Write On!

Baby Got Back

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2011 at 4:35 pm

by: guest author Sherri Moseley

“Oh my… Becky look at her-” a sudden cacophony interrupted Trisha mid tirade. “It is so big” Becky said as a parade float passed in front of them with rappers wearing knit hats and low pants. “Who understands those rap guys anyway?”

New Orleans was in high form this Mardi Gras. Since Katrina hit in 2005, things had been different in the city. Becky and Trisha came down from Jackson every year for the parades and after five years New Orleans was finally starting to look more alive. The people had more hope and life in their eyes. The city pulsed with new energy.

As they continued their path down Bourbon street people high on energy and alcohol jostled for better positions near the floats. A cupcake shop to their left caught Becky’s eye.

“I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring. Yum!” Trisha laughed as she continued moving. Their goal was a small shop up the road filled with hand made clothes that couldn’t be found anywhere else. As they finally arrived and stepped inside, scents of lavender, jasmine, and vanilla enveloped them. A lady in the back distractedly waved to them but otherwise left them to their own devices. They headed straight to the clearance rack and started wading through the options.

“I’m so fat. I was reading in a magazine that my BMI is above where it should be.” Trisha complained.

“So Cosmo says you’re fat. Whatever. I’m tired of magazines. They are all about exercising but who has the time? I guess you can do side bends or sit ups during lunch.” Becky came out of the changing room dressed in a peasant blouse and full length gypsy skirt.

“I love that. Hol’ on and let me get my camera. I wanna get with you and take your picture.” Trisha rummaged through her purse until she finally found her small camera. Snapping the photo, she found herself reminiscing how New Orleans looked on their trip in 2006.

At that time, neither one of them were looking forward to the trip. Becky had just lost her mom and Trisha was in the midst of a divorce. Heartbreak covered them and was relentlessly bringing them down. They had almost decided to cancel their annual trip. Once they arrived in New Orleans, the lack of energy did little to lift their spirits. The city had changed. Construction was found everywhere. Favourite stores had closed. The parade route had been changed and limited. There was a curfew in place and the National Guard was handling crowd control for the first time since 1979. The smell of mildew overpowered the smell of fresh baked goods and alcohol being imbibed. The city had a deserted feel about it even with the parade krewes doing their best to make the city feel revived. Loss permeated the air like a humid day waiting on rain. Depression had taken over the city once known for letting the good times roll.

Brought back to the present by the sound of the entry bell, Trisha put her camera away and continued adding to her clothes pile. Becky had already changed into another outfit and was droning on about some new burger place she wanted to try.

“I like them real thick and juicy. I’ll have to find that juicy double.” Holding up a shirt “Oh, Trish, this is so adorable and would be perfect for you. Did you see Ray was back in town? He was up at the game the other night.” Becky was talking about the college soccer game between two rival teams in Jackson. Trisha breathed in deep and closed her eyes, knowing this answer needed to be as calm and unemotional as possible. Since Ray had left her five years before, their paths had not crossed. Now coming out of nowhere he seemed to be always around.

“Yes, I know Ray’s around. He stopped in and saw me at the shop the other day. Wants to talk over dinner one night. I told him I’m not interested.”

“I can’t say I blame you for not wanting to get together with him. Did he say why he wants to talk?”

“No, and I didn’t ask for specifics. The last time I saw him was at the signing of the divorce decree and I just never thought I’d see him again.”

Paying for their purchases, they left the store and started to return to their hotel where they would leave the purchases and go to dinner before the revellers in the streets were done. Becky, never one to leave things alone, continued questioning Ray’s reappearance back into town. “Why would he come back? Does he still have that job in New York? Has he contacted you before this?”

Trisha sighed, knowing that unless she gave full disclosure and wore the subject down to the nub, Becky was not going to give up. “I don’t have any answers. I just finished telling you that I have not seen him since the decree. I don’t know what he wants and quite frankly I just don’t care. He left me. He wanted the big city more than the family life we had originally planned. That’s all there is to it and I really don’t want to hash all this out. Let’s just enjoy tonight and get ready to head home tomorrow.”

“Fine. Don’t think I won’t want to talk about this next week though.” said Becky giving her the look that said she knew exactly why Trisha didn’t want to talk about this.

