Written by Shataivian
Damario sat on Lisa’s couch with one hand on his chin. He looked deep in thought as Lisa watched him from across the room. It was an accident. The picture she sent Alexa was supposed to be a private message, and not something for the whole world to see. But nevertheless, Tweeter got to see the explicit image of what was supposed to be a loving and intimate moment between her and Damario. At this point everyone was talking about it. Her uncle called her, her father messaged her. People were even recognizing Damario on the street. It all seemed to happen so quickly. The two decided that Damario would spend some time at Lisa’s to stay out of the public’s eye for a bit.
The apartment was quiet for a while. Neither were really talking to each other. No one was mad, just the situation made things tense. But the universe never seems to care about moments like these. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Lisa figured she’d stay quiet and not answer. The hope was that they’d get bored and go away. But when the knocking persisted, Damario decided to answer it and ask the person to leave. He opened the door.
“Excuse me,” Damario started with a bit of an annoyed voice. “But I’m going to have to ask you to stop banging on our door and leave.”
The cougar standing on the other side of the door scoffed as he looked Damario up and down. Damario stood slightly taller than him, and certainly was much larger than him.
“’Our door,’” the cougar repeated. “I’m here to speak to Lisa.”
“Again, sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” Damario stood firm and yet still had an air of politeness around him.
“No, I think not,” the cougar said sharply. This took Damario aback. He looked the cougar up and down. As he took him in, his own face went stern. It was clear who this cougar was.
“Look. You’re wasting your time. She is not speaking with you.”
“I’m not just some crazed fan, I’m actually a friend of hers,” the cougar informed. Damario responded first by folding his arms.
“Not from what I’ve heard.” At this point, it was obvious to them that both knew who the other person was. The cougar poked his tongue against the inside of his cheek and nodded. “Now,” Damario started again. “I’m going to ask you one more time to leave, or-“
“Or what? You don’t live here. You can’t do anything. Now, ‘Rio,’ will you kindly be a good ‘guest’ and tell Lisa that her friend is here?”
“Jason?” Lisa’s voice sounded from behind Damario. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“Lisa,” Jason started as he pushed passed Damario with the intention to hug her, but Damario held out his arm and stopped Jason in his tracks. Jason snapped his head towards Damario, seemingly ready to fight.
“Why are you here,” Lisa asked. Jason slowly shifted his attention back to Lisa.
“I just wanted to talk. That’s it. So, can you tell goliath over here to step aside?” Lisa sighed.
“Damario, let him in.” Shocked, Damario looked back over his shoulder at Lisa. Jason took this opportunity to push passed Damario and enter the apartment. He rushed over to Lisa and held her tight. Lisa, however, did not reciprocate and stood stiff as Jason hugged her.
“I’ve missed you.” Jason finally pulled out of the hug. “I wanted to talk to you. In private. Can we,” Jason stopped as he used his head to gesture at Damario. “You know.” Lisa’s face hung low. The last time someone she wasn’t pleased to have unexpectedly show up at her door was when her father showed up the previous year. She never thought she’d have this same feeling for anyone else. Especially not towards Jason. She looked over at Damario who looked back at her as he closed the door behind him. After some thinking she looked back over to Jason.
“No.” She said. “If you want to talk then talk.”
“Well, I was kind of hoping that we-“
“I know what you were hoping. I said if you want to talk then talk. Or leave.” Jason, a bit shaken by Lisa’s tone with him, slowly nodded and accepted her terms.
Jason made his way over towards Lisa’s couch and sat down. Lisa and Damario both remained standing, waiting to hear whatever it was Jason had to say. Jason took a deep breath. “I wasn’t exactly expecting to just jump into things, but,” he started. “You were right. You were right about everything. I hated how I treated you. I hated what I did to you. I never wanted that for you. I’ve always wanted to give you the world, Lisa.” Neither Lisa nor Damario seemed to be moved by what Jason was saying. “Right after you left, I sat Sharice down and told her ‘that’s it. We’re done.’ We pretty much started the paperwork right then and there. It didn’t matter whether or not she cheated on me or whether or not this child was mine, I was done wavering. We separated. I’ve been living in my own place.”
“Congratulations,” Damario replied.
“What about the baby,” Lisa asked. “What if it’s yours?”
“It’s not.” Jason kept his head low and clasped his hands together. “She had the baby on Wednesday. They want to do an official blood test to check so that the terms could be laid out for our divorce.”
“Then how do you already know the child is not yours,” Damario asked.
“Because Sharice was required to take RhoGAM.” Lisa dropped her head back and started to walk off in no particular direction.
“So, what,” Damario asked.
“RhoGAM is required after delivery if the mother has a negative blood type and the baby has a positive one,” Lisa explained with a sigh.
“My blood type is A-,” Jason answered, still with his head hung low.
“So, the baby couldn’t have gotten a positive blood type if both parents had a negative blood type,” Lisa added.
“Simply put. Both me and Sharice are A-, but the baby is B+. She didn’t get that blood type from us. It had to be from someone else.”
“You sure you’re not just assuming things,” Damario questioned.
“No. That’s just basic genetics,” Lisa said pacing the floor. “So, you were right. She was cheating on you.”
