Successful florist shop owner Estelle Brickman feels trapped in a loveless marriage. Fifteen years ago when her husband Roger lost his mother, alcohol was the only way for him to ease his pain. They and their two children suffered spiritually, emotionally, and mentally which led Estelle to take the children and leave. She only agreed they would return to him when he stopped drinking. Though he loves his wife dearly, Roger just cannot seem to show her affection like he used to. Neither can their daughter Justine forget the pain her father's alcoholism caused, and those memories are now threatening to destroy her own marriage. Her husband Evan only drinks beer occasionally, but she cannot bring herself to start a family with him unless he gives it up completely--so she is keeping a secret from him until he does. Both mother and daughter want their husbands to change, but maybe the problems are not where they seem to be. It will take a great deal of faith and a willingness to truly open their hearts to help save their marriages--and themselves.
I had to run a few errands and decided to take my book along with me. The sun warmed my face and hands as I turned each page of Breaking Point. The book gently reminded me of the breaking points I have experienced in my life. Catina, one of the characters in the story, reminded me so much of myself-being old fashioned. I like how Maxine's description of everything in the book, enabled you to visualize and feel every moment, every emotion, every action and reaction. There were times in the story when I anxiously wanted something to happen, but I knew it was too early, so I continued to read not really wanting to wait to confirm what I thought was going to happen next. I'm a kind of person who looks at a magazine from the back to the front. I so wanted to do that with this book by the time I got midway. I didn't. On the front of the cover it says "Forgiveness heals broken hearts." There were multiple dilemmas and set backs in the marriages of the couples in the story, that will test this statement. Maxine Billings got my attention in this story and kept it to the very last page. She's a great writer! :) One day I will be like her!! Great job Maxine!!!
Other books in this genre:
Lightning ripped across the northern California sky, then splintered down through the rain and disappeared behind our neighbor’s house. Letting the door slam shut behind me, I ran away from the warmth of our porch light into the darkness of our backyard. My mom would’ve killed me if she’d caught me outside that late at night. Especially in a thunderstorm, and on the night before my fifteenth birthday, with the big party she had planned for tomorrow. But I had to get out of the house before I fell asleep and they came for me. And they were coming!
A gust of wind blew my hair against my face. I swiped it out of my eyes just in time to see a plastic lawn chair tumbling through the air. I covered my head with both arms, but a leg of the chair smashed against my elbow. Ouch!
I dropped onto the wet grass, pulled my knees into my chest, and rocked nervously back and forth. Water soaked up through my nightgown and my underwear, making me shiver.
None of these things mattered, though. Because something far worse was happening inside my head. A memory of me as a little girl, on the night my grandpa Dahlen disappeared from his cottage, was trying to claw its way into my consciousness. And I didn’t want to think about that night. Ever.
Still, I couldn’t stop it, which didn’t make sense. I was awake, and outside, where I was supposed to be safe, yet the aliens from my dreams were somehow messing with my thoughts, rearranging things, trying to make me think about that night! But how?
And why? It happened eight years ago, and my grandpa was dead now.
Although, before he disappeared, he’d—
No! Stop, Courtney! I yelled at myself.
I bit my fingernail and took a deep breath, hoping to calm down.
No luck. I was remembering the musty old-books smell from my grandpa’s bookcase. Butterflies rushed into my stomach and I sprang to my feet.
“All right. Is that what you want me to do?” I shouted into the rainy darkness. “Remember my grandpa? What happened that night? If I do that, then will you leave me alone?”
I wiped the rain from my eyes, and suddenly it was like I was right there, in the cottage. His notebook sat on the plaid couch, opened to a map he’d drawn of the ancient wormholes linking the alien world to our own.
I stumbled backward over a tree root and my butt hit the ground; my head clunked against an even bigger root. Oww! I started to sit up. But suddenly the memory I’d been running from took over the screen in my mind. I fell back into the wet grass and watched the scene unfold as if I were seven years old again, right there in the cottage.
