FICTIONChildren's Fiction Classic Literature Comic and Graphic Books Drama Fantasy Free General Fiction Historical Fiction Horror Humor Mystery/Crime Poetry Romance
NONFICTIONArt, Music, & Entertainment Biography Business Children/Young Adult Cooking & Food Crafts, Hobbies & Home Education Family/Relationships General Nonfiction Geography Health/Fitness History Humor Language Arts Personal Finance Politics/Government Reference Self Improvement Social Science
Current Events Ethics Feminist Folklore Gender Studies Human Rights Multi-Cultural Philosophy Sociology Women's StudiesSpiritual/Religion Sports Technology/Science Travel True Crime
DescriptionSusan Lismore, a staff writer for a local newspaper, has always been an easy go lucky person with little to worry about in her life. That is until her mother’s Alzheimer starts to take its toll not only on her mother, but on Susan also. To make matters worse, she’s faced with the loneliness of her life after the wedding of her friend, Tessa Worth. So many around her have found love, while she has sat by and watched with no success of her own in the love department. Her once carefree personality is put to the test with the trials of life and she finds herself failing miserably. That is until sexy Josiah Hunter makes appearance in Long Beach.
Josiah is an old college buddy of Cade and Rowan’s and after spending time in the Marines and in Afghanistan, he shows up in Long Beach for a long overdue reunion with the two of them. The gang hits their old stomping ground, The Launchpad, his first night back with the intention of throwing back a few beers and having a few laughs. Rowan quickly informs Josiah that Tessa has invited a friend along to hang out with him. Josiah puts little thought into it never thinking for a moment that the friend Tessa invited would be the one woman who yanks at his heart and body.
The turmoil in Susan’s life makes it difficult for her to find happiness, even after a night of passion with Josiah. When tragedy strikes Susan’s life, Josiah reaches out to comfort her, but the guilt she feels won’t grant him the access he’s looking for. Only the separation of miles reveals to them both that what they share is real, no matter what life has thrown in their direction.
Reader Rating: Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Excerpt:Peering out the window of her small two bedroom apartment, Susan Lismore leaned her head against the cool glass and closed her eyes. This just keeps getting better by the minute, she thought as raindrops pelted against the only barrier between her and the dreariness outside. She couldn’t remember the last time it had rained so much in Long Beach. Yet, what manifested itself outside in the wet darkness served as a reminder of what stirred within her spirit for well over six months now. Loneliness didn’t even come close to describing the mixture of emotions she dealt with day in and day out. Since Tessa’s wedding, Susan sat by and watched while all her friends fell in love as she laughed off her singleness in an effort to hide the real pain she felt in her life. That pain meant dealing with the declining health of her mother, and watching as her father battled daily to stay strong for the woman he committed his life to as she withered away before their eyes. The barrage of emotions she faced from day to day only intensified by the reality of not having anyone to help ease her burden her. This was the life she had been ushered into and it was hers to travel alone.
Pushing away from the window, Susan drew the blinds and closed off the world outside. She grabbed her comfort foods for the night from the coffee table and plopped herself on the burgundy sofa that all but consumed her living room. Absolutely nothing screamed pathetic more than a twenty-six year old with her legs tucked under her and a bag of chips in her lap on a Friday night. She flipped through the multitude of recorded shows on her DVR, a sad reminder that she’d had very little time to even breathe lately because of work and family obligations. Her mother’s recent move from Susan’s childhood home into the Alzheimer’s unit at Long Beach’s Nursing Facility had put a strain on her and her father, consuming any time that she may have had to herself.
Susan paused at the one show that would be sure to turn her sour mood into a full blown pity party. An all-night marathon about housewives who had too much money and time on their hands was exactly what she didn’t need, but she went with it all the same. What the hell, she thought. It certainly couldn’t get much worse than it already had been. In all honesty, Susan needed a good old pity party right now. Maybe if she did a jig with the depression knocking at her door, she’d get it out of her system and get back to being the carefree, take shit as it comes, person she’d been her entire life.
A few hours later, she ended up in a fetal position, wishing like hell she’d just taken a few sleeping pills and gone straight to bed instead of trying to leave her sorrows at the bottom of an empty chip bag. She found herself lying on the cool tile floor of the only bathroom in her apartment, her cheek pressed to the flooring trying to find relief from the heat consuming her skin after having paid homage to the porcelain gods. An all-night worship session hadn’t been in her plans, but nonetheless where she spent the majority of her evening. Mustering up as much energy as her body would allow, Susan pushed herself off the floor, and rinsed her mouth out with cold water from the faucet. She didn’t even bother with the glass sitting on the counter. She wrapped her lips around the cold metal like it would be her last opportunity to fill her mouth with liquid. When her stomach could no longer accept anything else, she slowly made her way to her bedroom and crawled into the full-size oak bed her parents bought her when she first moved out of their house. Susan didn’t worry with undressing herself, instead she buried her head under the piles of pillows that littered her cozy bed and succumbed to the darkness that surrounded her.
