Praise for Butterscotch Blues: "...a heart-warming story..." -Barnes and Noble "A testament to the power of love." -Painted Rock Review "An engaging novel...a moving tale." -Ebony Magazine "Attention grabbing from the start." -Black Is. Bk Review
Best Sellers List: Dallas Morning Star News Essence Magazine Blackboard Black Expressions Top Ten Book
Some anxieties never go away. Little demons, perceived flaws— they exist inside all of us. Sandy was no exception.
the gene pool had endowed both her mother and her brother with fair
complexions and wavy brown hair, her own genetic makeup had taken the
As a result, her dark skin and short, thick mane became tokens of inadequacy, her own internal badge of shame.
When Adrian entered her life, he had changed all that. He deemed her a beauty to behold, a quintessential specimen of black womanhood. She had taken his opinion and run with it, erasing years of self-doubt.
But the slight from his brother and the antsy way he had reacted when she asked about his parents were suggesting something else. Hinted that she might have been good enough for Adrian, but not his family.
She looked at the man who had everything she wanted—the butterscotch skin, the good hair. He had given her what she’d always longed for but, without even realizing it, had snatched it back.
She did not want to talk about it. Did not want to disclose the skeleton still hanging in her closet. She forced a smile, told a lie. “Just fine.”
She watched him go into his nightstand, the condom package hitting the top with a thump. She understood its importance, knew its purpose, but tonight she wanted it gone.
It was just another thing separating them, another device keeping her world from his. A true barrier between her dark skin and his butterscotch one, its very presence made her angry.
But her anger was soon forgotten as Adrian reached for her and drew her near. Became a bad memory as he planted warm kisses and cool fingers upon her body, bringing forth a fire in her soul. His pulling away brought her back to reality, back to those feelings, the anger, as he opened the condom pack and slipped it on.
That she wanted it off did not surprise her. That she reached over and attempted to remove it made Adrian pull back as if burned.
“What are you doing?” he asked, eyes wide with fear.
“Do you have to?”
His voice was tense, strained. “The Nineties, babe. I ain’t dying over making love."
She knew he was right, but every fiber in her body wanted to have him inside her without it. She wanted his goldenness to enter her so that she would become golden too.
The moment sort of lost itself then, a halfhearted attempt at making love that was marked by her crazy notion. Afterwards, as they lay side by side, Sandy longed to speak what was in her heart. Longed to share her life of being too dark, of finding Adrian perfect and full of light. Of wanting some of his brightness to shine within her, if only for a few minutes.
His question came only seconds after they separated, but it seemed a lifetime before it arrived. “You been tested?”
She swallowed, surprised at the intensity with which he spoke and the question no one had ever asked her before. “For AIDS?”
Adrian heard the fear beneath her words but made himself go on. “Yeah.” There was an urgency behind his voice. A deep-rooted need to know.
She felt the bed shift. Knew Adrian was turning on his side to face her. “And you were willing to take that risk?”
“I’m sorry.” All she could say.
It was the first time he had felt anger at her, and it was showing in every breath he took. “Sorry, Sandy? Sorry? You want to go out that way? How could you choose a few minutes over the rest of your life?” Because it happens in a heartbeat--this much he was certain.
Sandy knew he was right, felt foolish and juvenile. Tears welled inside her eyes as his anger filled the bedroom.
“I go every six months like clockwork. And it’s the hardest thing I have to do, but I do it, because I love life, you hearing me?” He had never expected this from her, and it took him for a loop. He never thought Sandy would be so careless, so unconcerned, would take that risk.
He fell back against the bed, raised an arm over his forehead. “You really shocked me tonight, Sandy. Damn, but you shocked me.”
It took a while for her to think it through, Adrian’s emotions churning, clanging against her own. Most of the men I slept with never used them. Adrian uses them all the time…
Ain’t dying over making love.
It came together for her lightning quick, fast, furious, and without warning. The one conclusion she had never considered, did not want to consider, arrived, wedging itself squarely between them.
Sandy lay there, mute, thinking hard, afraid to open her mouth. She would have gone on lying there had Adrian not asked if she were ready to go. She nodded and got out of the bed, unable to ask the implied question, and Adrian, just as mute, seemed in no mood to supply an answer.
No words were spoken as they got dressed, nothing passing between them as he walked her to her car. He simply said good night and turned, not even waiting until she pulled from the curb as he hurried back to his apartment.
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