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I Say a Little Prayer
By E. Lynn Harris
Random House E. Lynn Harris
All right reserved.
There are times when I think that I, Chauncey Dion Greer, am passing through this life on my way to the life God really planned for me. Then, at other times, I think that God must have a wicked sense of humor. Who knew? How else could you explain me sitting here in the green room at CNN on Election Eve, sweating like a fat man in a sauna wearing a warm-up suit, and staring at a tray of sliced melons? I don't know if I'm about to do something noble or if I'm about to get P-I-M-P-E-D.
It's not like my life has been without its good moments. Whenever I'm stressed out, I think back to the days when I went fishing with my daddy, and I begin to smile inside. We'd stop at Reverend Nick's Bait and Tackle with our fishing gear, purchase our supplies, and then pack it all together with the peanut butter and homemade straw-
berry jam sandwiches that my mother would make for our lunch. All the way to Blue Lake, we'd brag about the fish we were going to catch. I also remember when I won my first songwriting contest when I was sixteen. And, of course, I'll never forget when I met him.
Still, something happens to your soul when the expiration date on your love life comes and goes before you turn twenty-five. Was I getting ready to share that love life with the world because I thought it mattered, or because Iwanted to finally get revenge? Was I trying to do the right thing, or just wanting to settle the score with the person I had once loved the most but I now despised?
I stood up, glanced at the mirror on the wall, and straightened my tie. I stared at my reflection, checking to see if the makeup artist hadn't applied too much powder to my mink-colored skin and if it would really prevent me from shining once the studio lights hit my face.
Just as I picked up a small paper plate and headed for some melon, a high, annoying voice whispered into my ear.
"Mr. Greer, we have a small problem."
I turned and faced the tall, thin, pale woman with freckles dominating her oval face. Her strawberry-blond hair was pulled back in a cheerleader's ponytail.
"Excuse me," I said.
"I'm Lauren Masterson, the executive producer of Larry King Live. Thank you for coming," she said as she extended her ringless hand.
"What happened to Mr. Gains?" I asked.
"He's coming down in a few, but I need to explain something." She motioned toward the red leather couch, and we sat down. Lowering her voice so the other guests in the green room couldn't hear her, she continued. "I think you spoke with one of our associate producers, Dana Wynn, and she agreed to interview you with your face in shadow and your voice disguised," she said.
I nodded. "Yes, both she and Mr. Gains promised me that we'd do it that way. That's the only reason I agreed to do the interview."
"Yes, Mr. Greer, and I know this is a very private matter for you, but I just don't think the interview will have the punch we need if you're not willing to reveal your identity. These are very serious charges that you are alleging against a man who could be elected U.S. senator within the next twenty-four hours and tip the scales as to who controls the Senate. The repercussions could be far-reaching."
"I understand that, but I only agreed to do the interview one way," I said firmly.
She shook her head, unwavering. "I'm sorry about what you were promised, but we simply can't do it that way." She paused. "Mr. Greer, this is live television, and I need to know if you're going to go on and tell your story just as you are."
For what seemed like an exceedingly long moment, we sat face-to-face in total silence. I pondered my choices. Either decision would change my life as I knew it.
What should I do?
What would I do?
Excerpted from I Say a Little Prayer by E. Lynn Harris Excerpted by permission.
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