Starting at the bottom now I'm?????
Hmmm, where am I now? Well let's see, it took me over 11 years to complete and edit my first book and another two years for me to be brave enough to self publish it! Now I can write about 45,000 words in a month or less so there is most definitely some growth there! Some see writing as a hobby, or a way to pass time, I see writing as a coping mechanism, an outlet and I thank God every day for allowing me to continue on this wonderful journey. I know great things are coming and I look forward to them but I will appreciate the people I have in my life, what I have been blessed with and the wonderful work I have created at this moment. Speaking of moments I thought I'd share my very first ones as a writer with you, so for my upcoming blogs after my silly or sap filled intros, I will be sharing my firstborn, the book that started it all: Light Eyed Girl. I hope you enjoy it and will come back every week to read more.
Light and Love,
Natalie L Gamble
As I lay here nursing my newborn daughter, my husband’s warm breath caresses the back of my neck as he sleeps. I begin to think about all the trials of life and love it took to get to this moment.
Snow begins to fall outside my window, my mind begins to wander from this peaceful morning to thoughts I thought I had long forgotten.
Like most women, I spent a lot of time chasing love often falling flat on my face, more often than not going from bad to so so much worse.
I was always a very shy girl, walking with my head down rarely making eye contact, especially with boys.
It wasn’t that I was ugly, I wasn’t a knockout either just an average girl with an average face and light brown eyes.
I would rather play with my friends than talk to boys and thought it would always be that way but time changes things and growing up is inevitable.
I was thirteen when I met Valentino, the first boy I really looked at, smiled at and hoped he smiled back.
Valentino ran with a group of guys I knew through my best friend Marcy King. Marcy and I had been friends since I was four and she was five, we were inseparable for so long that even after my family moved out of the neighborhood we still remained close. So close in fact I spent every winter and spring break at Marcy's house.
“Nikki it’s your turn,” Marcy said passing me the basketball we were using to play two square with our mutual friend Andrea’s basement.
“You go ahead Marcy, my hands are getting sore anyway.”
I pushed the ball back into her hands and flopped back down on the recliner I was sitting in closing my eyes rubbing my red and puffy hands together to get the tingling to stop.
“Nik we will go home it a little bit if you're tired.” She dribbled the ball for a few seconds and then I heard as she sent the ball bouncing to Andrea who slapped back to her.
“No, I’m ok Marcy I'm not ready to go inside yet keep playing I’m just taking a break.” I started humming listening to the ball bounce back and forth my eyes still closed until Marcy and Andrea both screamed.
I sat and up and my eyes opened to a now dark basement.
“Marcy, Andrea what the heck is going on?!”
I jumped up trying to find my way in the dark. “Nikki hide quick!”
I tripped over the ball as thunderous footsteps started to descend the stairs.
“Marcy I can't see!” I was feeling around in the dark with my arms outstretched and someone grabbed both my wrists and pulled me in a bear hug.
“Hey, I got Nikki!” Andrea’s brother called out still pinning my arms to my sides.
“So what’s up Nik you going give me some or what?” I fought to get out of his arms.
“You are so nasty boy let me go!” I heard his friend Andrew laughing somewhere behind me.
“You know you like me, girl, why you frontin’?” He asked squeezing me tighter.
“Dammit someone turn on the damn lights! Andrea where are you?!” I snapped still fighting to get away. I got a good planting on my feet and pushed off the cement floor knocking Tommy off balance.
“Andrew help me hold Nikki down!” He was getting tired of trying to keep me still.
“Andrew you come over here and I swear to God I will kick you where it hurts!”
I threatened and fought even harder and got one arm free just as I heard more footsteps on the stairs then the basement was flooded with light again.
Andrea came running back down the stairs looking ready to kill her brother and his friends.
Marcy came running over to me and Tommy.
“Let her go, boy!” She shoved him back and he stumbled back pulling me with him.
I scrambled to my feet and ran over to Marcy.
“Nasty ass boys!” I rolled my eyes at Tommy and shot dirty looks at Terrance and Donald who was also standing in the basement with smirks on their faces.
“Nice bra Nikki,” Tommy said, he was back on his feet and leaning on the wall grinning I looked down and noticed my shirt had ripped open when I was fighting Tommy and what little I had was out and exposed for the world to see!
I quickly pulled my shirt together as best I could and started up the stairs as I passed Andrew he grabbed my butt.
“Gotta grab that ass man!” He gave Tommy a high five as they both started laughing.
