Tag Archives: christian fiction

Learning Anew: Excerpt V

Aniya stared at her lap for two more seconds before she raised her head tentatively. She peered into Susan’s bright blue eyes trying to find the correct words to utter to her supervisor, and mentor. She doesn’t want to appear ungrateful but the confused mess of turmoil building up inside her made her sift through every word screaming at her.

Aniya finally broke her silence.

“Ahem. Susan…Susan I…I really appreciate everything you’ve taught me. Everything that I get to do here…” Aniya sucked in a thick breath. “But…was it…was it because of your relationship to the…”

Susan couldn’t allow her to go any further. She took a gigantic step forward and met Aniya at the edge of her simple but elegant office desk. Using the desk to prop her up at the rear, Susan leaned down toward Aniya and offered her firm but kind words.

“Aniya, every move you’ve made forward, since starting here, has been on your own merit. Entirely.” Susan slipped the tip of her fore finger under Aniya’s chin and raised it gently. “Don’t go getting any strange thoughts in that pretty head of yours about your promotion. You earned it. Earned it all on your own.”

Susan tilted her head to the side studying Aniya to determine whether her words had registered. “Got it, Aniya?”

Aniya vacated her own blank stare and returned to the present. “I get it.” Her voice was cold-without emotion. Without enthusiasm. She turned to look out the large wall of windows. “I think.” She muttered softly.

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Learning Anew: An Excerpt IV

A belly laugh tumbled out of her stomach. For some reason Johan’s words amused Aniya to the point of causing her to fold over at her stomach-laughing. It took her all of two minutes before she could compose herself.

“I’m sorry.” Sarcasm oozed out of her veins. “Um, because you’re the head honcho you think that it’s okay that you lied to me?” If the daggers shooting out of her eyes were real Johan would already been dead. He took a tentative step toward her. Aniya stepped backward. Johan remained put.

“Aniya, I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention to lie…” Resembling a traffic cop, Aniya raised her hand up to stop him.

“I really don’t want to…I can’t.” She pressed her lips tightly together. “I have to get back to work. If that’s alright with you?” The sarcasm was back in all its glory. Johan’s eyes were half filled with regret and half filled with fear. Fear of losing Aniya forever.

“Aniya please. Please let me explain. It’s all on me. It’s all on me if you’re late getting back to work.” Johan kept his voice low, and his tone even. Aniya however, was poised to rush past him like a NFL offense player.

“I have work to do. Unlike you I don’t have the luxury of playing games.” She began her stampede forward. Johan planted himself in her path, attempting to block her. Aniya stopped dead in her tracks. Seemingly in slow motion, she raised her head and glared into Johan’s forest green eyes then allowed herself to gaze further up at the strands of dark brown hair framing his forehead. Suddenly she shook her head, vigorously. Those images had to be expelled immediately. He had to remain the ogre she only saw him as now. “Mr. Steinberg, seriously, I really need to get back to work.”

Johan hadn’t heard a word Aniya said. Not really anyway. He was lost in her russet brown almond eyes and the strand of unruly curly hair hanging over her right ear, that had gotten loose from her high puff-ponytail. “Mr. Steinberg!” Johan snapped to attention.

“Huh?” He swallowed hard to hide his embarrassment. “You know, Johan works just fine.”

Aniya sucked in an enormous breath through her nose and let it out forcibly as though she inhaled fire instead of air. She moved quickly. She maneuvered around Johan. Who knew she was so agile. So much more I have to learn about her. Johan swiveled around and tried to reach Aniya before she crossed the office door’s threshold. “Aniya…” He called out but she was already through the door interweaving among the people-traffic on the floor.

Johan sheepishly looked at the passerbys and shrinked back into his office.  He shut the door and leaned aginast it. “Okay…okay, so she’s quick. I’ve got to find a way…a way to make her hear me.”

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Learning Anew – An Excerpt III

“I don’t know Johan, you’re playing this really…really too close to the vest. What happens when Aniya finds out who you are?” Susan pressed her palms against her castle pine wooden desk, leaned over and hoisted herself above her cousin who pretended not to listen to her. He just sat, fiddled with a pen in between his fingers, and stared out the high rise office windows.

“Why don’t you let me worry about how close I’m playing things and you worry about being a good supervisor. huh?” Johan finally turned and flashed Susan a wide grin. But his boyish grin didn’t move her one bit. Well except to stand right in front of him and block any further distraction from the stunning sunlight, and magnificent clouds forming outside the windows.

“Look Johan, this all started innocently enough. You wandered downstairs to check things out and one look and you were instantly distracted, like you always are by new and shiny things. You…”

Johan jumped to his feet. This time it was him hoisted above the woman he’s known as more like an older sister than a cousin his entire life. “She’s not a ‘shiny thing’! It’s not like that Suze. I…I…” He felt something move in his stomach. What the heck? Was the ever cerebral, barely emotional Johan experiencing butterflies? “I swear.” His arms dropped limp at his side.

She gasped. She could see the vulnerability in his eyes. Johan gently maneuvered his way around Susan and stood beside the wall covered with windows.

