Seven Year Switch
Book I: Happily Ever After… By Any Means Necessary Series
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Sonja Winters enjoyed the good life with a great job and being married to Kyle, the man of her dreams. As she prepared to celebrate their seven year anniversary she came across a secret her husband had kept from her. Would it alter the course of their marriage forever? Yes! Would it end their marriage? Or open a brand new chapter?
“Oh my God, girl. You look like hell,” Charlene said when Sonja opened the door.
Sonja rolled her eyes and walked to the living room, leaving the door open. She plopped down on the couch, sniffed loudly and heaved a big sigh. Charlene followed and sat in the chair opposite the sofa, crossing her legs.
“Tell me what happened, Sonja. When I spoke to you yesterday, you were all geeked up about your weekend. You were going to stop and get some food to make his special dinner and everything.”
Sonja dropped her head back and stared at the ceiling. “I don’t even know where to start. It’s all so unreal.”
“What could have happened in that short amount of time that’s so bad?”
Sonja shifted into the corner. “Kyle is having an affair,” she said pushing the disheveled hair from her face.
Charlene’s crossed leg dropped to the floor. Her shoe made a dull thud against the waxed wood. She leaned forward waving her arms back and forth.
“No! No way! I refuse to believe that.” She pointed an accusing finger at her friend. “That man loves you like no man I have ever seen. He would only see you in a room full of Janet Jacksons, Marylyn Monroes and Beyonces. Uh-uh, somebody lied to you.”
Sonja’s eyes filled again as she nodded. “I know, I thought so, too,” she sniffed. “But he said so. He told me himself that he was seeing another woman.”
Charlene sat back and shook her head stubbornly. “Uh-uh, you must have misunderstood him.”
“No, Charlene, I didn’t. I found a collar in his gym bag and confronted him with it.”
Her friend’s brows furrowed. “A collar? What does a collar—”
“He says he wears it when he’s with her. She teaches him how to be a good husband,” she explained doing quotation marks in the air.
Charlene’s bewilderment continued. She leaned forward over her knees. “Huh?”
Sonja shrugged. “I don’t know, but that’s what he said.”
Charlene rubbed her temple and stood. “Okay, now I’m really confused. I’m going to make some coffee to clear my head and you look like you need some.”
The heaviness in Sonja’s chest compressed even more, creating a knot at the base of her throat as she watched her friend walk into the kitchen.
“Sonja, have you been in here today?” Charlene called out.
“Who made the coffee?”
“Kyle usually sets the machine on automatic so I have coffee before I leave for work in the morning.”
“You put him out and he makes sure to start the coffee maker before he leaves?” her friend called out to her.
Sonja shrugged at the surprised tone in her friend’s question.
“That doesn’t sound like a man caught cheating to me,” Charlene added.
Sonja twisted her lips as she looked up and accepted the cup from her friend. Charlene returned to her seat and held up an envelope.
“This was on the counter for you.”
Sonja saw her name the envelope she held out and sputtered. “So.”
Charlene didn’t bother to mask her annoyed grunt. “Don’t you think you should read this to see what the man has to say?” Charlene asked, brandishing the letter. “This could all be some kind of crazy misunderstanding, like I said.”
Sonja sipped loudly. “You read it. I don’t care what he has to say.”
Charlene rolled her eyes. “Now you’re just being stubborn.” She tore open the envelope and glanced over it. “Umm, I think you should read this,” she said after a short while and offered her the letter again.
Charlene’s tone changed from concerned and chastising to extremely serious. Though reluctance riddled through her, now Sonja almost feared not taking the pages. She put her cup on the coffee table and cautiously extended her hand as if the papers would burn her. She lowered her eyes to read the words and her breath caught half way down the page. As she read on, her heart raced. She gnawed on her bottom lip, eyes widening and jaw dropping as she shuffled to the next page. Suddenly her hands clenched, crumpling the edge of the letter.
Sonja pressed her lips together into a thin line. Every so often she tore her attention away to see if Charlene was watching her. Respectfully, her friend sat quietly staring into space drinking her coffee, seemingly oblivious to Sonja’s changing state of mind. Sonja took a deep breath and turned her attention back to the letter. It was informative and answered many of the questions that plagued her through the night as she cried herself to sleep. Kyle ended it with “I love you” and a phone number that wasn’t his. Silently she let the pages sail to the table before her and raised her cup to her mouth again.
“Well?” Charlene asked.
“Well what?” she answered her voice echoing inside the cup.
Charlene scoffed. “Don’t ‘well what’ me, Sonja. What are you going to do?”
Charlene groaned and threw her hands up in frustration. “Oh my God. You can be so stubborn. Talking to you is like pulling teeth sometimes. I swear!”
“Don’t be mad at me, Charlene. I need you right now,” she said sadly, returning the mug to the table.
“Look, I didn’t read the whole thing, okay? I stopped when he started going into how he wants to serve you, but didn’t think you would let him so he went to her to feed his need, or something like that.” She held her hand up. “When I got there, I thought it was getting a little too deep for someone other than his wife to be reading. I saw the collar. It’s still in the kitchen. I really don’t know what to say about that thing.” She shook her head before taking a sip of her drink. “Whatever works for you and all that, but now that you have read how he feels what are you going to do about it?”
Sonja crossed her arms around her chest. “Nothing.”
Charlene leaned forward staring at her. “Nothing?”
Sonja nodded to confirm.
Her friend fell back against the sofa cushion. “So that’s it? It’s over between you and Kyle?”
Charlene’s words hit her like a slap in the face. Sonja blinked away the instant tears and averted her eyes. Charlene pressed on.
“You’re just going to let some other woman feed your man’s needs when clearly it should be you since you’re his wife?”
Sonja’s pulse raced and her breathing sped up.
Charlene scooted to the edge of the couch and pointed at her. “You’re an intelligent, educated and sexy black woman capable of doing whatever it takes to make her man happy, mentally and physically. Are you seriously going to let another female come along and take your man from you?”
Sonja pressed her lips together in defiance and turned away. Charlene leaned to the right, almost falling over to catch her eye.
“So you’re saying you’re okay with that?”