The novel takes you on a transformational journey with the women of "Renegotiating Kayla". Read along as the women let go of their public faces, and begin to reveal fears and truths. You will witness an unarmoring of each character’s confidence, as they heed the warning to get real, and in particular, real honest. *Read Chapters in Sequence using the Index.
I checked into a nearby hotel and
waited for morning to come. I was
anxious to see Hannah. I planned to take
her shopping or to a movie or something; anything; just the two of us. I wanted to have another chance at being a
mother. I told myself it wasn’t too late,
and that she would be happy to see me. I
thought about the possibility of getting married, and maybe having more
children. It was a good time for these
things. I had accomplished most of my
personal goals, and I could actually afford to have kids. The only problem as I saw it would be meeting
a good man. That was always my problem,
and I used to think every woman’s problem but lately all my girlfriends were so
damn happy; well almost all. I was
beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with me. I think it’s the question that every woman
begins to ask herself more seriously when thirty is nearing. Honestly, I still can’t believe that I
actually thought that Q and I could work.
Maybe I just wanted to share in some of the bliss that everyone was
feeling at the time. And although part
of me knew it really couldn’t work in the long term; it still hurts to learn
that you’re not good enough. I mean I’m getting older, and I’m getting
tired of playing this game. I just want
to chill with somebody; one body—you know.
I’ve had enough of trying to prove that two can play the game; I mean
there’s got to be something more to life than revenge. Shit, I’ve had all the revenge I can stand
for a life time. Where do I go from
here? That’s the question I been asking
myself lately. And something just keeps
telling me “retrace your steps”. Now I’m
at the place where it all started, and I don’t know if I’m controlling my steps
or if my steps are controlling me—but I’m guessing tomorrow will have a lot to
say about it.
I woke up before the alarm rang;
still anxious; still hopeful that Hannah would not reject me. I got on my knees and began praying; a thing
I hadn’t done in years. I asked for God
to help me find the words to explain to my child why I’d been away for so long. Yet I really didn’t think that I would get such
a quick turnaround seeing that I wasn’t very deserving. When I got to Erilyn’s house I noticed three
cars parked in front of the house. I
suspected the third was Derek’s. I took
a huge deep breath and then walked up to the door that was quietly mediating a
horrible situation. I didn’t know what
to expect, but I tried to prepare myself for the worst possible outcome. I rung the bell, and Erilyn opened on the
“Good Morning.” I offered almost unwillingly.
“Hey. Derek’s here.
Hannah’s upstairs, but she’s not in a good mood.”
As I entered the living room I spotted Derek,
and softly muttered the words good morning.
I passed him straight, and took the stairs to Hannah’s bedroom. I turned the knob, but the door was
locked. I knocked but no answer. I called out to her but still no answer. I could hear Erilyn coming up the stairs. I was hoping she could help me to get Hannah
to open the door, but she didn’t offer any help.
“Maybe you should give her some
time. She hasn’t seen you in so long, and
she’s upset that you demanded she come home early.” My sister was whispering.
“So, she’s a woman now. She can lock her door and just decide that
she’s not going to see me. And you’re
okay with this.”
“Jen, you can’t just disregard her
feelings because you’re her mother. I
don’t think that’s fair.”
“So when do you think she’ll be
ready to see me?”
“I’ll talk to her. Just give it a day or two.”
“Fine, but just a couple of days. I’m not going to deal with this for very
long. And why is Derek still here? I hope he doesn’t think she’s going back with
“Why don’t you discuss that with
“I don’t need to discuss anything
with that man.”
“Must you be so unreasonable?” Erilyn looked at me with more pleading.
“Yes. You had no right bringing him back into her
life without my permission. And I’m not
fooling around. I will take this to
court if I have to.”
“And you’ll lose. Maybe not to Derek, but I’m sure you will to
me. So, think about what you’re doing.” My sister had gotten finished pleading with
me. Erilyn’s words reached me deep, and I couldn’t say a
word. Honestly, I knew I couldn’t contest
her. All that she had done for Hannah;
all these years—while all I did was write out a check without a second
thought. Who was I really kidding? I knew better. But I still had to have the last word. So I quickly threw my status in her face.
“Money talks and mountains move.”
I saw the retreat in her demeanor, and I turned my back to
take the stairs, while I relished in my satisfaction. I stormed back into the room where Derek was
still sitting and shouted, “can I have a word with you” without missing a single
step. I walked through the front door
and out to the driveway.
“Where do you get off? Do you really believe you have a right to be
in my child’s life?” I asked while
reminiscing on the first months after Derek had left.
“Well, I could ask you the same
thing….couldn’t I. I’ve been around for
quite some time, and I haven’t seen you anywhere. The truth is we both have made some
mistakes.” Derek talked as if we had more in
common than not.
“It’s easy for you to compare us,
but it seems you’ve forgotten that I have never been completely, one-hundred
percent out of Hannah’s life. Yes, I’ve
been away for a while and I know she’s upset, but if she can accept you, she
damn well will accept me.”
“I’m not trying to take Hannah
away. I’m just trying to right my wrongs,
and I’m guessing that’s what you’re trying to do too. I know right now you’re upset at me because I
have the very thing you want; her forgiveness; but I had to work for it. I didn’t just show up and demand her
affection. I knew it would take time and
work. But I guess you really do believe
that money talks and mountains move.” Derek
had served me a dish too cold to swallow.
I didn’t know how to respond. I
jumped into my car and sped off.