When Violet emailed me and told me that she loved my short story Kendra and Scott, I had a fangirl moment myself because I’ve been a reader of hers since I stumbled on Do Not Disturb months ago. Seeing her success and reading her blog was actually what inspired me to take the plunge and self publish (thanks again, Violet! 🙂
One of the things I love about self publishing is that it gives people with stories the ability to tell said stories without the validation/gold star of getting an agent/getting a publisher etc. It’s really empowering and a great opportunity for readers to find voices that would otherwise never be heard.
The story I’m sharing for today’s Sunday Snippet is a book that will be coming out next week. While it’ll be another One Night Stand short story like Kendra and Scott, it’s kind of in a class all its own.
This story came to me when I was in the throes of a bad breakup and was stuffing my face full of overpriced gelato and vegging on My Best Friend’s Wedding. Love is super complicated, and inconvenient, and messy. And I asked myself, what if the guy you loved was marrying someone else? And one better–what if that someone else was your sister?
I don’t have an online home as of yet, besides my email (charismacoleerotica[at]gmail[dot]com), but if you’re interested in learning more about this story, email me or keep your eyes peeled on Amazon, 8/22/12!
(added by Vi: I’ll also blog/tweet when Charisma’s new book is up! 🙂
Malaya and Jared
Copyright Charisma Cole 2012
“One, two, three, cheese!”
As the flash snapped, my sister’s arms tightened around my shoulders–significantly tighter than anything designed to bring me comfort. Too tight to be anything remotely close to sisterly love.
I let out a silent sigh of relief as she released me and squealed with delight before running around the table to snatch the camera from the waiter.
Her forehead scrunched in disgust as she smacked her lips. “Lay Lay! Your eyes are doing something funky.” She handed the Iphone back to our waiter who plastered on a grin that said, I’d better be getting a helluva tip for this.
It was take five of the Bridal Party Night Out. Each time, I’d done something to sabotage my sister’s photographic memories. Her friends had all dutifully chuckled as she made all of us pretend we were all old chums and ignorant of the elephant in the room. My sister, Shanice, was the bride after all. Even if we were all tired of grinning and bearing it, her word was law.
She pushed her impossibly thin hips to the right and the rest of us shuffled over as the waiter heralded what I hoped was the last shot. I plastered on the best smile I could muster, holding it like someone would hold an unruly child.
As soon as the camera dropped and Shanice once again pouted with annoyance, I’d had enough. I pushed from the booth, ignoring her calling my name. The diners, the colors, the sounds all whirled around me like some demented merry go round and as soon as I stepped into the sanctuary of the bathroom, I felt all the awkward bubbling in my gut.
I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my phone, finding my best friend, Tamara’s, number. I knew she was three hours behind over on the east coast making it officially o dark thirty and kinda selfish for me to call, but my sister had done a bang up job of eluding to my treachery and all but calling me a selfish skeet skeet, so I ran with it.
Tamara’s groggy drawl did make me feel a little guilty.
“Remind me again why I agreed to come all the way out here to be publicly tarred and feathered?”
She rustled, and when I closed my eyes, I could almost see her propping up against her headboard, tightening the knot on the front of her scarf.
“Because she’s your sister.”
“Herapmph,” I scoffed. “Not that anyone would guess.”
It was the gospel truth. We came from light skinned parents, and Shanice inherited their patrician features, fair eyes, and lean figures that they didn’t have to work at. I was the black sheep of the bunch, with deep brown skin and a size 12 body that seemed destined to always be curvy and cushioned, no matter how hard I zumba-ed.
Shanice kept her hair cropped short, making her almost a dead ringer for Halle Berry. I kept my hair long and natural, usually in braids or two strand twists. Shanice was a reporter for the local news, her Colgate worthy smile plastered on buses all over the Greater Sacramento area. I was a teacher back in NC where we grew up, schooling ungrateful high schoolers that called me every name under the sun. Shanice turned heads and most of the time I found my squarely in the friend zone. Well, unless we were talking about Jared. Whatever Jared and I had defied logic.
“It’s so obvious she’s told everyone,” I groaned. “You should have seen their faces when she introduced me before dinner. Shock and awe, Tam. Shock and awe.”
She let out a chuckle. “Girl, you’re a trip.”
I let out a laugh of my own, but the bite of their reaction still stung. I could still hear Shanice’s edged politeness, full of subliminal bitchiness. “And this is my sister…”
As each of her prissy friends took me in, it was obvious they couldn’t believe that Shanice Jones’ sister wasn’t a glamazon and they definitely couldn’t believe that I had almost been the reason that there wasn’t a wedding at all.
“Have you seen him?” Tamara asked softly, she too tiptoeing around the elephant in the room.
I played dumb, walking into a stall and closing the door behind me. I leaned back onto the aluminum frame. “Who?”
“The Scoundrel Formerly Known As Jared Goodson.”
“He’s not a scoundrel,” I said, a little too quickly. Still caring a little too much about someone that was marrying my sister in two days.
“The man that dated you all throughout high school and college until he woke up one day and decided he’d dump you ‘for your own good’ isn’t a scoundrel?”
“So we’re ignoring when you found out via Facebook that he shacked up with Meredith Vieira. Then he comes home for the holidays, sees you and BAM! he made a huge mistake with your sister and sleeps with you.”
“Then he claims he’s done, but just needs time to break it to ‘Nice, but what he really means is he needs time to renig, again, and proposes to her instead.” She tsked before blazing on. “Every single one of yall is crazy. You’re crazy for letting him get under your skin after he broke your heart. She’s crazy for marrying someone after he told her that he thought he was still in love with you.”
“You finished?” I snapped, my nostrils flaring. Getting mad at her was a smoke screen. Mostly, I was mad at myself. I banged my forehead on the door. Here I was, taking all the blame, again, when it wasn’t just mine to bear. After all he put me through…and I still couldn’t be mad at the person who deserved it the most?
Thanks so much for stopping by, Charisma! If you’re an erotica/erotic romance writer and you’d like to be featured on Sunday Snippet, just shoot me an email at avioletmuse[at]gmail[dot]com!