I am excited to announce I have a new book coming out. I am in the editing phase and I am excited. It is my first attempt at fiction, but then when I think about it, through my songwriting I have been writing fiction all of my life, just not in the form of a novel. My book is called Didn’t see that Coming! One woman’s journey through meeting the love of her life and the spiritual eruption, confusion, and finally transformation it causes in both of their lives. Romance meets spirituality.
I hope you enjoy! Would love to hear your feedback. Please follow and share if you would like to read more chapters and keep updated on the release.
CHAPTER 1 – A Scrape with Destiny
When Sierra Jane Fillmore woke up, she looked around the room at her surroundings. It was Sunday morning and she had finally arrived in New Mexico. She rubbed her eyes as she swung her tired legs over the side of the bed. She truly wondered for a split second, if she was crazy to leave New York and drive across country to a town in the middle of who knows where. Maybe she would wonder that for awhile. She could hear her mother now. ‘Sierra Jane….girl have you lost your mind?” Maybe she had lost her mind. But maybe she needed to in order to have something good in her life. Perhaps she needed to do a complete about face in order to uncover a life that would be so different from the one she was living. A life she could be proud of and a life that made sense.
She stepped under the shower faucet imagining the water to be a magic potion washing away the past, cleansing her heart, and filling her with new life. She was pregnant with anticipation. She lingered in the shower and leaned up against the wall directly under the shower to feel the water pulsate against her head. She felt refreshed and clean as she stepped out of the shower to dry herself off. When she came up from wiping her legs, she noticed the foggy mirror above the sink. She walked toward the sink and reached out with her towel to wipe the foggy mirror clear. How nice it would be to wipe away the past in just one quick swipe, like the mirror. Fuzzy, foggy past gone. New clear, clean life now appearing. Every part of her ached for that change; for a new way to look at things…like turning the world upside down and seeing and living it from a different angle. This was her time, her life, to decide what she wanted. Nobody knew her here. She could act and be whomever she wanted. This move was timely, needed, and necessary. What was in store for her, she didn’t know.
She pulled out a clean pair of jeans from her suitcase, and then opened the box of new cowboy boots she bought from one of those western stores, on her way out west. She couldn’t wait to break her boots in. When she tried them on in the store, she didn’t want to take them off. She felt brave, like nothing could scare her. She walked differently in them. They would be a symbol of her new life; like new shoes a kid gets at the start of every school year.
When she was finally dressed, she got in her car to find a place to have breakfast. As Sierra drove, she came upon a cafe that looked enticing to her. She pulled into a parking spot, but while pulling in, she misjudged its size. The front end of her car scraped against the car right next to her. She slammed on her breaks.
“Darn it,” she said. She opened her door, and got out to survey the car next to her’s. She had only scraped the surface. Not deep, but enough. The car she scraped was white and her car was navy. How obvious was that? What a way to start her new life, she thought to herself. She knew she had to go in and find out whose car it was.
She was embarrassed and a little nervous. She had no idea how these people were. In New York, someone probably would come out screaming and yelling at her. What could be worse than that, she thought?
She grabbed her purse, took a deep breathe and walked through the front door of the cafe. She took a second to survey her audience.
“Anybody got a…. Oh darn,” she said under her breathe. She didn’t get the make of the car.
She paused for a moment, as she walked to a nearby window to locate her car, and the car next to her.
“Yeah, anybody got a white Range Rover?”
Immediately a gentleman with dark brown hair popped his head up from his meal, and looked in her direction. Sierra felt like a deer in headlights when he looked up. He had tanned skin, sharp rugged features, and hazel eyes that seemed to twinkle for no reason at all.
“Yeah sister, what’s up?” the man said.
She made her way through the obstacle course of diner tables and chairs. She started to fidget with her purse. She felt nervous. The kind of nervous you feel when you’re walking down a hallway in your high school and the star of the football team says ‘hi’ to you, and you’re so dumbfounded that you say nothing back. She just stood there for a moment looking at him.
“Hey,” she said. That was the only word that came to mind.
“Hey yourself,” he responded. She could not stop looking at him.
“Um, I kind of hit your car.” His eyes widened but there was a smile inching its way out.
“Kind of?” he asked. He chuckled and wiped his mouth with a napkin.
Thank goodness, he has a sense of humor she thought to herself. She couldn’t get over his looks. She couldn’t help staring, but at the same time it was hard to hold eye contact. How could this much gorgeousness be bestowed upon one person, she thought.
