The Long Road Home

Well, Antoinette, you’ve just convinced me to take the plunge.  I was hesitant to post any excerpts of my books because I’m not yet published, but here goes.  This is from a contemporary romance that I wrote years ago.  I really enjoyed writing this.

Suddenly, the door opened.  Stumbling back, Clarisse just missed being hit by inches.  Jennifer slipped into the room and closed the door behind her.
“Did he leave?” Clarisse asked.
“No, he’s still out there–no doubt pacing the floor and wanting to wring my neck.  I don’t think he likes me anymore.”
“And I wonder why?  It sounded like you were yelling at him from the top of your lungs.”
Jennifer’s lips twisted into a wry grimace.  “Yes, well, I did manage to convince him to take you to California.  Though, I think I should’ve let him walk out of here.”
The frown puckering Jennifer’s brow rattled Clarisse’s nerves even further.  “Why?”
“I’m sorry, Clarisse.  When I heard John was going to San Diego I thought it a perfect opportunity for the two of you to get together.  I’d always thought you were meant for each other.  We were all shocked when everyone heard you’d broken up–”
“Jennifer, get to the point.  What are you trying to tell me?”  Clarisse didn’t like the anxiety in her friend’s hazel eyes.
“His girlfriend’s in the car.”  When Clarisse didn’t immediately answer, Jennifer frowned in concern.   “Didn’t you hear?  He’s got his girlfriend with him.  He never mentioned someone else coming along–never mind a woman!  You’ve got to believe me.  I would never have set it up if I’d known.”
“I heard.”  Clarisse shoved down her panic and gave Jennifer a wobbly smile.  She was beyond shock.  “I really have no option now, do I?  I need to get to my sister’s wedding on the fourteenth.”
She’d been a model once.  The occupation had required some form of acting.  Today and for the next several days, she would have to use that ability to show John that she was over him.  And maybe, if she pretended long enough, she would convince herself that he didn’t have the power to hurt her.
With shaking fingers, Clarisse feathered her hair back from her face.  Then she tossed the cane on Jennifer’s bed and brushed the creases from her pants.   “But I’ll be damned if he’ll see me as an invalid.”
“Are you crazy!”  Jennifer’s hand came up and rested against the wall between them, barring Clarisse’s path to the door.  “You can’t go out there without your cane!”
“Just watch me.”  She waited, meeting Jennifer’s determined gaze.
Jennifer backed down first.  She pulled away from the wall and muttered, “God, you can be so stubborn.”
“Don’t worry.  I’m not that crazy.  Believe it or not, I can live without the cane.  It’s just that I’ve become so used to it that I’m having a hard time putting it aside.”  Clarisse gave her a cocky smile, though inside, she felt far from confident.  Her knee still hadn’t completely healed from this last surgery, and acting as if nothing was wrong for the next couple of days might drastically delay her recovery.
Straightening her shoulders, Clarisse inhaled deeply and opened the bedroom door.  She stepped across the threshold, then stopped.  John stood in the center of room.  He appeared taller, bigger than she remembered, dwarfing the small living area and furniture within it.
Clearing her throat, she murmured, “Hi, John.”


4 responses to “The Long Road Home

  1. Carol you’ve hooked me with this story. I can’t wait to read more. The trip to California with Clarisee, John and the girl friend all together in one car is bound to be exciting. Thanks for sharing with us.


  2. Antoinette, thanks for the compliment!


  3. This was a great excerpt. What’s the name of the story?


  4. Thanks, Cathy! The name currently is “The Long Road Home”. It went under a couple of other names while I was working on it. The book is about Clarisse going on a road trip across the US with her ex-boyfriend, which turns into one disaster after another.


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