Janessa knows she should run in the other direction when Brendan enters her life. Her squeaky-clean upbringing is in direct opposition to his piercings, a myriad of tattoos and the rumors that surround him. But she doesn’t run. Love, betrayal and lies become the foundation of their lives, but one heartbreaking confession makes Janessa question everything. After a devastating diagnosis, Janessa’s world crumbles around her. When she can no longer ignore the reality of who Brendan really is, she must choose between those who love her and the only one she has ever loved.
Marcie Bridges has always wanted to be a writer, from the time she started keeping a diary in seventh grade. Since then, she has earned a master’s degree in education from Cumberland University while teaching some wonderful children with special needs in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
While she will always bleed scarlet and gray (GO BUCKS!), she now lives south of Cincinnati with her husband and daughter. When Marcie isn’t writing, she can be found reading, watching her favorite TV shows, listening to music, or browsing her favorite websites.
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I picked up the phone and dialed the number. I took several deep breaths while it rang on the other end. My thoughts were very strong, almost as though I were talking aloud.
I don’t have the self-control to do this.
Yes you do! Be firm. Don’t let him take advantage of you.
Oh my God, what am I going to say? What am I going to do?
“Hey, it’s me,” I began.
It’s okay, Janessa, just take this one word at a time.
I winced. Ignore him, my head screamed.
“Listen, we need to talk,” I said.
“Sure, I can come over now if that’s okay.”
“No, you aren’t welcome here so we’ll need to go somewhere else. Can you meet up at Food Town?”
You’re doing great, kiddo. Keep it up!
“Of course. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”
“That’s fine,” I said, my words clipped.
“I love you, baby.”
I hung up without saying anything else.
Taking my normal, five-minute path to Food Town was very empowering. With every step I took, I felt my strength growing. I knew I would be able to face him and make things go my way. It was time for Brendan to listen to me for a change.
“My God, it is so good to see you,” he began. “I was going crazy waiting for your phone call.” He brought his face close to mine for a kiss, but I turned so that he barely grazed my right cheek.
“Do you love me?”
“What?” He seemed dumbfounded. “How can you even ask me that? Of course I love you. I’ve loved you from the moment I saw you.”
“How can I ask that? Because, Brendan. My God, how can you live with yourself?” I realized my voice was louder than I wanted it to be when I saw a patron of the store glance at us. “You know what, I can’t do this here. Will you walk with me?”
“Of course, baby. I’ll go anywhere you want me to.”
I turned on my heels and shook my head, amazed at the way he was able to break me down, even when I was so angry.