Innocence, GA (tentative novel title) #NaNoWriMo 14,435 words

Hey guys,

Keep in mind this is a work in progress. Which means, there’s no heavy editing whatsoever. My goal is to reach 50,000 words by November 30th. Bottom line, it’s about quantity not quality…(NaNoWriMo’s quote). I will be randomly posting excerpts, which may or may not be in sequential order to the previous post. I hope you enjoy, and please continue to leave your feedback. Thanks!

SYNOPSIS:
Tired of the blight in their neighborhoods, three girls relocate to a small town in sunny Georgia, where the people are happy and always friendly…until secrets are revealed and true identities are exposed.

MOOD METER
0 Very frustrated
1 Ready to shoot computer
2 Shocked at what’s written
3 Sleeping
4 Watching TV
5 Logical & Calm
6 Working at novel
7 Joyful

TODAY, MINE IS: 4

FATIMA

“I R.S.V.P.’d for two people to attend this seminar. So, I want the two of you to go.” Sylvia Crosby pointed at Fatima and Cam. “Ty, you can stay here and help me make these cold calls.”

“Yes ma’am.” Ty submitted.

“I don’t know where Shoney’s Inn is. Do you?” Fatima asked Cam.

“Yeah. I can drive if you want me to.”

“That’s even better.”

Cam had been working for Sylvia Crosby for over a month. With the expansion of her company, she needed more people to compliment her team. Cam didn’t have a specific purpose. She just picked up in areas that needed tending to. For instance, if Ty got overwhelmed in the field, she was her backup. She mostly ran errands, but she didn’t mind. She was on light duty at work and saw this as a good way to make extra money.

When they arrived at the banquet hall at Shoney’s Inn, there were less than a dozen people there. Fatima and Cam looked at one another then headed out the room.

“That class look boring as hell.” Cam said to Fatima.

“I know right. And it’s all day. So, what you think?”

“I’m telling you right now, I’m not going back in that boring room.”

“So…what are we going to do?”

“We can bullshit all day. Kick it.”

“But Mrs. Crosby wants us to bring her some information back.”

“Hold that thought.” Cam went into the room, picked up some literature from an empty desk and walked out. “Bam. Information.” She handed Fatima the papers.

“Smart.” Fatima said as she nodded and circled the empty lobby.

“You nervous?”

“No. Why do you say that?”

“Because you can’t sit still. Do I make you nervous?”

“Again, no.” Fatima lied then stopped pacing to prove Cam wrong.

“I got a couple of things to do on post. Wanna ride with me?”

“What’s that?”

“My bad. It’s a military base, where my job is. I gotta drop something off.”

“Oh ok. Cool.”

They got in the car and headed to Fort Gordon. Fatima felt incognito as she rode in Cam’s black on black Nissan Maxima with the tinted windows to match.

“I hope you got your I.D.”

“Yeah. Why?”

“You’re going to need it to get on post.”

She was right. Fatima was surprised they didn’t ask for blood and her first born child. She was intimidated entering the unfamiliar Army world. She looked around in awe as Cam gave her a tour.

“Those are the barracks where I used to stay when I first got here.”

Fatima continued peering out the window. Her trepidation was replaced by excitement. She watched people in formation, watched some in P.T. She had only seen this stuff in movies.

“How long have you been in the military?”

“Five years.”

“Do you like it?”

“I love it. I make good money. Got good benefits. What else could I ask for?”

“Wow. The military is scary to me.”

“Scary? Why?”

“Because of war. You’re not afraid of being deployed?”

“Naw. If it’s my time it’s my time. Period.”

Fatima admired her confidence. Her faith. She was so bold on the outside and warm and caring on the inside.

“We won’t be here long. I just gotta run in for a minute.”

Fatima followed Cam into what looked like a warehouse.

“What’s up Specialist Jamison?”

“You got it.”

A tall, buff, light-skinned man greeted Cam. What a cutie, Fatima said to herself.

“Who is this?” The fine buff man inquired.

“This is my friend Fatima.”

“Pleasure to meet you Fa…ti…ma.” He dragged her name on his tongue before releasing it.
“This is knucklehead Lucky.” Cam interrupted by breaking their hands apart. “Just playing. This is Private First Class Lucky.”

Pleasure to meet your fine ass, too!

“Nice to meet you, too.” Fatima said as they headed in the opposite direction.

Cam went to her workstation, punched in a few numbers on the computer and was ready to go.

“Done! See, I told you it wouldn’t take long.”

“Ok. Where are we going now?”

“Where do you wanna go?”

“Doesn’t matter to me.” Fatima looked at her watch. “We still have three hours to kill.”

They went to the drive-thru of Captain D’s on Deans Bridge Road, pulled up at a nearby park and ate.

“What’s up with you not eating meat?”

Fatima almost choked on a hushpuppy. “Who told you that?”

“You told me, duh. The night of my party.”

“I eat chicken, fish and turkey, just not that other stuff.”

“Uh. What made you start doing that?”

“At first I did it just to see if I could. But after I started reading and found out how bad it is for us, I never looked back.”

“You right. It is bad for us, but it’s so damn good.”

They shared a laugh.

“Can I ask you something without you getting offended?” Cam asked.

“Go head.”

“Why do you stay with her?”

Fatima tried to search for the right words to say but knew there wasn’t a logical explanation, so she shook her head instead and gazed out the window.

“Look, Ima tell you this because it’s been heavy on my heart. I like you. I like you a lot. I know we’re both in a situation, but I wanna take care of you, the right way. There, I said it.”

It was finally out. Fatima sensed that Cam was digging her. She’d be lying to herself if she said the thought never crossed her mind. Cam was everything she wanted in a mate. She was thoughtful, considerate. She didn’t escape responsibilities and took care of her business. Her finances were in order. Fatima could tell by her lifestyle.

“What do you want me to do with that information, Cam?”

“What do you mean what do I want you to do? Do with it what you want. I just thought you should know how I feel.”

“That just makes it worse. Don’t you get that? You’re with Jazmine and I’m with Ty.”

“And?”

“And…what would we do about them? We can’t just leave them.”

“Shit, why not? If neither of us is happy. Why not?”

Fatima sat there, taking it all in. “They would be so hurt.”

“See, that’s your problem right there. You care too much about her feelings and not yours. Do you think she cares about you when she’s punching you in the face?”

Fatima broke down. “That’s not fair, Cam,” she said as her voice cracked.

Cam put her hand on Fatima’s knee. “I’m not trying to hurt you Tima. I care about you and Alneesa. Y’all deserve better. Much better. She shouldn’t be putting her hands on you, period. There’s no excuse for that.”

Fatima knew she was right, but she couldn’t leave Ty. She loved her.

“But y’all are friends. How would that look?”

“Let’s get something straight, she is not my friend. We work together and she’s cool, but we’re not friends. Furthermore, I don’t appreciate how she treats you.”

“You’re not supposed to know about that.”

“But I do. And I care about your feelings more than I do hers.”

Cam handed Fatima a napkin. She patted her face dry.

“All I’m asking you to do is think about it. Jazmine already knows I’m not happy and that we’re basically just living together until she finds a place. All you have to do is say the word.”

“And you’re gonna put her out?”

“No, I’m not that cruel. But whenever you think you’re ready, I’ll be straight up with her. Until then, I advise you not to say nothing to Ty about this conversation, unless you’re ready to be with me, because, if you do, the four of our relationships will never be the same.”

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