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Sweaty palms gripped the steering wheel as Preston headed down I-270 to make his way toward his former house. “I am going to tell her that I am just here to see the kids and that is it,” Preston repeatedly told himself. He felt like his life wasn’t even his. Nothing was happening on his own terms. He tried to tell himself that it was all just a bad dream.

The day was sunny and the glittery scene of the sun reflecting off of the lakes along the way was more than beautiful. Too bad he felt the complete opposite. When he pulled up into the driveway he could already see Delight waiting outside for his arrival. He figured that Lustray had already called her and told her the deed was done. Preston didn’t even want to look at her, but he had to figure out if she were really pregnant or not.

“Daddy, daddy, you’re back,” the kids screamed as he walked past Delight without acknowledging her. He was so psychologically shattered that he really didn’t want to have any humanly banter with her. As he walked into the kitchen he saw his little toddler crawling around and trying to get into everything there was in sight. Before he could sit down he was swarmed by Simon and Squire and the toddler even found his way to grab onto an ankle.

It felt weird to Preston, he felt out of place hugging his own children. The void he felt within himself was indescribable and created quite a stir in his spirit. As he hugged his children, he was speechless and tears just ran down his cheeks. The cry wasn’t emotional at all; no weeping, ailing, or yelping. There was nothing but countless streams of tears rolling down his face. It’s a good thing that the tissues are right here, so I don’t have to ask Delight, Preston mumbled to himself. Preston knew he was on the clock and had to make it back down South on time. So he propped up off of the couch and made his way towards the door. He wasn’t sure if he was going to make it, but thought to himself that he had plenty to think about on his way down the highway.

As Preston made his way out of the door, he glanced at Delight and her petite physique didn’t show any signs of pregnancy. If anything she looked thinner than usual. But, Preston knew that if Delight were pregnant, she wouldn’t show for a few months anyway. She was just genetically gifted from an anatomical standpoint. Most of the women Preston knew hated the way she kept such a high metabolism after giving birth to three children and marched gracefully into her 30’s.

“Alright, kids...Daddy has to get back to work and take care of business,” Preston stated with his head down trying not to show any more tears to his wife and children.

“So you don’t want to stay and have breakfast with your children,” Delight asked Preston.

“I’m really not hungry right now and I have to get back so that I can get some decent rest before tomorrow morning.” If it weren’t for the kids being right there Preston would have been sure to tell her something else, but out of respect for the children he felt that being civil was the best example. So he quietly began making his way back towards his vehicle.

Before Preston could turn the keys in his ignition he heard stomping footsteps coming right behind him. Without looking in the rearview mirror he knew Delight had to get the last word in somehow or someway. “So you’re just going to do your kids like that?”

“Here we go again,” Preston huffed in exhaustion. “The only thing I said was that I have to get back to work and take care of business.”

As she held their little toddler she began to lecture again, “Don’t be mad, because of what you done. I’ll be praying for you. I see you went shopping with your new clothes on; trying to look so fresh and so clean for her.”

Preston just put up the peace sign, backed out, and made his way towards the freeway. He knew that Lustray and Delight had to have had some type of conversation and at this point he really didn’t care if they talked all night.

He had to talk to somebody, anybody, because he was just feeling ill all over the place. No sporting event he ever participated in made him feel at such a loss. He felt like a balled up piece of paper that would never reach its recycled freedom of being used again. He whipped out his cell phone and called the only person he knew that would listen to him and would probably give him some sort of sympathy.

Longs’ phone began to vibrate in his pocket as he drove home from church that Sunday morning; a place he hadn’t been to in some time since the last time he was an eyewitness to a church pastor that was stealing all of that money for his own personal pleasure. “My man Preston Brown, what’s going on,” Longs answered the phone jubilantly.

Preston took a deep breath, “Well, brother Longs I must say that I have had better days in my life. Lustray had me sign some paperwork stating that I was never to have contact with her again and if I did she would use the ministry against me and take everything that I have worked for and maybe even go public with it.”

“Why would she do something like that?”

“I talked to her on the phone before the weekend and mentioned to her that Delight might be pregnant.”

“Are you serious? Boy you just don’t believe in condoms at all do you? As long as me and my babe been together, which has been over a year, I still have the nerve to strap up!”

“Look man I know, but that doesn’t change the fact that I will probably never see my unborn child.”

“Brother Preston, I just have one thing to ask you……Did you sign that crap? If so you are dumber than I thought. The thing you should have done was say no, I want to be with you and the baby; and that piece of paper should have been ripped up and thrown away.”

“I know it sounds that easy, but what if she was that serious? There would be no way. After all, you’ve got to see how she treats her youngest daughter’s father. He hasn’t seen his child in three years!”

“So do you want to be back with Mrs. Brown?”

“No,” Preston exclaimed convincingly.

“Well, little brother all I can say is get ready for some real heartache, because you have one woman that can’t stand you and another one that you don’t want. Like I said before make sure those kids are alright and that way I don’t have to kill anybody. You know Uncle Longs loves the kids. But in the meantime finish up your internship and focus on that until the end of summer. I know it sounds hard, but at least you will have some peace of mind.”

“I guess you’re right. I’m just thrown for a loop and really don’t know how to shake it. If Lustray loves me as much as she says she did, then I know it’s not over. I’ll just let her calm down and leave her alone until the baby is about to arrive. She said that would be in about four more weeks or so, I’ll use that as a measuring stick in the meantime. Thanks Bro, I’ll holler at you later.”

“Alright man, don’t go out there doing anything you don’t need to do like jumping on some other female out there.”

“Man, at this point that is the last thing on my mind and I am not trying to have anymore drama that I don’t need. But, I’ll call you once I get into town to let you know that I got there okay.”

“My man!”