Monday, October 16, 2006
OCT EXCERPT: Only True Love Waits
Only True Love Waits
Publisher Publish America
Genre General Fiction
Published date Official Release Date October 16, 2006
Where it can be purchased www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.publishamerica.com or ask for it at your favorite bookseller.
Blurb about the book Xavier Robert's life seems to be coming together. He's engaged to be married to an incredible woman, Summer Love, and he's an aspiring rapper who recently signed a record deal. When Xavier was diagnosed with testicular cancer, rather than lean on his fiancée for strength, he called off the wedding. Leaving Summer feeling alone and rejected. In an effort to move on with her life, Summer pours her energy into running her company, Spa Nevaeh. Ryan Kennedy, CEO of the record label that signed Xavier, begins to pursue Summer romantically. After learning about Ryan's troubled past, he intrigues Summer, and they begin to date. Once completing medical treatment for his condition, Xavier comes back into Summer's life. When Summer breaks up with Ryan to be with Xavier, Ryan reveals a dark side of himself, which results in deadly consequences.
ONE - It’s Over
“You have testicular cancer,” the doctor told Xavier Roberts.
“I’m sorry, but…”
“No! Run the test again,” Xavier interjected, silently praying that he hadn’t heard what he just thought he had.
Xavier’s six-foot-two frame slumped over as tears welled in his eyes.
“I understand how you feel.”
“No, doctor, you don’t understand how I feel,” he snarled.
Xavier felt as if the air was being sucked from the room and right out of his lungs. Oblivious to the suffocating effects, the doctor handed him some informational pamphlets from his clipboard.
“I don’t want any damn pamphlets! I want a cure.”
Xavier threw the papers on the ground and sobbed in his hands. The doctor hesitated to offer any gesture of comfort, as he knew Xavier would shrug him off.
“Why me?” Xavier demanded. “Why now? This should be the happiest time of my life. I’m twenty-five years old, engaged to be married to an incredible woman, and, on top of everything, I just signed a record deal.”
Seizing the brief moment of silence during Xavier’s lament, Dr. Cherry offered a wan smile, trying to console him.
“How serious is it? How long do I have to live?”
Looking Xavier in the eyes, the doctor said, “This is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 20-35. The good news is that we caught it early and it’s curable.”
Xavier felt as if his mind were on overload. In the cascade of medical terms, the only thing he heard was the big C – Cancer - the same disease that killed his grandfather.
“We need to schedule you for an orchiectomy right away.”
Looking at the doctor as if he were speaking French Xavier said, “A what?”
“A radical inguinal orchiectomy is the surgical removal of the testicle and spermatic cord through an endoscopic incision.”
“What about kids? Will I still be able to have them?”
“In the majority of cases, orchiectomy doesn’t result in long-term sexual side effects or infertility. As long as you have one healthy testicle, you shouldn’t notice any negative changes in your quality of life.”
“How long is the recovery?”
“The procedure can be done as an outpatient procedure or with a short hospital stay. You can usually resume regular activities within 1 to 2 weeks, and a full recovery can be expected within 2 to 4 weeks.”
Xavier did not want to hear anymore. He briskly walked out feeling shocked, ignoring Dr. Cherry as he yelled behind him. He sat in his car for an hour without leaving the parking lot, all the while crying and wondering what he was going to do. He was in a daze until his cell phone rang. He cleared his throat before answering. It was his fiancée, Summer Love. She wanted to see him. He said a prayer and drove off.
Xavier sat in front of Summer’s two-story brick house for nearly ten minutes trying to muster the courage to go inside. Finally, he knocked twice to let her know he was there and walked in. She seemed happy to see him and kissed him on the lips. Summer -a few months younger than Xavier, was five-foot-six and curvaceous.
“Are you all right?” she probed.
He did not answer. He went into the living room and she followed. Summer could tell Xavier was uneasy even before he sat down beside her on the dark chocolate colored couch – he was jittery and his smile disappeared almost instantly. He stared at a cobweb breezily dancing in the corner for a moment.
“I have something to tell you, and it’s not easy for me,” he said, holding her hand.
“You’re scaring me.”
“I’m sorry.” He felt like crying again. No, screaming. His emotions were a chaotic jumble of nerves and agony.
She sat quietly.
“I can’t marry you,” he continued.
“What do you mean you can’t marry me?” She snatched her hand away.
“Please?” she repeated incredulously.
“I’m calm, now what?”
He lowered his head in frustration.
She gripped his chin with her thumb and first finger, tilted his head towards her and said, “Why are you doing this?”
“You deserve better.” Unable to look her in the eyes, he turned his head away, forcing her hand to release its grasp.