“Y’all play too damn much! Marcy let’s go!” Her and Andrea were a few steps behind me.
“Nikki are you ok?” Marcy knew me well enough to see I was getting ready to cry I was so embarrassed! I looked at my shirt. “Is anyone home yet who would see my clothes?”
Andrea ran back to her room and grabbed a jacket.
“Here Nikki this should cover your shirt until you change it.” She looked so sad.
“I'm really sorry you guys.” I shrugged on her jacket and gave her a hug.
“It’s okay Andrea it’s not your fault you have a butthead for a brother with nasty ass friends," I said softly hoping she knew I didn't blame her,
“Ain't that the truth stupid boys!” Marcy said and smiled a little, joining our hug and when we heard the boys coming up the stairs I turned walked out the door.
“See ya another time Andrea!” I called over my shoulder and started towards Marcy’s house, she fell into step beside me.
“Are you sure you’re okay Nik?” I pulled the zipper under my chin.
“Yeah I okay that was crazy, those boys are truly out of control.”
Marcy nodded. “Yeah they are, Terrance isn't so bad when the rest of them aren’t around it's just when he’s around Tommy.”
I stopped and glared at my friend. “Are you serious? As far as I am concerned all of them are nasty!”
She shook her head and walked around to the side of her house to let us in.
“I don't want to argue Nik so we will just stay from over there for a day or two.” She said snappishly
“Fine, at least we agree on that.” I snapped walking into Marcy’s house, I was a little annoyed, it was almost like she liked being felt up in a dark basement by touchy-feely funky boys!
For the next three days, we stayed close to the house and invited Andrea over Marcy’s instead.
We were watching music videos on the third day when Andrea suggested we go to her house because she just got a new tape she wanted us to hear. Marcy and I shot each other an anxious look,
“I don't know Marcy, where are Tommy and them?” I asked closing my book, I was reading lying across one of Marcy’s twin beds.
Andrea sighed impatiently.
“They went to the rec center and they usually stay up there all day playing basketball.”
I looked over at Marcy who was already dragging on her shoes.
“Let’s go Nik I'm bored we've been in the house for three days.”
I shrugged in defeat and grabbed my shoes and jacket,
“ Ok if you're sure, but I'm telling you right now if your brother touches me today you will never be an auntie.” We all laughed and walked up the block to Andrea’s.
“See you guys nobody here just us.” Andrea let us in the house and showed us it was empty until we showed up.
Marcy and I walked over the threshold slowly and walked over to the couch, there was no way we were going to get caught off guard playing in that basement again.
“Come on guys we’re going to listen to music in my room, you know my dad won’t let me touch his stereo.”
We followed her to her room where she plugged in her boombox and started playing a new song by Prince.
By the third song, we relaxed enough to sing along and were working on dance moves we had seen in videos a few hours later when we heard a ball being dribbled outside. Marcy’s eyes grew huge.
“Nikki see who’s outside.” She ordered moving, her arms were still up in mid-dance move.
I climbed over Andrea’s bed and peeked out of the window.
“Its Tommy and them!” I yelled and crawled back over the bed and followed Marcy and Andrea who were now racing towards the kitchen and the back door.
The front door burst open and Tommy and his crew came running in trapping me in the hallway.
“Hey, Darling Nikki.” I rolled my eyes and pushed past Tommy. “Shut up! Marcy you guys come back inside, don’t leave me in here alone with these animals!”
They came back inside and walked into the living room as I made my way over to them slapping hands from trying to grab my butt again.
“Stop!” I fussed and flopped on the couch between the girls.
“Why did we come over here again?” I asked and rolled my eyes at boys as they walked in and Tommy clicked on the t.v.
“Tommy I’m serious you keep messing with my friends and I'm telling Mom and Dad you nasty jerk!” He just smirked at his sister and started staring at the screen.
It was then that I noticed a new addition to the nasty crew, he had wild curly hair, light-skinned and he kept staring at me so I rolled my eyes at him too.
“Great another one.” I thought to myself folding my arms and looking over at Marcy who was talking to Terrance about something.
Tommy looked over his shoulder at us, “Hey y’all want to play hide and seek in the basement?”
I sat up in alarm.
“No, we don't!” Andrea said before I could. “Do we Marcy?” Marcy looked at me and Andrea blinking fast.
“Um no y'all are nasty and that reminds me Nikki said she kicking y’alls butts for grabbing her titty the other day!”
