It’s the social unrest era of mid-nineteen-sixties Philadelphia. For Marissa Wells, a young black woman, surviving increasing gang violence trumps civil rights, with good reason. Gang culture is part of her lifestyle, affiliation that molds character, skews ethics, and leads to her brutal assault. Marissa retaliates, and her lover forfeits his life saving hers. Guilt-ridden, she severs all ties and moves away. Her mistake―she leaves enemies alive to retaliate.
Transitioning from segregation to integration, she settles in California, meets Tristan Corbett, a white southerner, discovers love is colorblind, and happiness is fleeting.
Marissa’s past starts intruding on her present. Enemies reemerge, jeopardizing her new life. To eliminate the threat and cycle of revenge, aware she might die trying, she lures her nemesis into a confrontation.
This is a previous release.
Well hell, it’s true what they say―whoever they are―about life goes on regardless of prior debilitating mental and physical life experiences. Who’d know what that meant better than her.
After a betrayal of trust led to her brutal assault and she’d been left to die, despite the scope of her injuries, with indomitable tenacity, she survived. Wounds healed, demoralizing humiliation faded, and even learning the extent of the internal damage, implying she’d never have children, gained acceptance.
What was irreparable, unforgettable, and unforgivable was the death of a man who loved her enough to forfeit his life to save hers. A man who deserved better, died because of the arrogance behind her blind determination to settle a score. His irrevocable loss would remain her cross to bear. In addition, she’d promised him she’d change her gangster ways after she had her revenge, and though she’d failed to achieve that goal, she intended to keep her promise.
So, damn straight, she signed up for the life goes on circuit. She had a purpose. For him, she’d prove she could change.
No doubt, she accepted partial blame for what had happened, because she’d chosen to ignore innate instincts and clear signs of imminent disaster. With her customary overconfidence, she’d set out to navigate unfamiliar environments of sex and romance, the venture that almost cost her her life.
How could she have been so naïve?
Sure, she’d been young and a Catholic with all the related moral baggage. Combine that with parent-imposed Emily Post niceties of social etiquette, and it might lead one to assume those qualities accounted for her gullibility. Uh-uh, wrong. Human antisocial conduct of deception, or violence and retaliation, weren’t unfamiliar to her. Her youth coincided with the turbulent years of the civil rights movement―discrimination, segregation, and integration. Were there better examples of aggression and backlash?
What’s more, during that period of social unrest, in her Negro community, efforts to survive escalating gang violence trumped civil rights. Sadly, the gang environment was an integral part of her lifestyle. Related to, and affiliated with gang members was an alliance that molded her character, skewed her moral compass, and turned friends into enemies. Being a poster child for miz goody-two-shoes naïveté, she was not.
Yet oddly, considering her background, acts of and reactions to violence were never up close and personal, only life observations. Until that son of a bitch slithered into her world with his brand of harsh reality. Her psyche had tried to warn her that he wasn’t what he seemed. Ignoring common sense and years of learned street smarts, she became involved with him.
Believing he was the man of her dreams, she thought she was in love and he was the man she would marry. She let her guard down and the ensuing devastation taught her two object lessons.