neglect, and low esteem.
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Woman of PurposeFor the Woman in Transition
By Hersha-Ann Smith
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Hersha-Ann Smith
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIt's getting harder and harder to wake up in the morning for church. Today, it's just too cloudy, and I know it's cold outside. My hair won't do right. No matter how tight I put my ponytail, it just won't stay upright. I tried to pull my hair down and brush it to stay flat, but it became frizzy at the top. I guess it's time for a perm now. I frown at my reflection in the mirror. I'm not bad-looking. I have great skin, my almond-shaped eyes are quite sexy, and my nose is nice and round, not too big and not too small. I feel silly smiling at myself in the mirror. My teeth could be a little whiter, I think to myself. My makeup doesn't match what I want to wear. My striped brown suit doesn't seem to fit my body right. Did I put on weight? I ask myself. I do one of those side turns in the bathroom mirror and lift my shirt up to see what was going on under my clothes. I feel a little heavier. Is that a roll forming at the side? I look a little closer and decide to just run away from the mirror.
I just don't feel like anything is going right. Snap out of it, Tami. At this point, I know for sure I'm not going anywhere. I'll just watch church on television today. I need to stay home and clear my head about Chris. I just don't know how to feel about him sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I hate him, and then other times I feel like I'm in love with him. I think that maybe he's the reason why I'm feeling so sour about myself right now. The last time we spent time together, he looked at me so deeply, with this longing for me in his eyes. He even told me that I was beautiful and that I was "wifey material." Is that the same thing as wife material? For some reason, that sounds a little different to me. He makes me feel so good about myself, like I'm the most beautiful girl in the world.
We talked for hours about our lives and our dreams, and I really felt connected to him. He even kissed me good-night that night and said he would call me to come over. But I haven't heard from him since that day. Did I do something wrong? I mean, I told him that I wouldn't mess with him. There was no way I was going that far with him, at least not right now. I let him know I wasn't that kind of girl. Could that be why he hasn't called me yet? I wonder if he is coming over today. I should give him a call. Hopefully, he will pick up this time. It seems like the only time I get in touch with him is when he needs something. I have to be real with myself; the only reason why I'm not going to church today is because I don't want to miss the opportunity to spend time with him. Church will always be there, right? But then again, I'm always dropping the things that I want to do for this dude, and I don't think that he even does the same thing for me. Sometimes I feel so stupid for Chris. I feel like a little schoolgirl chasing a guy who doesn't want to be caught.
I keep calling, calling, and calling. There it goes again—that stupid feeling in my gut. I'll just have to ignore it. I'll call him one more time and that's it. I promise. I hate hearing his phone ringing. It is so annoying to just sit here like a dummy and hope that he will answer the phone. Dang, he didn't answer the phone. Ugh, I'm so tired of him anyway. I keep running back to him everytime. I don't know why I do that. Wait, no; I do know. I'm so drawn to him because he makes me feel beautiful and sensual at times. I also feel like I lose myself sometimes, like I always think more about him than I do myself. I have to get up and get dressed and get something to eat. I don't feel like doing anything today. Maybe I should go to church. But I really don't feel like going, besides, what if Chris comes over or something? No, maybe not. I know I have to do better. But I just can't and I don't know why.
I have to be real with myself. I would rather chill with Chris than go to church. I feel more of the desire for him than I do for church. I guess it is easier for me to sit here and wait on him than to go to church and hear a preacher. I'm going to watch it on television on one of those Christian channels. Doesn't that count? I don't want to force myself to go to church when I really don't feel like it! God knows my heart, and He also knows that I love Chris—of course, not more than I love Him, but at the same time, I can hold Chris and touch him. I don't really think I can do all that with a Bible. Ugh! That sounds so horrible, but that's how I feel. I have to be real. I still feel a pang of guilt though. I guess I will have to just make better decisions and stop being so hard on myself when I mess up. Oh, my phone is ringing. Is it Chris? It's restricted; I wonder who it is.
Chapter TwoI answer the phone (of course, expecting it to be Chris). I don't know if I exactly hid my disappointment when it wasn't him on the line.
"Hey Tami, are you coming to practice after service today?"
It was just Maxine, the choir director at church. She is also a good friend of mine. Suddenly, I feel myself getting just a little irritated. Why is she even calling me restricted? I'm trying to get my voice together before I talk to her. I didn't want to take my disappointment out on her.
"Yeah, I guess so," I answered, nonchalantly.
"So that means you're coming to church today?" Maxine asked. She sounded a little too excited. Ugh, I don't feel like explaining myself today.
"I don't know yet, I'm kind of not feeling too well. But I can make practice today, I think."
