Previously on Whores & Wives:
“I can’t continue to go on like this; living these lies, navigating these webs of deception….my life is falling apart!” I sobbed in Dr. Sanchez’s office.
“Well, we knew this was coming. We tried to tackle it head on, but it’s okay that we did not. It’s too late to talk about what we did not do; we need to focus on what we can.” Dr. Sanchez tried her best to calm me down.
“There is nothing I can do.”
“You can tell the truth, Amya.”
“Yea…but at what cost? What if my daughter never speaks to me again for betraying her wishes?”
Dr. Sanchez shot me a bullshit look, “What we’re not going to do is cloak our inaction in parental concern. This has nothing to do with that child’s wishes and even if it did, she is a CHILD. Just because she’s carrying a fetus doesn’t make her your equal as far as your parent-child relationship is concerned. You’re still the parent. It is your job to protect her and make the best decisions for her welfare.”
“…okay and then what?” I asked angrily, “Everyone keeps insisting I tell the fucking truth, but you’re not the ones who’ll have to deal with the aftermath of it all. What if happens Derrick Michael finds out Catina isn’t his child? What happens to my standing in the church when my affair with Carmen – and Pia – are made public? – he can take half my money and then some!”
“…well, did you deceive him into believing Catina was his child?”
“I didn’t deceive him…he never asked.”
Dr. Sanchez stared at me with contempt. I exhaled and put my head down.
“Amya,” She crossed her legs and sat back in her chair, her fingers fiddled with a black ballpoint pen, “…I mean this in the most respectful way possible but, you’re full of shit.”
“EXCUSE ME?” I sat up, wide-eyed.
“You heard what I said, you’re full of it. You sit in this office lamenting about your sad life and how people have deceived and mistreated you, but you refuse to acknowledge the ways in which you do those things to others. Not even a little bit!” I swallowed and shifted my weight in the chair. She scoffed and continued, “You can’t expect the truth when you continue to stand in your lies. It is your own deception that deceives you.”
“Why can’t you people just leave me alone and give me time?”
“Time does not equal eternity, Amya. You’ve been asking for time for years and I warned you, the shit would hit the fan and you’d have no choice but to share your truth. Well, I’m sorry honey, but that time is now.”
Dr. Sanchez leaned in close and grabbed my hand, but I pulled away. I stood and started pacing about the room trying to figure out a way to save Timaya without sacrificing myself.
“I just need a little more time.” I mumbled, avoiding Dr. Sanchez’ glance.
“I’m sorry, Amya….but I had no choice….” Dr. Sanchez stood just as I heard a knock on her office door. Within a second, her assistant stuck her head in and nodded.
“Thank you, Amber, please show her in.”
“Show who in? What’s going on?’
“Amya, I didn’t want to ambush you, so I thought it would be better if we did things this way…”
“Did what, what way?”
As I turned to face the doctor, an attractive androgynous woman with long dreadlocked hair entered the room. She smiled and greeted Dr. Sanchez with a kiss on the cheek before turning to extend her hand towards me.
“Hi.” I didn’t bother with shaking her hand. “Why is she here?” I settled my attention back on the doctor.
“I was trying to tell you before she arrived. Would you sit?”
“I would stand.”
“Okay,” She threw her hands up, “that’s fine too. Tanya, would you step out for a moment and I’ll call you back in when we’re done?”
“Oh…. sure.” The woman called Tanya shot me a suspicious look and eyed Dr. Sanchez with concern.
“Everything’s okay, I promise. I just need a chance to explain why you’re here.”
Tanya nodded. “I’ll be right outside.”
“Yes,” I demanded as Tanya exited the room. “Please tell me why she’s in my therapy session…?”
“Amya, I’m not sure if you recall our first session, in which I explained patient confidentiality?”
“Yea…” I shrugged, “…so?”
Dr. Sanchez sighed and blinked slowly, “….do you remember the reasons I explained I would be required to break confidentiality by law?”
I rolled my eyes around in my head trying to recall, “…vaguely, why? What does this have to do with…?”
“Amya you confessed to first-hand knowledge of a crime against a child – your own child- that you refuse to report, and you refuse to take the necessary steps to remove your child out of harm’s way. By Law, I am required to report this. I am required to intervene to protect your child.”
“Wait a minute…what are you saying?” It was like I heard her, but I wasn’t sure I HEARD her, heard her. I know my therapist wasn’t telling me she’d snitched me out.
“I haven’t reported you to the proper authorities yet…I called a detective friend who I think can help you through the process and make this as gentle and discreet as possible…do you…have … lawyer…with…in…case…”
I didn’t need to hear anything else. I immediately stood up and grabbed my bag and headed for the door. Dr. Sanchez jumped in my way trying to convince me to remain, but I can’t tell you what she said. I had a one-track mind and that was to get gone.
I pushed the good doctor aside and dashed out the office door. Her detective friend was sitting on the couch as I flew through the reception area like a madwoman.
“AMYA! COME BACK!!”
I could hear Dr. Sanchez calling behind me, but I wouldn’t be going back, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I entered the hallway just as an elevator door closed, leaving me without an exit.
“AMYA! Thank God I caught you.” Dr. Sanchez caught up with me in the hallway outside her office, her detective friend trailing– guardedly- behind her. “You dropped this!” She handed me my phone, I must’ve dropped it in the chaos. Now I felt dumb.
“Oh…thanks. I… I really have to go.” I smashed the big white button on the wall wishing it’d make an elevator appear sooner.
“If you run away, I will have to report this to the authorities immediately.”
“No, you don’t. You’re choosing to do this to me, just like my sister…just like everyone else in my life. You’re trying to force me to do what you think is best for my life!”
