Sample of The Doctor's Faith
Copyright © 2015 Nikki Smith
All rights reserved. No part of the work may be reproduced without the expression written permission of the author. This book is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All characters, events, and incidents in this book are a product of the author's imagination.
Twenty-four year old Lynette Carter — known to her friends as Peaches — painted a smug little smile on her pretty, caramel-colored face. Then she ejected the video disc from her cousin’s laptop computer.
She almost giggled, as she thought about what she intended to do with the amateur porn video in her hand — it starred her ex best friend, Tiana.
Peaches’ cousin, Denise, frowned. “You sure you wanna do this, Peaches? Are you really, really sure? Tiana was your best friend for a lot of years, you know? Plus, it’s not like she’s done anything wrong to you….she just decided to take a different direction in her life.”
Peaches cut her eyes at Denise. “So, you wanna stand up for Little Miss Goody Two Shoes now, too? You wanna be on her side, Denise? That’s what you wanna do?” Peaches sucked her teeth then added, “I think you need to remember who’s helping your butt pay bills around here, boo….and it sure as hell ain’t Tiana.”
Denise frowned. In her eyes, there really wasn’t any sides to any of it. Peaches’ old friend, Tiana White, had used to go out partying and clubbing every single weekend — just like she and Peaches still did. Tiana had used to smoke weed, drink, and do all types of shady business. However, for whatever reason, the girl had decided to turn her life around.
Deep down inside, Denise was proud of Tiana….even a little envious. She wished she could do the same thing for herself. I’m just not ready to give up having all this fun yet.
Denise shook her head. “I just don’t understand why you would want to go to her birthday party at the church and embarrass her in front of all her friends and family. She’s trying to do good now….make something of herself, you know? What if that fine-tale brotha’ she’s engaged to decides not to marry her after he sees all of that?”
Peaches grinned. “Then that would be even better.”
Denise gave Peaches a funny look. “I know you said Tiana’s sister intends on showing a special video presentation about her life at this party —,” she paused, then continued, “— but what I want to know is how exactly you figure you’re gonna get your little video up in the mix?”
Peaches cut her eyes at Denise. “Uh, I’ll find a way, boo. You can trust and believe that.”
* * *
An hour later, Peaches hopped off of a Durham city bus, a block down from Soul Saving Center. As she walked the short distance to the church in the hot sun, she couldn’t help but think about how Tiana had gone from driving a beat-up old hooptie, to zooming around the city in a spanking, brand-new Lexus.
Then she thought about the gorgeous hunk-of-a-professor that Tiana was engaged to be married to. Peaches frowned. The closest thing to having a man in her life were the Johns that she turned tricks with. The small cut that she got after her pimp took his money off of the top was how she managed to pay half of the bills at the crappy apartment that she and her cousin, Denise, shared.
If someone had told her a year ago, that at twenty-four, she’d be a prostitute, she never would have believed them. In fact, she hadn't been tricking for very long at all.
It had all started two months earlier when she'd first met her ‘so-called’ boyfriend, Tyrone, at the club she’d been stripping at. She'd been approached by him after she'd completed her last pole dance of the night. Tyrone was good-looking and a smooth talker. Therefore, he'd somehow managed to convince her to go out with him on a real date.
Over the course of a month or so, he'd wined her and dined her....he'd pretty much convinced her that she was the most special woman in the world.
When he'd asked her to do him a little favor, and sleep with a guy that he owed a lot of money to, in exchange for having his debt forgiven, she'd been hesitant to do it at first. When Tyrone had convinced her that the man would kill him if she didn't do it, since she loved him — and he loved her in return — she'd reluctantly obliged.
After that one favor, things had gone all downhill from there. Peaches had quickly figured out that Tyrone was a pimp. She'd also learned he would gladly kill her black behind if she didn't continue to work for him.
Peaches' good friend JaNeesha — who had also been one of Tyrone's girls—had had to discover that fact the hard way. JaNeesha's body had been barely recognizable, when it had been found in an alleyway last week. Tyrone, had of course, made sure that Peaches understood the same would be her fate if she tried to leave him.
