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Friday, February 22, 2008

EXCERPT: Something He Can Feel

Something He Can Feel
by Marissa Monteilh

Hot headed and hot blooded, she just can't keep her hands to herself . . .

Marina Maxwell, a successful news anchor in Atlanta, has had anger issues with men since high school. But, she believes she can calm her fiery temper once the right man comes into her life. In walks tall and handsome Mangus Baskerville, a police officer who's feeling her so tough that he quickly proposes marriage. Yet once the I Do's are exchanged, Mangus discovers the other side of Marina . . . a side that is flawed through anger. Can Mangus stand by his abusive woman even when the other woman lurks nearby? And can Marina learn to mellow her violent ways just in time?





“ . . . in hell where I belonged?”

My name is Marina.

It was July 12th.

From what I recall, it was my very first memory of what it was like to feel absolute anger . . . and take it out on someone you love.

I remember it was one of those muggy and heated afternoons in the Southwest area of what we call Hotlanta. It was the kind of heat that made sweat bead-up on your forehead, almost like tiny raindrops.

It was two-years after my father died.

I had a summer job at a little dress shop and I was a sophomore at Westlake High School where I was on the track team.

It was a moment when I had an absolute out-of-body experience.

I actually saw my body from the outside in.

And it scared even me.

His license plate read Loose Goose, which was also his CB radio handle. How appropriate.

“Stop this fuckin car, now,” I screamed with a high-pitched intensity that matched the speed of his souped-up, banana-yellow Camaro. With wide tires and a radio antenna sprouting from the center of his rear spoiler like a beanstalk, his car was just as fast and flashy as he was. “Punk ass mothafucka.” My voice pierced even my own ears.

Applying a forceful, neck-jolting slam on the brakes, my lanky basketball jock, high-school senior boyfriend, held tight to the steering wheel as his pride-and-joy screeched into a circular spin and then came to an abrupt stop. The oversized speakers belted “Kiss” by Prince.

Burnt rubber was the smell.

Smoke from the Pirelli tires filled the air.

My teenaged heart went thump, thump, thump, in the same quick intensity as the heat of my puberty-filled anger.

I pulled on the chrome door handle with force. “Let me the hell out of here,” I yelled as I kicked the door squarely. The handle would not cooperate so I pushed with all of my body weight, which was about a buck-oh-five worth back then.

He turned off the ignition and yanked the key. “You know you can’t just get out of this car in the middle of the street. You’re miles from home.”

“Home will be anywhere you’re not,” I hollered as the heavy door suddenly flew open.

“Marina, get back in here,” he shouted through clenched teeth, reaching toward my slender fleeing body, just barely grazing my bony left elbow.

I hopped out wearing tight blue jeans and slammed the door as he simultaneously opened the driver side door.

“Get back in here so I can take you home.” He jumped out high-stepping with his long legs. He wore a dark blue, nylon-jogging suit.

I began sprinting down Cascade Road onto Danforth, into a little subdivision with big homes. It was unusually quiet and no one walked the streets. “Leave me the hell alone.”

“No, I won’t leave you alone out here by yourself. Now you get back here.” He grabbed my arm and pulled my blouse from behind. I snatched my lean body away. My cotton sleeve ripped like paper. He moved his hand back and up toward the sky.

I made an abrupt stop and an instant about-face, bracing my feet in a balanced straddle, pulling my leather purse strap up my arm with my left hand.

He looked willing to retreat. “Sorry about that.”

I balled up my right hand and pulled it back toward my shoulder, inhaling and exhaling in waves. I gave him a side-angled look. My face was blood red. “Did you just rip my blouse? You don’t want to fuck with me. I promise you. But you know what? Try me.” My eyes dared him. They begged him. They pleaded with him.

He held both hands up in surrender. “Marina. Calm down.”

“Oh, hell no. You do some shit like fuck around on me like that and then wanna tell me to calm down? You risked me and my feelings just so you could fuck around by pulling that tired ass move.”

“I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

I stayed in pre-jab position. My tennis shoes were positioned one in front of the other. Laila Ali’s best fighting stance had nothin on me. “You just didn’t mean for me to find out.”

Looking puzzled, he shook his head while lowering his arms to his side. “Why are you acting like this? This is not like you. Are you about to start your period?”

Oh no he didn’t. “How dare you blame your behavior on my damn menstrual cycle? I’m acting like this because I fell in love with you, that’s why. The question is . . . why did you fuck a tramp like Clydra Champion, of all the girls in school?”

“I didn’t.”

“You did.”

“I didn’t.”

“You did.”

