A poignant tale of a circle of close knit friends whose lives are more intertwined than they realize; that is until the blurred lines of love, lust and friendship begins to reveal the half-truths and lies that exist. Will the secrets they all hold from the past ruin their friendships and lives forever?A poignant tale of a circle of close knit friends whose lives are more intertwined than they realize; that is until the blurred lines of love, lust and friendship begins to reveal the half-truths and lies that exist. Will the secrets they all hold from the past ruin their friendships and lives forever?
Excerpt from the book
As each day passes my thoughts of you and desire for you increase. When I close my eyes, I can drift back in time and feel your touch and I imagine I hear your voice. Oh how I wish I could hear your voice. I’ve let you get under my skin, and I feel very vulnerable because I know I’m in a position to get hurt. You told me when we first met, you were not looking for a relationship, and I agreed to your terms. I never expected you to be such a nice guy. I really want to call you but I promised Jada I would wait until Thursday.
In the middle of my entry, I checked the clock and it was only 10:15 pm.
It’s not too late to call, I thought to myself. I grabbed my phone and dialed the number. The phone rang four times. I was just about to disconnect the call when he picked up and answered with a simple, “Hello.”
“Hi Darien,” I said. “This is Toni.”
“Well hello, Ms. Toni,” he said and I felt like he was smiling through the phone. “I was just thinking about you.”
“Really?” I said. “That’s funny because you didn’t call me I called you,” I said with a hint of sarcasm.
“About that,” he started, “I wanted to call you but I got sent out of town on business suddenly yesterday morning. I didn’t have your cell number on me. I’ve been in meetings all day long and have not had a minute to log in to send you an email.”
Trying to sound cool, I said “Darien its okay. I was just concerned because I had not heard from you since you left my house on Sunday, and I had not seen you around the office either. I thought maybe something had happened to you and I just wanted to check on you.”
“Oh I see, well as you can hear, I’m doing okay. I’m in Miami right now and am not sure, when I’m coming home. Hopefully this weekend, but not sure I really want to fly all the way back home just for the weekend when the only thing waiting for me there is my empty bed and my fish.”
Trying to sound very nonchalant, I said, “Yes I can understand that.”
We talked for another few minutes. Then I said, “Darien it’s getting late so I need to go. Did you save my number in your phone?”
“Yes I did.”
“Okay so call me when you can.”
“I will Toni, I promise.”
I broke down and called you and even though Jada is going to have some choice words for me, I’m glad I did. I really enjoyed talking to you. Our conversation left me wanting more. I’m trying to put my finger on what it’s about you that intrigues me the most. I think it’s a combination of a number of things. First of all, I like your confidence. You carry yourself like you know exactly who you are and what you want. That’s a real turn on. In addition, you try to act like you’re a player and women do not mean that much to you, but I can tell that you really like women. The way you talked about your mom and little sister I can tell you really like women. I mean most straight men like women. They love us and want to make love to us, but they do not really like us. I can tell you do. It’s the way you listen that makes the difference. Women like to be heard more than anything else. I could write so much more but am very tired, so am closing for now. I’m looking forward to hearing from you tomorrow.
I placed my journal back in its hiding place, put my cell phone on the charger, and prepared to turn in for the night. As soon as I turned the light off my cell phone rang. I looked at the clock and it said 11:00 pm. Who is calling me this time at night? I thought to myself. I reached over to grab my phone off the charger to look at the number. It was an unfamiliar out of town number. I think the same one from the other day. Who is this who keeps calling me? I thought. I considered letting it go to voice mail again but I had a feeling I needed to take this call so I answered, “Hello”.
“Hey baby,” was the response on the other end of the phone. I could not believe my ears. I looked around my room and pinched myself to make sure I was really awake and I had not fallen asleep and this was a sick dream.
I said, “Hello”
Again and the voice responded with a chuckle, “Hey baby, it’s Benjamin. I know you recognize my voice.”
Okay so this time I did drop the phone and let out a little squeal. I sat on my bed staring at my phone as it lay on the floor beside my bed. I’ve no idea how long I just sat there before I knelt down to retrieve my phone. Once I did, I tentatively placed it back to my ear and listened to see if he was still there. I could hear him breathing into the phone. After another minute or so of listening to him breathe, I said, “Benjamin, why are you calling me?”
