Denial

My heart dropped. He can't be serious. He's lying. Not Zora. Zora wouldn't do that to me. Zora loves me. Zora would never cheat on me. Zora would never have sex with another man. Zora would never betray me. Zora would never hurt me. Zora would never break my heart like that. No. He has to be lying. He's lying. Not my Zora. He must have my Zora confused with someone else's. No... My Zora is the only Zora he knew. I took a deep breath, swallowing the lump that grew in my throat and narrowed my eyes at Brett, "what did you just say to me?"


Brett sighed, "she's been fucking someone else, man. I was hurt for you when I got the news."


"News?" I was taken aback now. "What news? Everyone has been talking about this shit behind my back?" I don't believe this. This can't be true. This can't be real. Zora would never lie to me or disrespect me in such a classless manner.


"I'm the only one who knows. No one outside of me and Patrick knows."


"Patrick?"


"He caught her with another man when he went to check on her."


"Patrick?" I asked myself. I hired Patrick to keep Zora safe. He is to check up on her and be at her beck and call. It didn't matter what time of day she called, he should be at her every need. It didn't matter the time of day, he was supposed to check in on her. Make sure she was safe. Help her run errands if need be. I don't know if I believe this or not. Patrick could have easily lied to Brett. He may have had his eyes on Zora this whole time in ways I had never known before. Maybe he was attracted to her and lied to Brett to tell me, just so I would break up with her so he could have her to himself. No. Patrick was not like that. He knew I loved her. He never overstepped his boundaries. He respected me. His employer... He would never. Zora would never be so classless to cheat on me, would she? She would never disrespect her body in such a way. She loved her body. She loved me. She wouldn't let someone else have sex with her. She would never betray me like that. She would never stoop so low. She was above that. This was beneath her. Zora would never. "When did Patrick see this?"


"October. There's no telling how long it's been going on. And I pray for everyone's sake it isn't still going on."


"October?" The lump in my throat came back. October? Has it been going on since October or before October? This time stamp just might actually give validity to Brett's otherwise null accusation. I don't know what to believe. I looked around in search of what to say, but I just couldn't find the right words. What words are right for an accusation such as this? My eyes stung badly. "You've been keeping this from me since October?" I finally asked him. "What made you tell me now, huh? Why is it so imperative that you tell me now?" I'm curious because for him to be my brother, he shouldn't have kept this from me for such a long time if this is true.


He sighed, "I didn't tell you because we were in the middle of the tour. I'm only telling you now because," his lips grew tight with anger, "it's going to piss me off to see that b-" he looked up at me only to find me glaring at him. He better not call Zora a bitch. I don't give a fuck what kind of situation we are talking about. He knows better than to call her a bitch. "Girl," he corrected himself quickly. "Lie to your face like she's been innocent this entire time." I exhaled. The mere thought of him thinking he was going to call Zora a bitch must have made me so angry that I held my breath. If he was going to call her a bitch though, this really must be true. Brett is like my brother. What set him off, set me off. What set me off, set him off. That's just how family is with one another. Given the timestamp and the anger in his voice as well, this must be true. He wouldn't lie to me. And if he were, he's doing a damn good job at it. He must have been hurt when Patrick told him. He knows I love Zora. He knows how deep my love is for Zora. I can't imagine Brett lying to me about something like this.


"Brett?" I asked.


"Yeah?"


"She said she's sick with the flu... If you had heard how bad she sounded, it would have hurt your soul... Do you really think she's sick?"


He shrugged. He must not know, "oh, I don't doubt that she's sick. She could very well be. But I also wouldn't put it past her that it might be a cover up to continue doing her dirt."


"Right..." I nodded. "What, uh, what do you suppose I do with this information?" I've never been in a situation like this before. Zora was loyal to me just as other women before her had been. But I guess not as loyal as they were. I've heard of situations where my brothers cheated on their women and their women retaliated. As a man, what am I to do about the love of my life cheating on me? A woman being cheated on can retaliate in any way she chooses. She can scream. Curse. Hit. Call on someone to handle it. Handle it herself or simply leave. Jackie's wife broke his leg. Hazel stayed while Jermaine's mistress was pregnant with his child and got pregnant by him as well. Mom beat the shit out of one of the women she thought Joseph was with. It's different for a man, however. Double standards. I wouldn't dream of hitting Zora. I would never curse her out. To call one of my sisters to handle it, would be the cowardly way out. I could leave, but I've invested so much into this woman. Time, effort, life and love. I can't just leave. So, what do I do?


Brett looked surprised at the question. I thought he would know. Apparently not. I guess it was easier to tell me the problem he's known about for three months rather than offering a solution. "I just know you shouldn't get your hopes up about that girl. Leave. She doesn't deserve you. I know you all have your history, but she's someone else's sloppy seconds now."


