As their friendship matures, Qalbee struggles with a domestic secret that weighs emotional distress that he has yet to reveal to Libiya; and is unable to reciprocate Libiya's affection. Libiya and Qalbee go in and out of one another's lives as personal trauma and tragedy bring them together and tear them apart. It isn't until years of bad decisions finally catches up with Qalbee that he realizes his heart won't beat if he were not to have her back into his life again... but is this revelation too late?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)|
About the Author
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It Won't Go Away
By Samina Najmah
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2013 Najmah Al-Ameen Publishing
All rights reserved.
From my bedroom window, I instinctively watch the leaves of the flourished tree in my neighbor's back yard waltz softly in the balmy wind. My dustless blinds are pulled up as far as they can as my sheer Mickey Mouse curtain hangs in a tied loose knot. From up here the maple tree appears the size of the jade grapes I am eating when I raise them at eye level.
It is such a pleasant evening here in Edmond, Oklahoma. The sun shines through my bedroom window for not too much longer — the day is half gone and night will soon be present. I lie here comfy, wearing my undersize white t-shirt that rises to my abdomen, my stomach pressed into the warmth of my fluffy Mickey Mouse comforter heated by the sun's gleam. I barely make an imprint into my twin size mattress I'm so thin. My knees are bent, body in a ninety degree angle, bare feet dangling in the air causing the bottoms of my yellow nylon sweat pants to fall to my knees revealing my long thin calves. I lay propped up on one boney elbow that's buried into Mickey's black nose with the other pressed into his black ears; and my house phone to mine.
Through my peripheral, the screensaver of my Hewlett-Packard computer flashes to life. It sits diagonally to the right corner of my bed, across from me on my spotless mahogany computer desk. I see a picture of my mother standing in my father's arms and my neck in my brother Sebastian's arms in a headlock. We are standing in my grandfather's icy, wet yard on my 18th birthday a few months ago.
My brother and I are two peas in a pod! It was his fame at school that got me through freshman year. He is known all over East Academy High by the faculty and staff for being a prodigy child — popular with the jocks for tutoring them regularly; notorious with the girls for his easy going and gentleman like character; and he's exceptionally attractive, although he is a social loner — opposite of me. My parents look so happy together in that picture! I'm happy to have been able to snap it because it's uncertain when I'd get another opportunity to take another one. My father is always out of town on business — like he is right now. Since my mother retired from her acting career a few years ago, she does her own share of autonomous traveling as well. Though my mother is physically distant from us the majority of the time, she and I are incredibly close emotionally. She raised my brother and me strictly in morality, so I listen closely and behave accordingly; and because she utilizes an authoritative parenting style by exhibiting trust in my brother and me, I practice what she teaches. I am cautious not to defy her trust, and hold on to every word she says about the real world ... I have a vast amount of respect for my mother.
Every day that I live, since I can remember, my approach to life has been to plan ahead. I'm such a perfectionist that decision making is a laborious process for me. Currently, I have been preparing for my future by studying hard, determined to get into college. I am a junior in high school and do not want any financial assistance from my parents when I leave home to attend college. I plan to be a huge success all on my own! Although I am undecided, I have a year to settle on attending Spellman University in Hot 'Lanta, Black Mecca, the Big Peach — also known as Atlanta, Georgia — or another historically black college that dwells in Sugarland, Texas, Texas View University. TVU is known for their sensational band, exceptional law school, and prestigious pharmacy school, though I'd attend their psychology program and there's nothing significant to say about that program.
I do much writing, typing, and listening to music, therefore, my Hallmark journal, Sony CD and cassette player, and HP computer are my best friends. And since they are all housed in my room, I love being in here! My room is my safe haven, my refuge! It's the one place I know for sure will remain clean, smell fresh, and be serene. The only other place that over thralls me is being up on the roof of my parent's house — my cloud nine!
