How Mo Met Bob Part Three
[The following is a work of fiction.]
After Mo and Bob hit the sheets a few times, Bob was smitten. Anita was spot on about Bob’s generosity and what she could get out of him. The clothes and expensive dinners came early on, as did the “Just thinking about you. Signed, Your Secret Admirer” flowers that would pop up at her desk on random occasions. The shopping trips evolved into weekend trips to Detroit, Chicago, New York, and Pittsburgh that they scheduled around amateur bowling tournaments to throw Daisy off track. What Mo loved about Bob was that he was never boring. He always popped up with some exciting idea off the top of his head, like the night they got caught in the rain at Edgewater Park and ended up fucking on the roof of his car while the rain fell. Or the day he pulled up to her apartment in a black 1980 Mercedes Benz and asked if Mo wanted to take his new toy around the block. Sometimes, while he spent afternoons working in the storefront he remodeled, he tossed her the keys and a wad of cash, and she and Anita would go to the mall. Those were high times. As 1980 turned into ’81, Mo looked up and she’d been with Bob for a full year.
It was about that time that Daisy stopped coming to Euclid Green. Mo and Daisy had never been friendly, so facing her when Bob brought her to the bowling alley wasn’t hard for Mo. But she had to admit that she was relieved when Daisy stopped coming around. She was tempted to ask Bob what was going on with her, but they had a “No Questions” rule. She didn’t ask about Ruby. He didn’t ask about what Mo did when they weren’t together (which wasn’t much, but every now and then she had to remind him, and herself, that she didn’t belong to him). So Mo was shocked when in the middle of her shift on a Monday in May of 1981, the phone rang with Daisy on the other end.
“Monica, this is Daisy. Is Bob there?”
Mo couldn’t remember her ever calling the bowling alley before. She barely knew what the woman’s voice sounded like. Luckily, she had the truth on her side that day. “Um, I can page him, but I don’t think I’ve seen him come in today.”
“Oh,” she paused a moment. “Well do you know where he is?”
It was a wonder she didn’t hear Mo’s jaw drop over the phone. “Noooo. Why would I?”
“Well, you’ve been driving around in our car and I’m guessing these are your purchases on our charge card, so I thought you may have an idea where he is.”
It took her a second to process what was happening, but Mo recovered quickly. “Well, I don’t. And the rest is a conversation for you to have with your husband. If he stops in today, I’ll have him give you a call.”
“Yeah,” she said dryly. “You do that.”
Apparently, Bob’s wife confronting Mo was only upsetting to her, because when she told him the story, he responded with his usual even tone. “Good. Shit, I’m sick of sneaking around.”
Had she heard him right? “Nigga, your wife called my job today. You don’t see something wrong with that?”
“Wouldn’ta happened if you believed me when I said I wanted to be with you.”
If she could’ve snatched his lanky ass through the phone and smacked him, Mo would have. “So, what now?”
“What do you mean? She knows about us. But neither of you will let me end my marriage. What do you want me to do?”
“You told her you wanted a divorce?”
He sighed the kind of sigh adults gave when they were talking to children. “No, but Daisy’s Catholic. She doesn’t believe in divorce. I’d have to knock her upside her head to get her to consider leaving me.”
“You’re so full of shit. You ain’t nan bit mentioned divorce to that woman and you wanna guilt trip me for not falling into your arms? Fuck you.”
“Wait. Mo, c’mon. This ain’t the end of the world. Listen, my wife has known for a long time that I don’t love her. This was bound to happen sooner or later, baby.”
An ache formed at her temples. “You loving or not loving your wife ain’t got shit to do with me. But I’ll tell you one thing: the next time she calls me, you’re gonna be kissing my ass good-bye.” She hung up on him and waited for the inevitable callback. It didn’t come.
That night, he showed up at her place with a diamond tennis bracelet. The next day, he brought the earrings to match. Before she accepted the gifts, Mo made sure he’d paid for them in cash. She didn’t want to end up on Bob’s credit card bills ever again. She warned him that she meant what she’d said about leaving as she checked out the reflection of the diamonds in her mirror. He walked up behind her, wrapping his long arms around her waist and kissing her neck. “You know I love you, Mo? Right?”
He didn’t love her. He loved their arrangement. But that was okay. Mo did, too.
To be continued…