The Available Wife Excerpt
by Carla S. Pennington
I sighed when the cab driver drove through the gates of my neatly manicured Houston subdivision nearly four hours after I was expected to arrive home. As I coasted through the neighborhood, I stared at each brick single family home and the families that were outside horsing around or tending to their yards. I wondered why I couldn’t be that happy or why my mouth could never form a smile. The only time that it did was when I was with him; Kingston. In the seven months that we’d known each other, he’d swept me off my feet and filled my world with nothing but excitement.
I wasn’t ready to return to reality, but as the cabbie drove closer to my home, I knew that I had no other choice. I took a deep breath and reached inside my leather, Alma Louis Vuitton bag and pulled out a twenty dollar bill to pay the fare. Seconds later, we pulled into my yard. I instantly frowned when I saw my mama’s car in the driveway.
What the hell is she doing here, I thought. I certainly wasn’t in the mood to deal with her ass at the moment.
However, my scowl instantly faded when I watched the enjoyment on my four-year-old son’s face as he did cartwheels on the front lawn. When he spotted me, he made a mad dash toward the yellow cab. I gave him a huge smile as he patted on the window for me to hurry up and get out. I had to get myself together. I desperately had to jump back into my role as mother and wife. Even though I couldn’t get Kingston off or out of my mind, I had to regroup for my boys’ sake.
“Hey, Mommy!” Jonathan yelled as he jumped all over me when I stepped out of the cab.
I didn’t show any painful emotion when he excitedly stepped on my foot.
“Whew, you smell like a wet dog,” I playfully frowned as I gave him several kisses and hugs. “I see you got your hair cut.” I rubbed my hand over his nearly bald head.
“Unhuh,” he smiled with those perfect, beautiful, white teeth that I hoped would look the same once they fell out and the permanent ones came.
“Where’s your daddy?” I asked nonchalantly.
Before he could answer, I heard the front door open. I looked up and saw my husband, Germaine, standing in the threshold of the door holding our five-month-old son, Nathan in his arms. I took a deep breath as I stared at him wishing, for a brief moment, he was Kingston, but I knew that he could never amount up to my lover.
“Why are you so late?” he asked as soon as I made it to the steps.
“Because I am,” I replied in an irritable and defensive tone.
“Why didn’t you call and tell me that you’d be late?”
“Because I didn’t need to,” I snarled. “Why all of the fucking questions? Damn!”
“I thought something may have happened to you Nikki…that’s all. Besides, I left you four messages.”
“I know,” I replied nonchalantly.
“Well, why didn’t you return any of them?”
“Germaine are we really gonna do this now?” I huffed and pouted. I placed my right hand on my hip and shifted my weight to let him know that I wasn’t in the mood. “I just got off the freaking plane.”
When Germaine realized that he wasn’t going to get any straight answers out of me, he dropped the whole interrogation.
“So, how was the trip?” he asked.
If only he knew just how tiring it was. As my husband leaned down to kiss me, I turned my head slightly so that his kiss landed on my cheek. I, in turn, planted my lips on my bundle of joys chubby cheeks. Germaine said nothing as I walked past him and into my 4,800 square foot house which, to my surprise, was still clean. Normally when I went out of town I came back to complete chaos…a bachelor’s pad, but nothing could’ve upset me at that moment. I was still on cloud nine.
“You smell nice,” Germaine complimented as he and Nathan joined me inside the house.
“Thanks,” I replied dryly. “Where’s my mother?”
He pointed toward the kitchen before continuing. “Is it new?”
“Why?” I asked then sucked my teeth.
“Because it doesn’t smell like any of the other perfumes you wear.”
Damn, does he pay that much attention to me? I thought. Kingston often told me that he loved the perfumes I wore, so I normally poured it on a little thick when we were together. “It’s the new perfume by Beyonce’,” I replied.
“Well, it smells nice.”
I made a mental note to put it in the drawer until I was with Kingston again. I didn’t want Germaine enjoying it. It was for Kingston’s enjoyment only.
“I made reservations at seven o’clock at that hibachi restaurant that you and John John love so much,” Germaine spoke as he rested his hands on my bare shoulders.
Using Jonathan was his way of getting me to say yes, but I wasn’t in the mood to go out. I wanted to escape into my tub filled with hot, bubbly water to dream and reminisce about my time with Kingston.
“Let me ask you a question?” I addressed him. “How in the hell can you make reservations to a restaurant when you don’t have any money?”
He gave me an uncomfortable look. “I thought maybe you wouldn’t mind…”
“Spending my damn money?” I finished his statement. “You have a lot of freaking nerve. Isn’t there something boxed in the freezer that you can throw in the microwave? Better yet, since you’re Mr. Mom, can’t you just throw some stuff together like you’ve been doing?”
He gave me another uncomfortable look, cradled Nathan in his arms a little tighter and walked toward the door. “I’m happy you’re home, Nikki,” he replied before moping back outside.
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Meet Author Carla S. Pennington
Carla S. Pennington was born and raised in Prichard, Alabama where she continues to reside with her family. In 1996, Carla was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Over the years, the disease has halted her, but she refuses to let it stop her. She is currently working on a number of other projects that she plans to have published in the near future.
In 2002, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in journalism from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. After graduation, Carla decided not to pursue her career in journalism. Her heart and mind were elsewhere. She wanted to write fiction novels and short stories, something that she had been doing since she was a young girl.
In 2005, Carla published her first novel, Fling and from there several short stories which appeared in anthologies across the country. Finally, she landed a book deal with Life Changing Books which released the wildly anticipated novel, the Available Wife in January 2011. Readers can reach Carla S. Pennington on FaceBook and Twitter as: carlapennington. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org