Black Hollywood Series, Book 3
Beth & Jake's Story
COMING March 16, 2015
Add it to your goodreads TBR list NOW!
Every other Tuesday starting January 5th I will release a chapter to my upcoming book, Give Me All of You, until it releases in March! So stay tuned!
Don't miss Chapters 1, 2, 3, & 4?
Don't miss Chapters 1, 2, 3, & 4?
So, without further ado....
*Chapter is unedited and subject to change prior to publication. Copyright 2015 by FL Jacob*
I ignore the phone ringing and I know who it is without even looking at it. Jake had to have gotten my text and realized I wasn't there. I know I need to call him but I need to figure out what exactly is going on first.
The light coming in my room is overcast. The sun is trying so hard to shine but the stupid clouds in the sky just wouldn’t let it in. It felt like a reflection of my life. I so desperately want to be happy. I can see it, but my past just won’t let that happiness shine through.
It feels lonely waking up without Jake. I am used to his warm body next to me making me feel safe. Rolling to face the side of bed he usually sleeps on, I pull a pillow to my chest trying to ease the ache in my heart. There was a light knock on my door.
“Yes?” I say quietly.
“Sis?” the door cracked open. “I need to get to school.”
“Shit!” I throw the covers off me jumping to my feet, frantically trying to find clothes to throw on.
“Oh my God, Beth, clothes,” Maxx screeches, covering his eyes. “Please God, wear them to bed if I’m staying with you.”
“Sorry, sorry!” I yell as I grab the sheet to cover myself.
Maxx chuckles and closes the door, “I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen.”
I finally get clothes on and sweep my hair up on top of my head in a messy bun. Finding him chomping on a pop tart he must have found in the pantry, I usher him toward the front door as I grab a breakfast bar for myself. “Let’s go, let’s go.”
The car ride is quiet. He just stares out the window.
“How’d you wake up without a hangover?” I ask him as I change lanes.
He looks back over to me, laughing. “I’m lucky I guess. Usually am, never had one yet.”
My mouth drops open. “You’re thirteen, how many chances could you have had to wake up with a hangover.”
Shrugging he looks back out the window.
“Shit, I’m really bad at this caregiver thing aren’t I?”
He looks back over to me and I see a light in his eyes. “You mean I really can stay with you? I thought you’d back out.”
Pulling up to school with no time to discuss it in depth, “No way. It’s about time you had a mother in your life.”
His smile lit up his eyes making me smile. “Thanks Beth. I’ll get the forms to get my bus route changed. Will you pick me up today?”
“Of course.” I reached over to ruffle his hair.
“Hey, you’ll mess it up.” He pulls the mirror down to check. Reaching over to give me a half hug he jumps out of the car.
Watching him walk up to the doors, I am jolted back to the here and now by the horn that blares behind me. Fuck! It feels like I jump a mile high. I look one last time at the young man walking away from me. I see the same girl he was sucking face with last night snuggle up to his side before they are out of view walking into the brick building. Gritting my teeth, I pull out into the street and head toward the house I grew up in to get ready for an awkward conversation with my mother.
Thirty minutes later and about twenty texts from Jake later, I’m pulling up to the house. It wasn’t anything fancy. It was a beige brick ranch with a walk out basement that opened up to our small piece of heaven. We owned ten acres of land, filled with a lot of trees and a small creek at the edge of our property. It is peaceful. The air is cleaner out here. I forgot what living on the outskirts of the city was like. I hear birds, there is no rush of traffic or hustle and bustle of people. You can breathe, you can think.
I walk up to the brown door that is desperate to be repainted. Hearing the television through the open front windows I know my mom has to be home. My hand trembles as I reach for the doorbell. I have the key but I don’t feel as though this is the right time to use it.
“Coming!” I hear her yell. Fidgeting on the front stoop waiting for the door to open my mind is running a million miles a minute trying to figure out exactly what I’m going to say.
The lock clicks and time stands still. I slowly turn around and I’m face to face with my mom. It’s been over four years since I’ve seen her. I usually only talked to Maxx and he filtered the messages between us. Standing in front of her I’m caught momentarily speechless. She is so skinny and her face is sunken in. Her skin is an odd shade of gray. This is not the mom I remember. My eyes reach her face again and I see a smile creep up onto her face. I am shocked.
“Oh my word, Elizabeth!” she holds her arms out to me inviting me in for a hug. I’m caught off guard by her reaction. I must have looked shocked because she steps out the door and ushers me in pulling me into her side.
“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. The last person I thought I’d see on my steps today was you. I suppose this has something to do with Maxx not coming home again tonight?”
Wait, what? Did she just say again? I stop short in the foyer, shrugging her arm off of me. “Again?”
She acts like it isn’t a problem and goes into the attached living room moving items on the couch so I can sit. “Oh yeah, he usually does it at least once a week if not more. He stays with a buddy or his girlfriend.”
My mouth falls open. “Mom! He’s thirteen. What the fuck!”
She spins around to look at me. “Don’t you use that tone with me young lady!”
Storming toward her I can’t believe how she is acting. “Seriously? Do you not care about him? His well-being?”
I couldn’t help noticing how her face fell when I yelled at her. “Beth, it’s not like that. It’s just—it’s been hard.” She sinks down to the couch and hangs her head. “I’ve tried. So hard, but after you left for college, it was too hard. Then, last year, well…” She starts crying.
Deciding I didn’t want to hear her sob story and how inevitably it would be my fault I sat across from her straightening my shirt as I sat.
“Look mom, I’m not here to catch up. I know you and dad blame me for everything that went wrong in the family but I can’t stand around anymore and watch Maxx get the short end of the stick. What I did was wrong. I know this. I’ve lived with it all this time. Would I change my past if I could? Honestly…” I let my words trail off. Would I change things? If I did Maxx wouldn’t be born. I shake my head swallowing the lump that has formed in my throat. “No. I wouldn’t.” The words are choked out.
My mom is crying harder now. Her shoulders are shaking so hard. I don’t care. I straighten my back and continue. “I was too young to have sex. I get that. I didn’t know any better, but I’m afraid that Maxx is going to end up in the same position if I don’t step in now. You have—“
Her face swings up to mine and our eyes lock. The once vibrant blue eyes are now a dull gray, blood shot, and sunk in with dark circles under them. “I have cancer.” She whispers so quietly I am not sure I heard her right.
Fuck. This changes everything.
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Tune in for a new picture teaser next Tuesday, March 10th
FINALLY the release on March 16th!!
Check out my other books in the Black Hollywood Series now!