courage to love?
All of Alyssa Bennet’s life, the two people who were supposed to love her the
most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother,
Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably
perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa
begins to believe that she just might be worthy of being loved.
When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at
happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or
embrace the love she’s always wished for.
Women’s Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in
this gripping novel about one woman’s struggle to discover what it means to
come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.
SCREWED, both literally and figuratively, the second we both realized the
condom had fallen off.
mortified, but I was also grossed out. I mean, really grossed out. It wasn’t as
though we got to do all
that often, and when we do, happens?
the situation was pretty shocking, especially since it was before eight a.m.,
and I barely had time to shake the sleep off before I realized he was on top of
me, which I thought I might like at first. Then I realized that it was Tom, and
sex with him was usually awkward and not fun at all. He wasn’t exactly the guy of my dreams,
but that’s what happens when you become too comfortable with your life and stop
desiring more. The first guy to call you ”honey” becomes your boyfriend,
whether that was the initial plan or not. The relationship just kind of
happens, and then you wake up and realize that it’s been half a decade and you
are still together.
what happened with us.
couple, but still, by most people’s definition, a couple. He was crabby and
grumpy, and I was happy and optimistic, and we didn’t really fit together at
all. We just existed together for reasons neither I nor anyone else could
understand, but for the time being, it worked, and nobody really scrutinized it
second we realized the condom had fallen off that things just weren’t going to
end well. Tom looked at me, his light
have anyone to blame but myself for staying with Tom in a passionless, loveless
relationship. I was young and maybe even a bit lazy. I was in and out of
college when I could afford it. I was completely lost in my life with no idea
how to find myself, but then again, it wasn’t as though I was making much of an
effort. I was tired of waiting tables, but I didn’t really know how to do
anything else. Besides, it was good money, and I didn’t have a lot of options.
nothing I could do about the mishap at the moment. I went downstairs without
even bothering to say anything to Tom. He rolled over and was already snoring,
so I went into the kitchen, made some coffee and poured myself a bowl of
cereal. I tried to pet our grey cat, Willow, who had just jumped on the counter
to watch the coffee brew, but he scurried away from me just out of arm’s
length. He stared at me with an air of disdain while he licked his paws. I
hated cats. I especially hated selfish
fat cat. He didn’t want anything to do with me unless I was feeding him.
could think about was that stupid, broken, disgusting condom.
my lovely. Party tonight. XO Anna.” Anna was texting me first thing in the
morning as she usually did.
the first grade, Anna always remembered my birthday, usually before anyone
else. I couldn’t wait to tell her what happened, but I didn’t want to do it in
a text conversation. I wanted to tell her in person.
tell you what happened first thing this morning.”
be shocked when I told her that Tom climbed on me since he hadn’t done so in
months. But she didn’t respond, which was just as well because I didn’t really
want to talk about it right now anyway. She was working, trying to be a
responsible adult unlike myself, so she didn’t have time for my drama, even if
it was my birthday.
and already I felt depressed. My birthday usually made me feel depressed, but
not this early. It typically hit by noon, but thanks to this morning’s mishap,
it was creeping up on me a lot sooner this year.
that Tom might think this morning’s disaster was my birthday present, which I
could completely see! An overwhelming feeling of disdain for Tom and his stupid
grey cat washed over me before I could help myself I started reflecting on our
relationship, as I often did when I wasn’t happy. Tom wasn’t very nice to me.
He was typically harsh and condescending, lacking a filter, no matter where he
was or who he was around. Whatever he was thinking just flew out of his mouth.
The other morning when he realized I forgot to buy milk, he snarled at me,
“What the fuck were you thinking, Lys? How am I supposed to eat my damn cereal
now? You can’t do anything right, can you?”
happened, but I realized that it was a typical scenario. It didn’t seem to
matter if it was milk, laundry, what I made for dinner, or what I wore to the
bar. Tom was always displeased about something, whether if was on my birthday
or a random Thursday. I often wondered why were still together, sharing cartons
of milk and a life.
to feel hot and I realized that I was freaking out over the thought of it. I
had always been so careful with my birth control, no matter who the guy was, or
how many times I slept with him!
ever have a baby—a messy, loud, time-sucking, expensive baby. Babies were
dirty, and they spit up and shit everywhere. Every parent I knew was exhausted.
