Can I trust you, reverberated with Jimmy as he ran on the thread mill thinking about Navah. His body was hot from the workout and his legs burned with every move.
Eric was right beside him and both men were moving with purpose. They talked amongst themselves, expressing their inner thoughts to each other, about the individual situations they were facing.
Jimmy was having a hard time, avoiding the feelings he was developing, for both Mara and Navah. He was also struggling with whether or not he could trust Navah.
Eric was fighting a losing battle at home; his wife was now demanding for another child.
With Eric’s situation, Jimmy didn’t know what to say to him, because the subject of having children wasn’t something he was an expert on. He wasn’t even in a relationship to even have anything to say.Stretching his arm, he grumbled.
Jimmy: Listening to you gripe about your wife’s demands makes me wonder if marriage is something for me.
Eric: Its not that bad unless you are not willing to be committed
Jimmy: Commitment is not what I worry about.My concern is for when she is demanding for things you can’t give. Emotionally abusing you and most likely creeping around on you.
Eric: Even in that if you love your wife you will find ways to work it out.
Jimmy: okay? So what will you do, now that Alice has been converted by your mother?
Eric chuckled dryly, and ran with a bit more intensity
Eric: I honestly don’t know. I’m backed into a corner and I don’t know what to do or say at this point.
Jimmy: You could concede and give your wife what she wants. Besides, you have one daughter.
Eric blew out a breath.
Jimmy: I’m sorry but I have to ask you this. Do you even want to have another baby?
Eric did not respond right away. He pressed a few buttons on the tread mill and reduced his speed. He kept his head down and grumbled inwardly.
Eric: I’ll be honest. Yes I do.
Jimmy slowed down and looked at Eric
Jimmy: You truly want to have another baby?
A seriousness came over Eric. He looked straight ahead and provided Jimmy with a resounding
For a slight pause both men were silent but a slow jeering smile creeped it’s way onto Jimmy’s face. Then without warning he burst out laughing. Eric turned his head in Jimmy’s direction and glowered.
Eric: What is so dam funny?
Eric: Me? Really?
Jimmy: Yes! You! This whole time you are whining and complaining that your mom, is pressuring you and Alice to have another baby. Then you cry even more when your wife actually comes to you, and agrees that having more children isn’t such a bad idea. Now, you are here, absolute and sure that having another child is what you want.
Eric: I never said that I didn’t want another child!
Jimmy: No you haven’t but your whole attitude about it gives the impression that you don’t. As a matter of fact it seems to me you don’t mind having just one child.
Eric: If my stance against my mother’s pushiness makes me look like I don’t want children then I apologize; however, I wont apologize for my stance. I don’t want to have children out of pressure. Babies are not a hand bag that you just decide to go and purchase. They are real and the process it takes to have them is real and serious!
Jimmy: It doesn’t have to be serious
Eric: Yeah I know what you mean by that and it’s one of the reasons why I don’t want to be pressured.
Jimmy: why don’t you tell your wife how you feel?
Eric: I am going to tonight. We are having a date night and that will give us the space and solitude to talk.
Jimmy: I hope it goes well.
Eric: Anyways enough about my problems what’s up with you? Is your neighbor still being neighborly? Have you heard from Mara? What’s going on with you and this beauty you’ve been hanging out with?
This time Jimmy sighed hard and picked up his pace.
Jimmy: To your first question: yes, she still visits me; to your second Mara is still missing, I have no idea where she is. And Navah is cool, I’m seeing her later on today.
Eric: Hmmm it seems this Navah chick is gaining more points with you than Mara.
Jimmy: You could say that but I still have my reservations.
Jimmy: Her being friends with Eliza
Eric: I see, and what does her friendship with Eliza, have to do with how you feel about her?
Jimmy: have you met Eliza?
Eric: What are you asking me? of course I’ve met the woman. Remember, I was at your house that day she ambushed you.
Jimmy: Don’t remind me?
Eric(Laughs): You should’ve seen the look on your face when you saw that it was her standing behind you.
Jimmy: I’ll never forget that day.
