This story contain’s sexual content, violence, coarse language and consumption of alcohol it is rated R and 18+
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Birthday BBQ (Waking Up Jayla)
I woke to a text from Bill. ‘It’s over between us. I’m angry. I won’t press charges but you owe me for that kindness. I’ll let you know what later.’
I re-read the message a few times and decided not to respond. If he tried to press charges, I would show the police this text.
Despite being relieved that he understood it was over, the message left me uneasy. Was he insane? For an accountant he was volatile. I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was going to retaliate.
I tried to work myself into excitement as I drove to my sister’s house. I know if I say anything about Bill or Curt she’ll accuse me of making it about myself and it was Theo’s day, not mine. I miss having a better relationship with my sisters.
Asha opened the door and let me know everyone was in the back. Theo her husband had invited a few of his friends since it was his birthday. Oh good strangers, just what I need.
“I have something for Theo, but more importantly I brought something for Henry.”
My nephew Henry is six and the sweetest thing ever. He just happened to adore me.
“They’re in the yard. Um…”
I nodded knowing what was coming next.
“Dee’s here.” Asha said with a hint of fear. Dee is what she affectionately calls Delilah. They both used to call me JJ but now it’s just Jay since I ruined my marriage according to them.
“I’m not going to make a scene and I won’t make you choose sides. I told you that.” I kissed Asha’s cheek and went to find my Brother in law and nephew.
Both were ecstatic to see me and their honest warm greetings made my heart feel better. Delilah stayed away with her pouty snarly face to my relief. After about twenty minutes, Henry started dragging me to his room to show me his newest dinosaurs. I brought him a Pterodactyl so logically they needed to meet.
I spent over half an hour hiding from the adults with Henry before he decided to take his bubbles out to the yard when we heard kids outside. I told him to go ahead and I’d follow. I was in no hurry to be in the same vicinity with Delilah with my mind and emotions darkened by Bill.
I heard the joyous laughter of multiple children as Henry went out. That meant more people. I’m not shy, but I don’t want to deal with my homewrecker of a sister. I should, but she betrayed me so completely I couldn’t. Not yet, and she’s mean. She always has been even when we were closer. Back then, she was slyer about it. It’s funny that I’m accused of being shellfish when she takes everything even if it’s not hers.
There were people inside the kitchen and out in the very large yard. The side-yard was occupied by playing children, four of them. Three boys and a girl. I didn’t know who they were. I sipped a beer, the only one I’d have, and chatted with a few people I did know, but not well.
When Paul showed up solo, I nearly left. I sidled up to Asha. “What. The. Hell.”
“I’m sorry, but he’s our friend Jay. He is friends with Dee and many of Theo’s friends. Just stay away if you can’t be civil.”
I sighed. I promised not to make them pick sides. Even though I thought they should naturally choose mine. They know he cheated just now how much and with whom. Delilah never said a word and neither did Paul. “I’ll behave.” Normally I’d leave it at that, but I’m through being the one to back down all the time. “But you do know I’m not the one that behaves uncivilized.”
I managed to make my way to the far edge of the yard. Delilah and Paul were tittering and whispering to one another. I needed an early escape plan.
“Auntie Jay!” Henry came running up to save me from Asha’s retort. “Oh come meet my friends and play with us.”
I saw a large group of men coming out of the house being led by Theo. Like that was a hard decision to make. I took his hand and made a hasty exit from adult land.
I spent the next hour blowing bubbles, tag and now hide and seek. The other three, Maya, Bobby and Rett were hiding and I was searching. I had no idea who their parents were and didn’t care. Maya was a sweet little redhead two years older than Henry, Bobby had the biggest doe eyes I’ve ever seen and Rett was a charming little brown-haired boy who seemed to know Henry well. I had my eyes covered as I counted to one hundred.
“Ready or not here I come!” I started searching.
I could see Maya’s bright pink shorts and Bobby’s neon yellow shirt hiding in the shrubs. I knew how to play and made them feel as if they hid well. I found Henry and the two in due time but couldn’t find Rett. I was ready to give up when I heard a somewhat familiar male voice call his name out. Paul.
“Hey Rett, your dad’s looking for you he’s fixing a plate for you.” Paul eyed me with derision for hanging out with the kids.
“Ah man.” The seven year old crawled out from under a thick shrub covered in dirt. I tried not to laugh but he was adorable. “Sorry AJ I’ll be back.” He said and took off running around to the back yard.
Since Henry called me Auntie Jay, Bobby, Maya and Rett took to calling me AJ. I loved it to be honest.
“That boy looks more like his mom thank god.” Paul said as Henry ran up to me.
“We’re going to find Popsicles Auntie Jay, do you want one?”
“Nah you go ahead. I’m going to go be adult for a bit.”
“Boo.” Henry teased and took off running.
“You look different. Good, but nervous too.” Paul said casually.
“I had a bad night. But otherwise things are going great.”
“Huh.” Paul narrowed his eyes. “New man?”
“Don’t start Paul.”
“Are you going to make that lawyer back off?”
“Will you leave me alone if I do?”
“I’ll think about it.”
“You do that Jayla, but don’t take too long. My patience will only last so long. For now I’ll play nice.”
I walked with him around to the backyard with all the people milling about and socializing. I really am sick of men threatening me. Delilah was waiting with a fresh beer for Paul.
“Where’s Candie?” I asked Paul and eyeing my sister with contempt.
“Oh she’s visiting her parents.”
“Does she know you’re here with the original mistress?”
“Stop being a bitch Jayla.” Delilah said with a pout. “It’s not all Paul’s fault you know.”
I glared at her. I would not do this here. “Drop it.” I walked away quickly.
How am I the bad guy in this? If I was wrong in any way, I didn’t see it. I headed over to Asha and Theo.
To be continued…
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Next Chapter: I almost forgot My Purse