COMING MARCH 8th!

Champion Howard is mourning the tragic and unexpected death of her husband, Kyron. When the circumstances surrounding his death comes to light, she begins the process of getting over him and moving on with her life. She meets Pierre who is everything she imagined. His good looks and charm sweep her off her feet, but she’s still preoccupied and often distracted by finding out the truth behind Kyron’s death. This upsets Pierre, but something isn’t adding up so she’s determined to find out the truth and weed out the lies.

Adrianna Martin is Champion’s best friend and is dating Kyron’s twin brother, Byron. She gets caught up in Byron’s obsession to understand the real reason behind his brother’s death while fighting a battle of her own. Wearing her heart on her sleeve is what gets her involved in the life of one of her favorite students who needs her help. Little does she know, she’s going to get way more than she bargained for when her student only reveals half-truths about her situation.

Gina Smith meets Champion and Adrianna, gaining the type of friendship with them she’s always longed for. They seem to have their lives together and they inspire her to want to do better with hers. Unfortunately, her abusive boyfriend, Marcus, is holding her back. He puts her up to the unthinkable, not only jeopardizing her well-being but also risking the safety of those around her. Things get out of hand and she comes up with so many lies to cover the hard and cold truth.

Everyone is dishonest and constantly making things up, however, the lies everyone tells will eventually lead to the truth.

I felt numb as I looked over at Kyron’s parents and his siblings. I wasn’t supposed to be a 24-year-old widow, yet, here I was. We had only been married for a year before he lost his life and everything that happened still didn’t make sense to me. I couldn’t believe just a week before, Kyron was alive, happy, smiling, and enjoying life. Things changed so fast because today, we were burying him. My best friend, Adrianna, handed me a tissue and I dabbed my eyes as the minister spoke.

“In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to Almighty God our brother Kyron, and we commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” Minister Jones stated.

I don’t know if my tears were for Kyron or for myself. I loved him with all of my heart, but the circumstances surrounding his death almost made me not care that he was dead. I felt the stares of everyone at the funeral. There were looks of sorrow from some and looks of awareness from others. The events regarding his death got out quickly, thanks to social media. It made me wonder why so many of these people came if they were going to be judgmental about things. His family and I were going through enough without worrying about the folks who were showing fake support today.

Kyron’s mother didn’t want to talk about his death and what the police detective told her. When planning the funeral, she said she wanted the positive memory of him to live on, not the negative things the media had been saying about him. I was disgusted by this, but I loved my mother-in-law who had already lost her youngest son the year before. Now she was laying to rest Kyron, her oldest child, therefore I kept my mouth closed out of respect.

The ride from the cemetery back to the church was about 30 minutes long but it felt like hours. There was so much tension between Kyron’s siblings and their parents. Although his siblings had lost their brother and it was hurtful, they knew his death was for the most part his own fault. I knew they had a couple of disagreements with their parents about it, but I found myself not getting involved. When we pulled up I was glad to finally get out of the limousine and stretch my legs. Once inside, Sister Coleman, the Sunday school teacher from our church, brought me a plate of food and bottled water. I thanked her, but I didn’t have an appetite and as a result I sat there picking at my food. I was so deep in thought that I didn’t notice Adrianna sit down next to me.

“You should try to eat something, Champion,” Adrianna suggested.

“I’m not that hungry,” I replied, pushing the plate away. “I don’t want to be here right now. Can you please just take me home?”

“No problem,” Adrianna whispered before going into her purse and handing me her car keys. “Go on to the car. I’ll say good-bye to the family for you.”

“Thank you,” I replied with a half-smile. Something told me to drive myself, but my in-laws insisted that I ride in the limousine with them, so they picked me up this morning.

When we arrived at my home on the southside of St. Louis, I breathed a sigh of relief. I lived right across the street from the Missouri Botanical Garden in a nice two-bedroom apartment. As much I loved my place with its huge living room, dining room, full-size bathroom, and nice eat-in kitchen, I was thinking about giving it up. It held too many memories of me and Kyron and symbolized the family we hoped to build, which is why we got a big apartment in the first place. We were both young and we were heading in the right direction with our lives with so much to still look forward to. We were hoping to get pregnant soon, but now that would never happen. Kyron’s life came to an end for something that could have been avoided, and for that I blamed him.

As soon as I found out how and why he died, I was anxious to get over him and his death as soon as possible. I called the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and they sent two workers to remove his belongings from our home. I even gave them our bed and bought myself a new one from Ashley Furniture that was delivered the same day. I have so much anger in my heart and I’ve been praying everyday since his death that God removes it from me.

