Part 1: Yolanda and Chauncey

“I can’t believe we are here,” Neshay said looking at me and shaking her head. I said nothing I just rubbed my stomach because it seemed like my baby was hyped up on candy and was doing backflips in me. “I’m a beat Chauncey ass when I see him. Better yet I’m a have my brothers to run down on his punk as. He done fucked up, nut i promise you he going to get his. Just wait. This is just fucking ridiculous. Once we get you out of here I’m packing you and the baby up and y'all coming to stay with me and Cece, okay Yoyo?” she said as she started to pace back and forth.

   I still said nothing in response to anything Shay had said. I just kept rubbing my belly with a smile on my face. “Yolanda are you listening to me?” she stopped and asked almost sounding like she was my mother instead of my best friend. “Yes I heard you Shay, But I need you to relax it's not even that serious, you're getting all worked up and bent out of shape for no reason,” I told her in my calmest voice. “Yolanda are you serious? Calm down? Your seven months pregnant and this man laid his hands on you. Your sitting in a hospital bed due to trauma to the abdomen, that your baby father caused. That's not a clam and relax type of situation.” she yelled.

   I stopped rubbing my belly and my smile went away. “A bring your voice down. You're making a scene in front of these white people. B I’m saying relax because you don’t know the whole story about what happened between me and my baby daddy. And I’m not going to let you sit here and drag his name through the mud and have these people thinking the stuff about him.” I told her.

   “Yolanda are you serious the full story doesn’t matter when it ends with my goddaughter being put in danger because this man is putting his hands on you. Do you realize no man should be putting his hands on you. Matter a fact lets get a little bit more serious. Do you realize what that could have done to your baby?” she said. “But I…” Neshay stopped me “ ain't no damn buts yoyo…” Neshay walked over to the bed and lifted my gown showing my stomach that's Chauncey’s ring print, ain't it? I noticed it when the nurse was examing you and you're kept saying you tripped down the stairs. Do you not realize how hard he was fucking hitting you to leave his handprint.” Neshay said as we looked into each other eyes.

   Tears started to roll down my face. “Yoyo is this the first time this has happened?” she said putting my gown down. I looked back down at my belly and shook my head no. “damn yoyo.” but this is the first he did it while I was carrying Jamya and he realized everything that happened he was so sorry.” shay just looked at me for a few moments then she finally she said. “Sorry mean nothing when it should have never happened. If he didn't have enough respect to keep his hands off of you just because your a woman, he should have cared enough about his daughter’s safety to do so. I’m not getting it, your beautiful. You're smart. You are an amazing and strong woman. You have your shit together despite all the bull shit that has been thrown at you. Why are you enduring Chauncey’s bull shit? You have been taking care of him forever; while he was in jail and the last year and a half he has been out. I’ve said nothing and respected your decisions but I can’t go home tonight knowing you in this situation and knowing that I didn’t tell you that you need to leave his ass alone and that I am here to help you do so.” Shay said.

   I looked at Shay and all I could say was “I love him.” “do you love him more than yourself and your daughter? Matter a fact does he love you, Yolanda? Or does he love y'all baby girl your carrying? Because love doesn’t cause physical harm.” she said. All I could do was let the tears run down my face and quickly try and wipe them away. Neshay grabbed my hand. “As your best friend I am asking and begging you to love you and that baby more than you love him,” she said. “I love my baby more than anything in this world that why I want this to work for me and Chauncey and I put up with so much. We know what it feels like to grow up without a father. I don't want that for my baby I want better for her. My baby needs her daddy.” I said “yoyo take it from a single mom your daughter needs love and a strong example more than anything. You don't want her growing up seeing him mistreat and abuse you and think that it's okay. Because our children become what they see. Think about how to hurt you will be if you find out that your daughter is letting a man do the same thing to her that you are letting him do to you.” she said.

   And like that, it was like reality hit. As I and Neshay sat there having a moment the door opened and the door came back into the room looking over a chart. “Ms. Banks looks like you and the baby are just fine. We are going to release you. Now I want you to go home and take it very easy. You will have a little bruising from that fall.” the doctor said and then she looked up at me. “But it should go away. If anything starts to bother you please call me or come back in. I have these papers for you and then the nurse will be back in to finish up your discharge.” she said as she handed me a few some paper.

As she walked out of the room I looked through the papers. Towards the back of the stack, she had handed me was a pamphlet titled surviving abuse. Neshay saw the pamphlet and looked at me. “See you're not fooling anybody with that I fell stuff,” she said to me.


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