“Okay, not kind of….I hit your car” she confessed. “Yeah,” she let out a sigh. “Nothing big, but you should come and check it out,” Sierra mumbled as she kept glancing away. What was it when she got around really good looking men, that caused her to fall out of sorts and lose any kind of cool that she possessed, which really wasn’t that much in the first place.
“Okay,” he said. He took a sip of water, and stood up. She was surprised when he stood up. She didn’t expect him to be as tall as he was. His tallness overwhelmed her. He kept looking at her, looking at him. She let him lead as she followed him out of the cafe. He had long black hair pulled back into a ponytail, and wore jeans with old worn out black Dingo boots. He was lean and muscular as well.
As they approached the cars, she stepped ahead of him so she could show him the damage.
“New York, huh?” he noticed.
“What?” she replied.
“Your license plate,” he gestured. “You’re a long way from home sister.”
He was incredibly handsome. Movie star handsome. She could not ignore it.
“Um….yeah, New York,” Sierra said.
“This just looks like a minor scratch and paint job,” he surmised.
“So I guess I should give you my insurance information and all that good stuff,” she said. She quickly opened her bag to find her insurance card. She was irritated that she could never seem to hold her ground around men like this. She felt like a dork, and probably in her estimate, acted like one.
One time, while she was in her neighborhood Starbucks in New York City, the actor William Baldwin walked in. He lived in the neighborhood as well. On his way to order his coffee, he happened to say hello to Sierra. She sat there frozen. She couldn’t find the word ‘hello.’ William Baldwin happened to be a childhood friend of one of her best friends. Her friend told her if she saw Billy again, just walk up and introduce yourself. He said Billy would love it. Billy sat in a nearby table in Sierra’s eye view, but she couldn’t bring herself to speak. For the life of her, she didn’t know why she acted this way. She certainly did not want to.
She rummaged through her big purse for a pen, but she couldn’t find one quick enough.
“Hey, no need to go through all of that. I’m sure we can find something to write with inside,” he suggested. He motioned for her to go before him. Josh couldn’t help but notice how awkward she was, but at the same time, she was beautiful.
“Got everything worked out?” the waitress asked.
“Yeah, we just need a pen,” Sierra said. She crossed her arms, and looked around, not wanting to rest her eyes on the obvious, which would be on this man, because she was sure she had already used up her share of staring, and anything beyond that would be considered weird. The waitress handed her a pen. Sierra wrote her cell phone number down, and the insurance company information, and handed it to him.
“Sierra,” Josh said, reading her name on the paper. “I’m Josh,” he said extending his hand.
“Yeah, nice to meet you…..sorry about your car,” she said. She turned to find a table so she could escape quickly, wanting their conversation to be over.
“Hey, would you like to join me?” he blurted out. He wasn’t sure why he said it. Something compelled him. Sierra turned, not wanting to be rude, but his question stopped her in her tracks. Oh my god, he did not just ask me that, she thought to herself. If she couldn’t manage just standing next to him, how would she manage having a meal with him. Besides, he was literally a stranger. Why did he want to have a meal with her? Guys like this never paid attention to her.
“Uh, no thank you,” she said. “It’s my first day here and I kind of just want to be by myself.”
What was wrong with her, she thought to herself? This drop dead gorgeous man just asked her to have a meal with him. She immediately second guessed herself. Did she say too much? She was always over explaining herself and giving out too much information, so as not to hurt people’s feelings. Her friends would always tease her and tell her, ‘No, is a complete sentence.’ She didn’t even know this man she thought, as she sat down at a table on the opposite side of the small cafe from where the he was sitting.
“Have a fine day then,” he said.
“You too,” Sierra replied. She couldn’t believe he asked her to join him. She thought he really must be crazy….or something must be wrong with him if he wanted to hang with her. She was too freaked out to be flattered, but he was beautiful.
The waitress handed her the menu. She sat there, milling over the menu. The waitress returned ready to take her order.
“Well, this is my first time here, and my first day in New Mexico, so I am not familiar with this kind of food.”
There were all kinds of things on the menu she had never heard of, or for that matter, could even pronounce. Considering all the choices of restaurants in New York, Mexican food was never on her radar.
“Would you like some suggestions?” a deep voice chimed in. Sierra looked over in the direction of the voice. Oh my gosh, he’s on his way over here. What is up with this guy she thought? Her heart started beating faster.
“I’ll let you two figure it out, and I’ll be right back,” the waitress said.