It was raining outside, and the air smelled like old, musty books and burnt hamburgers. I glanced over at my grandpa Dahlen. He was busy in the kitchen, forking ears of corn out of a pot of boiling water. Standing tiptoe on the comfy reading chair, I reached up to the bookcase and ran my fingers along the dials of what he called his ham-radio/alien-transport machine.
“Courtney!” Grandpa stared at me over his steamed-up glasses.
“Fine.” I plopped down on the reading chair and crossed my arms over my chest. Then I lowered my eyes. Blood was seeping through my shirt again from earlier in the day, when my grandpa’s nun friend had stopped by with a guy with a tattoo gun. They’d come to give me a tattoo. I hadn’t wanted a tattoo! But my grandpa had told me it was important, and the way he’d said it, I’d believed him. So now I had a blue mark on my rib cage that looked like four dead bugs arranged in a square.
“So tell me this, Grandpa,” I said. “If these aliens who visit you are really your friends, then why do they make you keep everything secret?”
He turned away from the steaming pot and eyed me with suspicion. “Because people are frightened of what they don’t understand. And frightened people can be dangerous, Courtney,” he said. “Now come sit down for dinner.”
I slipped into a wobbly kitchen chair, rested my elbows on the wooden table, and stared down at my burnt ham- burger. “Mom doesn’t believe in aliens, so does that make her dangerous?” I asked.
Grandpa chuckled. “Your mother is only interested in facts and evidence. Even when she was a child, she had no tolerance for intangibles. Or even comic books, for that matter. Can you imagine?” He set a plate of corn on the cob in the center of the table, then sat down across from me. “But dangerous? No. I think we’re safe from her.” He flashed me a wink.
I winked back. People always told me that I shared his silvery-blue eyes. Hearing someone say it would make my mom cringe, though, because she thought Grandpa was crazy. And the last thing she wanted was for me to turn out like him. But she and my dad were spending the weekend with their old law school friends on Lake Tahoe, so they’d dropped me off with Grandpa on their way.
“Well, if these alien things are real living creatures, then did God make them?” I asked. “Or are they just imaginary?”
I smiled proudly. I was about to finally get the truth from him.
“How’s your burger?” he asked.
“But you didn’t answer—”I started to protest, when a bang on the front door made me jump.
My grandpa ran over and covered his ham-radio/alien-transport machine with an afghan.
More quick pounding! Grandpa shoved his notebook under the couch.
I tried to read his expression, to see if he was frightened or just cleaning up, but he wouldn’t look at me. He rushed to the door and glanced through the peephole, and I held my breath.
When he unlocked the door, three men barged into the cottage.
I immediately recognized them as professor friends of my grandpa’s from when he’d taught at Berkeley. But what were they doing out here at night? I mean, hadn’t they heard of cellphones?
They stared over at me. “Hello, Courtney,” said one, a tall man with a thick beard and black suitcoat.
I shot my grandpa a pleading look, like Make them go away. But he quickly shook his head. I stomped into the guest bedroom and slammed the door.
“They’re coming,” one of the men whispered, loud enough for me to hear. He sounded worried. Which made me worry. About what, though, I wasn’t quite sure.
I bit my thumbnail, and it tasted like wormy dirt from the woodpile. Gross! I wiped my mouth with the bottom of my shirt.
“She’s not safe,” another man said.
Not safe? I froze. “She”? As in me? My heart started racing, and suddenly I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs.
I grabbed the black metal latch of the window next to me and opened it. The chirr-chirr of crickets filled the bedroom, and I breathed in the smell of wet leaves. Pressing my face against the screen, I glanced up at my grandpa’s ham radio tower, standing tall along the side of the house. The siren on top of it glistened with rain under the silvery moon. It would sound off if any bad guys snuck into the backyard and tried to mess with my grandpa’s things. Or that’s what he’d told me, anyway.
Suddenly a familiar shiver trickled down my neck. Oh wow!
I turned away from the window and locked eyes with Astra. “Nice of you to show up,” I said.
She was a few years older than me. Like eleven, maybe. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor next to the closet; her eyes shone bright green against her pale skin and black hair. She bit into her plump bottom lip, which meant she was worried about me. “You think I’m going to climb out the window and run away?” I asked her.