As she pulled open the front door of the church and made her way inside the cool, air-conditioned sanctuary, she wiped the frown off of her face. She replaced it with a bright smile. It won’t do for these church folk to see me up in here mean-mugging. That might mess up my plans.
Her grin got even broader when she saw the opening she’d been hoping for. A genuine smile was on her face as she made her way over to the side of the room and to Tiana’s older brother, Antoine.
Antoine gave Peaches a tiny smile. “Hi, Peaches. I’m kind of surprised to see you here. You and Tiana haven’t hung out in a long time.”
Peaches nodded her head. “Yeah, I know….right?”
Peaches pulled the disk out of her purse. “I had a video made for Tiana, too. It has some special photos and stuff from when we used to hang together at Hillside High. I think she’d be happy if you played it.”
Antoine took the disk that Peaches was holding out towards him. “Oh, okay. Sweet.” He grinned at Peaches. “You know you’re invited back here tomorrow for Sunday service, right?”
She nodded her head. “Yeah. I know.”
Ten minutes later, Antoine had finally gotten the videos ready to play on the mega-screen television that was in the room. He got on the microphone and got everyone’s attention.
“Good afternoon, everybody.” Antoine smiled out onto the hundred or so person crowd. “I’d first like to say thank you God for letting us all get up out of our beds this morning and make it here to my sister’s birthday party.”
He waited for the chorus of amens to cease before continuing. “And next I’d like to officially say happy twenty-fifth birthday to my special little sister. Most of you probably know what I’m talking about, but God has really blessed Tiana Marie White and turned her life around. We love you, Tee.”
As everyone — except for Peaches — began to clap, Tiana felt abundantly blessed. She was grateful for the tissue that her fiancee, Michael, pressed into her hand.
She dabbed the tears from the corners of her eyes. She’d come a long way since deciding to give her life over to the Lord a little over a year earlier. She’d gone from having no future at all, to being a college undergrad student — one with a loving fiancee and very supportive family.
Tiana’s brother, Antoine, grinned and began speaking into the microphone again. “Without further adieu, I’d like to let you guys see these special videos that our family and Tiana’s friend, Peaches, has put together in honor of Tiana’s special day.
Tiana felt touched and surprised that Peaches had done something special for her birthday, as well — since she and Peaches didn’t hang out like they’d used to. She looked around the room for her friend, but Peaches was nowhere to be found. Tiana focused her eyes back onto the ninety-six inch television screen as the video began playing.
Everyone covered their mouths in shock and horror as a video clip of three naked men and one naked woman, collectively getting their freaks on, came to life on the screen. The girl in the video was a complete whore as she wantonly allowed all three men to use her body in every orifice possible and all at the same time. Antoine rushed to the video equipment to stop the catastrophe from continuing to play, but not before the camera zoomed in onto the girl’s face. Tiana, and everyone in that room knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the girl in the video was her. Tiana had been so drunk that night, that she never was able to recall any of the details of what exactly had happened. But now she knew. Her feet moved like lightning as she ran horrified from the room.
Peaches stood just outside of the doorway, hiding behind a tall potted plant. She had to cover her mouth to prevent herself from laughing as Tiana tore out of the place. The only regret Peaches had was that Tiana probably didn’t know that her little video was also all over the internet. Tiana’s no-good ex, Ray, had filmed the whole thing and sold it to some amateur porn shop online.
I’m sure that’ll bring Miss Goody Two Shoes down a peg or two.
A Year Later:
Peaches flopped down onto the single bed in the musty, cheap hotel room. Her dark-brown eyes had a vacant look to them as she stared at the dingy wall, a bottle of pills in her right hand.
She wrapped her arms around herself, as her lower abdomen began to cramp. She had no idea what the problem was this time. But, she was sure it was probably some type of STD again — compliments of the unprotected sex she had on a weekly basis with unknown Johns.
She grimaced. Or maybe I’m pregnant again. She’d had four abortions in the last ten months alone. She’d had no idea who had knocked her up on any of those occasions. But she was more than certain that it had been one of the Johns that she had serviced.
