"Don't you bring her into this! If you didn't want her you shouldn't have agreed to this! I can't believe how much of a bitch you're being about this. Un-fucking-believable."
One cellphone was screaming through another. Me and Shiloah had fights on the regular. We were two combustible furnaces that, typically, had an overflow of heat. It was every bit indicative of a lion and a lamb type of coupling. Sometimes, the words were far too harsh for people who loved one another so much. Oh well, we knew the risk of getting together.
"Look, take your black ass home and be with your fucking daughter. You say you don't want to be like your father? Well, shit, if it quacks like a duck, the shit piles look duckish and if fly in a flock of idiots who want you to ignore your family for a stupid cubicle then you know what the hell you are. You may not have abandoned us physically. Mentally? You'd be hard pressed to convince me that you give a damn when paper means more than the heart Jalen!"
I can't believe she had the nerve to say this. OH SHIT!
"Stop shouting at me!"
That was too damn close. I had to swerve out of the way. I was just about to hit another car while I was trying to change lanes. Shiloah was distracting me. I was trying to do something important. The last thing I needed was her being hyped up on cocaine-like hormones and giving me the breeze.
"Look, baby, I'm only going because I have to. But, tell you what, want me to quit my job? Then I'll have all the time in the world for everything you want me to have time for. I'm doing the best I can. Honest, I am. You have to understand that. I'm not avoiding my family. I love you guys. You mean the world to me. I don't need the salary that I'm getting now. Why make this amount of money when a lower amount would suffice? I'm trying to get a promotion so that we can have a better life. Isn't that what you want?"
Silence, at least, for a couple of seconds. The ash tray was full. She always wanted me to stop smoking. It was times like these that I had to have a square. Goodness gracious, she got on my nerves. More annoying than a gnat on steroids sometimes. Still, somehow, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Even now she didn't realize what was I really trying to do.
"J, I love you more than you could imagine. You know what it's like being here with Caeleigh. For god sakes, she's staring at your picture and looking back at me like I'm supposed to make you teleport here. She needs her mother. But little girls like her especially need a father. That's all I'm trying to explain to you. And it's like you refuse to understand that."
My head hung low for a second. I looked back up. Had to keep my eyes on the road. Sure, trucks like these had a great crash testing rating but that doesn't mean that I couldn't end up being squished up in this thing. She was right. I needed to be there. But she just didn't understand. I had to go out or else I couldn't conceal what I was doing. The bluetooth ear piece got a gentle massage. I did this far too often. It was like I could touch Shiloah even though I knew she'd never feel it.
"I'll be there soon enough. Okay? I'll tell my boss that I won't be there tonight because I'm sick or something. You know how good of an actor I can be, right?"
Shiloah laughed. That was a good sign. Normally, she'd just keep going on and on about how I should do this and that.
"Yeah, like that time you told your mom we were coming over for Christmas. You said that our car broke down and we were just around the corner from her. Why didn't you want to go again?"
I scratched my head. It was never a good feeling lying to my mom like that. Let's just say that mom and Shiloah didn't agree on everything. They fought all the time. Mom even got violent with Shiloah. That was twice. When somebody told me on the phone that "no white bitch is allowed within fifty feet of my house" then it was time to make that good ol' turn around back to our home.
"You're never going to let me live that down, are you?"
"Nope. 'Fraid not J...what's that? Wanna talk to daddy? Come on, say daddy. Come on. d-a-d-d-y. You can do it."
See, that's how we talked to our daughter. A lot of people say that "goochie goo" crap. No, we talked to her like she was just another adult. They say it'd help any child to learn how to speak faster. Plus, at early ages, the vocabulary would be better versus a child who wasn't talked to that way. Unfortunately, at her age, Caeleigh would only babble and speak gibberish that I was attempting to understand. I just had to look down and smile to myself.
"Yeah, I hear ya. Tryin' to talk already huh? What's next? Quantum physics?"
I looked back up. I went into the wrong lane. My wife and child had to listen to the horrible head on collision. The phone was dead. So was I. The only thing more lifeless than the truck, the eighteen wheeler I slammed into and my body was the black ring case that flew out of the window and into the street. Our anniversary was tomorrow. There wasn't any business trip. I just told her that to cover myself.