She didn’t answer. For an imaginary friend, she wasn’t very talkative. But she seemed to show up whenever I was in trouble. And there was no getting rid of her; our minds were connected. My grandpa said she was probably a real person somewhere, and that we shared consciousness because we came from the same bloodline. As crazy as the idea seemed, I liked to think that there might be someone real out there who would understand me if we ever crossed paths. Most people just thought I was weird like my grandpa.
“I’m glad you’re here,” I told Astra.
Outside my door, I could hear the men pacing around on the creaky wooden floor boards.
“When?” my grandpa asked.
“We don’t know,” another man said.
I didn’t like the sound of that. My stomach tightened with nerves. I sat down on my bed and rocked back and forth, staring at Astra.
“You’re crying,” she said. Or I could hear her voice in my head, anyway.
“No I’m not.” I swiped my cheek. Then I looked down at the spot of blood on my shirt. “I got a tattoo,” I said, trying to change the subject.
A siren wailed outside. The alarm! I jumped up, turned toward the window. But the bedroom door burst open behind me. I spun back around, and my grandpa stood in the doorway.
“Grandpa! What’s happening?” I started toward him. He quickly shook his head and then pressed his finger to his lips: Stay quiet.
Grandpa looked scared. And he was never scared. My heart pounded against my rib cage. Astra was gone. This was bad.
Bright light lit up my grandpa’s face. It was coming through the window behind me. Oh no! I whipped around to see who was there, and someone grabbed me from inside the room.
I started to scream, but a hand covered my mouth. My feet lifted off the floor. Frantically I twisted my head around to see who it was, but I was being dragged backward, down the hall, into the bathroom. Kicking at the bathroom wall, I bit into the hand covering my mouth, and for a second my head was free. I whirled around to see my grandpa, his finger gushing blood from where my teeth had cut into his skin.
“Grandpa? What are you doing?”
He whispered something in my ear. Then he lifted me up, ignoring my flailing legs.
The next thing I knew, I was underwater. Screaming!
Her fingers touched the pages and held the quill
Lightly they pressed; a panoply of enumerations
Not mere whimsy, but tethered in grit
Fingers and palms held fast the measure of them,
The weight, infinite, She balanced these:
Her virtue, reputation, and devotion to the Divine
Juxtaposed to the demands,
Could she follow them?
Did she dare?
Her nib grazed the page
Ink blotting and boring through porous threads
Seeping down the fluted mahogany leg.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Renee is a mess. She has barely slept or eaten for two weeks. Her hair is ratted, her eyes are puffy and bloodshot, and her clothes are filthy. In the throngs of an anxiety attack, she decides to commit suicide by jumping off a nearby bridge, though the thought of it terrifies her. As she drives toward the bridge through the Virginia countryside, she considers driving into an oncoming cement truck. But at the last moment, she can’t do it. Then, she sees a dark, foreboding man hitchhiking. On a whim, she stops and picks him up. What does it matter anyway? But she immediately regrets her decision.
Who is the intimidating, tattooed hitchhiker – and what are his plans for her?
Relevant and Timely Encouragements!
As your church service approaches the same time every week, are you struggling to make time for spiritual preparation? Does worship sometimes feel more like a task than an expression? Do you often feel alone in your pursuits as a leader or worshiper?
This well organized and timely book delivers tried and tested wisdom that can strengthen your leadership and encourage your team. It will save you time as it puts succinct, season-specific devotionals in ONE easy-to-access place.
Whether you’re a worship leader or a church attending Christian, you have experienced worship as warfare, spiritually and sometimes physically, mentally, and emotionally. At the frontline of battle, there is limited time; valuable time that could be saved by having supplemental resources, proper tools and weapons, and a tested battle plan.
As someone who has studied worship of the Christian God for more than 10 years, I’ve been your shoes! I’ve been the curious onlooker bewildered by other’s expressions. I’ve been the congregant who wanted to grow in worship. I’ve led worship in a small group and a stadium. I’ve been there, and I know it can be a battle. Instead of battling alone, come alongside me and other worship soldiers as we fight together.
