Battle-Hardened, War Weary Ch. 05byMimiRose©
Author's Note: This will be a quick note. I am going on a little break. It is not going to a long break, just a few weeks. During this break, I will have a few more chapters written and I will post them here, on Literotica.
In this chapter, I've decided to take break from writing about Ryan and Kali. I've decided to write about Daniel and Mary Anne.
Thank you for reading my story.
"For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first."
"It takes one to know one... It takes one to know one... It takes one to know one. Come on, got-damn it, it is not so hard to figure the damn puzzle out!"
Daniel continued to watch Amber Lynn McCoy from Plano. Texas buys vowels and more consonants rather than solve the puzzle.
He is sitting in his living room, on his comfy loveseat. He is watching an episode of "Wheel of Fortune" off of his floor model television. He was avoiding staring at the time. He knew that if he did spot the time, he would've grown irritated. He knew that they were going to be late. He knew that his grandparents were going to chew his ass out for not being punctual, even though Mary Anne is the person responsible for their tardiness.
Daniel couldn't help himself and he ended up staring at the clock feature that was on his cable box. In a soft shade of green, the numbers read '7:43'. He was supposed to be at the restaurant at '6:30'.
'Shit... Damn it Mary Anne, I swear she is probably going to be late to her own funeral!'
He silently stewed for a bit. He knew that he was only going to increase his stress level and his anxiety, by allowing himself to stay mad. He also was aware what tends to happen when he becomes anxious and stressed. The first sign began, ten minutes later, with a case of sour stomach. His stomach rumbled with nastiness and there was a burn. Daniel clenched his stomach and let out a groan.
The burning sensation ended up traveling up to his chest, where it lingered. There was an ache and a pressure. His face grimaced and he let out another groan. He grew hotter and he started to sweat. His heart began racing.
"I need a drink," he gasped.
Daniel shot up from his seat. With rushed steps, he trekked into his kitchen and to his refrigerator. He searched through the large appliance until he found his desired item. He withdrew the six-pack of Budweiser and placed them on the kitchen island. With the same control that a starving man would have with a pack of Saltine Crackers, Daniel drank from three cans. During each can's consumption, he would let out a moan of appreciation. By the time his third emptied can touched the countertop, he noticed that the sensation in his body was gone. Plus, he noticed the slight buzz that he was enduring.
Mary Anne was inside of the living room, when he returned from the kitchen. She was standing behind the couch. She had her arms folded across her ample chest. She held an expression of annoyance on her face. He noticed that she has been wearing that facial expression for quite a few days now. Then he noticed that she was wearing her bathrobe and slippers.
"Why are you not dressed?" inquired Daniel as he stared at her.
"Are you drunk?" she asked him, with her eyes narrowed. "I smell beer."
"I had a beer earlier..." was his answer. "While I was waiting down here for you because I thought you would've been dressed by now. Why are you not dressed?"
"I'm not going," replied his wife, as if she didn't think she was wrong for leading her husband on.
'What?' he thought. He crossed his arms over his massive chest. He felt his irritation starting to creep back up. "Why?"
"Because I have nothing to wear," was his wife's reason.
'What? You had me sitting down here in the living room...' he surmised.
"My grandparents are waiting for us at the restaurant!"
"So, go out to eat with them! They want to see you anyway!" Mary Anne snapped at him. "They do not like me at all! They never did like me!"
Daniel let out a scoff. He strolled up to Mary Anne. He placed a gentle hold on her slender shoulders. He stared at his wife's beautiful face and gave her a smile. "Do you want anything from Costello's while I am there? Do you want me to bring back a couple of slices of carrot cake for you?"
Mary Anne slapped her husband's chest while they were both laughing. "Why did you have to say 'a couple of slices', as if I am going to eat a whole cake?" she giggled.
"Because, baby, you can throw down on some cake—
Mary Anne unleashed a series of love taps on her husband's chest. Daniel laughed as he accepted the blows.
"Okay, baby, I have to go now. My grandparents are waiting for me..." Daniel gave her a kiss on her forehead, one on the tip of her nose and then he planted a passionate one on her lips. She moaned in delight. Her hands clasped onto his bulging arms and gave them a squeeze. When they parted, she was panting and her cheeks were flushed. "Okay, I really have to go now." He gave her a peck on her lips. "I love you." Daniel squatted, so he was facing his wife's swollen stomach. "And I love you too, Little Sean." He planted a kiss on his wife's stomach. He heard her giggle.
