Okay, we all know 21st Century Americans (or any member of a first world country) love TV shows! Netflix, Hulu, and AmazonPrime are beloved streaming services people flock to for entertainment. For the Faith-Based Audience, we live off Pureflix and the Hallmark’s Movies app. But let’s keep it real… it’s because God taught us to see the good in anything, we can find satisfaction in Pureflix and Hallmark, because these are the avenues that give us grown up content without the nudity, the language, the gore, and the darkness. Yes, there is Vidangel that filters all the bad stuff out of “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things”, but is it really as good as the uncensored originals?
Programmers make content that the current society can relate to, and they do this to ensure people will watch their show. If programmers want to introduce something new to society, we now consider taboo, we will see it in comedic format until society catches up to this “something new” and having a drama with the content is palatable.
One of the first TV characters to have a baby, out of wedlock, on TV was Murphy Brown. “Murphy Brown” the TV show, was a comedy in the late 80s to mid 90s (it has been rebooted and cancelled after season one… not gonna lie… I prayed for that cancellation). Single mothers were common across America at the time. The programmers (producers, writers, directors, executives, etc.) addressed single mothers because they knew there were many out there and could relate to it. Also, think about the young women at the time who watched this show, and were raised to believe having kids out of wedlock was wrong… how many do you think decided maybe it wasn’t so bad if they had a kid outside marriage, and they made different life choices because of “Murphy Brown”?
Don’t twist my words… making choices based on what one sees on TV can be negative, but it can also be positive. Some may think, “No one makes life decisions based on TV and TV characters!”
I was on Instagram today, and one of my favorite actresses Olivia Wilde, made post about how proud she was of her bisexual character Alex Kelly on “The O.C.”. I literally read a comment where someone posted they realized they were gay because of her character on that show…
Now, depending on what worldview lens you hold, will determine how interpret what I wrote above.
As a person with a Judeo-Christian perspective, I don’t agree the homosexual lifestyle can be lived out and lead to Heaven with the God of the Holy Bible. There is enough scripture in there to support my personal belief. Now, if you’re reading this and you don’t believe homosexuality will lead to eternal death, I’m not angry and I won’t try to convince you otherwise. If you want a better understanding of what I believe and why I believe it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If I quote scripture on homosexuality such as the following:
Leviticus 18:22: Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin. (NLT)
Leviticus 20:13: If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense. (NLT)
Romans 1:26-27: That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 6:9-11: Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive or cheat people –none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NLT)
Then I could be accused of using hate speech on social media and I don’t want to get removed from Facebook. I’m quoting from the sacred text that billions of people believe to be the WORD OF GOD, the One who MADE EVERYTHING. Now, what the WORD says may not sound awesome to embrace and may be contrary to how a lot of people feel and think, but in a world where definitions and truths are as fickle as feelings and ever changing, what my God says today is the same it was 4,000 years ago and that brings me peace.
[Let’s rabbit trail, and think on this for a moment… God is love (1 John 4 says so) and love that is unconditional will always do what is best for the other person, regardless of how that other person feels, thinks, or acts. However, we have learned as the human race, we don’t do anything unless we believe in what we’re doing and believe what we claim as truth as our reason for why we do what we do. We are like this, because God designed us to believe in Him, but if we miss Him, we will find anything else to believe in that makes ourselves feel good…
So God, who is LOVE, had awesome experiences with humanity for thousands of years, but no one could stay consistent in listening to Him. Through the founding fathers of faith (in Judaism), He gave guidance and instructions to live a blessed life and because God longed to connect with the rest of humanity, he asked Abraham and his descendants to live according to love and to live for others as opposed to living to self, which is vain and leads to death.
Think about circumcision? Men are less prone to diseases and less likely to spread diseases if they are circumcised. How loving is that? God wanted men and women to be in good health! I will spare us specific details of why, for all the adults reading this, you can think of why.
To help humanity out, and specifically His people out, God writes down His guidelines and His instructions to the Blessed Good Life. Anyone who reads it, believes it, and lives out their life upon what the WORD says will live a BLESSED GOOD LIFE (in the end, when you look back on their life).
If you look at the Kosher Diet, that some people in Judaism follow to the letter, living in a time without the FDA, antibiotics, probiotics, and weight loss pills… that diet is the best diet to live a long, prosper life way back in those Bible days.
The Ten Commandments may have had harsh penalties, but if we look at 8 of them, they all prevent people from doing bad things, if they abide by them. The first two, if those are followed, those people would never do anything bad because following God of the Bible didn’t ask for crazy rituals to be pleased…
Do you realize most pagan idols (gods) back then required human blood sacrifice, sexual orgies, eating raw animal meat, torturing people, killing animals, doing drugs, mutilating their own bodies, and who knows what other vile things?!
People back then lived by fear. If they were afraid of something or someone, they most likely didn’t do what would get them in trouble. To ensure the people Israel wouldn’t do super bad things, God made a super bad punishment knowing most people would be too afraid to go against that. And if you read the Bible, when the whole lot of Israel got disobedient, He just graciously exiled them from the Promise Land, he didn’t kill all of them and start again, He realized after Noah, that doesn’t really work (kidding… I think…).
God is GOOD. He is LOVE. His WORD is LIFE. Living by His SPIRIT does HELP US in our EVERY DAY LIVES.
End of rabbit trail.]
Again, why isn’t there anything good (suitable for believers) to watch on TV?
I think we settle for it.
We watch what we want because it gets us hooked and because we know the truth all the sin, all the falsehood, and all the blaspheme against God doesn’t affect us that much. If we’re solid in the WORD, solid in our PRAYER LIFE, and connected to the BODY these shows don’t impact us deeply. For some folks, watching a scene with nudity could lead them to falling in the area of lust and acting upon those lusts. Or watching a show with bad words could lead them to cuss. Apply a scenario you watch on a show and how you do similar things in real life.
I’m not telling anyone to quit all TV, but if you want a program that honors God, and puts what is good on display, free from deception and the grips of the enemy, then we need to let programmers know there is a demand for it and there will be an audience that watches it. But it starts with us writing emails to local networks and asking why isn’t there a primetime show safe to watch with your kids about doctors? Who would love a Shonda Rimes Drama free from the scandal – okay, probably no one because she does scandal so well she created a show called SCANDAL! Hopefully, you see my point!
Another thing we could do is pray… Pray for more content to be made not just for the enjoyment of believers but to spread the Gospel beyond using the Nativity Story and the Life of Jesus. (Be on the look out for Chosen TV on Vidangel. Yes, the creators of Vidangel are Mormon, excuse me, LDS, but the creators of Chosen TV are not. Dallas Jenkins is the creator and director and this series is going to be BETTER than the BIBLE SERIES because it is more Biblically accurate with consulting from Messianic Rabbis from Israel! The first season isn’t out yet, but it’s coming sooooooooooooooon).
Also, have such an appetite for the things of God that whatever you’re watching, you see Jesus in it or where Jesus is lacking!
Programmers will make what we want to see when we show them what we want. Maybe we’ll luck out and Sarah Drew and Chris Pratt will team up and create an AWESOME show that is faith inspired and faith based for Hulu or for Netflix, and everyone can’t stop talking about it because it is SO GOOD! (Yes, this is secret prayer of my heart…Oops, it’s not a secret anymore, where two or more are gathered, HE IS THERE!)
Feel free to comment below, I only ask that you remain respectful. If anyone has any personal questions or wants to know my testimony about being set free from gender dysphoria and then lesbianism, email me at justbriannamonique.blog and I’ll be more than happy to share how I was Transformed By God’s Love (LBGT backyards acronym).
ALSO, if you feel inspired to, SHARE THIS POST with whoever and wherever! I’m already grateful for the gift of writing, this blog platform WordPress, and apps like Canva and Adobespark that help me do all this. I give God the MOST GLORY (like all of it) because I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without His constant leading and prodding.
My meditation scripture for the foreseeable future is Psalm 23:5-6 (ESV):
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely[a] goodness and mercy[b] shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell[c] in the house of the Lord
And yes, I plan to meditate on these verses three times a day, every day. Normally, I would think such an act is “too religious”, but I found out Lindsay Lohan meditates three times a day and that is her “personal religion”. She made zero mention of a god or believing in an existing religion as hers. Who knows what she meditates on… maybe she thinks of something or maybe she empties out her mind.
