W is for Wall

Originally published April 27, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge. 

Jessica woke up to the smell of pancakes and bacon. She opened her eyes, and was blinded by the sun bearing through the white blinds of the window to the right of the bed. She raised herself above the covers and looked around the room, trying to piece together where she was. The room was slightly messy. The door was standing ajar and behind it, the hamper was overflowing with clothes, mostly shirts—t-shirts, button downs, Polos. Jessica looked down and realized she was also wearing a t-shirt. It hung on her loosely—part of her should exposed. She sniffed the collar. It smelled of mint cologne.

On the mahogany dresser to her left, lined up against the mirror, were bottles of Axe body spray, all different scents—Apollo, Gold Temptation, Anarchy, Phoenix, Essence. Of the nine drawers on the dresser, five of them had been pulled open. They hung over the floor—a few so low, she thought they would fall. Each drawer was stuffed with clothes. Shirtsleeves and pants legs dangled over the handles. Jessica got out of bed, the hem of the t-shirt kissing her thighs just above the knees, and folded the clothes neatly into the drawers pushing them closed. When she came to the top left drawer, the underwear drawer, she perused through it, looking at batteries, dirty socks, and socks with holes at the toes and heels, several pairs of plaid boxers, and a few briefs.

Behind her, there was a knock on the door. She turned around to see Bruce holding a tray of food. She immediately slammed the drawer shut and fell back onto the bed, pulling the covers over her.

“Curious?” He sat on the edge of the bed and placed the tray on her lap.

Jessica shrugged her shoulders. She looked down at the plate of food—three blueberry pancakes, two strips of crispy bacon, and fluffy, bright yellow scrambled eggs. There was a drizzle of maple syrup over each food item.

“I didn’t know what you liked, but you can never go wrong with bacon and maple syrup, right?”

“It’s fine,” Jessica said flatly. She picked up the fork and knife and cut into the stack of pancakes.

“Did you sleep alright? You were twitching a lot.”

“How do you know that? You slept with me?” Jessica asked in between chews.

“Well, yea.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little inappropriate? I mean my boyfriend just died.” Jessica pushed the plate back to Bruce and scooted to the center of the king sized bed. He reached to touch her leg, but she pulled away, drawing her knees to her chin.

“After what happened at your apartment last night, I was worried,” Bruce said. “You looked as if you’d seen a ghost. I didn’t want to leave you alone.” Bruce tried to hand the plate back to Jessica. “Here, you need to eat something.”

“I’m not hungry.”

Bruce sighed. Standing, he said, “Look, Jessica. I know you feel guilty about what happened. Especially given what we were doing when it happened, but please don’t put up a wall between us. I only want to help.”

Jessica stared straight ahead, fixated on the sweat stains on the armpit area of a shirt hanging out of the hamper.

“OK, well, I have to get to the station. I’ll leave this in the oven in case you change your mind,” Bruce said, standing by the door. “Alex is on her way. I left a key for her outside. She’ll take you home if you want.”

Then he closed the door behind him.

—Nortina

H is for Heaven’s Angel

Originally published April 9, 2017, this poem was written by Whitmore and dedicated to Jessica. If you read the prequel post, “Love Poetry,” you know that “Heaven’s Angel” was edited down to just four lines:

When the sun sets, I still have light
Because your moon brightens my nights.
My precious angel descended from Heaven above,
saved me from the heartache of unrequited love.

Since Whitmore actually proposes before the novella starts, these lines will appear in the novella in a flashback memory.


Heaven’s Angel

When I thought God
Had abandoned me,
Left me to wallow in pity,
Heartache consumed
My body in darkness.
I had no pulse,
Until an angel
Descended from heaven.
She kissed me with lips
Red as apples.
She resuscitated me
With her magnetic touch.
She shocked my skin with
The electricity of her love.
Fresh blood raced to my heart
As she breathed her divine
Oxygen into my lungs.
And I arose.
Living and breathing
In the silk-clothed bosom
Of heaven’s angel.
May she never again
Let me plummet
To the hellish grave
Of love unrequited.

—Nortina

 

G is for Girlfriend Whisperer

I love the Girlfriend Whisper! It’s probably one of my favorite scenes from “Love Poetry.” Here, you get the entire transcript from the show, but in the novella, you’ll experience snippets of it through Jessica’s ears. Yes, she will be tuning in. By the way, I’ve completed chapter one of “Love Poetry”! Twenty-six pages and just short of 8,500 words long! We’ll see how much gets edited out later, but for now, I’m on to chapter two, where this scene and others will take place.

