Greetings all! I just wanted to share an excerpt from a book that I’ve been working on titled, “Strong Blood”. The main characters are based on four sisters: Imani, Jasmine, Olivia, and Tiara. After the death of their father, life for them takes on a whole new meaning. Hope you guys enjoy. Feedback is welcomed. 🙂
A couple of months had passed since the death of my father and so things were kinda neutral within the family. Well, at least for a little while. The first holiday without him was Thanksgiving Day. That morning, Jasmine called me and said, “Plans have changed. We’re having Thanksgiving dinner at my house instead of at Tiara’s house. She doesn’t think that her house can hold everyone.”
“Oh, okay,” I said, “So am I still bringing the wine?”
“Yeah…but I have to let you know something.”
I sighed and asked, “What is it, Jasmine?”
“Well…um…Olivia is coming.”
Immediately, my head started to hurt. I didn’t wanna spend Thanksgiving Day hanging around Olivia’s snotty ass. So I thought about changing my plans and going over to one of my cousin’s house. But instead, I went with the program. I didn’t wanna look like a spoiled brat.
I said to Jasmine, “If she comes, she comes. I’m kinda surprised that she’ll be there because I thought that she’ll be spending Thanksgiving Day with her in-laws. She normally spends the holidays with them.”
“I thought so too but she said that she wanted to come over. I hope that you two can get along while in the same room.”
“We don’t talk to each other anyway so therefore, it shouldn’t be a problem.”
About an hour later, I showed up at Jasmine’s house and I saw Uncle Lou and his wife, Nancy. Aunt Sharlene was also there and her son, Anthony, was chillin’ on the sofa with a glass of wine. They were all laughing and having a good time. One by one, I greeted them all with hugs and kisses.
Then, Aunt Sharlene pulled me by the hand over to the punch bowl where some handsome guy was standing and pouring himself a drink. She said, “I want you to meet my new man, Darryl. We’ve been dating for about two months.”
Darryl was fine as wine. His complexion was the color of tea and he had hazel eyes, dark brown hair that was closely shaven, very tall, muscular, and dimples that introduced themselves when he smiled. Everything about Darryl said, ‘young and ready for sex.’ But that’s how Aunt Sharlene liked her men. For her to be sixty-three years old, she had spunk like a twenty-year old.
“Nice to meet you,” Darryl greeted me as he extended his hand.
With a firm handshake, I replied, “Nice to meet you as well.”
“This is my niece, Imani,” Aunt Sharlene said to him, “She’s the daughter of Fred Chase. Remember me telling you that he was my brother that passed away back in February?”
Darryl said, “Oh, okay. Sorry to hear about your father’s passing, Imani.”
“That’s okay. We all have peace about it,” I replied.
After she introduced me to Darryl, Aunt Sharlene and I found a secluded corner to have a seat and chit chat. I asked her, “So auntie, how old is this one? Thirty-something?”
She smiled and said, “Chile, please. Thirty-something is too old for me. He’s twenty-six years old.”
I almost fell outta my chair. I asked her, “Auntie, why in the world would you want to date someone that young?”
“Why not? That’s the question.”
“But he’s even younger than your son,” I explained.
“And? Is it wrong for me to date younger guys?”
“”No, but…um…I thought that eventually you’d get tired of dating these young guys and want someone your own age to settle down with.”
“Who said anything about settling down? Young men are a lot of fun and I love having fun. I don’t wanna just sit around the house with an old man with gray-haired balls who can’t do shit for me except tell me what time the reruns of Good Times come on. Just because I’m in my sixties, that doesn’t mean that I should just roll over and die. As far as I’m concerned, life has just begun for me. I’m still breathing, I still look good, and I still love to love. And of course, I love sex. Besides, sex is good for the heart. Especially if it’s good sex.”
“But what if he only wants to be with you because you have money?”
“Because I don’t give him money. He has his own. I made sure to check that out. I’m not gonna deal with some broke-ass man who have empty pockets.”
I couldn’t help but to laugh. Aunt Sharlene had more game than any man that I ever knew. After she filed for divorce from her ex-husband Walter ten years ago, she started to truly fall in love with herself. She enjoyed being a free woman and didn’t seem to regret that she got a divorce. Besides, she only stayed married to Walter because of their son but the minute that he graduated high school, she called it quits with Walter.
