City Hearts-excerpt

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Lafayette wrapped her arms around her stomach as if she were about to throw up. She wanted to though. She wanted to get rid of anything in her body that might completely change her life. Sitting crouched up in the corner of her bed, she started biting her nails. It was something she hasn’t done since she was ten years old. The anxiety in her started to build, causing to move and shift positions. She lay on her stomach with her hands folded behind her head.

Across her room sat the white plastic tube she recently peed on. The evil little piece of technology that she thought she would never use in at least ten more years. She turned her head in the direction of her wall. It pained her to look at it. She had about two more minutes left. She knew she wouldn’t be ready in two minutes.

She played with her fingers, counting them and chipping off worn out green paint. Her memories came to her in clips like a movie. She wished she could delete them, but the more she tried, the faster they uploaded.

Jamar showed up in all the clips. They showed him in his car, pulling up in front of the school and opening the door for Lafayette. It showed him with his arms coiled around her as they walked down the street. A lot of them had him and her sharing the passionate kisses she loved so much. They displayed a clip with Jamar and her on their anniversary. His hand molded to the side of her face as he spoke about how much he loved her.

Tears collected in the corner of her eyes as she smiled. Then the clips began showing in fast motion. The ones with them kissing began getting aggressive when Jamar started using his hands to feel Lafayette. It showed scenes when she and Jamar had awkward silences when she said she loved him or when she tried to talk about things other than him.

She started to pinch the tips of her fingers in spite. Lafayette’s stomach started to feel queasy. The movies bombarded her with painful scenes and hurtful dialogue. It showed all the arguments they had because she didn’t want to have sex with him. All the times he gripped her up for talking back to her.

The alarm on her phone brought her out of her ‘movie theater’. She slammed the button and it went silent in her room. She turned her head back again in the direction of her dresser. The urge to throw up came back again.

Suddenly, she heard voices outside her door. It was two voices; one high and one low.

“So, then where were you?” Lafayette heard her mother asked.

“I told you Loretta, I’m not goin to say it again damn it,” he argued back. Lafayette heard a banging noise and figured it was her father pounding on the kitchen counter as he spoke. They lived in a spacious apartment and the kitchen was right outside of her bedroom.

“You’re lying to me. I know you are. I called your mother this afternoon and she said you haven’t gone out to see her in a month, where have you been?” Lafayette’s mother backed up.

“You checked on me?” Her father asked offensively.

“Of course with how you’ve been acting lately. I don’t know if you ever tell the truth anymore.”

“Ay, will you go somewhere with that bulls***. Seriously Loretta, you’re acting like a b****.” He spoke with his thick Hispanic accent.

“A b****? Honestly, I have no idea who you are anymore,” her mother argued weakly.

Lafayette’s back laid flat as she listened in on one of their many arguments. Worried that he father might come in her room; she got up and grabbed her pregnancy test. Her hand engulfed it.

Her father opened her door in one great swift motion. He looked around as if inspecting to see something. Lafayette covered as much as she could with her hand over the test. Quietly, she moved it to her skirt pocket.

“Hi daddy,” she greeted, wrapping her arms around his neck.

“Hola, mija amore,” He said smelling of liquor.

She stepped back. He was drunk. She could read through his stance and how he lazily put together his words.

She followed him out her room into the kitchen where her mother was putting dishes away. Lafayette sat at the island and put her head in her hands. The tension in the room became unbearable and she spoke first.

“How was everyone’s day?” she asked not really caring or expecting an answer.

Her father glanced back at her and rolled his eyes. He picked up his suitcase and walked back into his bedroom. Her mother continued stacking dishes, off in her own world. Lafayette felt sympathetic towards her mom. She put up so much with her father and she stayed with him. It was either because she really loved him or she was really afraid of him. Her father has been known to throw some fists towards her mother in the past.

“Lafayette, you should really get ready for bed. It’s getting late.” Loretta shook her hands dry with one quick flick, and went back to her room. Since her father had been cheating, they slept in separate rooms.

Lafayette slid off her stool and walked the long way around the island and into her room. Inside, she leaned against her door, closing it. Feeling sick about another unsuccessful night with her family, she plopped on her bed. Tears that visited her faces way too many times came to her in an explosion. She couldn’t stop crying as she thought back to the times when living with her parents was actually enjoyable. She wished that it could be like that again for just a day. She would even take an hour.

Using her forearm, she wiped the tears off her face and let her arm drop on top of her thigh. It hit something hard and went inside her pocket and pulled out the small white plastic tube.

She let out a breath to calm herself down. She came to the decision that if she was pregnant, she wouldn’t let the baby feel like how she feels when she’s around her parents. Also, if she wasn’t pregnant, she wouldn’t have to worry about doing so. She flipped it over to view the screen and smiled.





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