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Dusk Before Dawn.

I sat quietly in the living room, on the floor, listening to the walls sway in our strangled apartment complex. I looked at the clock near the couch. Almost four. I should finish dinner. I stood up, and headed toward the kitchen, catching a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a photograph hanging on the wall. I stopped and stared for a moment, putting my finger to my lip. My eyes swelled, but I made the tears retreat back to their hiding places. There was no room for them here. I went into the kitchen and discovered another leak beneath the sink. I scurried to find another empty pot to catch the water. I’d tell him. But I couldn’t. He’d blame it on me. I closed the cabinet and went into the refrigerator, retrieving the steaks I’d let marinate throughout the day, while I cleaned the apartment ruthlessly. Not a speck on the carpet. I moved quickly, placing the steaks in to broil and heating up the mashed potatoes. I went to the table and put our plates down. I shined the forks and knives with my t-shirt and placed them parallel to the plates. I looked at the clock. 4:24. My heartbeat quickened. I took another look at the living room before I scurried down the hall to the bedroom to make sure that everything was in its place.

I went back into the living room, just as I heard the door click and saw the knob turn. He entered the house and his eyes fell upon mine. My breath scurried away and I smiled a little, hoping he was in a good mood. He shut the door behind him, ignoring me, and began to take off his shoes. I should say something. Ask him how his day is. Do it!

“H-how was your day, babe?” I asked.

“Dinner ready?” He responded, loosening his tie.

“The steaks are in the oven right now. Mashed potatoes and broccoli is done.” I said quickly.

He stared at me for a moment before he walked past me. I exhaled and stood there, before I felt a blow to my lower back. I fell to my knees – asking God, “Why?” the entire way down.

Kommentare

Joy has to realize June is trying...at this point that is all she can do.

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the first thing i did when i came in from work is read this story smh #addicted run it

got an add waiting! Run please!!

Im glad her and her family are working things out!!! RUN IT!!!

My gosh you're an awesome writer! I swear you've made feel every emotion possible with this story. I'll probably be devastated once this is over. RUN IT!

Man that was so emotional..but atleast she was able to get it all out..and although im sure her mom already knew she probably blamed her for what happened to her..it was kinda good that she was able to tell her so that joy could stop holding in those memories and feelings..RUN IT

That add made me very emotional, can't even explain why...

And even tho Roland got on my nerves, i'm low key sad they said bye. I don't see why he couldn't get it right in THIS lifetime or why they have to be done for good...

Run It!!

Out of all of the people that has come into Joy's life I think my favorite person is Larry. He's that strong, unwavering, solid, loving male figure (father figure) that I think she's always needed. Her own person voice of reason. She's not even his biological daughter but he loves her as if she was. I love that.

Run it

dang!! overload, smh. run it

That was a sad one :(

RUN IT!!

Awwwwwwwwww, RUN IT!

Run!

I lied in my bed, with my back facing the door. It opened and Larry stood in the doorway, with his hands in his pockets. He came in and shut the door, before he came and sat on the floor next to my bed. I looked down at him and wiped my eyes. The pillow was damp with tears, but I lied there anyway.

“Your mother is a wreck.” He said.

“I know,” I whispered. “She’s blaming it on herself.”

“Think you helped with that?” He asked.

“Whose side are you on?” I asked, rolling over onto my back.

“I’m neutral.” He responded. “I love my wife and I love my daughter. I also want to kill the sick bastard that touched you and…never speak to June again for leaving you behind. But here we are, right? We’re trying to make sense of it all and take it day by day. Your mother made her mistake, but she loves you so much, and she’s trying to correct it.”

“Then tell her to leave what’s in the past, in the past, Larry. Taking me to a doctor won’t change anything now. The damage is done.” I said.

“Damage?” He asked.

“…I miscarried with my ex-boyfriend.” I said softly.

Larry dropped his head and sighed. The room fell silent for a while, as Larry tried to think of the best way to fill the space here. He looked up at me, before he stood up and sat on the edge of the bed. I looked at him now to see his face wet like mine.

“…Your mom miscarried our first time,” He said. “Long before Bubba. Not long after she’d moved here. Seems like sometimes bodies reject children when something else is going on…when time and space don’t coincide.”

“Space didn’t allow for your mother to take you with her that day, and it wasn’t the time either. But you’re here now. Right now. Don’t put yourself through this. Not after years of suffering. You have the mother you cried for, right down the hall.” He said.

I met his eyes. “…Is it hard having me here, Larry?” I asked.