The once dainty and conservative woman who used to eat her chicken with a fork, was now wearing form fitting skirts that were above the knee with thigh-high boots. She started wearing brightly-colored jewelry and wore her hair in long brown dreadlocks with the tips dyed in blond. She definitely didn’t feel or look like an old maid.
About an hour later, I heard commotion outside and saw my sisters Tiara and Olivia walking towards the house with dishes in their hand. Annette showed up as well, carrying her infamous dish of potato casserole. I then walked outside to help Tiara carry some of the dishes in the house. My niece Carla walked up to me and gave me a big hug and then ran inside to greet everyone else. She may have acted way too grown for her age sometimes but she was still a kid at heart.
Jasmine invited a few of her next door neighbors who seemed to be very friendly and a few more of our relatives showed up as well. After all the food was prepped and ready for us to devour, Uncle Lou gathered us all around the dining room table and said grace over the food. Minutes later, we were eating like we’ve never had food before and we were just having a great time with each other. There was no strife and everybody was just enjoying themselves.
Hours later, it started getting late and so a few people wrapped themselves up an extra plate of food and then they left. Uncle Lou, his wife Nancy, and Aunt Sharlene sat on the sofa and opened themselves up a bottle of wine to enjoy while swapping lies and talking shit. Strange but that’s how they showed their love for each other.
A couple of us, including myself, stayed a lil’ while longer to help Jasmine clean up. I said to her, “I’ll wrap up the rest of the turkey and place it in the freezer in your basement since there’s no more room in your refrigerator.”
“Okay, cool. Thanks a lot,” she said.
As I was heading down the steps towards her basement, I heard a lot of moaning and loud kissing. I thought that maybe it was Aunt Sharlene and her boo getting freaky but then I just remembered that Aunt Sharlene was sitting on the sofa, drinking wine with her brother and sister-in-law. So at that point, I didn’t have any idea who would be in Jasmine’s basement doing the nasty and I was kinda scared to find out. But I knew that if I took my ass back upstairs with the leftover turkey still in my hand, Jasmine would’ve wanted to know why.
So instead, I eased myself down the steps very quietly and when I turned to my right and peeked behind the wall, the sight almost made me shit on myself. What I saw was my sister Tiara’s half-naked body being held up against the wall by Aunt Sharlene’s boyfriend, Darryl. His pants were down below his ankles and he was fucking her like a mad man. I was utterly disgusted.
These two selfish assholes didn’t even know that I was in the basement. Then all of a sudden, the door to the basement cracked opened and I saw Jasmine coming down the steps with a few Tupperware bowls in her hand. Tiara and Darryl heard the footsteps and they immediately fixed their clothes and opened up the ice box as if they were looking for something.
I walked over to the ice box and placed the leftover turkey in there and Jasmine asked me, “What’s wrong? You look like you just saw a ghost.”
“Oh, girl, I’m fine. I was just thinking about something,” I lied. I gave Tiara a very angry look and from the way that she looked back at me, I knew that she knew that I saw what she did. After Jasmine put the Tupperware bowls in the ice box, she went back upstairs and Darryl scurried right behind her, leaving Tiara at the crime scene. I think that he knew that I saw him too.
Once Jasmine and Darryl went back upstairs, I looked at Tiara and we both stared at each other without saying a word. Although Darryl wasn’t my man, I still felt the sting of betrayal that Tiara committed. This type of foolishness was one of the reasons why I always felt that I needed to deal with her in fifteen-minute increments. She can’t be trusted. I always knew that she had some dirty ways but I never thought that she’d do this to someone that she supposedly loved. Especially family.
She slowly grabbed her left shoe that was sitting on the side of the ice box and placed it on her feet. Then she hung her head in shame and slowly walked up the steps. I wasn’t gonna tell Aunt Sharlene what happened because of course, it would’ve been my word against Darryl’s. And when it comes to love, women are gonna stand by their man. But when it comes to selfish people, they always have a way of trippin’ themselves up. And I knew that once that happened, shit was gonna hit the fan.
Copyright © 2014 by Sonica Jackson