It's another #writewednesday and today I'm sharing an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Bel Amour. In keeping with Monday's theme about "forgiveness," today a husband seeks forgiveness from his wife after the ultimate betrayal. Will she hold onto her bearings, or will the love in her heart override everything and give him a second chance. Here's Rick and Kennedy's story. Read on...
Rick could be spotted long before she approached him. Sitting down in the center of Woodruff Park, his broad shoulders were hunched over, and his hands formed a steeple, as his elbows rested on his knees. She knew he was deep in thought.
“Hey, sweetheart,” he smiled, standing to greet her and wrap her in a tight embrace. He quickly gave her a peck on the lips, and Kennedy turned away.
“No, Rick,” she mumbled.
“I’m sorry, babe,” he murmured, pulling her close to him again, and holding her tightly.
He held her a moment too long for her comfort. When she became restless in his arms, he finally released her and smiled down at her with a crooked grin. She had always loved his smile, that lit up his entire face. The pearly white beam looked as if it should have been on a toothpaste commercial. Despite the turmoil they had been in for just under a year and a half, he looked very well. He was meticulously groomed, as always with a low haircut that showed off the manufactured waves in his hair. His beard and mustache connect was precise in its trim. The grey pinstriped suit he wore was tailor made to fit his large physique, and he smelled of something crisp and spicy. It was a clean fragrance and she really liked it. Kennedy had always been physically attracted to her husband, and together they made a striking pair. Or so they’d been told. In hindsight, none of that mattered when they didn’t have a mental connection necessary for a marriage. Rick extended a hand towards the bench he had been sitting on.
“Have a seat… please.”
Kennedy gathered the folds of her sundress in her hand, and sat on the bench beside her soon-to-be ex-husband.
“How’ve you been? I haven’t heard from you in some time.”
Tilting her head slightly to look up at him, she squinted against the sun’s rays, despite the fact she wore sunglasses. “I’m well, considering.”
“Can we please agree to get along today, Kenni?” he asked, calling her by her nickname.
She sighed deeply and placed her hands in her lap. “What was it that you called me out here to talk about today? What was so urgent that it couldn’t be discussed over the phone?”
“The divorce will be finalized soon, Kenni, and I’ve been having a lot of second thoughts.”
She blew out a breath of air that tossed the curls framing her face around. “Let’s not do this today, Rick.”
“No. Let’s. We still hold the power in our hands to change things around. We don’t have to go through this divorce, the ball is in our court and we call the shots. Let’s not wait until it’s finalized and it’s too late, and we’re stuck with our regrets, baby. I don’t want our lives to be filled with shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’s.”
Rick reached out a hand and tugged at one of her straying curls, twisting it around his finger. She knew he loved her curls. He had always been fascinated with them, even often washing her hair and drying it for her. Kennedy didn’t pull away, even when he released the bouncy coil to caress her cheek, and cup her chin. He turned her face around to look at her, and she closed her eyes, not wanting to look at him.
“You still have those long beautiful lashes, Kenni.”
“As opposed to what?” she asked, crossing her arms and rolling her eyes.
“This time apart has done me a world of good, as I pray that it has you. I’ve had time to think about my failings and shortcomings as a husband, and how we could’ve handled the situation differently. I’ve reflected on my choices, and prayed to God asking Him to forgive me.”
“That’s good for you, Rick. I’m glad you’ve finally found the Lord. I always prayed that you would,” she replied in a lackluster voice. She had once again turned her focus and attention to a group of elderly men that were playing chess nearby.
“I thought you’d be happy about that.”
“Are you happy about it?”
“Yeah, of course.”
“Then that’s all that matters. Knowing you’ve gave your life to the Lord, nothing else should matter. Not what the world thinks, your parents, your siblings, or me. Only He matters now.”
“Why won’t you give me another chance?” Rick asked, pulling Kennedy’s hand into his own.
She jerked her hand away, working her jaw, and wondering if this meeting were just a waste of her time. Could it be possible that he had heard about her and Elias, and now he wanted her back? She’d heard of men doing that before. They didn’t want their woman, but they didn’t want to see her with anyone else either.
“You had a chance, Rick. Do you remember how we even discussed me coming back home when I first left? I was willing to give you a chance at counseling, only to discover you were still messing with her! You had your second chance.”
Tears filled her eyes, as she turned away from him. She watched the children playing in the park, recalling that had once been her dream. Early in their marriage they had talked about starting a family. Having both agreed to wait until they’d been married at least three years, once they hit that milestone she no longer wanted a family with him. Her dreams had been dashed to pieces.
“Rick, I’m not going down this road with you again. It’s dead.”
“You haven’t even considered counseling, Kennedy?”
She swung her head around, her curly locks flying everywhere. The rage in her eyes was strong enough to convey what she felt without words. Rick hung his head in his hands, and rubbed vigorously. She knew he only did that when he became frustrated about something.
“I did consider counseling! You screwed that up, as well. Don’t make this my fault, Rick!” Her voice had deepened and taken on a tone that sounded different than her normal speaking voice.
“I need you, Kenni,” he stated, turning his head sideways and penning her down with his stare.
“You need me?”
“Yeah, Kenni, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” She threw her head back and laughed loudly at his humorous commentary.
“What’s so funny, Kenni?”
“You. You’ve really got jokes today, huh?”
“Nah, I’m just wishing we could rewind the hands of time that’s all. I’d’ve never done what I did and I’d take away all the hurt I caused you. I love you, Kennedy. Don’t you love me, too?”
She was silent for a while. Her heart did still love him, of that she was sure, but she wasn’t in love with him anymore. No longer did she feel as if she needed him. Placing one arm around her and leaning into her, he kissed her jaw, before she turned her head away. Taking one finger, he crooked it underneath her jaw and turned her head forward again.
“Baby, don’t you love me?” he whispered into her ear.
Pushing her thumb pads against her eyes, she bit down on her bottom lip. The pain was unbearable. He had destroyed single handedly any chance they had at happiness. Kennedy hated him for having her cry in public like this.
They sat side by side in Woodruff Park, down the street from where he worked. Her emotions bubbled up and boiled over, causing her to lash out at him.
“You don’t need me! You proved that the moment you slept with Jessi! She was like a sister to me, Rick!”
She leaned forward struggling to breathe and control the tears that were taking on a life of their own. Darn it, why wouldn’t the tears stop flowing? He pulled her into his arms, and kissed the top of her curly head. For a moment she relaxed into his embrace and remembered what it was like when things were good. When they loved each other, and couldn’t wait to be in each other’s arms again… making sweet love. She turned her face into his chest and released the hurt, pain, and disappointment, and he comforted her, from the pain he had created.
About Chelle Ramsey...
Women's fiction author and blogger, Chelle Ramsey lives in the metro Atlanta area with her husband and three children. Chelle wants readers to become empowered to rise above life's adversities, with faith in the Almighty God, and belief in themselves. She hosts the annual 20 Days of Love authors’ blogging campaign, March Madness authors’ giveaways campaign, and showcases other authors on her blog at www.chelleramsey.com/beautifully-inspired-blog. Her novels can be found online at Chelle Ramsey Amazon.
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