`Today I'm sharing another unedited excerpt from Chapter Two of I Want You Back. Enjoy!
After Nick left, Cherilyn sat alone in the apartment going over the events of this totally bizarre day. This morning, when she got up, her plans were to become the wife of a good-looking, extremely successful neurosurgeon. Now she was back in a relationship with a surgical resident who was concerned about paying his bills. Just what kind of relationship it would be, she wasn’t sure. She and Nick weren’t engaged, and as beautiful as it was, that diamond necklace wasn’t an engagement ring. Still, it meant more to her than the two-carat diamond Derrick had put on her finger, which she’d just decided to send back to him. Cher stared at her left hand and let out a sad sigh. Was she crazy?
Thankfully, she knew the answer to that question. No, she wasn’t crazy. She was in love with Nick Stafford with his infernal obsessing about money, constant studying and trying to live up to his brothers. In spite of those things, when he wasn’t under pressure he had a comical, fun-loving nature much like his brother, Greg. He was smart, kind and he possessed a tireless sex drive that put Derrick’s to shame, but he was ten years younger than her now former fiancé. Needless to say, she wouldn’t be enjoying his sexual creativity until he was her husband. From this point on, she’d be in a self-imposed sexual drought. Well, now neither one of them would be partaking of her luscious body, as Nick called it. If she and Nick were going to be together, he would have to work hard for it. From this point on, she planned to channel her sexual energy into her career. Perhaps she should rethink this whole mess. Cherilyn found herself a victim of the if it feels good, do it culture. Lord, it had certainly felt good, but she was turning over a new leaf, no matter how hard it turned out to be.
It had almost killed her to hurt Derrick today, but when she was brutally honest with herself, she didn’t believe he loved her unconditionally. He was good to her, but there has always been this undercurrent of disapproval in their relationship. Unlike many physicians, he didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk. Diet and exercise were a constant part of their conversation. Even though she tried to make him understand that she worked out on a regular basis, her weight never fluctuated up or down more than ten pounds. He seemed to believe it was somehow her fault. He didn’t believe that some people were just destined to be heavier, and they could be healthy and larger at the same time.
Nick always made her feel beautiful. In fact, he constantly expressed his appreciation for her body, especially her 40DD breasts. She couldn’t count the number of nights he’d fallen asleep with his head nestled between them and a smile on his face. She had often felt self-conscious naked in front of Derrick. He always seemed to enjoy himself, and his reactions had been passionate, but he never complimented her body.
Speaking of reactions, her mother’s response this afternoon hadn’t surprised her. She didn’t want to be humiliated in front of her friends and family. She came from the camp that believed being financially comfortable was more important than romance. It had been obvious that she liked Derrick more than Nick by the way she bragged about him. It wasn’t that she disliked Nick, because before today she had been happy that her daughter was involved with a doctor. Only Derrick had a much more impressive professional resume, and after she and Nick broke up, and she’d started seeing Derrick, her mother went overboard talking up Derrick’s achievements to anyone who would listen.
Her father’s loving understanding response was typical of how he’d treated her since she was a little girl. She was his baby girl, his only girl, for that matter. Her three brothers, who undoubtedly were already talking about finding Nick and giving him the beatdown of his life, had given her parents the idea that they could only create boys. Cherilyn’s birth hadn’t been planned, but her arrival was welcomed with joy. According to her brothers, she’d been spoiled ever since the day her parents brought her home from the hospital. Even though they wouldn’t admit it, a lot of her special treatment fame from them. As the only girl, they would have protected her with their very lives, if necessary.
Mika deserved an award as Maid of Honor of the Year. She was the best friend a girl could have, and Cherilyn would ever be grateful for her quick thinking, which got her away from the wedding without having to face the critical stares of the guests. She and Mika had been friends since high school, and growing up in a house with three men, she became the sister Cherilyn longed for. Never one to hold back her opinion, Mika always told her the truth seasoned with love, and Cherilyn appreciated that, because she didn’t get it straight from anyone else. Her mother was overly critical, but in her father’s and brothers’ eyes she could do no wrong.
If she were honest with herself, she had to admit how much she missed the Stafford family. While she and Nick were dating, Mrs. Stafford treated her no differently than she did her daughters-in-law. They were the largest family she personally knew, and she always learned something whenever she was around the women. Nick’s brother’s wives were older than her, and each one was interesting and unique in their appearance, personality and talents. Gianne was employed as a school media specialist. Adanna worked as a nurse. Rhani was formerly a psychologist and now headed up her own non-profit agency as a counselor and life coach to young women. Mona had recently started a new career as a fashion designer. Cyd had her hands full at home raising three little ones.
During the two years she and Nick were together, she had accompanied him to every holiday gathering, wedding, and baby dedication. She especially missed Charles and Adanna. He and Nick were so close, and they had spent a lot of time at his apartment in Atlantic Station. Their baby must have been born by now. Adanna had been three months along when she and Nick broke up. Cherilyn tried to imagine what the baby might look like. With Adanna’s rich dark skin, ebony eyes and stunning bone structure and Charles’ green eyes and wavy hair, the beauty of anything they created together was bound to be off the charts. When Nick called, she had to remember to ask how they were doing.
Cherilyn gazed down once more at her left hand then pulled off the ring and went into her bedroom to find a jewelry box. Tomorrow morning she would package it up and overnight it to Derrick. She turned on the lamp on her bedside table, held the ring between her fingers and watched the light sparkle from each point before she opened the small box that had held her earrings for the wedding. She wrapped the ring in a few tissues and closed it up inside the box.
Most people would say she was settling by choosing Nick over Derrick, who was recognized as a recognized neurosurgeon and owned a beautiful home. He had been good to her, and had treated her with respect, but he’d never elicited the strong feelings in her that Nick did. It could’ve been the age difference. He was thirty-seven, and she was twenty-six. Sometimes she felt that Derrick was more like a father than a friend and lover, but she had brushed those thoughts off when they came and told herself that he was just mature. Now that she and Derrick were over, she saw things differently.
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