I looked over at my best friend ready to kill her as the room filled with adolescent male laughter.
“I wasn’t talking to you Andrea and besides it would so be worth it especially if I can do it again!” Tommy laughed leering at me.
“Ugh, you are freaking disgusting!” I snapped my face hot with embarrassment.
“ Tommy that's it I’m telling Mom when she gets home, I'm sick of you harassing my friends!” Andrea threatened ready to kill her brother.
He shook his head laughing. “Whatever, come on y'all forget these girls let's go up to the store and find some more.”
“God, you make me sick!” Andrea stormed off towards her room and I hopped up to follow her, the curly-haired boy was smiling at me as I passed his chair.
Tommy let out a low whistle. “Looking real nice in those jeans Darling Nikki.” I let out a frustrated audible sigh and stomped off to Andrea’s room.
“Tell me why am I here?” I thought to myself as I sat on the corner of her bed next to her.
“Andrea don’t let him shake you up, he loves to mess with us because we react like we do, you see he doesn't mess with Marcy at all.”
She rolled her eyes towards the ceiling, “Tommy is scared of Marcy and of Terrance for that matter.”
I looked at her confused. “What does Terrance have to do with anything?”
She looked at me like I was stupid. “Come on Nikki, you know they like each other!”
I thought about it for a minute guess I tried to ignore it but I suppose so. Marcy strolled back to Andrea’s room a few minutes later.
“ Are you two okay?” We were both sitting on Andrea’s bed looking through her cassette tapes. I nodded.
“We’re both fine you ok?” I asked passing Andrea the soundtrack to ‘Purple Rain’, she popped it in the boombox and sat back on the bed.
Marcy was leaning against the wall bobbing her head to the music when someone knocked on the door. I immediately tensed up and Marcy shook her head.
“Don’t trip they went to the store.” Referring to Tommy and his band of ‘grabasses’.
I went back to staring out the window and looked over when Marcy opened the door and Terrance and ‘Wild curls’ walked in.
Andrea rolled her eyes and glared at them both. “Why are you two still here?”
Wild curls shrugged. “They said they would be right back and it’s hot so we stayed here it's cold outside.”
Andrea sat back on her pillows still looking hostile. “Okay, so why are you guys in here?”
He shrugged and wandered over by me and the window, ugh, why did he do that? I perfectly fine over here by myself!
“Heard the music, I like this song.” ‘The Beautiful ones’ was playing.
I looked over at Marcy making goo-goo eyes at Terrance and shook my head.
“Yeah right,” I muttered and went back to watching out the window.
I looked over and caught Wild curls looking at me again he started to blush and smiled.
“Hey, have you seen this movie?” He asked me, still smiling.
I shook my head. “Nope, it's rated R so my mom won’t let me why have you?”
He smiled a little more, “Yeah it’s pretty good. So your mom is pretty strict huh?”
“Never really thought about it, I just know when she says ‘no’ it’s no.” I shrugged and started humming along with the music.
“Hey, guys?” Marcy had moved closer to Terrance in the few minutes I had been talking to Wild curls.
We all looked over at her, she grinned and yelled “PAYBACK” and turned Andrea’s light off.
“Marcy are you freaking serious?!” I jumped off the bed as Marcy jumped on Terrance.
“Marcy let go of my shit that hurts girl! Val get her off of me!” Wild curls aka Val was standing there in shock watching Marcy and Terrance rolling around on the ground.
“Val man help!” Terrance screamed.
Val/Wild curls made a move towards them and I don't know to this day why I did it but I stood, leaned over and shoved Val backward away from Terrance and Marcy.
He looked at me, shocked for a second and moved towards them again, this time I shoved him really hard, so hard that I slipped right into him and we both fell over trapped between the bed and wall.
The light came back on and Marcy was almost eating Tommy’s tennis shoe when she rolled off of Terrance.
“What’s going on in here?” Tommy asked grinning, Donald and Andrew were standing behind him. Andrea was sitting on the bed stock still looking like she was going to be sick.
“Nothing,” Marcy said standing up straightening up her clothes, Terrance was doing the same.
“Don’t look like nothing,” Tommy said grinning pointing at me and Val.
I looked over at Val and noticed his pants were unzipped.
“I didn’t do that!” I threw my hands up declaring my innocence.
Poor Val turned beet red and turned to zip his pants.
“Then why were you both getting up when we came in here Nikki?” Tommy asked.
