Mississippi Native Writes!!

Official Author Site of Aretha Renia

"Love for Kenya"




From Chapter One 


Kenya Marcus stood in front of her bedroom mirror looking at herself one last time as she settled on an outfit to wear to work. She was not happy with her appearance, but what could she do? It wasn’t the black dress pants or the mid-thigh long red satin blouse that posed the problem. It was her. She was just too big. Tipping the scales at a massive two hundred sixty two pounds, Kenya thought she looked more like a five foot eight brown-skinned pig stuffed into a red and black blanket. She turned to get a side view of herself and scoffed. She looked even worse that way. Her stomach poked out a little and her backside poked out a lot. She sighed at the sight.

She could almost hear her mother telling her that she needed to “pull back from the table sometime” so she wouldn’t be so fat. There had been so many times when her mother had told her that her weight would always keep her from getting pretty clothes and from ever getting the attention of a nice young man. She told her to “just stop eating so much”.

“No one wants a fatty,” she would say with that false hint of concern in her voice. Kenya wanted to cry at the memory, but those tears had already been shed enough. Although the words still burned a hole right through her, she would not let the unpleasantness of the past put a damper on this day. She had more to think about today. Besides, it wasn’t as if she was trying to be fat.

She wanted to loose the weight, but having been overweight every day of her twenty eight years of life, made it hard. She had been a fat baby who grew up to be a fat child who grew up to be fat her. Nothing she did seemed to stop that progression. She had tried time and time again to get the weight off or at least stop it from packing on. She exercised. She tried to eat right. She’d removed all sweets and junk foods from her diet before she had even reached her teens. She’d tried everything short of surgery, which she’d flat out refused. There was no way that she was going to let some doctor cut on her just so she could be slimmer. She had to draw the line somewhere.

If only she could loose a little weight, she would be okay, but after trying almost every diet on the market without loosing a single pound, Kenya determined that it was hopeless. She would never get down to the size that she wanted- a perfect size eight. Every one of the twenty doctors that she’d visited on the past four years had told her that with her bone structure, the best she could hope for was about a fifty pound loss. Even though that would have been an improvement, it wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted to look like those women in the magazines.



  From Chapter Two

There was an awkward session of silence. Kenya just sat there with her head buried in her menu. She dared not look up at him. He made her so nervous that she feared she might embarrass herself by running away if she looked into his eyes. Maybe she should talk to him, she thought. What would she say? There was a single thing about him that made her feel as though they had very much in common.

A waitress came along to take their drink orders. She chose a sweet tea and he; a soda. The young Chinese girl smiled at Lee and told them that she would get their food orders when she returned with their drinks.

The tiny bit of flirtation was not lost on Kenya. Even though she still had her eyes

Focused on the menu, she made a mental note of Lee’s reaction to the girl. He had smiled back at her, and had watched her retreating back with nothing but pure admiration as she walked away. The girl’s willowy frame had reminded Kenya of all her own insecurities. There was no way that this man was really interested in her. What did he really want from her?

When the girl returned, she focused all her visual attention on Lee, and he seemed to be a little over indulgent of her not so subtle advances. There seemed to be some sort of intimate knowledge between them that Kenya was not privy to. She had really had enough of this.

“Do you eat here often,” Kenya finally asked trying to find some reason for the waitress’s over-attentive attitude.

“As a matter of fact, I come here for dinner several times a week. Sue Lin waits on me almost every time I come in. She’s a real sweet girl.”

That explains it! Kenya thought. He comes here a lot and the girl was familiar with him. That’s why she spent so much time ogling him. He was, after all, a very enchanting looking man.



