New Beginnings by Cortney Joseph

“I love you.”

The cool air of the ceiling fan blew over them as June lay with her head and hand atop Montgomery’s chest. He smoked a cigarette, careful to blow the smoke away from her face as she reveled in the natural high his love gave. Their afternoon had been filled with intense passion, he clung to her as if it would be his last chance to have his way.

June lay silently for a moment longer, taking in the words of the song that echoed from the old Victrola resting across the bedroom they occupied.

Take the ribbon from your hair. Shake it loose and let it fall. Lay it soft against my skin. Like the shadows on the wall. Come and lay down by my side, till the early morning light. All I’m takin’ is your time. Help me make it through the night.

“Did you hear me, June? I love you, with everything I have in me.” Of that she had no doubt.

“I love you too, Monty. More than life itself.”

And he needed no extra assurance. That thought and sentiment was all he needed to carry on with the next phase of his life. “Something happened that afternoon, after I saw you in that shop.”

“What’s that?”

“Seeing the both of you in the same place. Having what I have and what I want staring me in my face, both unaware of the other. Really making myself think about what’s important to me and what won’t matter years from now when I’m looking back on my life.” Taking another drag of his cigarette, Montgomery paused for a moment before blowing the smoke away from her face. “I asked her for the divorce.”

“You have before. And I’m sure that she talked you out of it again, in bed probably.”

Montgomery shook his head, asking her to sit up a moment so that he could put his cigarette out. It only took a second, and as he laid back, he pulled June into his arms. “Not this time. She and I haven’t shared a bed in months, and I didn’t bother to argue back with her, didn’t try to find a reason to make it work for the sake of image and all that other shit. Moved out of the house.”

June sat up quickly, shock written all over her face. “Where have you been staying? You only come here when I do.” Here was a small penthouse apartment Montgomery rented under the guise of ‘business’ trips that required him spending nights outside of Merrilville. His wife never cared enough to check behind or follow him to assure he was telling the truth. It’d become the space he shared with June for their rendezvous and private time.

Being that their trysts usually only happened on weekends, and had grown to be few and far in between in recent months, he kept the decor to a bare minimum, filling the space with only what he felt was necessary. 

“I’ve had trips after our little one, so hotels have been my home. But I’ll be moving my things in here soon. At first, I don’t think I was ready for the fight and problems that are going to ensue. I’m ready now. It’s gonna be nasty, and people I care about are going to think the worst of me, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.”

“And how do you know?”

Closing his eyes, Montgomery spoke what he felt. “Because, I’ll have you in my corner. And you’ll have me. I’ll be yours, you’ll be mine, and we’ll spend the rest of our lives loving one another the way we deserved to be loved.”

“That sounds perfect.”

“And if I’m lucky, if I’m blessed enough; we’ll share and build a wonderful life and home. We’ll travel a bit, see the world like we always talk about. I know that I can’t wait to show you off, to pull you into my world fully, and share in yours. And in a few short years, fill our dream home with lots of happy memories and babies. Of course, I want a son. But I think I’d be blessed if I were given a daughter or two as beautiful as you.”

“I always thought you didn’t want children.” She’d settled with herself to be fine if that were his decision.

“Not with the wrong woman.” Montgomery opened his eyes, looking in June’s direction. Her smile sent his heart racing. “I want every fulfilling moment life has to offer with you, things that I’ll share with you and only you. That is, if I’m not too late.”

“So long as this moment came, Monty, it would have never been too late.” With ease, she sunk into his arms, loving the way his touch sent a surge of excitement through her body. “Make me yours.”

“Dear Sandy…” by Cortney Joseph

It’s when I’m all alone,

on quiet nights

with nothing more than the thoughts

and memories of moments past

of all the times I wished would last long past forever

all faded and distant like the stars I count

one by one with hopes of spotting your soul and smile

dancing between them, glimmers of hope and reassurance

that one day, some day soon, I’ll be alright

with my world as it stands now.

Empty.

“Running Thoughts” by Cortney Joseph

It’s been some dark days,

Months of confusion, tears clouding my eyes

When I want nothing more than to move past crying.

It’s been some lonely nights,

Weeks of seclusion, pain tearing my heart apart

Because I want nothing more than to hold you in my arms.

Lonely Girl (Snippet from an Unfinished Project) by Cortney Joseph

Charmaine Hollands exhaled sharply, opened her eyes and looked towards the front seat where her parents sat comfortably in their bubble of wedded bliss. They were all smiles, excitedly chattering the hours away about their big plans for the summer.

Jet-setting around the world without a care, no expenses spared. New adventures, fun to be had, great people to meet, magnificent foods to be tried, dreams to be followed. And all without a moody teenager tagging along was just how they described it.

