I have struggled with today’s challenge. I actually had to Wiki the term “fan fiction” because all I’ve ever heard about it is the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon. I get the concept, but this is way out of my comfort zone as a writer. Still, I’ll honor my favorite college professor by never apologizing for my work!
I chose to do a short excerpt based on one of my FAVORITE books: Never Say Never by Victoria Christopher Murray. If you haven’t read this book, I encourage you to go pick it up today. This story has everything: love, loss, revenge, violence, the affair to end all affairs (IMHO)…and forgiveness.
I’ve always wondered what happened in the aftermath of lives that were so shattered. Here’s my take on it!
“Time to wake up, sweetness.”
I rolled over and sighed, lazily stretching my hands above my head with a big grin on my face. Even after all this time, this man’s baritone voice still made my core shiver and quake.
“Just three more minutes, babe.”
His lips brushed across my neck and my collarbone, causing the temperature in the room to rise even higher than the Arizona summers I had come to dread. But here, in this moment, I craved the heat.
“I just said you had to wake up,” he murmured as his lips continued to trace a path towards her own personal ecstasy, “I didn’t say you had to get up.” He shared a conspiratorial grin with Miriam as he eased down the straps of her nightgown.
Miriam looked down at him with a mixture of admiration and an all-consuming desire.
“Jamal Taylor, I’ve always loved you and I always will.”
Jamal made eye contact, staring so deep into Miriam’s eyes, it felt as though her soul was on a pedestal. “And I—“
“MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! I need gas money!”
Miriam’s eyelids fluttered as she became aware of the dream she had had—and the reality of her present life.
Miriam pulled the covers up to her chin to cover, rolled her eyes and reached over to the nightstand and pressed the intercom button. “CJ, use the intercom so you don’t wake up your brothers!”
Her 6’5’’ son appeared at her bedroom door, nonchalantly chewing the apple he had grabbed from the kitchen table. “Sorry, ma. I meant to fill up the truck last night, but we went for pizza after the game. And can I get like twenty bucks more for some snacks?”
Miriam opened her mouth to fuss at him for spending too much money; but when she looked in his eyes, it felt as though she were staring into the eyes of her deceased husband.
He looks just like his daddy. Chauncey would be so proud.
Miriam willed the tears at the corner of her eyes to stay in their place as she grabbed her purse and handed her oldest son a one-hundred dollar bill. “CJ, I expect you to bring my change back this time. I still have to get an oil change on my car and—“
“Yeah, I got you. See you tonight.”
When Miriam heard the alarm beep, she allowed herself to lose control and let go of the sob she had been holding in for the last ten minutes. As the tears flowed, the dam within her broke. Miriam placed her head in her hands and wept as the drama of the last three years played out in her mind.
She recalled the day she sat in the hospital room with her two best friends, Michellelee and Emily, waiting to hear if her husband was okay.
She remembered the yellow dress she wore on the day she said goodbye to the love of her life, Chauncey Williams.
Suddenly, her mind transported to that moment in her her living room. Jamal. His arms. His kiss. The way his body felt pressed up against hers for hours at a time. Miriam shuddered once more, remembering how his touch seemed to love away every bit of grief in her heart.
In their trysts, Miriam felt healed. Jamal Taylor saved her life.
And then Michellelee found out.
Then Emily. She was in the car. She heard every word.
Miriam groaned as she tried to take back that exact moment when she decided to sleep with her best friend’s husband. But even in her mental rewind, her body betrayed her as she thought of how it felt to be in bed—in ecstasy—with Jamal.
It felt right.
Miriam thought about the long drive through the desert, all the way to Arizona and Mama Cee, Chauncey’s sweet, spirited mother. Miriam thought she was doing the right thing, putting as much distance between her wants and her needs as possible.
Her heart throbbed as she called to mind the day she walked into Mama Cee’s bedroom and found her dead. Miriam felt as though the foundation she had tried so hard to restore in the aftermath of Chauncey’s death had once again crumbled.
Guilt once again coursed through her veins as she remembered standing in the vestibule of the chapel on the day of Mama Cee’s funeral. She stood with her sons—Stevie, Mikey and Chauncey Junior—playing the part of the grieving daughter-in-law. She nodded as unfamiliar faces patted her hand and offered words of condolences. Every time the heavy wooden doors swung open, she held her breath and prayed it would be him.
They sent a bouquet of lilies.
We are so sorry to hear about Mama Cee’s passing. We loved her as our own. Please know that you and the boys are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Jamal & Emily
“We,” Miriam said aloud as she fumbled for a hair tie in the dark. She brushed her thick, curly auburn hair out of her face and into a high ponytail. “We.” She crossed her arms and looked out the window, waiting for the sun to begin its ascent.
“God, give me the strength to let go of Jamal.”
Miriam kicked off the covers and made her way downstairs, hoping the Lord would answer her before she did something else she would regret.
I know my mom slept with Uncle Jamal.