“Not hard.” He said. “I just wish that I could’ve saved you from your environment. I wasn’t afforded that chance. I am now. Time and space have coincided. That’s the way that I see it.”

I sat up and looked at him, “I carry a lot of baggage.” I said.

He shrugged, “You’d be surprised how much we all carry…your mother carried another life for as long as I’d known her in her bags.” He said softly.

With that, I hugged Larry and stood up to go speak to my mom, who sat on her balcony, listening to the breeze. I walked out and she looked up at me. Her breath fled her body. I broke down and fell into her arms. She rubbed my back and kissed my forehead.

“I’m so sorry.” She wept. “I’m so sorry.”

I sat annoyed in the waiting room, as my mother flipped through an old magazine. She hadn’t said more than a few words to me since Saturday night, and then she made this appointment with the gynecologist. She made me tell her everything. Called her therapist and got a recommendation for me. I hated this. I wasn’t happy with her either.

“We don’t need to be here,” I said finally.

She ignored me and continued to read.

“You’re doing this for you.” I said.

She shut the magazine and sat it down, grabbing another in its place. “I won’t have fingers shoved in me.”

I looked at her now, “I don’t understand why I’m being punished for sparing your feelings.”

“This isn’t punishment. I want to make sure that you are alright,” She said, looking at me now.

“It’s a little late for that, June.” I said.

June’s face filled with tears, “…I just want to make sure that you’re alright, Joy.” She said softly.

I looked at her painfully. I knew it would come to this one day.

“Yeah? Now?” I asked, my voice cracking. “And the nights when I cried for you…and you were with Larry, planning your wedding. You slept okay though. I haven’t in years.” I said. “And I’m trying so hard not to blame all of this on you…but you should’ve taken me.” I said, crying now. “You should’ve taken me, June.” I stood up and left.

“Joy Henson.” A voice called.

My mom looked at the nurse, before she stood up and followed me out of the doctor’s office.

Larry and I sat outside in the backyard, after my Mom and Bubba had gone to bed. I stared silently at the ground and Larry observed across the table.

“Where do you go?” He asked.

I looked at him now, “What do you mean?” I asked.

“The place you retreat to. Where is it?” He asked.

I shrugged, afraid to disclose. “Nowhere I should be.” I said. “Night time is hard.”

Larry let the words settle around us before he cleared the air with a question I’m sure he’d been waiting to ask.

“What happened at your foster home, Joy?” He asked.

I looked at him now and shook my head, “Nothing.” I whispered.

“You lie like your mother.” He said, challenging me.

I shut my eyes and leaned back in the chair, “I was abused.” I mumbled.

“How?” He continued, his eyes fixed on me.

I could feel Larry’s heart beating outside of his body. He was as scared as I was.

“Don’t tell June,” I said now, looking at him, my face damp with tears and perspiration.

Larry shut his eyes, anticipating my secret. “…My foster father,” I started.

Larry exhaled and leaned back in his chair, pinching his nose and looking over at me. “Continue.” He said.

“Molested me for…a long time. Had to get an abortion.” I said, exhaling.

The back door shut and Larry and I looked up to see my mother standing there, with her robe gaping, revealing her nightgown beneath. She was holding two bowls of ice cream. They both fell from her shaking hands. I watched as the phlegmy vanilla ice cream escaped down the steps.

With Bubba, Larry and my Mom out in the water, I sat next to Tru on our towel. I rested my chin on my arm and looked over at him.

“…So?” I started.

He smirked and took another sip of his soda, “I didn’t want to introduce myself as the in-between…but I also had to make my intentions clear…so I went with the closest thing. Boyfriend.” He said.

“Then you intend to be my boyfriend,” I said, leaning back now, and turning toward him.

“Yes,” He said, meeting my eyes. “Or the like.”

<a href= http://oi42.tinypic.com/1zwdbti.jpg>He</a> smiled and took another sip of his soda. I took the can from him and put it behind my back. He chuckled and looked past me toward the can. I held it farther from him and stole a kiss. He looked at me now, his face serious.

He pecked my lips, “Is that cool with you?” He asked softly.

“Yes,” I responded, looking him in the eye, before I smiled and handed the soda back to him.

He looked out at the water, “Your family is really nice. I see a lot of your mom in you now.”

“Like what?” I asked.

I was curious to see what he, a stranger, saw as commonalities between my mother and I. I still struggled sometimes to feel close to her…or like I belonged here.

“Genuine smiles.” He said. “You both are really invested in your conversations and…eye contact means something, you know? Not to mention gorgeous.”

