Book Intro: Chocolate High by Mika Barnes
Chocolate High Synopsis
How do you say goodbye to the one you love? Is this even an option when you’ve invested your body, mind, and soul into your relationship? Charisse Farrell is a successful, beautiful corporate attorney who has it all, but when the love of her life David Richards betrays her, she has to reevaluate her future. Tempted by the desire to love again and her need for revenge Charisse is haunted by a demon from her past that turns her life upside down. When love knocks her down, Charisse has to get back up fighting. Fighting for love!
Primary discussion points: abuse, cheating, self-discovery, embracing love, and finding faith.
Audience: Contemporary Fiction; Women Fiction; African American – Urban Life
Paperback: 224 pages
WARNING ADULT CONTENT AND EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Book Intro: Chocolate High by Mika Barnes
How do you say goodbye to the one you love? Is this even an option when you’ve invested your body, mind, and soul into your relationship? Charisse Farrell is a successful, beautiful corporate attorney who has it all, but when the love of her life David Richards betrays her, she has to reevaluate her future. Tempted by the desire to love again and her need for revenge Charisse is haunted by a demon from her past that turns her life upside down. When love knocks her down, Charisse has to get back up fighting. Fighting for love.
Chapter 1 — Chocolate High by Mika (Barnes)
Look at him, pure chocolate perfection from head to toe. The black Armani tuxedo is cut to accentuate every inch of his delectable six-foot-four-inch frame. My baby is the best man at his favorite cousin’s wedding and the title suits him perfectly, because he truly is my best man. I survey my chocolate Adonis as he stands next to the groom and there is no comparison. I mean, Danny is fine, but let’s face it David is the shit.
His hair is freshly cut, complimenting his precisely trimmed goatee, drawing my eyes directly to his lickable lips. The same lips that gave me so much pleasure this morning as he drank from my cup of love.
Ooooh, I want to taste my eye candy. Damn the fact there is a wedding going on. The subliminal mind fuck I’m conjuring up of me enjoying David right here, right now has my panties wet. I shift my weight to one hip, hoping the evidence of my lust isn’t visible through my pale pink bride’s maid gown to those attendees in the front pew.
My eyes are fixating on my man as I discreetly fidget my legs to ease my horny sensations but the friction from my panties brushing slightly against my Brazilian waxed punany is starting to turn me on even more. I bite my lower lip, becoming noticeably hot and bothered as I snap back into reality.
“What the Lord has joined together let no man take asunder. I now pronounce you man and wife. Danny, you may kiss your bride,” bellows Reverend Hillard. “Church, bear witness, on this twenty-forth day of April, in their hometown of West Palm Beach, Florida, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Daniel T. Richards III.”
The congregation rises, rippling like an ocean wave, their applause drowning out the orchestra as the newlyweds exit the century old brick church with the wedding party in tow. Still shook by my fantasy episode at the altar, I cannot believe I had a freak moment inside the church where we all grew up.
Two black stretch Range Rover limousines line the curb in front of the church where the onlookers continue to cheer, staggering down the steps of the church. The limos transport the wedding party and the families to the reception hall while the bride and groom are swept away in a fantasy white horse drawn carriage. It is so beautiful watching Danny and Simone on their special day. I could only hope David and I will be so lucky.
We all pile in and sit ourselves next to our escorts. Inside the limo, I sit patiently awaiting the arrival of my chocolate fantasy, totally oblivious to those around me. Idle chatter ensues but I focus on one thing and it doesn’t take long before he climbs inside, flashing his thousand-watt smile. My heart skips a beat simply to be in his presence. I am in love with this man; there is no denying that shit for nothing. David takes a seat next to me then wraps his arms around my shoulders. The soft kisses he plants on my neck sends chills down my spine. All of a sudden, it becomes hella hot in the limo as I return the favor.
“Oh hell nawl! Don’t y’all start that shit up in here, David,” Rodney says from the other side of the car. “I know y’all freaky asses like an audience but keep your clothes on until after the reception.” He laughs.
Rodney’s comments sidetrack our little episode. But please believe it is on and poppin’ when we get home.
“Oh, Rodney, I’m sorry. Are you jealous because your little heater head flick chick couldn’t make it this weekend?” I tease.