Two hours later, Kenya sat in her living room in front of the television thinking back over her first date. It had been a complete and total waste of her time. She was constantly glancing around the room trying to see if any of the other diners were looking at her wondering why this gorgeous man was spending his time with her. When she wasn’t doing that, she sat there listening to him talk about what he must have thought was the most interesting topic in the world- him. She almost laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. Then, as if he had some hidden agenda, he kept asking her if he could come over to her place for a “night cap”. She had to give it to him, the man was tenacious. Even after that disaster of a date, he still had the nerve to ask her out again. The sad part about it was that she accepted; not because she really wanted to be in his company again, but because she liked the idea of going out on a date with a handsome man. Who knew when, if ever, she would get that chance again? She had to face facts. Men were not exactly beating down her door.






 "Love for Kenya" will soon be available for purchase on http://www.publishamerica.com/.    Until then, please enjoy these excerts from my book.

"Soothing Raiyne"



 From Chapter One

“Was that supposed to be your way of letting me know that you were married?”

“No. That was me talking to someone who should have already known that I am married.”

“Oh. Then that makes it all right, doesn’t it? I should have thought to ask you if you were married when you asked me out that first time. I should have said ‘Hey, Mister. How about you tell me whether or not you have a wife at home before you take me out tonight!’”

“Sarcasm doesn’t suit you, Rainy.”

“Don’t you ever call me that again! My name is Raiyne. Where I’m from married men don’t go around asking people to go out with them. I’ve got to get out of here.” With those departing words, she grabbed her coat and her purse and headed for the door. Just before opening it, she looked back to face him one last time.

“By the way, I called you in here to tell you that I am over three months pregnant with your child.”

Then, she ran. She ran as if her life depended on it- pulling her coat on as she went. She could hear him calling out her name as she ran past the elevators and into the stairwell. She just kept running. She took the stairs two at a time. She did not slow down, and she did not look back. She had had enough. She had waited three years for him to tell her that he loved her and wanted to make her his wife, but had all been for nothing.

Michael couldn’t move. He wanted to chase after her, but his feet would not move. His mind was taking in her parting statement, and the realization of her words would not let him move. He gave a mental shake and finally ran out of her office hoping to catch her.

Michael reached the door leading to the outside just in time to see her jump into her car and speed away. She was gone, but he was determined that she would not get away without talking to him about the bomb she’d just dropped. He’d catch up with her later. She just needed some time to calm down. He would go by her apartment after work, and then they would be able to talk things out.

“I’m going to be a father,” he said softly into the cold winter air, and then he turned and walked back inside.



From Chapter Two

“If you really must know, I gave it to the mother of my child.” He knew that would hurt her, but he refused to lie to her about it. There had already been enough dishonesty in their marriage to last a lifetime.

Sharon’s usually cool demeanor faltered. Her face had grown red and flushed and then pale. A baby was the one thing that she could not have. She had tried, but she just couldn’t conceive. Then after a while, Michael had become so engrossed in his work that she just didn’t care anymore. She started dating again, and although she and Michael were still married, she lived her life as though she were single. It had taken him almost a year to realize what was going on.

“What do mean? Are you saying that some bimbo out there is having your baby?” Karen’s face was red with anger now. Her emotions were running hot and cold by the second.

“No. She’s not a bimbo, but yes, I am about to be a father. I gave her some money to help out with expenses.”

“Half a million dollars is a lot of expenses?” Sharon cocked an interested eye towards her husband. There was more here than he was telling. “Where is this non-bimbo mother of your child now? When is this supposed child of yours due to be born? ”

“I‘m guessing that she‘s due to give birth sometime in the next few months. If I‘ve estimated correctly from the last time I talked to her, that should be about right.”

“You mean you don’t know? Darling, that is the oldest trick in the book. The little trollop used you. She probably got pregnant by some ditch digger and figured she‘d be better off saying that the child was yours. I mean, after all, you are worth millions.”

“The child is mine, Sharon. I know it is.” Michael refused to believe that Raiyne could ever be the deceptive type. He spent too much of his time her and knew her too well to believe that she could be anything other than what she presented herself to be.

“Well, if you’re so sure about that… I want to meet her.”


Sharon thought for a minute. She’d wanted a baby for years. Now here was her husband telling her that he had fathered on with another woman. She had to find out who this woman was.

