Hi everyone! As I’m preparing to release Something Just Ain’t Right (formerly titled Resisting Temptation), I thought about Redemption, which was actually the final book in the LLH series. Due to the book being released soon, Redemption was placed on hold to be published. Although I can’t publish it for sale, I can still release it on here for you all to read.
The chapters are unedited.
So now, here is the prologue and the first chapter of Redemption. I hope you all enjoy it!
I stared at myself in the mirror, taking in the hurt and sorrow in my eyes. For twenty-two years, I never understood why my eyes were always this way; until today. Now, I realized all of the issues that I have faced, the hurt I have caused, which led to the one good thing I had in my life slip away.
When I was in high school, I was young and foolish. I’m still young now, but I finally wised up. I was living a stigma, a persona that I tried to live up to make everyone, including my parents, happy. Never did I imagine that the one person I was hurting the most was myself.
I didn’t have a backbone to stand on. I did what I could to get the approval and love that I longed for, which honestly in the long run, bit me in the ass.
As I continued to stare, I realized that my life could have been more enjoyable if I actually lived. If I stood up for myself and lived for myself and not anyone else.
Now, I’m ready to take back everything that I have lost.
Now, it’s time to redeem myself from everything that I have done….
Three weeks earlier…
“So, Nathan, what are your plans for the summer?”
I stared at my dad as I took a sip of orange juice. One thing I really didn’t want to do was return back home for the summer. I wished I could have stayed at Texas Tech for as long as I could, but since I recently graduated, I didn’t have any other options.
For some college graduates, they probably had everything figured out. They probably began their search for a position in their field and maybe living on their own. For me, I was the complete opposite. Besides playing football, I didn’t have a clue on what I wanted to do career-wise, and since I financially relied on my parents, I didn’t have any money and was forced to come back home.
So much has happened during my last year of college. One of the things was suffering a ruptured ligament during the Homecoming game, which I knew was the end of my career. After going through two surgeries, the doctor confirmed that I had to think of another profession, especially if I wanted to continue walking, so I had to hang up my football career for good. Now, I have to think long and hard to what I want to do, because I couldn’t continue staying with my parents.
“I have no idea yet, Dad.”
“Don’t you think you need to be looking for a job? Even if it’s not in your profession, just something to get by.” My mom decided while putting a piece of watermelon in her mouth.
I stared at my mom and sighed. She was right, but sometimes, I rather if I had suggested that instead of someone else.
“I am, Mom. In fact, there’s a city-wide job fair coming up soon, so I will be attending.”
“Nate, we know football was your life, but now that you can no longer play, you have to find other options. Since your major is Political Science, I could always find something for you to do at the station or with the city.” My dad suggested while picking up his coffee cup.
I looked toward the window and sighed. That’s definitely something I didn’t want to do.
“Thanks, but I can figure out my own profession.”
“Well, you need to decide on something, because you’re not staying here rent free. We allowed you not to have a job while you were in school, but that is over. You need to find a job and soon.” My mom continued.
“I know and I will. May I be excused?”
My dad nodded and I got up. I quickly went into my room and closed the door. Having a police chief and a city official for parents would provide for heavy connections for a job in the city, but that’s not what I want. Honestly, I don’t know what the hell I want, but I need to figure it out soon.
My phone started to beep from my pocket. I pulled it out and stared at the screen. My cousin, Porsha, texted me, asking me was I coming to Grandma Hattie’s birthday party in three weeks. I continued to look at the screen, not knowing what to texted. Honestly, I didn’t want to, because I would have to face the family. One person in particular was Shawn. Smug bastard. Just one look at him and I’ll probably punch him.
I replied, letting Porsha know I’ll think about it. She replied back, saying I better come since it is her 90th birthday. I rolled my eyes and sighed. She sent another text, saying everyone will be there, including my archenemy with a smiley face.
So the family knew about the little plan Shawn and I had done and everyone knew about the fallout. Grandma Hattie had tried countless times to get us to reconcile, but honestly, that was not going to happen. We didn’t like each other before the plan started, so it wasn’t any love lost for me or him.
Another text went through and I opened the attachment. An image of a smiling baby boy with a huge afro and big brown eyes was staring back at me. I took a deep breath, wondering why Porsha would do this.