But meditating with God’s Word is simple, it’s a matter of going over the verses for a few minutes and thinking on them. Soaking the verses in to the point you believe them.
If you ask me right now, “Hey Brianna, do believe in the Lord in the way David described Him in Psalm 23?” I would say, “yes”. But if you look at how I respond to certain circumstances in my life, no way… okay, maybe sometimes. But David was always saying out loud what he thought of God and who God was to Him in relation to how he saw the world. Many times, he received prophetic words about our coming Lord Jesus. So he wasn’t thinking of God in light of how He wanted to see God, he thought of God how the Lord revealed Himself to David. And for living as he did because he thought as he did, David became the man after God’s heart. David was after God’s heart. David was not ultimately after his own.
Wow… rabbit trail two! I am definitely a woman, right?
To really sum it up, let’s make TV Networks give us more of what we want. Let’s watch less of the smut they are showing us and force them to create something that glorifies God, not exploit God. Be intentional what you stream, download, and tune into on TV.
It is senior year of high school for Asher Lucas. His family moved to the Fort Apache Reservation the year before. They move into a cozy, three bedroom townhouse in Teacher Housing in Whiteriver, Arizona. His mother teaches second grade and his father serves as the Associate Pastor at a church nearby their new home. He’s the big brother of two sisters, 15-year-old Abbey, and baby Annika.
Asher grew up in a Christian home. He’s known Christ Jesus personally since he was a little boy, but in his last year of high school his faith has never been tested more, when he starts a journey to share the love of Christ with Melody Gartner, a senior girl at his school, who goes from Miss Popular to Nobody after breaking up with the school QB, Jon. Melody is a sweet, bubbly, vibrant girl whose dad is the Pinetop-Lakeside’s best vet and her mom is the queen of charity events. And she goes to church too– the Church of Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ. Melody once embodied everything a Mormon Teen should be, but rumors spread she’s a cheating whore and she struggles to deal with the social fallout.
Abbey has a crush on Tenor Gartner, Melody’s brother, and Asher being the protective big brother he is, wards Tenor often at every opportunity presented. Tenor doesn’t like Asher’s religious influence over his sister Melody, so Tenor tries to make Asher’s life difficult.
As his he grows closer to Melody, Asher desires to save Melody from her world of mess but he knows he can’t. Therefore, Asher battles to allow Christ Jesus to step in and be her Savior. Along the way, he gets a little closer to Christ.
MEET THE CHARACTERS (Drawn by Me)
[I sketched these beauties on SketchBook, on my SurfacePro 3, using a PAC DOT S PEN. I used Canva to lay them out for a blog title template.]
[I sketched this too on SketchBook… I drew it to scale of the space I had, so some petals are incomplete. This is a simple PNG File.]
Originally, the story was called “Everloving”. Yes, I was trying to coin a new word like Shakespeare. I wanted to create a word to describe the EVERLASTING LOVE of GOD and I came up with EVERLOVING because HIS love is continuous in action towards us!
I remember feeling like a genius when I came up with this title. I sat in my living room, pretending I was being interviewed on The View, along with Kirk Cameron about “Everloving” the Movie. Kirk Cameron was the executive producer and played Asher’s dad. While I was the writer and director of the film. I imagined being asked what it was like when Angelina Jolie stopped by on set to watch her daughter’s performance. That’s right, I envisioned Shiloh Jolie-Pitt playing Melody when she’s old enough.
And we discuss how controversial everything is because not only are we saying a popular religion is wrong, we get a girl who is a hardcore tomboy to be a girly-girl in a film. The big kicker is the Shiloh gives her life to Christ onset and it rattles Hollywood.
Yes, clearly, I’m a dreamer, but you never know, it might happen.
Every Monday for the foreseeable future, I will post a chapter from TWAR77. I encourage you to share the posts with your friends and family. PLEASE, bombard me with constructive feedback in the comments. This means even if you catch a typo or super awful grammar mistake. I do ask that you’re respectful in your feedback, otherwise, you will be ignored.
I truly you hope you visit weekly for Manuscript Monday. I can’t put fully into words how I feel about this project. I do plan on publishing this book. Will I self publish it? I don’t know. I’d rather not.
I wrote this story for a few reasons. When I got the idea, I was unexplainably driven to write it. I think part of it is was I live in a region where being a Mormon/LDS was the same as being a Christian. I even went to church with people who didn’t understand that Mormonism doesn’t follow the Bible alone and founded by a con artist Joseph Smith.
I know a lot about Mormonism because I had a friend that became Mormon, but through fervent prayer and staying in touch, she came back to Christ Jesus within a year. I thought if I could understand the religion I could understand why she converted… but it didn’t help.
The Holy Spirit once told me to just love my friend when I was with her. I’m an intellectual, so I thought using apologetics for faith was loving, but I was missing the mark. It didn’t matter how well I debunked the LDS Church with history, science, and scripture from the Bible. When I realized my words were futile, and I recognized loving her was hanging out with her and just being us together, there would be moments she would ask what I thought about some Mormon practices. That’s when I was able to answer with what the Bible had to say, or history, or science… There were times I didn’t have an answer, but then I could pray with her for her to receive an answer. The loving approach was better and way easier than trying to be her savior.
I also know some really great people, who are Mormon, well LDS members (using the M-word is a no-no now according to HQ) and part of me hopes they read this one day and they make the decision to follow Christ Jesus through the Bible and the Holy Spirit alone as an ex-member of the LDS Church.
Melody’s dad is Adam in the story and many of things he says or experiences he has are from actual accounts I’ve heard LDS members share online in YouTube or in person. And Asher Lucas is my display of how I think a teen today should aim to carry out their faith. These people are fictional but there is truth in their interactions.
To be clear, I wrote this story because I was inspired to, I want to reach the lost, and I want people to connect with God and embark in a real relationship with Him. God is my DAD and I’m beyond blessed to be His Daughter, and I’m so grateful I don’t have to buy or earn His love. He gives it because He is LOVE and all He does is done because of His love for US.
THIS MONDAY – 12/03/2018 – VISIT HERE TO READ CHAPTER 1
Since I was 11 years old, I’ve dreamt of publishing a book for an entire generation to enjoy- okay, obsess over. But I didn’t want this story to be vain and simply pure entertainment. I wanted to restore that sense of awe and wonder kids today get robbed of too early. One of the biggest ways children lose their sense of innocence is through film, or at least this is how I felt. Therefore, my dream was to write this book that I extend into a series and the series becomes a movie franchise.
So with just a notebook and a pen, I began writing this story about a boy who became a shark (this is before Shark Boy and Lava Girl), and later on, my father became my illustrator. My father finished the first rough draft, doing all the writing and drawing himself, because were living apart. He showed it to a children’s author he knew through a friend and the author said to contact her when we were finished with the project.
I battled low self-esteem. I struggled to grow as a writer, and I believed this lie that I would never be good enough to be a published author. Every time I went to write a chapter to that story, I was convinced every word, every sentence, and every paragraph wasn’t good enough. For the longest time, I was convinced I could not write a version better than what my father wrote alone, using my concept, my characters, and my vision.
I friended people who aspired to be published authors like me and that motivated me to pick the task up again. I finished the second draft in high school. Unfortunately, my dad and I lost touch with the author my dad built a connection with and I didn’t bother to reach out to literary agents to get it published.
I finished the third draft when I was 22, exactly 11 years later from when I started, and I did show it to some self-publishing companies that kindly gave me a bunch of tips on how to improve it.
I’m now undergoing a fourth draft, co-writing it with my father with him as the illustrator, and I’m going to do my part and trust God with the rest that the work becomes published…
What does that book-in-the-making have to do with this blog? That’s the very first story I ever took seriously to write and had the nerve to re-write again and again, making it more perfect than before. With that catalyst story, what I do on my blog today wouldn’t be a thing.
About a over a year ago, in July 2017, the blog went live with a story I wrote, basing the main character off a friend and her dreams. I placed her and her dreams in a setting of my choosing. I chose the end times and the rapture. I posted it on the blog, because I wanted my blog to be a place where shared all these imaginative stories I developed. I figured while I practiced my writing skills, enhancing them, I could build an audience and having a blog with lots of follows would give a publisher confidence to publish my book…
I may not have many followers but I’m grateful for the ones that do I have… If one thing I write can inspire someone or help someone connect to Jesus the Messiah, then it is worth to me. Yes, I want to influence a bunch of people… thousands or perhaps even millions, but above all those things I want to live the life my Maker designed for me. Not just for my own sake and my own personal fulfillment, but for others who are not known by the Savior may become known.
