Chapter 19: We're Both Wrong

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The first two weeks without Rashad had flown by. Aylen and Kiana were back at home with me and I found myself talking around all of their questions about where daddy was. I explained to them that daddy had to work more hours and they were mostly satisfied enough with that answer to leave it alone.

Every day, Rashad would call them first thing in the morning to talk to them before I dropped them off to school and after work he would have dinner with us. We tried to make things as normal as possible between us by laughing and interacting with them playfully. I let Rashad put them to sleep and after he was done, he would leave without saying anything to me. I knew he would be mad, I didn't realize he would be as mad as he was. He stopped asking me questions about the other guy and we would only discuss things as needed, mostly by text message.

It was Thursday night, into the third week of our separation and I was still in a weird place emotionally. I missed Rashad, but I wasn't ready to move forward yet. What he did hurt me so much deeper than I realized. I surprisingly found myself missing Phillip. I hadn't spoken to or seen him since the night I stayed over. Tanya was no longer seeing him as her trainer because she felt weird about it after what happened. I hoped with him being out of sight, that those lingering feelings I had for him would go away so my life could go back to normal but that wasn't the case so far.

After I finished making the girl's plates, I sat down at the table. Rashad was normally there by this time, today he hadn't contacted me at all. While in the middle of eating, I heard the front door open and in walked Rashad dressed in his usual stylish business attire.

"Daddy!" The girls screamed jumping from the table to greet him.

"There go my babies," he said squatting to scoop them both up. They began to talk a mile a minute about their day and he gave them all of his attention. Then he put them back down and went to retrieve his plate out of the microwave. For them, he made a scene of leaning down to kiss me on the cheek. "How was your day?"

"It was good and yours?" I returned.

"Busy as usual," he sighed and sat across from me at the table. The girls were pleased in these moments, it was as if seeing us together like this reassured them that we were okay.

For the next half-hour, we mostly listened to stories about their day. Kiana tried her hardest with her limited vocabulary to talk like Aylen, who swore she knew everything.

Once dinner was over, Rashad took the girls to the back while I cleaned the kitchen. As I did each night, I made my way to our room and began to work on a new sketch. My art was how I worked through things in my life. It was my place of solace. The knock at our bedroom door surprised me.

"The girls are sleep?" I tried to sound as normal as possible even though nothing about this situation was normal for us.

"They are both knocked out," his lips curved into a lopsided smile. He leaned his body in the doorway as if he was nervous about stepping inside. "They must have really played themselves out today."

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