Alonna Jones is no stranger to disappointments and heartbreaks. Struggling to deal with a devastating breakup and the lingering effects of bad decisions, she decides to move back east. As the secrets of her past continue to haunt her, she vows that she will never allow another man to get close to her heart again. On her journey back to the place she’s always called home, Alonna learns that home is not only where the heart is, but also where redemption and healing can take place.
Chapter 18 Excerpt: The Long Way Home Excerpt
She looked up occasionally only to gauge whether he was still sitting there. She’d half-expected that he had ran out after hearing all of the gory details. She’d confessed most of the details of how her relationship with Ray went from one of complete bliss to disaster overnight, and how she endured the verbal abuse, mostly because her self-esteem had been so damaged by that point. She talked about the humiliation of calling off the engagement after walking in on Ray with another woman, and the lack of support from her father because he’d assumed she’d driven him away. By this time she was already in tears at having to relive the last few years all over again. While it was cathartic to talk about it with someone, for Alonna it also felt like someone was ripping off the bandage from an old wound.
When she couldn’t avoid saying it anymore, she confessed to the details of the operation. Shawn hadn’t asked. In fact, he’d barely spoke since she started talking, but she knew that her story was incomplete without talking about the one decision that still haunted her. The dark halls, the cold feel of the instruments, and the shameful looks of the other women in the waiting area, she talked about it all. She spared no detail, because at this point, there was no going back.
Alonna could recall the looks of the other women. That was the most startling part of the whole experience. She’d expected to see a room full of scared teenage girls. Instead she saw a mixture of young girls with adult boyfriends or overbearing mothers, well-groomed professional women who appeared undisturbed by the whole process, and a few young adults with looks of concerned etched on their faces.
When she could not talk anymore, Alonna breathed a sigh of relief and buried her face in her hand. The weight of the baggage had finally been released, but the embarrassment was too much to bear, and she did not want to face Shawn.
She’d just made the biggest confession of her life, and all she could think about was Shawn’s response. Would he curse her, laugh at her or expose her? Alonna became lost in her own thoughts. She could not stand the thought of losing him, but she would understand if he never wanted to see her again.
She was startled by the hand that was now enclosing hers. She looked over at Shawn, whose eyes were closed as if he were deep in thought. His lips remained still, and for the seemingly unending moments that passed his hand never left hers. In all of the scenarios that she had conjured in her mind, this was not the response she expected.
His expression was serene. He was non-judgmental, even supportive. As if she wasn’t already feeling this way, she was now certain that she loved him. She knew that she had given him news that would cause many to run away from the stigma attached to it. She could not understand how he could respond like that, especially after what she did to him. As if he could feel her eyes on him, Shawn intertwined their fingers together as a show of solidarity. Alonna remained speechless and simply allowed the tears to flow. She’d finally done it. She no longer carried the weight of her past and what she had done. Perhaps now the cries that she heard at night would cease.
Shawn was the first to speak.
“Alonna, I understand how you feel, but not every man will treat you the way that idiot treated you.”
He was now facing her.
“I wish I could make all the pain go away. If I could, I would.” He continued as his hands balled up.
“If I knew where that coward was right now, I would gladly give him a dose of his own medicine, and make him pay for being a coward and making you go through that alone.”
Alonna cried and buried her head in his chest. Shawn stroked her hair as the two rocked back and forth. After a few seconds, he managed to say, “Thank you for telling me.”
Alonna nodded in silence.
He continued, “I can imagine the fear and the anxiety of not wanting to tell anyone.”
Alonna continued nodding.
Shawn leaned back and held Alonna’s face in his hands. Seeing her so distraught made him forget how upset he’d been with her. “I know this was hard for you to tell me, and the only thing I have to say is please let me be there for you,” he pleaded
With tears filling her eyes, Alonna shook her head.
“You don’t have to make a decision now, but I would still like to be there for you. I won’t lie to you. I accept you with mistakes and all, and nothing will change that.”
( Continued… )
© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Andrena Sawyer. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
Purchase The Long Way Home by Andrena Sawyer
Released: January 20, 2015
Genres: Christian, Romance