Copyright© 2013 By AMB Publishing Publications
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PUBLISHED BY: AMB PUBLISHING PRODUCTIONS
COVER ART: AMB Branding and Design
Book Layout by Aija M. Butler and LJ Thomas
Editing by LJ Thomas
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
AND I TRUSTED YOU
Table of Contents
Because I Love You________________________________________5
It’s My Money____________________________________ 115
cause I Love you
Denise was surprised when she felt Damon’s right hand slam into the side of her face. He had never done anything like this, because he knew better. Maybe he was just having a bad day. She covered the right side of her face holding her head down as she listened to him ranting and raving about nothing, once again.
“Don’t you ever make me choose between you and my career! I’ve told you time and time again what my career plans are. You don’t have any right to interfere with them. Do you know how long I’ve been working to get here?” Denise nodded her head slowly. She had never seen him this upset about anything.
“Apparently you don’t. I’m not gonna have this conversation with you again. And to think, you’re raising my children.” He mumbled. “You are so stupid. Please, Lord, don’t let my children grow up to be like her!” Damon said as he strode into the bathroom and slammed the door shut. She hoped that he would take his medicine and then go to sleep. It was getting more and more difficult to live with him and no one else knew what she was going through.
Once Damon was gone Denise sat down to think about what had happened. She couldn’t think of what she had done wrong. “I’ll just have to wait until he calms down to talk to him.” She walked over to the mirror to check her face. There was a red color coming in. She could cover it with makeup, but the puffiness would still be there. “I’ll have to put some ice on it right away.” Thank goodness the children were gone for the summer. She would never be able to explain to five-year old Kelvin why her face was red and puffy. He noticed everything. Justin was only three and wouldn’t ask questions about it. But six-year old Mark would be angry that she was hurt. She pulled out a cream colored blouse and a navy blue knee length skirt. She picked out her navy blue modest pumps, got dressed and went to work. As her day progressed, she got a call from her best friend, Marie. “Can you meet me for lunch today? I have something to tell you.” She said excitedly.
“Sure, where do you wanna meet? You know I like Red Lobster’s shrimp special.”
“Okay, Red Lobster it is. I’ll meet you there at noon.” Marie said before hanging up the phone.
Denise had something to look forward to for lunch. Sometimes she and Damon had lunch, but she didn’t wanna see him today. The next couple of hours seemed to fly by. Denise got into her car and started the engine. Just as she was putting it in reverse, her cell phone rang. “Hello.” She answered.
“Denise, I’m sorry about this morning. I don’t know what happened. Can you forgive me? I mean, I’m just so stressed out with this latest project at this dead end job. I can’t wait to go take my test for the Coast Guard. Please don’t be angry with me!” Damon pleaded.
“I’ve never seen you that angry. Please don’t hit me again and I accept your apology. I know you are under a lot of stress, Damon.” Denise replied sadly.
“Good, baby. Let me make it up to you. I can’t meet you for lunch today, but I’ll have something special for you when you get home, okay?” Damon consoled.
“Okay sweetheart. I’m meeting Marie for lunch anyway. She called and said she’s got something to tell me. So, I’ll see you around 4:30. I love you Damon.” Denise said sweetly before she hung up.
When she got to Red Lobster, she was feeling much better about her day. She walked inside and saw Marie sitting in the “No Smoking” section. She walked over to take a seat. “Hi girl, wassup?” Denise asked.
“Sit down first. How has your day been going? You look a little tired.” Marie asked.
“I am tired. I’ve been up since 5am. Damon and I had a disagreement, but he just called and apologized.” She said cautiously. She wanted to minimize it as much as possible. Denise knew Marie would be able to sense something was bothering her. It was almost like she had a special connection to her feelings, especially anything that hurt her. So, telling her about the argument might head off some questions.
“Oh, I see. Well what happened? Tell me ‘cause I wanna know if there is anything I can do.” She said while looking Denise directly in the face. “Denise, do you feel okay? The right side of your face is swollen. Did you know that?” She asked with concern.
“Oh.” Denise said instinctively reaching up and touching the place where Damon had slapped her. “No, I didn’t realize that. I’m sure it’s nothing.” She said holding her head down.
Marie could tell something was wrong. Denise wasn’t telling her something. She decided to push to find out what had happened to make her face swollen. “Denise, what happened to your face? It is swollen and you have on makeup today. You rarely wear any kind of makeup.” She thought aloud. “Oh my goodness, you have a bruise, don’t you? What happened?” She hurriedly asked.
“Before you get yourself all in a tizzy, everything is just fine. It’s really nothing. I told you Damon and I had a disagreement this morning. You know he’s under a lot of stress with his job. He’s been waiting to take the test to enter the Coast Guard. But I did something wrong and he had just gotten home from a call and he just lashed out. That’s all, nothing to be worried about. Besides, you know that I’m not the type to take a man beating on me.” Denise said trying to smile and make light of things.
“Nothing to worry about? He hit you didn’t he? Never mind, you don’t have to answer that. I can see the evidence! Denise, you really need to be careful. I’ve told you before that Damon has more than a few problems. He really needs to see a shrink. Don’t let him hit you again ‘cause he doesn’t have a reason to be testin’ the waters. You guys have been together for over ten years, since high school. Please be careful.” Marie begged almost in tears.
“I will. I told you, he’s already called and apologized. Everything is just fine. We’re looking for his notice to come within the next few days. So, I’m sure he’ll be concentrating on that. This will never happen again. He’s really sorry and is planning something special for me when I get home from work. So, don’t worry about anything. Besides, we came here to talk about YOU.” Denise said patting Marie’s hand and smiling. She was hoping this would take Marie’s mind off her swollen face.