“Are you seeing someone else?” Her voice trembled as she tried to be strong and hold back the tears. Her mother always told her to never let a man see you cry. Especially if he’s not your husband.
“I thought you loved me.”
“I do love you, more than anything else in this world.”
He hugged her, and she could feel his heart racing.
“I know that you deserve some answers, but I can’t deal with this right now. Trust me, it’s for the best.”
She looked into Xavier’s emerald green eyes, hoping that the _expression “the eyes are the windows to the soul” was true, because she needed answers. Xavier’s dazzling green eyes that usually sparkled, and made her fall in love with him time and time again seemed devoid of any happiness. In addition to the painful sadness they revealed, they were horribly bloodshot. She could see that he was upset.
“Here.” She took off her nearly two-carat diamond and platinum engagement ring and handed it to him.
Breaking eye contact with her, he looked down at the floor and said, “You can keep the ring.”
Her jaw dropped. That’s it? she thought. She felt angry. Her eyes narrowed, and giving him a scathing look, she hissed, “Why won’t you talk to me? Something is wrong! I can feel it.”
He stood up, turned his back to her, and paused as if he had something else to say. She waited, hoping he would turn around and tell her he didn’t mean it.
When he didn’t say anything she said, “What am I supposed to tell my family?”
At a loss, he raised his hands in the air and sighed. “I don’t know.”
Then he dropped his head and headed toward the door.
“Wait! Did I do something?”
“No. You didn’t do anything. I never meant to hurt you.”
She was tempted to beg him to stay, but she remembered hearing Oprah talk about the man she pleaded with God to bring back, and in the end she thanked God for letting him go. Although she doubted that she would ever be thankful for losing Xavier, she didn’t stop him from leaving.
She locked the door behind him and allowed the tears that had been hovering around the borders of her eyes to escape. She felt hurt, betrayed and angry. So many questions resonated in her mind, and she wondered if he ever loved her at all. How could he be so insensitive? she wondered. Why did he tell her that the wedding was off the day before the grand opening of her day spa? Did he have such little regard for her that he didn’t care about ruining her celebration? Thinking about his inconsideration made her more furious. She had been very vocal about her enthusiasm for starting her own company. Many nights she stayed up late sharing her business goals and long term plans with him. He knew better than anyone how excited she was about this venture.
She tried hard to silence the questions that plagued her mind as exasperation engulfed her. The insanity of it all! she fumed. She hated having more questions than answers. It made her feel vulnerable, which was something she tried not to do.
She wiped away her tears and continued to try and quell the questions that gnawed at her psyche. Xavier’s behavior today was totally inconsistent with the man she thought she knew and loved. Then she thought about the first time they met. Both were freshmen at Clark Atlanta University. They had an English class together and he was such a clown always cracking jokes and trying to make her laugh.
To her, he was the most handsome man she had ever met. She had never seen eyes as green as his. His eyes had the same effect on her that Kryptonite must have had on Superman. Coupled with his smooth bronze colored skin, high cheekbones, full lips, and white, even teeth, he exceeded her wildest dreams.
His sense of humor attracted her even more than his good looks. They swiftly became friends and were inseparable. Whenever they were out together and a woman disrespected her by flirting with him, Summer never had to say a word. He would straighten the woman out by letting her know that Summer was his woman, and disrespecting her was not an option.
One of the many things she really liked about Xavier was his street credibility. He was from Detroit and had never been stabbed or shot. When they went out, she felt safe and shielded from any peril that was common in big cities. She enjoyed talking to him because he was easy to talk to. She felt as though she could tell him anything, and he seemed interested in whatever she had to say.
When she confided in him that she was a virgin and planned to stay that way until she got married, he ended up giving her a hug and kissing her on the forehead. Then he thanked the Lord for her. His thoughtfulness at that moment convinced her that he was the man for her.
“Snap out of it,” she said aloud. She forced herself to stop thinking about Xavier because she was making herself more depressed. Even though she felt like crawling into bed and never getting out, she knew that she couldn’t do that. She needed a pep talk, and her best friend, Nina Dexter, was just the person to do it.
Nina had been Summer’s best friend ever since the fifth grade when Summer’s family moved into the same subdivision where Nina lived in Stone Mountain. They met when Summer’s mom was in the kitchen and saw Nina walking by. She thought about the first time they met.
“Summer, come here,” her mom called to her. “There’s a cute little girl out there who I think you should meet.”
Summer was nervous and didn’t want to do it.
“Don’t be shy. Just go up to her and ask her if she wants to be your friend,” her mom continued.