He walked over to the loveseat, where he had placed his coat. He slipped his coat on his brawny frame.
"Please be safe while driving tonight, baby" suggested Mary Anne.
"I will, honey. Call me, if you want anything."
"I will, baby" she said to him as she rubbed her belly.
"Where's Tinkerbelle?" Daniel's grand-aunt Abigail asked him, referring to his wife. His grand-aunt always makes her dislike known, whenever she has the chance.
"Well, 'Hello' to you too, Aunt Abigail!" Daniel said to the woman as he gave her a hug.
"Mmm, look at you!" she said to her sister's grandson, as soon as they parted. She stared at her grand-nephew with adoration. "You look so big and strong like Johnny! Delia, doesn't Daniel look like Johnny?"
Delia, his maternal grandmother, stared at him as she sat down in a chair. "Yeah, he does look a lot like Johnny." Daniel gazed at his grandma and took note that her green eyes held a 'far away' look. He is familiar with the look. His mother does the same thing.
"Boy, ya' late!" his grandfather Tin said to him, after he returned to the table from his stint in the restroom. Tin pulled out a red velvet-lined chair from the table and sat down. "Where's that gal of yours? Did she come with you?"
"Sorry Grandpa," Daniel said to his grandfather. He had taken a seat in a chair that was on the other side of the table. "Mary Anne is home. She wasn't feeling too well tonight."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear, honey. You tell her that I say that I hope she feels better," his grandma said to her.
"Oh Delly, she is home because she probably couldn't figure out which mink stole she wanted to wear tonight!" his grand-aunt explained.
Daniel had cut his eyes over to the woman who was sitting to the right of him, at one of the heads of the table.
'Oh shit, I am really starting to believe that this old bitty is really a psychic like they say that she is.'
He continued to glance at his grandmother's baby sister. The woman was reclined in her chair to the point where the chair's front legs were lifted off of the floor. Her hands were planted against the back of her fedora hat and her arms were akimbo.
Abigail saw that her grand-nephew was staring at her. She gave him a smile and then a wink.
"Grandma... Auntie Abigail... You two ladies look very beautiful tonight," stated Daniel.
His grandmother blushed and coyly stared down at her hands. He knew that his grandmother always blushed when someone gave her a compliment. Daniel thought that she did look very lovely tonight. Every time he had seen the woman, she always wore a smock dress and worn-out shoes. Her hair was always kept tucked underneath a scarf. Now, she had her black-dyed hair in victory rolls and a gardenia pinned in her hair. The back of her hair was loose with big curls. She wore minimal makeup on her pretty face. Instead of the smock dress and a pair of moccasins, she wore a lilac-colored sweater and a pair of black, boot-cut styled jeans with a pair of black flats on her feet.
"Oh, thank you Danny. It is very sweet of you to say that," Delly said to her grandson.
"What a crock of shit, Danny" his grand-aunt said to him, in response. "I can believe your compliment to your grandmother. But, I know that you're pulling my leg right now! You are doling out compliments as if I am Lady Godiva and here I am dressed like Annie-fucking-Hall!"
Daniel gazed at his grand-aunt's attire. 'She's right; she is dressed like Annie Hall,' he concluded. Abigail was wearing a men's styled suit, but the suit was tailored to her voluptuous frame.
"Abigail, watch your language! We're in a really nice restaurant," Delly informed her sister.
"Oh, hush" Abigail stated to her sister.
The family were enjoying themselves at dinner, which surprised Daniel. Every once in a while, their good time was interrupted by a person who was a Missouri Emperors fan. They would either ask for an autograph or a picture. Daniel would comply to their requests.
He was expecting to spend the evening waiting for it to be over. He also expected to spend the duration of dinner having every bit of his life dissected and picked apart by his grandparents. After having a few conversations with his relatives, he realized that they were different from the paternal side of his family. With his dad's family, having dinner with them is brutal.
Then he realized that he didn't spend a lot of time with his mother's kinfolk, not even when he was a child. He always spends time with his father's family, even on the holidays. The only times he was able to spend time with the Thompson family were at wedding receptions and funerals. Daniel wanted to change that tradition.