“Yeah, that’s true, but you are my sister even though we aren’t blood related. I will always have a twin in you and nothing can ever change that, not time, space or people. Remember that and stop trying to hide things from me. I’m always gonna find out, and you know that.” Marie chided.
“Okay, okay, okay. Now, what is it you want to tell me? I’m dying to know and I don’t have all day. I do have a job to go back to, you know.” She said chuckling and squeezing Marie’s hand.
“All right. Here it is. You know Calvin and I have been spending a lot of time together. I didn’t realize we’d been dating six months. Anyway, he had a surprise for me last night.” She said extending her left hand for Denise to see it.
“Oh my goodness, you’re engaged! I’m so happy for you.” Denise screamed standing up and hugging Marie across the table. “Give me all of the details. I wanna know everything, girl!” She said seating herself again.
“Oh girl, he was so smooth. You know he leaves a rose on the seat of the car at least once a week. Well, yesterday, when I got to my car after work, he had left a rose and a note. He wanted me to meet him at his place. He said to wear something dressy or formal and be there no later than 7pm. So you know I was a little aggravated ‘cause I don’t get off work ‘til 5:30. Anyway, I rushed home, took a shower, found something to wear then sat down for the big job of doing my hair. It’s getting so long, and I have no idea what to do with it in all these layers. Anyway, it took me almost forty minutes to find a hair-style that I liked. Then I got dressed and arrived at his place at ten minutes to seven. You know how I hate to be late for anything.” She said pausing to catch her breath.
“Girl he opened the door wearing a black tuxedo. I was stunned. He was so handsome. I mean I’ve seen him in suits, but something about the tuxedo was just… uummm. I don’t know. He just looked really good. He walked me through to the dining room and he had the lights dimmed and soft music playing. I was impressed. I didn’t expect this from him ‘cause you know how laid back he can be. When we got to the dining room, he had drinks on the table. I took my glass of wine and sipped. He explained that he was cooking dinner and that we were celebrating our six-month anniversary, which shocked me. I didn’t think he remembered, especially since I didn’t. Anyway, he had cooked dinner and had everything ready. Thank goodness for a mother and grandmother teaching him how to cook, right. As we were eating, the doorbell rang. Calvin got up to answer and it was a messenger for me. I was surprised ‘cause I wasn’t expecting anything and certainly not at his address.” Marie had to stop to take another breath because she was talking 200 miles per hour. It’s amazing that she didn’t bite her lip.
Then she continued. “Girl, I opened the box and inside was a smaller box. Inside that box was an envelope addressed to me. I opened it and took the letter out. It was a beautiful poem and as I read it to the end, there was a ring taped at the bottom. My mouth dropped wide open. I had not expected anything like this and I didn’t know what to do. Calvin came around to me, got down on one knee, took my hand in one of his and the ring in the other and said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you be my wife and partner throughout life? Please make me whole by saying yes and growing old with me.” Then he slipped the ring on my finger and kissed my hand.
“I didn’t realize it, but I had tears running down my face. He just looked at me. The ring as you can see is my favorite cut, pear shaped and a good quality diamond. Denise, all I could do was nod my head. It took a while for me to be able to get the words out. Once I’d said “yes” he stood up and stood me up and really kissed me. I held on to him for dear life for the longest time. I am getting married. Imagine that, me getting married? We set the date for a year away. So on June 5th, you have a weeding to attend. In fact, I’d be honored if you would be in my wedding and even help me plan it.” Marie finally finished.
“You just have the best man. He is so romantic. Poetry, roses and now this? I am so happy for you! Nobody deserves it more than you, Marie. And yes, I’ll be in your wedding and help you plan it.” Denise said through a flood of tears. Maybe Calvin would be nothing like Damon who had started out romantic and loving.
“Why are you crying?” Marie asked reaching over.
“Because your life is turning out so well. I know you’ll be happy ‘cause anyone can look at you and Calvin and see that the man really loves you. I think he’ll make a good husband and I know he’ll make you happy. I’m so proud of you. You’ve overcome the childhood abuse and moved on with your life and I just love you to death. So, these are happy tears.” Denise finished.
“Well good, I don’t ever wanna see you have tears of pain or sorrow. You know, I’ve known you and Damon for a long time. And I’ve always wanted the very best for you, but please keep in mind the song that says “Love Is Blind.” Don’t ever let him hit you again. If you even think something like that is going to happen, you just come on over to my place. ‘Cause I could not stand to loose you. You are the only sister I have and I always want you around.” Marie said standing and hugging Denise.
Marie paid the check saying it was her treat and they headed their separate ways back to work. The rest of Denise’s day was pretty simple. She finished the sketches of the landscaping for the new building her firm was working on then headed home. As she drove, she tried to imagine what Damon could have planned. He wasn’t anywhere near as romantic as Calvin, but he at least tried.
She pulled into the driveway and noticed the house was dark. Damon’s car was there so she figured he must be in the back of the house. She her key in the lock and turned it to the right. When the lock released, she opened the door and walked inside. She looked around and didn’t see any lights on, so she walked to the bedroom, thinking Damon must be taking a nap. When she opened the bedroom door, Damon was sitting on the bed in the dark. “What’s he doing?”
“Hi honey. Are you okay? All the lights are off.” She said walking past him to put her briefcase in the closet and kicking her shoes off at the same time.
Denise didn’t see the penetrating gaze of Damon’s light brown eyes. She began to change clothes, so she could cook dinner when Damon walked over to her and hugged her from behind.
“Oh, he wants to makeup. Cool,”
she thought. He pulled and dragged her backwards to the bed and threw her down.
“I’m not into rough sex,”
“Damon! What are you doing? I have to cook dinner, unless you’re taking me out tonight.” She said breathlessly.