Some time in early March I will begin putting on brief excerpts from Solomon and Sheba, a tapestry of love stories, the lead one of which is based on the biblical story of the king and queen and the most intense love affair in history. He is a white — or is he?– minister and she is blessed with a gorgeous voice and a gift for seeing the future. This is a dramatic story of love that endures and pain that threatens to destroy. Please watch this space. I believe you’ll enjoy this story.
Detective Lieutenant Frank Ryman and his girl friend Jaysa have quarreled. His cases have come apart and he is despondent. He tells her he needs her and she says she cannot see him that night. Anngry and surly he hangs up on her and goes home thinking that this might as well be the end for them. He is there for her, but she surely is not there for him. At home, he finds her there sitting in the dark.
He stood still, ambivalent. He wanted to kiss her blind, go into her body and never come out. And he wanted to smack her, make her pay for all the hurt she’d caused him.
“We have to talk,” she said quietly.
Where had he heard that before?
She patted the sofa. “Please come here.”
He set the bag down. He hesitated for a mminute and then sat down, not touching her. She moved closer.
Her voice was husky and full of tears. “When I left you last year, I left because I’m in love with you, and love isn’t something I can handle anymore. Leaving was the only way I could stop loving you, only I couldn’t stop. When I began to see you again, I wouldn’t sleep with you. That way, I wouldn’t love you so much–I thought.”
She sighed and the sound tore at him. She looked so haggard, so vulnerable. Well, she had nothihng on him.
“Frank, when I was twenty-two, I met a man, a black guy, a residential developer in New Orleans. He was older, just moved there from D.C. He was handsome, smooth, and hellishly romantic. I was isolated, like I’ve told you, no stranger to pain. I had heard he might be married, but he denied it and there was no wife in sight. I’m going to gloss over the affair, but there were rides on his yacht, dinners and sex in his mansion, gifts the way I’d never gotten them. I wasn’t a virgin; I’d had an affair with a high school friend.”
She was silent then, and on impulse he moved closer and stroked her back. When she spoke again, it was through tears and harsh breathing. “It went on for three months and I got pregnant. I was so happy. I told him about it, and he went beserk.”
Then her voice got cold and sere, and he knew she was protecting herself from intolerable pain.
“He cursed me, said he had counted on me to protect him. We were using condoms, so he must have slipped up. I told him that when I found my voice after the first shock. I asked why we couldn’t get married, and he said he was already married, to a Swedish blonde who was in her country with her sick mother.
“So your wife is white?” I asked.
“‘Oh yes,’ he told me. ‘Very white.’
“I thought of my father and his blonde showgirl, and my heart split open again. It was a time when black was beautiful, but I felt small and incredibly ugly. I accused him of leading me on, lying to me, which he surely had done … and he went off again.”
She screwed up her face as she continued. “‘Listen,” he told me.’” “‘I’m sick of this whole scene. Every little nigra bitch in this city has her very own little bastard, a little welfare baby. You’re supposed to be smart. Why didn’t you check me out? I’ll give you five thousand dollars for an abortion, and you’re out of my life. Good luck with the next sucker.’”
He let her talk and continued to stroke her.
“Something crazy came over me then. We were standing in his bedroom. I picked up my heavy pocketbook and swung at him with all my might, swung at his head. I knocked him off balance, and I think the fury in my eyes frightened him at least a little. I know my rage frightened me. I wanted to kill him. I would have killed him. I knew he kept a gun in the end table drawer, and my father had taught me to shoot. I wanted to take that gun and put bullets into his heart the way he’d done to me.”
Acid tears burned his eyes and his heart felt raw with sympathy. He wanted to kill the bastard who had hurt her like this. She was silent for a long time; he took both her hands in his and kissed them. “I’m so sorry, love.” After a moment he asked, “What happened to your baby?”
Tears ran down her cheeks. “I told myself it was my baby as well as his. I was in law school and doing well, but I couldn’t sleep nights. I fought violent urges to get up, go ring his doorbell, and kill him.”
She cried then, a deluge of terrible tears. He held her aainst the fury that still raged in her; then she stopped as abruptly as she’d begun. “Maybe my baby didn’t want to be born to such a furious mother. My womb was no place to thrive. The little boy fetus died when I miscarried. It had survived for three months. I went into therapy for a while, but I couldn’t talk about it. I had killing in my bloodstream, and that’s all I could think about.
“There were men in my life then, Frank. Some of them were like you; and like you, they wanted to marry me. And I kept thinking, couldn’t they see the evil? Couldn’t they, couldn’t you, can’t you see what a killer I still am? If you hurt me bad enough, I may kill you. Don’t you know that?”
“We all want to kill at some time in our lives,” Frank said gently. “Honey, let’s get some help for you now. Carroll City is a great place for mental health treatmennt. People come here from all over the world. You say you love me; don’t be hostage to your fear. I’ll be with you all the way. We can make it; I know we can.”
Her face was grave. “You’re not afraid of me? You’d trust me, feeling the way I do?”
“I trust you.” He half grinned, with his own heart hurting. “If you kill me, I’ll die happy.”
So, there you have six excerpts from Dying on the Edge, my romantic voodoo mystery. I take as my slogan now: Written in blood — mine! It is multiculural, multilayered and it’s about love and hate, truth and lies, faithfulness and betrayal. More people have told me they love it than have ever said about my books before and I am so pleased I’m humbled. Others don’t get it and that is understandable. Edge helped me to exorcise many demons in my past and hopelfully lets many ghosts from my past rest in peace.
I certainly hope you’ll like and buy Edge even though it’s higher priced than my books have been. Keep it or pass it on to a friend, or give it to your library. I think you’ll like it and identify with it.
Next time back to blogging about self-publishing and bringing you links to places that can help you get ahead. But you know me, I’m also into what’s happening in our world today and I’m mindful that my blog on the murder of little Shaniya Davis and her being sold into sex slavery by her mother got more comments than any other blog.
Until next time, and I certainly hope there is a next time.