Falling Black in Love: Whitley & Dwayne (Part II)

This picks up from a piece I began over a year ago…I lost my creative flow. It’s back now! I’ll be housing my writings here until my blog MEBDKX.com decides to let me be great. In the the meantime, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: @MEBDKX.

The story of Whitley & Dwayne takes place in July of 1997. They have been married for 6 years and are still in Tokyo. This story follows the early years of the Wayne’s marriage. Enjoy!

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Richmond, Virginia

July 1997

Whitley waited frantically by the phone. The time it was taking Byron to answer was staring to get to her. All she could think about was her baby, Jeremiah laying in a pool of his own blood. She found a chair in the room and pulled it up to the desk. She wanted to sit down but could not. How had her life come to this? How had it gotten so bad to the point that she would actually have to make this type of phone call? She sat down to brace herself.

The silence in the room was curtailed only briefly by her own soft sobs. She dreaded hospitals as a child; to be here for her own child was a thought that was just too much for her to bare. She toyed with the wire on the phone to occupy her mind. Wrapping the cord around each finger, Whitley tried with her all mental might to focus on the conversation she was about to have was a conversation that would surely open the floodgates.

Jeremiah is going to die.

Dwayne is going to leave me.

I am going to lose it all.

The negative thoughts intensified. The trip back home to Richmond had quickly turned into a decision that Whitley was starting to regret. What was supposed to be a weekend getaway from the dramatics of the previous weekend had instead turned into a hell that could result in the loss of her child, marriage, and sanity.

Whitley waited silently on the other end of the phone. Just yesterday she remembered telling Kim that the time apart from Dwayne was painful but necessary. Their time in Tokyo had begun to take its toll and Whitley soon found herself unrecognizable. Her life, more quickly than she realized, had become almost exclusively about her children.

Here she was, Whitley Gilbert, the fabulous, conscious, art history major who had traveled the world — and her life had been relegated to the role of just a mother. It was the dream she thought she wanted; but she soon found that her nature — her very biological make-up, could not be satisfied with playdates and potty training. Whitley’s mind wandered, bringing about a host of honest revelations: Motherhood was a drag.

“How did my life get here?” She asked herself. “I am supposed to be traveling the world, buying corporate art and enjoying the best time of my life. I’m not supposed to be in Japan.”

“Well why are you in Japan, Whitley?” She paused, then answered herself:

Well, Whitley, you’re not in Japan because you flew to Virginia to support a friend on trial for murdering her abusive boyfriend and another friend who’s representing her. You decided to spend the weekend in Richmond and entrust your children’s safety with mama’s housekeeper. Now, your son has been run over by a car and is fighting for his life and needs a blood transfusion from a man who is not Dwayne: sounds legitimate.”

Whitley slowly began to chuckle to herself. Indeed, it was all she could do at the time. Crying seemed so far out of the question, and laughing seemed like the best thing to do.

Whitley’s mind continued to wonder into the realm of what could have been. 6 years into her marriage with Dwayne and the fulfillment she once gained as a wife and mother had begun to erode. Still, she loved her son. She loved her daughter. She loved Dwayne. Strangely, her son laying on his death bed brought with a certain level of freedom and burden; if Jeremiah did not make it, Whitley could at the very least find solace int he fact that Dwayne would never have to know her ugly, treacherous secret…

How was she going to tell Dwayne that their son was nearly dead and, not only was their son near death, how would she attempt to explain that the blood her son needed to survive must come from his father — a man that may not be him?

Whitley began to cry. Slowly at first, the tears soon became too much as her world crumbled right before her very eyes. How could she make this go away? How could she magically snap her fingers and heal her son, bury her secrets, and be one big happy family again?

The strange feelings of freedom and release crept back into her mind. For a moment, Whitley actually contemplated hanging up the phone, making peace with the fact that the only way to protect her name, Dwayne and even Byron was to let Jeremiah perish. Whitley’s sobs now grew uncontrollable.

“Whitley, darling,” a knock on the door and her mother’s voice broke her train of thought. “I couldn’t bare to sit out there another moment. Are you okay?”

“No,” Whitley said flatly, the phone was still pressed to her ear. Marion rushed over to Whitley, taking her in her arms.

“Well, were you able to get in contact with Dwayne?” Marion asked as she cleaned her daughter’s face as best she could.

“No,” she replied.

“Well who are you on the phone with, Whitley?”

Without looking up, she did not bother to lie. “Byron,” she uttered.

“Douglas?” Marion followed up. Whitley nodded her head.

“Yes,” she replied.

“Whitley your child is dying and you’re on the phone with Byron Douglass. Why are you on the phone with Byron when you should be on the phone with Dwayne? What is happening? “

Marion’s questions only sent Whitley’s thoughts into a tailspin. Before Whitley could attempt to answer her question, Dr. Bryant peeked his head in much to the dismay of Marion.

“Excuse me, Dr. do you mind?” Marion snapped at Dr. Bryant.

“Actually, yes I do,” he countered. “You should not be back here but nevertheless, here you are.” Before Marion could respond, Dr. Bryant turned his attention back to Whitley.

“Mrs. Wayne,” he began, laying his hands on her shoulder, “Were you able to contact the child’s father? We are going to have make a decision very quickly.”

Before Whitley could muster up any semblance of an answer, Byron’s voice came over the receiver.

“Hello, Whitley.”

Whitley froze again. The room began to shrink as Marion’s gaze and Dr. Bryant’s stares felt as if they were eating a hole in her.

“Hello, Whitley? Are you there?” Byron asked again.

“Mrs. Gilbert, are you on the phone with the child’s father?”

Whitley looked up at Dr. Bryant then back to her mother. She said a short prayer in her head in hopes that someday God would find it in His heart to forgive her for what she was about to do.

Whitley hung up phone. “No.”