I figured with this blog, I could do just that… I could write my weird, unconventional stories with Christ at the center and people would be provoked to examine their own worldview and decide if they can afford to keep their current life the same or does some part of it need to change.
A year later, my blog is nowhere where I dreamt it to be, but I’m not giving up because it doesn’t look like what I envisioned. Trust me, I have done all the things hip, popular bloggers say to do, and they all agree it takes time. My faith, however, is not in this blog alone, or at all really. My faith is in God and I know in due season, I will step into each and every promise He has for me, and along the way my family Heaven is just going to get bigger and bigger because more and more souls are connecting with Christ Jesus the purpose God has for their lives.
There you have it readers, this blog is to stretch and grow me as a writer, build an audience to impress a traditional publisher, and to connect people with the heart of God and the truth of Word, in a out of the box kind of way. I’m not on wattpadd because I didn’t think of that, but I may be in the future. We’ll see.
Thank you so much stopping by the blog today. If you don’t know Jesus the Messiah as Savior, friend, and brother… then I don’t believe it’s by chance you discovered my blog. Feel free to comment if you want to know how to know Jesus and to be known by Him today. Or if you’re not ready yet, start by reading the Gospel of Mark… it’s short, it’s simple, and it’s all about Jesus! You can read the Bible at Biblegateway.com. I highly recommend the New Living Translation, God’s Word Translation, or the English Standard Version. The Passion Translation is growing in popularity but I haven’t checked it out personally yet, so I can’t recommend it personally, but people I trust love it, therefore, I think it would be okay to give it a whirl!
I’m an idiot. Roger, my case manager at school, advised me to take only one college course this spring. When have I ever listened to such sage advice? I signed up for three: Botany, Psychology, and Photography 1. The Psych and the Photography class were like made for me, but the Botany class happened to be other worldly… like info from another world with a language barrier I can’t crack!
Biology… why didn’t I take Biology? Well, for my third quarter in high school I’m taking it. Now, maybe taking high school and college Biology together would have enriching but at the time it seemed like getting put on a skewer and roasted over an open fire to me… In other words, just no. That wasn’t happening for me. I’m three weeks in, just past the point of the ability to drop the class without affecting my GPA and I’m in a sinking ship I need to make sure it gets to shore with a passing high C. If I flunk, I get my privileges to take college course for free revoked.
My two and half hour, twice a week class just ended and I’m frozen in my seat… looking over the notes I took during the lecture don’t have any fluidity page to page. I AM ON A SKEWER ROASTING OVER THE FLAMES OF HELL!
“Baby Brain got you bewildered too?” Kim asks standing next to me as I remain seated. She’s 28 weeks pregnant like me. We keep joking that our babies will be born on the same day. She’s half White and half Korean and her husband, Miguel, is half Mexican-American and half Japanese. She’s 36 and this is her fourth child. She’s been a stay at home mom, but not she’s going back to school to follow her passion and to become a teacher… She took Botany over Biology because she’s squeamish. I love the fact she pretends to be lost with me, but she totally understands this stuff more than me, and that’s why I sit next to her in class.
Pulling out her phone, Kim displays the latest 3D sonogram of her little one and hands me her phone so I can gawk over her growing miracle.
“Awe…” I say… Not really sure what to say.
“We finally decide on a name for her, it just came to us.”
“What is it?” I say handing the phone back to her. I close my notebook and pack up my things.
“Sonya Lucia Mary Soo Yun Tanaka… hopefully they count Soo Yun as one name or else we’ll be charged for a sixth name.”
Waddling out of class with Kim, I have to know, “Why so many names?”
“Well, my father is of Russian descendant and none of the other kids have a name to honor that… Then I’m really proud of my mother’s heritage. Of course, Miguel would die if we didn’t have a name that paid tribute to his family and Catholicism.”
That didn’t exactly explain why, but what more can I ask…
Right as we hit the parking lot, the gloomy rain clouds fulfill their purpose and release a steady rainfall. Kim whips open her hot pink umbrella with white pokadots and shares with me since all I got is Derek’s hoodie of his favorite baseball team.
“You’re not stuck taking the bus tonight are you?” Kim wonders with genuine concern in her voice.
“Yep, I’m bussing it.” I sigh.
“The last think you want to catch is the flu or a bug. I got the flu with Junior and it’s the worse illness you’ll ever experience. You want a lift home. You live on the east side right?”
“Um, I’ll take my chances… thanks though…” I sneak out of the covering of her umbrella. The cold, thick rain quickly drenching the hoodie
Locking elbows with me and reeling me back under the shelter of her umbrella, she makes it clear, “Oh nonsense. I live on the east too. I’ll take you home. Do you live on your own or with your boyfriend?”
“With my mom…”
“Your boyfriend isn’t in the picture anymore?”
We stop in front of a white SUV. “He’s in military…”
“I never pictured you to be the military man type?” Kim as she unlocks her vehicle. She walks me to the passenger door and makes sure I get inside.
Once she takes the driver seat, she tosses the umbrella in the back, that clearly looks like it belongs to young children. Two car seats sat in the back, food crumbs, a musty, moldy aroma, and toys of all kinds from actions figures and hot wheels to baby dolls and teddy bears.
Now would be good to clarify and spill the truth about me… but people assume a lot, and when I talk about my life, I just want to disappear…
“That’s sweet you’re staying with your mom while your man is away, will he be back in time of the birth?”
“Hopefully…” I say surprising myself. Do I have a clinical lying problem? Am I a pathological liar?
“You know what we should do together?”
“A mommy and me class when the babies are old enough, we could be Baby Buddies?” Kim says excitedly turning on the ignition.
“Can you explain something to me? If the war is over, why do we still send soldiers over there? And is your man a marine, an army man, an airman?”
“Um… I’m in high school. I get to take college courses for free. My boyfriend got shipped off to military school before I found out I was pregnant, and after I told him about the baby on FaceTime, we haven’t spoken since… I’m 16… I turned 16 two weeks ago.” The truth feels good to say.
We sit in a loud silence for a moment. The rain comes down harder. Finally, Kim speaks, “You’re so mature for your age! You could have fooled me the whole semester and I wouldn’t have known… If you want to fake being older the rest of the semester, I will totally go along with it.”
As she backs up erratically, she babbles on and on about how great Mommy-and-Me-Classes can be. We zip through the parking lot and through the rain way too fast for two pregnant women inside an SUV.
“Remembering Jewel is Mom”
Jewel made Saturday mandatory family day. We all get up by 9, we leave by 10, and go out to eat for breakfast. Then we go see a movie. After the movie we go to the park, if it is too cold, we go to the library. We go out for lunner (lunch/dinner). Then we spend the night playing board games as we over indulge with ice cream sundaes.
I barely remember this side of Jewel. She was a lot like this when I was super little, when she was married to my dad.
Even though she’s dying, and she can smoke as much as she wants to, she doesn’t have a single cigarette in the apartment. She drinks sometimes, and she’s not supposed to, but instead of being an angry drunk, she’s a crying drunk.
I sit at the kitchen table, organizing the movie tickets and printed pictures for the past three weeks. Scrapbooking is the art of memorializing life moments in a photo album, an art form Jewel will teach me tonight. We have color paper with quirky patterns, scissors, glue sticks, sticker letters, and a blank scrapbook album my mom’s had for eons.
Mom takes her seat beside me, at the head of the table, and looks through the paper… “I’m thinking pink?”
“Eww… just because were girls doesn’t mean we need to make it girly… how about red?”
“The male version of pink… okay…”
I laugh. I never looked at red that way.
“So… uh… what do you want to do for your baby shower?”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Well, do you want people to know the gender or not?”
I get what she’s doing… she wants me to tell her the baby’s gender…
“I think I’d rather get gift cards to buy baby clothes… so the guests don’t need to know, but who am I going to invite who can afford to bring anything? Do I have to have a baby shower?”
I watch mom cut and glue pink paper that looks like strokes of paint into the first page of the album. She takes the movie tickets and our pics outside the movie theater and arranges them in a manner pleasing to the eye.