I feel bad about lying. God forgive me, but I simply don't feel like being bothered with church, singing, practice, or anything else. I just want to sit here at home and just chill. Gosh, why hasn't Chris called me yet? I can't wait to cuss him out and tell him about himself.
"Well, hopefully we will see you tonight. We miss you, girl." Aww, that was nice of her. They miss me. I do have quite a voice in that choir. Well, I will just have to try to make it.
"Okay well, I will try to make it for sure this time, Maxine. Thanks for calling."
I hang up the phone and turn the television to TBN. That's as close to church as I'm going to get today. Why do I feel so lazy? Who knows? The service on television is about knowing who you are and living your life out loud and not being ashamed to walk in Christ. I see that being a hassle for people. Especially for me. It seems like I want to do right, but I just don't. Hmm, my spirit is willing but my flesh is so weak. Hey, I'm a sinner right? Who can cast a stone at me? I chuckle out loud at myself. Still no phone call from Chris. I'm just gonna call him again and he better answer. I feel so stupid worrying about this dude, but who does he think he is?
Oh, I need my Bible! I have to pick up where I left off in Psalms 6. I tried to dial his number again and still no answer. I have to make a promise to myself to not answer the phone if he calls and certainly not to call him, ever again. I mean it this time, I really do. If I text him, is it the same thing? No, I won't do that either. No phone calls, no texting. Nada. Nothing.
Whatever. I'm going to read my Bible now. That's the least I could do for missing church and not praying last night. I begin to read and I try to concentrate, but I can't. I have so much on my mind and I don't know what to do. I don't feel like praying either. I know that I should, but I don't feel like it. I close the Bible and I lay down on the bed. There is no way I can concentrate on reading or praying right now. Lord, help me, please. I don't know what to do or why I feel the way I do. Please guide me. Ugh! I need help, like mental help! This can't be normal. God, please please please I can't get it out! I can't even pray right now. That's odd, right? I used to love reading my Word. I couldn't sleep without a few verses or chapters. I still love the Word; it's just that right now it seems so dry and the chapters seem so long. I can't pray. I can't read my Word. I just can't ...
Chapter ThreeI must have fallen asleep during my temper tantrum because I woke up to my phone playing my favorite Alicia Keys song, "Unbreakable." I know it's Chris because I gave him that ring tone. A rushing wind of energy flows over me and I'm so happy and joyful. Yes! He called me back—sure, a few days and couple hours later, but at least he called me. I try to calm down to answer the phone. I don't want to sound too happy.
"I thought you would be in church by now." He sounds so cute on the phone. His voice is deep and creamy. I love his Southern accent.
"Yeah, I was gonna go, but I didn't feel like it anymore." Please ask me to come over, I plead to myself with my fingers crossed. I wouldn't dare ask him to come over. He will have to suggest it. I really hoped that he would.
"I been calling your phone but you don't answer. Where you been?" I whined. Chris didn't answer right away. I wonder if I should have asked him that. I didn't want to tick him off or anything.
I start to worry. "Chris?" Is he still on the phone or what? Still no reply. Now my face is getting hot.
"Chris! Did you hear me?" He is still not responding to me.
"Hey, I have to call you back, okay?" he replied finally.
"Yeah, right—as if you really will call me back," I retorted.
"No, I really will call you later on. Whatchu doing later? You going back to church tonight?"
I am supposed to go to choir rehearsal, but if he is coming over, I know my plans will change—so I may as well change them now.
"No, I'm not going. Why, wassup?" He wants to come over. My spirit was lifting slowly with excitement. Yay! He wants to come over! It would be so nice to cuddle up next to him and just love on him. Okay, I just need to calm down and take it one step at a time. Snap out of it!
"I was gonna swing by before I go out of town." He spoke casually as if seeing me was no big deal.
Yes, yes, yes! I secretly leaped for joy. Thank God he can't see me! I chuckle to myself and try to stay cool.
"Cool, I'll be home, just come on by ... whenever." Good, I got it out without stuttering too much or sounding too happy. Good job girl! I gave myself a high five.
"Aight, den, I'll holla." He hangs up the phone. Immediately, I jump out of the bed to straighten up my apartment. As small as it is, I keep it pretty clean. It's nothing too fancy, but I wanted to look good and smell good. My man was coming over in a few hours!
I mentally prepare a menu in my mind for tonight's dinner. I was thinking that I'd do one of his favorite dishes, stewed chicken with rice and veggies. While the chicken is thawing, I think I will do some laundry and take out the trash. Oh yeah, and I have to shave my legs and do my eyebrows, I reminded myself. I can't wait to see him with his fine self. He is tall and brown-skinned with muscles for days. I love his skin; it's so caramel-like. I seem to crave chocolate when I'm around him. His eyes are so dreamy too. I have never seen a black man with hazel eyes before. I make fun of him that his eyelashes are too long for a guy and that he should be in a Cover Girl commercial. He hates it when I tell him that.