It wasn’t unusual for Charmaine to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere for months on end, to receive only a single dread-filled call upon her parents’ return. This time, however, she wondered if this would be the last time.

Sounds of The Isley Brothers filled the space within their station wagon, instantly annoying the girl as her father screeched illegible lyrics that collided awfully with her mother’s laugh.

Catching her mother’s eye, Charmaine diverted her attention to the vast fields they were speeding past. Silently, she counted bales of hay to keep herself occupied. Her hope to avoid an awkward and unwanted conversation dashed when her mother turned down the radio. “There you go with that moping again, bringing down everyone’s mood. You should be excited to see your grandparents, Char! It’ll do you some good, help you with a little more discipline before you get to college.”

“But it never occurred to you that traveling out of the country at least once might serve me well too?”

“We tried that Darling, you fought us against boarding school. Time with your grandparents really is the only option.”

Seeing her grandparents had never been the problem, feeling unwanted by her own parents had.  All this trip would do, she felt, was give someone else the chance to finish raising her while her parents continued to live their lives freely, as they had tried the entirety of her seventeen years. Almost as if they were finally ridding themselves of her.

“Besides,” her father chimed in “it’s not as if Charles and Odessa have anything better to do with their time. Do they ever?”

“In that little old town, never. I can’t tell you how glad I was to pack it up and get away once I turned eighteen.”

Charmaine scoffed, mummering to herself as she scrambled to put her headphones on. “And yet you choose to drag me there summer after summer, instead of inviting them AND me with you wherever you go.” 

“Small surroundings like that builds character, that’s for sure. You loved it as a young child, you’ll love it today. Now please lighten up Char, no one likes a buzzkill.” 

She sank deeper into the backseat, turning up the volume on her Walkman. “And no one likes to feel alone either.” She allowed the heavy drums and rock driven guitar riffs of a Taylor Dayne song take her away from the conversation her parents continued about her pitiful and ungrateful attitude and all the fun they’d have without her.

Time To Get Serious

I mean it this time, I’m publishing my official debut novel!

And I’ve got a game plan to go with it.

In 2012 I joined Wattpad and shared a few Urban novels here and there, stories and characters that I enjoyed for the moment but none that truly moved me to take the huge step of publishing.

Then, in 2014 I began to delve into the lives of four very special young women that changed my style of writing completely. While I’ve always been a nerd and into deep dives and researching for authenticity, these characters made me look into things I hadn’t even cared about because I wanted to be true to them.

Those characters were named Torii, Troy, Ava, and Leann. They took me through hell and highwater and unlike my other novels, Fly Girl and all that it encompassed with these four girls has held the tightest hold on me.

I mean, I’ve tossed HUNDREDS of novels and stories to the side but I always come back to Fly Girl and make the promise that it will be the one I publish. The one I use to break my fear and nervousness over publishing my novels.

I mean, I’m sitting on some money with many books but I feel I can’t publish any other than THIS one book.

It’s been eight years, and Fly Girl said they ain’t going nowhere.

While I’ve put myself on a schedule, I won’t be announcing any release dates or parts of my plans and ideas for promotion just yet. Just wanted it to be known that your girl is getting it together slowly, and in year 31, I’m gonna take myself and my talent more seriously. Because I deserve it.

Happy writing and happy reading! I hope you all have a blessed week.

Late Night Vulnerability

So, so much has been happening and it’s taken a bit of a toll on my creativity.

Mainly working and overworking at my 9-5 has been taking up so much of my time but also, lately, there’s been this lingering feeling.

I don’t know if it’s sadness, dread, stress, or what, but it’s been very weird.

One thing I do know for certain; this past year and a half I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of holding everything together.

Mainly my emotions. Not crying, not letting anyone know when I’m feeling down. And most importantly keeping a tight grip on my depression and not letting it overpower the moments when I do feel good.

Guilt as well because I still very much feel guilty for going on and living my life as if nothing has happened or changed.

Right now though, in this moment, it’s a little different. I’m typing this with a smile on my face, vibing to some good music. But I’m incredibly sad and I feel the loneliness and complete loss of my brother more than ever.

That’s all I wanted to share, just to get it off my chest so I don’t hold it in and combust in a bad way later.

I always say it, but new works and greatness on the way …. as soon as I get over this little hurdle.

Love you all who have been here and continue to return to MyPenWritesNice. The support is appreciated more than you could ever know.

xoxo, Cortney.

“Untitled (5/25/21)” by Cortney Joseph

You’re still gone,

And I’m left to spend my days wondering when you’ll be home.

And the nights tick on by, I’m lost and alone.

