Big holes. Multiple holes in Jen and T’s bedroom.
They kept the door to their room closed all the time. But one day I caught a glimpse inside of it. There were holes on every wall. What was I missing? Yeah I knew T had a temper but to what extent I didn’t know. He was really careful when I was around. I would hear them arguing on occasion but I never saw him lay a hand on her. I never heard him punch holes in the wall. I saw the control he had over her and I swear I tried to talk to her.
Maybe I didn’t do enough. Maybe there was something more I could’ve done. That will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. I tried to tell her to leave him and that he was bad news. But even when he was in jail for a short stint for warrants, she was still under his control and manipulation.
“Do you want to go with me to Kent to visit T?” My first thought was “hell no, I hope he rots in there”, but being a good friend, I agreed to go. I had never been to a jail before. It was gritty and scary. The paint was falling off the walls and the bars slamming shut is a sound that will forever stay with me. I waited in the lobby while Jen went back to visit T. As I’m sitting there I am surrounded by people that look like they themselves should be behind bars. I felt vulnerable and out of place.
There was a creepy guy sitting next to me that kept trying to engage in conversation with me. “So, who are you here to see?” he asked. “Nobody. My friend is here to see someone.” I told him. No eye contact of course. He kept trying to ask me questions. “Do you stay around here?” “Do you have a man?” I sure don’t. But I’m pretty sure a jail lobby is the last place on earth I would go looking for a man. My standards weren’t extremely high but even I had my limits. Eventually, I had to move seats. This guy was persistent and probably a serial killer. I kept watching the clock, every minute felt like an hour. Finally, she came out. I had never felt so relieved.
“I have to put money on his books” Once again my first thought was “let him live on bread and water”, but I kept my thoughts to myself. Again. We stopped at the front where she put money on his books so he could have the “extras”. I had never been so happy to leave a place. That would be the first and last time I would ever see the inside of a jail. Where was Alphonso when I needed some back-up? Oh, that’s right. He was playing house with Pat.
Jen and Alphonso kept in contact. Me, not so much. Jen would keep me updated on the “Alphonso and Pat” saga. Alphonso was cooking dinners and being a housewife. I never once saw Alphonso cook anything but in the microwave. So this was all interesting news to hear. They were having their issues as couples sometimes do. But from what I heard, Alphonso was happy and that’s all that mattered. So when Jen told me she needed to talk, I was caught completely off-guard.
“Alphonso wants to move back” “Move back where? Here?” I asked. Still in shock. “DUH, where else would he go?” She replied. The truth was there was tension in the house. T didn’t like me and I didn’t like T. We tolerated each other and that was it. I didn’t like who Jen had become with T, therefore I began to feel a strain on our friendship. And now Alphonso coming back to the apartment. Alphonso, the person who had champagne taste on a beer budget. He loved his Prada, Gucci and MAC make-up, forgetting about rent and utilities. Someone had to pick up the slack, and that someone was mostly me because Jen had a baby to take care of now.
I was ready to leave.
I was at my breaking point.
I didn’t know when or how but I needed to leave soon.