In The Mirror

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Story

What does a woman do when she needs to prove that her boyfriend is not in love with his wife? This is the dilemma facing physical therapist Jasmine Falls, who goes against her common sense and good home training and becomes romantically involved with Daniel Roberts, a community organizer with a wife and two young children. Jasmine is blissfully content with her secret love affair until it begins to cause friction between herself and her best friend, Candy, who sees Jasmine’s love for Daniel as selfish, despicable, and just downright dumb. And then there are Jasmine’s parents, who are well on their way to admitting to themselves that the daughter they reared to be open-minded but not stupid has fooled around and gotten herself mixed up with somebody else’s husband.
 
Desperate to keep Candy from yip-yapping about her being a home wrecker and to prevent her parents from lying awake at night wondering where they went wrong, Jasmine does the unthinkable. She breaks into Daniel’s house. But unlike some more infamous home invaders, Jasmine’s goal is not to knock off Daniel’s wife or make goulash out of the family pet. Her only objective is to do what every woman in her position wishes she had the guts and opportunity to do—become a fly on the wall of her lover’s life so she can bear witness to the fact that Daniel is in love with her, not the woman he’s been married to for the past thirteen years.  The question is, does Jasmine see what is meant to be or what never should have been?
In this passionately written story of love, choices, family, and friendship, Rose shows the other woman in a way she hasn’t been seen before, even by herself.

 

 

Excerpt

 

Jasmine listened as Daniel locked up the house for the night. When he came upstairs, he carried Danielle and Brandon back to their rooms. He closed the door to the master bedroom just enough to give them some privacy then got into bed himself. Jasmine stared down the dark hallway. Soon she would be able to go down there and get the crucial piece of evidence she had been waiting for all day.

She gave Daniel time to fall asleep and around two-thirty in the morning, she eased open the door and quietly moved down the hall. The living room clock went tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. She felt like she needed three pairs of eyes for this. One to keep on the master bedroom, one to keep on Danielle’s bedroom and one to keep on Brandon’s room.

You’re pushin your luck.

No, I’m covering all my bases, she said.

Jasmine reached Brandon’s room first. Leaning against the wall, she listened for a sound, any sound that would tell her he was asleep or awake. She heard faint breathing. Quickly, Jasmine peeked into the room, scanned it then retreated. After her head was resting against the wall again, she recalled what the glance in the room revealed. Brandon was asleep with his head under the covers. Still, knowing how a child could be asleep one minute and awake the next, Jasmine looked in again, saw that Brandon was still sleeping then she darted past his door in one step.

Safely on the other side, Jasmine peeked back into Brandon’s room to make sure her light footsteps didn’t disturb him. They hadn’t. Okay. Jasmine looked down at the master bedroom. No one was standing in the door staring wide-eyed at her. She moved on down the hall to Danielle’s room. Her heart was beating in time with the tick-tock of the living room clock.

Pressed against the wall, Jasmine peeked in. Danielle was sleeping at the foot of her bed, with her left arm and leg hanging off. If she rolled over, she would surely fall onto the floor. Then what would happen? They would hear a loud thud and her cries then they would come running. Running while Jasmine was standing in the hallway. Busted!

Okay. Jasmine had two options. One, go on to the master bedroom and pray that Danielle didn’t fall out of the bed before she could beat it back into the closet. Two, go in the room, ease her back up on the bed and pray she didn’t wake up and look at her like, you’re not mommy, you’re not daddy. Who the hell are you?

Twelve in one hand, half a dozen in the other.

No, it ain’t. You touch that girl and the only thing you’re gonna have on your hands are some cuffs.

You’re right, Jasmine thought. I’ll take my chances that she won’t fall.

So, Jasmine creepy-crawled past Danielle’s room, looked back at her dangling arm and foot, said a quick prayer and headed to the master bedroom. As she moved down the hall, the tick-tock of the clock got louder. In her mind Jasmine saw Danielle’s arm hanging off the bed, swinging like a pendulum. She was going to have to hurry the hell up. Jasmine stood at the doorway for at least five minutes asking terrifying questions. What if Daniel isn’t asleep? What if she isn’t asleep? What if both of them are sitting up staring at the door waiting for her? What if they are having sex?

What if you just look in already?

Okay, Jasmine thought. Okay. She breathed quietly. She looked back up the hall to make sure Danielle and Brandon were still in bed. The hallway was dark and empty. Jasmine squeezed her eyes closed and got up her nerve. Moving an inch at a time, she leaned . . . leaned . . . leaned . . . leaned . . . leaned until her eyes were almost in the room. She paused.

You better come on before that kid falls outta the bed.

Jasmine sucked in her breath, whipped her head inside the room, one second, two seconds, three seconds, pull back!

Jasmine’s heart raced as she listened for a scream or the squeak of the bed as he, she, both of them jumped up to investigate the strange face that broke into their room, their dreams. Feet and legs ready to jump over the banister and bust out of the house, Jasmine waited . . . Jasmine listened . . . Jasmine got ready to book. But there was no scream, no squeak, no nothing. Jasmine breathed a sigh of relief and let her head fall back against the wall hard, too hard! It thumped.

Damn it! Jasmine thought, yanking her head off the wall. Then she went through the waiting and listening and getting ready to haul ass all over again. But again, nothing. So, before it would fade from her memory, Jasmine let her mind show her what she saw. She on her side, facing the door, eyes closed. Daniel on his side, facing the window, eyes closed? Didn’t know. Hopefully so because Jasmine needed another look.

Another look? What for? They’re asleep with their backs to each other, no less. What more are you lookin for?

Jasmine shook her head. I don’t know. Something.

She cautiously peeked in again and it was just as she remembered. There was a space that lay between them, a space wide enough for both Danielle and Brandon to lie down in at the same time, a space that seemed to place them on different sides of an island. The stiffness in their backs and the soundness of their sleep said that space was getting wider by the night.

Jasmine stood there in the dark, smiling at the space, happy to see them in bed together, her in that seductive teddy and Daniel in nothing but his boxers with their backs to each other.

I rest my case.

The joy inside Jasmine almost tipped her over as she scurried up the hall and climbed back into the closet. Once inside, she gathered her evidence and laid it all out on a table in her mind.

Exhibit A: No real kissing.

Exhibit B: No talking.

Exhibit C: They don’t spoon in bed. Rather, they placed a big, sharp butcher knife between them.

Exhibit D: Daniel and I kiss. Tongue kiss!

Exhibit E: Daniel and I hugged.

Exhibits F, G, H, I, J: We talk, we laugh, joke with each other. We hold each other when we’re sleeping. And we make love no less than four times a week!

Jasmine couldn’t stop grinning. She had her big house with all her gourmet pots, her fancy silverware, her cozy dining room table, her family portraits, her comfy couch, her king size bed, her mirror . . . her children, her sexy teddy and it didn’t mean nothin’.

Shining the flashlight on the miniature keepsake box, she said, “It might take another two or three years, but he’s going to leave her. Leave her and marry me. Lord, when that day comes . . . .”

Jasmine got ready for bed. She opened the box of nasal strips and placed one over her nose. As an extra precaution, she decided to sleep sitting up. She switched off the light, nestled in her little space, closed her eyes, held the keepsake box against her chest and smiled.

“I knew it wouldn’t take more than a day,” she said. And as if to bring down the gavel on the whole business, Jasmine added, “Hell, I didn’t even have to come at all.”

Excerpt from In The Mirror by Odessa Rose. Copyright© 2014 by Odessa Rose.

In the Mirror

By Odessa Rose

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