Urban Fantasy African American Contemporary

After finishing a long day of work and taking a shower, I sat in my bed eating a homemade pita. 

I decided to then get on Instagram and see if anyone posted anything interesting.

 I scrolled past photos of my relatives, friends, and some of my co-workers.

 I liked a few posts and commented on one, but none of them really stood out to me. 

After being on Instagram for about 15 minutes, I was about to exit out of the app when I saw a post from someone I was extremely close to at the time...or so I thought. 

My supposed best friend Zena was pictured all hugged-up with a guy I had been dating on and off for years. 

Her Caption read, “You’re the best thing that’s happened to me this year. Love you, babe.”

She then used the yellow heart emoji to close out the caption.

I was confused, appalled, shocked, and disappointed, but the emotion that was taking center-stage at that moment was betrayal.

I was thinking, “surely, this can’t mean what I think it means.”

Trying to hold onto the last bit of denial I could, I was convincing myself it was some kind of cruel prank. 

I mean, we always pulled extreme pranks on each other. It was sort of like our love language, as we both have a very dark sense of humor.

With that, I decided to FaceTime both Zena and Amare.

“I’m sure this is all one big misunderstanding”, I said to myself.

I opened up FaceTime, and I added both their contacts to the call. 

After that, I anxiously waited for them to answer. 

Soon after the first ring, Zena answered the phone with a somber look on her face.

It was almost as if she was a five-year-old who just got caught sneaking sweets after bedtime.

“Hey, Bri”, she said in a monotone voice, avoiding looking at the screen. “What’s up?” she asked.

I could tell by the way she was acting that she was holding something in.

“It’s funny you asked me that, because I called to ask the same thing.”

I responded in my usual upbeat tone, as to not cause any suspicion. 

“I figured it may just be another silly prank,” I started. 

“But, I came across a picture of you and Amare, and It looked like you two were dating.” I continued.

“Are you two dating?” I asked

Zena just sat there for a moment, twiddling with her fingers and avoiding eye contact.

“Z,” I said, trying to get her attention. “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you saying anything?”

 I asked, growing more and more anxious for her response.

Before she could even get her words out, Amare popped up on the screen.

“Wassup, Love?” He asked, seemingly in a way better mood than Zena.

“I’m so glad you were able to finally join us.” I said sarcastically. 

“I’ve already asked Z about this,” I began.

 “But since I can’t get a clear answer from her, I’m asking you.” I continued.

“What do you wanna know?” Amare asked.

“Are you and Zena together, like, in a relationship?” I asked bluntly.

I saw the pic Z posted on IG with you and her all lovey-dovey,” I further explained.

“But, I didn’t want to make any assumptions.”

Amare sat in silence for a minute, staring at me. 

He then put his hand on his forehead, looking down towards the floor.

I started getting a bit frustrated with the both of them at this point.

“Why is no one talking?” I asked.

“You guys are acting like y’all are in an interrogation room, and I’m a damn cop!” I said, raising my voice a bit.

“I’m sorry, Bri!” Zena blurted out. 

“I didn’t think it would go this far”. She explained

“Z, what are you talking about?” I asked

“Don’t do it, Z.” Amare interrupted.

“Shut the fuck up, ‘Mare!” I snapped. 

“Z, What do you mean you, ‘didn’t think it would go this far’?” I asked.

Zena sighed, then continued explaining.

“When you and Amare were on a break a few months ago,” she started.

“He came over to my house for advice on how to fix your situation.” She continued, tears forming in her eyes.

“After I gave him some advice, we decided to chill and smoke together.”

Z further explained.

“One thing led to another, and we hooked up.” she said, fighting her tears.

“I knew there was a chance you two might get back together, so I tried to leave it alone.” She sobbed.

“Amare continued to hit me up after that night, and I eventually caved.” She said shamefully.

“At first, we were just hooking up, but then it turned into more.” She continued.

“We started going out on dates, out of town, etc,.” 

I shook my head and let out a chuckle.

“So, that’s what you were doing when you told me you went out of town for ‘business’.” 

I told Amare, realizing that he’d been lying to me this whole time.

“I’m sorry, boo.” Amare said.

“I never meant to hurt you.” He continued.

“Please, don’t say anything else to me after today, just forget my entire existence.” I said.

“But babe, it wasn’t even like that.” Amare protested. 

“I had all intentions of ending things with Zena.” Amare said, defending himself.

“In fact, that night we took that picture, I told her I wanted to stop sneaking around and really focus on you.” Amare stressed.

“Z didn’t seem to feel any kind of way about it, and she asked if we could take that photo to remember our time together.” He went on.

“As far as her posting it, I had no knowledge that she was going to do that.” He stated.

“Trust me, if I knew she was going to post that pic on IG, I would’ve never taken it.” He said regretfully.

I couldn’t help but to laugh. “So, just because you decided to end things, that erases the fact that it still happened?” 

I asked, growing more and more irritated every time he opened his stupid-ass mouth.

“Nobody said it did, Bri,” Amare responded, smacking his lips.

“But you know we weren’t seeing eye to eye at the time.” He said.

“We weren’t on speaking terms, and Z was there for me.” I was livid at this point.

“Regardless of what you tell me or yourself, it doesn’t excuse what you did!” I yelled out.

“Yes, we were having issues, but that’s why you TALK TO ME!” I emphasized.

“You don’t go behind my back and sleep with my best friend!” I cried.

“And Z,” I said, “I want you to know that you’re not off the hook, either.” I sternly told her.

“Maybe one day, I'll forgive you and we can move forward.” I said somberly.

“But until then, you’re dead to me.” I said coldly.

They both were silent at this point. Amare was looking down at the floor again, and Z was just staring at me with tears flowing down her face.

“I hope the both of you have an amazing life.” I said, unable to hold back my tears any longer.

“Bye.” I said painfully as I exited the call.

After I hung up the phone, I buried my face into my pillow and cried all night.

The next few weeks after that were hell for me, but I couldn’t let myself sit around being miserable.

So, I went to visit family in Atlanta, and while I was there, I went to the mall, the spa, and spent the day at the beach.

I basically did anything that made me feel joy for the moment. 

Throughout that time, I was still receiving text messages and calls from both Zena and Amare.

I declined and ignored every last one of them.

Even though I have no intentions of speaking to either one of them anytime soon, they both taught me a very important lesson: 

There’s always truth in jokes.

October 14, 2021 01:00

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