When the novel opens Jonah and Faith Morgan have been married for ten years.
I posted Jonah's story above. If you haven't read it yet, you may want to pop up and read it first, then come back to second chances.
Taking A Second Chance
a prequel to the novel, Secrets and Lies
a prequel to the novel, Secrets and Lies
“You look fabulous!”
Faith Morgan's eyes popped open. She took in her reflection in the full length mirror. Black halter dress, diamond and gray pearl earrings, upswept hair, and nearly an hour of paint on her face. She titled her head as she made her own assessment. She was glad for her best friend’s enthusiasm, but she wasn’t sure about wearing something so snug. She pulled at the fabric around her hips. It wasn’t giving. Who was she kidding? The issue wasn’t with it being snug. The issue was she hadn’t looked this sexy in a very long, time and that was a crime.
“Girl, you better work that body.” Yvette did a little shimmy, moving her arms back and forth in front of her chest. “Do you know how many women pray they get their bodies back after having a baby?”
Faith let out a sigh and turned away from the mirror. She looked good. The best she was going to look anyway, but somehow she didn’t feel right about leaving her son. He’d been teething for two weeks. Finally last night his skin broke through the surface of his gums. “Vette, I should stay home with Eric. What if he’s still fussy?”
“Once the tooth pops out they’re fine until the next one,” Yvette said. “If you’re going to go out, this weekend would be the time. By next week he’ll have a cold or something and you’ll keep putting off the good doctor.”
Jonah Morgan’s handsome, chocolate face entered Faith’s memory, and butterflies her stomach. The velvety tenor of his voice set her heart to racing. That was something else she hadn’t had in a long, long time; excitement over a man.
She turned back to the mirror to assess her outfit yet again. Ran her fingers over the beaded mesh at her waist. It was a diva divine dress, which was right on point, because she had to look perfect. That man was fine. He would look good changing his oil.
Faith caught the bouquet of roses he’d sent earlier this week in the mirror’s reflection. The note on the card was sweet. He was sweet and that went further than looks in her book. Yvette was right. He wouldn’t be begging her for a date for much longer. Men eventually gave up and she didn’t really want him to do that.
Faith looked at her wedding band. “You don’t think it’s too soon?”
Yvette’s eyes followed, and she let out a sigh. “It’s been a year.”
Faith turned back to the mirror and lost herself for a moment in the memory. Her husband, Nathaniel was late getting home after his shift at the hospital. Then at three a.m. the police were at the door. It couldn’t be good, but she never anticipated that they would say, “We’re sorry to inform you that your husband was killed in a car accident.” She’d nearly fainted. The weight of her pregnant belly atop weak knees would have taken her down had not one of the officers grabbed her.
Faith blinked back tears.
“Don’t ruin that eye make-up.” Yvette came up behind her and rested her chin on her shoulder. The two of them stood there for a long moment, and then Yvette broke the silence. “It’s okay, girl. You deserve happiness.”
Faith nodded. Of course she did, but she was afraid it would elude her. She’d lost her father in college, and now her husband as a newlywed. The men in her life were dying. She wasn’t sure if she could handle any more loss, any more pain associated with a man. Even rejection might be too much at this point. But she was dressed now. Jonah was on the way. He had been good to her. Too good for her to stand up. I have to do this, she thought. Even if it was only this one time. Then she could retreat, back to the safety and surety of single motherhood.
“You go on downstairs.” Faith squeezed Yvette’s hand. “I need a minute.”
Yvette cocked her head to the side. “No tears. He’ll be here in five minutes, and I can’t get rid of a raccoon in five minutes.”
Faith smiled, pulled her friend into a tight embrace. “I love you, girl.”
“I love you, too.” Yvette stepped back, let her eyes sweep Faith once more time. “You look good.” She winked and left the bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Faith walked to the bureau and pulled the top drawer open. The only item inside was a long, rectangular jeweled box, which she removed. She opened the lid and a music box version of “Somewhere Out There” began to play in the stillness of the room. She placed the box on the dresser and reached in for a small collection of photographs. Nathaniel in his hospital scrubs, Nathaniel and she on the beach in Key West on their wedding night, Nathaniel’s obituary.
I need to place these in a fireproof box, she thought. They’ll be all I have to share with Eric one day. All I’ll have of his father. The father he never got to meet.
Faith looked at her ring finger. Stared at the band Nathaniel had place on it not more than eighteen months ago. Her college sweetheart. He’d promised to love and cherish her. He’d done that until he’d slid across black ice and hit the median on the interstate. Faith shuddered. Sorrow was about to engulf her, but then she heard the sound of the doorbell in the distance. Remembered Yvette’s warning about raccoon eyes.
She reached for the ring on her finger and slowly pulled it off. She’d had years of happiness with a good man. She wasn’t sure she could dare hope for more, but Jonah was here and it was time to try. She raised the ring to her lips, kissed it and placed it the box.
“Goodbye, Nate.” She fought back the tears that wanted to come, returned the box to the drawer and pushed it shut. She made one last stop in front of the mirror and smiled at her reflection.
“Go get him girl.” Faith chuckled, smoothed her hair, and left the bedroom. It was time to take a second chance on love.