Because She Was A Woman by Kali Amanda Browne - Read Online
Because She Was A Woman
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Summary

“Life is comprised of thousands of fleeting moments. These are fleeting moments in the lives of a dozen women…” Thus begins a collection of vignettes about the lives of a dozen women from all walks of life, trying to get from one moment to the next in as graceful a fashion as possible. The goal of the vignettes is to have the characters and a detail or two of their day or their lives seep into the consciousness of the reader – in the way that the details come alive in the readers’ own imagination. Some of the stories and characters are there to make the reader question the status quo, to turn stereotypes on their heads, to dare to suggest that women often are far more than what they appear to be skin deep.

Published: Kali Amanda Browne on
ISBN: 9781500212834
List price: $2.99
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Because She Was A Woman - Kali Amanda Browne

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women…

Table of Contents

Rebirth

How Nadine and Libby Escaped Destiny

Imbroglio Royale

The Proposal

Fair Game

Independence Day

The Poet

Not Gwen

Promises and Expectations

Is This Love?

A Quiet Stroll

Child of God

About the Author

Rebirth

A woman discovers the joys of starting anew with the help of a friend.

Hordes walked past her in a wave of color that seemed to disappear in a cloud of sand and then swirl around her. Her frenzied mind became hypersensitive to color and movement, sound and even smell, and transformed each into a manifestation of her silent prayer that she’d be swallowed into a demonic haboob.

She had slowed down, almost instinctively because she’d walked here on auto-pilot.

She put one foot in front of the other and her pace accelerated with each step, eventually her pace acquiesced to the crowd but it yearned for speed and she had subconsciously followed the pockets of more forceful walkers that barreled through the crowd.

She needed to feel the friction around her toes when her feet hit the pavement. She needed to feel the small current of pain that traveled up her calf to her thigh and settled at her buttocks seconds after her stiletto clacked.

She was largely unaware of the duality of the moment: it was both escape and an innate urge to feel something, even if it was pain.

To a casual observer she was just a woman who’d stopped to smell the roses or at least examine the tiny flowers. Rather she had abruptly stopped and taken herself out of the ongoing rat race around her. Her hand rested on the upper rail of a black, ornate iron gate that protected a tiny platform with a patch of earth and dozens of tiny poppies in full bloom -- white, peach, yellow, lilac, red and even a blue variety.

She did not notice the flowers even as they screamed for her attention, rocking in the wind and trembling by their very roots.

Her attention was beyond the bay window. A tall man with a wild mess of salt and pepper hair sat rigidly on a small table. He had a permanent scowl on his face, something menacing lurked beneath eyes that held no expression at all.

To legions of lawyers, he was one of the city’s most feared adversaries in the courtroom. He was neither that smart nor as fearsome as some suspected. The truth was he had one glass eye and it gave him a determined evil glare, but this was an illusion. It made for a fantastic poker face, though.

The scowl? No such thing. His upper lip was thin and slightly curved. From an angle, it looked like he might be about to growl and bite. In fact, his colleagues called him the Doberman. When he tried to smile, his pointy, chipped and uneven teeth made his semblance the stuff of nightmares.

She suddenly became aware that her hand was the only part of her body that did not feel a prickly coldness. The spring air carried an icy undertone that went right through your bones.

In her haste to just go, to keep moving, she’d grabbed her pashmina and bolted. Her short sleeves were perfectly fine if she’d been wearing her scarf, but she never put it on, she did not even think of it, she grabbed it and just kept moving. She’d traveled here almost dragging the pashmina from her left fist.

Now as she stood in place, she felt it. Her body temperature had been stabilizing now that she had stopped her commuter sprint.

Why in the hell did I call him?

Nobody turned to look at her, although she was talking to herself. The advent of Bluetooth had made it impossible to separate the schizophrenic from the casual phone conversationalist, and more than half of those walking by were also wired and happily disconnected from the herd.

A waiter had approached the table and Trevor had looked up and spotted her at the window. He nodded at her and this prompted her to move again.

She walked a few feet to the entrance and took a deep breath as she opened the gilded door to the bistro.

Good evening, a young woman far too giddy for good sense greeted her. May I get you a table?

No thank you, Mariana said. My companion is already here.

The greeter grabbed a menu and gestured for her to go ahead, In that case, please, lead the way.

Mariana faltered for a second, her body still on street pace. Her mind raced to catch up and on her second step, a more relaxed stride came naturally and she confidently made her way to their table.

Trevor sat with hands clasped under his chin and waited for her to sit.

Can I get you something to drink, ma’am?

I’ve taken care of the beverages, thank you, Trevor said. Please leave us.

Mariana cringed but said nothing. She sat quietly with her pashmina and clutch purse on her lap, staring at the plate of food in front of her.

The greeter lost her perky demeanor and glared at Trevor.

Fine, sir.

She quickly glanced at Mariana and thought, I wish I could slap you, you fucking floor mat!

Alone at the table, Mariana looked shell shocked and had not spoken. Trevor sat patiently, looking at her and giving her a moment to find herself, in a matter of speaking.

A couple of minutes later, Trevor stood and walked to her side of the table. He leaned over her and grabbed the scarf, but she had a mighty grasp on the thing and her hand came up with it. It startled her, as if she’d been in a daze, and instinctively she pulled back.

Hey, hey, he whispered. Relax, baby. It’s okay. Everything’s okay.

She looked at him as if seeing him for the first time.

Trev?

Give me your purse. And the scarf, he instructed.

She reluctantly handed them over. Trevor took her possessions, returned to his chair and then placed the purse and scarf on the small ledge by the window.

Across from him, Mariana stared at her plate.

I took the liberty to order for us, he said.

She looked at him and her expression changed to one of bubbling anger.

I am perfectly capable of ordering my own damn food, Trevor!

The right corner of his mouth lifted, his version of a faint smile, and he chuckled.

Yes, you are, he said. But I wanted to greet you with something lovely and rich and magnificent that would instantly put your whole day away in a locked box that we’d bury during dessert. This is not comfort food. This is ambrosia with the added magical power to make you forget.

He picked up a champagne flute and gestured to hers. She had not noticed the glass and now picked it up. Her fingers traveled up the lanky stem, experiencing its flawless smoothness. Crystal held her fascination because it was so strong and fragile at the same time. It held all the beauty of the world and yet, within a second could shatter into complete nothingness.

She held the glass cupped at her palm, holding the stem securely between her ring and middle fingers, she