Before Sierra could object, he was at her table.
“Here goes,” he said, counting on his fingers. “An egg and sausage breakfast burrito with green chiles, and tortilla soup, in that order. Its yummy and delicious. I guarantee joy,” he said.
“I would say add some fry bread to that, but you don’t look like a big eater,” he said noticing her body.
Sierra blushed. If only he knew what a chubby she was before moving here.
“Thank you for your help. I appreciate that,” Sierra mumbled.
“How long you here for?” he lingered.
Sierra remembered watching those TV shows like Cold Case Files or Unsolved Mysteries, where some innocent woman is traveling alone, when an unassuming stranger makes his way in, just like this guy, and the next thing you know, the woman ends up dead somewhere. She just arrived in New Mexico. She wanted to live to talk about it later.
“Not sure” she said. She moved her hair out of her face, feeling a little uneasy.
“Destination?” he queried.
“Um…not sure of that either,” she fibbed. She looked up at him for a brief moment. Her eyes got stuck noticing the perfect muscles in his arms.
“Okay, I get it,” Josh started to explain. “Let me just state this straight out. I grew up not far from here. Everybody knows me. I am not a serial killer and I am not going to kidnap you like on one of those shows,” he said trying to recall the titles. “Like uh…….Cold Case Files or something like that.”
“Sonja, tell her that you know me,” he said in the waitress’ direction.
“What are you talking about mister?” I ain’t never laid eyes on you,” She joked as she walked over. “I’m just playing,” she giggled. “He does come here all the time. Just watch out for him though, he’s a good old fashion lady’s man,” she said.
Sierra had to laugh a little, because it was funny. She let out a sigh.
“Don’t listen to her,” he said with a smile.
His smile was drop dead gorgeous, Sierra thought to herself. She stared at him. She had butterflies in her stomach.
“Thanks for your suggestions,” she shyly quipped. She was tapping the table. She felt a little more relaxed. She was glad for that. How was her life gonna change, if she wasn’t willing to be open. Maybe trust more than she was used to. It was just conversation after all.
“Can I ask you a question?” Sierra bravely uttered.
“Sure sister. Anything you’d like,” he said, happy to engage in conversation with her.
“Are you an Indian?”
Josh threw his head back and gave out a big chuckle. Sierra wasn’t sure of his reaction.
“What gave it away,…..my long warrior ponytail?” He said, motioning toward his hair.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was that funny of a question,” Sierra retorted. The situation was hard enough for her as it was, but now he was laughing at her.
“I didn’t mean to make fun, but in these parts there are so many Natives, it’s just strange to hear someone ask straight out like that,” he continued. “Yes, I am Native American, Navajo to be exact…Mexican and Irish.” Josh pulled out a chair at the table next to her and made himself comfortable.
“I’ve never seen a real Indian before,” Sierra said. “Oh God, that sounded so stupid….I…” She wanted to kick herself.
“No offense taken sister. It’s cool, but to be politically correct, we prefer Native American, not Indians.
“What’s the difference?” she asked innocently.
“You got four to five hours to go through Native American History, wait….I mean American History? Real American History,” he reiterated. “Not what you read in those fairytale books, they call history books.”
“I know,” She agreed. “Those history books are so skewed and slanted in one direction. So you’re Irish too? That’s an interesting combination.
“ My father is from Ireland and my mother is Native and Mexican. Yeah, I’m all of it sister.”
“Okay, it’s strange to me to hear a white person call me sister,” she said. “Usually it’s a term of endearment used by people in my culture, for each other.”
“Well, first off, I don’t consider myself a white person. I consider myself more brown than anything. And secondly, among the Navajo, it’s a term used to state that we’re all related because we all inhabit this earth. Make sense?” he queried. She shook her head affirmatively.
“So don’t be offended. It’s what I would say no matter what color you were red, brown, yellow, or white.”
Sierra noticed he used his hands a lot. He had strong hands.
“You look like a mixed bag as well. Are you mulatto?” he fired back.
“Mulatto?” Are you serious? Do you even know what that means?” Sierra asked, as the hair on the back of her neck stood up at attention.
“I thought I did, but why do I have the feeling you are about to school me?”
“You really have no idea what it means, do you?” Sierra said. She knew the meaning of that word all too well.
“I thought I knew, but evidently I touched a nerve….or something,” he apologetically inserted.
Sierra tried to calm herself before she spoke again, but that word really bothered her.