“I want to meet this woman and make her a little offer that I am sure that she will not refuse.”

“What kind of offer?”

“I want the baby. I will pay her three times what you gave her if you she will hand the child over to me as soon as it is born. Call her and arrange it for me. I want that baby.” The way she talked, Sharon could have been asking him for a glass of water.

“Sharon, this is not a doll or a new piece of jewelry. You can’t just buy it.”

“You paid for it,” she said matter-of-factly.

“No, I didn’t. I didn‘t give her the money to buy the baby from her. I gave her the money because she had expenses that needed to be taken care of.”

“Get me that baby!” She shouted to him.


“Why not? You’ve never refused me anything before.”

“I will not do this for you. You have no right to ask for this child.” Sharon knew exactly how to push his buttons. He had been fighting away anger since the moment she appeared in his office, but her last demand was making it hard for him to keep his temper at bay. He was not about to take a child from sweet Raiyne to give it to his selfish wife. He had already caused Raiyne more hurt than he had intended. He would not hurt her any more. “Besides, I don’t even know where she is…”

“I’ve always wanted a child, but you know that I could not have one. Let me have this one to love. Just tell me her name, and I can a private investigator locate her before the week is out.” Tears were actually rolling down Sharon’s face, Michael started to tell her that he would do this for her, but the memory of Raiyne’s final day at work still haunted him.

After Raiyne‘s emotional departure from the office, Michael had driven by her apartment after work. He had not found her car in the parking lot of the complex, so he decided that he would go inside and wait for her. He used the key that she had given him to get inside the deluxe two bedroom space where he’d spent so many nights with her to find that many of her things were missing. He checked her closets and found that her clothes were gone. He looked from room to room taking in account everything that was not there.

She was gone. All of her furniture remained so there was hope that she would eventually return. Maybe she would come back before the birth of their child. Praying daily that she would, he’d been keeping her rent paid in hopes that she would return soon. If not, he’d hoped that she would at least let him know where she was. He wanted to be there.

“Just tell me who this woman is and where I can find her.. Are you hiding her somewhere? Tell me!” Anger had replaced the hurt that Sharon was feeling. She’d thought she would never know the joys of motherhood, but here was her chance. Michael was being unreasonable..

Why would he not even consider this?

“I’m not hiding her. I really have no idea where she is, and as far as telling you anything about her, you can forget that. I won’t have you barging in snatching her child right from out of her arms.”

“I know that you want your child. We can raise it together. All you have to do is tell me her name, and I’ll do the rest. I‘ll even let her have visitation.”

Michael looked at his wife. He leaned back in his chair and rubbed a weary hand over his face. He did want his child. He wanted it a lot more than he could possibly say, and if this had been any other woman, he’d given in to his wife’s request without hesitation. He just could not do this to the sweet girl who’d loved him when he thought he was unlovable. It was bad enough that he had taken her love and never returned it.

How could he take Raiyne’s child?

“How do you know that she even wants the child? She may be planning to put it up for adoption. She may have even already disposed of it or lost it.”

Good question. Michael had never even thought about that. How do I know what Raiyne’s plans are concerning the baby? Maybe she was planning to give it up anyway. Maybe she’d already done away with it. No, she said that she was three months along when she told. That was already too late for an abortion, wasn’t it? He didn’t know.

“We can adopt you a child if you want one,” he offered.

“But it won’t be yours. This one is yours. We can get this child and give him everything. Just think about it. We can talk more when you get home today.” Without another word, Sharon rose and left.




Order of Service



I heaed you when you delivered your speech

and when you said your prayers.

I heard you when you sang your song

and saw you wave your hand in the air.

But you can't outdo me

When it comes to giving Him praise

I can serve Him too

I've been practicing my act for days

I can serve with my eyes closed

And turn up my nose as I do

 Whatever praise you send up

 I can do it too

I could sing if I wanted

way better than anyone in the choir

I could even preach the word

If I so desired

You deliver a speech

and get an amen or two

I can make the old sisters shout and faint

Just by speaking with more passion than you

I can serve Him too

Just let me get act down right

 If you think you can out praise me

Get ready for a praising-Him fight

Order of Service available for purchase at www.lulu.com.

