Hello beloveds! Today I have for you a little sneak peek, an aperitif if you will, of If You Love Something, which comes out on December 28, 2021, and is available for pre-order here.
The setup: Malik is on the phone with his sister Sheila, the morning after his first night with DeShawn. At the house? In the bed? You’ll have to buy to find out (hint hint, wink wink).
“DeShawn is here.”
“What you mean by here? Here as in he’s coming to the restaurant, or…”
“Here as in he’s living with me.”
“And you were going to tell us about this when, exactly?” I had no fucking clue. “Malik, what happened? If DeShawn is there, why are you calling me?”
“Because I ran him off.”
“Already? How long has it been?”
“Oh, Malik.” Her voice had gone soft, that sympathetic sigh mixed with a healthy dose of exasperation. “Tell me what happened.”
So I did, and to be honest, it was hard to get the words out. Because the more I spoke, the more I knew how messed up it was. When I was finished, I waited for her to castigate me, which was only right and fair at this time.
Instead, she asked a very simple question. “Malik, what are you so scared of?”
“What do you mean?” I had a pretty good idea, but I needed her to say it.
“You’ve created all these rules, basically saying that you want to be perfect strangers, nearly enemies, all that. But I mean, it sounds to me like he did you a favor, right?”
“Yes.” I couldn’t argue with that.
“Then what’s the problem?”
How did I say it in a way that made it make sense? If that were even possible. “It’s not that I ever stopped having feelings for him, you know. But whatever we had is gone, and I don’t want to get used to him being around. I don’t want to want him around.”
“Is it such a bad thing to want?”
“With him? Yes. Yes it is.”