Love is easy. Divorce is hard, stressful, and many times traumatizing. Yet, there can be catharsis in seeing how other women (even fictional ones) triumph through messy divorces. Remember Angela Basset’s fiery scene in “Waiting to Exhale”? Well, check out Mya’s “Waiting to Exhale” moment.

Read an exclusive excerpt from M.L. Wonder‘s NEW novel here.

 

 

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Mya, with an improved stride and new resolve, returned to the witness stand to finish her testimony.

“Didn’t you know about your inability to conceive a child before you got married? You tricked him into marrying you, didn’t you – even though you knew you could not give him a child? You knew how much he wanted kids and you stole that from him didn’t you? You robbed my client of his ability to marry someone who could carry on his family name.” The opposing counsel forcefully asked.

“Your honor, objection! Counsel is clearly badgering the witness!”

“Sustained,” the judge dryly replied.

Mya inhaled and spoke calmly. “No. That’s not true at all. I, too, wanted children and did not learn about my condition until after that doctor’s appointment. I would never trick anyone into marrying me. He’s the liar – not me.”

On the outside, she appeared emotionally intact and in control, even after Roger swore on a Bible and ignored his oath during his testimony. On the inside, she brimmed with anger that grew the more he spoke. She continually wrung her hands under her desk, to calm herself amidst the venomous lies Roger spewed to the jury. His salacious untruths, along with his theatrics, feigned grievances, and spectacular displays kept the jurors rapt in attention. When he finished, he then honed his chestnut-colored eyes on Mya, expecting her to buckle under his gaze. But she didn’t, she wouldn’t, she had this.

As Roger left the stand, he strutted in front of Mya, swaggering as if to remind her of what she would be missing. But she no longer cared; he now disgusted her. Mya didn’t want Roger to see that, though. The emotions brewed inside of her, bubbling to the brim, but she suppressed them, jotted notes to her attorney, and moved on – for the moment.

Then during a brief recess as the lawyers prepared for closing arguments, she observed Roger and his attorney conferring. The slightest of acts, a dismissive hand motion, reminded Mya of the times he dismissed her in their marriage, and it triggered her. Back then, every time she needed something, materially, physically, or emotionally he ignored her. “I gave Roger my all to be a good wife and he didn’t care, he treated me the same way he just motioned his hands,” Mya thought to herself.

“I got this. I got this.” Mya repeated the mantra to calm herself, but her hand still shook as she wrote notes to her attorney. The extra pressure Mya placed on the pencil almost broke it, but Mya still continued to write. And then she leaned over to her attorney and spoke in her pleasant, reserved voice, cracking in the moment as if a stronger person inside it wished to break through.

At first, Mya eeked a few words under her breath, “Everything was done to me. I have been a victim of other’s people’s will since childhood,” Mya gazed at her attorney as if begging him to understand. “I have done nothing to deserve this and I have suffered far too long.” And then Mya and her voice gathered more strength in response to the irritation she felt from her environment. She continued, “Since my birth, things – unfair, terrible things – have happened to me, have been done to me without my permission, even when I was an innocent child.” Mya paused before continuing, unable to stop. “I was cut in my most delicate area when I was young, not even old enough to know it was against my will because I didn’t know what will was. I even had to flee my country, and I have lost what I have loved – including my first husband. Bad things have happened that I have had no voice in; bad things were done – terrible things.” Then Mya’s voice grew stronger – long enough for the opposing counsel and Roger to hear her.

“I have almost lost hope, and I have cried so many times for my losses. I have cried for my past loss, my present loss, and as you all have heard, for my future loss. I have been told that I cannot have children. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and if it weren’t for what happened to me when I was a girl…If one of my first and only dreams was to be a mother, have a child of my own, what hope is there for me to cling to now?”

Mya turned her attention to Roger and spoke defiantly, “Do you think you are the only one with nothing to lose? So you think you have the power, that you can hurt me because you want to take everything that I have worked for?” she asked incredulously. Then she stopped for a moment. “Well,” Mya said before frenetically reaching into her purse. “Have it all!” Mya pulled out a handful of twenty-dollar bills mixed with some tens and threw all the money she had in her purse forcefully, yet aimlessly toward Roger. “Here!” she exclaimed, “Have it aaall!” she yelled at Roger, a deep cry from within the deepest part of her – her womb; a scream that would make anyone stop and shudder. “Take all of this money! Wait,” she paused and kicked some bills over to his direction, “you dropped some! Here! Pick it up from the floor like the dirty little dog you are. Do you want my money? You can have it!”

“Mya pl…” her attorney grabbed her wrist to pull her back in the chair, but her force was too great.

“I will not stop! I always stop! I always do what’s right! I always put other’s needs first, in front of my own, and I am tired! I am so, so tired and I have had enough!” She tromped rapidly toward Roger with spurned purpose. The bailiff, already heading her way to intercept contact, could not reach Mya in time to stop her. Mya scooped some of the money off the floor and at about a foot away from him, attempted to stuff the bills into Roger’s mouth. “If he wants my money, he can have it. How about that?!” Roger raised his muscular arms bulging with veins in the sign of an X and blocked Mya’s contact. So Mya scooped up the money again and started dealing the bills into the air showering him with the money as a customer does a stripper, until the bailiff yanked her away.

The red-faced judge spit furiously, “Order! Counselor get a hold of your client or she will be in contempt right this moment!”

“He doesn’t deserve one penny of my earnings, and I will no longer let him control me. Enough!” Mya continued as the bailiff dragged her to her attorney, who gently tugged on her arm and coaxed her back into her seat.

But, Mya said in an even louder voice, “He can have it all you know?” nodding her head as she spoke, then she changed her tone to an exaggerated nonchalant manner. “It’s just money; he needs it more than I do, which makes him weak. So he can have the money. Believe me, he won’t break me. I have my brain; I have my work ethic. I can rebuild!” she huffed and huffed and then, finally – she rested.

*******

Would you do in this situation?

How did Mya get here?

Want to know what happens next in Mya’s life? Find out in “Tenth Year in the Sun

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Find out how Coretta Gray survived divorce, depression, and a crippling diagnosis.

 

 

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Maureen Lomo
In high school, Maureen dabbled in poetry, but it would be over twenty years before she entertained the idea of writing professionally. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas and went on to a career in H.R. in Houston and D.C. before eventually working for the Dept. of State overseas. There, she experienced many fulfilling moments as she traveled and worked around the world. Now, as Maureen writes, she makes international culture and sisterhood a recurring theme in her work. She crafts her inspirational literature from her home base in Austin, Texas.