“Are you sure she’s happy, Tré?” Jack asked. “I’m just saying… if you spend a lot of time gambling and with these other ladies, how do you really know if she’s happy? I just want to know because I’m not giving any other woman any of my time and Carmen still isn’t happy.”

“I think she would tell me if she wasn’t happy,” said Tré. “Jayla and I have been together for over seven years. She’d tell me.”

“Maybe so, but keep in mind that a woman’s silence speaks volumes,” Alona said as she looked deep into Tré’s eyes.

Freda nodded in agreement.

“Free, how about you tell us what’s going on with you?” Jack turned the focus of the discussion.

Laughing, Free replied, “Y’all already know Free is always good, now and forever. It’s like I don’t have a choice. Just like today’s the Fourth of July and we’re celebrating our independence, I celebrate my freedom every day.

“Okay, well, how are the twins and the hubby?” Alona asked.

“Kyle and Kyla are fine. They’re taking swimming lessons and are leaving me next week to go off to summer camp.”

“How are you and Corey?” Tré asked.

“We’re here. Things aren’t the best, but right now we’ve agreed to stay together for the kids.” Freda sounded a little less cheerful, but she masked the change by braiding her long hair.

While scrolling through his Blackberry, checking his messages, Tré stopped to listen, wondering if he heard her right. “So people really force themselves to stay together for their kids?”

“Yes, it just depends… on the age of the kids and what both people agree to do in front of them. Our kids are teenagers and we think it would be hard for them to deal with it right now, so we decided to basically be roommates. We both do what we want to do in a sense, except in front of the kids,” said Free.

“Wow, I don’t think I could do that. Isn’t it just as bad for your kids to not see y’all happily interacting with each other?” Tré shook his head in disbelief.

Alona had been thinking the situation over, as she often does. She finally joined in. “Well, I see both sides. I see the benefits of painting a picture for the children, and I also see Tré’s point—how staying together for the kids’ sake and not interacting with each other can be bad for them too.”

“I can tell you from my experience with Tyler… Kids watch everything parents do, and if they see unhappiness and no communication, then as they get older, they think it’s okay for them to live that way with their spouse,” added Jack.

“And I can tell you… the thrill is gone. We don’t have fun, and all the excitement is gone. He just doesn’t do it for me anymore,” Free said, finishing her long braid.



    C.A. Drew is a Georgia native, who has a passion for the arts. She loves music, writing, and sports.


    January 2014