When you come here and read what I have shared in books and in life, there is a part of me left behind on these pages. Today is not different as I share another part of the current project Voices. Are you ready for the strong woman?

Five people were running toward her in the hall; she never moved. She didn’t flinch and she didn’t blink. Her best friend, her boyfriend and three of her colleagues were running towards her with looks on their faces she couldn’t read. Yet, she didn’t move.

“You must-”

“Come now-”

“It’s not good, babe-”

“It’s-”

They all spoke at once causing her head to spin. She put her head down and calmly said, “Kara, please tell me what’s happening.” As she slowly rose her head and looked into Kara’s eyes, she saw a sadness so deep it caused her heart to stop.

“Babe,” Stan, her boyfriend, started, “This is going to sound strange from me, but-”

“Please get on with it.”

“Your ex-husband was just admitted to the hospital. He’s had a heart attack.” Stan said now walking with her towards her office.

“Are you kidding me right now?”

“Ms. Childs we have moved your appointments to Mr. Bower and sent all calls to voice mail.” Her colleagues were shutting her computer down as she walked in and grabbing her belongings. Kara was behind Stan whispering under her breath.

“I’m not leaving.” She said putting her coat back and turning her computer back on, “It’s my ex-husband, not my now boy friend.” Who shouldn’t even be my boyfriend she thought to herself.

“It’s important to be there.” Stan stated.

“Yes, important to be there.” Kara said sarcastically.

“Kara, stop.” She responded leaning her head into her hands.

“He was a significant part of your life; you can’t just not go. Your kids, your other mother.” Stan was pacing the office, the colleagues left  shaking their heads.

David Bower stood in the doorway of her office and leaned on the door frame. Kara turned to him and he motioned for her to leave. He stepped into the office and whispered to Stan who shook his head and left the room closing the door behind him.

“I’m not leaving.”

“Yes you are.” David said walking towards the window in the office. “You’re going and I’ll take you; no I’ll send Kara. Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you why.”

“David…”

“Oh no, let me tell you why. I hated that guy; your husband. I hated him while you guys were married and I wanted to choke him a few times. Every time he came in this office, I wanted to choke him. And then today, your daughter called me. My girl called me and was very panicky. I don’t like panicky and THAT’S MY GIRL; she’s just like my daughter-”

“We know.” She said full of sarcasm but smiling.

“Nonetheless, she called me; I heard the grand-kids in the background screaming. She called me and I heard what she didn’t say. I hated the guy, but he’s not going to make it. I heard what she didn’t say. He’s not going to make it. The specifics don’t even matter right now, just that he’s dying; twenty-four hours or less, you ex is over.” Turning towards her, he started yelling when he continued, “YOU CANNOT BE BIG MAN ON CAMPUS TODAY. You just CAN’T. Someone else needs you today and tomorrow they will too; that means you better GO HELP  someone else. Go. Go now. HE’S ABOUT TO LOSE HIS LIFE!”

They were married for ten years and divorced for five helping the children and grand children. They took trips. They had parties. They made mad, passionate love. Every argument, every event, every smile and every memory started to flood in; she stood up.

The chair flew back into David catching him off guard causing him to wince in pain. Pacing was the answer for her; pacing until talking was the option.

“I was more excited about the divorce than he was. I was more excited about alone time with him than he was. I was more excited about him stopping by the office than he was. In our marriage, we only had 20% time together. But you know what David, I was strong through it all. I allowed him to treat me like garbage. LIKE GARBAGE, and you all want me” Her voice started to break and the tears started to burn in her eyes.

“Cam-”

“No, no, you’re right. I hated him, too. I hated him and then there is this, you all want me to go to him and say what?” She continued to pace as she thought about everything her marriage wasn’t, “What the HELL, am I supposed to say? and why?” The tears were flowing.

“Cameron…” David knew what was coming next. They had worked together for years, and he knew the emotions were going to overwhelm her.

“Oh my GOD. I can’t do this, David. HE’S ABOUT TO DIE.” Screaming now and falling to her knees, David caught her and sat on the floor with her while she cried. “He can’t die. We’re friends now. He won’t die. I’ll go pray. He can’t die, David.”

“You’ve been strong for him, for your kids, for us here at work; Cam, you’ve been strong and now, those you’ve been strong for are breaking down and need to be strong for you. Cameron, I’m being strong for you; on this floor right now. FOR YOU.” He stood up and pulled her to her feet and said, “Now get up and go to your family. To your friend the ex-husband.”

“David…”

“Kara, come take her.” David started to cry hugging Cameron, “Come take her now.” Kara ran in and grabbed her friend to take her to the hospital.

In the car, Kara felt the need to express her feelings in one full sentence. “Bestie, I’ll be strong for you this time.”

They both cried all the way to the hospital.

 

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