A JAGGED JOURNEY excerpt!

I love the new story I crafted and I LOVE THE CHARACTERS!!! (The first of 3 excerpts)

This brief excerpt takes place on a Monday in a classroom at the Seattle high school where Charlie Brooks, an Environmental Science teacher, and Jamila Sanders, school Spanish teacher, discuss Charlie’s current relationship after a Friday date that didn’t go at all as Charlie had planned.

Charlie crossed his arms in front of him. “I didn’t do any school work this weekend, I didn’t trust myself to grade the papers fairly. My students didn’t deserve for me to take out my anger and hurt on their assignments.”

“That was very thoughtful of you.”

“It was, wasn’t it? Anyway, I spent most of the weekend at a gym I hadn’t been to in weeks, and boy was I focused, so focused, in fact, that on Saturday one of the attendants had to remind me not to monopolize the equipment. I guess one of the other customers complained that I wasn’t following proper gym etiquette.”

“Gym etiquette? You see, that’s why I’ve never joined a gym. Working out is hard enough without having to worry about being polite. Jeez, I don’t know how you do it.”

“Well, like I said, I hadn’t gone in weeks because there was too much macho pressure feeling like I had to perform better than the guy next to me. My membership period expires this month. I cancelled the auto renewal when I left the gym on Saturday.”

“Good for you, no one deserves that kind of stress.”

Charlie stood up and paced in front of the classroom. “And guess what I did Sunday that was a sure sign I had fallen into the deep end?”

Jamila tapped the side of her head, looked up, and conjectured, “You drank yourself into oblivion?”

“No.”

“Um, you did some baking, and if you did do some baking, why didn’t you bring me any?”

“Baking? Hardly.”

Jamila slapped her hands on both sides of her face. “No way, you went to a ‘gentleman’s club.'”

Charlie couldn’t decide whether to crack up or be offended. “How long have you known me? You think I’d frequent that kind of a place, a place that if one of my student’s parents saw me might mean the end of my job?”

“Okay, yeah, you’re right, but what did you do on Sunday that was so utterly unbelievable?”

Charlie placed his hands on the back of his chair. “I went to Mass.”

Now it was time for Jamila to laugh. “You went to church? In all the years I’ve known you, I think I can count on one hand the number of times you told me you had gone to church. And wait a minute … you went to a Catholicchurch? Since when did that become the religion of choice for you?”

“It isn’t, okay? I just wanted to go some place that might offer some amount of solace in my time of need and that church was a convenient one.” Charlie started to laugh at himself. “In answer to your next question, no, it didn’t help. And get this, I actually walked up and took communion. I was just mimicking the people in front of me, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. By the time I turned around to walk back to my seat, I felt like a heathen of magnanimous proportions and walked right past my seat and out of there as fast as I could.”

“Didn’t you even get a receipt?”

Charlie did a double-take. “What are you talking about?”

“A receipt, the weekly church bulletin. I used to give my parents a hard time when they went to Mass. They complained the whole way there, and then at the end of the service when we walked out, we were handed a bulletin and my parents would say, ‘Well, at least we got our receipt.’ Happened every week.”

“No receipt for me. God, I’m such a loser.”

Jamila picked up her backpack. “You are not a loser. I don’t have friends who are losers.”

A Jagged Journey will introduce you to characters similar to those with whom we come in contact at work, play, and everywhere in between. If you’ve given up hope trying to find goodness and kindness in the immediate world around you, be assured you just might find what you’re looking for within the pages of this novel. I write because I figure just about everyone needs someone in their corner to help them along life’s troubled way. Although A Jagged Journey portrays the ups and downs inherent with life as we know it, I believe it just might serve as the catalyst to fill up your hope tank – a tank that may be hovering around empty right about now. This book will be released on April 15, 2021, and is now available for preorder.

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