There are many great books on the theology of worship, but they often require the spiritual maturity of Martin Luther or New Testament Paul himself and months to read and digest.
As We Fight only takes about 5 minutes to read each week:
-52 weeks link modern church culture to specific times of the year.
-Increase your leadership equity with team members.
-Positively challenge your worship by giving fresh, measured perspectives.
Directly and immediately apply these up to date references and practical challenges to your worship experiences.
Following along with these devotionals will give you a better sense of your worship culture and help you adjust to better lead and participate. You will also learn more about deciphering truth from God versus lies from the enemy. Don’t let the enemy push you away from the truths waiting in these pages!
What’s stopping you from…
-standing prepared with better tools, weapons, and battle plans;
-gaining a deeper knowledge;
-reading one of these well-timed, thoughtfully prepared encouragements for yourself or your team THIS weekend?
This sequel to THE BREAKING POINT will take you into the lives of Darryl and Catina Jones. Now married and expecting their first child, they feel that nothing can separate them from one another's love. But when Darryl loses both of his legs in a car accident, their lives are suddenly thrown into an emotional whirl. And it will take a great deal of strength, love, and courage for the two of them to accept the things they cannot change.
"The songs in this book are from my experiences growing up.
All these songs (or poems) were written from my journeys. The backdrop for my writing
was Brooklyn, Manhattan, Prospect Park, Coney Island and Greenwich Village.
These songs were written, recorded and shared with childhood friends and family."
My Favorite Christmas Tree
Originally appeared in Ellipsis: An Anthology of Humorous Short Stories, August 2016
The names in this story are true.
Only the facts have been changed.
None are innocent.
We called ourselves the Scurvy Bastards. To us, drinking was science; the weekend our laboratory; our bodies, test tubes; and our minds, the experiment.
Every Friday and Saturday, each of us would absorb three to four times the lethal dose of alcohol, and have others report back on our actions. Needless to say, this was fascinating research.
One night, whilst sitting on the Scurvy Benches, as was our wont, the Electrician (a man permanently wired) had just dismissed the whole of Kant’s epistemology with the words, “That faggot didn’t even drink.”
The air was crisp as lettuce and miniature fogs arose whenever someone used the Pissing Tree. The Electrician’s irrefutable logic set Feeney thinking. Feeney did a great deal of thinking. He had to. No one could be that disturbed or disturbing without having put a great deal of thought into it. He was something of an enigma wrapped in legend. None knew from whence he came; he would appear like some mythical being, gym bag filled with books, Jameson, and Stout, dressed like Sherlock Holmes. He had a great red beard, and spoke in parables. One night he passed out and we found the only identification he bore was a membership card to the Dudley Do-Right fan club in the name of Little Bobby Feeney.
At present, Feeney was engaged in what he termed, “The Great Experiment.” The premise was as simple as it was ingenious: How long can a human being subsist on Guinness Stout and Cheese Doodles?
Bradford James Livingston couldn’t believe it. He had finally married the woman of his dreams, Paula Dianne Copeland. He was the most blessed man on the face of God’s green earth. As they took their first dance together as Mr. And Mrs. Bradford James Livingston to the sweet, slow, romantic melody of his favorite song, he reflected back to the first time he’d ever held her in his arms. It had been at her best friend Taylor’s wedding almost a year and a half ago when they had danced together to this very song.
The sultry voice of the female singer filled the air of the hotel’s banquet room as Bradford held his wife next to him and breathed in the mere sight of her. Man, oh, man, was she enchanting! And she was his, all his. Even though the room was filled to capacity with their family and friends, they only saw each other. The sparkle in her beautiful dark brown eyes told him that her love for him was as strong as his for her.
To his displeasure, their song ended. Bradford wasted no time in partaking of another kiss from his lovely bride. Mmmmm-mmm. Her lips were so soft, as sweet as honey, and as moist as fresh dew on a cool spring morning. This was nice. He could kiss her forever. Oh, wait a minute. Something was wrong. Her kiss. Suddenly, it had turned into a drenching rain, not just on his mouth but all over his face. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings by wiping his face. He’d surely live to regret it if he did, but she was slobbering all over his face. He couldn’t take it any longer.
