“Miasha writes with the fatal stroke of a butcher knife. This book is raw material. Squeamish readers beware. You want proof? Just read the first page.”
—Omar Tyree, bestselling author of
“Scandalous and engrossing, this debut from Miasha…shows her to be a writer to watch.”
“An absorbing tale.”
“Miasha’s careful composition brags a fast-moving plot with the twists and turns showing up at just the right moment…. This story made me gasp, made me shake my head, and brought forth a level of insight I never thought possible.”
“Miasha cooks up a delicious drama with all the ingredients of a bestseller—seduction, vindication, and lots of scandal.”
—Brenda L. Thomas, author of
The Velvet Rope
“Miasha tells it like it is. Her writing style is gritty and gripping, and will keep you reading and wanting more.”
—Karen E. Quinones Miller,
readers should be prepared to expect the unexpected. Each page is a roller-coaster ride of emotion, drama, and intrigue. Miasha packs her debut novel with so many scandalous scenarios that the reader can’t help but anxiously turn the page in anticipation. An excellent debut that still has me shaking my head in amazement long after I read the last page!”
—Tracy Brown, bestselling author of
“Miasha writes with fire in this tale of two girls with a shocking secret…a story told with raw, heartfelt drama that is sure to carve this first-time novelist a place in the urban lit world.”
—Crystal Lacey Winslow, bestselling
Life, Love & Loneliness
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2006 by Meosha Coleman
All rights reserved,
including the right of reproduction
in whole or in part in any form.
and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Diary of a mistress / Miasha.
“A Touchstone book.”
1. African American women—Fiction. 2. Mistresses—Fiction. 3. Husbands—Crimes against—Fiction. 4. Attempted murder—Fiction. 5. Married women—Fiction. I. Title.
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This one is dedicated to you, Amir. You were Mommy’s little soldier while I wrote this book.
I wouldn’t have been able to get it done
with any other newborn.
“Hello, I’m Angie.”
“Hey, Angie,” a group of women said robotically, and in unison.
“I’ve been sleeping with married men for almost five years now, and it’s getting old. I’m tired of it. I don’t know if it’s because I’m three days away from being thirty or if this last man I dealt with brought me to this turning point. His name was Jason. He had just got hired at my firm. He was very attractive, young, and ambitious. He definitely had his shit together. I noticed him and his wedding band all in one glance. But a wedding ring never stopped me in the past, and it wasn’t going to stop me now. So I approached him. Nothing too blunt. I just introduced myself, welcomed him to the office, and made casual conversation. He was polite too, pretending to be enthused at my befriending him. But I saw right through him. He was there to do a job and nothing else. He was faithful. I gave him a couple of days, but he wouldn’t budge. It was as if I didn’t exist to him. A hi and good-bye was all he’d give me. At first I felt a little insulted that he didn’t flirt back. But then it started to excite me. It became a game that I was determined to win. I had to break him, especially since he seemed unbreakable. I figured I would have to wait it out and get him at a vulnerable point. It was obvious to me that he and his wife were at a very happy state, probably even newlyweds. I mean, if he was over five years in, with a couple of school-age kids, he would have surely accepted my advances. But he was in love, and it was fresh. So I had to give him time. Four months went by, and one day Mr. Right came into work late—for the first time since he’d been hired. He was disoriented, not focused at all. He told everybody he wasn’t feeling well. But I knew different. He was having woman problems and I was right there to solve them. I walked down the hall to his office. I knocked on his door. When he didn’t answer, I let myself in. There was Mr. Right with his head down on his desk, sleeping like he hadn’t all night.
“I whispered in his ear, ‘Wake up, Jason, it’s time for work.’ ”
“He must have thought I was his wife because he jumped up pleading his case.
“ ‘I’m sorry, baby,’ he blurted out, with both pain and sincerity in his eyes.
“I remember thinking, Damn this man loved the hell out of his woman. I chuckled at his embarrassment when he realized it was just me, Angela, some lady who works at the same firm as he.
“ ‘Excuse me for intruding,’ I said softly. ‘But I thought you could use this.’
“I handed him a cup of coffee. He hesitated for a second, and then he took the cup, looked me in my eyes, and thanked me.
“I sat down in the chair opposite his desk.
“ ‘So, tell me,’ I began. ‘What are you sorry for?’
“He blushed and sipped the coffee. ‘Oh, it’s nothing,’ he said nonchalantly.
“I smiled and said, ‘Oh, it’s something. It may just be nothing you want to tell me.’
“There was a brief silence.