I have only known Chris for less than a year. But I feel so close to him and I feel happy and beautiful when I'm with him. No man has ever made me feel that way. I just wish that I could see him more. It seems like he's always preoccupied. But I just know that one day, he will finally commit to me. After all, he did say I was wife material!
I should call Maxine back and tell her I can't make it to choir rehearsal. Mmm ... maybe not. I have so much to do right now. Oh well, she will understand.
Chapter FourWell, Chris should be here in a few minutes, I thought. I can't wait to see him. I didn't bother to call Maxine earlier, so now she's blowing up my phone. I do feel really bad about ditching the choir. God, I'm sorry, I really am, but I have to be real with you. I really just want to take a break and be with Chris. Is that so bad?
I want everything to be perfect when he comes over. The chicken is nice and tender, the veggies are nice and buttery, just the way he likes them. I have to make some strawberry grape Kool-Aid; he doesn't like it too sweet. The phone is ringing again; I glance at it. It's Maxine again. Ugh! I know I should answer it, but I just can't right now. Time seems to be moving so fast, and Chris is still not even here. I called him a few times and left him messages and of course I don't get a reply. I suddenly hope that I didn't miss choir practice for no reason. I'm sure he will come tonight; he sounded pretty sure earlier today when we spoke on the phone. I look at the time again. It's almost midnight and he is still not here.
After falling asleep on the couch for almost three hours, I finally came to the conclusion that he's just not coming over. Disappointed, hurt, and feeling very silly and stupid, I turn the stove off and pack up the food and turn off the lights. I'm so angry with myself for believing that he was coming over tonight. Who does he think he is? He should have called me at least. I feel horrible. I need to pray for forgiveness. I should have just gone on to choir practice, I thought to myself sadly.
As I am praying, I begin to feel worse instead of better. I can't even get my thoughts together. I don't even know what to pray about. I need forgiveness for everything. I realized I kept putting this man before God and my beliefs. My mind seems so jumbled right now, like I can't even think straight or concentrate. Is this how love feels? Like confusion? I ask myself. Missing church and choir practice? Putting a man before God? I can't believe what I have become. I change my clothes and get into bed. I was too tired to even bother to cry myself to sleep.
Chapter FiveI awakened to a knock on the door. It's Chris, I know it is. I glance at the clock and I see that it is almost three o'clock in the morning. What in the world? I'm about to answer this door and tell him how I feel. But deep down inside, I'm glad that he is here. Even if it is late, or early in the morning, depending on how you look at it.
I decided to swing open the door and try to have on my best "Oh, Negro, I know you not knocking on my door at three o'clock in the morning" look. Chris just moves past me and lets himself in. I try to look angrier, but I don't know if I am doing it right. By the time I close the door, he has his coat off.
"Well, aren't you a little early for dinner?" I spoke sarcastically. At this point, I'm just a tad bit more irritated that he may not know exactly what time it is.
Chris comes over to me and gives me a tight hug along with a tender kiss on the lips. I tried not to melt right there. I need to keep being mad at him so that he knows that he can't just pop up at my house anytime he wants.
"Oh yeah, I got held up for a few hours," Chris answered casually as he walked over the couch and sits. He has the nerve to beckon me to come over and sit down next to him. I got over there and sit next to him anyway. Hey, what can I say? I wanted those muscular arms around me. But I needed to be strong just a little while longer and let him know that I mean business.
"So do you think it's right for you to just come over anytime you want to or something?" I'm still trying my best to sound angry.
"Man, I told you I got held up," he answered smoothly. I swear he was smirking at me. I loved how Chris playfully tickled me on my side. I quickly snatched his hands away. I was still in my "be-mad" mode.
"So, you're too busy to call me? I know you saw my missed calls, Chris. I hate it when you don't answer my calls." I found myself whining more instead of getting angry. I quickly calmed down and got up from the couch.
"Look, I'm not always by my phone. Plus, you know I don't like talking on the phone. I would rather talk to you in person."
He sounded convincing for some reason. Suddenly, I was melting inside. Maybe we could just cuddle for a while. There's nothing wrong with that, right?
"Chris, I waited all night for you. I cooked and everything." I was still trying not to sound whiny, but I couldn't help it.
"Sorry, I just get tied up sometimes. You got some more food left?"
Excerpted from Woman of Purpose by Hersha-Ann Smith Copyright © 2011 by Hersha-Ann Smith. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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