Author: MJ Abraham
Release Date: Summer 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chicklit
Cover Designer: B Design
Savannah Martinez and Andres Rivera have been friends since high school. She knew him better than anyone else and he was the only one she confided in. But fate wasn’t on their side. When she gave him the chance to turn their relationship into something more, he let her go.
Heartbroken, and with time against them, she kept her distance in more ways then one. Now, years later, Savannah is back in town for good and he realizes how big the hole she left in his heart is.
When a secret comes to light, forcing a deeper wedge between them, Andres finds himself fighting for the one woman he may have already lost. Will he ever get a second chance to live his life with the woman of his dreams? Andres is determined to win her back, and sometimes there is no better time than the present.
It takes a lot more energy to bury pain then it does to confront it.
Savannah closed her eyes and tried to focus on the humming of the bathroom vent. She didn’t want to care about what was going on; it was just hair after all. She had cried enough during and after the funeral in front of her Madrina and her family. If Lola saw her shed any more tears she’d probably get angrier at Carmin for being so careless. There was no need for more fighting—everyone was under stress and adapting. They kept tiptoeing around her like she might break.
She didn’t want the tears that threatened to spill over her cheeks. Right now, all she wanted to focus on was the vent. But the hair clippers kept breaking into her thoughts.
Clip, clip, clip.
She squeezed her eyes to hold in the waterfall and said a small prayer for strength.
This was silly. It was just hair. It would grow back. But her hair had been beautiful; almost to her waist and a dark brown that could be confused with black if there was no sunlight hitting it. Everyone commented on the thickness and slight curl at the tips. It was exactly like her mom’s hair and that’s what hurt her the most. She took in a deep breath to calm her nerves.
“I’m sorry about this Nena,” Lola, her godmother, said. “You’ve always had such great hair… like your Mami. I used to tease her that I was going to chop off her hair so they could make a wig out of it for me.”
When Savannah didn’t reply, Lola continued, “The good thing is your hair grows quickly. I promise I will be sure that Carmin doesn’t let this happen again.”
No! Carmin was already in trouble. What more could she get punished for?
Savannah opened her mouth to speak and felt her lip crack. It was as if all the water in her body was being held behind her eyes, leaving her lips as dry as the Sahara. She swallowed the lump that was logged in her throat before speaking.
“No, Madrina. It was an accident. Carmin apologized. And this hair was difficult to style anyway, I wanted a cut for my new school.”
It was a half lie. Yes, it took a lot of work to get it styled slick straight and she did want a new haircut—but really just the tips, not eleven inches. She didn’t say any of that, though. Being new to their home, the last thing she wanted was to be a bother.
Her godmother stayed quiet but Savannah could see through the corner of her eye how tense she was with her pinched lips and careful movements. Taking one final snip, she lowered her eyes to the floor where the long, dark strands had fallen. Strands that were clumped up and held together by dry, nasty, Dubble Bubble gum. Ready to be swept away and discarded. Like her parents had been swept away from her life. Her chin started to tremble and Savannah bit her tongue hard in an effort to calm down.
“There,” Lola said and put down the hair brush. They both looked up into the bathroom mirror at her reflection. Trying to imagine herself without the red eyes and slumped posture, Savannah still hated it. Was it bad? Did it look hideous? No, but she hated the change. She clenched her hands to keep her fingers from touching it. Another unwanted change.
“I have something for you, something I found in my box of old albums,” Lola said and grabbed her hand, pulling her into the master bedroom.
While Lola went inside the walk-in closet, Savannah stopped to look at the small pencil markings that showed how tall Carmin was growing. She smiled when she ran her finger up the wall and noticed she had been added. She remembered Lola insisting she be measured as well, so she and her husband would always be able to see how tall both girls were getting. Savannah, usually taller than most of the guys in her class, used to wish for Carmin’s average height. Carmin envied Savannah’s long legs. At the age of thirteen, neither one were satisfied with how they looked. “Your mother made this for me a few years ago, and I thought it would be best if you kept it.”
She turned and tried to keep her composure when she saw Lola with watery eyes and her arms outstretched holding what looked like a photo album.
It was soft brown leather with that hint of what Savannah called closet smell. The smell of storage and past memories. Savannah opened it to reveal a scrapbook of pictures. She turned each delicate page and felt lightheaded when she saw how detailed her mother had been. What started out with just pictures of her mother and Lola became more of a family album. There was writing, important dates, and information on each page. She stopped to pull out a picture of her with her parents in front of a log cabin in Colorado.
“Navidad 1996: First time seeing snow.
We spent the day playing with it and then went out for hot chocolate.”
That picture took her back to such a wonderful time, when she didn’t have a care in the world. She looked up at her godmother and smiled; her first genuine smile since she’d moved in with her, and couldn’t help walking to her for a hug. Lola gently rubbed her back as she cried on her shoulder. There are only so many tears you can hold back before you feel like you might explode.
“I thank your mother for taking those pictures of all of us and of me and my family. She always had a camera in her hands and was so good at it.”
Savannah sniffed and pulled back to wipe at her eyes.
“I remember she gave me my first real camera just a few years ago. I had started to learn some tricks she had picked up in her classes.”
Lola nodded and twirled a finger around Savannah’s hair. “Yes, you both have that creative gene. Pictures are so important, especially at times like these. A little treasure you can always go back to.”
Savannah agreed and went back to her bedroom—the one she shared with Carmin, who was still lying down on her bed and sniffling. Savannah knew Carmin was ticked off about having her TV privileges taken away. The punishment was only for two nights, but she understood. She knew how bad it felt when what you loved and enjoyed was taken away. Taking in a deep breath, she put the album down on the dresser and walked the few steps to Carmin’s full-size bed and lay beside her, facing her back, and wrapped her arm around her waist. Carmin had dark hair as well, but curlier and thicker. Just as gorgeous, even though Carmin hated it.
“I’m sorry about your hair…”
Savannah hugged her tighter. “I know you are.”
“I can’t believe I fell asleep with gum in my mouth.”
“It’s ok Carmin; I should have been laying down on my own bed anyway.”
She turned around then and looked at her. Her eyes were big and brown. She always had pretty eyes.
“But I like it when you lay down with me; it’s as if I have a sister.”
She brought up her hand to brush the now short strands behind Savannah’s ear.
“Do you like your new hair style?”
Savannah didn’t want to say the truth and make her feel worse so she nodded.
Would she really be able to fit in with her family? They’d known each other their whole lives, their moms had been best friends when they were little – but spending time with someone on weekends and holidays versus living with them day in and day out were two different things.
Still, Savannah smiled at Carmin’s endearment.
“I thought you didn’t want a sister.”
It was meant to tease her but when Carmin lowered her eyes, she felt guilty instead. She remembered a conversation where Carmin told her she didn’t want siblings so she wouldn’t have to share. They had both laughed and cheered that they were lucky to be only children. But that was years ago, she shouldn’t have said that.
Savannah took her hand in hers and squeezed. “Sisters forever.”
Carmin smiled back and leaned in to hug her. A drunk driver might have taken her parents away from her. But now, she gained a sister.
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About the Author
MJ Abraham lives in bipolar weather Florida with a husband that makes her laugh and a superhero son that calls her his Princess. She has a degree in Business Administration from Nova University but finds the people in her head to be much more interesting. She is a lover of clever words, reading way past her bedtime, and zombies. She may or may not be as random as her bio.