What is writing to you?
Writing is what I do to explore my thoughts and observations. It aligns me with my beliefs and keeps me grounded because it allows me to be judgmental and judged at the same time.
Why did you agree to be a part of the GWave Writing Journey?
Accountability. I work from home, alone.
How did friendship and sisterhood help/hinder your writing during the journey?
It made me more competitive. On the days I did not make time to write, I would think of everything going on in everyone else’s life and realized they made the time. When I returned to writing, I would do my best to catch up.
How did the use of GWave help facilitate conversation amongst the group during the journey?
I believe the group allowed us to cheer one another on as well as share what worked for us during the writing process. GWave also allowed me to peek into the lives of the ladies writing with me.
What were some of the successes and or pitfalls that occurred for you during the writing journey?
I over scheduled during this process. Between GWave, writing work, editing work, school, home, family, etc. I bombed.
What did you learn about yourself through the writing journey? As person and as writer?
I re-learned that a first draft should be fluid, off the cuff or you will lose yourself in the process of writing instead of the story.
Well, supposedly, you wrote during this journey...what do you plan to do with what you've written?
I plan to pitch my story at the 2011 Faith and Fiction Retreat. If I don’t attend I will pitch to a few editors and/or agents.
How could someone so loving be so unfaithful? Terilynn asked herself as she pulled over into the Arby’s parking lot.
She could feel herself becoming emotional. It was her excuse for everything lately. The pain she carried from her marriage had begun to spill over into every other area of her life. She was good at her job but found herself passing on more and more of her work to her executive and virtual assistants. Terilynn had been so distraught, simple tasks like driving her children to school welled up and caused excruciating panic attacks. For the most part, she sounded like Samuel L. Jackson: constant and unnecessary outbursts.
Terilynn could only apologize after she had hurt someone’s feelings and then retreated to her office, bedroom, or shower to let the tears flow. Tonight was no different. She sat in the parking lot and sobbed. The crying did not come from Roman not following or calling her. Nor did it come from facing the fact that her marriage was near its end. She cried because she was lonely.
From the outside, her relationship with Roman looked like the epitome of the African-American Dream. The Matthews were an attractive and accomplished couple with no outside children, a beautiful home, and not one financial problem. Really, they could buy anything they wanted and go anywhere they dreamed. In public, Roman was a doting, loving husband whose wife was the absolute apple of his eye.
In private, Terilynn lived with a moody, uncommitted man who made it absolutely clear that since he paid all of the bills he could do whatever he wanted. He demanded privacy and things that belonged strictly to him. Most of the time he used his privacy to find ways to cheat and maintain inappropriate relationships with other women.
There was nothing she could do. She allowed everyone to believe that her life was perfect and she could not tell a soul it wasn’t. Terilynn had permitted the perception of others to trap her not only in a loveless marriage but in a state of solitary confinement where it seemed that no one, not even God, could hear.
Terilynn’s desolate sobs were interrupted by Fur Elise, the ringtone on her cell phone. Knowing it was Roman, for a split-second she thought to ignore the call and abandon her plan. But, she decided to go through with it.
Terilynn took a deep breath, grabbed her recorder, turned on the radio and said, “Hello,” in a soft whisper.
“Hey,” Roman said and then waited.
With smooth jazz playing in the background, Terilynn responded, “What’s up?"
“Hey beautiful, what are you doing over here alone? I’m waiting for you,” an unfamiliar man’s voice blurted from the background followed by shushing from Terilynn.
“Who is that?” Roman asked suspiciously.
Terilynn abruptly answered, “That’s just the radio. I gotta go. Love ya.”
“Teri. Teri!” Roman yelled into the phone. She did not respond.
Who is she with? Roman asked himself knowing he would never find out. He really did not blame his wife, but she had no right being with another man. She’s a Christian. Roman knew he did not deserve his wife’s faithfulness, but he could not stand the thought of anyone else touching her. It was probably the reason he had never filed for a divorce.
He was not kidding anyone. Deep down inside Roman loved his wife. She was kind, gentle, and forgiving. He had messed up so many times and Terilynn always forgave him. Granted, her forgiveness usually came with a few months of anger, resentment, and hurt. Nonetheless, she forgave. However, his behavior never changed.
From Roman’s perspective, he did not have to. Every man he knew and respected had cheated on his wife with other women. He was just being a man. He had never had sexual intercourse with another woman, but he often received blow jobs from the women with whom he flirted.
What if she is …? Roman could not finish his thought it was so disgusting. He could not allow himself to go there, but he could tear the town up looking for her.