Susan made her own graceful move and joined him. “So tell me. Tell me what it’s like. I’m all ears.”

Johan looked away from the arresting scene happening outside the window and curled his lips into a slow smile. “How much time do you have?”

“For you?” Susan tilted her eyes toward the international clocks adorning the wall across from the array of windows “30 minutes, until my next meeting.”

Laughter filled the space between them.

To Be Continued…

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Learning Anew – An Excerpt II

Sir, are you sure about this? I don’t think…” Andrew was immediately cut off. A voice boomed across from him. “We’ve talked about this – repeatedly I might add. I know what I’m doing. The staff on the ‘ground floor’ have never seen me so…so I’ll be alright. Andrew I swear, you worry too much dude.”

Andrew’s eyes widened, he still can’t quite get used to his boss’ casual demeanor . Well, technically his boss. He shook his head and went in for the kill to try to persuade the young millionaire that he is going down a very wrong path.

“Sir, what happens when she finds out who you really are?” Johan finally spun around from packing his gym bag. He gently stepped into Andrew’s space with a smirk painted across his lips.

“Will you cut out the “Sir-bit”. It’s  Johan.” He paused. “But ah, Joe…Joe in front of my ‘co-workers'” A full smile formed on his face. He spun around and returned his undivided attention to his gym bag .

Behind him, Andrew forced his lips together. Tight. He is making a huge fool of himself and I will have to clean up all the mess. “Ahem. Sir…I mean Jo…Jo-han all I’m saying is pretending is never good…”

Johan was all set. He strapped the bag across his chest, stepped up to Andrew and gave him two soft taps on his left shoulder then looked up at his towering assistant. “You worry way too much Andy. I got this.” Johan took two steps toward the door, then pivoted toward Andrew again. “It will be all good man. Trust me. You’ll see. Now I have a company ball game to pitch in.” Johan winked and shot out the door like lighting.

To Be Continued…

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Life Passages XXIV – Reality Check

“I’m not sure about this Devon. About being here.” Madeleine spoke in hush tones leaned in close to Devon’s ear. They warmed a couch at the edge of the room of Emmanuel’s parents basement. Emmanuel got the Agape youth group together for the monthly game night. Devon managed to convince Madeleine to join him and Samantha there, but he wasn’t as successful  with getting her to take part in any of the activities that was happening in the center of the room. Devon turned toward Madeleine only slightly. His eyes remained fixed on the intrigue encircling the friendly card game across the room. “Why not Mads? Don’t you like to have fun?” He whispered near her ear jokingly.

Madeleine’s eyes shot back and forth nervously “I do…I do like to have fun but…but this isn’t my…” Madeleine’s words were broken in to by the shadow of a medium built, tall Emmanuel, trimmed with perfectly groomed facial hair. “Madeleine, right?” Madeleine’s head rose slowly, her apprehensive eyes cast on Emmanuel’s olive face. “Um…me? Ahem…Yes…ah yes I’m Madeleine.” Emmanuel’s smile was close to igniting the basement. His left hand quickly rose to motion a wave. “Hey Madeleine. I’m Emmanuel. Finally a proper introduction.” He chuckled and shot Devon a playful look but Devon was not so playful in that moment. “So, there’s a game of Pictionary that’s about to get started and it has your name all over it Madeleine.” His grin was infectious and Madeleine was affected. Her lips slowly curled upward. “Pictionary? Me?” Her mouth grew a full smile now.

Devon looked on, guarded. His eyes closely mapped the evolution of the dialogue taking place next to him. A splash of agitation filled his eyes. “Mads you know…you know you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” If ever there was the award for the best poker face of the year, Devon would be nominated for trying terribly hard to wear one just then. Emmanuel on the other hand remained a beacon of joy. It shouldn’t be possible but it appeared that his grin became even larger. “He’s right Madeleine. It’s up to you. But I have a strange feeling this is your game.” Madeleine was blinded by Emmanuel’s smile and she couldn’t help but form a larger one herself. She took a break from absorbing Emmanuel’s light to look at Devon. She couldn’t find any true identifiable expression there so she took a few more moments to read his face more closely. Soon she gave up, drew a deep breath then returned her attention to Emmanuel. Is this guy always this happy? Always this…this…I guess, nice? She chuckled softly and glanced at Devon again. Well Devon wants me to have fun, so what the heck!

“I’m in.” Madeleine locked eyes with Emmanuel. He reached for her hand  “Partners then, Madeleine?” She allowed him to take it and stood. “Alright.” Madeleine walked away leaving Devon on his feet, dumbfounded. His wide eyes bounced from Madeleine’s hand in Emmanuel’s to them meeting up with the rest of the Pictionary players, and Emmanuel making the introductions. Suddenly Samantha appeared next to Devon. She slapped him on the shoulder. “See? I told you Devon. This is what she needed.” Devon’s head slowly swiveled toward Samantha. He gazed at her speechless, for a long thirty seconds – or so  – before responding. “Um…ah…I guess…I guess so?” His voice trailed off into a whisper before Devon turned again to fix his stare on Madeleine and Emmanuel. Okay Lord. We need to talk.

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