“Ah, baby, I know you love me,” Bradford grinned, “but can you cut the waterworks?”
She didn’t answer. Instead, she continued to lick him all over his face.
Bradford partially opened his eyes and saw honey blonde hair and a pair of big, gray eyes staring back at him. The face looked familiar, but it certainly wasn’t his Paula. Who had he married? Whoever it was gave him another soggy kiss, which felt more like a lick. He opened his eyes fully.
When he saw who—or what—it was, he yelled, “Gee Gee, stop!”
The five-year-old part cocker spaniel and part schnauzer continued licking her owner’s face.
Bradford turned his head from side to side. “Gee Gee, I said stop!”
The dog didn’t understand. This was their usual morning routine minus some of the face licking. She’d been having a hard time waking her master this morning. What was wrong with him?
Bradford sat up straight in bed. “Ginger, stop!”
Uh-oh. He’d called her by her given name Ginger. He only did that when he was upset with her and meant business.
Ginger’s droopy ears stood up straight. She wasted no time jumping off her master’s king-size storage bed and taking off on short legs.
Bradford could hear his pooch hauling it down the stairs and across the hardwood kitchen floor, apparently heading to her hiding place in the laundry room where she usually sought refuge when she knew she was in trouble. All of a sudden, he felt something warm and wet on his sheet underneath his left hand. He lifted his hand to see a dark circular-like wet spot.
Frowning, he called out, “Ginger, I’m gon’ whip your—-”
Grunting, Bradford quickly climbed out of bed, made his way to the master bath, and washed his hands and face.
As he prepared breakfast later, he made up his mind to tell Paula tonight at the cookout at her house of his true feelings for her.
Bradford smiled inwardly as he thought about their initial meeting and encounter at her Aunt Evelyn’s house over a year and a half ago. They had mixed like oil and water but had soon become the best of friends. They’d been friends for almost a year and a half, and he hadn’t seen her as anything more than that until about a year ago. He’d been trying desperately to fight his feelings though because after all, it had been he who had stressed that he only wanted to be her friend, which was true at the time. It had never been his intention to fall in love with her. He’d had nothing but the purest and sincerest intentions of friendship with her.
But tonight was the night. He was finally going to tell her that he loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her as more than just friends.
* * *
The gentle breeze of May stirred the sweet-smelling, succulent aroma of honeysuckles up the green, grassy hillside surrounding the airy, outdoor room where most of the guests had congregated. The flowers’ nectar filled Bradford’s nostrils as he secretly searched for Paula. Finally spotting her, he forced himself to take gentle strides in her direction because he actually felt like sprinting toward her as though he was running a marathon. She looked pretty in her white knee knockers and red and white striped v-neck tee.
Paula’s eyes twinkled as she caught and held his gaze. It was obvious that her feelings for him were mutual. He could hardly wait for them to talk later.
“Hey,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. Where’ve you been?”
“Conversing,” Bradford responded with a mischievous grin.
“I should’ve known. You’re either talking or eating. Or both,” she added jovially.
Taking the platter of marinated meats from her, he walked with her toward the grill.
“This meat looks good enough to eat raw.”
He teased, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
She elbowed him. “I wouldn’t really do it, silly. What’d you marinate it in?”
She stood beside him while he used the large wooden-handled tongs to place the meat onto the hot grill.
His mouth turned up into a huge grin. “It’s a family secret. But maybe I’ll share it with you one day though.”
“Oh, so it’s like that, huh?”
He grinned. “Can we get together later? There’s something I wanna talk to you about?”
Her face dropped. “Sure. Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s fine. No, I take that back. It’s better than fine. It’s great.”
Her eyes flashed with intense curiosity. “Why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat? Did you meet a girl?”
He gave her a sharp, playful look. “Didn’t I just ask if we can talk later? Don’t you have something else you need to be doing besides standing out here harassing me?”
