Whoever said finding love was easy…
Whoever said finding love was easy was lying because Layla
James and her friends Reese, Chanel and Skye can’t catch a break.
If it’s not old loves being resurrected, they’re encountering exciting
new conquests and forbidden one-night stands. These four Atlanta
natives are finding that the quest to find Mr. Right is as
treacherous as walking a tight rope.
At times insightful and at times hilarious, you’ll cheer their
navigation of the road called Love while maintaining the enduring
bond of friendship. Will they make it to the other side and find a
lasting, enduring love or will their dreams go up in flames? You’ll
have to read the book to find out, but one thing is for sure, you
won’t be able to get enough of the fabulous lives and loves of these
Why didn’t someone tell me that this love thing ain’t easy? I’m ready to fire my preacher, therapist and friends because they failed to keep a sista informed. Well, maybe not my friends. They are about the only thing I’ve got left to hold on to these days.
A year ago, I had my shit together. I had what I thought was my dream job and who I thought was my dream man. I was dead wrong on both counts.
My dream job was the most stressful job ever. It had me doing cartwheels just to keep up with the white establishment, but then after working me like a slave in the cotton field they had the nerve to fire my ass. Can you believe that? They fired me! I’m a college-educated black woman with a master’s degree in business administration and finance from Clark Atlanta University for Christ’s sake. Not to mention that I’m thirty-five years old and did not see myself in this position at this age: unemployed.
Oh, did I mention that the one good man I’d found in Atlanta, Travis Montgomery, kicked me to the curb because he thought I couldn’t get over Mr. Big, oh excuse me, Mr. Unattainable Conrad Smith. Thanks to his lying, trifling ass, Conrad ruined the first solid relationship I’d had in well over a decade, and I am now single. Again.
How can this be? I had a plan, which has since gone up in smoke. My sister friends Chanel, Reese and Skye aren’t doing much better than me. They’re all having a rocky time on that road called Love. But will I ever give up on getting it right? Hell no. Why? ’Cause I can’t get enough.
“Oh yeah, baby, like that,” I scream. “Oh yeah, give it to me like that. Oooh yeah, that’s my spot, that’s my spot,” I tell the man buried inside me to get him to hurry and the hell off me. We’ve been at this sex thing for the better part of an hour, and he still hasn’t come. What is he, the Energizer Bunny?
My plan on this lovely Atlanta spring evening in May was to have fun with Skye, Chanel and Reese. I wasn’t looking to pick up anybody. Matter of fact, I hadn’t done it in Lord knows how long, but I was feeling the itch. I mean, it has been a year since my boyfriend, Travis, decided to take a sabbatical from work. My mama didn’t raise no fool. I know what he really meant:
He wanted a break from me.
I’d tried to do the right thing by keeping my legs closed and focusing on work, but that proved fruitless when I got fired a month after he left. Now I’m horny and in need of a release. But the way this fool on top of me keeps going on, it seems unlikely. Why oh why did I go against my better judgment and take him home?
Could it have been because he had the smooth vanilla skin and hazel eyes I’ve always been attracted to? I thought I’d been cured of the red-man Pretty Ricky syndrome, but not long after Travis left, I fell back into my old ways. And now thanks to Mr. Energizer, I will have a sore vagina to prove it tomorrow.
So I just lie here and give my best performance to help him along. “Oh give it to me, daddy,” I moan. “Oooh like that.”
“You like that?” he groans, pumping his average-sized penis inside me.
Like most women, I can be a great actress in bed. Wish I could be the same thing in real life. Perhaps if I hadn’t mouthed off to the senior VP at Whitmore, Duncan & Associates, he may not have had it out for me.
Just as I’m thinking this, Pretty Ricky’s body begins to quake and convulse. Thank the Lord, this debacle is finally coming to an end. He rams into me two more times before collapsing all sweaty against my nonheaving chest.
I pray to the Lord up above: If ever I even think to have a one-night stand again, please, Lord, remind me of this experience and my sinful ways.
A half-hour later, I’m walking him to the door after I’ve wrapped my Victoria’s Secret robe around my naked body, which I have to say is holding up pretty good for my age. My tits are still full and perky, and I keep my ass extra tight with glute exercises at the gym. Perhaps this fine exterior will come in handy one day when Mr. Right comes along.
You found Mr. Right, my inner voice reminds me. And you let him get away.
