, then she wants me. Then she misses him, then she hates me. She did this just last week, Darryl. I'm not in denial. Let's finish that track." I went back into the mic room and sat back on the stool adjusting my headphones on my head. Darryl looked at me with a sad look on his face and played the track. I put my heart and soul into that track. When we were done for the day, we didn't talk about the matter anymore. He probably thinks I'm delusional. But I'm not. I'm pretty sure Jamie would know and tell me if I'm delusional. Sure Darryl knows everything about me, but not everything.

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