“She’s not a flick chick, Risse. She is a legitimate model,” he says, defending the honor of his girlfriend.
“Who just happens to work butt-ass naked?” I shoot back.
“Risse, that’s fucked up that you would put my business out there like that. What my girl does is art. It’s just a coincidence that she expresses that shit with her body.” He couldn’t help but laugh.
We all get a good laugh at Rodney’s expense. But what can I say? He had it coming. Rodney is always poppin’ shit. I guess it’s because he’s David’s older brother and he feels he is entitled to an opinion or something.
“Baby, go easy on him. We can finish this up when we get home. We got time,” David whispers.
“Yeah, we do have time. I just hope you’re up for it,” I tease.
“Now you know damn well I’m always up for it,” he laughs, taking my tongue into his mouth for good measure.
Rodney’s childish ass takes ice cubes from the mini bar and playfully hurls them in our direction. The rest of the bridal party is enjoying his antics but I don’t find it funny. Hell, I haven’t been this close to my man all day. I am suffering from an acute case of withdrawal. His love is like a drug and I’m addicted.
We spend the remainder of the ride laughing and kicking it. We chop it up amongst the bridal party about the wedding and some of its highlights like Simone’s beautiful Vera Wang gown, and the wig her momma is rockin’ which is just straight up wrong. I personally don’t remember much because I was a little preoccupied during the ceremony.
Entering the reception hall is like stepping onto a page of a bridal magazine. Danny’s bride, Simone, has impeccable taste. The guests are transported into her world and I have to say, from the looks of things, we are all in for a treat.
Loosely strung lights dangle from every inch of the ceiling. It feels like we are under a starry night’s sky. The tablecloths are white, with pink chair covers tied back by a silver bow. Tall crystal vases, filled with sage hydrangeas and pink roses adorn each table, finished off with scattered pink rose petals, silver napkins, and matching seating place cards for each guest.
The violinist is situated midway between the desert table and the wedding party’s table and, of course, there is a deejay. The desert table follows the tradition of the guest tables but hosts a pair of swan ice sculptures. The main attraction is definitely the cake precisely placed in the center of the table. It is the focal point of the room as it spans at least five tiers with a Swedish chocolate fountain flowing through it. Its pink fondant outer layer is complimented by a pearl bead finish with cascading pink and white calla lilies. Simone’s parents really outdid themselves for their daughter’s big day.
I have to say, the wedding went off without a hitch. Fortunately, Simone didn’t have to deal with any of Danny’s past indiscretions, no ex-girlfriends or chicks on the side objecting to the marriage throwing temper tantrums. You know the kind of shit women try to pull when a man they couldn’t hold on to finally makes another woman his wife. Danny and Simone have been together since high school and through all of their ups and downs; I’ve always admired how they were able to keep their shit tight.
Although there are smiles, tears, and congrats to the happy couple, as the day progresses something feels wrong. David is unusually distant and the other guys just look straight up suspect. I didn’t know it then, but I would soon find out what little secret they are all trying to hide.
We watch as the couple takes the floor for their first dance before we all join in. David is holding me closer than close. It feels good, but it’s as if he never wants to let go.
I ask him what is wrong but he only says, “I love you, Charisse, and one day this will be our moment. I promise I will do right by you.”
It feels good to have a man so committed to me. I’ve never loved a man the way I love him and I know, at this moment, that he is it for me.
A familiar face interrupts my thoughts of happily ever after. The commotion she causes and the tension I feel assure me my gut is trying to tell me something. Woman’s intuition says check your man but my heart assures me David wouldn’t betray me. My heart wins that round and despite David’s change in demeanor at her presence, I shake it off.
It’s Stacy Denton. Stacy is a hood chick that used to frequent the old neighborhood. She was hot and heavy with David at one time. She left town right after high school, but I had always heard rumors that she and David still used to kick it before we got serious. He denied it; so I left it at that because things were good between us. Why should I fuck it up with accusations of he say she say? Besides, that bitch doesn’t have anything on me; I didn’t even know or care what became of the chickenhead. She was just another groupie on David’s jock. It wasn’t just her. There were a few. But when your man is the shit, it is like that and you either get use to it or leave it alone.