“I never really asked you, I just assumed, but… do you fluffing want to raise the baby? Have you thought about adoption?”
She’s the third person to mention adoption to me. Last week, at work, I went to a grand opening to La Vie downtown to take pictures for Troy’s food critique, and he suggested Derek and I look into adoption. Then Kaylie brought it up yesterday saying that she felt led to bring that up to me. Now, my mom.
“Sniff, there was this sweet couple from church that wanted to adopt you… sometimes I think I should have let them…”
I hate it when she brings that up. It makes me loathe myself more. It makes me feel like she hates me and thinks I ruined her life.
“O fluff, are you crying, what for?” Jewel asks as she gets up. Coughing, she rips a piece of paper towel from the roll, hanging above the sink and comes back over to me. She hands the paper towel to me use as a tissue.
“I feel like you don’t love me when you bring that up…”
“If I didn’t fluffing love you, I would have aborted you.” She erupts into a long coughing fit as she covers her mouth with her fist.
Like on code blue alert, I shoot up from my seat, and worry, “Do you need your inhaler? Where is it?” I go to the bathroom to check the medicine cabinet. It’s not in there. I scan the bathroom counter and don’t see anything. I barge into her room and look on the dresser, the night stands, and then I remember she probably brought it with us… It must be in her purse. I think her purse is in the living room.
Before I can get to her purse, and I’m back in the kitchen, her coughing stops.
“I fluffing fine… You panic too easily.”
“How can I not panic? You’re dying… you’ve chosen to die and that can happen at any moment… how cannot freak out about that?”
“Oh Savannah…” Mom says embracing me. She squeezes me tight and kisses me on the forehead. “I love you…” She says with a shakiness to her voice like she’s about to cry. “I know I’ve been the world fluffing worst mother… A real mother fluffer mommy dearest and you don’t need to forgive me for the sniff I’ve done, the blick I’ve been, but please, do me a favor… don’t panic… everything is gonna be okay, okay?”
There’s something about being held by your mother. Listening to her heart beat in her chest. The scent of her, her shampoo, her perfume, her clothes, her sweat… and the peace that hits you and makes you feel safe… If I could stay like this with her forever, it would erase all the terrible things she’s done, and it would stop any future of her not being there. To not panic, I have to remember Jewel is a mom, she is my mother.
Alexis Fabry… she took back her maiden name when she divorced Derek’s dad. She’s a nurse at the hospital right down the street from my mom’s apartment. When Netty wanted to cart me around and look at hospitals to see which is the best one to have the baby, I was actually praying we wouldn’t go to Alexis’s hospital. Dr. Varejao can makes to four hospitals within the city, and its up to us which hospital we want.
We nearly make it out unseen, when Alexis enters the elevator before we can make it to the lobby.
“Savvy…” The tall, skinny aging blonde can’t say anything beyond my name.
“Ms. Shay?” Netty double checks she’s Derek’s mother.
“Yes, you’re Netty, right?” Alexis questions shaking my sister’s hand.
“The one and only… how’s Derek?”
“He’s doing much better… Um…” Alexis gulps as she nervously pulls on her ear lobe. “How, are you Savvy? Other than pregnant, I didn’t know you were pregnant… does… did… you tell… Derek?”
“That’s a good question, Savvy, have you told the father of you baby about his child?”
The doors to the lobby open up and I choose to escape. I barge in between them and book it for the exit. I’m not ready to tell Netty the truth… I will but do I have to on this day?
They both catch up with me outside the sliding entrance doors. Those similar blue eyes to Derek, gaze at me with a fused look of confusion and concern. I’m sure she sent Derek away to prevent becoming a young grandma. Good news, she’s not going to be a grandma any time soon. Bad news, I can’t go over that.
“Since Christmas, Derek’s been begging to come back home and to stay with me. He said you needed him, you told him, didn’t you?” Alexis wonders.
I nod yes.
“I don’t get it… If you told him about the baby, why didn’t he say anything to you Alexis?”
Alexis shrugs her shoulders… She suddenly grabs my hand and caresses my backhand with her thumb. “I’d love to have you and your family over for dinner tomorrow night, your sisters, your mom, and whoever else, and we can talk about what needs to happen from here… does that sound like a plan?”
Netty agrees to dinner without my consent. She never declines dinner. But if Alexis didn’t work all the time, she would be a perfect mom. She’s thoughtful and caring. She does all the house work even though she works over 50 hours a week. I used to wish all the time Alexis was my mom. I looked forward to her being my mother-in-law. Who knows what she is to me anymore? I don’t even know if Derek is still my boyfriend.
Savvy: Derek… I still love you…
Derek: SAVVY! I love you. I thought you were done with me. I just want you to know, I’m still here. You and me, always.
Savvy: What about the baby?
Derek: You, me… and the little bambino too😊
Derek: Yes, who else have you told… everything to?
Savvy: Just you… and my mom… no one else…
Derek: Did your mom believe you?
Savvy: I think. IDK.
Derek: I got a plan, but it won’t work if my parents learn the truth… How did dinner with my mom go?
Savvy: I’m alive… the baby is fine…
Derek: LMBO. My mom called me and reamed in to me for not telling her that you’re having my baby.
Savvy: But I’m not.
Derek: For my plan to work, you are…
Savvy: Is Jesus okay with you lying?
Derek: Probably not, but I don’t care. I’m never living without you.
Savvy: COME HOME!
Derek: I will be, Monday night? Will you come with my mom to pick me up from the airport?
Savvy: I’d love to but I have Botany at West Campus.
Derek: I’m getting in super late… like 9pm.
Savvy: I get out at 8:30.
Derek: Okay… Will Jewel be at work, maybe I can drop by?
Savvy: She works day shifts now, she’ll be home. Sorry.
Derek: When will I see you then?
Savvy: I guess whenever.
Derek: Can’t you skip one class? We haven’t seen each other in MONTHS!
Savvy: I’ll think about it.
…At the Clinic…
TASHA and Kingston sat in chairs across the desk from the Nurse Practitioner. The air was drafty and dry and a coolness pushed down on them from the vent over their heads. The potent aroma of alcohol and cotton swabs lingered all around them.
Sue, the Asian American Nurse Practitioner finished explaining the details of the procedure and the legal ramifications for lying on their documentation.
Sue cleared her throat and asked one more time.
“Are you sure Kingston is the father?”
Rolling her eyes, “Yes,” Tasha sighed.
“I can attest, nurse— Sue… I was there…” Kingston chuckled. His heart fluttered, elevating his heart rate as anxiety threatened to rise up within him.
“Can I be frank with you?” Sue asked.
Neither of them said anything allowing Sue to be frank.
Sue looked at Kingston, who sat slouched in his seat. His hair in a frazzled mess and his eyes hidden behind his rose gold framed aviator shades. He loosened his neck tie as Sue spoke, “You’re Kingston Rourke… The very famous, openly gay boyfriend of Giles Bordner… Even if you were telling the truth—,”
Tasha smacked her open palm hand on the glass desk and snapped, “I @#%!*$ him and he knocked me up!”
“Okay,” Sue said defensively, “I understand what you both said and what you are both claiming. However, for your legal protection, given your known history for lying Ms. Turner, I think a paternity test is necessary.”
Tasha buried her face into her hands as she cursed under her breath. Kingston reached to rest his hand on her back to comfort her, but she whacked his hand away before it landed in place. Inhaling deeply and then exhaling, Tasha lifted her gaze and asked, “How much will that cost out of pocket?”
Nervously, Tasha leaned forward resting her elbows on her skirt covered knees, with her hands clasped together tightly.
Sue explained, “Since you plan to terminate the pregnancy and you need the paternity test to secure the correct co-signature to conduct the procedure… Insurance won’t cover any of it, thanks to the bill that passed five years ago, where all insurance must be applicable to treatment, care, and diagnostics toward life, not resulting in death. Sure, insurance companies were only trying to get out of paying for assisted suicide, but pro-lifers took advantage and made abortion more costly in the process.”
Kingston encouraged the woman to get to the cost details, “Thanks for the legislation lesson, but we would like a rough number, please?”
“Just over $3,000 for an SNP, which we can do because your 8 wks. It’s very non-invasive and incredibly safe.”
Scratching her head, “Darn, no chance of miscarriage? Real bummer.”
“That number seems high?” Kingston mentioned.