“ ‘Oh, what the hell,’ he said. ‘I could use a woman’s perspective anyway.’ I finally broke the man,” I told the group of women whose eyes were glued on me.
“He then began to explain to me what happened.
“ ‘I ran into my ex-fiancée on my way home from work yesterday. She was waiting for a bus in the rain, and she had no umbrella. Just a little plastic bag to keep her hair dry. Of course I felt bad for her, and so I offered to take her home. I made one quick stop at the cleaners, and when I got back in my car, my ex-fiancée told me that I was going to get in trouble. So I was like, What are you talking about? What makes you think that? She told me that while I was in the cleaners picking up my clothes, my wife’s sister pulled up beside my car. Apparently, she cursed my ex-fiancée out and told her that she was going to tell her sister. So I get home, and my wife is all down my throat talking about, why did you have your ex-fiancée in your car, and if you were just being nice and taking her home, why the hell were you around the corner from our house when she lives on the other side of the city!’
“ ‘So why did you have her on the opposite side of town from where she lived if you were just taking her home? I mean, why didn’t you just take her home first?’ I asked him.
“ ‘I wanted to catch the cleaners before they closed,’ Jason whined to me.
“ ‘Okay, that makes sense. Did you explain that to her?’ I asked.
“ ‘Yeah, but convincing her that it’s the truth was the hard part,’ he said.
“This is when I decided to go in for the kill.
“ ‘Why doesn’t your wife trust you?’ I asked.
“Just like a fool in love, he rushed to his wife’s defense. ‘She does trust me.’
“ ‘Not just you, Jason, a good woman should trust your judgments as well.’
“He sat quietly for a second, going over in his head what I had said. He sipped his coffee and set the cup down on his desk. He leaned back in his chair and contemplated. Then he popped the question.
“ ‘Since you know so much about being a good woman, why aren’t you married?’
“ ‘Because I also know so much about being a bad man,’ I replied with a seductive grin.
“The conversation took off from there, and before long I was meeting Mr. Right in the parking lot after hours. Now, I was used to sleeping with married men, so I felt no type of way about it. But when he told me we couldn’t see each other anymore because his wife had miscarried stressing over me—the other woman—I felt guilty. And it was a type of guilt—”
“YOU BITCH!” one of the women cut me off as she leaped toward me in rage.
I tried to get out of my chair and run, but it all happened so fast, I found myself paralyzed. The woman knocked my chair over with me still sitting in it. She hunched over me, her knees pressed against my chest. Her eyes were full of anger and hate. I was disoriented, struggling to move, when the woman pulled a blade from her pocket and slit my throat. I couldn’t feel my own pain, but I definitely felt hers. She was Jason’s wife.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Angela jumped up out of her sleep, grabbed her butcher knife from beneath her pillow with one hand, and banged her alarm clock to death with the other. She was breathing heavily, and in a panic she began rubbing her neck checking for a cut. Looking around the room, she realized she had been dreaming. She put the knife back in its place and took a sip of the water that sat on the nightstand beside her bed. She looked at the clock. It was nine thirty.
Today was the day. She drank the last of the water, got out of bed and into some sweatpants, then took her daily four-mile jog around her apartment complex. When she got back in, she showered, ate some breakfast, and waited for the phone call. Maybe the dream was a sign to call everything off. But she had taken the day off for this, so that was not an option. Angela was anxious. She had planned everything to a T: from what she would wear to every word she would say, even the restaurant where they would meet for lunch. She knew this was her final chance to convince Carlos of their love for each other. If she waited any longer, he would slip through her fingers, especially if he went on that trip with Monica next week. This was her last shot to get him to leave his family and be with her. She was ready. The only thing she was waiting on was the phone call from Carlos. But it never came.
“What the hell?” Angela mumbled to herself as she paced her one-bedroom luxury apartment. “It’s going on three o’clock.”
Angela contemplated calling Carlos’s cell phone, despite the fact that he had asked her not to unless he gave her direct instructions to do so. But she had expected to hear from him hours ago. Her patience was wearing thin. All the possible reasons why he hadn’t called her yet ran through her head. Did he have an accident? Is he sick? Or worse, did his ass back out of our agreement, she thought. She finally broke and picked up the phone to call him.
“The number you have dialed has been disconnected at the subscriber’s request.”
“That bastard!” Angela shouted.
She was sick and tired of playing games with Carlos. For the whole three years of knowing him, it had been one game of cat and mouse after the other. But this was it, Angela thought. She wanted Carlos badly, and she wanted him to herself. She knew it wasn’t likely for a married man to leave his wife for another woman. But she thought she was the exception. She was sure she could make Carlos do just that. All she felt she needed was a little more time.