Eric: I’m sure she hasn’t either.
Jimmy: Her constant visits are a reminder of that.
Eric: Does she have feelings for you or something?
Jimmy: The thought has crossed my mind several times and it makes me very uncomfortable.
Eric: I ‘am not surprised that it does. Eliza is a very intense woman.
Jimmy: I wonder how a guy like Bob got married to her.
Both Jimmy and Eric burst out laughing. Their deep voices carried throughout the gym.
Eric: I guess it’s true what they say
Eric: You can’t help who you fall in love with.
Eric was speaking the truth. People were who they were and whether good or bad, falling in love with them was the exception.
Eric: So back to my question, how does Eliza’s friendship with this woman affect you?
Jimmy: I don’t know it just does.
Eric: Perhaps you are thinking she is like Eliza because who would be friends with a woman like that right?
Jimmy: Maybe I am
Eric: You do know that Mara also knows her
Jimmy: But are they friends?
Eric: I would not call Mara and Eliza ‘friends’… they are more like…like acquaintances.
Jimmy: acquaintances? I don’t think Mara and Eliza even speak to each other. From what I have observed of Mara she seems to not care for Eliza.
Eric: either way that does not mean they are not acquainted with each other.
Very good point, Jimmy thought to himself. But even as he considered the type of relationship Mara had with Eliza, he couldn’t shake how he felt about Navah being close to Eliza. They were pretty close friends.
Eric: Look I understand why you are struggling and perhaps it’s because of how you feel towards Eliza.
Jimmy: What do you mean?
Eric: the first day you met her she put you off, but over a period of time you kinda calmed down.
Jimmy: I’m trying to be nice to the woman. She lives right across from me.
Jimmy: And it’s the right thing to do.
Eric: Okay, so do the right thing and stop judging her friend. Give her a chance to show you who she is. I don’t think her and Eliza behave the same way
Jimmy: yeah but she knows Eliza. They are close.
Eric: Mara knows Eliza
Jimmy: You told me that already
Eric: Mara knows Eliza
Eric: Mara knows Eliza
Jimmy: would you quit it!
Eric: Mara knows Eliza
Jimmy: okay I got it
Eric: Do you?
Jimmy: well you’ve repeated ‘Mara knows Eliza’ four times!
Eric: I want to make sure you get what I’m saying
Jimmy: What are you saying?
With a silly grin, Eric repeated ‘Mara knows Eliza’. Jimmy groaned and proceeded to come off the tread mill. Eric followed suit. They made their way toward the showers and Eric continued on with this chant.
TWO DAYS LATER
Two days following, Navah came for a visit and Jimmy was delighted to entertain her. she ordered a pizza and they shared it together. During their mutual conversation, Jimmy could not get Eric’s nagging chant out his head. Choking down a chunk of cheese, pepperoni and tomato sauce Jimmy rubbed his forehead and tried to put Eric’s voice off his mind.
Navah: You have a beautiful space
Jimmy: Yeah, whats up.
Navah: Is everything alright you seem a bit distant.
Jimmy inhaled through his nose and raised his head. he stared straight in front of him and purposely took his time to respond.
Jimmy: I’m good, just have a lot of things on my mind.
Navah: Like what.
It was very tempting to just come out and ask Navah, if he could trust her. But since he was just getting to know her he didn’t want to go that deep with her. He wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was just Eliza’s friend and not her partner in crime.
Calming himself down Jimmy closed his eyes. he reflected on the good advice Eric gave.
If you truly feel something for this woman even though you just met her, put aside your judgments. Be friendly with her and see where things will go.
Jimmy lifted his head and looked at Navah. Immediately his misgivings fled and he enjoyed being in Navah’s presence. They finished eating their pizza; which Navah ordered, and continued to have a good conversation. They talked about their dreams and aspirations. Shared small tad bits about their past and expressed one thing they feared in life.
The vibe between them was going strong, until someone came for a visit. All of Jimmy’s misgivings rose up in him. He made a face intended for both Navah and his visitor. Navah also provided Jimmy with a stare and it was quite evident she was nervous.