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Chapter 23

My phone rang off the hook. It was eleven o'clock and I was lying on the blanket staring at the full moon above me. The whole time I've been lying here, I felt a fever coming on and my migraine was getting worse. I'd take the migraine over going home to an angry Victoria though. My body has been aching all over. I think I'm sick and it's not because I've been lying here either. I sat up and got the container the strawberries were in and threw it away. I folded the blanket, got in the car and began to make my way home.

As I drove home, my phone continued to ring. I'm so sick and tired of hearing my phone ring. I looked at the caller I.D. It was Victoria. I turned my phone off and put it in my pocket. I don't know why she's calling me. I know she probably thinks I'm cheating on her. May as well let her keep thinking that.

I got home, parked the car and lay my head on the steering wheel. The dining room lights were on. I could see Victoria's shadow. She sat in a chair. More than likely, she's waiting on me. I got out the car. My entire body was aching. I just know she's going to bitch at me. This time, I really didn't cheat on her, so I wouldn't be lying to her when she asks. I unlocked the back door and walked in the house slowly, trying to keep quiet.

"Michael?" Damn. I turned around. Victoria ran up to me and hugged me tight. "Michael, are you okay? I tried calling you, but I never got an answer."

"Mmmhm." I nodded as I tried pushing her away. I felt like I was going to vomit.

"Michael, you're pale," she put a hand to my forehead. "You're burning up!"

"I know..." I tried walking past her.

"Do you want some NyQuil or some tea? My goodness. I've never seen you like this before."

"I'm fine, Victoria. Really I just need some sleep."

"Michael, you need some-"

"I'm fine." Victoria backed away. I made my way upstairs to our bedroom and lay on the bed. Victoria turned off the light, took off her robe and lay in front of me. "I'm sorry, V. I didn't mean to get upset. I just have the biggest migraine..."

She kissed me, "it's okay... Where were you?"

"I went to the park."

"All day?"


"How long were you there?"

"Since six."

"Six? That's probably why you're so sick, Michael."

"It's humid outside."

"Humidity can make you sick."

"I don't think it could make me this sick," I hid under the blankets. "Night, V."

~ ~ ~

The next morning, I woke up to a pounding headache, an upset stomach and I was sweating like crazy. I sat up and got ready to get out of bed. A wave of pain swept through my body.

"Daddy?" Michael peeked inside my room. "Are you okay?"

"Come on in, Mike."

He hurried in and gave me a hug, "Mommy says you're sick. So I wanted to give you a hug to make you feel better. Do you feel better?"

I smiled, "just a little bit. Thank you."

"I love you, Daddy." Michael gave me another hug.

"I love you too." Michael smiled and ran off. I'd have to say that definitely made my day. I stood up and stretched. I went to the bathroom and examined myself. I really am pale. I heard the muffled ring of my phone. I swear I turned my phone off last night... Victoria. I went back to the bedroom and found my phone in my pants pocket. 4 was calling and had called four times before. "Yes?" I answered and sat on the floor.

"Michael, we need to talk."

"About what?"

"I think... No. I know-"

"Can I talk to you later?"

"No, this needs to be said now before we're caught!"

"Look, I'll come over tonight. We can talk face to face. How does that sound?"

"Meet me at nine and don't be late." She hung up. There's no way I'm going over there tonight. She knows I have a family to take care of. I can't just go cater to her needs whenever she needs me. I got up and took a cold shower. This ought to stop all the sweating and fevers.

When I got out the shower, Victoria was knocking on the door.

"Yeah?" I answered.

"Are you okay?" Obviously.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

"Okay, well I just wanted to let you know that all of us are scheduled for checkups next week."

"Why?" I walked out the bathroom with a towel around my waist.

"We do this every year..."

"Oh yeah, I forgot."

"Michael, you're as pale as you were last night. Maybe I should schedule your appointment for earlier."

"Nah, I'm fine," I coughed. "I think I'm just lacking some nutrients. Ya know. I haven't had my fruits and veggies."

"Well, I'll make you a fruit salad. How does that sound?" Victoria smiled.

"Sure. I'd like that. What about the veggies?"

"I'll make you a salad for lunch and beef stew for dinner."

"Thank you, baby." I attempted to kiss her.

"Oh no. You're sick. I'll kiss you when you get better." She laughed.



"You're happier today. You were pissed off at me yesterday. Then when I got home, you were worried about me..."

"I was. You wouldn't answer your phone. You left me on a bad note and I'm your wife. I love you, Michael. Of course I'd be worried sick about you." I looked down. 1 was right. I do have something good on my hands. There is no reason for me to cheat. Naomi is right too. Which reminds me, I have to apologize to her. "When you get downstairs I should have your fruit salad ready." Victoria said as she made her way downstairs. I sat on the bed in deep thought. Did it really take me getting sick to actually think my actions through? Naomi told me the truth yesterday... She doesn't even know me. We had just met. She told me way better than 1 told me. I got my phone out and called Naomi. I really hope she answers.

"Yes?" An annoyed tone accompanied her greeting.

"I just wanted to apologize."


"Kissing you. Calling you out of your name. And after you told me what you had been through, I shouldn't have tried you the way I did."

"What do you mean 'tried' me?"

"Trying to be with you although I'm married."


"So, do you forgive me?"

"Yeah. I forgive you."

"Thank you."

"What made you apologize?"

"I was thinking..."


"All I've done to Victoria."

"Have you told her yet?"


"What are you waiting for?"

"I need to let Kendra go and..."

"Oh my. I was right, huh?"

"I've only got one other woman that I mess around with."

"That's still bad."

"I know. I'm going to let her go though."

"I'm glad you're coming to your senses, Michael."

I sighed, "thanks. Me too."

"You realize we still can't be friends, right?"

"What? Why not?"

"Because I can't be caught up in your drama."

"What drama?"

"Your Mother-in-Law. Your wife. Your children. Joshua... I can't be caught up in all that."


"Delete my number."

"Naomi, you give good advice. I need a woman like-" I heard glass shatter downstairs and extremely loud screams, clearly coming from the boys.

"Michael, what was that?"

"I'll call you back." I hung up and ran downstairs to find Victoria lying on the floor.

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