“Mm, Carlos,” Monica sighed as she rolled over on her side of the bed. “It’s been a while since we went at it like that.”
“I know, with the kids here all the time, it’s hard,” Carlos explained.
“Well, I’ll be sending them to my mother’s more often for a treat like this,” Monica said with excitement.
The two giggled and smothered each other’s body with their arms. They rolled around in their moist passion until they fell asleep in each other’s bliss.
After a brief nap, Carlos woke up to the smell of cooking food. He turned over and realized his wife was not beside him. Getting out of the bed, he walked downstairs wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts.
“Hey, honey,” Carlos said as he kissed his wife on the cheek.
Monica was standing at the kitchen sink breaking fresh collard greens with her bare hands.
“Umm, something smells good,” Carlos said, taking a deep breath.
“There’s salmon in the oven,” Monica said, smiling.
“My favorite dish? I laid it on you then, huh?” Carlos jokingly suggested as he hugged his wife from behind.
“Go get in the shower. You smell like sex,” Monica teased, bypassing Carlos’s comment.
Carlos did as he was told. By the time he finished washing up and throwing on some clothes, dinner was done. The pair sat out on their deck to enjoy the delicious meal. They talked and laughed about their relationship over the years, going back as far as college. Carlos and Monica had been married for almost ten years. They first met in college. Carlos was going into his junior year and was giving a tour of the campus one summer, and Monica just happened to be in his group.
Monica was going to be a freshman that fall, and of the other female freshmen, she was among the top ten in the looks and style department. She had long jet-black hair that she tied up in a ponytail, trimmed bangs that just covered her thick, neatly arched eyebrows and accented her almond-shaped eyes. Her golden complexion resembled a perfect tan. All the latest fashions covered her shapely physique, and she was smothered in gold. She was a daddy’s girl and an only child, so she was spoiled rotten. The upperclassmen were likely to be all over her. They liked what they called fresh meat. They figured new girls were naïve and vulnerable because they didn’t know the guys’ reputations yet, and Carlos was no different. He had taken the tour-guide position in the first place so he would have first dibs. He was a ladies’ man who enjoyed flirting with all the pretty faces, and he particularly liked being able to try his hand with them before all the other guys could.
“Maybe later I can give you a tour of the dorms,” Carlos said to Monica, a boyish grin on his face.
Monica looked at Carlos like he was crazy, and said, “I’ll pass.”
Carlos was caught off guard. He wasn’t used to a response like that. His six-foot-tall, athletic build; light, soft skin; and curly hair usually got him yeses from girls right off the bat.
“What’s wrong? Did I offend you?” Carlos asked, correctly reading Monica’s attitude.
“What would I need a tour of the dorms for?” Monica responded.
Figuring he wasn’t dealing with a ditsy cute girl, Carlos thought up a quick reply, “ ’Cause if you see them, you can know which one to pick. See, they usually assign freshmen randomly, but if you know which dorm you want they’ll let you choose. I’m tryna hook you up.”
Monica blushed, and said, “Oh,” still carrying an attitude. She was so used to guys coming at her, she kept her guard up at all times.
“See, you thought I was bein’ nasty. What’s on ya mind?” Carlos joked.
Monica smiled and playfully hit Carlos on his arm. It was then and there that she felt some type of chemistry between the two of them. She knew that the story about showing her the dorms was game, but she respected the fact that he had made something up. Guys like Carlos, who could probably get any girl he looked at, didn’t make excuses. They saw somebody they wanted, made their advance, and if that girl wasn’t with it, they said to hell with her and moved on to the next one. But Carlos was different, at least on that day, and he won her heart.
Four years went by, and they found themselves saying “I do,” followed by twin sons five years after that. Carlos and Monica were inseparable. They had the type of relationship that other couples only dreamed of. It was like a fairy tale with an everlasting happy ending.
Their sons, Carlos Jr. and Christopher, looked like a perfect blend of the two of them. They both had Carlos’s big cocoa brown eyes and light, smooth, buttermilk-like skin; and their mother’s dark, thick hair covered their heads and formed their eyebrows. They were an adorable pair of five-year-olds, and all together they were a beautiful family.
The sun was now on its way down and the wind blew a comfortable breeze. Monica and Carlos needed that day. Between her teaching preschoolers at a summer program, his teaching workout courses at a university, and all of their spare time devoted to the twins, they hadn’t spent any quality time together in a while.