With her mother spying through the window, Summer skipped to catch up with the brown skinned, round face little girl wearing two pigtails and a plaid dress. Without making eye contact she said, “Do you want to be my friend?”
At the time it never occurred to Summer that Nina could’ve said no. Even though Nina responded favorably, that still does not stop her from occasionally poking fun at Summer about the proposal of friendship.
She called Nina who answered on the second ring sounding bubbly and upbeat.
“The wedding’s off.”
“What? What happened?”
Summer could not even get the words out without bursting into tears.
“I’m on my way,” Nina assured her before hanging up the phone.
Nina lived in Conyers, which was a relatively short commute from Summer’s house in Lithonia. Less than thirty minutes later, she was knocking on Summer’s door with a bag filled with Butter Pecan ice cream and a box of Kleenex. Summer looked at her five-foot-two, twenty pounds overweight friend through puffy eyes. Nina seemed to carry most of her extra pounds in her butt. Summer put the ice cream in the freezer, and carried the box of Kleenex into the living room where she cried and recapped her conversation with Xavier.
“If you ask me, Xavier’s a punk and a coward,” Nina said. “What’s his number? I’m about to call him!”
“Don’t do that. It won’t do any good.”
“Somebody needs to talk some sense into that Negro.”
Summer flopped on the sofa simply broken.
“Do you want me to have Jeff talk to him?”
Jeff, Nina’s husband, was somewhat of a hothead. Although Summer was highly upset with Xavier, she didn’t want to risk an altercation between the two of them.
“No,” she said.
“What about all the money you’ve spent on this wedding, is he going to pay you back?”
“No, I’m not going to ask him to.”
“That’s crazy. Don’t let him off the hook that easy.”
“If he doesn’t want to be with me, then I’m not going to be vindictive.”
“That’s so you, but if it were me, I wouldn’t let it go that easy.”
Unable to take anymore of Nina’s lecturing, Summer went into the kitchen and fixed them each a bowl of ice cream. Knowing the severity of the situation, she ignored the dainty, and appropriate, dessert bowls and took out the mega-sized ones.
“I’m sorry this happened. I know how much Xavier means to you.”
Summer nodded in agreement and ate a spoonful of ice cream.
“This is one time that I wish I were a guy,” Nina said, “because I’d kick his ass myself.”
“I appreciate that.” Summer giggled. On the surface, she could make light of the threat, but deep inside the very core of her person, tiny bits of her heart kept being chipped away.
“Do you want me to spend the night?”
“No, you’ve only been married six months. I don’t want to come between you and your husband.”
Nina wrapped her arm around Summer’s shoulders. “You’re my girl, and I knew you long before I ever had a man. You know that I love Jeff to death, but true girlfriends are hard to find. If you want me to stay, just say the word.”
Summer offered a faint smile and again declined the offer.
“On a more positive note, let’s talk about the opening of Spa Nevaeh tomorrow,” Nina suggested.
Summer listened attentively as Nina went on and on about the outfit she was going to wear, the prominent people who were expected to be in attendance, and the media coverage that was guaranteed to make television, radio and the local papers.
Summer was glad that she had chosen Nina to be her PR Director. That way Nina could do most of the talking. Because based on how Summer was feeling at that moment, she did not think she could handle it herself.
In a tiny spot below her shattered soul, Summer was also excited; she had to admit, because this was her dream come true. While in college she majored in Marketing, and during one of her core courses, she did a marketing analysis for a day spa in Atlanta. Her professor was so impressed with her findings and business plan that he suggested she implement the plan. She agreed and shared her ideas with her father, a successful real estate developer and investor, regarding her business.
Nina interrupted Summer and said, “I just remembered that Jeff and I are supposed to go out to dinner tonight. Let me call him and tell him I can’t make it.” She grabbed her cell phone.
Before she could flip the phone open, Summer said, “No, but I do appreciate your willingness to cancel your plans for me. I want you to go and have a good time. No sense in both of us sitting around being miserable. Don’t worry about me.”
“I can’t help it. You’re the closest thing I have to a sister. I love you and I don’t want you moping around acting all depressed.”
Summer forced a smile and said, “I love you, too. Honestly, I’ll be fine. I’m starting to feel better already.”
Nina kissed her on the cheek and said, “Liar. You don’t have to put on a brave face for me.”
“I know. I’ll call you if I feel like slitting my wrists or popping pills.”
“Don’t joke about stuff like that, because I’d have to take you to the Pet Sematary.”
They both laughed, because Pet Sematary was one of their favorite horror movies. Summer walked Nina to the door. They hugged and Nina said, “Everything’s going to be all right.”
Summer closed the door behind her and asked of no one, “Can you assure me of that?”
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