Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Excerpt from My Upcoming Novel

New Excerpt from upcoming novel #RCH

“Wow, Lydia,” Sandra said in disbelief. “I expected much more of a reaction from you than this.” Sandra and Lydia were sitting crossed legged on the soft beige carpet of her family room enjoying barbecue chicken pizza, salad, and apple martinis.

     Lester had finally left after another an hour or so of cuddle time but not in time to miss Lydia’s arrival. The two of them nearly collided at the door.

     “Ugh.” Lydia groaned. “Why are you here?” Lydia asked seething. She and Lester were never quite fond of one another, but throughout he and Sandra’s marriage Lydia did make a concerted effort to be cordial of respect for Sandra. Since the separation and then the divorce proceedings Lydia had taken the kiddy gloves off.

     “Because this is my house.” Lester was quick to answer.

     “Hmph. Not much longer.”

     Oh Lawd, Sandra thought to herself. Right about now she was wishing that her girls were at home. At least then, Lester and Lydia would have exerted some effort to behave civilly towards one another. She had followed Lester to the door to kiss him goodbye when he opened the door to find Lydia standing on the other side.  She wanted so badly to open her mouth and put a stop to the exchange. Instead she’d just stood there. The corners of Lester’s mouth turned from an angry frown into a cunning grin.

     “Okay. Obviously you and Sandra need to talk.” He turned back Sandra and kissed her on the lips before brushing past Lydia. Was that for my benefit or hers? Sandra wondered.

     Sandra hadn’t fully turned away from closing the door before Lydia lit into her.

     “And what the hell did he mean by that?”  But Lydia was a smart woman. She didn’t need it spelled out but she wanted to hear Sandra say the words.

     Sandra did. “Lester and I getting back together.”

     Lydia took no time at all to absorb the news. As though it was no surprise at all. No objections. No questioning Sandra’s decision. Lydia only nodded her head and then said, “Let’s order some pizza.”

     Either Lydia had really expected this outcome or she had enough to contend with in her own marriage. Lydia and Roy—Sandra’s cousin, had been married a little over eighteen months. It was a miracle that they’d made it down the aisle after Lydia almost ruined their relationship backpedaling with an old frame. And now that they had, Roy was putting the pressure on Lydia to have a baby while she wanted to focus on getting her career back on track. 

     “Can’t I enjoy being a wife for a little while before I become of mother?” Lydia’s complaints fell upon deaf ears. Lydia was the sole member of her team. Everybody else was in favor of a baby. Team Roy!

     “Well it’s not a whole lot for me to say.” Lydia went on to say. “You know that I understand more than anybody about the need to make decisions without the input or advice of your friends. I just hope you know what you’re getting yourself into. Life is going to be a little different with Felicia and L.J. in the picture. Are you prepared for that? ” Lydia asked.

    This process of working things out with Lester hadn’t involved a lot of conversation about Felicia. L.J., yes, but not Felicia. Lester definitely had his shortcomings as a husband but he excelled as a father. And he had no intentions of being any less of a father to L.J.

     Sandra couldn’t do anything but respect that. So she and Lester made an agreement. Sandra wouldn’t interfere with his relationship with his son as long as he was honest with her about anything that happened between him and Felicia while they were separated. She didn’t want any more surprises.

     Lester contemplated for a few minutes before he fessed up. “Yes, Sandra. I slept with her a couple of times after you kicked me out. But I knew nothing good would come of that so I cut it off and made it clear to Felicia that our only relationship would be as parents to L.J.”

     Honesty was best. If Lester had said anything but that Sandra would have called him a liar to his face! Sandra knew that Felicia would have gladly slid into the role of Mrs. Lester Anderson if Sandra had given her the opportunity. What woman wouldn’t? To be married to an attractive, wealthy and successful man like Lester Anderson was what most women wished for. They could deny it all they wanted but Sandra knew most women would have did just as she’d done, turning a blind eye to Lester’s infidelity. The perks that came along with him were a small price to pay. She lived in a grand home in an upscale community. Her children could attend the best private schools. And she had the notoriety of the Anderson name.

     Men have been cheating on their wives since the beginning of time. And their women have been forgiving them for just as long. Sandra figured it was far better to deal with a financially successful cheater than a broke one so she might as well stay put.

     Even with her Ivy League education and corporate law position, Felicia would have done the same.  Obviously so, if she tried to seduce Lester. But it didn’t work. Sandra and her family were                            intact and Felicia would have to keep sitting on the sidelines.

     “Of course, it’ll be different having a child around my house who isn’t mine but I’m sure I can handle a dose of L.J. and Felicia every other week.” Sandra finally said taking a small bite of pizza into her mouth. 

     “I’m glad you’ve got that all figured out. I just wish you hadn’t let me embarrass myself in front of Lester like that.” Lydia said speaking to her and Lester’s clashing at the front door. “Thanks to you he got quite a laugh at my expense. Now, that, I have a problem with.”  The friends of twenty years laughed at that and then settled into the throwback movie they were watching on DVD.
     Any other time Sandra wouldn’t have been able to sit through any Ben Stiller movie, let alone her favorite one, Meet the Parents. Aside from laughing at the comedic antics of Ben, watching Lydia convulse in uncontrollable laughter on her favorite parts would send Sandra into the same spell. But not this time.

     Tonight her mind was wondering in and out about Lester’s claim to being a changed man. That he really hadn’t grasped the severity of his behavior until he held those divorce papers in his hand. Realizing that Sandra would actually leave him, break up their family had shown him the error of his ways. He promised to never cheat on her again.

     Was he the changed man that he claimed to be? Or was he playing the ultimate game of deceit? Was she a fool to believe him? After all, he’d told her the same thing a thousand times before? How many times had he begged her forgiveness, promising to never do it again, while adorning her with her favorite luxuries? She lost count a long time ago. Had filing for divorce finally garnered her the results she desired? It sure better had, she thought, because as soon as she spilled the beans about this reconciliation, she was relinquishing all future complaining rights, as well she should. 

@L.A. Jefferson