It’s when I miss you the most.

You’re still gone,

And the clouds have gone gray, flowers no longer bloom.

And the space I made for you is just an empty room.

Here’s where you’re needed the most

“Date In The Rain” by Cortney Joseph

Red cup filled to the rim,

Tears hitting the table as I stare blankly into space.

My soul’s so lost, heart’s full of pain,

Nothing could numb this more than a glass of crown

And a dance in the rain.

Nothing can heal me more than shot after shot,

And a truthful talk as hard drops of water hit my face,

While I dance, and prance, and cry in the rain.

So I sip, and I sip, and I sip until I hit that point where I stand

And take uneven dips, struggle with my steps,

And “oops, haha, I almost slipped”, and then I slip.

I stand and stumble, making my way out the door,

Squinting my eyes as I watch the rain; it pours and it pours.

Hand out, little droplets hit my fingertips and I step out slowly.

Step into it so that the rain can console me.

And as I spin around,

Nature’s shower drenching me while my bare feet pick up the dirt from the ground,

I cry and I begin my date with God in the rain.

Now, I know He has to be looking down on me asking

My child, how can you step before me to speak when you’re not even in the right place spiritually, mentally, or emotionally?”

Well, I figured this would be the best time,

Because they say a drunken tongue speaks a sober mind.

And all I’m trying to do is speak my mind, and find peace of mind.

So I cry, and bare my soul,

Asking why are the things I want taking so long?

Asking why it seems no one cares, why do I constantly feel alone?

Why is there no place for me to be free, and feel loved?

Why can’t I love myself enough to know that I need no one’s approval but God’s

And my own?

“I wasn’t able to have a mother to teach me my worth. And I wasn’t born pretty. I’m not skinny, and I cy too much. Maybe I’m just dumb. I should probably stop telling myself I’m talented when it’s well known that I’m worthless. You know, maybe it’s because I’m just undeserving. Yeah, yeah,  I’m unworthy. And I’m hurting, and can’t stop. And I hate myself with every part of my being; I hate myself, and I can’t stop. I feel abandoned, family don’t even have my back. Doesn’t that say a lot? I’m not supposed to question your will, but why God, why?”

And as the rain beats against my back,

My tears creating ripples in the puddles that lay before me,

I sink lower.

And I pray for healing.

I pray that this drunken date with God, in the rain,

Cleanses me of all the hurt, and anger, and pain I’ve been feeling

Before it’s too late.

The Engaged &The Complicated by Cortney Joseph

The following is a brief excerpt from a collaborative novel I wrote with a former friend. For now, I’ll only share a section I wrote. Please bare with it, ’cause it was written around 2013/2014 so it’s definitely not up to my current self-standards as a writer. I owe many more posts since my latest unexpected hiatus, and they’re coming. Enjoy.

______________________

It was going on midnight, and the last thing Omega wanted to hear was Destiny’s mouth. Normally he could stare at her lips for a few minutes and tune her out, but today the yakking was entirely too much. His nerves were bad, he was starving, and she was going on and on about a non-existent side relationship. She knew damn well he’d never cheat on her, no matter how many times they broke-up.

Destiny was the love of Omega’s life, though he often found himself wishing that his love for her wasn’t so strong. There wasn’t a day that didn’t go by when she didn’t test his patience or throw some foolishness in his face. And he never understood why.

He’d tried for years to chalk it up to the fact that she was born and raised a spoiled brat. But she was grown now, and out of her father’s house; the only thing she had yet to do was fully mature.

“Desi, please. Can’t I even come home to a quiet house for once? You know I was out working. I’m trying to pull in as many hours as possible; trying to make sure my business is straight before we go on this trip. You know, the one you insist is going to make things better for us.”

“You doubt that it will?”

Kicking his shoes off, he nodded. “To be honest, yes, I do. It’s to the point in our relationship where I don’t even know why we bother getting back together.”

“Because you love me, Omega.”

“Yes, I do.”

“And I love you too.”

Destiny took a deep breath and got up from her side of the bed, knowing that she was wrong for coming at him in a crazy manner. Lately that seemed to be the only way that she could get his attention. “You sure don’t act like it. I’m up here busting my ass for us and I can’t even come home to peace, not a single thank you. Just bitching and complaining. I’m starting to feel like we’re never gonna get it together. And, I feel as if I’m being taken for granted. I’m telling you Destiny, I do and will do anything in this world for you but you don’t appreciate shit. Just gotta have something to complain about. I’m tired of it.”

Slowly sitting in his lap once he sat on their bed, Destiny began helping Omega out of his tie and shirt. “I’m sorry Baby. I just, I don’t know, I’ve been really insecure lately. You’re always gone and I miss you so much.” She looked into his blue eyes, knowing that as fine as he was, women checked him out and stepped to him daily.

