Sneak Peak – Chapter One

Check out the link below for a teaser excerpt from Chapter One!

Chapter One Excerpt


Solitude Part Six

Southwest flight specials brought me back to Detroit for a birthday party for Nick Parker, a friend of ours from high school and college, in early July. Mason was there, and I was hopeful that he would indeed “come around”. But he effectively ignored me, and then left without a word goodbye, splattering what was left of my heart in the street underneath his size 14 shoes. And the jacked-up part about it was that no one noticed.
It’s now mid-August and the only thing that’s come around are my bills and my period. I began to reflect on what once was. Face the reality of my situation, Mason was gone and was not coming back. My world, my livelihood has gone awry and I am nothing but a glimmer of my former self.
And who was I? Mason’s girl. The nameless female at his side at every dinner, dance, and ceremony. I got so wrapped up in him that I’d lost myself. My very existence was squashed by his greatness. My love for him blinded me; that writing on the wall was real and had probably been there for years. But like the residents of a neighborhood filled with graffiti, I knew it was there, but I ignored it. Until now.
He said he loved me. But he loved his ideal of me. What he thought I should be. When I no longer lived up to it, if ever, that’s where the problems began. I never really had his acceptance of me nor his support. I stare at the writing, now boldly written, italicized and underlined and begin to cry for the umpteenth time. Hot tears burn my face like lava; I can’t believe I was so stupid, I don’t know who I am anymore. But, these tears are for a different reason; not because he left me, but because he beat me to it.
I tear through my tiny southwest DC studio apartment; it’s time to cut him out of my life and start anew. I’m in a rage, tearing down his pictures, stuffing every gift he gave me into a box, trying to cleanse my home, my heart, and my spirit of the very thing that drained it out of me over five years ago. I throw the box in the dumpster. I am all cried out, like Lisa Lisa was over the Cult Jam. I have shed my last tear and had my last pity party over Mason Andrews. I am no longer Mason’s girl. I will no longer be the nameless female by his side. I am Evan Martin and I will be moving on.


Book Cover

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Solitude Part Five

My mama’s birthday brought me back to the Motor City in March. Do the family thing, get a little loving from my man, and I was set.
Or setting myself up for failure. My aunt had taken my mom out to a get together at 6pm, and I had the house to myself. I was waiting for Mason to get me to take me to his place. It was 7, 8, 9, 10pm when he pulled up in his brand new Chevrolet. I was livid and sex-deprived, normally a good combination for us but not that night. I asked what took so long, he knew when I’d be ready. Once more, he was out with his friends. Funny how he always made so much time to see people he sees every damn day and can’t even be on time to see his girlfriend who lives 8 hours, four states, two turnpikes, and a 225 dollar plane ticket away; hijinks quickly ensued.
I was determined this time; I was not backing down, I wanted more time with and attention from my man. He tried to trip me up, selling me more bullshit, but I refused to buy it. Then he flipped it on me for real. Told me that I’d changed; gotten some new hair and a new attitude, that I could’ve managed my money better to visit more since I wanted to see him so badly. Then he said he needed space, I was putting too much on him and just didn’t have the time to deal with me right now. My head spun, I was definitely twisted around. By the time I began to realize what was going on, that I was being dumped, he had fired up his SUV and pulled off. Just like the carnival ride, the bottom dropped out from under me, but I didn’t have a wall to stick to.
The next three months were filled with tears, wonderment, and appall. I refused to call him. He was the one that needed to come around and realize he was wrong. I was not going to beg. Eventually he would come around. He’d show up at my doorstep and take me in his arms, apologize and make love to me all night. My mama told me to just give him the space and he’ll come around. My friends were shocked; said that we were so cute together. We’d work it out. Just wait, he’d come around. Come around. Come around. Come around.


Solitude Part Four

We only managed to have brief conversations for about five to ten minutes for the next few weeks. He always had to go somewhere, do something, meet his boys. Not that I was sitting by the phone. I remained active in DC, putting my PR skills to good use with the NAACP and working with the youth through Junior Achievement. I cranked out bi-monthly newsletters at work, planned small-scale internal events and worked with other charitable organizations so our company could get some goodwill. Happy Hours and First Fridays invaded some of my nights, going to the movies or midnight bowling with college friends took some of the others. But I wanted my man.
Valentine’s Day was approaching and I had informed him in January that funds were tight and I couldn’t swing another flight out to Detroit especially since I was coming in March for my mother’s birthday. When I asked him in early February when he was coming out, he said he wasn’t. He had too much going on to make the trip, and he knew I was upset about it, but he wasn’t changing his plans. I’ll get over it; I’ll be alright. I hung up the phone in a huff, pissed beyond all pissivity. All the times I had rearranged my schedule to accommodate him, he refused to budge even though he had plenty notice about my inability to afford three round-trip plane tickets in a span of four months. But I let it go; went out for drinks and fun with my fellow, single college friends; never questioned how my man was spending his Valentine ’s Day. I was beginning to see something scribbled on that wall, just couldn’t make out what it was yet.