Adrianna said she’d stay after she dropped me off, but I declined her offer because I wanted to be alone. I looked out the window as she pulled off and noticed the automobile lender finally sent someone to pick his car up after a tow truck dropped it off in front of the house three days ago. His car was at the crime scene and after seeing they couldn’t use it for evidence, the police arranged for his car to be dropped off at our home. I was listed as Kyron’s TOD or Title On Delivery, but since his car wasn’t paid off I didn’t want it. I honestly desired to erase Kyron’s memory as soon as possible, so I wouldn’t have wanted the car even if it were paid for.

My in-laws had always treated me well, but at this point, I needed space from them too. I hoped they wouldn’t take my distance personally, but the only way I knew how to deal with this was to shut everyone and everything out right now. I stripped from my clothes down to my panties and bra and climbed into the bed. I pulled my comforter over my head and drifted into restless sleep, only to be awakened by a phone call.

“Hello?” I answered groggily.

I noticed it was dark outside. I looked at the clock on my nightstand and saw that it was a few minutes until nine o’clock. No one said anything so I pulled my phone off my ear and looked at the screen. It was a private call. If I would have noticed that before I answered I would have rejected it.

“Hello?” I asked again, getting frustrated.

“Hi, may I speak with Denise?” A deep voice on the other line asked.

Although his voice was strong, it sounded quite soothing. It reminded me of Dennis Haysbert’s voice on the All-State commercials.

“I’m sorry, but you have the wrong number,” I replied, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes as I sat up.

“This isn’t Denise?” The man on the other line asked. “With whom as I speaking with then?”

“This is Champion, although I think that’s irrelevant because I just told you that you have the wrong number.”

“My apologies Ms. Champion. Thank you for your time,” he said hanging up.

I headed to the bathroom to wash my face and freshen my breath. I looked at myself in the mirror and observed my caramel complexion and how pretty my face was without make-up. My father was black and my mother was black and Korean. I had her slanted eyes, but the rest of my father’s strikingly beautiful features. I smiled, which quickly disappeared when I looked at Kyron’s name tattooed on my right breast. My eyes quickly filled with tears. Although I was angry with him, I couldn’t believe he was gone. Kyron was my soul mate, or at least I thought he was. I didn’t understand why he felt the need to do what he did. I wiped my face before going to the kitchen and making coffee.

A few minutes later I sat on the living room sofa with my mug in my hand. I put it on the coffee table next to my laptop and clicked on the KMOV news website. I knew I was torturing myself by leaving it up on the computer and constantly looking at it. Each time I hoped the story would change, but it didn’t. As I read the article, my eyes welled up with tears again.

Kyron Howard, 25, was shot and killed in a murder-suicide. Kyron had been called to his mistress’ home and when he arrived, Chloe Billings, 22, shot Kyron two times, in his face and chest, killing him instantly. She then turned the gun on herself. From the suicide note found on the kitchen table, it appears Kyron previously tried to end their affair but Chloe wasn’t ready to end it. She was 14 weeks pregnant, confirmed by autopsy, and didn’t want to raise the baby alone. She apologized to Howard’s wife, Champion Howard, stating that although she knew her relationship with the victim was wrong, she was in love with him, and sorry for the pain she caused her and their marriage. According to the suicide note, the affair had been on-going for six months and as soon as Billings told Howard she was pregnant and refused to get an abortion, he called the affair off. One final attempt to plead with him on the night of the murder failed, causing her to end both of their lives.

I closed my laptop, pulled my knees to my chest, and cried for a few minutes. I felt like my heart had literally broken and the pain in my chest was unbearable. I cried until my head hurt and I couldn’t cry anymore. I was beyond hurt and embarrassed. This man had fed me so many lies for the past few years and wasted my time by tying me up in a marriage when I could have been with someone else. I was torn between caring and not caring. I was so damn confused. Some people said this wasn’t like Kyron and he’d never do me like this. Others said they weren’t surprised. I didn’t know what to believe but what’s done in the dark always comes to light. It’s only a matter of time before the lies a person speaks will eventually tell the truth.

SNEAK PEEK

*unedited*

Copyright 2017 by Major Key Publishing LLC

All rights reserved.

Major Key Publishing, LLC

P.O. Box 186

Grayson, GA 30017

info@majorkeypublishing.com

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