Susan should have stayed in bed for a few more days. The pressure in her temples and the flip-flopping of her stomach confirmed that last night’s binge did indeed take place; that it hadn’t been a dream as she first thought when she peeled her eyes open. She actually felt worse than any hangover she’d ever had. Wiping the drool from the edge of her mouth, she pushed disheveled blond hair from her eyes, before glancing at the clock for the first time. Her eyes had to be playing tricks on her because she surely couldn’t have slept well past two in the afternoon. Yet, once they came into full focus, the clock on her bedside table confirmed it was two twenty-five. Her sugar coma from last night apparently was more severe than she’d thought when she all but crawled down the hall to her bedroom. Susan rolled her tired body to the edge of the mattress and placed her bare feet against the worn tan carpet. She curled her toes several times, a habit she picked up in high school to try to wake up completely, and rubbed the palms of her hands along her thighs. She took her time easing herself from the bed with her eyes half closed; she stretched her back as she shuffled her feet towards the bathroom to take care of necessary business. As she washed her face, feeling the grit that settled overnight on her skin, she let her thoughts wander back to Tessa’s wedding. She’d only gotten to briefly talk to Tessa, only giving her congratulations to the bride and hugging the groom, but they’d both promised to get together for lunch at some point in the near future. That seemed like a lifetime ago. She needed to call Tessa and make that lunch date happen before she found herself buried with work again. The last opportunity Susan and Tessa had to spend any real quality time with each other had been shortly after they worked together on a fundraiser for the hospital. Tessa had photographed doctors and Susan had the delight of interviewing them. Since that time, Susan hadn’t gotten to see much of the woman who had quickly become her closest friend.
Susan walked past the evidence of last night’s food binge, as her cell phone vibrated across the glass coffee table, and stopped just at the empty chip bag. She needed to replace her moment of weakness with a steaming cup of java, not conversation. Out of habit, however, she quickly snatched it up, and saw Tessa’s name staring back at her. She slid the small green arrow to unlock her phone and answered the call.
“Hello,” Susan choked out, her voice sounding as if she’d just spent the last twenty four hours chain smoking.
“Susan? Oh good I was hoping you’d answer.”
“Hi, Tess. What’s up?”
“Are you okay? You sound like you’re sick?” Tessa asked.
Susan shook her head as if the two of them were on video chat. “No, just paying for last night’s pity party.”
“Pity party? Why are you –"
“Not worth talking about,” Susan interrupted.
“Well,” Tessa’s voice hitched, “I was hoping that maybe you’d like to get together tonight. Cade and Rowan have a friend coming in from Texas and we’re all going to The Launchpad for drinks later this evening.”
“Is this friend a doctor also?” she asked, always upbeat about the prospect of a doctor friend.
“Yes, he’s a doctor.” Tessa’s laughter drifted through the phone. “He went to school with Cade and Rowan.”
“Sure, I have nothing else to do. And you know me; I’m always up for new friends. What time?”
“We’ll be there around eight, but you can come any time you like, whatever works for you.”
“I’ll be there at eight. And thanks for the invite,” Susan responded.
“Great, we’ll see you then.”
Susan tapped the screen of her cell, ending the call and looked around her apartment in disgust. Damn, she needed to clean up, but the necessities of life took precedence before she could fully function. Coffee and breakfast first. After her belly was full she would make all right with her world within the confines of these walls. It had taken Susan longer to make coffee than it did to actually clean her place. She wasn’t normally neurotic about much, but when it came to cleanliness she got a bit on the crazy side. That character trait she attributed to her overbearing, OCD mother. When she lived at home, Susan made an effort daily of keeping things clean to avoid any confrontation with the woman. In all the years she’d been alive; it had been the only thing they’d fought over.
Susan figured the night wouldn’t be one that ended early if she were going out to the bar with Tessa and Cade, especially if an old friend was in town. One thing she always counted on with those two was late nights filled with laughs and good times. A short nap before the festivities began would hopefully chase away the grogginess from the night before and put her in the right state of mind. Heaven knows she needed more out of life than what she’d been experiencing of late and maybe tonight would be the turning point for her. Tonight, she decided, would be the night she found the fun Susan that had been in hiding for the past few months.
Triple ShotBy: Ava Riley