They never slept and said their children took up every second of their time.
They attempted to sound happy about it, but you could tell from the bags under
their eyes, and the copious amounts of caffeine they needed to function, that
it wasn’t as magical as they tried to make it seem. Babies were magical, but
were they worth the sacrifice of having sagging boobs, getting fat, and having
stretched out lady parts? I had to admit that there were a few babies that were
adorable, but the majority of them just had big heads, weird hair, and
looked like aliens. The thought of that big head pushing itself out of a very
sensitive area of the body made me want to vomit. I decided before I ever lost
my virginity to Bobby Baughman that I had no desire to ever have one of those
things popping out of my body.
did to women, and I didn’t want to get big and fat, but mostly, I didn’t want
to become one of those moron parents who think the world revolves around their
baby and nothing else. I’d seen how people changed when they had kids. They
became a watered down version of their former selves. They stopped being fun
and social. They lost their filter, talking about the grossest things at any
given time because they thought their child’s vomit and shit were the cutest
things in the world. Babies were disgusting, and I thought it was ultimate
vanity for people to want to procreate just to have miniature versions of
themselves hanging around. I figured that’s probably what my parents had done,
and it hadn’t worked out well for any of us.
that having a baby would mean that my life was over, especially if it was with
Tom. I would be stuck with Tom—who I cared about a lot, but wasn’t in love
with. Five years had flown by, but on my birthday, at that moment, I knew
wholeheartedly that I didn’t want to be stuck with him for the rest of my life.
he spoke to me. She hated when he ordered me around and talked to me as though
I were a child. It wasn’t like her and Mark, where they stood on equal ground
in their relationship. She and Mark were perfect. He got her and adored her, so
much so that he put up with her always taking care of me. He was like a cool
big brother, only he was my age, with a much better job, and he put up with me
when I called Anna drunk in the middle of the night to contemplate changing my
hair color. He did it because he loved Anna, and because he thought she could
do no wrong.
realized as I ate my soggy cereal on my twenty- fifth birthday that I wanted to
live in a world with a man who knew I wasn’t perfect and didn’t care because he
adored me anyway.
condom thing, I didn’t know what to do. I knew that I had options, not just
with Tom, but also for the failed condom dilemma. The Morning After Pill,
abortion, adoption, but as strange as it was, none of those seemed right for
me. It’s not that I was deeply moral, or even religious in my beliefs. I just
always felt like things should run their normal course and then be dealt with
accordingly. I wasn’t even opposed to any of those options for someone else,
but I didn’t think they were right for me. As much as I didn’t want a baby, I
felt the Universe allowed things to happen for a reason.
mom leaving me and not really wanting to be a “mom.” The purpose of her doing
that remained to be seen. I still hoped I would know what it was one day, so I
would know what to do with all of the shit floating around in my head.
broken condom popped into my head again and I gagged.
to bed and pull the blankets over my head, but Tom was up there hogging the
bed. Sleeping. He’d be up there sleeping all day—until he went to work for the
night shift. He didn’t even bother to take the day off for my birthday.
go, and no one to spend my birthday with until Anna got off work. All of my
friends either worked late, or were hung over from too much drinking the night
before and were still crashed. It was depressing, and I felt alone.
cigarette and inhaled deeply. I’d
have to stop smoking. That alone was enough to put me over the edge.
eyes tight and repeated over and over “please don’t let me be pregnant, please
don’t let me be pregnant, please don’t let me be pregnant.”
youngest son was about 2, I watched him sleeping one
night, as I often did. But this night I was gripped by
a heart-wrenching realization that he was about the age I was when my
parents left me. Something stirred inside of me and eventually Eva was
born. “Leaving Eva” began as a story of a girl who was
ruthlessly abandoned until her story took on a life of its own.
best team who support, challenge, and teach me every day. I am
grateful for the life I get to live and all of the love and support
from friends, family, and readers.
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