Delia made it home way before her children awakened. That was not the case with her mother. Valena was up and sitting at the kitchen table with a magazine and a cup of coffee in front of her, clearly waiting to have a long overdue conversation with her daughter.
“Good morning, Mama,” Delia said, heading to the fridge with the gallon of milk in her hands.
“Good morning to you, too, Dee,” Valena replied. “Now if we’re done with the pleasantries, you mind telling me where you’re really coming from this time of morning? Because I know it don’t take that long to get milk from the grocery store, even if you had to go all the way across town to get it.”
Delia’s cheeks flushed with color. If she was still a mischievous teenager, she might have been inclined to add to her earlier half-truth. But since she was a grown woman with children of her own and since she was trying to stay in the integrity zone in every area of her life, she told her mother the whole truth.
“I did go to the grocery store, Mama…after I spent the evening with a male friend,” Delia confessed, closing the refrigerator door. She removed the brief note she’d left on it announcing her late night errand.
Valena didn’t even look surprised. “I figured as much. I knew all those secret smiles, dreamy looks, and the constant using of your cell phone after hours weren’t for nothing.”
“Dang. I didn’t know I’d been so obvious.” Delia sat down beside her mother at the round table.
“Oh, yeah.” Valena chuckled. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were in love.”
“I’m not looking to love anybody’s son but my own ever again,” Delia replied, not confirming or denying her mother’s assessment.
“Sometimes it happens anyway,” Valena said, sprouting a ton of wisdom in that statement. “As for this male friend of yours, when are we going to meet him? Or are you going to keep letting him treat you like some skank that he can only see at night?”
“He doesn’t treat me like a skank,” Delia defended, careful not to call Royal’s name. She wasn’t ready for her mother to know that she was sleeping with her ex-doctor. And she definitely didn’t want Charlize to know.
Valena scoffed. “He’s treating you like something since I seriously doubt you’re meeting this man so late at night just to stare at the moon.”
“Actually, he wants a real relationship,” Delia explain. “I’m the hold up. I’m the one that’s not ready for anything serious.”
“I see. Have you told him that yet?” Valena took a sip of her coffee.
“Yes, but he insists on loving me anyway. I told him not to,” Delia replied.
Valena almost choked on her coffee at those words. She swallowed hard, took a deep breath and got her bearings back before responding. “
“Well, what do you suggest I do?” Delia asked, clasping her hands in front of her on the oak wood table.
“I suggest you either allow this man to love you properly or not at all. Don’t play with his emotions with all these mixed messages. Not only is that unfair to him, it can be dangerous for you if he decides he loves you too much to let you go,” Valena said, speaking from experience.
“You’re right. I’m going to stop seeing him. I’ll let him know today,” Delia decided. If only that decision didn’t come with so much pain. It was like losing her father and E-Blade all over again. How was that possible? Had Royal come to mean so much to her already?
“Good girl.” Valena smiled with approval. “I’m glad you’re being so adult about this. But I’m curious. Why did you choose to stop seeing him over just letting him love you? Is he good in bed, yet with major character flaws? Is he a cheater like E-Blade was?”
Delia shook her head. “No, he is handsome, educated, established in his career, has no baby-mama drama, owns his own house, loves kids, and loves me, despite my past.”
Valena’s eyes widened. “Are you sure you want to give up a man like that? He seems perfect in every way.”
Delia sighed heavily. “That’s the thing, Mama. He’s too perfect for me. A woman like me doesn’t deserve a man like that.”
“What do you mean a woman like you?” Valena looked offended that her daughter would even say something like that about herself. “You’re a wonderful mother, daughter, and friend. A great businesswoman.”
Delia smiled at her mother. “I appreciate you saying that, Mama, but no matter how wonderful I am, I could never be good enough for this man.”
“Is this man the Pope or something?”
“No.” Then Delia took a deep breath and told her mother exactly who the mystery man was. “He’s Dr. Royal Seeger, one of Charlize’s bosses. The same doctor that delivered Tess.”
Valena gasped in shock. Her cheeks went from pale to flaming red. “Oh,
Delia hung her head in shame. “I didn’t plan to, Mama. It just happened one night. And then it wouldn’t stop happening. In a way, I didn’t want it to stop. But now I do. Now I’m willing to do what’s best for everybody.” She stood to her feet.
Before leaving the room, Delia requested that what she’d just shared be kept between the two of them. She didn’t want anyone else to know of her shame.
Speechless now, Valena only nodded.
As Delia walked to her room with heavy footsteps, she felt even more ashamed of herself. Even more guilty. It pained her to know that she’d grieved her mother’s heart yet again. When was she going to get it right? What was it going to take to actually be someone that her mother and kids could be proud of?
Who could ever be proud of a murderous skank, Delia mused, mentally kicking herself for behaving so stupidly all these months. For once again making such bad choices.
I need help! Delia mused, opening the door to her bedroom. Maybe it’s time for me to try God after all, she thought, recalling those words from a recent phone conversation with her Christian friend and home-girl Alexis. Maybe He can keep me from making all these stupid mistakes in my life.
“Yes,” Delia declared with her mind firmly made up. She would give God a try. Today.
But first I need to take another shower, Delia mused, unaware that God would accept her just the way she was right now, despite the stench of sin upon her.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier