Tessy Johnson has her life all figured out; the more beautiful a woman is, the more perfect her life will be; Never been bothered by Karma. Never gave a thought to playing by the rules. But Tessy's charmed, perfect world turns upside down when she is defeated at her own game–her best friend, Sandra Reyes, the "Miss do-good" girl steals her fiancè, while Tessy finds herself completely alone for the first time in her life . . . with a baby on the way. Tessy flees to her childhood friend living in London and finds that her rules no longer apply. How will she recover and re-create her glamorous life on a new continent? Wild Beauty: A Tale Of Love And Lust is a novel about one woman's surprising discoveries about the true meaning of friendship and love. it's a novel for anyone who has ever, even secretly, wondered if the last thing you want is really the one thing you need.View More
TWO YEARS AFTER THE KISS IN THE PARK . . . .It is a beautiful day in London. I waited in Holland Park, wearing an ivory gown made of chiffon so soft that I can't stop myself from touching it. The dress comes to a V in the back, and the front is gathered over the bust-line and accented with a shimmering of beads. The skirt is a loose A-line—romantic and simple—and it sways just right in the breeze. The lady at Kensington bridal shop told me that the design was inspired by the Edwardian era—which sounds like something Andrew will love. It was the first dress I tried on, but when you know something is right, you just know.As the string quartet begins to play, I peeked around the corner of the Belvedere, into the gardens, allowing myself a glimpse of Andrew. We've only been apart twenty-four hours, but for us, it is a long stretch that feels like a decade. Whether it is our separation, his Armani suit, or the emotion of the day, he has never looked more handsome. I feel a tightening in
Andrew and I took the boys out for our daily walk around Holland Park. It is already afternoon in late April. He solemnly reported that last night, over oysters at Spiro, he ended things with Capucine. I suddenly felt this rush of excitement and opportunity, and I also felt this uneasiness between us. Our last obstacle is no more, but now what?I laughed nervously. "Kind of weird to dump someone over oysters, isn't it?" I said in a teasing tone."Well," Andrew said, his eyes focused on the path ahead of us. "I'm not always the coolest guy . . . as you well know."His "as you well know" seems like it is loaded with meaning and this for a fact, made me more anxious. I rambled about how one shouldn't eat oysters in months containing the letter *r*. "We had rock oysters—fins de clair—which you can eat year-round. But thanks so much for your concern," he said, yawning with feigned nonchalance. "Anytime," I said, as we strolled around the top of the Cricket Lawn. "How do you feel?" I as
Quentin stopped by to visit us during his rounds. It is as if he waited for the day I would be discharged from the hospital. Well, He shook Andrew's hand, kissed me on my cheek, and admired my sons. "What a nice guy," Andrew said immediately after Quentin left the room."Yeah, he could win the ex-boyfriend-of-the-year award," I said, thinking that no matter how nice Quentin is, I am completely certain that I had done the right thing in breaking up with him. The fact that our relationship weathered the transition to friendship so seamlessly is just further confirmation.I put on my sweater that Andrew had given me for Christmas as he swaddled Joseph and Benjamin in Sandra's blankets, handing me both bundles, one in each arm. He proceeded to finish packing our belongings, which had spread to every corner of the room."I don't want to go," I said."Why not?" he asked.I explained my feelings in the best possible way—my feelings of wanting to stay in the hospital forever, with a fleet of
For the past twenty-four hours, I have not been having sense of day or night. Everything is just a blur of time with Joseph and Benjamin. Andrew hasn't left my side since I put to birth, well, unless on a specific mission for peanut butter crackers from the vending machine, painkillers from the nurses, or booties from the gift shop in the lobby of the hospital. He slept on the cot next to my bed, helped me to the bathroom, and snapped roll after roll of black-and-white film.Andrew brought his phone to me and told me to call my mother. Of course I balked and explained how too exhausted and hormonal to deal with her, but Andrew being*"Andrew"* dialed my home number on his mobile. "Here. You'll regret it if you don't do this," he said, sticking the phone into my right hand.My mom answered as soon as I took the phone from him."Hi, mom. It's me," I said, feeling defeated before the conversation even began."Hello, Tessy." Her voice is so formal and stiff just as it was on Christmas Eve.
