Tomorrow, the ladies of B. Love Publications come together to deliver their very first anthology “Love is All We Have” and you do not want to miss this collection!
In “Love is All we Have” the Authors of B. Love Publications come together for five highly entertaining, emotional, and edifying love stories that are guaranteed to leave you wanting more!
Authors included are:
A. Marie Johnson
Foreword by: B. Love
Here’s a look into the prologue of A. Marie Johnson’s “Love is All We Need”
“I’m sorry but we’re closed, ma’am. We open again tomorrow at ten o’clock.”
On the outside I smiled at the woman who appeared to be in her early thirties walking into Just For Her after hours, but internally I cursed my best friend and business partner, Janelle, for not making sure the boutique doors were locked after she left out. I’d spent the entire day running around in a pair of gold, six inch heels that just arrived from our Paris, France vendor. Showcasing them to ensure every customer was aware of the latest addition to our designer shoe collection. So it was safe to say my feet were crying.
“Oh, I’m not here for the clothing or any shoes.”
The smile on my face dropped before I could stop it. I didn’t appreciate the way this woman’s tone sounded at all. She spoke to me like she had a bone to pick and the smile on her face looked anything but nice.
Instinctively, one of my hands prepared to push the security alarm button under the register counter and the other moved close to a small gun secured near the button. These days the common criminal didn’t look so common anymore and our store held thousands of dollars worth of upscale fashion. If she was here to steal from me in an attempt at a quick come-up she had the right idea with the wrong person. The fight of her life would happen before I allowed her to take anything from the place Janelle and I poured our blood, sweat, and tears into.
A few seconds went by without either one of us saying anything. I cleared my throat in hopes that she would get to the point of her visit.
Instead of speaking up, she ran her fingers across a table topped with distressed denim jeans and laughed when she saw the seventy-five dollar price tag on one pair.
“Hmm… I guess bougie is another one of his types.”
She announced it as if I knew who she was referring to. I’d never seen this woman a day in my life, yet she talked to me like she had me all figured out.
Who did this woman think she was?
Better yet, who the hell did she think I was?
“Excuse you?” I asked, nose scrunched and eyebrows raised.
My professionalism faded the moment she told me she didn’t plan on buying anything, and though everything we sold may have been bougie my personality was far from it.
Jamila from the block could emerge in the blink of an eye.
“No, excuse you,” the woman sassed and pointed a finger at me. “I’m only going to tell you this one time: Leave. My. Husband. Alone.” She enunciated each word, putting an extra emphasis on the last one.
My face contorted even more.
Leave her husband alone?
She had to have me confused with someone else… but what would have driven her to the boutique? That made me believe she must have some type of evidence that led her here.
My mind raced as I thought about what kind of proof brought her to me.
Maybe she found receipts for our clothing? Or maybe…
Oh my God…
I’m going to kill Janelle!
I loved my best friend to death but she was known to be a little wild and reckless. Janelle could throw her morals and caution to the wind without thinking twice about it, and she wasn’t a stranger to rolling around in the sheets with taken men.
I, on the other hand, had too much pride to lay down with a man who belonged to someone else. That was far from my style. My selfish nature wouldn’t allow me to share a man with anyone else. I don’t care how good he looked, if a man wasn’t about me and only me he couldn’t get my attention.
Shaking my head, I knew without hesitation this woman wasted her time coming to confront me. Whether her husband was messing around with Janelle or someone else, she wasn’t going to get any reliable information from me.
“Listen, I’m going to chalk this up to a bad case of mistaken identity because there is no way I’m messing around with your husband.”
My eyes softened a little as I stared at her. A small part of me felt kind of bad for her. She insinuated earlier that her husband had many ‘types’ so I’m sure I wasn’t the first woman she went looking for behind him.
“I’m sorry, hun, but if your husband is cheating on you he’s not doing it with me.”
I gave the woman a reassuring smile and she just stared back at me with a blank expression on her face. My pity for her grew slimmer with each second that passed without her giving me any type of signal that she believed what I said. The situation was already awkward enough and now she had the nerve to be mute.
Growing impatient, I decided to end our visit for her since she didn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Folding my arms against my chest and shrugging my shoulders, I said, “Look, I don’t know what else to tell you so if you don’t mind…”
She pulled her hand up, dismissing me.
“You can save the good girl act, Jamila. Just stay away from my husband and we won’t have to see each other again, ok?”
The confidence I had about her having me mistaken for someone else faded fast. The security blanket unraveled from around me the moment she said my name. I couldn’t see how it was possible for her to know my face, my name, and where I worked without her accusations holding some kind of truth.
My palms clammed as I used them to steady myself against the counter. My stomach tightened at the thought of the question I was about to ask. Fear slowly crept into my heart at the thought of the name that could possibly fall from her lips.
“What’s… what’s your husband’s name?”
I truly didn’t want to ask but I knew it was necessary at this point, and the seconds seemed like hours as I waited for her to answer. Of course, she took her sweet precious time, giving me a you must really be stupid expression and rolling her eyes before she decided to put me out of my misery.
“Though I don’t know what kind of story Samuel sold you, I still find it mighty hard to believe that you didn’t know he had a wife.” She chuckled in a mocking manner and pulled tight on the purse strap hanging on her shoulder. “Like I said, just leave my husband alone and we won’t have any problems. This affair has gone on long enough and I’m sick of it. So I highly suggest you cut him off or I’ll keep popping up.”
Smiling smugly, she turned on her heels and walked out of the boutique, leaving me with a face drained of its natural color and a wildly beating heart. My hands shook so badly I could barely fix them to fumble around my purse for my phone. Grabbing it up, I dialed Samuel’s number and prayed that he answered.
I should’ve known he wasn’t to be trusted the moment he told me he was a lawyer. They lied for a profession so it was nothing to do it for free.
As if it were Déjà vu, an epiphany overcame me and everything about Samuel and how he moved all started to make sense.
The reason for him having an abundance of cash yet living in a small apartment. His excuse that we couldn’t spend every single night together because he spent most of his nights working on cases. The way he avoided certain locations.
Everything was starting to add up and brought me to two conclusions.
All this time Samuel had been covering his tracks.
He had been hiding a damn wife.
“Hey, baby. I was just–”
“You dirty ass dog!” I yelled, cutting his greeting off. “I can’t believe you’ve been hiding the fact that you’re married for five damn months!”
The line quickly grew silent. Too silent. And that told me everything I needed to know.
The woman who confronted me told the truth.
“Jamila, please let me explain. It’s not what you think.”
“You can’t be serious right now. It’s not what I think?” I chuckled out of anger. “Are you or are you not married, Samuel?
“Just listen to me for a second, Mila.”
“Answer my damn question!”
Silence blanketed the phone again before he sighed.
“But nothing!” I screamed. “There are no buts in a marriage! I can’t believe I let you play me! I wasn’t even checking for your lying ass! You just had to keep pursuing me!”
“Calm down, baby. I promise you I can explain. Let me come to you so we can talk and…”
“Hell no! We don’t have anything to discuss anymore. I’m so done with you that you can consider we broke up yesterday. Don’t ever contact me again you lying ass nigga!”
I hung up the phone on his trifling ass and tossed it on the counter.
My chest soon after started aching with regret. Eyes misted from feeling foolish.
Even though Samuel and I weren’t in that deep, I had given him something I hadn’t given any man since my first heartbreak.
I gave him a chance to show me love could play fair. A chance to prove to me someone could love me at least half as good as the first man who loved me did. And just when I thought he might possibly be good for the challenge, he reminded me once again of a truth I couldn’t escape.
No man on earth could love me better than he did.