Hampered by fate, these four short stories of passion tell of the burning desire to live fully. They enable the reader to experience what treacherous roads we travel when souls are on fire.
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The train going home seemed to take longer than the one leaving. Yet, the relaxation Tamara enjoyed on her trek to New York had departed. It rained just about the entire trip, with bouts of sunshine emerging along the way. She had hoped the rain would persuade her to sleep. It didn’t. She hadn’t closed her eyes since Tuesday. The cities, the towns she had passed on her way to New York, no longer seized her curiosity. She thought about her sisters and her mama; her big old house, that stood in the middle of the small city, with its squeaky floorboards and dripping faucets. The pine bugs that crawled on her ceiling after midnight when she had lain wide-awake became her inspiration. No more sorrow. No protest. The grumbling ended on the ride home.
The infidelity didn’t plague her mind, either. It hadn’t caused her shame. She had resolved that ghost in her mind. “God is a forgiving God.” But a more subtle humiliation came that morning. She was on her way to Penn Station when the devil incarnate called to her. Paul and the young woman, whose beauty was more exquisite as they approached, called to her. Tamara ignored them as she hurried through the traffic, darting between automobiles with her luggage in tow.
“Tam!” Paul yelled. “Wait up!”
Her marriage had gone from a bland misdemeanor to high crimes of indifference. Family had suggested that they dissolve the travesty. Though Barry had only the image to hold fast to, Desiree’ had made vows … for better or for worse . . . for worse.
– Passion Subdued
With the rise of one single tear rolling solemnly down her cheek, Tamara was able to purge the stranger from the mirror and emerge to face that special Tuesday morning. “Paul! Paul! Wake up. It’s morning. You need to leave. It’s morning.” Tamara pushed and pulled at the lump in the bed that was not real. If she admitted its existence, that would mean defeat. She wasn’t defeated?
– One Hot Summer
The visitor seemed oddly familiar. She couldn’t remember. His bloodshot eyes hung on Carmen as his body swayed backward, then forward, trying hard to hold his balance. She waited for him to speak, but instead he exposed a dull grin. The strangeness of his manner caused her body to tingle as though tiny parasites were crawling just beneath the surface of her skin. She backed away from the door …
R.J. went back to his wife that day. It wasn’t all of a sudden. All those nights Chloe was missing him; he was with her – Darlene - the one he had his pledged love and honor to. He had said it was for their daughter - he was sorry and she’d forgiven him. Chloe had felt it and that’s why she didn’t cry. She was hurt, but it was like spilled milk and Grandpa Andrews had said, “Never cry over spilt milk.”
– Between Imitation and Desire
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