For a few months, Rivaflowz.com will be taking four guest authors #fromblogtobook. Each week you'll be able to read a new installment from unique aspiring authors. This tale is from Deja L. Jones. Enjoy!
9 oz sweet red wine
Patience, understanding, honesty
Love, respect, intelligence
Funny, thoughtful, ambitious
Few drops of my blood
Magic of the Mardi gras
“Repeat after me.”
“Let the one who drinks this wine, shower me with love divine, love potion number nine let his love be forever mine, as long as he loves me before midnight chimes and the new moon shines, his love will forever keep the magic alive.”
Terrified, with hands covered in blood June had wandered into the dark and hazy swamps of the Bon Temp bayous. She was a long ways from the magic of New Orleans; she was an even further from her studio apartment in East Harlem. She hid behind a moss covered tree in fear for her life. Her hands pressed into the moistness of the old tree. Black magic always came with a price and she had but a drop left of the potion given to her months ago by Madame St. John, the witch doctor who told her she could create the perfect man or so she thought.
Short of breath, she remained quiet as she whispered the love spell over and over again. The sound of feet splashing in the swampy water drew closer and closer and then there was complete silence. She could hear the crickets; she could hear the frogs and feel the mosquitoes chewing away at her sprained ankle. She ducked lower praying the smoky sheet of fog would make her invisible from what was lurking.
Suddenly, a strong hand clamped down hard on her shoulder as she let out a blood curdling scream…there was nothing perfect about him.
Nine Months Earlier
Hurled over her desktop, with tear blurred eyes, June tried to make sense of the email she had just received. This was the day she had feared. After six long years of putting up with Trevor’s complacency and waiting for him to step up and be a man, he had finally cut the thin piece of string that was holding them together. Funny thing is, June saw it coming; she just didn’t think it would happen the day before their vacation with friends. She couldn’t bear to face her them and their permanent expressions of judgement and disappointment. It seemed like all of her friends were getting married, engaged or happily committed and June wanted that. She just chose the wrong guy for it. Maybe he was just the right guy at a different time in her life. She and Trevor have been college sweethearts. They met on move-in day in Tinsley Hall at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was her freshman year and after hours of lugging suitcases, boxes and dorm decor up several flights of steps with her family, she had finally met her RA, Trevor.
He was a junior and finance major with ride-the-bull-wall-street dreams. As June got to know him, she loved how smart he was. She loved how excited he got when he told about numbers and money, she didn’t understand it, but she knew passion when she saw it. He had dreams of becoming a stock advisor and whenever it was his turn to plan their dorm events, it was always a powerhouse film like Wall Street with Michael Douglas or some Martin Scorsese “hot shot” film. No one ever showed up, but June and it always turned into a night of deep intellectual conversation over a classic film. It became obvious that she had a thing for him to the dismay of her roommate and first college friend Deanna. Deanna didn’t like anybody at their college. She was always paranoid about the quality of men at Rutgers and felt that most were too full of themselves while others seemed to keep a revolving door of women in and out of their rooms. Trevor wasn’t like the boys she was used to from her dilapidated city. He wasn’t like the boys who loitered in the front of the neighborhood bodegas, rapping the latest trap song ridiculously loud and hustling drugs; he wasn’t like the boys who cat called from the tinted windows of their Oldsmobile as they rolled down the streets in cruise control with tires too large for their cars. Trevor was a man who had a plan. He was educated, came from a great family and was extremely sexy. After a semester of late night study sessions, dinner dates in the cafe and dorm sleepovers, he’d finally asked June to be his girlfriend. He wasn’t her first boyfriend, but he was her first real relationship. They had a genuine connection.
She loved him, even though he didn’t follow his dreams of being a Wall Street maverick. However, the more they grew as a couple, the more Trevor became complacent in their relationship. He was fine with his low income job working customer service at the city bank. He was fine with his frat boy roommates since he spent most nights with her. He had lost his spark, his drive, the very thing that attracted June to him, but still, she couldn’t imagine life without him and no matter how bad things got she knew she had to make it work.
She sat up as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand smearing her eye shadow. She read his email once more and couldn’t stop herself from dialing his number. He didn’t have the decency to tell her to her face after six years, she thought the least he could do was answer the phone.
“Hello?” Trevor sounded as if he were just waking up. June wasn’t surprised.
“Is it really over?” June’s voice was shaky as she tried to keep herself from bursting into tears.
“June, you know I love you. I just can’t deal with the nagging anymore.” Trevor let out a sigh. She remembered the argument they had that morning about him missing the deadline for the management application at the city bank.
“Trevor…baby, I just wanted the best for you!” June couldn’t see the fault in her wanting a better life for someone she cared about.
“Why can’t you just accept that I’m happy where I am?” Trevor blurted. “I’m sorry I didn’t become some rich, old soul, money man, but I’m fine.”
“But…” June tried to interrupt.
“It’s just not me June. I think we’ve given it our best shot.”
“But Trevor what about our trip?! What am I supposed to tell everyone?” June couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. Her mother told her to never let a man break you, but all June could think about was everything she had invested in Trevor and all she had sacrificed to make their lives comfortable. It was her that bent and broke her back to provide for the two of them and all she asked for was simple appreciation.
“Is that all you care about? A trip?”
“Maybe we can….work this out?” June was near begging at this point.
“June take someone else. I’m sorry.” Those were the last words he said before he hung up. June listened to the dial tone for a bit trying to process what just happened.
Take someone else? June thought. She didn’t have anyone else. She had made Trevor her whole life. Dating another guy had never even crossed her mind. She did the only thing she thought would help in this situation, she wailed. She wailed painfully and cried loudly and didn’t care if anyone on her work floor heard her. She knew deep down inside that Trevor wasn’t the one for her. She had worked so hard and they had built so much together that even though she knew it wasn’t going anywhere and they had grown apart, she wasn’t ready to let go yet. She hadn’t emotionally prepared for this. She hadn’t gotten her heart ready. So she cried. She hoped that if she cried hard enough he would feel the pain he’d caused her. She thought that if she cried long enough she would shed enough tears to fully cleanse herself of him, but it was too soon.
“Ms. Adams?” said a timid voice over even softer knocks on her frosted glass window. It was her assistant.
“Yes?” She struggled to make herself sound alright. She wiped her face and fixed her clothes and wondered how long she had been standing there watching the train wreck of a mess she had become in less than a few minutes.
“Your 4 o’clock meeting is here.”
“Shoot! Give me five minutes to gather my things and have them meet me in the boardroom.” June was a top advertising executive for a small boutique firm. It wasn’t a fortune 500 company or anything, but it did afford her an office and a couple of vacations a year. She had been planning a couple’s vacation with her friends since last year and hoped that afterwards it would’ve prompted Trevor to think about marrying her. She didn’t realize that her hinting and nagging was putting pressure on him.
“Are you alright?” Her assistant whispered.“Yes. Meet me in the boardroom with bottled waters.” She stood up, checked her face in her closet mirror, fixed her make-up, gathered her notes and portfolio and made her way to the conference room like nothing had even happened. She had a deal to close with a luxury cosmetic brand and it seemed that work was the only thing she could get right in her life and besides, somewhere in the Lower East Side there was a grapefruit martini waiting for her.
Deja is a lifestyle writer and digital content creator for some of your favorite sites such as Madame Noire and Upscale Magazine. When she's not writing loves getting lost in the world of fiction specifically crime, mysteries and thrillers. She believes that sometimes the best and cheapest vacations are in between the pages of a new book.