“You know, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. So let’s just end this conversation,” she said.
“You’re funny,” he said.
“Well, I wasn’t meaning to be funny,” she said. She felt annoyed.
“You asked me a question about my heritage and I was cool, but I can’t ask you about yours without you being offended?” he explained.
“It’s different,” Sierra shot back.
“Different?” he said. “How so?”
“Because African Americans have been…” Sierra caught herself before she stuck her foot in her mouth.
“Yes, I’m waiting……and I hope you were not about to start comparing atrocities,” he defended.
“Okay, okay… I get it. You’re right. Look, I don’t want to have this conversation right now, in the middle of a restaurant, with some stranger,” she fumed.
“Sister, we’re not strangers. I know your name and you know mine. By the way, when was the last time you were on a reservation?” he quizzed.
“Your point is taken,” Sierra said. “And stop with this ‘sister’ thing. That’s making me crazy,” she said. He was absolutely beautiful, and she couldn’t figure out why she was acting like an idiot.
“Where’s the waitress?” Sierra asked, changing the subject.
“Okay, you can be offended instead of friendly. I was just trying to have a conversation with a beautiful woman,” he said. He started walking back to his table.
“Don’t forget. You’re having tortilla soup, a breakfast burrito, and maybe fry bread,” he said. Josh sat down and took a sip of his coffee, sneaking one more glance of her. She was beautiful, spunky, and smart, and there was something about her he automatically liked, but couldn’t pin.
Sierra watched him walk away. She was mad at herself for getting into a conversation with him anyway. She should have stopped him in his tracks when he started telling her what was good on the menu.
She ordered her food. She couldn’t help but go over their conversation in her mind, while she was waiting for her food. She tried to write in her journal. This is supposed to be a new beginning, a new life, and here she was carrying stupid old baggage from New York right out west with her. New York City was an international city, but sometimes it felt like it was the most segregated place ever. If you took the #1 line from 14th street on up, there would be a mixture of people of all different colors. By the time you got to 125th street the train was all brown people. There was Little Dominican Republic, Little Italy, Chinatown, Korea town, Polish town, and of course Harlem. The list went on. Everybody had their own little turf. So we are the “United” states, but everyone settles in with their ‘own kind’ in their ‘own little neighborhoods,’ so they can feel comfortable and accepted. Is this how the world was supposed to be?
Sierra was irritated with herself as she ate her food which was absolutely delicious. He was right about the food and….well everything else. She asked him about his background, and then he asked her about her background and she went all coo-coo on him. Maybe that’s the term he knows. ‘Mulatto’ is a term she had heard all of her life. The word made her cringe. It referred to a mixture of a donkey, mule, and a horse. It was a term used in the old south during slavery times for slaves that were half-black and half-white. Her mother told her about it. Her mother and father were both half black and half white. She preferred to be called multicultural.
By the time she was done eating her food, she had softened. She could see him out of the corner of her eye. She didn’t want to stare, but he was definitely a fine looking man. She loved the color of his skin. It was brown with red undertones. He was gorgeous…… and he called her beautiful. What was wrong with her? Maybe she was beautiful. She just never thought of herself that way, especially since most of her life she was on the chubby side. When she made her decision to move to New Mexico, she decided to lose weight. She figured if she was gonna make a new start, she might as well go all the way. She shed fifty pounds before leaving New York.
Sierra also realized at that moment, that even though he was extremely good looking, he was just a person. She was the one who had always put a mystique around the so called ‘beautiful’ people. She was the one that made them seem like the ‘untouchables,’ at least as far as she was concerned. She had put up a wall around herself and these men. Here was her chance to be different. She decided that she would go up to him and smooth over the situation, but first she wanted to freshen up. She went to the ladies’s room.
When she came out and looked toward his table, he was gone. She was disappointed.
On her way over to her table she motioned to the waitress to bring her the check. She sat down, took a sip of her coffee and noticed some scribbling on a napkin on top of her plate. She picked it up and read it. ‘The chip on your shoulder doesn’t match your beautiful face. Lighten up gorgeous!’
His note made her smile. Her new life was already looking up. Well, except the remark about her having a chip on her shoulder. Maybe she did, but it was rightly earned, considering her upbringing. She was glad she had had the interaction with this gentleman on her way to her new home. She took the napkin, folded it, and put it in her journal as a reminder to her new start in life.
She was in no hurry to be anywhere. She decided she would spend a day or two, sightseeing before traveling to her final destination.