“I did not.”

“Howard, you sure as hell did. I heard you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I was at her house.”

He blinked a mile a minute.

My breaths slowed a bit. I dropped my hand but still kept my fist clenched. “You were set up. What happened was, we called you to see if you would take the bait. I should have known that your weak little dick would jump at the chance. I was on the other phone in her mother’s room when you accepted her invitation to meet you at the Motel 6 on Old National.”

I sniffled like I wanted to cry but my anger chased away my tears.

I kept yelling, “And then, you had the nerve to stop by my job to pick me up afterwards, wearing the same damn pants you pulled down to fuck her nasty stank behind. The sweat pants I bought you for Christmas. I know you two just left the motel. It was all I could do to wait to confront your ass.” Another tear traveled right into my mouth. I pressed my lips together to catch it and tasted its warm saltiness. My throat tightened as I fought to swallow my own saliva that in actuality, I wanted to spit right in his cheating ass face. My breathing again sped up. I could feel the redness of my squinted eyes as I spoke through gritted teeth. “You’re just a typical man. And that bitch went on ahead and let you fuck her. I can’t believe you both betrayed me.”

He stood tall with an expression that said his mind was racing to grasp one last bit of denial. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m telling you, I went to take my mom to look for a new Cadillac this afternoon and that’s it. You’ve gotta believe me.”

I opened my hand and raised it high to meet to his face, flexing it within one inch of his nose. I wanted to smash my palm right up against his wide nostrils. I never did like his nose. “You went to fuck Clydra. So fuck you.” I began to turn around but his voice placed stop signs in my path.


I looked back and he took a half step toward me. I said, “If you take another step, I will beat you down.”

He pointed back in the direction of his Camaro. “You will get your ass in this car. Now.”

I pointed back in the direction of his Camaro. “You will get the hell out of here and leave me alone. Now.”

“Marina, I’m telling you. We didn’t do anything.”

“You are such a dog and a liar. I hate you.” I shook my head in pity.

“Fine, then, hate me. But I know one thing . . . you can be as mad and as hateful as you wanna be, but I’m not going anywhere. And I won’t hit you. My mom raised me better than that. Plus, I won’t risk going to jail or getting kicked off the team. So, I’ll just follow you all the way home, or wherever you go, no matter how long it takes.” He folded his arms.

“And I’ll scream and tell the first person I see that you’re following me. I’ll swear I don’t know you.”

Through his eyes I could see the words fed up flash into view. As quick as the flick of a light switch, he waved his hand at me. “You know what? Forget it. You’ll be sorry because nothing happened.”

“As long as I’m no longer fuckin your cheating ass I don’t care.”

“Goodbye. And good luck with your temper problems.” He excused me with a cutting glance.

“Good luck with your dick problems.”


“Loose Goose.”

“Now I will be.”

I again raised my flat hand to him like a valley girl. “Whatever.”

“Go to hell.”

“Asshole.” I headed in the other direction. The wind was nonexistent. The bright rays of the sun stung my face. I was heated. I was literally as hot as hell. I was hot blooded. I was hot and bothered. I was fuming. I took two steps. He said one word.


Oh no. Did the world just stop? I ask you, did the world just stop? Somebody please tell me the world did not just stop. I turned back in his direction and cocked my head to the side. “What did you fuckin call me?”

He had the nerve to simply turn around and walk away.

My loudness shifted into another level. Whatever tinge of valley girl I had in me before was now chased away by a neck rollin, one-hundred percent ghetto chick. “Get your ass back here. What did you call me?”

His feet were moving extra swiftly. He spoke his words while still giving me his back. “You have a real problem.”

“Did you just call me a bitch?”

“Yes. Yes, I did. Because you are.” His steps quickened even more. Even with a view of his cowardly back, I could clearly see his denial. I could smell his dogism.

“Mothafucka. Get your ass back here.” I screamed my words and shifted into a fast jog, staying right on his heels at all times. I managed to pull the material of his sweat jacket from behind. He jerked away and then stopped. So did I. He turned around and faced me. Cockiness resided in his gigolo-laced brown eyes, and it pissed me the fuck off.

The words beat his ass flashed before me and that was all I saw as I welled up with even more anger and just started swinging. Swinging like he was the baseball and I was the bat, about to hit a ninth-inning home run out of the ballpark. In a flurry of fast paced moves, I stood on the tips of my toes and took his nose into my furious hand and bent it upward like I was turning a damn door handle, squeezing his flesh like silly putty. He reached for my arms, trying to pull me away, but I dug my fingers into his face and pressed as deep as I could and began scratching his eyes out. He held on to one of my hands, but with my other hand I kept hitting him in the mouth like I wanted to put his ignorant ass in a coma.