I continued to stare at the picture, seeing a little of myself in him, which made me wondered if the child I had with Riana would had looked like him. I always had that thought in my mind if the child we had would had been a boy or a girl; if they would had the same brown eyes or either her or my nose. If he or she had survived, they would have been heading to the first grade, which made me feel a little more pissed.
I sat down on the bed and put my phone beside me. When my mom announced Shawn was going to be a father, a part of me was numb. I remembered the way she talked about Riana, saying how much of a slut she was and how much she ruined another man’s life. She even told me I should be grateful I got out while I could because that could have been me wasting my life away. I guess she still sees us as little kids and that we are well into our twenties.
I laid my head back on the bed and took another deep breath. Sometimes, I still think about the moments I shared with Riana. How things were between us. It wasn’t as bad as I made them out to be. In fact, they were really special. But being the person I am, I let everything, including pressure from my parents, get to me, which now, I kind of regret….
“How do you think our life will be in ten years?”
I stared at Riana and smiled. The two of us were in my bedroom staring at each other. The lights were dimmed as “” was playing on the stereo. It was hard to imagine the two of us were together. When I first saw her at her house three years ago, I was completely smitten. I didn’t think I would be, considering at 13, I didn’t even know what the word meant, but I knew I had a crush on her. She was gorgeous. Even now, she’s becoming even more beautiful, as she pulled herself up on the bed and rested her head on her hand. She waited on my answer, in which I was glad to supply.
“Hopefully married with two kids. You’ll be a kick-ass news reporter while I’m living the dream as a quarterback for either Houston or Dallas.”
“Hopefully Houston. I really don’t want to move.”
“It’s still in Texas.”
“You know how I am with my family. I wouldn’t want to leave them.”
I smiled. “Fine; anyway, we’ll be living in this big mansion with maids and servants catering to our every needs.”
“Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not how I want my life to be. We wouldn’t need maids and servants. I’m not the type of girl to have people catering to me, unless it’s you.”
I looked at her and kissed her. “And how would you want me to cater to you?”
“I’ll find some ways.”
I pulled her down on the bed and slowly touched her cheek. She gave a slight smile as I stared into her eyes.
“Do you really think we will stay together? You don’t think this is some high school romance that might end as soon as we go to college?”
“Ri, I can’t see myself with anyone else. I don’t want to be with anyone else. I love you and only you.”
She smiled as she touched my cheek. “I love you too, Nathan.”
“And don’t think I’m saying this to get you into bed, because I’m not.”
“Why would you think that I would think that?”
“Because I could see the look in your eyes. We have been together for almost three years; we wouldn’t be together if it was about sex.”
“I know you want to though.”
“I do, but there’s much more to a relationship then sex. It’s about getting to know each other and being connected, spiritually and mentally.”
“Wow, are you really sixteen, because I don’t think any teenage boy would had said that.”
“What can I say; I’m mature for my age.”
“You really are. At first, I really didn’t think I wanted to be committed to someone, especially so early in my life; but now, I know that I want to be with you and I want us to grow together as a couple.”
I smiled. “I want to also.”
I leaned down and gave a soft peck on her lips. She pulled me closer to her as I lay down beside her.
“What if I told you I’m ready?”
I glanced at her, not too sure to what she was saying. “Ready for what?”
“You know what, Nate.”
“As you mentioned, we have been together for almost three years. You and I both know we will be together forever, so I think it’s time.”
“Are you sure? I hope you don’t think I’m…”
“You’re not pressuring me. I think we should consider the option. Didn’t you say your parents were going to that state convention soon?”
“That’s not until November.”
“Well, I think that would be the perfect opportunity, don’t you think?”
“I think it is, but only if you want to.”
She shook her head and smiled. “I just said I did.”
“Okay, then it’s set.”
She pulled my shirt and kissed me. I knew then how much I really cared about her. We always said we loved each other, but that day, I realized that she is the one I wanted to be with for the rest of my life…
I stared at the ceiling, wondering what the hell happened. If I really cared about her, why did I do the things I’d done to her? Honestly, I can’t say why I did, but I do regret everything that I had put her through.