Thursday, September 18, 2014

Still on the fence...

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Here's an excerpt:

She frowned sadly. “You won’t always be alone.”
I barked a laugh. “According to my mother-in-law, I should be.”
“She’s old and lame.” Marisol waved a hand. “Your aunt Patsy said the same thing, and she was porking the pastor the whole time. You gonna listen to some old broad who lives in gold lame jogging suits?”
I opened and closed my mouth four times before answering. “No. Yes. I don’t know. I know it would be nice to get rid of the loneliness for a while.”
“Well, I could call—”
“No.” I put up my hands to stop her. “I’ve got it all under control.” Gesturing to the typewriter, I added, “I found that passion you were nagging me about.”
“So is this really something you’re going to pursue?” Marisol’s eyes lit up. “I’ve almost forgiven you for chasing Lexie out of here like a stray cat.”
“Almost?”
She pointed a manicured finger at me. “You need to talk to your cousin once and for all. Air all this crap out, and move on. If you don’t do it before your kids come back, I’m going to schedule an intervention. I mean it. This garbage has to stop. I miss my gang. My posse.”
“If you say peeps, I’m kicking you out.”
“If you kick me out, I’ll just break in.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re insane, do you know that?”
“Shut up. I’m being serious. Fix it.”
“Okay.” I sighed. “I will. I promise.”
“So…” Marisol looked at the papers on the floor. “You’re going to be a writer.”
“It’s just a hobby, don’t go buying me business cards yet.”
“Why not write for a living?”
I let that marinate for a moment. I would’ve been lying if I didn’t admit the idea had crossed my mind a time or two in the last twenty-four hours. After all, it was what I’d always dreamt of doing. And it sure as heck beat the idea of working under Corinne every day.
Releasing a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding, I nodded. “Maybe.”
She grinned. “I can’t believe it. I’m so happy.”
“I am, too.” I shook my head. “I mean, I think I am. It felt really good to sit and write all day. But I don’t know if it’s a realistic career choice.”
“Why not?” She blinked at me, clueless. Marisol had become a caterer purely out of a love for food, and not because she had bills to pay. She had a trust fund from Daddy for that.
“Because I’ve been a single mother of three kids.” Releasing my legs, I stretched. I’d been sitting for most of the day, and my backside ached. “I’ve never had to support my family on my own. Brian’s money won’t last forever. I’ve got a few years, and then the money is going to start to run out.”
“So write books.” Marisol grinned. “Or plays. Whatever.”
“There is not going to be a reprise of Yonder in Thine Roots.” I laughed, and tried to fasten some stray strands of hair back into my ponytail. “I don’t know if my memoir will bring in any money, either. It’s light, romantic, funny. Maybe a bit tear inducing. But it feels good for now. I have other plot ideas, too. Lots of them. But, I don’t know… Corinne said she’d hire me.”
She frowned. “You’re not going to let your sister talk you into becoming a pencil pusher, are you?”
“No.” I bit my lip. “But pencil pushing pays the bills.”
“Yeah, but is it your passion?”
We sat there staring at each other for a moment. Marisol could always cut through the bull crap, and ask the one thing on her mind—on everyone’s mind—in situations where other people are too polite. Politeness wasn’t Marisol’s thing.
“Come on, Can.” She blurted. “It was your favorite thing to do as a kid.”
“Writing was my passion twenty years ago. But, I…” Glancing out the window, I noticed a police cruiser rolling up my street. “Wonder what that cop’s doing around here?”
Marisol followed my gaze. “Was the kid across the street doing donuts again?”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “He’s in college now.”
“Hmmm. Did the fuzz find out about your drug ring?”
I tossed a throw pillow at her and leaned forward to see where the cop car was parking. “Shush.”
She patted her crowning glory. “Watch the hair. Where is it parking?”
“In my new neighbor’s driveway.” I wondered what that kid had been caught doing. So help me, if I had some sort of weed-growing thug living next door, I was going to flip. What was that website my mother was always telling me to go to? The one that told you where all the neighborhood creepers were? I’d looked at it once since Brian died, and was too chicken to go back to the website after that.
“Oh, super. You finally get a neighbor and it’s a family of arms dealers.”
“No. I don’t think so.” I chewed my thumbnail, craning my neck to see. “I mean, it’s just a guy.”
“A single guy?” Marisol got onto her knees and peered out the window. “You didn’t tell me a hot dude had moved in next door.”
“I didn’t say he was hot.”
“You didn’t have to.” She gave me a sideways glance. “Your demeanor said it.”
Ignoring her, I watched as the cruiser door opened and an officer emerged. He was clad in a blue city of Spokane police uniform, adorned with all sorts of shiny badges and do-hickeys hanging from the belt, and a gun. I was glad Quentin wasn’t here. He would’ve been all over that.
When the cop turned towards my house, tilting a water bottle to his lips, I gasped. “That is my neighbor.”
“Holy hell, that’s him?” Marisol leaned so close to the glass that the tip of her nose touched. “Candace, he’s tasty.”
I swatted at her. “You’re married.”
“I didn’t say I wanted to bite into him,” she reminded me. “I said he’s a tasty treat. For you.”
“What?” I gaped at her. “No. Marisol, no. Look at him, he’s practically a baby. I can still smell the Clearasil on his skin.”
“He’s old enough to be a cop. He can’t be that young.” She drew a sharp breath when Mason noticed us watching him and offered a wave. “Did you see that smile? He’s got a wicked side. I can tell.”

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