School had really been kicking my tail.I couldn't wait until Thanksgiving break came.Between my classes, all my extra curricula activities, my family, Erika, and giving Ronnie more and more of my time, not to mention the mess I had going on with Patrick, a sister was about to have a breakdown.
Things with Patrick continued to spin out of control.After seeing first hand how things were between him and his father, I had been trying to be there for him a little more.I admit, since Ronnie came into the picture, Patrick and his feelings hadn't been a priority for me.But I knew this was a hard time for him so I decided to put in a little more effort.So when he said he wanted to see me before he left, I agreed.
He borrowed his frat brother's car and came over.There was a time when Patrick and I could talk for hours, but things had changed considerably.We just sat in the living room watching TV.I was so tired that I kept dozing off.
"Stacey," Patrick yelled.
"What?" I snapped back.
"I come all the way over here and your ass is falling asleep."
"I'm tired.I mean, shit, you just watching TV."
"What the hell else am I supposed to do?It ain't like you trying to give up no booty."
I opened my eyes slowly and just stared at him.If looks could kill his punk-ass would have been done.
He said, "Am I right?"
"Yeah, that's what I thought."
I sucked my teeth and got up.
"And where are you going," he asked.
I headed to the kitchen to get some Tylenol because he was giving me a headache.I heard his footsteps quickly coming behind me.
"Stacey, you hear me talking to you?"
"Yeah I heard you," I quipped.
"I told you before don't be ignoring me."
I said, "Whatever," and the next thing I know, I saw something out the corner of my eye.It turned out to be his hand.When he hit my face, I swear I saw stars.
I always said if some nigga ever laid his hand on me, I would try my best to knock the shit out of him.But when this happened, I guess I went into shock.It took a minute for it to register that Patrick had just hit me.I don't know why I was so surprise it happened though.When I really think about it, our arguments were leading more and more in that direction.
The whole side of my face was throbbing.He had slapped the shit out of me!I didn't cry but it hurt so bad that my eyes started watering.I just looked at him in shock.
"Oh my God Stacey, I'm sorry," he had the nerve to say.
I didn't even acknowledge his apology.I continued on into the kitchen.I put some ice in a Ziploc bag and gently placed it against my cheek.I leaned on the sink wondering how the hell I let my life get so out of control.
Patrick walked in after me and said, "Stacey."
I didn't respond.
He put his hand on my back and I moved from his touch.
"For real Stacey, I am so, so sorry.I don't know what came over me.I promise it will never happen again."
I still didn't respond.
"I'm ah—I'm gonna go," he sighed.I guess he finally got the picture.
It wasn't until I heard the apartment door shut, that I went back into the living room.I returned to my seat on the couch and turned the TV to channel three to view the front lobby.Once I saw Patrick leave the building, the real tears began to fall.
I fell asleep right there on the couch with my homemade ice pack still on my face.The phone ringing startled me out of my much needed slumber.I reached for the handset and looked at the Caller ID.It was Patrick.I definitely wasn't going to talk to his ass.Though I had wished the earlier incident was all a bad dream, my numb cheek reminded me otherwise.
After my answering machine greeting finished, Patrick started apologizing again for hitting me and promising it would never happen again.He begged me to pick up.When I didn't after a few minutes, he gave up and ended the call.
I returned the receiver to its cradle.I needed to talk to someone but I could never tell Erika what happened because she would go crazy, but not as crazy as Kevin or Dev.And I didn't even want to think about Tracy finding out.He would kill Patrick.I decided I would just deal with it myself.There was no need to get everyone in a big uproar over something that happened in the heat of the moment.Patrick did apologize and say it would never happen again.So I was going to leave it alone.
I woke up the next day, still feeling run down.I figured I just needed some peace and quiet.I wanted to stay in and relax for the whole break.But just like always, whenever I laid down to chill, my phone started ringing off the hook.
First, my mother called making sure I was going to be home at exactly the next day to help her get everything together.Then, one of my sorors from Atlanta needed a ride to the airport.I was ready to unplug the phone when it rang again.
"Hello," I sighed.
"Hey.How you doing, Stace?"
No matter how tired I was, I didn't mind Ronnie calling.