I froze. Sloppy seconds. Zora is someone else's sloppy seconds. I would have never thought to put her in such a category. She was a woman of class. She wasn't trash. She wasn't someone else's sloppy seconds. She held herself to the highest degree. To the highest caliber. She knew she was the shit and then some. But now she was sloppy seconds? Did she allow someone else inside her? I was her first and although we were not married, she vowed to me that I would be her only. I vowed the same. She would be the last woman I would ever be with, until marriage. Until death do us part. She didn't keep her promise? Did she let someone else inside her sanctuary? Inside my church? Inside the only place I felt truly loved and appreciated? She let someone into what she vowed to me as mine?


"I'm sorry, Mike. I just want the best for you. That's the only reason I told you," he stood up. I waved him off. He went back to his suite. On one hand, I don't want to believe this. Zora has never lied to me before. Why would she lie to me now? She never had a reason to cheat. I've given her the world and then some. Despite everything, I've spoiled her with my love, time, and attention. She never wanted for anything. On the other hand, why would Brett lie to me about something like this? He knows how much I love Zora. I would give my life for Zora and he knows that. He knows I don't play when it comes to Zora. Why would he lie to me? What reason would he have to lie to me? Did he want Zora for himself?


October. That is the timestamp Brett gave me. He couldn't be lying. He gave me a month. He told me Patrick saw them and told him about it. Brett is like my brother. He was loyal to me unlike other "friends" I've had that don't know the meaning of loyalty. Brett is a true friend. There is no reason for Brett to lie to me. And Patrick... Patrick told him. I could trust Patrick. Had I not been able to trust him, I wouldn't have left Zora in his care. He is supposed to protect her from all hurt, harm, and danger when I'm not able to be there. I didn't hire him to be my eyes and ears regarding Zora, but I'm glad he took his job so seriously to serve as such.


How long was she going to keep this from me? All year, she's sounded the same. She offered her loving wisdom. She sang me praises. She wished I would come back home to her. She told me she loved me on a daily basis. Lies. She played her part well. Zora has really been cheating on me this entire time? While I have been working my ass off touring all over the world, she's been fucking someone else? She's been telling me she loves me with the same mouth she had on someone else's dick? She wasn't going to tell me. How do you tell someone you love that you cheated on them all year? Had Brett not told me, I would have gone home, had sex with her and would have immediately felt the difference. The difference in her pussy would have sent me mad. I would have known immediately that someone else had been there. Would she had lied to me and told me I was crazy for thinking so? Would she blame it on how aroused I got her? Because we all know that vagina doesn't truly change size or width simply because of a penis. Vagina can do wondrous things. It can push out a baby for Pete's sake. But I've had my share of women to know that the shit just feels different when someone else has been inside. Zora was a virgin when I had her. Her pussy is heavenly. And to know that it's mine forever... Sloppy Seconds. She was going to let me hit without even telling me. I would have been able to tell immediately though. She would have given me pussy she gave to some nobody. Do you think I wouldn't be able to tell the difference? The shit would just feel different.


Is she being "sick" just a ploy so she can get her last couple of days fucking this nigga? If so, that's just stupid. Zora couldn't be that stupid, could she? For everyone's sake, I hope she's really sick. She couldn't be that stupid. Not Zora. Come on. Would she really do that? Insult my intelligence like that? Are you serious?


I honestly don't even know what to do. I'm heartbroken. My heart physically hurts. My eyes stung with the tears I refused to let out. But I can't hold them in any longer. This hurts. Not Zora. Not my baby. She was my world. How could she do this to me? How could she betray me like that? It was us against the world. Now, it's me against Zora? The woman I've loved all these years? The woman I've given my all to? She's the only one who understood me. She's the one who's shown and taught me what true love was in the first place. How could the person who taught me true love be the same person to break my heart? Our love was pure. Unbreakable. I sucked at love before meeting her. Zora taught me the true meaning of it. She taught me to love myself. She taught me how to love her so that I could love her the right way. She wanted me to teach her how I wanted to be loved. We had our own love language. Our love was real. She taught me that love was patient. It was kind. It didn't envy. It couldn't be conceited. It wasn't selfish. It didn't keep a record of wrongdoing. She taught me that true love didn't end. I couldn't understand how she could love someone like me. I was so afraid of love before meeting her. How could she teach me all that and then do me so dirty? How? What person does that? I feel like I don't even know her anymore. This isn't the Zora Avery I fell in love with. The woman I fell in love with wasn't a liar. She wasn't a cheater. She didn't betray people. She didn't rip the heart out of a man she claimed to love. No. This... This was someone else.

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