Black Beauty (A Short Story)

Cassandra slowly walked down the stairs in tears. Life as she knew it was over. It just had to be. Her husband Josh was caught in bed with his friend, Bella. Cassandra had been married to Josh for 6 years but even before their marriage, Bella was always a present force in Josh’s life.

He always professed that they were just friends. After all, Bella was a newlywed with a 2 month-old at home. There was no way she would risk losing her family for Josh, right?

Well, Bella’s husband Kendrick was suspicious of his wife’s relationship with Josh. The friendship was very uncomfortable for his liking and he gave her an ultimatum – end the friendship with Josh, or sign the divorce papers.

Kendrick was the money-maker in his home, and he had made good money from investing in stocks and real estate. Bella was more of the ‘kept’ type and was not going to pass up on the lifestyle that she had grown accustomed to by hanging around with Josh. Besides, if he divorced her now, she would not get nearly as much as she would if she stayed in the marriage for 10 years (according to her prenup). She complied with her husband, until last year.

Right around the time, Bella announced that she was pregnant, she started pulling away from her husband. She always made herself busy and chalked it up to her workload at the office. Kendrick was not buying the late hours. Why would a receptionist for a middle school need to be at work later than 5 pm when school is dismissed at 2 pm. Kendrick knew something was up, he just couldn’t put his finger on it.

Meanwhile, Josh and Cassandra just had their baby girl less than a month after Bella had her baby, and Bella used that as an opportunity to bond with Cassandra. Bella would always use the newborns as an excuse to be at Josh and Cassandra’s. A few weeks into this blossoming friendship, Cassandra started having serious issues in her marriage.

Josh started coming home later and later. He spent most of his time working late nights at the office (at least that’s what he tells his wife). The truth is Josh had secretly been seeing multiple women behind his wife’s back. He had dinner dates with his secretary, movies with his female clients, and was indeed sleeping with Bella whenever he could.

To him, Cassandra was just his arm piece. She had that smooth caramel blemish-less skin and shoulder-length straight hair. She was slender (even after having the baby), and turned heads everywhere she went. Josh was a handsome chocolate man and together, they made a beautiful couple.

But Josh had an itch, that needed to be scratched regularly and Cassandra couldn’t do it. The way he saw it, he needed the extra attention. He only married her because his family would not have accepted him bringing home a dark-skinned girl. It was beneath them. If Josh wanted to hold on that that fancy car, the new house, and the lucrative business his mother let him run, he’d have to do things her way or fend for himself.

The truth was that Cassandra was boring. She didn’t like going out (unless it was for a sale at Sacs Fifth Avenue), hated working around the house (didn’t cook or clean), and more than anything, was horrible in bed. No matter how much he emphasized the things he liked, she only cared about being pleasured. Cassandra didn’t care about her husband’s needs nor did she think he would care. She figured that her beauty would be enough, especially since there were so many other men who wanted her for themselves.

So on that fateful Saturday afternoon when she tip-toed up the stairs of her home and walked towards the loud moaning coming from her bedroom, the last thing she expected to see was her husband and his ‘friend’ in bed. She peeped through the slightly opened door, to see her worst fear playing out before her eyes. She grabbed her mouth as tears welled up in her eyes. She walked zombie-like down the stairs and sobbed in the cushions on her couch. She felt defeated.

Why is this happening to me?
Why is he doing this?
In our bed of all places!
How long has this been happening?
Does he think I’m gonna give up this relationship without a fight?
Is that why he sent me to the mall for that Louis Vuitton sale?

The more she questioned the situation, the more angry she became.

And with that Jezebel!!
How could he?
After all the years I’ve given him!
He will pay!

She gathered herself and her thoughts, tip-toed back up the stairs, and carefully walked down the hall to the linen closet, paying close attention to avoid to the parts of the old wooden floor that held the creeks. She opened her linen closet and felt around under a tower of towels for the gun that she and Josh kept in the house. She slowly closed the closet door and it squeaked – loudly. She swore under her breath.

He told me that he fixed this!

Josh heard the noise, stopped mid-stroke and reached for his gun in the nightstand. He got out of bed and slowly walked towards the bedroom door. Bella grabbed the covers in sheer horror because she knew that someone now knew her secret. As he was about to peep through the slight opening, the door swung right open. He raised his gun and in walked Cassandra with her gun pointed directly to her husband.

They stood there, eye to eye, with guns drawn, aimed, and ready to fire.

“Cassie put the gun down,” Josh said.

“Why should I? You have been lying to me and sleeping with this slut!” Cassandra screamed.

“Baby it’s not what you think,” Josh retorted.

“Not what I think? Not what I think?! Let me guess what happened. You slipped and fell on top her naked in our bed? You make me sick! I hate you!”

“Cassie if you don’t put the gun down, I’ll be forced to use mine!” Josh screamed.

“You would never!”

In a villainous voice, Josh responded, “Cassie, you know the type of man I am, and the connections I have. You know if I wanted to get rid of you, I could. In fact, I’ve wanted you to disappear for a long time, and now you’re giving me every reason to pull this trigger. All you do is spend my money and entertain men who aren’t me.”

“Is that how you really feel Josh”, Cassandra asked as she readjusted her grip on her gun and planted her feet firmly on the ground.

“That’s how it is”, Josh responded coldly.

“All this time I thought you loved me”, Cassandra replied.

“HA! Love? Are you crazy? You’re cute, but not my type. I like my women with curves – with hills and valleys that I can explore. And I love my women dark chocolate. Women like you always believe that you’re worthy because you’re light-skinned. I only married you as a business arrangement – one that I already reaped most of the benefits for,” said Josh, Insinuating that he took her virginity.

Cassandra, now fuming yelled, “Enough!”

They stare each other deeply in the eyes, breathing heavily, with fingers on the triggers, then suddenly Bella screams,

“Please Cassie, don’t kill my daughter’s father!”

With guns still pointed at each other, Josh and Cassandra both look at Bella in disbelief.

The heavy breathing stopped and the room grew silent, except for Bella’s whimpering pleads.

Then out of nowhere, there was a single gunshot.

BANG!!

The sound of a body hit the floor.

And it was all over!

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