Disclaimer: All of these excerpts are unedited. The whole manuscript won't go to my editor until the story is complete.
In today's sneek peak from Ain't Too Proud to Beg, we return to Telluride, Colorado so I can introduce you to the female protagonist, Trenyce Clark and her daughter, Zahra.
Trenyce Clark – Physical Therapist. I stared down at the nametag I’d removed from my shirt after I finished with my last patient session for the day and returned the free weights to their stand in the corner. My job at the hospital paid a decent salary, and I loved working with my patients, but the hours were horrendous. The responsibilities of being a single mom left me little quality time with my daughter, Zahra. Although I’d never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, I knew Zahra and I didn’t spend enough time together. She hadn’t asked to come into this world three years ago. And she certainly hadn’t asked to start her life without the involvement and care of a father, so I had to fill that void the best I could. I was quite capable of raising my daughter alone.
Although Zahra’s birth hadn’t been planned, she was the light of my life. So smart and so beautiful, sometimes I couldn’t believe she was mine. She had gotten the best of both her father and me - a curly mass of light brown hair, not her father’s straight, blonde hair, and her fawn-colored complexion was closer to mine.
Once I put all of the equipment back in place and signed out, I drove to 221 South Oak, one of the nicer watering holes in town where Penny and I met for our standing once a week girl time. Spending an hour or two with her was my only social outlet these days. As promised, she was waiting for me on one of the cushy sofas in front of the bar. I eased down beside her.
“Hey, bestie.” Her lightly freckled face spread into an easy smile. “How was work?”
“Like it is every day.” We moved over to the bar, and the bartender came right over when I wiggled my fingers at him. “My regular, Tim. Thanks.” I turned back to Penny with a nonchalant wave. “Nothing exciting. The ever-present skiing mishaps, a couple of seniors with knee replacements. That kind of thing.”
She smiled. “Well, at least you’re not working the slopes or waiting tables, Nycee. The way things are these days, I’m just glad to have a job.”
“Me too. I’m not being ungrateful.” Tim sat the strawberry daiquiri on a napkin in front of me. “But I’ve told you how it is. Being hospital staff, you’re subject to its rules and regulations. If the other therapist doesn’t show up, I have to cover. That doesn’t thrill Zahra or the aftercare people at her school,” I said between sips. “It seems like I’m always paying overtime fees, and you’ve even had to pick her up when I couldn’t get there by seven.”
“You know I don’t mind. She’s my goddaughter. I’d do anything for my little Ladybug.”
“And I appreciate it. I just need a job where I can make my own hours.”
“One of these days, you’ll be able to freelance.”
“Oh, right. When Prince Charming comes galloping up to rescue me on a pristine white snowmobile with his ski pole drawn. Yada, yada yada.”
Penny swirled the straw around in her drink. “It could happen, you know. Anything is possible.”
I laughed and shook my head. “That’s why I love you. You’re the eternal optimist.”
“So, are we going to spin class on Friday?”
“If they have someone to monitor the kids’ room. Zahra likes hanging out there.”
We finished our drinks, hugged and said goodbye then headed back outside in the cold. The recent storm had dumped a fresh layer of snow, and the plowed piles lining the streets were no longer gray. I exited the parking lot and turned my four-wheel drive Grand Cherokee toward the daycare center. The Jeep handled the snow beautifully, the reason I’d bought it rather than something smaller and cheaper. On my way to the daycare center, I recalled the days Penny and I spent as roommates at the University of Phoenix. At first I hadn’t been thrilled with the idea of sharing my dorm room with a white girl and had even asked my parents to get my room assignment changed. What in the world would we have in common? They encouraged me to stick it out for at least the first semester and promised to intervene at that time if I still wasn’t happy.Penny Murphy turned out to be the perfect roommate. My rather sheltered, middle-class, southern suburban upbringing was in direct opposition to her big city background. She wasn’t afraid to do anything or go anywhere, and she enthusiastically dragged me along with her to campus events and townie parties that I would never have attended by myself. By the end of the first semester, we were inseparable. And we had remained best friends ever since.
You can read the next excerpt here: http://sisterscribbler.blogspot.com/2012/09/sunday-sneak-peek-5.html