“I pushed him and we slipped, I just didn't want him to help Terrance.” I quickly explained. It was my turn to blush. Val, still red just stood there looking around the room at everyone but me.
“Val tell them what happened.” I insisted.
He looked over at me and smiled showing his dimples, I rolled my eyes and grabbed my jacket.
“Whatever I’m done, see you at the house, Marcy.” I forced my way passed the boys and out of the house trying not to scream.
“Nikki hold up!” Val had followed me out.
“Yeah?” I turned still looking annoyed.
“Hey, I’m going to tell them what happened ok? You just get so mad so quick it's kind of funny.”
I glared at him. “Yeah well, Tommy is annoying enough without giving him more of a reason to tease me.”
He smiled and shrugged. “Hey, at least you were stuck in that corner with me and not Tommy with his pants unzipped.”
My stomach turned at the thought. “Oh God no!”
He shook his head. “Do you really hate Tommy that much?”
I folded my arms stubbornly and shrugged. “No, I don't hate anyone I just dislike him and the rest of your buddies a very great deal.”
He smirked and folded his arms too. “What about me?”
I looked over at him giving him a once over. “Hmph, I don't even know you,” I said looking evil.
He kept smirking at me.“Well then let’s fix that my name is Valentino, I'm thirteen and live around the corner.” He held out his hand to me to shake.
I looked at him like he was crazy. “Yeah okay. Tell Marcy I will meet her at the house.”
I turned towards Marcy’s and started walking in that direction. I looked over my shoulder back at ‘Valentino’ he was watching me walk away arms still folded grinning.
“Boys, are the weirdest creatures God ever blew breath into,” I mumbled and I snuck into Marcy’s house and grabbed my book and headed to the backyard to read until Marcy came home, otherwise I would have to answer a lot of questions as to why we weren't together.
As crazy as it sounds, for the rest of the week we ended up having a lot of fun hanging out with Andrea, Terrance and Val.
Marcy was right they weren't so bad when the other three boys weren't around. We played two square, football and Atari.
No matter what we did Val always ended up on my team I couldn't help but wonder if that was his doing or Marcy’s.
He was pretty athletic but funny too, he liked to quote movies, tell the dumbest jokes and he liked to breakdance and would sometimes leave to go ‘battle’ another dancer.
“So you finally seem to be having a really good time Nik.” Marcy and I were in her room talking, I was lying on one twin bed reading my book she was lying on the other.
“Well yeah I always have fun over here and now that Tommy and them have picked another target it’s been a blast.”
Marcy was drawing on her notebook, a smile was tugging on one side of her face.
I put my book down and sat up. “Yeah? What’s up?”
She looked over at me. “What really did happen in that corner?”
I looked at her confused. “Huh?”
“You know over at Andrea’s house, how did Val’s pants get unzipped?”
I shrugged grabbing my book again. “I don’t know like I told you guys, I pushed him, we fell and when we stood up his pants were unzipped.”
She kept drawing circles and smiling at me.
I sighed and put my book back down. “What is it Marcy?” she was thinking about something, something I was sure I wouldn't like.
“Nikki do you like Val?” She asked smiling even bigger.
Here we go, “Yeah he’s pretty nice.” I answered thinking about the last few days.
She shook her head. “No, mean do you like Val?”
I smiled and picked my book back up and opened it flipping to a random page. “Marcy just because you and Terrance have decided to play kissy-face doesn't mean we all have to.”
She threw her pillow at me. “Shh before my sister or my mom hear you and Nikki tell me!” I stared at her for a few seconds.
“Nikki tell me or sleep on the floor tonight!” She threatened.
I started laughing at her, we both knew she threatened me with that for as long as we could both remember and so far I always slept in ‘my’ bed as the extra bed in Marcy’s room was called.
I took a deep breath and thought about it, do I like Val? I laughed so much in the past few days and I had started to look forward to seeing him and Terrance.
I loved his smile and dimples and how he could make a joke out of anything and well yes he was adorable! Oh boy! This can't be good.
“Well, I guess I sort of kinda like him, like a spark.” I finally admitted to myself and her.
She dropped her pen on her bed and ran from the room coming back a second later with phone.
“Marcy what are you doing?” I asked her fearfully. She shooed my words away and dialed a number.
Well Lovelies, that's it for now! I look forward to your comments and feedback and please be kind, this was my first attempt at writing lol! Also let me know if I should post more than once a week! Smooches!