Originally published April 8, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge.


DJ Ronnie G: Good morning, good morning! The time is 11:21AM. I’m your boy, DJ Ronnie G, and I’m here with our host, Bruce, aka . . .

Bruce: *in a deep voice, close to the microphone* The Girlfriend Whisperer.

DJ Ronnie G: And we’re here taking your questions. Fellas, are you struggling to understand what the hell’s going on in your lady’s head? My boy Bruce has the answer. Caller, what’s your name and from where are you calling?

Caller #1: Uh, hey. This is Rodney from Charlotte, and I’ve been dating this girl for about two months now. We’re starting to transition out of that ‘Honeymoon Phase.’ I’m just wondering what I should do to make sure she’s still interested in me.

DJ Ronnie G: What you got, Girlfriend Whisperer?

Bruce: What is this ‘Honeymoon Phase’?

Caller #1: You know, when you’re hanging out every day. Maybe I’ll send her a ‘good morning’ text, or she’ll send me one. I’ll randomly send her flowers. She’ll tell me she misses me. That’s not happening anymore. I’m trying to figure out what I should do.

Bruce: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Caller #1: What?

Bruce: You heard me. You wanna keep this girl? First of all, stop calling your relationship the ‘Honeymoon Phase.’ You’re not married. You’re just dating.

DJ Ronnie G: Yea. It’s like you’re trying to say you’re already serious. You’ve only been dating two months? You’re still allowed to see other people as far as I’m concerned.

Bruce: Yea. Don’t think that because you’re talking to her every day, that means you’re exclusive. You’re just getting to know each other. Now that you know each other a little more, all that ain’t necessary.

Caller #1: But what if she’s bored? How do I keep her interest?

Bruce: Play it cool, man. Have you ever had a girlfriend before?

Caller #1: Yea.

Bruce: Well, you don’t sound like it. Listen. Don’t assume that because she’s not calling you every day, she’s lost interest. Asking for too much will just scare her off. Give her some space for a couple days. Then take her out to a nice dinner, nothing fancy, just your run of the mill dating place. It doesn’t even have to be dinner. Lunch will do. Girls freak over lunch dates, they think you’re trying to let them down easy that you only want to be friends. Yea, tease her a little. Let her think you’re out the door. Don’t ask her any questions about whether or not she likes you. Give her the opportunity to get a little antsy. See where it goes.

DJ Ronnie G: That’s some great advice, Girlfriend Whisper. Aye, Rodney, be sure to hit us up, let us know what happens! *mumbling away from the mic* I have a feeling he’ll screw this one up. *in a louder voice* Alright, next caller, what’s your name and from where are you calling?

Caller #2: Yo, this is Shawn from Winston-Salem.

DJ Ronnie G: Tre-4!

Bruce: What’s your question?

Caller #2: So the ladies call me Thunder Tongue, ’cause when I rumble down on them, they rain all over my tongue.

DJ Ronnie G: Aye!

Caller #2: But lately, this girl I’m messing with been dry like the desert.

DJ Ronnie G: Hey, it rains in the desert too.

Caller #2: Not this one. I’m thinking maybe ’cause she’s young, she never had an orgasm before.

Bruce: How old is she?

Caller #2: 21.

Bruce: Nah. By that age, most women know exactly what gets them off. The problem is most likely you, my friend. Lemme ask you, where do you lick?

Caller #2: Where do I lick? I lick . . . I lick the pussy. Oh, shit. Can I say that on the air?

DJ Ronnie G: Well, you just said ‘shit,’ so we’re all fucked. *hits drums and laugh track*

Caller #2: *laughing*  Sorry about that, man!

Bruce: You’re good. So where do you lick? You go inside?

Caller #2: Yea. You know . . . I do her with my tongue.

DJ Ronnie G: Stroking it with the tongue.

Caller #2: You know, I be getting the job done!

Bruce: Obviously not if she ain’t raining, Thunder Tongue. Look. When people can’t read, that means they’re illiterate, right?

Caller #2: Yea, I guess.