It was after their meals and right before dessert was served that Daniel had brought up his proposal. "Grandpa... Grandma, after the baby is born, I would like to bring Mary Anne and Little Sean down to Little Rock and visit you guys," proposed Daniel.
His grandmother's eyes lit up with happiness in response. There was a glossy coating to her green eyes, which alerted Daniel that she was about to cry. A broad smile lit up her face. "Oh," she loudly gasped and then she clapped her hands together once, in rejoice.
"You're all right, Grandma?" He thought that her reaction was a bit unwarranted and on the overdramatic side.
The elder woman couldn't speak. She could only nod her head.
"Okay," he said under his breath.
His grandpa turned to his wife and asked her to dance with him. Then he whispered something in her ear, in which she laughed. She nodded her head. The married couple removed themselves from the dinner table. Daniel watched his grandparents walk over to the dance floor that was the epicenter of the dining area. For a moment, he watched them dance to the house band's version of the Isley Brothers' "Groove With You". His heart began to race, but it was in a good way. He admitted to himself that he adored the sight of the elderly couple.
He turned his attention to his grand-aunt Abigail, who was also watching the couple dance. "Is my grandma always so excited?" he asked the woman.
Abigail turned her attention to her grand-nephew. "My sister is an even-keeled woman, usually. She has never lost her temper or her control towards anyone. She never loses her cool and get excited about anything. But, I can say that what you did tonight was something that she always wanted."
"What? Why?" Daniel found that tidbit to be preposterous. "I only gave a promise to visit her and grandpa!" he informed Abigail.
"Even if it is a promise and you never do visit her, Delly will still appreciate the promise. It lets her know that you want to spend time with her. Do you understand?"
Daniel nodded his head. "You make it sound like Grandma Delia believes that I don't want to be around her."
"She believes it, Daniel..." Abigail smiled. "Well, she did believe it."
"Why would she believe such a dumb thing?"
He watched the smile lift off of Abigail's face. She stared down at the table. Then she sucked in a deep breath and exhaled. She glanced at her grand-nephew. She gave him a wry smile. She positioned herself in a different angle. She was now leaning her upper body against the table while her forearms were resting on the table. She was now closer to Daniel.
"I know that you don't know much about us, Danny, so I am going to tell you something about myself. I don't like keeping secrets. I've never kept a secret before in my life. I also don't believe in beating around the bush either," she explained to him.
The woman licked her lips and then pursed them, before speaking. "I might as well tell you..." Her green eyes stared at Daniel with intensity. "Danny, the reason why you and your sisters never been around the family is because your mama doesn't want y'all kids to know that we're... black people."
"What?" Daniel unintentionally shouted. Luckily for the both of them, Daniel didn't draw any attention. "What do you mean by 'we're black people'?"
"Simple, we're black," Abigail explained. "Your grandmother and I are black, or African-Americans, if you preferred that term. Your mother is half-black. We just so happens to have physical features that is associated with white people. Is that explanation simple enough for you?"
Daniel just glowered, in response.
"Would you like to see a picture of your great-grandparents?" she asked him.
"Yes, I would like to see a picture..." Then he muttered under his breath, "Crazy Woman." His name-calling earned him a slap at the back of his head. He flinched in pain.
Abigail placed her black, leather clutch bag off of her lap and onto the table. She opened her bag and then produced a small pink wallet. She opened her wallet and then placed the item onto the table, in front of Daniel. He peered inside of the holder. On the left side of the item, there was a compartment for the pictures. The compartment consists of five plastic sleeves that was positioned in layers. The sleeves were used to store photos.
Daniel stared at the first pair of photos. One photo was an old photo that was kept in great condition. Judging by the quality of the background and the clarity of the picture, Daniel knew that the picture was done by a professional photographer. The model for the picture was an older, black man. In the photo, he was positioned so he was not staring into the lens. For Daniel, he thought that the man looked debonair and distinguished, even with the broad smile on his face. The black, thick eyeglasses that he wore made him look professional. Daniel couldn't see the resemblance between this man and his mother.
"That's my daddy," Abigail announced.
Daniel looked at her and witnessed the huge smile on her face. Now, he recognized the resemblance. His grand-aunt reminded him that she could be a 'Daddy's Girl'.