I watch as Rodney approaches her and whispers something in her ear. The whispering quickly escalates into an all out screaming match between the two. With her little ho posse in tow, she sports a crafty smile like she is there to claim her prize. Stacy is a short, light-skinned chick. I guess you could say she is pretty but I’d say she’s average at best. She and I have never cared for each other. She, like others, blamed me for her breakup with David.
I hear her shout across the room in our direction.
“He needs to tell her! He needs to tell that little prissy bitch what the fuck happened last night or I will!”
“Keep your fucking voice down, girl. This is not the place for this shit,” Rodney interjects.
This chick begins bouncing around like she is getting ready to spar with Mike Tyson. In the middle of a wedding reception, this disrespectful whore is up to no good, trying to start some shit. She hypes up her antics but to no avail as Rodney and a few others cart her off like she is a bad case of meat. All the while, she continues to scream, “Tell her David! You know where you belong and it ain’t with that stuck up bitch! We should be a family!”
The scene causes a bit of commotion and I am thoroughly embarrassed. All eyes are on David and I and I don’t know what to make of the situation. I feel like I’m watching this whole scene unfold and I am the only one in the room that doesn’t know what the fuck is going on. I hear a few snickers and a few people stress how fucked up the situation was but a vacant stare is all I could muster. I manage to look at David’s face and he is just as messed up about all of this as I am.
“David, what the hell is she talking about?” I ask.
His eyes fill with tears. He doesn’t answer me but guilt corrodes his beautiful chocolate face and I know, at this moment, I can never look at him the same.
The man I love, the man I thought would one day become my husband, has betrayed me. He doesn’t even have to tell me, I see it in his eyes—no details, no words, just guilt spewing from every pore in his body. I am disgusted. Flurries of emotion take over my body as I haul off and slap the living shit out of him.
“Stay the hell away from me, David! It’s over!”
I run as far away from the reception hall as my weary feet will take me. The tears dilute my vision and all I can see is my shattered relationship steadily crumbling before me. I can’t believe it. I am truly in an emotional state of shock. My body falls numb as I flag down a cab to make my way home with a broken spirit and a broken heart.
The tears stream down my face like a lone rain cloud showering me from above my head. My eye makeup follows the tracks my tears left behind, streaking my face with dark revelations of pain. The South Florida sun is beating down on me as I get out the cab, tipping the driver for the ride home.
“Thank you, sir,” I gather up the energy to say to him as I begin the trek up the walkway to my house. The heat seems to intensify with every beat of my heart as the boiling blood of betrayal travels through every inch of my body. Weddings are supposed to be a celebrated occasion and this one was suppose to lead to my happily ever after.
Damn. My world tumbled down today and like a weary soldier, home is the only refuge I know. My hands are shaking as I try to unlock the door to my sanctuary.
This damn door won’t open for shit, I think to myself as I fumble around with the lock.
Finally, with a little force and a bump of my hip, it opens and I am safely inside. I guess my nerves got the best of me. I walk in and close the door, shutting the world out. I turn the deadbolt and brace my back up against the door. With no one to comfort me but me and the tears still flowing, I slide down to the floor, clenching myself, rocking back and forth on my feet in disbelief at the thought of what David did to me. My side swept ponytail is disheveled from my chaotic escape. I can’t bear to see his face right now. I am torn between hating David and the notion that my man would never betray me.
Fuck that! I pick myself up and kick off my stilettos, stripping down to my pink La Perla laced panties. Peeling off each layer of clothing, I feel the burden of David’s deception lift from my shoulders. I strut over to the bar with my newfound confidence and flip on the radio that sits on the shelf above it. Maxwell’s Fortunate blares from my Bose surround sound. How ironic is that? Fortunate, my ass! Let’s see, what will it be? I pop the top on a bottle of Hennessey VSOP and take it like a G, straight to the head.
“Aaaaah,” I moan as the swig burns, flowing down my throat, expanding throughout my chest.
I am tired of crying. The rush from the liquor is getting me heated; still I take another swig. Hennessey is not my usual drink of choice but when you are in major pain, it calls for major medicine. You know what, if this motherfucker were to come up in my house right now with his sorry ass excuses, he’d catch this bottle right across his damn head.