Dropping their bags off at their hotel, Becky and Trisha went to their favorite restaurant in N’Awlins, anticipating the creole dishes they were about to eat. After being seated, a waiter brought them some complimentary biscuits to start off with. They placed their orders and were about to start in on the biscuits when a commotion at the front caught their attention. The hostess was in an obviously heated discussion with a gentleman that both women knew.

“Oh no. What is he doing here?” Trisha exclaimed in a panic stricken voice. She looked around for an alternate exit and started to get up for her escape when she suddenly heard her name being shouted across the room. Before she even had time to react with more than a widening of her eyes, her ex-husband was on top of them.

“Ray, what are you doing?” Hot with embarrassment and unsure of what to do, Trisha asked, “Why are you here? How did you find me?”

“I told you I wanted to talk to you. I knew you’d take your annual trip and that you would eat here. By the way, hello Becky. Would you mind if I joined you this evening?” Ray smoothly greeted as though it wasn’t a little over five years since they had had any contact.

Trisha sat back down because her legs were shaking so much she did not think they could hold her up. Ray took that as a complete acceptance and sat next to her. A stunned silence covered the table, interrupted in typical Becky fashion. “Well, what exactly do you want Ray?”

“That is the question. Right now, let us just say I want to eat and hopefully Trisha and I can speak afterwards.” Ray more or less questioned with no more than a raised eyebrow.

Trisha glanced first at her best friend and then at her ex-husband. Shaking her head distractedly, she made up her mind that this was going to be solved once and for all. “There is no reason to wait until later. What is it that you want Ray? I thought we solved everything in the divorce. All the property and money split, everything down to the last bath towel. There is nothing unaccounted for, so what is it that you are here for?”

Looking right at Trisha with eyes that reflected pain and torment, Ray simply stated, “My wife.”

“What?!? Have you lost your ever loving mind? You divorced me, remember? You wanted to live in the city that never sleeps. You didn’t want children. Now you come back and declare you want your wife?” Getting louder and more shrill by the minute, Trisha could feel the overwhelming pain overcoming her.

Becky took a quick sip of her water and decided now was a great time to cut out. “Trish, I’ll catch you at the hotel.”

“You’re abandoning me here with Mr. Insanity?”

“I just think you need to discuss this without my interference. I’ll be praying though.”

Watching her leave the restaurant, Trish put off looking at Ray, knowing he was looking at her and waiting. Finally, when the tension didn’t seem as though it could get any thicker he spoke. “I know this isn’t going to be an easy thing to understand. I know I messed up. Bad. I know you probably hate my guts. I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

“See, about a year ago I was in a minor accident. My car was completely totaled and I really thought I wouldn’t make it out alive, but God saved me. I started going back to church, and this time I really let God’s love sink in. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour about six months ago and have been praying diligently about His will in my life. About a month ago an opportunity to work back in Jackson came up. Right about the same time one of the photo albums of our wedding fell off my closet shelf. I started praying for God’s will in our marriage and I know He returned me to be near you for a reason.”

“I want children with you. I want to marry you again. This time for forever. I know it won’t be easy, but I want to work on it.” Taking a deep breath Ray looked down at the table fearfully and prayerfully waiting on her response. Glancing up, he was shocked and dismayed to find Trisha in tears.

“I don’t know what to say. I have been praying for God to show me when I was ready for another relationship. There haven’t been any clear signs until now. I really would like to try again, but Ray, this is not going to be an easy process. Our love and marriage is like this city, totally destroyed and lacking in hope and life. It is going to take a long time for it to be revived with energy. We will need to work hard and I will need you to really be there for me.

“When you left, it was as though I died inside. I know I am strong enough to get through this but I could not stand it if you left again. I ain’t down with that. Marriage is sacred. You were quick to toss it and leave it and now you want to pull up quick and retrieve it. This isn’t going to be an easy road. It’s going to take time and trust is going to have to rebuild.”

Overfilled with gratitude for the possibility of a second chance, Ray reached for her hand and brought it to his lips. Eyes filmed with tears, he smiled. “I know it’s going to be hard but if God is for us, who can be against us.”

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