Bruce: Well you, my friend, are ill-clitorate. Ladies get off when you stimulate that clitoris. Open up those lips and find that second tongue, she’ll be raining all night.

DJ Ronnie G: Aye! Remember that, fellas! Get clitorate. Alright, last caller, what’s your name, and from where are you calling?

Caller #3: Hi. My name is Jerry. I’m from Lexington.

Bruce: Jerry, what you got?

Caller #3: I would consider myself one of the good guys. I’ve been trying to get with this girl and—

Bruce: Lemme guess. She friendzoned you.

Caller #3: Yea. She chose this thug wannabe over me. How’d you know.

Bruce: Trying to validate that you’re a ‘good guy’? Classic friendzone syndrome. Being a ‘good guy’ is not going to automatically get you in her pants, bruh. If she doesn’t want you, she doesn’t want you. Accept it and move on.

DJ Ronnie G: Damn, man. That was pretty harsh.

Bruce: I’m sorry. Look. Most women want to build a friendship first. If you jump right into a relationship, you have nothing to fall back on. Look at the friendzone as a beginning, not an ending. Is that better?

DJ Ronnie G: I think he hung up, man. You pissed him off.

Bruce: Aw. He sounded desperate anyway.

DJ Ronnie G: So what’s going on with you? The way you just snapped, it sounded like you had your mind someplace else.

Bruce: Yea, man.

DJ Ronnie G: Well, let’s hear it! It’s not often the Girlfriend Whisperer is in need of advice!

Bruce: Well, I met this girl a couple days ago. Sexy. Smart. Funny. Beautiful smile.

DJ Ronnie G: Alright, so what’s the problem?

Bruce: She’s in a relationship.

DJ Ronnie G: The Girlfriend Whisperer got friendzoned!

Bruce: Nah, it’s not that. Looking at her, I can tell she wants out. But this guy, he’s not letting go. It think he’s one of those friendzoned guys that, as soon as he gets a girlfriend, he wants to make her feel guilty for all the women who friendzoned him.

DJ Ronnie G: Oh, that ‘Don’t you understand that I’m right for you?’ kinda whiny guy?

Bruce: Right. So, I really want to ask her out. There’s this new club opening next Saturday, kind of a tribute to those juke joints from back in the day. I think she’d really like it, but I’m not sure if she’s ready to leave her man. I told her to call me, but—

DJ Ronnie G: Maybe she just needs some persuasion. You should call her.

Bruce: Aw. You think I should?

DJ Ronnie G: How ’bout we turn it to the callers. People, our man the Girlfriend Whisperer is in a dilemma. Should he steal the girl? Hit us up at 980-365-7413. Tell us what you think. We have to take a little commercial break, but when we come back, we want to hear your answers!

*cuts to e-Harmony commerical*

—Nortina

E is for Emergency Contraception

This scene actually won’t appear in the new and improved Love Poetry Novella. After writing my outline, I realized it was too much, and as I’ve said before, I want to make Whitmore a little likable. This scene will make you hate him. But it does introduce some ideas that I want use in other parts of the story. You’ll see how soon enough. This post was originally published April 6, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge


Jessica awoke to Whitmore’s erection pressed against her. She tried to scoot to the edge of the bed, but his arms were wrapped tightly around her waist. Whitmore nudged his knee between her legs, opening them. He dipped his hips underneath her, lifting his knee to spread her leg in the air. Then he pushed his hips upward, making Jessica winced at him suddenly being inside of her.

“What are you doing?” Jessica asked, clearing phlegm from her throat. She reached behind her for his hips and tried to push him back, but he lifted her thighs and flipped her onto her stomach, positioning himself on top of her.

“Stop it!” Jessica’s voice sounded muffled against the pillow.

Whitmore didn’t listen. He kissed her down her spine, digging his nose between her shoulder blades as he continued until he let out a loud moan and collapsed onto the bed next to her. Jessica didn’t move.

Whitmore lifted himself on his elbows. He brushed Jessica’s hair behind her ear and took her by the chin. “Look at me.” He leaned down and kissed her lips. “Wasn’t that nice?”

“What the hell’s wrong with you?” She scurried out of the bed and snatched up the sheets to wrap herself.

Whitmore’s jaw dropped. “I wanted to do something different. Last time, you said I was too soft.”

“So you freaking rape me!” Jessica squealed.