Omega wasn’t just any random dude. He wasn’t a thug, stayed out of the streets, and he showed respect and love to everyone. He was a black man who worked hard; well-educated, independent, and he owned his own company. He was no pushover either, strong but gentle and kind towards those he cared about. And out of all of the women he could have had, he chose her.

Destiny knew she had a good man, but her own insecurities led her to foolish conclusions more often than she liked to admit to. Her jumping to conclusions before finding out the full story on any situation often led to their many breakups over the years.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Omega licked his lips and sighed as he looked into Destiny’s brown eyes. “I know I work a lot Destiny, but I’m just trying to make sure you and I are always straight. You know I’m trying to marry you, but I want to make sure that I can always provide for you and our family.”

“I know.”

“I gotta take care of you and my son, I’m doing all of this for y’all.” Destiny smiled before hugging Omega tightly, thanking him.

“I’m sorry O, I love you. Forgive me?”

She pouted her lips and Omega sighed, hating that she had him wrapped so tightly around her freshly manicured fingertip. He could never stay mad at Destiny, no matter what she did or how much drama she caused.

She was his fiancé, the mother of his only child, and he’d do anything to make sure they both got what they needed and deserved.

“Yeah Baby, I forgive you.”

Destiny smiled before kissing Omega and walking off to prepare herself for what was sure to be another late night between the two of them.

May’s Drama by Cortney Joseph

Another snippet from one of my many incomplete stories. 😉, part of a story that includes Home Again.

____________

Hearing a knock at the front door, May groaned before hurrying to answer. Almost immediately, she regretted her choice. She grew angry with herself when her attempt to slam the door failed. On the other side, her ex-husband stood, using his arm to keep the door between them open. 

If looks could have killed, Louis would have dropped dead on the spot. May’s eyes shot fierce daggers, cutting into his soul. “You’ve got some damn nerve.”

“I didn’t come here to argue.”

“Get off my mama’s property.”

Louis ignored May’s request, attempting to step forward into the house. She figured that the heat had to be messing with his head, there was no real way he could have been stupid enough to feel he was still welcomed anywhere around her family’s home. “We need to talk.”

She eyed him up and down with a glare that could have been etched, along with the hatred she felt for him, straight into his memory. A reminder to serve as the reason he shouldn’t return after today. “Go away.”

“I’m not going anywhere until we talk.” He stood tall, his confidence brooding as he straightened out the jacket of the double-breasted suit he wore. Navy blue, tailored to fit his athletic body perfectly. Towering over May, her fury did nothing to deter him, and that angered her more. 

“I don’t have shit to say to you, Louis! You did all your talking when you dragged me in that court and forced me to sign those papers so that you could run off with your whore. Go talk to that bitch!”

He chuckled, pulling papers from the inside of his jacket. “Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your hair soon enough. Now as it stands, we still own property together, and I don’t agree with the judge’s orders to sell them. Now you can keep the townhouse apartment. But I need and want the winter home in Vermont. Once Claire and I get married, we plan to move there with the kids. I also want the vacation property in Hawaii.”

His words cut like a knife as he went on with his demands, digging straight into what bit of a heart May thought she had left. Not only had he cheated for the entirety of their marriage; he’d fallen in love with the other woman, treated her the way he should have treated the wife he had at home. Began a family with that woman when May could not give him children. He’d humiliated her, dragged her through the public court of shame.

And, just to say she still had him, May had accepted it all. The roof and walls of her broken home came toppling over her head when he requested a divorce. She fought tooth and nail, and lost. No amount of money, no high priced property or cars, no agreements could have eased the pain or betrayal she felt. And here Louis stood, demanding more of her when he should have just continued walking away with the victory of using her, with what he’d stolen and pulled from her when she was so willing to give him the world. Her body, her love, her time, her life. If she had the power in her small frame, May would have jumped on Louis and strangled him right then and there. “Did you hear what I said? I need you to sign these papers, signing everything out of your name. After that, you’ll never have to hear from or see me again.”

May blinked away her tears, standing straight as she eyed him. Her vindictive nature shone through as he waited for her to take the pen he held in her face.  “I’m not signing shit. And if I get word that you and that  bitch are on any of my properties, I’ll have you arrested. Come back around this here house, I’ll shoot you with one of my daddy’s guns and then I’ll have you arrested for trespassing. Now you have a good day, Louis White.”

She pushed him back, slamming the door in his face before she locked it. As she headed to her room, tears spilled from her eyes. She just didn’t understand how this had become her life, confused as to what she’d done so wrong.