Kaiden looked in the mirror and wiped it free of the steam from the shower.
He had the towel wrapped tightly around his waist and squatted down to get a stick of deodorant from under the sink.
As he rose to his feet, he saw Christina standing there with a disgusted look on her face.
“What’s the problem?” he asked.
“You tell me,” she immediately replied.
Kaiden hated when she did this. He knew there was honestly no way to win this fight; she was stubborn and stuck to her guns, no matter what.
“Tina, tell me what the hell is wrong with you,” he stated.
She rolled her eyes and left the washroom.
“Whatever,” he mumbled before closing the door.
Kaiden dropped the towel to the floor and put on his boxer briefs. He put on his deodorant and removed his toothbrush from the cabinet.
He ran the water and brushed his teeth, and Christina opened the door.
“So, you’re really not going to chase me and find out what’s wrong?” she asked.
Kaiden spit out the toothpaste and spoke.
“Tina, I’m not about to play these games with you,” he mentioned. “Now, if you want to talk about it, cool, but if not, I can’t force you,” Kaiden wiped his mouth with the towel.
They’d been here before, and Christina knew that Kaiden was close to a breaking point with it. She had to change something.
“It really upset me with how you reacted yesterday,” she spoke softly.
“When?” Kaiden asked.
“Last night, dummy,” she spoke. “When I told you that I wanted another child.”
Kaiden slightly shook his head.
“Tina, we haven’t even been together a full year yet,” Kaiden admitted. “And, we are still having plenty of issues that we need to resolve before we even think about any children.”
“So, are you refusing my request?” she asked.
“Are you even listening to what I’m saying?” he asked.
It baffled him to see how someone could be so self-centered and that the only thing that mattered in the world was what they wanted.
“We have much bigger things to worry about right now: like how Jordan is still writing you letters even though you broke it off with him. Or how when things aren’t good between us, we go into this state of not talking or talking to everyone else instead of each other.”
“Okay, but neither of those are as big of a deal compared to what I’m saying,” she rebutted.
“And that’s another issue,” Kaiden spoke. “You shut me out,” he confessed.
Christina opened her eyes wide.
“That’s why I’m hesitant to even open up to you. As a breed, men of all nationalities, but especially black men, we don’t have an outlet. Every single time something is bothering us and we talk about it, we’re told to ‘suck it up’ or ‘it’s no big deal’; it’s draining as fuck,” Kaiden spoke with slight pain.
Christina didn’t say a word.
“Perfect example is now. I’m telling you how I feel and you’re telling me ‘it’s not a big deal’; yeah, because it hasn’t happened to you and you haven’t felt this way. But to me, it is a big deal; that why I’m bringing it up.”
Christina let out a tear. She understood what Kaiden was saying and even agreed; she knew she was guilty of shutting him down when he needed to speak or vent.
“But as a man, I’m not supposed to show emotion or pain. I’m expected to suck it up. Musiq said it best in his song: ‘I was told the true definition of a man was to never cry, work till you die, got to provide. I was always taught to be strong, never let ‘em think you care at all’ but honestly, that’s not love. Shutting someone out on a consistent basis isn’t love and being self-centered and concerned about your own problems isn’t showing love. In a relationship, everything is about two; and if it’s not, why are we together?” he finished.
Christina didn’t speak. She walked to Kaiden and opened her arms. She embraced him tightly.
“I’m sorry,” she stated.