Love? Fuck love! I am ready to catch a case right now because of love. Don’t even mention that word in my presence. I feel used. Why do men think with their dicks? I will never understand that shit. There is no way to explain that one. I take my solo party toward the shower, but first I have to turn up the volume on my radio.
“Fuck love,” I shout at the top of my lungs.
I have no one here to second that motion so I turn on the water and get in. I need time to think about all of this. I need to get a grip on my life but the Henn-dog isn’t making it easy on me. I have to put down this liquor and get my head on straight. For real. I’ve come to realize this is all a game. The waterfall from my shower revives my spirits, hitting my face like a downpour of rain. It’s true that in times like this a woman will either flourish or falter. You know, do I stay or do I leave? I’m not a sucker for love or nothing but David has my heart. This shit hurts so badly but I won’t allow myself to falter. It’s time I put on my game face and keep it moving. Hell, life goes on.
Coming out of the shower and stepping into my bedroom, I am drunk but no longer alone. Sitting on my bed with his head hung low is a teary-eyed David Richards. I can’t believe he has the nerve to show his damn face!
“What the fuck are you doing in my house?” I scream.
“Charisse,” he pleads, as he slowly raises his head.
“Don’t ‘Charisse’ me, motherfucker! Get the fuck out of my house and go find your hoe!” I reach for my Hennessey bottle as David approaches me slowly. I widen my stance and grip the neck of the bottle just in case he tries some shit. He reaches out to me carefully, trying to anticipate my next move.
I want to hit him. I want to beat some fucking sense into his ass but truth be told, I still love him. Tears well in the corners of my eyes and the floodgates open when he touches me. I collapse into his arms, allowing David to hold me once more. His touch feels wrong. I feel cold as he tries to console me.
“Let me go!” I yell, breaking his embrace. “Don’t put your trifling ass hands anywhere near me.”
“Charisse, it’s not what you think.”
“What do you mean it’s not what I think? I’m not stupid, David. I know what a bitch means when she says something happened with my man. You fucked that slimy bitch!”
“Baby, I didn’t do what you think I did. I swear. I fucked up but I didn’t have sex with her. You know that bitch is crazy, she’ll say anything to tear us apart.”
Listen to this shit. He really thinks I’m a damn fool.
“Okay then, playboy, if you didn’t fuck her, what happened?” I want to see how creative his lie will be. He looks down at the floor, scratching his head. I stand in front of him with my arms folded as I await the answer I demanded.
“She sucked my dick, that’s all,” he says in a low mumble.
“What, David? I don’t speak mumble, baby! Speak up and man up about your shit!”
“She sucked me up! Okay? Are you fucking happy now, Charisse? I’m sorry. I was drunk and Stacy sucked my dick! There, I said it. Are you happy now?”
He has some nerve. “Yeah, I am.” I walk out into the living room with David trailing behind me. I start to feel a little light headed. I can’t believe the shit this man said to me. I cop a squat on my couch, trying to wrap my head around this shit. David kneels before me.
“Baby, hold up. We can fix this. It’s not that serious. Are you good?”
“Yeah, baby, I told you, I’m straight. All you did was get sucked up, I’m cool,” I say sarcastically.
“Cool. I knew you were down for your man. I’m sorry, baby, it won’t happen again,” he says with a look of relief on his face. He leans in to kiss me but if he thinks this shit will fly, he has another thing coming.
“David, just because we’ve known each other forever doesn’t mean you know my every move or reaction. I am not predictable and you should damn well stop trying! How the hell could you convince yourself that if you told me, I would forgive you for this shit?”
“Charisse, I’m sorry. It was a mistake. Everybody makes mistakes, damn, stop trippin’!”
“Yeah, you’re right, David. Everybody makes mistakes and my mistake was ever getting fucked up with you! Get the fuck out of my house and go back to that trick bitch you were with last night!”
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Meet Author Mika Barnes
Chocolate High is Mika’s debut novel. She resides in South Florida with her family. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University and her M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently hard at work on her next project. For the latest news on Mika, please visit http://www.mikabarnes.com
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~ by blacklitmedia on June 8, 2010.