She closed her eyes and swallowed. “I’m so tired,” she said to the empty room. “I’m so freaking tired of this life I been living.”
She curled her body up into a ball on top of the bed, practically in the fetal position. She began to cry. Her hand tightened itself around the bottle of pills.
It didn’t take very long for her to begin thinking about her crack-addicted mother, who’d eventually been murdered ten years earlier. Peaches had only been fifteen at the time her mom had died.
She thought about her two little brothers, whom she’d lost to the streets — both victims of drive-by shootings.
She thought about her only other living relative — her cousin Denise — who’d pretty much said she didn’t want to have anything to do with Peaches. That had gone down after Denise had found Peaches in bed with her boyfriend three months earlier.
Then she thought of her ex best friend, Tiana — who’d consequently been closer to her than a sister. Thoughts of what she’d done to Tiana only a year earlier began to flit across her mind.
At that moment, it seemed as if images of everything she’d ever done wrong in her life rushed through her brain, all at the same time. It seemed as if she could feel every single John’s hands on her body, using her for their pleasure, all in exchange for a dollar. Her body visibly shuddered from the memory of all of it. The drugs, the alcohol, the wild parties, the prostitution — all of it.
As the pain in her body collided with the ache in her soul, she popped the top off of the bottle of pills. “It’s time to end it all.”
* * *
Fifteen minutes later, as her eyes began to become heavy from the effects of the pills that she’d taken, she knew the cold hand of death would be closing on her soon. Before her eyelids closed shut, she felt an uneasiness in her soul. Suddenly, she had the overwhelming thought of I don’t want to die, Lord. I don’t want to die.
Panic settled over her as she realized that her body could barely move. It’s as if she were paralyzed. She knew her only hope — that is if she wanted to live — would be her cell phone. Her hand was weak as it wrapped itself around the device. Her fingers trembled as she tried to remember the emergency number to dial for help. In her drug-affected mind, she couldn’t figure out if it was 8-1-1, 1-1-9, or something completely different.
After trying several different number combinations, she was ready to give up — until she heard a familiar voice on her phone line.
* * *
A very-pregnant Tiana, looked groggily at the alarm clock on her nightstand. It read two forty-eight A.M. When her cellphone had begun to buzz seconds earlier, her first thought had been that there was something wrong with her husband, Michael — he was out of town at an instructor’s conference.
She reached over to her nightstand and picked up her cellphone. “Michael, is everything okay, sweetie?”
“Tiana….I need help.”
The voice on the line was light — barely recognizable even — but she knew it was her ex-bestie, Peaches. In all honesty, Tiana’s first response was to immediately disconnect the call — considering how Peaches had treated her.
Tiana still had pain from how the girl — who she’d considered to be closer than a sister to her — had betrayed her and tried to ruin her life. She couldn’t help but recall the maliciously broadcasted sex tape from her past. She couldn’t help but remember the looks of shock on her family member’s faces — specifically her then fiancee, now husband, Michael. There had been a very real possibility that Michael was going to leave her after he’d seen the video of her participating in a sordid foursome. But somehow, God had touched his heart and made her man see the light. God had made Michael see that the video had been in her past, and that she was a new creature in the Lord’s eyes.
Tiana frowned. Yes, the human part of her definitely wanted to disconnect the phone call. But the God in her told her to keep talking. “What do you want, Peaches?”
Her voice was weak when she said, “I’m at the Motel 6 on Main, I’m dying….”
Hearing Peaches’ words brought back every memory that Tiana had of the good times they’d spent together, of the bond that they’d shared. “What room are you in?”
“Twenty-nine.” Those were the very last words that Peaches was able to mumble before she blacked all the way out.
Tiana felt fingers of dread spread through her body as her ex-friend no longer responded to her voice calling her name. She switched over to another line on her phone and dialed 9-1-1. After she’d told the operator everything that had happened, the woman reassured her that they were sending emergency response vehicles to the motel.
Tiana shook her head as she crawled out of bed. She didn’t know what had happened, but she began to pray. She prayed that God would intervene in the situation and save Peaches from herself and the grips of death.