I took in his words and studied his face. I was afraid of the feelings I had within, dancing beneath the surface. Tru answered his phone and I found myself hanging on every word. Even then with him sitting next to me…I wept inside for the day he’d leave.

I walked with Bubba down the beach, holding my flip-flops in one hand and her small hand in the other. Her eyes lit up as we neared and my mom and Larry trailed behind sneaking kisses, and embraces. I allowed her to choose a spot in the sand. She pointed it out and ran toward it. We lied our towels down and I looked over my shoulder at my mom. She smiled widely at us and came and sat down the towel. Larry went back to the car to get the cooler. Bubba took off her cover-up, revealing her polka dotted swimsuit beneath. She hopped up, a look of bliss filling her face. I looked up at her, beneath my sunhat.

“You need sunscreen,” I told her.

She ran to my mother, with her arms out, asking for sunscreen when I looked over to see a figure approaching in the distance. The figure continued their quest for us, and I wondered if it was Tru. I’d told him about the beach today, and told him to stop by if he could. I wanted to make him meeting my family as informal as possible. I didn’t want this to mean anything, yet.

Once he got closer, I could distinguish his walk and his eyes filled with nervous uncertainty. He bit his lip, stopping a small smile from emerging, when he was within earshot of us. Larry returned with the cooler, and Tru’s eyes darted toward him. I stood up and wiped off my shorts. My mom finished up with Bubba’s sunscreen and looked curiously at Tru and I. Larry approached us and I turned and looked at him.

“Larry, this is Tru. Tru this is my dad Larry.” I said.

Larry looked at me, waiting for something else before he smiled and stuck his hand out.

“Nice to meet you. Who…?” He started, looking at me now.

I parted my lips to say something and Tru interjected. “I’m her boyfriend.” He said clearly.

I looked over at him, and he avoided my eyes. Larry’s eyes widened a little and he looked back at me.

“…Right right. She’s talked about you. It’s nice to meet you man,” He said, his eyes glued to me.

My mom stood up and walked toward us. “Who do we have here?” She asked, smiling warmly.

“This is Tru…Joy’s boyfriend.” Larry said, looking over at her.

“Boyfriend?” June started. “Oh…right,” She said, trying not to make this awkward.

Tru cracked a smile, “I’m sure she hasn’t said anything about me. It’s fine. It’s new for the both of us,”

June turned red and smiled, giving him a hug. “It’s nice to meet you sweetheart. Are you thirsty?” She asked.

“Yes, yes I am.” He said, following her to the cooler.

Larry nudged me with his elbow, chuckling. “You hiding stuff from me now?” He asked, kissing my forehead and putting his arm around my shoulders.

“We hadn’t discussed this,” I said. “I just think he didn’t want this to be weird, meeting you guys.”

“Well that was thoughtful.” He said. “So who is he really?”

I watched as Tru interacted with my mom, listening with his entire self like he always did. I shrugged.

“I don’t know yet,” I said.

Hell...that was hard for ME for her and Roland to say goodbye to each other.....but...I can't lie...I really like Tru.....even their names sound good together... Tru Joy...get it (True Joy lol...yeah I'm corny...I know lol)

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Awwwww run it

i LOVE Tru and Joy together...they just...click =)

run it!!!

Don't know what in the future for those two, but I enjoy them together

Ughhhhhhh!! For some reason I dont like him.. Jay or Roland is better!! RUN IT!!!!!

And can someone tell me who plays the role of Carter because the pic wouldnt let me click it!! Thanks

i really like them together..so glad to see joy finally happy..and especially happy with a guy..RUN IT

I don't really care about anything or anyone else!! Just make Tru and Joy last!! Lol I love their moments of honesty and intimacy!! It's amazing to see it come alive through words!! Everything about them makes me happy. But, I'm wondering when more of their past will surface. I know it will come, but I hope they can open up a lil more soon. Honestly they are at a great stage!! Even though it's the in-between stage, it's def good for them. I'm happy Joy finally found someone she can take things slow with! I believe that's important in any meaningful relationship. They can enter things with clear heads, and hearts. Run it!!! Love it!!!

Awwww I'm so happy that Joy has finally found someone she can take it slow with, truly trust and treat her with respect. I wonder how Jay is doing in Atlanta and if he misses Joy. Run it

I really like Tru and Joy and I like the way Joy is with Tru...BUT UGH I HATE MYSELF FOR SAYING THIS BUT...ROLAND...I WANT THEM TOGETHER.

Awwwwwwwwwwww, I love them. He's definitely her dawn in this story. I'm so glad to see the permanent happy side of this story. Their love is uniquely beautiful. RUN IT!