“Amya, we have talked about this. You cannot turn yourself into the victim in every situation. This is not about you, it is about your child!”
“WHAT I KNOW IS YOU CANNOT TALK ABOUT MY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS IN THE MIDDLE OF A GOT DAMNED HALLWAY IN FRONT OF A TOTAL STRANGER! HOW ABOUT I CALL THE PSYCHOLOGY BOARD…OR WHOEVER HANDLES YOUR LICENSE?” I threatened, seriously. I was all in her face by now, built-up emotions willing me to strike.
Dr. Sanchez smirked and clasped her hands together behind her back.
“Deflect all you want Amya. I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to give you the “time” you claim you need; but if you don’t Detective Lewis’ help, I can’t force it. Just know, if you choose to walk out that door without talking to her, I will be forced to report this to the authorities and they will follow up.”
As soon as she finished speaking, the elevator doors opened offering me a means of escape. I dashed into the metal box and immediately placed my finger on the “door close” button, hoping to end our interaction as quickly as possible.
“Amya, I WILL CALL THEM. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”
Dr. Sanchez stared at me, her eyes pleading with me to come back into the office and work this out.
“I’m sorry Dr. Sanchez. You do what you gotta do, but this is the last time you’ll see me.”
The elevator doors slid shut as if on cue with the end of my sentence. I pressed the button for the parking garage again and leaned against the back wall. Silence filled the dank metal space, but confusion filled my head. I checked my phone aimlessly.
“Four missed calls from work…what the hell?” I spoke to myself out loud.
DING. The elevator door opened to the parking garage. A frail looking security guard sat inside a small booth my right. Somewhere in the parking lot, another patrolled in a vehicle. I waved towards the booth as I crossed the parking lot towards section H where I’d parked my car.
“THE TRUTH! THE TRUTH! THE TRUTH! WILL SET YOU FREE!” I was startled by strange man with a wild look in his eye. He was dressed in a tattered dingy robe and had no shoes. He was placing fliers in the windows and windshields of each vehicle he passed.
Alarmed, I tried to scoot past unnoticed, it didn’t work.
“THE TRUTH!” The wild-eyed man locked eyes with me and mashed a flier into my chest. “TRUTH!” He yelled once more and hobbled away, continuing his rant. I shrieked in disgust and ran the few paces to my car and locked myself in as quickly as possible.
The patrol vehicle drove by and slowed towards the end of the row, where the old man was now ranting at another couple heading towards their car. The guard appeared to be speaking with the man who was now yelling louder than before. I was about to put my car in drive, when my phone rang. It was my job, again. This couldn’t be good.
“This is Amya, what’s going on?”
“Amya! Oh…good I’m so glad I finally caught you. What is going on, where are you? You were supposed to be here for the Brotham proposal three hours ago!”
“What? That’s not today, that’s next week.” I scoffed, relaxing my concern. I put my car in drive and began to back out of the parking space.
“NO.” I heard DeCorey’s disappointed voice on the other end of the phone. Haven’t you checked your emails? This meeting was moved up weeks ago, we even had Kimberly contact you to confirm you’d be ready.”
“WHAT?” I sifted through my memories from the past several weeks and not-a-single-one involved me talking to Kimberly about a change in schedule. “I haven’t heard from KIM! She’s lying if she’s said otherwise!”
“She said she left several voice messages and sent a follow-up text…”
“She did no such thing!”
“Listen, I don’t have time to sort this out. I’m only calling you as a courtesy because we have history. But the shit hit the fan this morning when you weren’t here. I don’t know what went down between you and Kimberly, but she showed up, saved your ass and now the big dogs want you OUT and her IN.”
“You heard me.” DeCorey whispered like teenage girl sneaking on the phone after curfew.
“What do you mean she saved the day? HOW?”
“She was able to pitch the deal in your place.”
“How is that even possible? She didn’t have the copy…”
“She presented a whole new idea, said it was all her own. They loved it so much they accepted on the spot.”
“Something about about embracing your identity…. I wasn’t in the meeting, I was only briefed this morning when I got word you were about to be cut.”
“CUT…you mean from the project…or…”
“NO, AMYA. THEY’RE FIRING YOU.”
“FIRING ME?” I slammed on my breaks. Thankfully there was no one behind me. I sat at the entrance of the garage for a minute, the click of the turn signal willing me to move on.
“I’m sorry, man. I really am…I tried to fight for you; but this was a huge deal and for you to no-call, no-show on a day like today, just seems…well…unprofessional. I don’t know what’s going on with you Amya, but I know this isn’t normal.”
“DECOREY. YOU HAVE TO GET ME A MEETING WITH THEM. YOU HAVE TO LET ME TALK TO THEM….”
“There’s nothing I can do, sis. I’m sorry. I fought for you, hard. I even glared at that Kimberly bitch HARD when I found out…”
“Oh, you glared?” I remarked, sarcastically. “Thanks! I’m sure that taught her a lesson…meanwhile, I’m still out of a damn job!”
“I understand you’re frustrated, Amya. If there was something else I could do I would, but you signed an at-will contract. So they technically don’t need a reason to let you go. If it’s any consolation, I was able to negotiate they pay you a nice severance package that will help you stay out of your savings until you find another job.”
“Where the fuck am I supposed to find another six-figure job this time of year in this got-damned city? This is the top firm in our area! No one can pay me what you all did! NOT here!”
“Amya, I’m really sorry. It was out of my hands.”
“Yea, well thanks for calling to let me know what the fuck you couldn’t do…big help you are.” I slammed the phone down and sped into traffic.