Sweet Gum

From Chapter One...


The next four “dates” she had gone on had been much the same.  After that, she started refusing the invitations, knowing that the only reason that she was being asked out was to watch the younger siblings that those guys were supposed to have been babysitting.  Instead, she had just told the young men that if they wanted her to watch the little ones, all they had to do was ask.  She’d set her price for baby-sitting by how long she’d have to stay with the young one and what she’d have to do.    Therefore, she had spent her high school years as the town’s most popular baby-sitter.  By the time she’d gone off to college, she’d saved up enough money to become almost 
completely independent of her parents’ money throughout both her freshman and sophomore years. Her college years had been not much different from her high school years.  The only time a guy had asked her out was when he wanted her help.  There had not been any sweet little kids with missing front teeth to occupy her evenings.  All there had been were books, term papers, essays, and tutoring sessions.  From this group of “attentive” young men, she’d earned enough money to be almost completely independent her junior and senior years.  No one had ever asked her out on a real date.  Instead of flowers, gifts, and tender little kisses from adoring young men, she’d only gotten sweet little kindergarten kisses from elementary schoolers and arm loads of books and term papers.  It just wasn’t fair, she thought.  She had been big all her life.  She was the only one in her family that looked like she did.  She ate sensibly.  She walked every day.  She had been active all her life, but the weight just kept coming.  Her mother and sisters often told her that she had a lovely shape for her size, but there was little comfort in that 
when they were all happily married to great men and she hadn’t had so much as a date. There was no use whining about it now.  There was really nothing that could be done- nothing short of weight loss surgery.  For her, that was not an option.  There were no medical reasons for her to need to lose the weight that way.  Despite her size, she was in perfect health, and she refused to put herself through the trauma of surgery just for the sake of her vanity. Yeah, that surgery was not going to happen. She took a look at her watch. “Damn,” she said rushing to her feet.  It was almost four o’clock.  If she didn’t hurry, she was going to be late for her sister’s anniversary party.  The festivities were scheduled to begin in about three hours, and she knew that her mother would have a list of concerns that she would need Angel to help with.  Marianna Morgan was a natural born worrier, and Angel needed to get home and get ready so she would have time to ease her mother’s anxiety. Packing her book into the big backpack that she always carried with her on her walks, Angelica 

  It was a thirty-minute walk back to the house, and there was a lot to do.  She had to take a bath, fix her hair, and squeeze herself into the dress that her mother had chosen for to wear to the big gala.  Then she had to worry about all the last minute details that her mother was no doubt fretting over. The walk back towards the house seemed longer than usual today.  The heat of the Mississippi sun was beating down on her.  When she had first walked out, it hadn’t been quite so hot, but one thing about the South, was abundantly clear- it was hot. As she walked, Angelica thought over her life again.  She thought about all the things that she had missed out on- like dating, going to her prom, having a boyfriend, and moving away from home.  She really should consider getting a place of her own.  She was so deep in thought that she didn’t notice that she was being followed.  