“Well, before Wayd v. Rowe, is was nearly $2,000. The number I gave you is our price and it is the best you’ll find in the city.”
“Okay, I can put in $1,500.”
“Well, that’s great for you… After all my bills and monthly fines I’m lucky if I have enough money to pay for a cab from my apartment to work…” Tasha huffs. Stuffing her fingers into her hands she leaned her head back. Staring at the dry wall ceiling tiles, she asked about adoption. “How does the adoption placement program work again?”
“Oh, well, all pre-natal care is paid for, including delivery room fees and post-labor medical care. The mother gets $10,000 dollars for her service and the father gets $5,000 dollars. Oh, and um, the SNP is covered by your insurance, because the procedure now goes toward life. Both parents must consent to the adoption placement and shall one parent recant their decision, it must be made before the child is born. Once the child takes their first breath, the adoption is closed and forever legally binding.”
“That isn’t necessary. I’ll put in the full amount. We’ll take care of it.” Kingston said opening his wallet on his smartphone. “Can I pay now with credit?”
Tasha popped her head up abruptly and held her arms out wide, “I can’t ask you to do that.” She used her fingers to cup her face and she sighed with sorrow smeared across her face. “Adoption makes sense when you’re broke, right?”
“I might as well take the child then. No stranger is going to raise my kid.” Kingston firmly stated.
Tasha held her mouth agape about to give Kingston a piece of her mind. She took a deep breath in and a deep breath out, and said, “Thank you Kingston, for paying. I will find a way to repay you.”
Sue held her transaction receiver up as Kingston pointed his phone at the small block. They filled out the necessary paperwork for the SNP, and pre-filed the mutual pregnancy termination agreement form. When the results come, will be the day she could schedule her abortion, and this event would both behind them. Finished with paperwork, they all got up and followed Sue to complete the SNP.
TO BE CONTINUED
A Note from the Author:
An SNP is a single-nucleotide-polymorphism test, which helps determine the paternity of a child in the womb. They can be done pretty early on during pregnancy with lower risks than an amniocentesis.
Imagine a law being passed that made getting an abortion more challenging?
Believe it or not, I was pro-choice in high school… because so many of favorite teachers were, and my high school was big on the Tolerance Movement… if you didn’t have liberal views you were considered a stupid bigot by your peers. And I reasoned it was okay because God is a forgiving God, and God is a god of Free Will… His word is against killing just as much as His word is against sex outside of marriage, but He doesn’t send angels to lock us prison when we commit either one of these sins… Only one will throw us into jail if we get caught by the judicial system.
I think the pro-life movement spends too much time lobbying DC and standing outside planned parenthood. The real battle is in classrooms, with kids when they’re young teaching them about self-worth, how to respect themselves and other, and I believe the science and psychology behind sex should he taught to high schoolers. What purpose would this serve? Show the upcoming generation sex is not recreational but relational. That sex is meant to create an unbreakable bond between two people, and by having it freely with anyone and anybody leads to emotional hurt, unneeded stress, and increases the risk for STIs and unwanted pregnancies. I also think a positive message about marriage should be released in the culture. However, what pro-lifers do now, I support you and I pray for you!
Are you sharing these posts with your friends? What do you think? Would a law ever pass to give more rights over the lives of the unborn they help create? Are you pro-life or pro-choice, and why? Comment below, share what’s on your mind! And if you have a friend that you want to weigh in on the debate… share the link, bring them in!
Thanks for the support,
Last night was great. Gina and Brody haven’t had a moment alone in forever. Gina had fully recovered from surgery and she was ready to begin Dancing in the Minefields on Broadway, in a few weeks, and Brody just announced signing to a Christian Music Label to make an album with Sower’s Cove Worship. Gina and Brody had no commitments to meet for a few weeks and they could focus on just the two of them.
They sat on Gina’s balcony enjoying fresh croissants, fruit, and French-pressed coffee. Gina didn’t have her best friend near to monitor her screen time and hold her accountable to not scroll through social media or keep from looking at the latest gossip about her. Feeling no guilt, Gina googled Brona (the celebrity name of her and Brody) and found tons of stories about them. Majority of them rumored Gina was pregnant. A couple said they were engaged. One source claimed they eloped… Gina wished that was true.
Eight months ago, when they got back together the fourth time, before this time… Brody wanted to whisk her away and elope in Greece, but both their friends and their families put a stop to that when they breathed the word marriage.
Brody was Gina’s first love and she was his. They shared a lot of first experiences together. Their first time to the grammys. Their first real relationship kiss. Their first time having sex. Their first pregnancy scare. Their first tattoo… luckily not of each other’s name… ironically, the same name though… He got “Jesus, Savior” tattooed on his ribcage in French and she got “Jesus” in Hebrew tattooed on her left wrist.
Gina pictured becoming Mrs. Brody Scott Dault one day, but they both became insanely famous at the same time. They both started drinking and doing drugs and they both did stupid things to hurt each other.
Like the first time Brody cheated on her. She cheated on him with his career rival to make him jealous. After their first break-up, Brody started dating her childhood friend out of spite. She Tweeted Brody was abusive just to get back at him.
After their third break up, they both went through their equivalent of hell. Brody experienced such depression that he got a few DUIs, tanked a few live shows, and accidentally ran over a paparazzi photographer. Gina suffered depression too, but she got incredibly sick which led to her diagnosis of lupus.
Something shifted inside of her. She was hungry to find real purpose in her life. When she began chemotherapy (just a pill treatment plan) for lupus, she’d wake up every morning staring at “Jesus” written on her wrist, and that led her to go searching for more of God… who she found.
She started going to Sower’s Cove Church in New York. During Q & A’s after her Broadway shows, she found herself testifying about the goodness of God. And in a short amount of time, she was onstage with Sower’s Cove Worship- one of the most popular worship groups in Christian Music- leading worship.
Then suddenly, her dream of crossing over to television happened. She got a job starring as an up and coming actress on Broadway. While the show was at its height of popularity, she got opportunities to voice characters for kid movies and to star in indie films. And every interview she had, she found herself thanking God.
As her life got on track, firmly building upon Christ at the center. Brody’s life spun into a deeper mess. So she did what she could only do, she prayed. She prayed for Brody daily.
Soon after that, he was hanging out with the pastor of Sower’s Cove L.A. campus and his life turned around. He restored his relationship with Jesus Christ and in the middle of his concerts, he broke out into worship.
He called her to get back together the fourth time. They laid all the cards out on the table. No sex- of any kind- until they got married. Devotions every day together via phone or in person. Never be alone without friends or family present (so they wouldn’t have sex). Things were great for a month. They grew closer by getting to know the-more-mature-versions-of-themselves, but then things kept happening that brought the worst out in each other. The fought and they fought ugly… yelling at one another. Throwing things at each other and out the window… it was baaaaaaddddd…
That break up was all Gina… needing a break from the drama… she felt it wasn’t good for her health. And the headlines were not good for either of their careers.
When Gina found out she needed a kidney transplant, she was believing God for a miracle. She needed a miraculous healing or a new kidney fast, or she was going to die young. Fortunately, a match was found from a family member, her Aunt Mia- her father’s sister and six months later she was doing well and her body hasn’t rejected the transplant.
Her lupus seemed to be fully under control with no flare ups in a few months. For the first time, in a long time, Gina was super hopeful. She was returning to Broadway. Right now she had another TV show was in the works, in which she would star and produce. The last film she starred in got her golden globe and SAG-AFTRA nominations. Everyone in Hollywood was convinced she’d be nominated for an Oscar. Her career was right where it needed to be.
They’re back together for the fifth time because of her… She was in LA, visiting a friend and they both went to church. Brody was there, leading worship and in that moment, she saw the man she always felt Brody could be. She missed him. They went out to lunch. Herself, Brody, Pastor Ronny, his wife Gail, Riley Hall (yes- the Riley Hall- TV Personality and the young female American version of David Beckham), and Gina’s best friend. On the way out the door, Gina pulled Brody aside and told him the truth. She missed him. She still loved him. And she regretted breaking up with him the last time. She asked if he would take her back. At that moment, he said he had to think about it.
He looked like James Dean, hanging his head and his de-shelved sandy blond bangs hung in his face. Out of the corner of his green-blue eyes, he pensively stared at Gina. Who nervously bit her bottom lip, and twirled a strand of long black hair around her finger. A few seconds later, Brody’s serious stare broke out into a smile and he took Gina in his arms and he kissed her. That was two months ago.