Solitude Part Three

So our temporary distance, while it pained me to be so far from him, I knew we could do it. He even encouraged me to take the job in DC. He wouldn’t be at his job long since he wanted to get into financial planning, which meant he’d probably return out East. Where he went next, I’d follow because I hated the distance. It was probably that distance that kept me from seeing the writing on the wall.
At first, we spoke a few times a week. With his acclamation to his new job and my spending habits catching up with me, we didn’t get to see each other the first few months. We attended our first homecoming as alumni and loved each other all weekend long. I went home for Thanksgiving. He didn’t come down for my birthday in December, just as I had decided to stop living the lye after twelve years and bring in my 22nd year of life perm-free. I was upset that he missed my birthday because hell, it was my birthday. I was a little relieved that he wouldn’t see my new natural, though; it was mad short. He said that it was kind of crazy to go down for a few days when the next week or so I’d be there for the holidays. I bought it…bullshit excuses from Fool-Mart. However, I got home for Christmas and he shows up to my annual family Christmas Eve/Birthday Party dinner three hours late because he was out with friends, the same friends that he sees everyday. I only got one gift instead of the customary two and later on he flipped out over my hair, which surprisingly, my family took quite well.
Once more, I was too flighty, doing things without thinking; where the hell did all my hair go and how soon was it coming back? What made me think to blindly cut off my perfectly fine, straight hair when I didn’t know what kind of hair I had going on for real. My newfound nappiness was horrendous, the curl pattern was too tight, Afros on girls are not cute and not even professional. I was crushed, I figured he’d turn up his nose but the tirade was unexpected. I tried not to let his caustic words get to me, I loved my hair, it had more springs, coils and corkscrews than the roller coasters at Cedar Point.  I felt liberated and able to do all the things relaxers kept me from doing. Like exercise…I had gone off the birth control shot and lost 15 of those 35 pounds and that pretty much went unnoticed by him. I stayed until New Year’s and only saw him once. Let him get over the shock of the hair, once it grows out, he’ll be cool, I told myself as I boarded the plane back to DC.


Solitude Part Two

I began to develop an appreciation for Public Relations. I wanted to promote; put on grand events, share with the world why so and so was so great. On a whim, I changed my major; left the College of Arts and Sciences to go down the hill to the School of Communications. I was excited about my new plans, it just felt right. However, Mason hit the roof. To him, that was the equivalent of being a glorified party planner. I couldn’t seriously believe I could make it in that field because just liking something doesn’t pay the bills. I was too capricious; jumping up to chase something without thinking it through. I’d probably change my major again next semester and wind up becoming a super senior. When I joked that his finance career could support us both, the look in his eyes told me he didn’t think so. Said the days of the man bringing home the bacon were over.

I carried on in my new major. Became PR director/officer/vice-president of every organization I joined. If the title had PR in it, I went after it. My days were filled with trekking back and forth across the yard and down the hill, my planner filled with meetings, classes, and appointments. Not to mention the latest part time job I had to support my shopping habit. My PR campaigns increased the honors society visibility on campus, the fundraisers I worked on were successful, Communications Student Council events rivaled the others on campus. I even made The Who’s who list senior year. Mason? He yawned at my accomplishments. His case studies in the School of Business were more worthy of accolades than the turnout at our state club’s general body meeting.

When we argued, it was mostly him telling me how things should be. I was always more lover than fighter, giving in and saying whatever needed to be said to end the argument. Whenever I tried to bring up a point in my defense, he quickly made it invalid. If I was the one upset, I’d wind up feeling worse in the end or so damn twisted I didn’t know which way was up; he had impressive arguing and debate skills. After a while, I realized the easiest way out was to accept defeat/blame/fault or whatever; we got to the make-up sex much more quickly that way. As he would hold me afterwards, I would smile, glad the subject of debate was forgotten. Until the next time, when it would be brought up again to add fuel to the fire.

But, I loved him and he loved me, simple as that. I wanted to be his everything. Mason’s girl. Mason’s wife. I helped him study, even though I had no interest in managerial economics. I typed papers, cooked in his apartment-style dorm, stayed up with him so he could word his PowerPoint presentations just right, rub his back, washed his drawers when his only options were to wear his jock strap or walk around campus with his balls jiggling and free.