Through the polished black corded Panasonic phone placed against my earlobe, I hear a familiar beep echo in my ear, redirecting my attention to the conversation at hand. I glance down to view the caller ID but instead I see my reflection in the base of my land line phone. One eye stares back at me, through the smooth surface as my other eye subsists under my long swooped bangs. They fall to my bra strap along with the rest of my straight lengthy black hair. My giddy face carries a bright smile, matching my complexion, as my vivacious individuality seeps through the phone while I talk "boys" with my best friend, Chanelle!
About a week ago I was leaving a study group to prepare for finals when I ran into this dude, Bill, who I had a crush on my entire freshman year. At that time he was a junior, played varsity, and was a popular jock — and I was the last female he'd take a second glance at. By my sophomore year I met Caleb, and after talking to him every day for two weeks, I was his girlfriend. Bill was no longer a thought in my mind. Caleb and I were great together that whole school year up until the week of his prom. Short story is both Bill and Caleb took girls other than me to their senior prom, leaving me all alone, by myself, sad at home and embarrassed. I never expected Bill to invite me because I never existed in his world anyway. That's why I was so shocked when he gave me his pager number last week and told me, "Don't be a stranger." I paged him yesterday and we agreed that he and a friend would come here on this Friday and accompany me and one on my friends.
As for Caleb, he initially told me he did not think he was going to his senior prom, but Chanelle came to me with a picture of him and his ex-girlfriend, Sheila, dressed really nice sitting at a fancy table eating their fine finger foods. I was devastated. Sheila was so desperately happy to have been there with Caleb that she was cheesing like she was marketing for Kool-Aid packages; and Caleb, well ... he looked rather constipated, seemingly depressed.
Sheila and Caleb began dating their freshman year at Marshall High School. When Caleb turned sixteen he attended the Texas Ranger's major league tryout camp to get signed for their minor league team but was not successful. Marshall High's baseball team sucked so Caleb transferred to East Academy High his junior year to get more exposure and had hopes on getting a scholarship, which he did. Caleb attended another major league tryout camp and was signed the summer after he graduated high school. Now he plays on a minor league team. Well, before he transferred from Marshall High, he and Sheila agreed that they'd take each other to their senior prom. But with Caleb, being known for his "fast pitch", smooth talking girls, Sheila grew possessive over him and did not trust him at a different school. That led to their breakup — two months before he and I met my sophomore year. After Chanelle presented me with the photo of them at the prom together, I confronted him and his explanation was, "I promised her" — that led to our initial break up.
Chanelle was able to snap the picture because she was at the prom, invited by senior football hunk Trecy, a total jerk. Freshman year, Chanelle was a tom boy like me, only I was identified as "Sebastian's little sister" and she was recognized as, "her friend". By sophomore year, Chanelle completely transformed to a glamour girl, wearing adult clothing with daily accessories and a face full of makeup. Chanelle is medium thick framed with coco brown skin and long thick hair to the middle of her back — and that's no weave. I, on the other hand, am a straight tomboy. My favorite sport is baseball. At school I play on the softball team, am the only girl on the baseball team, and am a color guard in the band. Chanelle and I are both water girls for the football team, but, of course, for different reasons. She likes watching the sweaty boys in their tight gear as we throw the footballs on the field. She enjoys being close enough to smell their stench when squirting water in their craving mouths. I actually just enjoy football — I love the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins!
I snap out of my reverie when I hear Chanelle interrogating me about what Bill's friend looks like. She goes on telling me how she is having reservations since she does not do the whole "blind date" thing and is having qualms because the date is tomorrow. She assures me that she is only doing it because I'm her best friend and she is looking forward to me owing her a huge favor.
CHANELLE AND I are in the crowded school cafeteria at the round table alone. She gathers the last bit of her burger into her mouth when she points with her head and eyes at Caleb walking through the room.