“No! No!” Whitmore sat up, and grabbing the corner of the sheets, he tried to pull her back down to the bed.

Jessica yanked the covers away. “Don’t touch me!”

Whitmore stood to his feet, and Jessica backed into the dresser, knocking the mirror against the wall. “I would never hurt you, Jessica,” Whitmore said. He raised his hands in surrender.

“So when a woman says, ‘Stop it,’ what does that mean to you? Go harder?”

“I didn’t hear you.” Whitmore dropped to his knees. He took her hand and kissed up her wrist and back down. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to make our relationship more exciting. I feel like you’ve been pulling away from me. I can’t lose you, Jessica. Please don’t leave me. I just wanted to surprise you. I remember how you said you liked it rough. That I’m too focused on making love to you, that it gets boring sometimes. You said to let my animal out. That’s all I was doing. I wanted to show you that I had an animal side.” He wiped his tears into her palm and continued kissing her hand, apologizing repeatedly and begging her not to leave.

“Get up.” Jessica said. “Don’t turn this around on me.” Whitmore often tried to present himself as innocent. His only goal was to please her, he defended, he couldn’t help that her requests were ambiguous and, as a result, misinterpreted.

Jessica had complained about his lovemaking months ago. He always did the same thing—humped her until his back hunched into a tortoise shell, then lowered his face between her thighs and finished her off with his tongue. She had gotten bored with it. She had wanted him to try new positions. He was always so gentle, focused on appeasing her and making sure she felt his compassion in his movements. She was sick of making love. She was sick of the endless romance. She just wanted to have fun.

Waking up to her boyfriend taking advantage of her, however, was not fun.

“Just go,” Jessica said, refusing to meet his gaze.

“What does this mean?”

“It means get out. I need some space.”

Whitmore bent over to retrieve his clothes from the floor. “Does this mean we’re over?”

Jessica didn’t answer.

“Can I call you later?”

“I’ll call you.”

“No you won’t.” Whitmore stepped into his jeans and slipped his t-shirt over his head. “You can go days without calling me. I don’t understand how you can be in a relationship with me and not talk to me for days. If you love someone, you talk to them every day.”

“Not when I’m pissed at you!”

“I guess this is a bad time to say that I might have come . . . inside you.” He waited for Jessica to respond. “Last night . . . and this morning.”

Without thinking, Jessica slapped him. He didn’t react, but she thought she saw a smirk creep across his lips. She slapped him again. “Get out!” she said.

Whitmore lowered his head, and like a dog with its tail between its legs, he waddled to the door. “Please don’t be mad at me.”

Jessica ignored him. She stomped to the bathroom and slammed the door behind her, making sure to lock it. She opened the medicine cabinet and picked up the Plan B One-Step box.

“That boyfriend of yours is sneaky,” Alex had said when she’d convinced Jessica to buy it one day while they were in the drug store. “Don’t let him do the same thing to you that he did to his ex.”

Jessica thought Alex was just overreacting to a story she’d told her about Whitmore’s previous relationship. She tried to defend his actions. “People don’t think clearly when their heart is broken,” she’d said.

Now, as she tore into the package and skimmed through the directions, she was relieved that she’d listened to her friend, and had bought an emergency back-up plan.

—Nortina

 

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal

So I’ve been seeing these A to Z Challenge theme reveals all over my Reader today. Being fairly new to the blogging world (just over a year old), I was curious to know what this challenge was about. I visited the website, and boy, are there a lot of participants. I’m number 1181!

Joining the party, my theme for this year’s A to Z challenge will be my novel in process that I’ve been trying for the past year to get from my head and onto the page. The novel is titled “Love Poetry” (could change). It is about the troubling relationship between two people, Jessica and Whitmore, and asks the question that probably a lot of women wonder, but are afraid to ask: Is it love or is it abuse? OK, that is a very weak synopsis, but hopefully once I get into the rhythm of writing, I’ll be able to provide a better picture.

I’ve written a few posts on these characters before for other writing challenges (Breaking the Attachment, An Affair With Jazz, The Anchor to His Love, and I never did mind the little things . . .), so I don’t think it’ll be hard doing it for 26 days. The challenge would probably be the alphabet part. Still, after failing miserably at NaNoWriMo (~15,000 words) I think writing 26 short scenes in a month would be much easier than writing a full-blown, 50,000 word novel any time.

Stay tuned!