He released my hand and spun away, stumbling slightly from the uneven ground. He fought to keep his footing and jumped back in a fighter’s stance, leading with his right leg.

I stood firm. “Dumb ass bastard.” My chest rose and fell quickly.

He rubbed his mouth and his face and then looked down at his hand. The cowardly blood of a liar dripped from a deep cut on his cheek, and his nose looked like it was actually throbbing. His eyelids were red.

He squinted as though the sun was blinding, but in a desperate counter attack move of his own, he clenched his hand and drew his arm back, sending his fist surging into my jaw just as I tried to lower my head and duck, but he caught me with a right hook.

My head darted back and I swear I saw stars. My vision was blurred and I struggled to focus. My jaw felt like it was on fire. I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them and a tear fell from my eye just as the sight of him cleared up and I saw him standing there, with his head low and his chin down, looking at me like he was yearning to fuck me up.

His hateful look said I needed to get a grip, like he couldn’t believe I was still standing toe-to-toe with him.

He asked loudly, “Now are you ready to listen?”

I shook my head. “You called me a bitch, so bring it on. Standing there like you wanna box. I’m ready for your ass.”

He looked amazed and leaned toward me while I stood firm again. He took one step my way.

And then two.

And then he was within six-inches of my face. I counted to ten while he blinked on each count.

He had the nerve to yell each word. “I did not sleep with Clydra.”

Just what I hate. A fuckin liar.

I shifted into a kicking whatever part of his lanky body I could connect with, mainly to his ribs and to his measly little penis. He covered his nuts with his hands and then he saw a passing car slow down. He began to run backwards toward his car, trying to act like he was retreating.

With the side of my face stinging, I fought to run as fast as I could. “You fuck around on me and then when I call you on it, I’m the bitch? You need to be proud of your player status. Don’t lie about it. If more women went off on you assholes, maybe you’d think twice before you went pussy diving with someone’s best friend. This is for every woman who you have fucked around on, or ever will fuck around on in your entire tired ass life.”

“You know what? You need to be locked up. You . . .”

“Call me a bitch again. Go ahead.”

He looked like he just wanted to be gone and pivoted the other way like he was running the forty-yard dash. I still gave chase to his every stride.

“Get your ass back here.”

With each breath and each step, he kept getting further and further away. My mind wanted to connect with his back so badly, but my fatigued body wouldn’t allow it. Still, I ran and ran, and before I knew it, he was opening his car door, starting it up, and putting it in gear all at once.

One quick second unfolded in complete slow motion. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t manage to leap across the ten or so feet toward the tail end of his car fast enough. I wished I could have gone air-bound like Mike. I wanted to fly.

He put the pedal to the medal and all I wanted to do was get my fingertips within reach of his fleeting, shiny, silver radio antenna.

He took off just as I . . . just as I realized that his antenna was in my hand. Without even noticing that I really wanted to, I took the antenna into both hands and broke it in half with a jolt, as the fumes from his exhaust crept up toward my face.

It was then that in the distance I heard a police car’s siren.

I stood breathing hard as hell with sweat running down my face. I exhaled.

And then I noticed a young girl, maybe five years old. She had dark, curly hair and she stood on the front porch of a large, redbrick house, looking over at me with her mouth as wide as her enormous dark eyes. Her youthful mother stood behind her, with her hands on her daughter’s shoulders, making a point of turning her child around to escort her away from my questionable sanity and back into the safety and normalcy of their home.

There I stood in the bright daylight, exhausted, blinking with shame as I looked away from them in humiliation. I wore my indignity like a badge, along with the tiny splatters of blood on my forearms.

The sirens sounded closer.

Then I noticed an elderly man standing on the corner watching me. He shook his head. Even from where I stood, I could see his shame for me in his eyes. My shame for myself was the same.

I stood with each half of the broken antenna in each hand. I relaxed my swollen hands and dropped the pieces in the street. As the slender metal met the gray pavement with a bounce and a clang I turned around, walking while eyeing the sidewalk. I could feel my jaw pulsating. And I could feel my tail between my legs. I made a point to not step on a crack. What if I fell straight through one and ended up in hell where I belonged?

After a few blocks, I found my purse, but not my pride. Where had I been for the past fifteen minutes? Who was that crazy ass girl? And how could I ever make sure she would never, ever . . . come back again?

The sound of the sirens stopped.

Copyright © 2008 by Marissa Monteilh

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