I shake my head to erase this reminder and walk over to my Michael Kors bag. I reach inside and find my cellphone to dial Skye. She will make me laugh about having a bad lay. Skye used to be the queen of making sure she got off first, but ever since her HIV scare, she’s been playing it safe.
She answers on the third ring. “Hello.”
“Well, if it isn’t Miss Hot Pants,” Skye replies. “How’s your evening?”
“It obviously can’t be too good, chick, if I’m calling you two hours after we left the club.”
A long pause occurs before Skye says, “Very true. So I take it, it was less than memorable?”
“Worse. It took him an hour to get off.”
Skye chuckles. “Some of us like an extended session.”
“So do I, girl,” I respond, “but this fool couldn’t find my spot.”
“Damn, I feel for you, Layla. If a man can’t do it for me, I just tell him to get his sorry ass off me and come back when he’s practiced finding the G-spot.”
I burst out laughing. Trust Skye to keep it real. “I guess I just thought that because he is a naturalist and takes such care of his body—”
“That he would know his way around yours?” Skye offers. “Not all female bodies are equal, Layla. And you, what’s with all this New Age shit anyway? I know you needed to find yourself after Travis left you high and dry, but damn! First it’s your career, red meat and until recently, sex! I’m thankful to know that didn’t last too long, but when are you going to give up this trimmed-down, stress-free vegetarian lifestyle and get back to living? I mean who knows if Travis is ever coming back?”
I fold my arms across my chest. “I am not waiting for Travis.”
“Aren’t you? I mean why else all these sweeping changes? Are you trying to show him you’re a new woman so when he gets back from his sabbatical he’ll still think you’re the one?”
“Sometimes, I wish—”
“I would just coddle you like Reese. Well that’s not me. Never has been. And you are the one that lifted me up when I was at my weakest point last year. I’m just trying to return the favor, especially when I see you drowning and in need of a lifeline.”
Am I drowning?
I don’t think so. I’m doing a lot better. I didn’t curl up and die when Travis left like I did when Conrad and I broke up. I’m a much stronger woman than I was back then. “Thank you, Skye. And I appreciate the pep talk, but I’m fine. Let me just try this on for size, and if it doesn’t fit, I’ll go back to the old Layla you remember.”
“I love that Layla,” Skye replies, “and she didn’t need to change.”
I remember Skye’s words once we’ve hung up. Had I changed so much that I am unrecognizable? So what if I’ve stopped relaxing my shoulder-length hair? So what if I’ve stopped eating red meat and gone vegetarian? So what if I’ve stopped searching for a job in corporate America and given up my suits in favor of a bohemian look? It’s time for a change because Lord knows the last thirty-five years haven’t gone as perfectly as I’d planned. Perhaps a new outlook on life is exactly what I need to get me over the proverbial hump.
While the change has been scary to my friends, it’s been oh-so necessary for me. Not long after I was fired, I found the nearest holistic hotspot in Atlanta—Renew Wellness Center—and signed up for all the classes. I’ve tried out everything from yoga to meditation to massages and more. I’ve tried to figure out how or why my life has been so upended. I’ve lost not one, but two men in the last two years and, of course, my job. Is the big man upstairs trying to tell me something?
I don’t know if I’ll find the meaning of life, but something has to give, and Renew Wellness has given me a start. The place has changed my life. It all started with cleansing my body of all its toxins and going on a regimen of clean foods, vegetables and fruit. Then I incorporated massages, reflexology and acupuncture into my routine.
My friends were actually excited to learn I’d taken up tai-chi and meditation. Hell, Reese and Skye, when she’s in town, have even joined me for several classes a time or two. Skye loves it and told me that she feels tai-chi made her more limber. Reese has found meditation as an escape from her life. For me, it’s all part of my growth and learning to love and accept myself with all my flaws.
But I think the tide really began turning when I started delving even further into the other services offered, like Reiki. I have to admit I was a nonbeliever until the masseuse placed his hands on me. He said he was focusing on the seven chakras, but I have to tell you that a delicious warmth spread through me the likes of which I’ve only felt when I am having an earth-shattering climax. I experienced such peace and relaxation that he made me a believer. Next thing you know, to the girls I was promoting Reiki’s benefits of mental clarity, calmness and loosening up blocked energy as a way to reduce stress. That’s when they began wondering if I’ve fallen off my rocker.
I just need something else to believe in because clearly what I’ve been believing, such as hard work, dedication and loyalty, hasn’t done much for me. So here I am, a new woman spouting the ways holistic medicine has helped me grow.