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About the author:
Mr. E.D. Johnson is a native Texan reared in Okinawa, Japan and currently resides in Houston, Texas. He has a passion for social justice advocacy and is a firm believer in self-efficacy through economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. E.D. Johnson is an innovative, energetic, and successful entrepreneur. He is co-host of ?The Edifice Project? an economic empowerment radio show designed to ?champion? the lives of women, minority and small business entrepreneurs. The Edifice Project, operated under Stratified Community Development, Inc. a federally recognized non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, airs on 90.1 Pacifica Radio. He served as Executive Director for James Prince?s Prince Complex, Inc. and as a community outreach coordinator in Houston, Texas. Mr. Johnson served as an expert, special guest, and keynote speaker for Russell Simmons? Hip-Hop Summit in Miami, Florida during the Hip-Hop Source Awards and in Houston, Texas during Super Bowl XXXVIII. As a successful grant writer he has received over $1.3 million in funds and in-kind contributions for community outreach and technology. Prior to graduation he was a Fogarty International Scholar in Epidemiology, where he was a part of a research team examining the Resistant Tuberculosis Endemic in The Dominican Republic. Mr. Johnson is a polyglot with a conversational command of Spanish, French and Japanese; and master fluency in English and Spanish. Mr. Johnson, a decorated veteran served in The United States Marine Corps?, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Division and station in Camp Pendleton CA. He received numerous awards and commemorative medals including the National Defense and Marine Corps Honorable Service Commemorative Medals. Mr. Johnson is an impassioned writer and has interest and a passion for being involved in multi-cultural pursuits. Mr. Johnson is currently a proud member of The United Nation?s Choir.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was inspired by a dream in which I tried to travel back in time to undo my marriage to my ex wife. When I finally found her and went to break off the marriage I actually found myself falling back in love with her. When I woke up I was overcome with emotion because I was actually still in love with her. I tried to shake it off but it took several days to get over.
Here is a short sample from the book:
Damn that woman. Damn her.
Luke Summers found himself awake at one o’clock in the morning for the third night in a row. He knew it had to be at least the hundredth time in the last six months, and there was no sign of his insomnia slowing down. Moonlight filtered through the blinds and lay in silver bars over his comforter. As he stared at the parallel lines of shadow, he reflected on how odd it was that a comforter gave no comfort. He had bought a new one during the separation: a thin, brown, pinstriped bedspread. It bore no trace of the plush textures and bright hues in which Stephanie had decorated their bedroom. He had bought new pillowcases as well, and thrown out the ridiculous pastel shams. Over the years, her scent and influence had saturated everything. He had replaced the sheets, the furniture, even the wallpaper. Gone were all the remnants of the biggest mistake he had ever made.
Except the memories. It was those memories that plagued him in the early morning hours. Thoughts of long ago when they were happy tugged at his heart. Images of the pair in love with everything to look forward to tore away little pieces like so many scraps of paper. Then came thoughts of more recent events. They washed over him in torrents of anger that carried away those bits of his heart that remained intact. The fights always came to him first, like a punch to the stomach. The terrible, gut-wrenching arguments had begun six years ago. He and Stephanie had burned one another with insults that smoldered like embers. The quar-rels had warned of their impending separation, but he had not seen the signs. He had believed things would get better.
As always, next came the day he had returned home after work to find her gone. The sink, which was always cluttered with her makeup, had been pristine. The closet, which had overflowed with her wardrobe, had been almost emptied. No high-heeled shoes had lain by the door. No sentimental knick-knacks had decorated the dresser, only her wedding band and engagement ring. In place of the fluffy, bright blue comforter had been a note lying in the center of the cream-colored sheet:
I’ve moved into a hotel. Enjoy the space and the junk-free home. I’m talking to a lawyer in the morning. It’s over.
A fit of burning rage had consumed him. It had been so strong that he almost hadn’t noticed the pain in his heart. Almost. He had torn up the note, thrown it out the window, and called her cell phone. He had left sev-eral angry messages and one sad one before resigning himself to reality: She had left him.
Dragging himself back to the present, Luke peeled off the blanket and got out of bed. He knew from ex-perience he would sleep no more tonight. Once the memories had started their parade, he would see them eve-ry time he closed his eyes. He showered and shaved, studying his haggard appearance in the still-foggy mirror. The sleepless nights of the recent past were taking a toll. The skin around his dark eyes appeared bruised, while the rest of his face was sallow. It was as if most of the blood in his face was rushing to his already heavy eyelids. Like his body was trying to force them to close in protest of his unwilling wakefulness. He noted that several new silver strands had sprouted like weeds in his dark hair. Weary and frustrated, he shook his head and got dressed in the walk-in closet off the bathroom. It was still almost empty.
He walked down the bare hallway to the kitchen with the ghosts of photographs echoing on his eyes. He cracked an egg into a frying pan, put a bagel in the toaster, and started a pot of coffee. The smell of dark roast filled his kitchen, overpowering the odors of egg and browning bread. Stephanie had always harped at him to watch his cholesterol and carb intake. She had also hated the smell of coffee. One day, a week after she moved out, he went on a shopping spree. He bought a cappuccino machine, a bag of espresso beans, and a coffee grinder. And he stopped at a drive-thru on the way home for cheeseburgers. His house had stunk of grease and coffee for days. The scent made him smile as he poured himself a cup and slid the egg onto his bagel.
He ate his breakfast and tried to pass the several hours until he needed to leave for the office. As he drank his coffee, he began reading a science-fiction novel. Reading usually provided a distraction from his inva-sive thoughts; novels, particularly so. He found it impossible to focus, reading the first sentence several times.
He found himself daydreaming about how his life might have turned out without her. If he had never met Stephanie Walton in college, twenty-five years ago, where would he be now? He saw himself as a wealthy bachelor, with a fancy house and a fancier car. He was certain he would have been happy. If not, at least he would have been happier, compared to his current state of misery.
Perhaps he would have found love elsewhere. He tried to picture himself with a beautiful woman on his arm, but something kept going wrong. It didn?t matter how unlike Stephanie the women appeared when he first imagined them. Every one morphed into his ex-wife as the fantasy progressed. Their hair grew darker until it was almost black. Their sharp features softened into beautiful curves. Even the darkest eyes began to sparkle and turn blue. He had a “type,” and that was fine, but the final moments always changed their faces into Stepha-nie?s. She had even stolen his fantasies from him!
The injustice of the whole situation vexed him, and he found he was too upset to read. He slammed the book onto his coffee table, deciding to go in to the office. He yanked on his jacket, grabbed his keys, and stepped out into the crisp spring air. When he started his truck, the clock told him it was 4 A.M.. He would be three hours early, all because of her.
It was going to be a long day.