Yep. This month is National Novel Writing Month, and I’m going to break my writing constipation by finally putting fingers to keys and hammering out a novel, for better or worst. So far, I have about 7,400 words, and the goal is to get to 11,000 by Monday morning. I think it’s a doable goal. We’ll see.

I will be reporting and letting you all know how this is going. I know that as the story goes on, I will be griping to you all because this is the first story that I have ever written without some type of outline. All I knew was how I would like it to begin, a little about my character, and some little things I would like to happen. Right now, my main character is being supportive. Who knows how she’ll act later. Here’s a little excerpt of my story, TO CATCH A CHEAT:

CHAPTER ONE


The bad-ass gold, spike heels of my Manolo Blahniks were going to kill him. Cheater Number 5302 had a major foot fetish. Wear sandals, my fellow C. I. and partner Vince said. Sexy sandals.

So I dug into my shoe closet, my most-prized possession and sifted through every pair of Blahniks I owned, which were a lot. On any given day, I lived in sweats from Wal-Mart and Adidas or Reebok, but when I wanted to feel like a girl, a fine girl at that, I went to the heavy artillery. Artillery tonight was my Isabel’s—a sexy pair of red sandals that left nothing to the imagination; a pedicure was definitely in order. Cheater Number 5302 would not be able to stop staring at my French pedicure, or the way that one red strap hugged my big toe or the thin, gold ring on my middle toe. Two red straps encircled themselves around my ankles and led up to well-toned calves, my knees, and the beginning of my firm, thick thighs before the rest of my goodies disappeared under my black, almost sheer, empire-waist mini-dress.

One of my Victoria’s latest recruits enveloped my breasts and pushed them together, then up. Instead of my normal black-rimmed specks, I wore dark gray contacts; they would bring flair to the aura that was me—more than my typical brown eyes could. My hair was precision cut and wrapped, and now laid silkily down my back. A loose lock fell over my left eye. My makeup, professionally done. Jewelry, minimal. When I looked in the mirror on my dresser, I definitely didn’t recognize myself, but I guess that was the point. I was supposed to be the finest girl up in the club tonight. How else would I catch a cheater?

I picked up the picture that rested on my dresser. Kenneth Stevenson was printed just beneath the picture of a guy who could definitely give George Clooney a run for his money in the looks department. Typically, white guys weren’t my thing. I was more a Denzel Washington chick—a brother who was refined but looked like he knew how to do things proper like. But Cheater Number 5302? I would straddle up on that stallion any day. But he was married. He was possibly a cheater. I was sent to catch him in the act. I was the act. Therefore, no pleasure and all work.

I flipped the picture over and began reading the mini-dossier on Mr. Stevenson:

Name: Kenneth Stevenson

Age: 42

Height: 6’ 1 ½”

Weight: 195

Occupation: Lawyer

Married: 8 years to Cynthia Stevenson

Children: Two—daughter, 6, Rebekah. Son, 4, Kenneth, Jr.

Reason for coming to F.A.C.E.: For the last five months, Mrs. Stevenson has felt a disconnection from her husband. He’s been working longer hours. He’s consistently picking fights for no reason. He has practically stopped having sexual relations with Mrs. Stevenson.

I turned toward my bed and plopped down onto it. Beside me laid a manila folder—the rest of Kenneth Stevenson’s info that Vince had Suzie, our receptionist/secretary/informant/everywoman, put together. There were pictures of the happy family supplied by an unhappy Mrs. Stevenson. There was a mini-tape in which a tearful Mrs. Stevenson told Vince that she thought it was quite a coup for someone like her to meet and marry someone like Kenneth. Just from listening to the tape, I could tell Cynthia had some real self-esteem issues. She thought she was fat. She was grateful the kids turned out to be lighter than she. She was happy that someone who was white wanted her. She could somehow be somebody else because of him.

I wanted to reach through the picture and snatch Cynthia right out of it. She could have been my sister, and I never believed myself to be fat or unattractive. I was thick, but I never got a complaint for having juicy thighs or an attention-grabbing booty. I couldn’t stand when a sister would lose her mind and think someone, anyone could replace what she needed to give herself—love and esteem. Especially when she thought she had to go looking in the rainbow connection to find it. If she couldn’t love herself, why in the hell did she think someone else could?

Despite my job, I mean after all, I was working for Mrs. Stevenson, I almost understood why Kenneth’s eye might wander. It must be tiring having to breathe for you and someone else.

I looked at the pictures of the family again. I couldn’t help but laugh.

“No wonder I got the case,” I whispered. I was the only chick at F.A.C.E. that could even pull off the look-alike. Vince thought we should first go with someone who resembled the positive attributes of Mrs. Stevenson. Kenneth had to have loved her inside and out once upon a time. Maybe my resemblance would make him want me.

Mrs. Stevenson was a full-figured, black woman. Last I checked, my size 16 body qualified for full-figured stardom, and my cinnamon coloring made me black. She had the look of someone who should have had the biggest ego. She looked smart. She looked sporty. She looked girly. Cynthia really could have been my older sister. Long hair, big brown eyes, nice curvy body. The more I looked at her picture, the more my anger at her left and my need to protect her skyrocketed. I needed to make sure I handled this assignment as to-the-book as I could.

In a family picture, Kenneth had Cynthia wrapped up in a big hug beneath a willow tree. They both wore t-shirts and shorts. The kids covered their eyes and made sick, gaggy faces at their parents. The kids could pass for white; it was the first thing I noticed in the picture, but in closer inspection, you could notice that the girl was the spitting image of her mother—except for the coloring, and Kenneth, Jr. was totally his dad, but with his mother’s big brown eyes. They were an adorable family. I frowned. I hoped I wouldn’t find anything during my undercover work.

I reached over onto my nightstand and picked up my cell phone. I dialed a number and after Rico’s hello, I said, “I’m on my way to Satisfaction.”

“You know I got your back, mamacita,” Rico replied. “Be sexy.”

“Aren’t I always?”

“Well…”

“Shut up, Rico. See you there.”

I slipped my cell phone into my small, red and black purse and stood.

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and said, “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” Giggling, I retrieved my credit card-sized recorder from the dresser. I slipped the recorder into the thin pouch I stitched into the inside of my dress under my right arm. I clipped the tiny microphone to my bra and fixed my dress again. Rico would test me for audio when I got to Satisfaction.

Satisfied with my looks, I offered a prayer for safety and the truth, made the sign of the cross, and left for another night of rendezvousing with infidelity.

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