Paula giggled. “Well, excuuuse me. I’ll talk to you later.”
Bradford chuckled as she walked away mumbling to herself.
“Hey,” came a baritone voice beside him. It was his good friend Richard Mayfield, Taylor’s husband.
The two friends shook hands.
Richard leaned in and whispered, “Did you finally ask her out?”
“Ask who out?”
“Paula. Who do you think I’m talking about?”
Bradford cast a cautious eye over his shoulder, then back at his friend. Eyeing Richard, he asked, “You talkin’ to me?”
“No, I was talkin’ to that tree over there,” Richard said, chuckling lightheartedly as he nodded toward the thicket of skyscraper evergreens on Paula’s property.
Bradford released a nervous laugh. “What are you talking about? Paula and I go out all the time. We’re friends.”
Richard peered at the attractive one-story cottage which Bradford had built for Paula when she’d downsized from her huge, extravagant home in Azalea Heights. “I mean on a date. Don’t play dumb with me. Maybe you can fool everybody else but not me.”
Bradford’s eyes made another involuntary sweep of the area. He had never admitted his feelings for Paula to anyone, not even his friends. He chuckled lightly. “Man, we’re just friends,” he whispered.
“Yeah, I know you are now, but it’s obvious that you dig her.”
Bradford hung his head and grinned, then looked back up. Why try to hide it any longer? After all, he was going to announce it to Paula later on. Why not go ahead and share it with one of his best friends?
“How long have you known?”
“Well, for the past several months, but I didn’t really think much of it at first.”
Bradford opened his eyes wide. “Do you think anybody else knows?”
“I don’t know. If they do, I haven’t heard ‘em say anything. Why don’t you just tell her how you feel?” Richard cautioned, “You keep dillydallying around, and somebody’s gon’ beat you to her. I don’t know why the two of you haven’t hooked up by now anyway. You’ve been friends for what–almost two years?”
“Almost. A year and a half.”
Bradford was relieved when their friend Phillip Callahan approached them. Phillip had moved to Charlotte six months ago and had easily settled into the area and their congregation. Since he had experience in construction work and was in need of a job, Bradford had readily hired him on as one of his crew people. The three men had a lot in common and had become the best of friends.
Holding out his hand, Phillip said, “Brad, Richard, how you doing?”
“Phil,” the two men said in unison and shook his hand.
Richard took a sip of his drink.
Bradford said, “Just the man I want to see.” Handing Phillip the tongs, he said, “Take over for me for a few minutes, will you, buddy? And don’t let Richard get too close to it. He always lets it burn.”
Richard looked wide-eyed, almost choking on his drink. “Hey, I resent that.”
“You can resent it all you want to,” Bradford said. “It’s the truth,” he added, chuckling, as he walked away.
* * *
“Hey, Sister Randall,” Bradford greeted Paula’s aunt, Evelyn Randall.
Evelyn broke into a huge grin. “Hey, Brad.”
Leaning down to give the elderly woman a hug, he inquired, “How you doing?”
Evelyn hugged him and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’m fine. How ‘bout choo?”
“Terrific.” Taking a seat on one of the black, wrought-iron chairs beside her, he asked, grinning, “So what’s for dinner tomorrow?”
Evelyn had come to love Bradford like a son. Along with Paula, he brought so much sunshine into her life. And just like she’d done with her niece, she had spoiled him rotten by cooking for them all the time, especially on Sundays.
She responded with a straight face, “Leftovers.”
Bradford frowned and leaned forward. “Leftovers!”
“Yeah. You thank wit all this food we gon’ have ‘ere today I’ma go home and cook? Have you lost yer mind?"
Bradford doubled over in laughter. “Now, Sister Randall, we can’t have leftovers on Sunday. A big ol’ pot o’ collard greens, some neck bones, potato salad, and cornbread sure sounds good.”
“Sho’ do,” Evelyn responded with her arms folded across her chest. “You gon’ fix it?”
Bradford was shaking with laughter. “Sister Randall, you’re a mess. A straight-up mess. You know that?”
