Here's another sample from Ain't Nobody. Now available for pre-order at amazon.com. Price increases after January 27, 2015.
I was sitting in my mother’s living room enjoying our weekly visit when she decided to ruin it for me.
“He calls me every day. Sounds like he’s crying half the time,” she said out of the blue.
“Who?” I asked as I picked up a People magazine from the coffee table and studied the cover like I was going to be quizzed on it later.
“You know who. When you gon’ make up with him?”
“I’m not. We’re over.”
Mama leaned forward in her recliner and shook her finger at me. “A man is hard to come by—especially one with a job. He ain’t got no kids and he’s got his own place. I don’t know what else you could want, Alex.”
I turned my head towards the TV, which was playing a Tyler Perry DVD with the volume muted. “Commitment.”
“Ain’t y’all engaged?”
“Yes, but if I leave it up to Quincy, we’ll be engaged forever. I mean, by the time you were my age, you’d already been married twice. Farrah’s younger than me and she’s already been married and divorced. And look at Gwin. She’s been married forever. I just want my chance to have a family.”
Mama frowned. “Well, hell, ain’t none of that worth bragging about. Farrah’s divorced, I’ve been married twice, and Gwin’s husband won’t even go to church with her. What kind of marriage is that? I don’t know what you think marriage is, but let me be the first to tell you, it ain’t no fairy tale. It’s a bunch of work. Sometimes it’s worth the trouble and sometimes it’s not. But one thing’s for sure, you ain’t gon' get no closer to marrying the man by quitting him. That just don’t make no sense to me.”
I sighed. “Mama, I really don’t want to discuss this.” I pointed to the TV. “Which one is this? I Can Do Bad All By Myself?”
“Naw, Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Alex, you’re making a mistake.”
Before I could answer, I heard the front door open and close, and seconds later, my younger sister, Farrah, walked in wearing tight jeans and a tank top. She was six years my junior and she was gorgeous. She was petite with the smoothest brown skin and I’d literally kill for her body. She’d already had one husband, two kids, and two baby daddies, but she looked like she was still in high school.
“Hey, y’all,” she said as she plopped down on the sofa next to me. “Where the kids?”
“They in the family room playing one of those video games,” Mama said.
“Well, can they stay here tonight? I got some stuff I need to do,” Farrah asked.
“Someone you need to do,” I said under my breath.
“I heard that, Alex. Don’t hate on me just because you ain’t got no man. Oh, that’s right, you had one but you threw him away,” Farrah countered.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about. Why don’t you worry about raising your kids and stop leaving them on Mama all the time?” I said through my teeth.
“That’s enough!” Mama shouted.
We were all startled by the ringing of the doorbell.
“I’ll get it,” I said. I cut my eyes at Farrah as I headed to the front door. Mama shook her head as I passed by her. I opened the door and wanted to scream. Mama had planned this and I knew it. Standing on the other side of the door was Quincy.
“Mama! I think you have company!” I yelled as Quincy stood there and stared at me.
“No, I don’t. That’s your company,” she called back.
I rolled my eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know why Mama did this. What is it, Q?”
He smiled. “You’re the only person that calls me that, you know?”
“Then I’ll stop.”
He dropped the smile and his shoulders. Quincy Wright was a nice-looking man. He was tall and husky with pale brown skin. His mustache and goatee were always neatly trimmed as was his thick hair, and he always smelled like Armani Code. He looked so good standing there in his business suit that I had to fight to stay in character. Oh, yeah. Did I mention he’s a lawyer and a successful one, at that? Yeah, I know.
“Alex, why won’t you talk to me?” he asked.
“Because I’m done, Quincy.”
“Can you tell me exactly what I’ve done to deserve this?”
I glanced behind me. I really didn’t want Farrah and Mama any deeper in my business than they already were. “Let’s step outside.” I closed the door and sat down on one of the resin chairs on Mama’s porch. Quincy sat down beside me. “Quincy, do you love me, I mean really love me?”
“Of course I do. You know that.”
“And you like being with me?”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“Then why won’t you marry me?”
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