He responded “I’m calling you because I missed you and I was thinking about you baby.”
“Please stop calling me baby!” I screamed into the
phone. I closed my eyes in an attempt to block the painful memories that were coming back. Shaking my head, I said, “Benjamin I can’t do this right now. I do not know why you called me now but I cannot talk to you right now. Not like this.”
I heard a heavy sigh on the other end of the phone and then he said, “Okay listen. I meant what I said. I miss you and I’ve been thinking about you. Also I’m going to be in town this coming weekend so, I wanted to know if we can meet for lunch or dinner, so we can talk.”
I still could not believe this was happening and I didn’t want to commit to anything without consulting with Jada, so I responded “Um I need some time to think about it Benjamin. Your call kind of caught me off guard. Can I get back to you later about lunch?”
Sounding irritated, he said, “sure no problem. I will call you back on Friday. Is that enough time for you to make up your mind?”
“Yes,” I said, “that would be perfect.”
“Ok great, Toni I know I’ve a lot of explaining to do and I will, I promise. Just give me a chance, okay baby?”
Trying to hold back the tears that were pooling in my eyes, I said, “Benjamin I will talk to you when you call me on Friday. I’ve to go now. Good bye.”
After I hung up the phone, I sat for what felt like hours just staring at my phone and replaying in my head the brief conversation. I tried to force myself not to remember my time with Benjamin. I referred to them as the Benjamin years. Jada and I sometimes joked about my life in segments. There was the BB or before Benjamin years, and then the AB, or after Benjamin years. Jada says I changed after Benjamin. She will never say if it was good or bad, she just says I’m different. Jada does not even know everything that happened between Benjamin and me. In fact, Benjamin didn’t even know the real reason why I went to Chicago for our final semester. I was not sure I was ready to open up those wounds. I spent years in therapy trying to get over Benjamin, and the guilt I felt for decisions I made without consulting him. I had convinced myself that somehow, Benjamin had discovered the truth, and that’s the reason why he disappeared on me into thin air. I thought about all the plans we had made. He was going to be drafted into theNBA. We would get married and I would stay home and raise our children. What a great plan that was until he got injured and was unable to play basketball anymore. I knew that basketball was a major part of his life, but I never imagined him losing his chance to play would make him turn his back on me like he did.
I returned my cell to the charger, turned off the light and tried to fall asleep. I didn’t look at the clock, but I know I lay awake for hours remembering the Benjamin years. I wondered what Jada would say tomorrow when I told her about my phone call.
1. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have always felt like I had a lot to say but I was a little shy. I started journaling or keeping a diary as a pre teen. I also started writing poetry and some short stories in my early teens.
2. What inspires you the most to write? My life inspires me to write. Writing for me is like therapy. It allows me to be completely open and honest about my feelings. It is not that I have lived a very hard life because I consider myself to have been very blessed thus far in my life. It’s that I have always wanted to capture how I feel about things as they happen. That is why I journal. If someone found all of my journals and put them into chronological order, it would be a good reflection of my life.
3. Did you enjoy reading as a child? Yes as a child, I loved to read. I remember reading all of the Judy Blume books but I also liked to sneak into my mother’s room and read some of her books. She liked V.C Andrews so as a teenager and young adult she became one of my favorite authors.
4. What do you like to do when you are not writing? When I am not writing I enjoy listening to music and singing. My love for music overshadowed my reading and writing for a long time. I am glad that I have finally been able to find a good balance between the two. Now I write and listen to music and sing while I am writing.
5. What inspired you to write your first book? I decided to write my first book because I had shared some of my journal entries with a friend of mine. They commented that they really enjoyed my writing style and asked if I had ever considered writing a book. I had not and did not act on it right away. One day I was reading a book and an idea for a story popped into my head. I sat down and started writing. Several hours later, I had approximately 50 pages written.
6. What does your family think of your writing? My family has been supportive and is very excited about me finally tapping into my creative side. My family continues to encourage me to write and express myself.
7. What is next for you in your writing career? I have started working on my second novel, which is a sequel to Yesterday’s lies, and I have some ideas for other books. I also have resumed writing poetry. I plan to continue to write as long as there are people who want to read what I write.
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