Imagine my shock when I saw Gaby and Becky in my lobby.
It was Gaby who had called out my name and Becky was standing at her side looking as white as a sheet. When Gaby asked if we all speak in private, I nodded to the security guard to let them through.
As the elevator took us up to my floor, we were silent but my thoughts raced.
What were they doing together? Were Gaby and Becky more than just acquaintances? If they were friends, what had Gaby told Becky about me? Had she told her about how we met at the clinic and what I had done? And what did they want to talk to me about? We had nothing in common except for Dex.
Abuela was right about keeping your personal shit to yourself – the world was too small place to take chances with your secrets. I was nervous, really nervous.
Before I knew it, they were both sitting on my living room sofa, in the exact spot that Dex loved. Gaby’s face was extremely tense but Becky looked like she hadn’t slept in a week and was about to jump out of her skin. Gaby saw the worry on my face and she started the conversation ball rolling.
“Yeah, this is about Dex. Becky came to see me a few days ago hysterical about…”
“I heard that you had left town,” I said to Becky and her eyes grew wide.
“Who told you that?!!! Are people talking about me? What are they saying?” Becky was on the verge of being hysterical. That’s when she turned to Gaby. “Maybe we should go to the police or talk to his parents…explain what happened…”
“No Becky. We agreed that we would talk with Cara first before doing anything drastic that could ruin both of our lives…I mean, Dex is already dead…”
Gaby’s tone had such a “no nonsense” tone to it and I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed to know why they had come to see me.
“What’s going on? Why did you want to talk to me? I just came from Dex’s funeral…”
“You actually went after how horrible he was to you?” Becky was floored.
“I didn’t want to but his mother asked me.” Then Becky’s words hit me and my head spun around to Gaby. “You told Becky the details I confided in you?”
Oh. My. God…
“Only about how badly he treated you and that car incident you shared with me. Those are the only things I told Becky.” From Gaby’s inflection, I knew that she said nothing about the abortion. “Becky, tell Cara was happened and then I’ll continue, okay?”
Becky nodded, took a deep breath but started crying softly as she spoke in bursts.
“I…I…I was waiting for my order at the vegetarian place…Gaby’s eatery…to get some take-out when Dex called asking me to go over to his place to talk things out. He was being so apologetic…and sweet that like a fool I stupidly agreed. Gaby knew that I had broken up with him so when she overheard my conversation, warned me not to go anywhere near him if I knew what was good for me…which I didn’t. That’s when she told about all the horrible things he said and did to you…all the things I never gave you a chance to tell me because I was being such a bitch to you…I’m so sorry Cara.”
“Did he hurt you when you went to his place?” I couldn’t help but interrupt her, thinking that maybe he had violated her too.
“Physically, no but we did get into a huge argument. He called me horrible names, threatened to spill certain things I told him in confidence and then he accused me of so many things that I had never done…That’s when I knew I deserved better than him. I stormed out his place so fast that I didn’t even realize that I had forgotten my take-out there…”
Then, it got so quiet that you could have heard a pin drop in my livingroom.
You know how in the movies there is a pregnant pause and the camera zooms in on the main character’s face, waiting for the light bulb in their head to go off? Well, that’s the way Becky was looking at me but I had no clue what “realization” I had missed. That’s when Gaby took up where Becky left off.
“Before Becky started dating Dex, she would always order the exact thing but then she stopped because of his peanut allergy. That day when Becky ordered the thai red curry with vegetables, I decided to give her complimentary order of her favorite Spicy Thai Peanut Veggie Burger with a side order of sweet potato fries and some dessert thrown in for a treat.”
Oh….that’s when I quickly started realizing what had happened. When I gasped with the realization, Becky started crying even more.
“I left my take-out at his place and I guess…I guess…Dex ate it and that’s how he went into anaphylactic shock!”
My brain couldn’t handle this information overload from these two women. Visions of Epipens kept dancing in my head.
“What you’re telling me is that Dex ate your burger and…but it was an accident…why would you go to the police?”
I can’t fool you, I was thinking about my own ass at that point.
Becky and Gaby gave each other a long look before looking back at me.
“When Becky came to tell me about his passing, we were honest with each other…very honest. Deep down, I was hoping that if Becky ate that burger and Dex happened to kiss her, he would suffer with a little allergic reaction. You know, get some hives, break out, whatever. But nothing that would kill him but…” Gaby explained.
“And…and when I realized that I had left my food there and that he might eat it being the pig that he always was, I didn’t tell him to not eat it. I could have called or texted to warn him about the burger having tons of peanuts in it…but I didn’t. I’m such a horrible person! I never thought that his allergy was that severe.”
My brain was exploding. “So you came to confess all of this to me? Why? Why me?”
“Because we don’t know what to do or if we should tell what we think happened. I mean, the two of us are partially responsible for his death. If you were in our shoes, what would you do? Would you tell?”
Their tired and stressed faces were yearning for my response. Little did they know that I was the last person to ask for proper advice when it came to Dex.
And little did they know that someone else had also been involved in Dex’s demise…me.
Their involvement had been accidental but my decision to hide his Epipen had been knowingly deliberate. I had sealed Dex’s coffin.
I thought long and hard before opening my mouth…
Becky and Gaby had been open enough to confide in me but could I take the chance of telling them what I had done? That I felt more than just guilty?
I’m seriously asking you to tell me, what you would have done.
Would you have told Gaby and Becky about the Epipen?
Continuation: Z is for “Zen”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.