"You can stop here!" I called up to the limo driver. I smiled when I saw my mother's beige home. This had been the home that I had grown up in. By the way the house looked, I could tell that my mother had maintained the stability of the home.
The driver opened the door for me and slammed it shut. He smiled and I reached into my pocket and gave him a few bills.
"Thank you, Mr. Morrison," He beamed.
"Oh no, call me Jason. What's your name?"
"Darrell, sir…Darrell Langston."
"Well, Mr. Darrell—don’t stray too far, I will be calling you in a little, alright?"
"Yes sir!" He climbed into the limo and sped off.
I stood in front of my mother’s house. I sighed deeply—nervous to see her after four long years. We had exchanged messages and phone conversations, but each time the conversation led to my arrival at home, at least for a visit, I changed it quickly. My mother was very blunt, and she made it her business to bring up Kimberly every chance that she got. I hated that, but my mom was pissed at me, even to this day, for running out on her. I couldn't blame her, either.
She had told me on more than one occasion, ‘"Jason, you had you a good girl and a wonderful life. Why did you want to leave that all behind for a modeling career? Did you even once stop and think about how Kimberly would feel when she realized that you were gone? All you were doing was thinking about yourself!’" Hearing her say that made the pain I felt worsen. I know that I was heartless for leaving her, but I didn’t want other people judging me for my own wrongdoing.
I slowly ascended the stairs, nervous to come face to face with my mother. I didn’t have to wait very long; my mother came to the door with a shocked expression on her face.
"Jason! Jason Devonte Morrison? Is that you?" Tears flooded her eyes, and before I had a chance to answer her, she threw her arms around my neck and kissed all around my face. I smiled—it was a bitter-sweet moment. I was glad to see her, I mean, she is my mother—but the other part of me dreaded the conversation ahead…and it always, always lead up to that point about Kimberly—my mom loved her.
"It’s good to see you, mom."
"Oh, baby, you just made my entire day! It’s so good to see you! Look how handsome you’ve become—and strong, too!" She wiped tears from her eyes and pulled me into the house. She slammed the door shut behind her and I could smell the slight scent of a baking peach cobbler. I smiled—mom had a way with baking, and I came home just in time.
"Sit, sit, sit! I have a little something in the oven. I had no idea you were coming, though. I was just baking randomly for your brother."
I smiled at the sound of my older brother visiting. Maxwell, or Max as we liked to call him, was always out and about. He had his own family—a ten year old son and a wife, but he used to always drop by mom’s house for her world famous peach cobbler.
"Max is coming over today?"
"Of course, baby! He always does." She grabbed a few plates from the cabinet and placed them in front of us. She grabbed a few glasses and poured some milk in it. "So, how have you been over the years? How is California?"
"I’ve been fine, mom. Just fine…"
"I can see that. You look mighty healthy. I’ve seen all those pictures that you've taken. They're all over magazines. There is not a soul that have not seen your face anywhere around here." She looked deeply at me, and I could tell where she was going with her conversation.
Kimberly. I knew that Kimberly had seen those pictures. She probably felt as though I was nothing. And, I really am nothing for leaving her the way that I've done.
"Baby, I know that you have told me time and time again what your true motives were about leaving, but why did you take off without warning? You could have told her, that way she wouldn’t wake up to nothing…no note or anything." She cut a thick piece of peach cobbler and placed it in front of me.
I grabbed a fork and dug into it instantly. My mom had always warned me never to talk with my mouth full, and I chewed extra slow just to avoid the conversation ahead.
"Jason Devonte Morrison! I know that you hear me." She looked serious, and I took a huge gulp of milk and bit another huge bite of pie. I nodded while I chewed.
"I can wait. This conversation can wait until you eat that pie. Jason, I know you inside out. A mother knows this about her child. She can tell when they are up to something, being sneaky, or beating around the bush, and son, let me tell you; you are doing just that!" She bit into her pie and smiled at me.
I knew that there was no avoiding this conversation. I had to answer her one way or another…it was either that, or make an excuse and leave, but my limousine driver was quite a distance away.
"Mom, I know where this conversation is leading to. I know everything that you are about to say. I wish I could go back and change what I did wrong. I wish I could. But mom, please—don’t do this. Not right now. I am tired—I have jetlag. I just want to get to my house and get some sleep before tomorrow."
"Are you going to go see her?" She didn’t look at me. Her voice was silent, just above a whisper.
"I want to. I need to."
"Please…do so for me. I have not seen her in years. Once you left, it was as if she didn’t know who I was. She never called—never visited…and she no longer lives in the house you two shared together. Please—I want to see her again."
My heart fluttered. She moved out of our house?
I understood why—she didn’t want to be in a place where she would remember me constantly. Once I left it was like kissing our relationship goodbye.
She deserved better than what I had done to her. Back then I was afraid to commit. I knew what she wanted—she wanted a love that would last a lifetime. I wanted so badly to give it to her…I was just afraid. That’s why I left when Black called me. I had to leave—clear my head. I didn’t know that I would be staying there for as long as I did.
I wanted so desperately to call her and tell her that I loved her—I just didn’t have the courage to do so. The thought of her being alone crying because of me was my biggest fear—and I knew my fear had become a reality once the realization hit that I was never coming back. She hated me and I knew it.
I looked at my mom, trying my best to fight back the tears that threatened to fall.
"You will see her again, mom. I promise," I could see tears in my mom’s eyes, but she wiped them away. She tried to be strong—but she couldn’t help herself. She was an emotional woman.
I watched her as she grabbed the plates and began washing them.
"Mom, I’m sorry to eat and run, but I need to get going. I have to settle and then later I’m going out to the agency that my company appointed me with. It’s weird because they have nothing to do with modeling. It’s all business."
"Oh...are you not going to stick around until Max gets here? I believe he's bringing his wife and son." She informed me.
"I honestly would, but my assistant would kill me if I didn't go ahead and get started on the 'to do' list she's e-mailed to me." I mused as I looked at my mother. I hoped she understood. I'd have to catch my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew some other time, although I wanted to see them so badly.
She smiled at me and opened her arms. I pulled her into a tight hug and quickly dialed my limousine driver’s number. I told him to get back and take me home and he told me that he would be there in a few minutes.
"Mom, I love you. It’s nice to see you again. I promise that I will stop by and visit later. Tell Max and his family I'm home and that I'll be sure to drop by their place, as well."
She nodded and placed a kiss on my forehead. It felt like I was a small child again. I almost didn't want to leave, but, duty calls. I waved goodbye and restated my promise before I stepped out of the house and awaited my limousine driver.
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