With daughter Sanita settled in her own apartment, for the first time in years Lena Jefferson’s time is her own. On a whim, she looks up an old college boyfriend and impulsively sends him an e-mail. To her surprise he writes her back and attaches a photo. One look at the picture and Lena is filled with a bittersweet longing for the past, and an urgency to reclaim a part of herself that she suddenly desperately wants back. When Lena’s long-time friend, the sharp-witted and newly-divorced Nadine Clements moves her law practice to town, and the old boyfriend Derrick Jasperson takes a teaching position at the local university with a lovesick ex-girlfriend not far behind, Lena’s longing to reconnect to the past sends her down a path that that could change her life forever
Carla Jefferson has accepted that Terrence Catchings is in love with her sister Sanita and successfully weathered a tough start in her position as school principal. When Javier Quintero pays a visit her office to talk about his wayward niece, he doesn’t hide his interest. Attractive and intelligent, Javier left the Army to start a successful landscaping business. But, despite all they have in common and their undeniable attraction to one another, Carla can’t reconcile Javier with the dream man she’s imagined. Carla turns to her friend Mandy for advice, who assures her that love can overcome differences. Carla’s not so sure though, but when her reluctance threatens their promising relationship Carla is forced to view herself with new eyes. Carla is also concerned about the change in her mother, unlike her sister Sanita who seems to be taking Lena’s transformation in stride. Lena has cut her hair, slipped into a more modern wardrobe and is starting a new career, and Carla worries about what her mother’s metamorphosis might mean for her family.
Spring brings dramatic changes for Lena and Carla Jefferson as they discover there’s “Something About April” that may leave neither of their lives may ever the same. Laugh, cry and celebrate with the Jeffersons’ in this second offering about a season of change for this Midwestern family.
The author has rated this book PG-13 (questionable content for children under 13).
She couldn’t sleep. All day, sleep had wooed her with heavy-lidded promises, but as soon as she got into bed, the flirtation was over. She closed her eyes and her mind reeled and lurched like an uneven film. Lifting on her elbows, she squinted. The clock’s bright digits seemed to glare at her — another hour had passed. She sank onto her pillow. Hopeful, she shut her eyes, but as soon as her lids lowered, the show spun into motion again. Flashes from yesterday melded into this day’s events before whirling into plans for tomorrow. With a sigh, she sat upright. Peeling back the covers, she glanced at her husband. His gentle breathing sang a rhythmic hum. Sliding into her slippers, she snagged her robe from the footboard post, and tied it on. She stepped into the hallway, and gently pulled the door closed behind her.
Gliding stealthily through the darkened house, she moved as though she had a plan, but she did not. She paused in the kitchen to open the refrigerator and peer at the contents before settling on a bottle of water. Resting the bottle on the counter, she scooped used glasses into the sink before dampening a cloth to sweep away evidence of a late-night sandwich he made. “How many times have I asked him to not leave crumbs?” she grumbled.
Bottled water in hand, she padded through the dining room and into the wide expanse of the family room. At the fireplace, she drew the metal curtain to prod the simmering wood with a poker, then, rubbing her chilled arms, fell into the seat of a chair in front of her desk. She lifted the lid to her laptop.
“Why do you need a password?” he had asked the other day as he watched her logging in. His eyes deepened with curiosity. “It’s not like anyone else has access. It’s your computer.”
“From the writing class I was taking,” she explained. “We had to write poems now and then, and sometimes I still journal my feelings. Guess it’s like a diary,” she continued. “Giving it a password is like it has a key. Makes me feel safer writing about my feelings if I know I’m the only one reading it,” she finished, hoping she wasn’t talking too much.
“Safer? That’s a strange word to use. I’m your husband. Why do you need to keep your feelings safe from me?” A smile lifted the corners of his lips, but his eyes searched hers.
Waiting to find the right words, she was grateful when his phone alerted him of a new message. Distracted, he turned to his own computer and began to peck away.
Guilt stiffened her. I’m sorry, she thought.The excuse was true — it just wasn’t the whole truth. Conscience prickling, she shifted a glance at the doorway, expecting to see her husband’s frame shadowed there. Her eyes drew back to the computer, and she started the mail client. She watched the software whirr into view. Swallowing a gush of water, she willed the process faster, sighing aloud when mail finally began its descent into her inbox.
She didn’t know what had possessed her to do it. She hadn’t even thought about him in years.
At loose ends after completing a writing project for class, she tapped the name into the search box.
D-e-r-r-i-c-k T. J-a-s-p-e-r-s-o-n.
Her heart quickened when a dizzying number of links filled the screen. That he had done well for himself, was now a professor at a large university and a published writer, she knew — she just hadn’t realized how much he’d accomplished. Probing the pages, she paused and tapped a link. Colorful illustrations of figures holding trombones framed a web page heralding “The Effect of Jazz on Culture,” his latest book, hailed by Academic Press as “well-written dialogue about the importance of the distinctly black music’s effect on culture and society as a whole.” She clicked a link to an NPR interview but, startled by the sound of his voice, tapped the site closed and logged off.
Recalling the deepness of his tone made her heart race faster, and suddenly heat roared through her body with such ferocity that it sent her scurrying to slide open the terrace door, where she leaned against the frame and let the breeze cool her. Though weeks had passed since she looked him up, she could almost smell Derrick’s cologne as she pictured his horn-rimmed gaze staring at her from the web page. He had matured, but his features hadn’t changed much. Clicking one link after another, she had read about him. She studied photos, his face, the shape of his hands, the angles of his body.
Afraid to allow herself to think, she had quickly tapped a link, and the mail client churned into action. The untitled message window sprang to life and waited silently.
She had hesitated.
Then her fingers tapped the keys. I don’t know if you remember me. Fingers trembling now, she added, We went to college together. She hurriedly clicked in her name and tapped send.
Shivering, she pushed the patio door closed, and drifted to the couch, draping a worn plaid blanket around her shoulders before dropping onto the chair in front of her computer.
Every morning, she admonished herself for rushing to check her e-mail, yet swallowed disappointment when none of the incoming messages flooding her box bore his name. Throughout the day, she stiffened each time the alert sounded, but only junk mail, correspondence, and notes from the social site she used to communicate with the girls slid into her box.
“I’m being silly,” she told herself before swallowing a stream of water. “He probably doesn’t even remember me.” As the words left her lips, the alert sounded, and the address on the downloaded note seemed to shout: D. T. Jasperson, Ph.D.
Pulling on her reading glasses, she read, “Of course I remember you. Do you remember this?”
A flush crept into her neck, sending a new rush of heat to her face. Fanning, she re-read the note.
Then she saw the link.
Click here to download photo.
Then quickly, she tapped.
Her eyes widened as a photo peeled slowly onto the screen.
An afro framed the face of the young woman in the picture. Her eyes sparkled, and the smile she wore was wide. A paisley halter tied at her neck, and her lean legs were encased in tight, bell-bottomed jeans. Fluttery green bushes framed the knobby wooden bench she sat on, and the sign affixed to the brick building behind her read Taylor Dormitory Hall.
In her hand, she clutched a camera.
Eyes glued to the photo, she drew air in sharply …
… and she was there, inhaling the fresh scent of spring along with the joy of that moment.
Tears sprang to her eyes. With a deft movement, she closed the browser windows, shut off the computer and fled the room, pausing only to turn off the light.
Copyright© Cheri Paris Edwards. All rights reserved.
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