For two months, their relationship has been solid, but they haven’t had much alone time together.
Brody was finishing the final leg of his “Meaning” Tour. Making headlines by holding worship in the middle of every concert. Gina’s dad and his wife Carla, had a new baby and Gina went to help Carla out and to bond with her first baby brother, Milo Marciano, Junior.
Yesterday, Gina flew home to her place in New York, because in a few days rehearsals started for Dancing in the Minefields, and Brody was waiting by her door with a bouquet of Gerber Daisies. Overjoyed to see each other face to face, they didn’t care about their rule about NOT BEING ALONE TOGETHER.
They were good. They sat on opposite ends of the room as they talked until 2 am in the morning. She went to bed in her room and he went to bed in the spare room.
Now, they sat on the balcony overlooking central park.
GUIDE TO THE STARS just posted an article on their website with the featured image of Gina and Brody eating their brunch now. Laughing she showed Brody.
Gina: Look, according to the GUIDE we’re newlyweds expecting a baby! Isn’t that sweet?
Brody: (chuckling) I wish.
Confused, Gina set the phone on the table and leaned back in her black iron chair. The fall nippy air breezed across her cheeks. She readjusted her robe to make her feel warmer. Glaring at Brody, she asked him to clarify.
Brody: (thoughtfully) Well, we should be married by now… and I can’t wait to start a family with you.
Did he not hear anything he said last night? For now, she just wanted to focus on the Musical, and her TV Show, and maybe she’ll finally put out that album… She will barely have time for their relationship for the next nine months. She can’t be thinking about marriage, let alone having a family.
Taking care of Milo was a lot of work… He like never slept and cried all the time. How could she handle late nights while needing to rest for shows or go to meetings.
Gina: I can’t wait to get married either, but-
Sliding out his seat he got on his knees at Gina’s feet, and Brody took her hands gently.
Brody: Marry me then. Let’s stop waiting and finally start our life together.
Gina: We’re both going to be really busy, when do you suggest we fit a wedding into our plans.
Brody: I don’t care when, I just want to know that you do want to marry me.
Gina broke eye contact with him. She was afraid to say “yes” without knowing how badly he wanted children. She retracted her hands from his grasp and nervously took to chewing on her left thumbnail.
Frustrated, Brody sighed. He ran his fingers through his bedhead hair as he stood up.
Brody: Why are we even back together if you don’t want to get married… eventually…
Defensively, Gina stood up and wrapped him in her arms as she rested her head on his back.
Gina: I want to marry you so badly… but…
Brody walked out of her embrace and he turned to face her. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned forward to interrogate her about the matter.
Brody: Then why hesitate to say yes? Should I have gotten you a ring? Oh wait-
He pulled a small red box out his gray sweatpants and cracked open that box to reveal a very shiny, very big, diamond ring.
Brody: I got ahead of myself, but I have the ring… I’ve had it for a while… I got it a few days after we got back together… Riley helped me pick it out.
Great… Gina thought… Riley helped pick out the ring.
Brody could sense he said something or did something wrong.
Brody: How did I screw up this time?
Gina: You didn’t… not really…
Gina wasn’t going to start a fight over something so trivial. She reached for the box and took it from Brody to get a better look at it. The ring was perfect. Riley had good taste. Brody walked up to Gina and held her by the shoulders. He leaned his head against Gina’s forehead. He took a deep breath.
Brody: I love you Gina… I never stopped loving you.
Gina: I love you so much, Brody.
Brody kissed Gina and Gina kissed him back and she closed the ring box and tucked in her robe pocket. Not breaking their lip lock, he headed towards the balcony doors and Gina followed his lead walking backwards. The passion was more intense between them than it ever was before. When they both realized they were about to go too far, they disengaged and distanced themselves from each other. Gina stood inside and Brody stayed outside. The threshold of the open sliding door keeping them apart.
Brody: So that’s a yes? We’re engaged?
Gina: How important is it to you to have kids?
Brody: We had the kid conversation like on our second date. Family is just as important to me as it is to you. Don’t we both want kids?
Gina: That was six years ago Brody. A lot has changed.
Brody: Someone who wanted like five kids doesn’t suddenly want zero kids six years later, or is that the case now?
Gina:(shrugging her shoulder) That may be the case now.
Brody covered his face with his hands as he turned his back to Gina. He groaned heavily, the grunt muffled by his cupped hands over his face. Clasping his hands on his head, he held his elbows up at each side… without even looking at Gina he asked her why she changed her mind.
Gina: I have lupus.
Dropping his hands at his sides he turned back to argue.
Brody: Women with lupus have babies all the time.
Gina: I’m a kidney transplant recipient… between that and my lupus… the odds of premature birth and a risky pregnancy is so much higher. The chance of miscarriages… are higher too… Having children would be really challenging for us…
Brody: We serve a mighty God. A miracle working, awesome God. One way or another as long as we believe we’ll get a miracle.
Gina: I’ve been believing for a miracle for years and I still have lupus! I prayed to get healed so I wouldn’t have to get surgery and I still needed surgery… For whatever reason, I have to live out my life with lupus and I don’t want to make it harder. I don’t want kids at least… not naturally…
Brody: So you want to adopt.
Gina: Yeah… maybe…
Brody: Well, how else would we have children?
Gina: There were concubines in the Bible… Surrogacy is the modern form of that.
Brody: No, it’s not that… I want to marry you. I want to make a family with you and however we do that, I’m fine with it… but you not wanting to have kids can’t be why you’re not saying yes… what’s the real reason?
He knew her so well. Maybe too well…
Last night she dreamt and when she woke up, she remembered.
She was on the beach, at sunset… She recognized the place. It was Brody’s property in the Bahamas. The beach part was set up for a wedding. The guests were there. The groom’s side and the bride’s side filled with many people they knew. Brody was in position. Pastor Ronny was in position ready to officiate the ceremony. Brody’s side had his whole family and his friends and his people from the old label and the new. And though the Bride’s side was filled with people Gina knew, it lacked the people that counted… like her family.
She watched the bridesmaids walk down the aisle… not one of them were dressed in a color she would approve and not one of them was her best friend. And when Gina saw the bride wasn’t her… Gina cried… in her dream… not even waking up.
Brody: Who was the bride again?
Gina: Riley… you were marrying Riley… not me.
Brody: Riley and I have never dated. We’ve never kissed. We’re just friends.
Gina: I know and I believe you.
Gina stepped forward and placed her hands on Brody’s chest. She repeated again and again that she believed him as he defended his friendship with Riley.
Brody: Maybe I should go and give you some time to think about whether you want to be with me or not.
Brody brushed past her but she caught him by the wrist. She rotated to look at him.
Gina: You love the beach. You love your house in the Bahamas. You would love to get married there. And I don’t know Riley very much, but I know she’s at the beach all the time. The reliable sources always report so.
Brody: But you always wanted to get married in a church…
Gina: I still do…
Brody: What are you saying? You had a prophetic dream I’m supposed to be with Riley?
Gina: I think we need to pray and we need to ask God, if we can build a strong marriage together…
Brody this whole time hadn’t looked at Gina. He took control of his arm and walked away…
A few days later… Brody met Gina outside the theatre booked for her new musical. Brody wore his square black shades, his biker leather jacket, a white tee, and faded blue jeans. Gina was in her dance practice gear- a black tank and gray sweats. She wore her choreographer’s oversized hoodie to stay warm from the fall chill.
Brody rocked the de-shelved, untamed hairdo. Gina rocked the messy, loose, bun…
Brody: Before we got back together this time, that morning I asked Pastor Ronny and Ms. Gail what they thought if I asked Riley out… I was convinced we would never get back together… I finally felt like I was over you… and I’m ready to be married. I want to be a dad while I’m young… But more than just that, I’m ready to focus on making a family and when we got back together… I thought you were finally ready for that too.
Gina: (crying) So you do have feelings for Riley?
Brody: I guess… I don’t know… She’s just my best friend… I’ve never had a best friend like her. I can talk about anything with her… I don’t even know if she likes me.
Gina: (wiping her tears with the hoodie sleeves) We need to split up. I think we just really want really different things…
Brody: (taking Gina by the arms) No, I’m here to tell you. I choose you. I want you. You were my first love and I want you to be my last, and if I have to give up my friendship with Riley… I will… And I’m okay if we never have children… I just want you.