"Cab is waiting outside! Cab is waiting outside!" Andrew yelled as he bursted through the door and streaked down the hall toward the bedroom, ten minutes after our call."I'm right here," I called out to him from the living room. My small duffel, which I had packed few weeks ago, rested at my feet. He ran into the living room, kissed my cheek. "How are you?" he asked breathlessly."I am fine," I said, feeling relieved to see him. "Would you mind tying my shoes? I can't reach.""Oh, God. I'm so sorry I wasn't here," he said as he stooped down to tie my Nikes. His hands kept shaking."Where's your jacket?" I asked, noticing that he came home wearing only his lucky Standford T-shirt. "It has to be freezing outside.""I left it at the bar.""Oh, Andrew, I'm sorry," I said. "And I'm really sorry about interrupting your game too.""Don't be silly, Tessy. I will get the jacket later, and the game is not that important," he said. Andrew bent down and picked up my bag and I saw a clear patch
It's been three days since I got Sandra's card and gift and I haven't written her a thank-you note because I can't decide on the content or tone. Should I forgive her outrightly? Tell her that I miss her, too, and that although I will never fully accept her relationship with Max, I want to repair our friendship?I got out of bed and walked down the hall to the nursery room. In one of the closets, I retrieved an album, stuck down in a side pocket of one of my suitcases. I had put together the album several summers before and had packed it at the last moment.I carried the album back to Andrew's room. Making myself comfortable on his bed, I flipped through it, skipping past the photos of Vanessa and Max various other friends, and finding one of Sandra and me taken in the Hamptons right after she and Max had graduated from law school. I studied our carefree poses, our broad smiles, our arms draped casually around each other as we stood by water's edge in our bikinis. I can practically sm
I have successfully stayed two weeks in bed, no cramps and no blood. My baby boys will be so healthy. Andrew surprised me with a homemade chocolate cake to celebrate the milestone. He brought it to the bedroom on his wooden tray. A cake decorated with about thirty-seven blue candles, one for each week of my pregnancy, which he lit while singing, off-key, "Happy, Baby A and B!"I laughed, made a wish, and blew out the candles in two tries. "Blowing your candles twice because of two babies!" Andrew squealed. I giggled. "Really?""Oh yeah, hot mama . . .It's like . . . baby A *whoosh!* and baby B *whoosh!*," Andrew said while making blowing sounds and making a funny face. He cut the cake and served us each a big slice. I went for seconds, it tasted really good and then had thirds. I praised his baking efforts, especially the icing. We finished eating and he cleared our plates and tray. Andrew returned with a big box wrapped in buttermilk and blue polka-dotted paper. "You shouldn't h
For some days now, I have been relishing my cozy existence with Andrew while tolerating the seemingly incessant interruptions from Quentin. He phoned every few hours and visited daily on his way home from work. Sometimes he'd bring dinner, and I would be forced to spend the evening with him instead of Andrew. And because of Quentin's presence, Andrew will have to depart for Capucine. Sometimes I will pretend to be asleep, and he would simply leave me a note on his personal stationery, which, incidentally, is adorned with his family's coat of arms. It is sort of the touch that would have been right up my alley in the Trevor-fantasizing days. But recently, I prefer Andrew's no-nonsense, ruled yellow notepads. Now, I prefer anything and everything Andrew . . .******* ******* ******* ******* ******I woke up from my afternoon nap to see Quentin perched oddly in a straight-backed dining chair pulled up next to the bed. I had fallen asleep reading the US Weekly that Dixie so thoughtfully
I woke up to the *"grrring grrring"* ringing of Andrew's phone. Firstly, I hope it's not Quentin. And secondly, I still love Andrew. So my feelings aren't just an illusion rooted in near tragedy. I felt the mattress jostle as Andrew reached down to grab the phone. I can hear Capucine's French accent on the other line. "Right here," Andrew said into the phone. I think Capucine must have asked where I'm sleeping. The controlling, jealous, break-of-dawn maneuver is something I would have pulled in my former life, and I silently vowed that no matter what the circumstances of my future relationships, I will never behave that way again. It is selfish and unattractive. I opened my eyes to take a peek at Andrew's face and his face showed restrained annoyance—a reaction that I have seen not more than once. I shut my eyes back and pretended to be sleeping as he got out of bed and whispered fiercely in the hall that she is being ridiculous. "Were you not there witnessing the same ordeal last n
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