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Prodigal by Samantha Sanchez

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Lyric is 21 years old and bored with the inhibited lifestyle of endless church activities she’s been forced to participate in since childhood. When she is offered the opportunity to be on a reality show, she jumps at the chance to move in with five strangers under the premise of pursuing further education. However, a surprise pregnancy causes her life to take an unexpected turn.

Being overlooked and pushed to the side by her child’s father coupled with his lack of consideration cause her insecurities to deepen, while her pains and humiliation are documented for everyone to see.

The show becomes a hit and she a star but now she has to find a way not to let the pain she feels destroy her heart and poison her soul.

Triggers: explicit language or implied language

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EXCERPT

A few hours later, I was annoyed, but the rest of the evening went by smoothly, nobody got cussed out. Christopher and Athena got some homework done, DeVon had obviously abandoned the suicide trip he was on earlier and was clowning around with Monroe, wondering aloud what kind of child my baby would be. Monroe agreed with Trey that he hoped the baby looked like me and not Anthony. I got a little offended when they said that the child would act as stupid as him. They said that Anthony always boasted he was the “freshest nigga alive” so my baby, if it was a boy, would boast that he was the “freshest ​lil nigga alive.”

I eventually separated myself from them. I was curled up in the alcove upstairs reading The Ramayana for my Mythology class. I was engrossed in this story of a Prince named Rama going through Hell and high water to rescue his wife Sita who had been tricked and kidnapped by the monster Ravana.

“Ay, we need to talk.”

Anthony asked coming up the stairs. That’s how he addressed me. He never said my name I was always “Ay”.

“I have nothing to say to you.” I said picking up my cup of orange juice and taking a sip .

“You’re still drinking?” he asked.

“It’s just orange juice.” I said turning back to my book. “Goodbye. I’m studying.”

“We need to talk about this.” He insisted sitting on the end of the bench by my feet.

“There’s nothing to talk about.” I argued “I’m pregnant. That’s that. Bye now.” I said gently kicking him to get off the bench and out of my space.

“Come on, please. We need to talk about this.” I’d never seen him so serious in the entire month I’d lived here and he’d never said please.

“Talk about what?” I asked annoyed.

“Ok, look you’re cool peeps, I like you and all…” he replied, “and I can be there for you but I can’t be ​with ​ you. You know?”

I gave up trying to read, I laid the book down and scooted upright. I had to hear this pile of delusional bull that was coming out of his mouth. “What are you talking about?” I asked.

“I’m not trying to be in a relationship. Just because you’re pregnant with my seed I don’t want you to think that we finna be together.” “Don’t nobody here want to be in a relationship with you. Alright then, well good, cuz DeVon said that you might expect that.”

“DeVon lied to you. I like you and all but I don’t want you. If you want to be there for the baby then cool but I’m not going to force you.”

I didn’t have the energy or inclination to make a man handle his responsibilities. I’ll let the courts do it for me when I file for child support. “That guy you brought in here today was that your ex boyfriend?”

“No.”

“Oh DeVon said that he was your ex boyfriend.”

“We never dated.”

“Did you have sex with him?”

“None of your business.”

“It kinda is my business, you said you having my baby and now this nigga sayin he’s daddy.”

“No what he said was, the baby would call​ him daddy instead of you. Not that it was his baby.”

“What did he mean my baby finna call him daddy though? If that’s my seed then why would it call another dude daddy?”

I rolled my eyes “He meant that he doesn’t expect you to step up so he’s going to.”

“That’s my child though.”

“And?”

“And my kid isn’t going to be callin’ another nigga daddy, that’s what’s not going to happen.”

“So you gonna step up then?”

He paused before he answered “Honestly, I’m not ready for a baby right now.”

“So you don’t want it then?”

“Do you?”

“I’m asking you. What do you want to do?”

“It’s up to you. I’m just sayin’ I’m not ready, my life is too chaotic. I’m not ready for a baby.”

“You think I’m ready for this?”

“I don’t know, but I just got a lot going on in my life right now.”

“And I don’t?”

“Ok look, I’m wanted for murder back in Brooklyn.”

“Murder?” I asked in disbelief, trying not to laugh. This dude ain’t wanted for no murder. I don’t know him that well yet but I know that he’s not bold enough to take a life. If he​ was that bold, is he really stupid enough to talk about it on camera?

“Yea, well what had happened was….”

That’s how you know he’s lying! I laughed. When a dude starts a story with “What had happened was….” Man shut the hell up. Your soft ass ain’t foolin nobody.

“My cousin did it.” He said “But I was in the car when he did it. So I’m wanted too. That’s why I came out here.” He finished.

I felt the annoyance rising in me. I had no patience for him at all. “I don’t care, that has nothing to do with what is going on with our situation. I need to know if I can count on you for support during this pregnancy or not.”

“I mean…yea I can support you, I just don’t want to be in a relationship right now. We can still be cuddy buddies though you do got some good p—y.”

“Goodbye, Anthony.” I said dismissively.

I picked my book back up hoping he would take the hint and leave. He didn’t.

“Hey are you gonna f–k that Freakboy, dude?” He asked after a minute.

“That’s none of your business.”

“Well, you can’t f–k nobody but me, you know that right?”

“Excuse me?” I asked daring him to repeat his command.

“That’s mine.” He said pointing to the lower half of my body

“No, it’s mine.” I insisted “And I can give it to whomever I damn well choose”

“No you can’t.”

“You ​just ​ said that you didn’t want to be with me.”

“I don’t.”

“You tryin to tell me who I can and can’t have sex with, is some relationship type s–t.”

“You got my seedling inside you.” He said

“And? That makes you my baby daddy ​not ​ my man.”

“I know, I’m just sayin…I don’t want the DNA to get mixed up and then you not know who the father is. That’d be horrible.”

I paused and looked at him in astonishment. Did he really just say that? Is he serious? Is he that slow? He gotta know that’s not how it works.

“What?” he asked at my dumbfounded expression. I didn’t even dignify it with a response. I grabbed my orange juice, and my book and I walked away. It was too outrageous. I was speechless.

MY REVIEW

This unique urban fiction novel is full of angst-ridden twenty-somethings participating in a reality show and attending college at the same time. The story is filled with drama and stress as well as hope and the power of faith.

All I cared about was getting away from my mundane everyday life. I felt invisible to most of my family, I had very few actual friends, I worked retail at Target and I went to church with my mom every Sunday, sang in the choir and was a part of the youth ministry.  Majority of my free time growing up was church related.

Naomi “Lyric” is bored with her life and is hoping to get recognized on the new reality show in San Diego called The Breakfast Club. She got her wish at a price to her sanity, faith, and well being.

The roommate dynamics are reckless considering how they are forced to live together and are being paid large amounts of money to do so. Lyric’s propensity to make mistakes for love and acceptance is frustrating though she does grow at the end finding her faith again. 

Naomi’s pain is real and it is heartbreaking how she has to deal with a specific event which I cannot explain here due to spoilers. The book is interesting and I was eager to find out what happened with Naomi’s life, but I found the dialogue too repetitive and the ending too abrupt.  

If you are fans of reality shows, with turmoil and conflict, give this story a try.

Thank you to Ms. Sanchez for giving me the opportunity read this book with no expectation of a positive review.

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Prodigal

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SamanthaSanchezA native of San Diego, Samantha Sanchez is currently finishing a degree in psychology as well as in social and behavioral science. Having a background in both church and drama, she hopes to use her degree and creativity to reach and relate to many people in her community and beyond helping them learn to understand themselves and each other.

Follow Samantha on her website.

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