We were a complementary pair. I was the laidback, cool, go with the flow type and he was the antithesis of me. We took cute pictures, laughed at the same jokes, fed each other, and finished the other’s sentences. We settled into a comfortable relationship. Even though we had our faults, like any other couple, we loved each other. We were meant to be.


About the story…

Evan Olivia Martin is a young, college-educated woman committed to her college sweetheart of five years and ready to take the next step in her life as a wife. However, her hopes of sharing a lifetime with Mason Andrews are dashed when he abruptly breaks up with her, leaving her to wonder where she went wrong. 22 and suddenly single, she embarks on a series of adventures and relationships while at the same time trying to discover herself and who she is.

Download the prologue for free!

Solitude Part One

I’m single. Not necessarily by choice.

I wasn’t always single. Up until five months ago, I was content. I was two months shy of five years with the man I would someday marry. We were four states and two turnpikes apart, but together. Hey, I would tell myself, the distance just made the times we spent together that much better. I looked forward to the day we could be in the same city; my job in Internal Communications for a midsize consulting firm in Washington, DC was temporary. A job. Not even a real career. Just a stepping stone. He didn’t even want to be in Detroit, but it was the best offer he got. At least he had choices with his business degree in finance. With a B.A. in communications, I got my final-hour job offer three days before graduation; it was my saving grace from returning to my own Rosedale Park two-story to live with my mama.

We attended the same high school in the Detroit Public School system. Good test scores and even better grades got us in. I knew who he was. He was Mason Andrews; exactly 75 inches of smooth caramel, handsome face, pretty dimples, warm brown eyes and a body that said, “Yes, I play football.” He wasn’t wildly popular, but popular enough.

Now it wasn’t like I was some plain Jane. I am what retailers deem “petite” at 5’4” with skin the color of sweet milk chocolate and eyes like almonds. I developed early, so by the time I was 11, I was busty enough for the tissue-stuffers to cut their eyes at me and for hormonal preteen boys to accidentally “bump” into me. By the time I hit 16, my body evened out into an hourglass and I acquired the ass to offset the breasts. My hair is an off-black shade and my high cheekbones were the only indicators of the Native American grandmother from six generations past. So while I do indeed have Indian in my family, it wasn’t enough to get me a college scholarship.
We coexisted in the relatively small high school; our worlds colliding senior year in an advanced placement science class. My lab partner, he was smart as hell and had a sarcastic sense of humor to match my own witticism. We vibed so well, it was only a matter of time before we got together. It was May, the weather decided to play nice that day, he asked me to prom.
With matching academic scholarships to Howard University, he quickly became my world. Every free moment we had, we spent together. He was my first, my last, my everything. He’d started calling me by my middle name, said it was more ladylike than my given name, my mother’s maiden name. He told me he loved me in the fall, I gave him my body in the spring, just as the DC heat began to overtake the campus once more. While there was no ring and no getting down on one knee, he said he wanted to marry me. I was set for life. As far as I knew, the search had ended and I was officially off the market.

Sexing in the dormitories became a regular routine sophomore year. His touch made my body tremble, my knees weak and my face contort. I headed over to the women’s clinic because I wasn’t trying to his baby mama. At least not yet. That damned shot played tricks on me; manipulated my brain to tell my stomach it was hungry, jacked with my metabolism. When junior year’s end rolled around, I was the swollen, bloated friend everyone knew was getting some on the regular because I carried 35 extra pounds on my frame.

The weight just added to the topics Mason and I had begun to argue over. The ruthless cycle of arguing as a form of foreplay began in the spring of sophomore year. We fought over it all.
Quality time.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Most of our fights were about me. How come I wasn’t more this or less that? My hair never reached past my shoulders. Although I spent tons on oils, strengtheners, pomades, and had standing appointments at the salon, I could never get the Pocahontas pigtails to match my cheekbones. I needed to work out more, try to make an effort to look better. I was shiftless and full of excuses about my lack of an exercise routine; never mind the chemicals I had injected into my hip every three months had a great deal to do with that. Money was another hot-topic. I loved shoes, still do. Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, BCBG, Via Spiga filled my tiny dorm closets. My clothes from Express, New York and Company, Macy’s, and the Gap spilled over into the common area closets. I spent way too much money and never had the same job. I must’ve had an issue with authority with the way I would work somewhere for a semester, then quit, be it because my manager was a bitch, the commute to the mall took too long on the Metro, I didn’t have a car, blah blah blah. Too many excuses and not enough focus, he would say. All he could do was shake his head when my stint as a restaurant hostess only lasted three days.

Even though at times it seemed nothing I did was good enough, I pressed on. I loved him, he loved me. Simple as that.