Love Always, Nova Black by A.C. Taylor

1

Nova

“So just like that, you’re giving up?”

I jerked my head back, appalled that he could even fix his mouth to ask me that question. “Jayson, why the hell are you here? I came out tonight to have a good time with my girl. I’m not interested in listening to your bullshit.”

“Wow, so you really think what I have to say is bullshit?”

“Hell yeah,” I replied as I stood up from the table and tugged on the hem of my gold mini dress. “I’m not about to sit here and listen to you turn this around on me. I’m over it, and I’m over you.”

Hurrying from the other side of the table, Jayson reached for my arm, which I quickly snatched away from him. Letting out a deep sigh, he said, “Nova, I refuse to believe you feel that way. What we had was worth something. You can’t be okay with just throwing us away like that.”

“Me?” I could barely contain the laughter that escaped my lips. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, right?”

“Listen, I’m just saying—”

“No, at this point, you don’t need to be saying shit. The only thing you need to be doing is signing on the dotted line. So, unless you came here to hand me some damn divorce papers, you need to get the hell out of my face.”

Before he could say another word, my best friend, Izzy, returned to the table with our drinks. “Is everything good over here?”

“Everything’s fine,” I said as I cleared my throat and slung my braids over my shoulder. Was I pretending to be okay? Of course, I was. Deep down, I was losing my shit and hating every second that I had to stand in front of the man that I had walked out on six months ago. Returning my attention to him, I took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Just sign the divorce papers, Jayson.”

“I’m not doing that, Nova. I’m not giving up on us.”

“Seriously?” Izzy blurted. “After what you did, you’re really going to put her through more bullshit?” Squeezing her eyes, she shook her head. “You’re such an asshole.”

“Stay out of this. This is between me and my wife.”

“I’m not your wife anymore.”

“Until those papers are signed, that’s exactly what you are, and I have no intention of changing that.”

Groaning, I threw my hands up. “What do you want from me?”

“A chance.”

“A chance for what? What we had is over and done with.”

“But it doesn’t have to be. I know I can fix this. Just tell me what you need me to do?”

I dropped my head.

The fact that he even believed he had a chance to fix things made it clear that he hadn’t listened to me throughout our three years of marriage. From the day he placed a ring on my finger, I had made it very clear that if he ever cheated on me, I would leave his ass and not think twice about it.

Moving in close to him, I placed my hand on his firm chest. A chest that I had spent many nights resting my head on while running my fingers through the thickness of his low-cut curls. I chuckled a bit, reminding myself of how I used to tease him about being a light skin pretty boy. He hated it, but he knew it was true, and I couldn’t say too much because that was what I was into at the time. But his pretty boy ways was how we ended up in such a horrible place. Had I known then what I knew now, I would have gone the other way as soon as he asked me out on the first date.

I returned my attention to him, consumed by the way his eyes burrowed into mine. From his saddened expression I could tell that he was desperate to hear something that he could hold on to. Just a little bit of hope. But I couldn’t give him that. My heart wouldn’t allow it.

“Jayson, I can’t give you what you’re asking for. Honestly, it’s hard for me to even look at you right now. Just the thought of you sleeping with another woman like I didn’t exist makes me sick to my stomach. And the fact that you only told me because the chick thought she was pregnant makes me feel even worse. Like, you screwed some random ass woman without a condom. Do you know how disgusting that is?”

Sliding his hand down his face, he sighed. “Baby, I know. But I promise you it was a one-time thing, and it was a mistake. I was drunk, I was tripping about the fight we’d had before I left town…I guess I just got caught up in the moment.”

“See, that’s your problem. The fact that you can get so caught up in the moment that you forget about your wife is crazy as hell to me. The reason we even got into a fight is because you sprung a guys trip on me at the last minute. Because as usual, you’ve always got to be out doing something that’s going to get your ass in some trouble. But that’s neither here nor there. Bottom line, I don’t care what kind of issues we were having, you don’t go off and relieve your stress by letting another female ride your dick.”

“Nova—”

“Save it, Jayson. At the end of the day, you did what you did, and these are the consequences for your actions.”

“I get that. But we’ve been together for a long time. The good should outweigh the bad, and baby you know there was a lot of good between us.”

I frowned. “You weren’t thinking about all of the good while you were fucking the stripper in Vegas, were you?” Folding my arms over my chest, I waited for his response. But what could he say? He let his boys and his dick get him in trouble once again.

Taking a deep breath, he ran his hand down my arm. “Baby, let’s stop this before we both say some shit that we don’t mean. I don’t want things to get too far out of hand. We’ve been away from each other long enough.”

I cleared my throat, knowing exactly what he was doing.

Jayson was a sweet talker, and he could charm his way out of just about anything simply by touching you and changing the tone in his voice.

“Don’t do that,” I said, shaking him off me. “I’m not going to fall for your little game. Especially not after the way you disrespected me. I don’t give a damn how long we’ve been together or how much I love you, I won’t be disrespected. And you screwing someone else and putting yourself in a position to get her pregnant, falls in that category. I’m not the type to sweep things under the rug and act like everything is okay.”

“I’m not asking you to act like everything is okay. I’m asking you to at least try to fix us. This is the first time I’ve ever cheated on you—”

“And it’s also the fucking last.”

“Nova—”

“No, Jayson. See, that’s what’s wrong with men that screw up like this. You think you’re entitled to a one-time pass to do whatever the hell you want and still be forgiven.”

“I’m not saying that.”

“You’re not saying shit,” I blurted. “I’m done with this conversation.”

Just as I turned away, he snatched me by my waist and spun me around to face him. “I’m not losing us. You mean too much to me. I’ve known you since I was twenty-three and I made you my wife at twenty-five…three years later, and you’re still my everything. Nothing that happened changes that.”

I froze, unsure of how to respond to his words. Suddenly, I was overcome with a mix of emotions. Emotions that I didn’t want to have. He didn’t deserve me after what he had done. At least, that’s what I had told myself.

But was I really okay with giving up on us so easily?

Did what we have deserve a second chance?

Taking a deep breath, I dropped my head on his shoulder. A tear slowly slid down my cheek as every emotion inside of me made its way to the surface. Wrapping my arms around him, I let out a heavy sigh. “Maybe, we can—”

“What in the whole fuck?” I shouted as my eyes sprung open and locked in on my bedroom ceiling.

Drenched in sweat, I sat up in my bed, plagued by the nightmare that had just played out in my sleep.

The shit was too damn real, and I had so many questions.

Why were Jayson and I in the same room?

Why did I allow him to talk to me?

And most importantly, was I really about to take his trifling ass back?

I scrubbed my hand over my face, trying to toss the thought from my mind. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, I hopped out of bed, threw on a pair of sweats, and rushed out of the door.

I needed to take a drive…a long one.