“Yeah, I know. Thank yuh,” Evelyn said as she broke into laughter.
“Well, I didn’t mean it as a compliment,” he joked.
“Well, that’s how I’m takin’ it,” she replied, grinning.
Everyone was having a great time, enjoying good conversation and wholesome association while waiting for the meat to finish grilling. Bradford didn’t think he could wait a moment longer to talk to Paula. He had hoped that they could talk after most of her guests had gone, but he was eager to share his feelings. He felt jubilant inside as he took giant steps toward the house.
It was quiet inside. He admired her decorative touch. The bright colors and sheer fabrics brought a wealth of light and energy to her new home. Though it was much smaller than the one she’d had in Azalea Heights, it was beautiful nonetheless, and she seemed extremely happy and satisfied with her downsized lifestyle.
Her name was on the tip of his tongue as he made his way to the kitchen. However, what he saw caused his brain to malfunction. Paula and Phillip were standing beside the shimmering, gray, marble-topped island embraced in a kiss! Bradford slowly backed away, almost stumbling over the bench in the hallway that he and Paula had built together. He nearly knocked Evelyn down as she was coming through the front door. He grabbed her arms to steady her.
“Sister Randall, I’m sorry. Are you all right?”
Evelyn reached for and held her chest. “Whew! You liked to scared the livin’ daylights outta me. I’m fine. You see Paula in there? I thank everbody’s ready to eat. They just took the rest of the meat off’n the grill. Did yuh see her when yuh was inside?”
“Ah, no,” Bradford hurriedly responded before rushing away.
He almost walked into Taylor and Richard as they stood talking. Taylor looked at Bradford with curious eyes.
“Are you okay? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
Taylor looked at him again before saying, “I’m gonna see if Paula needs help with anything.”
Bradford thought, the only thing Paula needs help with is getting Phillip’s mouth off hers. See if you can help her with that while you’re in there.
Richard asked, “Man, are you sure you’re okay? You look sick.”
“I’m fine. I think I just need to eat something.”
Bradford spoke in a low tone. “What we talked about earlier–about Paula–do me a favor. Don’t mention it to anybody, especially Taylor.”
“Okay. But why not? What’s wrong?”
“I changed my mind. We’re friends. Anything more would just complicate things.”
“So you’re just going to let her slip through your fingers?” Richard whispered.
“I told you, Rich, we’re friends, and I wanna keep it that way,” Bradford firmly responded.
Richard held up his hand. “Okay. Whatever you say.”
When they saw Paula approaching them with a huge grin on her face, the air grew quiet.
Look at her, Bradford thought. That kiss from Phillip has her grinning from ear to ear.
The touch of her hand as she took his caused a warmth to radiant up and down his spine.
“Here you are,” she said. “I’ve been looking for you. We’re ready to eat. Will you say the blessing?”
Bradford’s first thought was, why don’t you ask your boyfriend Phillip to say the blessing? Instead, he pasted a fake smile on his face and responded, “Sure.”
Richard watched the two of them walk away.
Charles Carpenter, the author of the revered memoir Handcuffed does it again with Colors of Oppression.
The well written narrative explores the anatomy of the often hostile, racially divided prison environment. Charles Carpenter details the social and psychological ramifications of oppression, and describes the wisdom needed to navigate through a microcosm of hatred, racism, deception, and prison politics.
This book highlights various deceitful tactics employed by the correctional officers and inmates, thus giving the general public an unadulterated glimpse into the world within a world - prison.
Colors of Oppression is an educational tool for anyone interested in a career in the field of corrections. This book also raises the awareness level for those interested in analyzing the dynamics of prison life.
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Good journalism, somebody once said, is a nation talking to itself. That’s “talking to itself,” not yelling, screaming, shrieking, talking over one another and engaging
Author: Kathy Coopmans Narrators: Lacy Laurel & Logan McAllister Length: 7 hours and 30 minutes Publisher: Kathy Coopmans Released: Sep. 29, 2017 Genre: Romance Synopsis:
Syntax is the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences. The cumulative goal of sentences in fiction should be to please the reader’s