"His name is Octavius Martin—
"Mama had once told me that her family comes from Italy," Daniel said absent-mindedly.
"Your mama always did like to make up stories," Abigail said to him. "She also changed her name as well. She broke your grandpa's heart with that one. The man had done raised her since she was a few months old and he raised her like she was his own child—
"He is not your grandfather... biologically. Your mother's biologically father is a guy named Dennis. He did a 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am' on my sister and left her a baby in her stomach. Your grandfather had come along towards the end of Delly's pregnancy and they ended up marrying a few months later."
The two individuals had gone back to viewing the photo of Daniel's great-grandfather.
"My daddy was a great man. You have some of his mannerisms too. I was watching you eat tonight and..." She let out a wavering sigh and then she chuckled. Daniel could see the sadness in her eyes and feel it bounce off of her.
"When did he pass away?" Daniel asked.
"On October 28th, 1979," she announced.
"You two were close, huh?"
"Yeah, we were close, when I was a kid. Then, when I was thirteen, I had gotten knocked up and our relationship changed dramatically. But, his relationship with Delly never altered or changed in any way."
Daniel's eyes had gone wide with surprise. Abigail asked him what was wrong. "You had a baby, when you was thirteen?"
"Yes, in fact, I had two of them. I had my twin girls, Jesse and May. I had them with my first husband, Jamie. Jamie and I had a 'shotgun wedding'. I didn't love him. I married him because I wanted to see my daddy happy with me again."
"You said 'first husband'. You were married more than..."
"I was married ten times exactly. I was married more than Elizabeth Taylor!" she said, sounding amused. Daniel chuckled. "I married each man that managed to knock me up. After Jamie left me, I had two babies to take care of, so I had gone looking for a daddy for my kids. All I ended up doing is finding another man to leave a baby in my stomach and once again I ended up in a loveless marriage. Your grandma, on the other hand, managed to get lucky."
Daniel's eyes focused on the picture that was positioned next to the photo of his great-grandfather. 'Oh shit,' his mind gasped in shock. He stared at his great- grandmother's photo and can definitely see the resemblance. His great-grandmother looked exactly like his mother. There were a few differences such as the eye color and the texture of their hair, but they weren't distracting.
"There are pictures of me, Delly and Johnny on the next page," reported Abigail.
Daniel turned the plastic page. There were two photos on this page. Unlike the photos of his great-grandparents, this photo was an amateur photograph. It featured three teenagers, two girls and a boy. The girls were posing in swimsuits while the guy was bare-chested, but the top of his swim trunks were shown. Each girl was sitting on the boy's massive arm while he flexed his muscles. He recognized his grandmother and Abigail. The third person caused Daniel let out a chuckle in disbelief.
"What's so funny?" inquired Abigail.
"It's apparent that I didn't pick up some manners from my great-grandfather..." She gave Daniel a quizzical expression. He explained. "Back in the day, lifting up girls was my way of flirting."
"Oh," she gasped and she clasped his hand. "Yeah, just like your great-uncle!" They laughed.
Daniel stared at Johnny and observed his great-uncle. His grandmother and Abigail was right. He did look like his relative, except Johnny's hair was shorter and wavy. His great-uncle even had a nice physique. He smiled and then gazed at his great-aunt.
"Aunt Abigail, what happened to Johnny?"
She stared at him for a moment. Her eyes had gone dark. Then they had become downcast. She let out a sigh.
"You-You don't have to tell me, Aunt Abigail—
"I want to, baby" she informed him. She let out a sigh. She had taken a sip out of her drink. She let out another sigh before she began speaking. "Out of us three kids, Johnny was the youngest. He was the biggest out of all of us, but he was the baby. When Johnny was thirteen, he lost his virginity. It was to an older woman. I was the first person that he told. By then, he was at least six feet tall and had a body like a man. By the age of fifteen, that boy had become a grade-A poon hound dog..."
Hearing the petite woman use profane language caused Daniel to unexpectedly choke on his saliva. He sputtered and then coughed.
"You alright?" she asked him.
"Yes, ma'am" Daniel gasped before taking a swallow out of his drink.
Abigail continued. "When Johnny was eighteen, he had taken an interest to a married woman named Faye Clark. Faye was married to a rough rider, who was a peanut farmer. She was also a white woman..."