Happy Feature Friday, everybody! For our third installment, please welcome my friend, the talented Anji Harris. Sit back and enjoy this charming sample from her upcoming novel, Sweetly Broken and please leave your comments and encouragements below!
Excerpt from upcoming novel, Sweetly Broken
Sometimes I lie to myself. I tell myself, “I’m going to be okay.” When the truth is, I’m not. The perfect little fairy tale I’ve yet again created in my pretty little head begins to play out until its inevitable devastating end. Then I sit there in tears, alone again, wondering what just happened as another guy exits stage left and the curtain falls.
I knew it even as we were standing there “just talking” that I would fall for him. I guess it didn’t take much those days; seeing I had been single for what seemed like forever! But I really liked Nick. Besides being handsome, he had this truth about him that I admired. A truth that I sometimes wish I was brave enough to muster up the courage to embrace. A truth that isn’t afraid to just be—to just live in the moment.
I can’t say that I’ve ever just lived in the moment. It seems like every move that I make is somehow carefully orchestrated. It’s like I’m just playing a role in a play, reciting lines, waiting for a response from the audience. If I perform well then maybe, just maybe I’d get a round of applause or even a standing ovation. But usually it’s just the same old thing, a quiet house—an audience of one!
Who am I kidding? There is no one sitting somewhere thinking about me. There is no one waiting for my call because they just want to hear my voice. There is no one anticipating seeing me again just for the chance to be near me. There is no one longing to feel the warmth of my skin. There is no one. Yet, the fairy tale plays on in my head never skipping a beat or missing a line.
Maybe I am crazy? Or at least a glutton for punishment? Because who in their “right” mind would allow such foolishness to exist? I mean, why keep the fantasy going if you know it’s not real? Or have I become so used to the fantasy that I can’t distinguish it from reality? In which case I definitely need some help! I mean like, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” call 9-1-1 help!
Maybe I’ve fallen out of touch with reality or maybe I’ve just fallen out of touch with love. I don’t think I’d mind the latter. We seem to never ever be on the same page at the same time anyway. It’s almost laughable. It’s like it dares me to even have the inkling of interest in someone or to even venture out to make myself known—then SMACK! Smack down right on the canvas. Another love T.K.O. That’s right Teddy! Here’s yet another blow to my already ailing heart and another shot to my weakening esteem. Way to go love! But like a fool, I keep coming back for more, hoping, wishing and praying that this time, it will be different – that this time, love will actually love me back.
So, when Nick called earlier that day to say that, “we need to talk,” in my heart of hearts I knew it was the end. But the ever optimist in me, you know that “happily ever after” fairy tale thing I have going on, was actually hoping for a slightly different outcome. It was hoping for what was behind door number “2”—a romantic proposal or even door number “3” – a verbal declaration of his undying love for me. But the likelihood that door number “1 ”was the winner—“I think it’s best if we go our separate ways,” was looming in the depths of my heart. Reality sucks!
Am I a fool for believing that I am worthy of love? Okay, so don’t get all super-spiritual on me right now. I know I have the ultimate love—God’s love. Believe you me, if it wasn’t for HIS unconditional love I wouldn’t be able to write this. But for real, I mean the love of another. Is it too much to ask or desire to be loved for who I am? Or is “who I am” too much for anyone to love?
I know in the past I’ve been told I was too independent and I believe I’ve worked on that by asking for help and not thinking that by asking, I was somehow “less than” or would be viewed as “weak”; and also by letting go of that need to be in control. I mean, I was so used to doing things on my own and in my own way, that I didn’t realize I had created this huge pitfall in my relationships. And whenever anyone stepped over the line to try to help me, into the ditch they’d fall. I didn’t know how much of a problem it was until one of my exes had the courage to tell me the truth. Thank you Marcus. I needed that one!
But what about now? I mean, I’ve been working on myself for years and I’m so not the person I was five years ago, let alone, last year. I am constantly learning and correcting as I go, but who isn’t? So, why am I yet on the verge of another “You’re perfect, but not perfect for me” speech!
Now I know what you’re going to say. “God is preparing the perfect guy for me. Right?” or “Love is just around the corner!” And I thank you for your heartfelt well wishes. I do. But I’m just thinking, either God lost the blueprint for this “perfect guy” or this dude has absolutely no sense of direction, because apparently he’s around the wrong corner!
I imagined Nick would be different. He would be the one to rescue me from the hell of singleness I had grown accustomed to and whisk me off into the glorious light of coupledom! We’d be that couple that others admired and wondered how we kept the love alive in our relationship. We’d travel the world together, exploring different cultures and exotic cuisines, all while giving back to the communities we traveled to through charity work. We would be awesome together!
If there was something to talk about, Nick was pretty comfortable discussing it right then and there. So what on earth could this be? Could it be something that he’s actually sat and contemplated about? Yikes! Has he been secretly analyzing my every word and now ready to call me out as a farce? A pretender? A hopeless dreamer? Did he take a peek behind door number “2” or door number “3” and decide I was completely loony? Have I reverted back to my old ways? Or did I share too much too soon or not enough?
If experience has taught me anything, it was that this wasn’t a good sign; however, in my fairy tale, all was well in “Nina Land”. All that experience was wrong! But when I heard the booming knock at the door, my heart sank as it began to race. This was it. I let out a big sigh as I unlocked the door and opened it.
Sweetly Broken follows the life of its narrator Nina Sanders, as she navigates through one of life’s most challenging feats—falling in love. Her open and honest assessment of life and her own personal struggles invite the reader into her world that is often times ridiculous, funny or downright outrageous.
About the Author: I’m a Chicago native currently residing in sunny California! I am a proud auntie of three amazing nephews and one fabulous niece. In my spare time, I can be found watching a movie, reading or writing. I am currently working on my first self-published title, with hopes of more to come!