Chapter 23: Nothing in Life is Easy

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"I'm not mad," he sighed and began to shake his head. "We just have a lot to work through."

"I know..." Our conversation trailed as I noticed him getting off on the exit. I inhaled a deep breath because it was going to take the acting of my life to get through this weekend. His parent's knew we hit a rough spot, but that was all they knew. I believed that's why they wanted us to come together for Thanksgiving so bad.

When we finally pulled into the driveway, we took a long look at each other before getting out. The front door opened and out came his parent's along with his brother and his brother's wife. I was happy to see them both because even though they didn't like me in the beginning, since our daughters were born, they treated me like a daughter. His mom explained that it wasn't personal, they just hated the way he changed his career path after falling in love with me and the way we rushed into everything. Over the years, we became closer and now I felt like a full-fledged member of the family.

"Joy," his mom said walking towards me with open arms. "It's so good to see you." She pulled me into a hug and rocked me in her arms. "Look at you, what have you been doing? You look incredible."

"Thank you," I told her. "I've been eating differently and going to the gym." I shared. "And look at you, as beautiful as always," I said releasing her.

"Thank you baby, now where are my grandbabies?"

"In the back drooling," I laughed turning to their opened doors. Rashad's dad and brother each had one in their arms.

"Hey sis," Tyrell leaned down to kiss me on the cheek and continued towards the house to get Aylen inside. As Rashad was hugging his mother, I followed behind Tyrell towards the house. His dad came on the other side of me and gave me a half hug.

Inside the house, Robin was waiting and we shared a hug. We were also cool, we only got to see each other at holiday's or important family events. She was from New Orleans and in my opinion was very buttoned up. I had never seen her let her long hair down and just relax. The smell from the kitchen was delicious, I was ready to start eating dinner right then. I wasn't sure how my diet was going to work since I was only eating fish.

After all greetings were out of the way, since it was so late, we all began to go upstairs. I helped, Robin, get the girls situated in the bedroom. They were all able to fit in the queen-sized bed. Their daughter was old enough to watch over them throughout the night.

Then we said goodbye to each other and went to our husband's rooms. Rashad was not there, which meant he was somewhere talking to his parents. The thought made my stomach turn because I was wondering what he was telling them. I decided to busy myself with unpacking my bag and gathered my things to take a shower.

By the time I got out, Rashad was still not in the room and I began to wonder if he decided to sleep in the extra room. I wasn't sure but I tried to remain positive whether he did or not. After all, it was Thanksgiving and I didn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of us.

Just as I got settled under the covers, the door opened and Rashad walked in. I tried to gauge his mood by looking at his expression, but as usual, his face was unreadable. He dug through his bag and grabbed a few things and then went to take a shower. I didn't try to wait up on him because the more he acted like this around me, the more discouraged I became. I chose to close my eyes and go to sleep and deal with him in the morning.

That next morning, I woke up to help finish cooking. We played music and laughed while reminiscing about things that happened during other holidays. While the women cooked, the men took care of the girls. They took them outside to play on the play area his parents had built for them.

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