Shaking her head, she backed up out of his clutch.
Gina: Did you pray?
Brody: God doesn’t put people together Gina. We are free to choose who we want to be with…
Gina: And I agree, but we both know there are no coincidences with God! And the day you propose to me, the night before, I have a dream about you and your best friend getting married in a mutual favorite venue? That was a sign! And I haven’t eaten in three days and when I wasn’t memorizing lines I was praying and before I got here today, I have heard God more clearly than I have in a long time. We’re not right for each other. We shouldn’t get married.
Gina: Am I another one of your best friends? Can you talk to me about everything like you do with Riley?
Brody: Gina that’s not fair… Riley’s just been there for a long time. You’re being ridiculous!
Gina: Well, let me make this clear. I don’t want to be with you. (Taking the ring box out of her pants pocket, she hands him the box back, cupping it in his hands.) I won’t marry you Brody.
Brody broke down crying. Without hesitating Gina held him and rubbed his back.
Gina: (whispering in his ear) It’s okay… Everything will be okay…
Four months later, Brody posted a picture on his Twitter account of Riley on his lap, with the Bahamian setting sun behind them, on his Bahamian house deck and Tweeted: The LOVE of my life said “YES”! I’m so grateful God gave me you and I could not be happier to marry the woman of my dreams. I want us to have a godly family and I pray everyday God leads me to be the man you and our family needs. I love you so much!
Everyone tried to get Gina’s thoughts. On the street, on the phone, during interviews, but she stayed quiet. No one knew how they broke up or even why and it was going to stay that way. Did it hurt to see Brody with Riley? The queen of reality tv and the number one female soccer player in the world, probably going to the next Olympics… Who also happened to be beautiful enough to be a model… oh, she was that sometimes… for cosmetics and sports gear. Hot. Girl. Sports. Gear. Yes, it hurt that he only waited a week to start dating her. It hurt that he got engaged out of nowhere, fourth months to the day after breaking up.
But Dancing in the Minefields was a wild success. The pilot to her TV show got picked up by the number one network currently. And she did get that Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Right now she was living in the promise of an amazing career and she used every opportunity to make Jesus more famous than herself. For now and maybe forever, Jesus was enough.
Note from the Author:
I know what you’re thinking?! Yes, I was mildly inspired by those celebrities who both are singers, one is an actress, and the male singer got engaged to someone who wasn’t that famous singer who acts… So what does this factor make this story? I guess a bit of fan fiction. I have no idea how they split and I mean no disrespect to them. I love their witness for Jesus the Messiah and if I never meet them in this life, I’m excited to meet them in Paradise in Eternity.
But the bottom line is, this entire story was inspired by their break up and I thought about these possibilities as being the reason why they did. NO ONE BUT THEM AND WHO THEY TOLD KNOW WHY.
And if you live in a bubble and have no idea who I based the characters on, then I hope you enjoyed the story about two famous people who loved each other but broke up.
Tune in next SUNDAY for “BUSSING IT” to continue. If you haven’t read part one, check it out now in the archive, as you like:)
…About a Month Ago…
KINGSTON stood at the bar, in the nightclub, only lit by neon colors and strobe lights that pulsed to the rhythm of the dubstep music. Leaning on one elbow, against the bar top, he looked at the gold band on his left ring finger and felt compelled to remove it.
Panic rose in his heart when he thought about commitment, when he thought about forever with one person for the rest of his life. Marriage never came across as a prison to him, he saw it as something beautiful. However, marriage wasn’t for Kingston… at least not in this life, maybe the next one… if there is one.
Hans, the bartender, approached Kingston from his post and set a martini down for Kingston. Hans stared Kingston down with flirty eyes and as he leaned in toward the commitment-coward, he shouted over the music into Kingston’s ear.
“I get off in an hour, want to come back to my place?”
Kingston gulped ferociously nervous. Hurriedly, he slid the ring off his finger and clenched it in his fist as he stepped back from the bar. Kingston was completely interested in getting wasted and hooking up with someone, but not Hans… Hans was too easy to pick up and Kingston wanted a challenge. The hunt was more erotic than the kill to Kingston.
“Not tonight Hans.” Kingston spoke loudly. While he tucked his ring in his back pocket, he exchanged it for his phone. He swiped his touchscreen left and placed his thumb in the center. The phone scanned his thumb print and opened up his electronic wallet, from there he pulled up his credit card. Then he pointed his phone at the docking scanner and told Hans, “Can I add 500 to my tab?”
Relentlessly showcasing his disappointment to rejection with a sour face, Hans picked up the martini and said, “Your wish is my command…” Slinging back the martini himself, Hans added after he swallowed, “Let me know if you change your mind.” Sighing he also asked, “Do you want anything to drink now?”
“A shot… of whatever you got that’s the strongest.” Kingston said in a desperate need to calm his nerves or else he was about to have a panic attack and he’d be forced to call G’s agent to come rescue him. Tonight, Kingston was going to man up.
In fact, that was perhaps exactly what Kingston needed… to be top dog, assertive, in charge completely for once. He was sick of every aspect of his life being micro-managed by a publicist, G’s agent, and the pressure to uphold the team’s “Pride“ image. Even here, all the way across the bridge, the thought of Kingston’s daily regiment to keep Giles happy and focused on the game sucked the life from his lungs!
A slight finger poked Kingston in the shoulder, and he jerked to see who it was.
“Sorry,” the woman apologized. She seemed familiar to Kingston but he couldn’t remember where he saw her.
“It’s fine. Am I in your way?” Kingston wondered, turning to face her. He straightened up his blazer and adjusted the belt looped through his jeans. He doubled checking his shirt was still tucked in properly.
“Ah… no… but you’re Kingston Rourke, right? Like Giles Bordner’s boyfriend, right?”
Kingston hesitated contemplating how to answer… what would pose the biggest challenge? Based on the woman’s lack of a manicure, natural laying hair, and minimal make-up… Musty fragrance of lemongrass sweatiness infused with the powerful punch of peppermint. The woman of ambiguous ethnicity before him had to be a liberal feminist… Really?! Was she Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Mixed…???
The only important question to answer was whether or not she identified as a lesbian, and then that would determine if talking to her would be worth his time tonight. Her lack of sensual energy made Kingston think she was A-sexual, not interested in sex whatsoever with anyone…
“Excuse me,” she said poking him again, “Are you Kingston Rourke?” She took a swig of her imported beer, wiped her lips dry of foam residue, and was about to say something again when Kingston finally answered.
Her brown eyes suddenly got wide with excitement. “I’m sorry…” She held her pointer finger up to signal him to wait a moment as she guzzled the remainder of her beer down. She made the bottle whistle a unique sound when she pried the bottle from her lips as she drew a quick breath. “This may be out of line, but can you confirm the reason why you won’t marry Giles? Is it because you’re not really gay?”
Highly offended, Kingston shouted, “WHAT?”
“Well, like… according to your social media accounts you were straight all throughout high school, then in college you became a pan sexual, afterwards bi-sexual… THEN, one day you’re asked out by Giles Bordner, THE highEST paid man in BASEball and NOW you’re just gay… If that were true… you’ve been together for like five years… shouldn’t you be married now if you’re so happy?”
Forget it, maybe he won’t go home with anyone tonight. He can just go stay at a hotel… and then fly to Tokyo to meet up with Giles later in the afternoon. That thought passed when he realized he never stated he was gay, it’s just presumed by everyone and projected by gossip magazines. Kingston remembered the woman.
Embarrassed she hung her head as she ran her fingers through her black, flat-ironed hair. Hanging her head back, she shouted, “You recognize me… HUH!!!” Slouching a bit, she sat her head upright, clutching her hip with her hand. “Forget it then.”
“No! I love the Deets. You’re really good with gossip goop!”
Tasha Turner used to work for the country’s most reputable news source left in America. She produced the show of the nation’s favorite anchor, Felix Gladdius, until it was discovered she gave him false intel about the politician who started WWIII to report on, knowing it was false. The politician filed a lawsuit for deformation against her and the station she worked for. Felix also sued her, the network, and he quit to jump ship to another network. Luckily, Tasha had an incredible team of lawyers, she got out with a tiny settlement on her part and was let go from the station.