Cardella's Mother





 From Chapter One


Cardella was just about halfway through her cigarette when she saw a woman headed her way. She knew who the woman was.  She had even talked to her a few times.  She was the substitute teacher who always managed to help get her out of trouble when she got mad.  Cardella could not remember the woman’s name, but she did remember that the woman was always exceptionally nice to her.   As a matter of fact, she had even helped her out of a few sticky situations over the last few months.
 Cardella looked at the woman now as she headed towards her.  She wasn’t exactly fat, but she was big enough to qualify as plus-size.  She was tall- maybe about five-foot-nine or so.   She was dressed in a pair of black slacks, a lilac purple blouse that so long it almost reached her knees., and what looked to be a pair of tennis shoes.  The woman was not like any of the other people around here.  She didn’t seem to care what people thought about her. 
 Hi,” the woman said reaching where Cardella stood.  “Please tell me that you have another one of those.”
 Cardella raised a curious brow.  It was more than a little unusual for an adult to see her smoking and not go into a fit.  This had to be a trick.  She held out her pack.  The woman took one and gave the pack back to her.
 “My name’s Chasity Day,” the woman said pulling a lighter that she’d confiscated from a young man earlier in the day from her pocket.
 “I’m Cardella Alexander.  I think we‘ve met.”
 “I believe we have,” the lady said with a smile.  “What are you still doing here?  Almost every is else is gone.”
 Cardella held up the newspaper in her hand and gave it to her new acquaintance.  Chasity’s smile faded.  She was stunned.  What kind of sick joke was this?
 “This is not about you, is it?”  Chasity had not seen today’s paper.  She made a point of not reading the newspaper.  If there was anything newsworthy, her neighbor, Mrs. Nelson, would be sure to tell her about it. 
 The girl nodded and took another pull from her cigarette.
 “Has your dad lost his mind?  Every gold-digger in town is going to be calling your house trying to get at him, and none of them are going to be interested in looking after you.  You must be really mortified. Men can be so stupid.” 
 Cardella smiled.  Chasity was a really nice lady, and the way she understood how embarrassing this was  more than a little comforting.
 They just stood there smoking their cigarettes.  What did you say to a child whose was the subject of an ad like this?
 Chasity finished her cigarette and thanked the girl.  She would not berate the girl for smoking.  It seemed that the poor kid had already been through enough for one day. 
 “Miss Day,” the girl called after her.
 “Yeah,” Chasity answered. 
 “Why are you always so nice to me?”  Cardella really hadn’t meant to ask this, but the woman seemed a lot different from all the other adults she’d knew.  She just wanted to know what the deal was with her.  “No one is ever nice to me.”
   “I think that you just answered your own question.”
 “I don’t get it.”
 “I can see that you have enough people being mean to you.”
 “You’re right about that, but you‘re too nice.  You don’t even get on to me about my smoking.  We’ve met a few times before in the principle’s office. You spoke up for me to keep me out of trouble. Then, today you even came out and took a smoke with me.” 
 “Maybe you’re right.  I should yell and get mad because you have no business out here smoking.  After all, you are just a kid. You should quit right now.  If you do, I promise to do something, too.  It‘ll be like trading favors.  You do me a favor and quit smoking, and I‘ll do you a favor.”  There was a twinkle in Chasity’s eyes that Cardella did not miss.  The woman was so relaxed around her that she had no choice but to relax, too.  This was the only person in this whole city that didn’t act like she was going to steal their wallet or something.
 “I knew there was something to you.  No adult can resist getting on to me about the things I do.  It’s practically a prerequisite for living in this town.”   Cardella tried to get on the offensive.  This lady was being too nice.  She was always too nice.
 “I wasn’t getting on to you.  I was offering you a choice.  You don’t have to accept it.  You can walk away right now and light up another cigarette without giving me a second thought.”
 Cardella thought things over.  This lady was not the like every one else.  Maybe she should give her a chance.  Who knows?  This may be the one person that could turn her dad’s perfect little world upside down.
 “Alright.  I’ll take your offer, but do I get to pick what it is that you’ll do for me?”
 “Just name it.”  Chasity wanted to take back the offer.  There was gleam in the young girl’s eyes that said the deal she’d just made was going to cost her a great deal more than she was willing to pay.
 Cardella again handed Chasity the newspaper featuring her father’s ad.  She’d get that “mother” that he wanted her to have, but things would not be as he expected.  This lady was something different.  She was nice, and she seemed to know how to treat others.  After all, she was the first person that had treated her kindly in years.  Others had tried, but there was always some underlying dislike that she quickly picked up on.
 “Cardella, what are you asking me to do?”  Chasity already knew the answer to that question, but she wanted to hear the girl say it. 
 “I want you to answer this ad.”



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