Dang, why is he here, I think to myself. I have forgiven him after the whole prom incident, began dating him again, and was back in a relationship with him before I knew it. But these last few months have been complicated. He and I have not stopped complete communication and we have seen each other a couple of times since Sheila pulled those vengeful stunts after being informed that we were back together, but I'm done with all of these off-and-on breakups. This relationship has slowed down abundantly. Why does he think he can just pop up here, at my school, unannounced? He is always telling me how much "I'm the one" and "how great we are together" and I would dismiss those comments passively, but only because I do not want to hurt his feelings. It's not because I still have some self fulfilling thought that we will marry, have children, and live happily ever after. I am past that.
I slowly put my head down and raise my hand up to my temple to resist eye contact. I reach for a French fry trying to blend in with the rest of the glutinous teens when Caleb spots Chanelle's glamour and heads our way. He is about 5'11", with a medium build, baseball player physique, and dark skin with strong facial features. He has perfectly shaped lips that compels images of all the things those lips could do to you every time you gaze at them. He wears a nerdy preppie boy style similar to Mase, the rapper, bearing dark blue jeans, a plaid button up, dark blue tie and tan blazer — a very handsome fellow.
"You coming with me out to eat?" Caleb yells over the crowd with all confidence as if his question was rhetorical and with not so much as a "Hi" or an acknowledgment of Chanelle sitting right next to me.
I say to him as composed as possible not to display exasperation, "Sorry I can't. I have three more finals." And your attempt of quixotic surprise is a stalkerish gesture—not romantic at all, and is a bit annoying.
Caleb leans in so close that I can smell his Curve cologne and he rests his left hand on the table then murmurs in my ear, "Can we talk tonight?" There is more shock in his tone than I had at his poor endeavor to surprise me.
I am usually so bubbly and agreeable, but I have a mission tonight that my thoughts are absorbed in, and my mind needs NO extra clout.
I inhale a whiff of Curve, grilled beef, and condiments as I gasp,
"About what?" I sigh.
"What's been going on with us."
"We can talk, but I really don't see what more there is to talk about on that subject." I stand up from the table. "We broke up a couple of months ago, we have not spoken in nearly two weeks, and you show up here with this?" I walk off astonished by his unwarranted actions almost bumping into another student carrying a tray.
Caleb follows close behind as I walk to dump my tray. I approach the sloppy overflow of garbage in the bins noticing that the cafeteria has cleared out incredibly fast leaving only a few insubordinate students gossiping.
"The way we are now, as friends, is cool ... right?" I pat his shoulder. "Later!" I walk towards Chanelle as she waits at the exit door.
He stands there damaged. As I walk towards the door I see girls run up to him recognizing that he is minor league player "Caleb, pitch a dick" and hear others whisper about how "fine" he is.
I SIT IN CLASS staring at my watch, anxious for the bell to ring. After lunch I had two finals, both advanced placement classes, and both I finished before the bell rang. I am so happy that it is the last day of school! Tonight I plan to celebrate like the singer Prince, and party 'cause it's 1999. I have one more year until I graduate! Chanelle and I made plans to meet up in the parking lot after school to discuss tonight's arrangement. All week it has been nice outdoors and today seems especially beautiful. The school grass is emerald, the wind blows softly, and the sun shines bright — synergistically rising my adrenaline — combined with thoughts of tonight. My plans are to ask Sebastian to use his car to pick up Chanelle around six. That gives me time to straighten up the rest of the house since my brother is a typical bachelor like dude, and I'm Cinderella. I am a borderline obsessive compulsive personality so I am engorged with anxiety when he leaves the place a mess.