The Deets, a gossip online talk show loved the controversy from her life so much, they hired her as an anchor… Now she shared the latest dirt on celebrities making millions more than she did before.
“Forget I said anything. I’m gonna go.” She set her empty beer bottle on the bar and went to leave when Kingston grabbed her by the hand.
She turned back at him and an electric look her in eye answered Kingston’s question… she was not a lesbian. She slid her fingers out of his grasp.
“What do want? I came up to you?”
“Off the record…” Kingston went on to say, but she erupted with laughter.
“As a gossip anchor, I don’t need any sources to say what I’m gonna say. As long as I don’t offend you in person, I can’t get sued, trust me, I checked according to our licensing.”
“Um, whatever, I’m not offended. Um, but to answer your question… Giles understands I like assorted flavors… And tonight, I think I want to try something I haven’t had in a while.”
Tasha bellowed forward laughing harder, except this time she covered her mouth. To ease his awkward discomfort, he chuckled a bit.
He asked, “What’s so funny?”
Taking a few deep breaths, she stopped laughing but she kept a giddy smile showcasing her dimpled cheeks. “My friend said you’ve never been with a woman in your life and I disagreed, so we made a bet. If I could confirm you were gay, I’d lose. All I needed to win was reasonable doubt but you provided proof by hitting on me. Rich!”
“Who’s your friend?”
She pointed to a tall lanky man dancing like a raver with a group of like-manner dancers.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Kingston asked.
Unsure how to answer that, feeling like the man asked a dumb question, she glared at him, “Didn’t I just say friend?”
“Maybe you like me back and you don’t want to blow your chance of getting my number…”
As the newly offended party, Tasha gasped, “Carter and I may go home… together… if we don’t find other people tonight… but trust me… I’ll never date that guy,”
“Then come back to my place.”
A little perplexed by his offer yet incredibly intrigued, “Don’t you have a boyfriend at home?”
“He’s in Tokyo supporting the ‘Team’ by trying to recruit a transgender player to their minors team here the states.”
Crossing her arms, she commented, “Giles Bordner is like the Jackie Robinson of the Pride Sports Movement, isn’t he?”
“What do you say? If you come home with me, you’ll definitely be the winner of the wager.”
Biting her bottom lip she closed her eyes. She whispered something to herself Kingston couldn’t make out.
“What did you say?” He checked.
“I can’t believe I’m contemplating this!” She shouted. “I just really love to win and gloat about it… And you’re hot as heck… It’s kind of hard to say no. When was the last time you were tested?”
Knowing “tested” referred to STI-Testing he lied, “Three months ago. All clean. And don’t worry, we have a whole drawer filled with–,” she stopped him before he could discuss contraceptives.
Grabbing him by the lapels of his navy blue blazer, she reeled him close and kissed him on the lips. When she finished she let him go. Kingston kissed a girl and he liked it, ironically her chapstick tasted like cherry. He kissed her back with a bit more intensity than she offered.
She broke away from the kiss to say, “My answer is yes, are you sure?”
“Yes.” He kissed her back taking her hand. Ending their lip lock and luring her out of the club, he said, “I’ll get us a cab.”
After she got her things and said good-bye to Carter. They hailed a cab outside the club, crossed the bridge to Manhattan, and went back to Kingston’s penthouse. And in the very bed he shared many nights with Giles, he spent one night with Tasha Turner.
Kingston couldn’t get her out of his mind. For about a month, the whiff of lemongrass made him quiver… in a good way. He wanted another moment with her. Giles would be gone for a week. They’d have the place to themselves for a week. Best of all, the doorman believed Tasha was his new bff.
She never gave him a number. Trying to contact her at work was impossible. And the only social media she had these days was Squeak. After debating for almost a month whether or not to make contact with, he decided to follow her on Squeak.
Like a junkie needing a heroine fix. He stalked her Squeak Personal Nest, checking to see if she took messages and fortunately for him, she did. He sent her a message from his old account that he hardly used: JKingNow and asked in a message: This is Kingston, do you remember me from last month?
She messaged back: Yes. I do.
Sitting on the living room dark sectional couch, in his boxers, butterflies fluttered in his stomach. He felt twelve years old again, passing notes in the classroom to his recent crush.
He messaged: Can you meet me at the penthouse? I want to talk to you about something but not via message… will you come by?
It took a long time for her to reply but she finally did.
Her message read: Okay, when should I come by?
He laughed, picturing her ask that question in person, knowing she used his own words on purpose to be snarky.
It was odd… They spent one night together. In bed for almost 9 hours, well into the late morning. He cooked her French Toast and they discussed politics and tv programs… They only talked about surface level things, yet he felt a connection to her… Something deeper.
@!%$. He thought. His chest tightened as the weight of deep fear crawled upon him. He rushed to the kitchen and reached in the cabinet where he kept all his over the counter and prescription drugs. As he broke out hyperventilating he rummaged through the pill bottles in search of his anxiety med.
Finding the bottle, he popped off the cap and took two pills to calm down sooner. As an expert pill popper his entire life, he didn’t need anything to chase them down. He forced himself to take regular breaths. He went back to the couch and lied down setting his phone on the dark brown coffee table.
The phone kept squeaking as his inbox flooded with messages from Tasha. He didn’t have the courage to look until his medicine kicked in, but having taken too much he was ready to go back to sleep. He looked at her most recent message.
Tasha’s recent message: I’m on my way. I’ll be there within the hour.
As he nodded off to sleep, he messaged: Now won’t work for me. I’ll let you know when later.
Tasha’s final message: You asked me if I was free? What the @!%$ ?!?!?!?!??!?! I NEED to talk to you. It’s a MAJOR emergency!
TO BE CONTINUED…
Notes from the Author:
Blog Viewer: Brianna, you’re a Christian and you wrote a story that includes fornication and the LGBT Community?
Blog Viewer: Do you believe it’s okay to be gay and to be a Christian? Or to be transgender and Christian.
Brianna: Can a Christian be a liar, a sinner, a hypocrite? Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of the cross of Jesus the Messiah. I believe His blood paid for the forgiveness of sins for all humanity. And I’m grateful for Free Will, which allows us to assess the Gospel and partake in the eternal life which Christ purchased for us. I believe anyone in genuine relationship with Jesus Christ cannot stay the same person they were yesterday. I believe the anointing breaks the yokes and bondage of sin.
Therefore, I think anyone from the LGBT Community that claims God still loves them as they are, I think they’re right, but where I think they’re wrong is to believe God is okay with that lifestyle. Homosexuality is sin. Just like lying… just like having sex outside of marriage. But it’s not my job to tell people they are sinners. It’s my job to spread the Gospel, and if you struggle with your identity and struggle with your faith- message me or leave a comment with directions to contact you. If Jesus can forgive Judas, He can forgive you! Jesus the Messiah changes everything and His love never fails.
Blog Viewer: Where did you come up with this idea?
Me: I was thinking about writing Wayd v. Rowe, but I didn’t feel ready… Then I thought how would America look if a law like that passed, and what would America be like in the future as we become a more inclusive, open-minded society… and WHALA! I got this idea!
Blog Viewer: Any other controversial surprises ahead?
Brianna: Not really… not in my book.
Blog Viewer: What do you want your audience to glean from this particular series?
Brianna: That Jesus our Messiah is the only compass to point us True North to our identity. We never fully know who we are until we know Him completely. The only way we know Him fully, is to be in relationship with Him. Not just living for Him and going to church and reading scripture, but praying and hearing back from heaven in our heart and turning the world upside down. And I really want people to know they identify how they identify, and if they come into question with who they are, I hope this story suggests they can come to Jesus the Messiah and get the answer to who they really are in Him.
John 3:16 & 17 makes it very clear. Jesus didn’t come to judge the world, he came to love the world back into relationship with God. Jesus said the greatest thing you can do for your friend is to lay down your life for them, and Jesus did just that… He died for me, you, and anyone seeking the truth and to become who they were destined to be. Your life has purpose and you can find complete meaning in life when you enter into relationship with Jesus the Messiah. Comment below if you’re interested in accepting Jesus today!
And if you’re intrigued by this story, share, share, share! Only if want to share… A huge thank you if you do. If you blog or have some dream I can support, post a link in the comments and I will follow you, share, talk about to my friends… (I will review to assess if I feel comfortable supporting it.) Let’s build connections. Every dreamer needs a team to make dreams become a reality!