By Patricia Jones

ISBN-10: 0061916706

ISBN-13: 9780061916700

ISBN-10: 0380817306

ISBN-13: 9780380817306

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No. But, God, Nell, what are you saying? ” Then she laughed ironically, reeling back in her chair. “And look at me, Lila. I’m little. I’m plain. I wear not an ounce of makeup. I look like a mom. A car pool mom, at that. I’m about as nonthreatening as you can get, but I’ve been called that word, out of anger, out of fear, out of hatred, out of all of it. Who knows? To me, though, that word just sounds like it, or the, or wall. I don’t feel it. You know, when you get hit in the same spot enough times, eventually you just don’t feel it.

It harkened back to a darkness of which she had no real memory, and it was inexcusable, unforgivable. So Lila would not press, but it was far from over for her as she sat staring at their house while Jack parked in front of it. She thought about what she could do, once in her refuge, to heal her agitated soul, because there was no end to how deeply she was wounded; wounded enough for both of them. But the walk through the heat from the car and to the house was what turned her mind from the pink men to her aggravation with nature.

She wondered. Some of the houses had air conditioners in upstairs windows, she noticed. So why weren’t they up there escaping? All the way down the street, it was the same scene, but different children, different porch chatters. Something close to envy came to her as she watched the way everyone seemed to be almost impervious to the heat. Maybe, she thought, if she had their tolerance, their fortitude, she wouldn’t have had to tell Jack no on those nights during the heat wave when his desire for her would rise.

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Red on a Rose: A Novel by Patricia Jones


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