“I wasn’t pulling that idea from nowhere,” Jason defended. “I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I really did. I was hoping this baby would be mine. But I knew. I knew it wouldn’t be.” Everyone stayed quiet for a long time. Each taking in what Jason had just said. Damario started to shake his head.
“Okay. So, now what? Why tell us this? What were you planning,” Damario asked. Jason looked up at Damario. “Did you think you could just show up and say ‘hey, things are different now. I was right about my cheating wife,’ and everything would go your way? And why now? You just happened to show up now after this latest debacle on Tweeter?”
“I had planned this trip a month ago,” Jason shouted. “This had nothing to do with that stupid picture. I don’t care what’s going on between you two. Y’all want to fool around, great. She clearly needed the distraction.”
“’Distraction?’” Damario laughed.
“This,” Jason waved his finger back and forth between Lisa and himself. “Has nothing to do with you. This is between me and the woman I love.” Damario continued to laugh.
“I’m sorry, friend, but if you thought you could just show up and she’d drop everything to be yours, then you’re more selfish than I thought.”
“This coming from the man who thinks he can decide what Lisa wants and gets, huh” Jason snarked.
“No. This coming from the man who knows exactly what you’re thinking because he’s seen it a million times before, and fail.” Jason stood to his feet and quickly made his way over towards Damario.
“You don’t know a damn thing about me,” Jason said through his teeth. Lisa tried to intervene and get them to stop before a fight would break out, but neither one was paying attention to her. “You don’t know a damn thing about her. Sure, you two may have gotten physically close, but you will never know her the way I do.”
“I get it. You want to fight for her. But I’m sorry, you’ve lost. Now, whether or not she stays with me has nothing to do with the point. The point is, there are consequences for your actions. It sounds like you’ve learned a valuable lesson but learning a lesson doesn’t erase the mistake and the harm it’s caused.”
“But that don’t mean I’m not gonna fight for her, tooth and nail. I love her, and I promise you, you will never love her as much as I do right now.”
Lisa finally slipped herself between the men and pushed Jason back. “No more,” she shouted. “Just… stop!” Lisa was too flustered to really say much more. Both Jason and Damario saw this and decided to let the air around them cool off a bit before starting again.
“I’d like to talk to you alone,” Jason said to Lisa. “Not in this kind of heated environment. No one can think straight when you’re fighting.”
“Or, pull her away to manipulate her in private,” Damario added. Lisa lifted her arms to get ready to brace between the two, sure that they would start fighting again. But when she looked over at Jason, she was shocked to see a calm look on his face.
“Look, man, I get it. You’re just trying to protect her. And, you know, if I were in your shoes and if this were anyone else coming here for Lisa, I’d be doing the same thing. I’ve got nothing against you. You just got caught up in this mess. I made a mistake. A big one. But I’m not an asshole. You and I both want what’s best for her.” Damario said nothing back. “You ever make a mistake, Damario?”
“And paid the price for it,” Damario replied. “What price did you pay?” Jason said nothing. “We were fine until you showed up.”
“I didn’t say this would be easy.”
“But you’re still fighting?”
“As much as I understand you and have sympathy for you, yeah. I’m still fighting. It’s what you do for the person you love. I will never stop fighting for her,” Jason said gesturing to Lisa. But when he looked back, he saw that Lisa was no longer where she last was. Both Damario and Jason searched around the room for her before finding her standing by the front door. Her hand was on the doorknob.
“I… need you to leave,” Lisa said softly.
“Please,” Jason said softly back. “I just want a chance to talk alone.”
“I need you both to leave,” Lisa’s voice cracked.
“What,” Damario asked in shock. “Lisa.”
“You both know me. I can’t see a single way where this works out and I have zero regrets. I’ll always wonder if I did the right thing. ‘Should I have given Jason a second chance?’ ‘Should I have left Damario even though he did nothing wrong?’ I can’t… The only fair thing I can do right now is to ask both of you to leave.”
“When can we come back and talk,” Jason asked.
“Probably never.” Lisa’s voice was so low that neither could really hear what she had said, but they didn’t need to. They knew exactly where this was going. “So, please. Please leave.” Jason made his way over to Lisa to try and comfort her, but she stopped him when she held up her hand. She wouldn’t look at him as she opened the door. Damario came up behind Jason and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Give her some space,” he calmly said to Jason. Jason nodded, then, reluctantly, walked through the door. Damario stepped forward and stopped beside Lisa. She had tears flowing down her cheek. Damario bent over and kissed it. “It’s gonna be okay. I’m proud of you.” Lisa turned her head away from Damario, trying her best not to completely break down. Even though he knew he needed to leave, Damario knelt down and turned her shoulders so that she was facing him. “You’re doing the right thing, okay? I want you coming out of this stronger than when you entered it, yeah?” Lisa nodded. “This is about your happiness. Not anyone else’s.” Lisa nodded again, this time grabbing her composure. Damario smiled and stood to his feet. “See you around.” Damario went through the door and it slowly closed behind him. Jason was standing in the hall in a somber pose. Damario made his way over to him and stood tall as he looked down on him. “Don’t you mess this up for her. She’s made a lot of progress when it comes to standing up for herself. Let her do what’s best for her. And be happy with whatever decision she comes to.” Damario didn’t wait for Jason to reply. He turned and made his way towards the stairwell and left Jason there, alone. Jason leaned his weight against the wall behind him, then dropped his head back.