I'll ask Chanelle if she wants to slumber over for the weekend. It won't be the first. During summer breaks we practically live together. Sometimes she slumbers at my house for months at a time and vice versa. Chanelle and I met in the fifth grade when our science teacher partnered us up for a science project — Which Detergent Cleans the Best. I remember having to get dropped off at her house because her father did not have a car at the time. I'd get there, barge past Mr. Evans, run through their house, straight to their back yard, and Chanelle would be back there waiting on me with her besmirched t-shirt covered in locust shells! I thought that was the coolest thing because my brother and I would do the same thing to gross our mother out. Chanelle and I would be knee deep in the mud dirtying up old shirts we cut up to test our hypothesis. We'd be so dirty that we could have actually used the clothes we had on as variables. We had so much fun doing that project that I don't think either of us cared that we didn't get the first place ribbon. As we worked on that science project together we learned we had so much in common that it was like looking in the mirror. I knew she'd grow to be like a sister to me and we've been partnered up since. Every time I smell the fresh scent of Tide I go back to those days.CHAPTER 2
I BLASTED THE COMPLETE Art of War double disk CD by Bone Thugs & Harmony as I dusted, polished, and Pin-Soled the entire house clean enough to cause a hoarder to regress. Sebastian gets a kick out of me when I listen to raw and ratchet music like Too Short and Brother Lynch Hung since I do not curse, get high, or drink alcoholic beverages. Rap and Hip Hop is he and his crew's genre of choice and since we are so close and I am always around them I've been influenced to like some of it even though I'm more into jazz, pop, and rock.
Now Chanelle and I listen to Snoop Dogg's Dogg Pound cassette preparing for our company. Chanelle is bare foot in her tight boot cut blue jeans and grey lace camisole. She is standing in the double doors of my walk in closet trying to decide if she should change out of her size medium top into my size small tank top to give her breasts the impression of an enhancement. I wear a long white Indian skirt and my black and white fitted MLB Yankee fan t-shirt. In my bronze antique oval wall mirror hanging on the wall between the entry door to my room and the double doors of my closet I stare at my bright yellow tone, inarched eye brows, and two evenly parted ponytails placed above my ears hanging a little past my shoulders. The air is muddled with the smell of tart coconut, bitter avocado, and sweet tea tree oil as it invades the aroma of my freshly wiped down clean lemon scent. It took me a half hour to get them even. I was going for Da'Brat's afro puffs, only hers are curly balls of shine and mine are long pony — tails that fall like rabbit ears. I was hoping to get my hair braided up before tonight but had already made a previous appointment last week preparing myself for the summer and when I called to reschedule a few days ago after talking to Bill, it was too late to change it. Since I do not get perms, wearing my hair down in my regular Aaliyah swoop has wore out for the month in this humid weather. So ponytails it is. My jaws are red and my face is numb from having the same smile resting on my face since I made it home from school.
"So, what am I lookin like?" I turn away from the mirror looking at Chanelle.
"You look cute, Libiya ... like yourself!"
She answers with a smile and nods, basically meaning I look like the bohemian tomboy that I am.
IT IS TEN IN THE EVENING. Chanelle and I hear car doors slam outside. We rush down. Bill paged me letting me know he'd be an hour late, so Chanelle and I have been accentuating our hearing for the past hour.
Excerpted from It Won't Go Away by Samina Najmah. Copyright © 2013 Najmah Al-Ameen Publishing. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One, 3,
Chapter Two, 12,
Chapter Three, 18,
Chapter Four, 26,
Chapter Five, 34,
Chapter Six, 43,
Chapter Seven, 51,
Chapter Eight, 60,
Chapter Nine, 71,
Chapter Ten, 79,
Chapter Eleven, 88,
Chapter Twelve, 98,
Chapter Thirteen, 109,
Chapter Fourteen, 121,
Chapter Fifteen, 129,
Chapter Sixteen, 137,
Chapter Seventeen, 148,
Chapter Eighteen, 156,
Chapter Nineteen, 166,
Chapter Twenty, 177,
Chapter Twenty-One, 187,
Chapter Twenty-Two, 194,
Chapter Twenty-Three, 203,
Chapter Twenty-Four, 212,
Chapter Twenty-Five, 229,
Chapter Twenty-Six, 238,
Chapter Twenty-Seven, 247,
Chapter Twenty-Eight, 256,
Chapter Twenty-Nine, 266,
Chapter Thirty, 275,
Chapter Thirty-One, 284,
Qalbee, The Feeling, 299,