Marley Valentine


Happy cover reveal, Marley Valentine! Deviate releases October 12!

Hard. Painful. Tragic.

This is what my life has become – purgatory. Floating in the middle of what could’ve been and what’s never going to happen.

My past dictates my future. Every step forward, guarantees ten steps back. Regret entwined with an addiction to bad decisions, living in the moment, and neglecting the consequences has become a way of life.

Ignoring all the warning signs, I didn’t see him coming. He was supposed to be a distraction, a bit of fun amidst all my chaos. But Elliot Ramzy turned out to be all that, and so much more.

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“Are you kidding me right now?” Evie asks. “How do you not realize that your period is late?”
“It happens.” I huff loudly.
“Yeah, on Teen Mom.”
“For the love of all that is holy tell me you are not watching that show now.” Evie and I have been sitting in her bathroom for about half an hour, pregnancy tests scattered everywhere. Evie is the closest friend I’ve had in a long time, and the first person I called to talk me through my meltdown.
I have my phone in my hand, the stopwatch speeding past the two minutes required for the results to show.  It’s looks exactly like a scene from the movies, and everything you dread about real life.
“Don’t try and change the subject, are you knocked up or not?” She tries to lean over and grab one of the numerous sticks sitting on the edge of the sink, but a loud “No” erupts from my mouth, before I can even think of how rude I sound. Taking a deep breath she steps back, giving me the space I need.
“Okay, let’s start from the top. What’s on your list of pros if the test is positive?” I stare at my friend in awe. She’s the epitome of selfless and she doesn’t even know it.  With buried memories, and scars that never heal, I wonder how hard this conversation is for her to have. Having survived multiple miscarriages and the death of a child her life was stripped of choices that most people take for granted. Evie will never bear children. Yet here I am, having reckless sex with an unavailable man, and toying with the idea of being a single mom.
What the fuck is wrong with me?
“Evie, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have called you,” I say honestly. “It was really insensitive of me.”
“Fuck you.” She blurts out.
“What?” My eyes feel like they’re about to pop out of their sockets at her outburst, especially since her harsh tone is directed at me. Normally I would be encouraging her to find her backbone, but the build up of tension between us right now is unexpected and unsettling.
“I’m not made out of glass you know, and this isn’t about me. I’ve spent years unintentionally making things about me. But this isn’t.” She makes her way to the row of pregnancy tests, picking one up she hands it to me. “You’re my best friend, Court. No matter what, I’m going to be here for you, so what’s it going to be?”
The tone of her voice has softened, and I know she’s only trying to help. Reluctantly I take the test out of her hand and let my eyes search for the life changing results.
An unexpected tear falls down my face, relief mixed with disappointment settles over me. My legs weaken and I feel myself slowly sinking to the floor. The cold from the tiles shoots right through me, and I pull my knees up to my chest and wrap my arms around my legs for warmth. Soon enough Evie is crouched down next to me.
“Want to tell me what’s going on in that head of yours?” I try and process my thoughts.
“I’ve never thought of having a family, well not recently anyway. Husband. House. White picket fence. That hasn’t been my dream for a very long time, but when I didn’t see the two pink lines…” I let the truth sit between us while the silence is filled with more unanswered questions.
“It’s okay to change your mind, you know? Wants and needs change.” Evie explains, attempting to comfort my confusion.
“You know I can’t do that. I live my life this way for a reason. Responsibilities that I can’t just turn my back on, there’s no room for wants and needs.”
“And what if you were pregnant, huh?” She challenges. “You can’t keep putting yourself last.”
“That’s not what I’m doing,” I argue. “I’m very happy with the way things are.”
“Are you?” She stands up and walks toward the bathroom door, her hand on the handle and head turned back looking at me. “Because from where I’m standing there’s a woman sitting on the bathroom floor, crying and wanting more.”
Her words hit me hard. I watch her walk out and let the unhappiness consume me. I know this isn’t about just the baby.  Elliot and I are fuck buddies at best, there’s no room there for long term, even if he was interested. And being a single mom isn’t what I want for my child. But I’m a junkie. I’m addicted to an endless pattern of poor decisions, unmet standards and unexpressed ambitions. I’ve been everyone’s punching bag for far too long, and I’ve forgotten about me. Everything is a quick fix, an instant high to change up the monotony of my life. Wanting to run away from the sadness, and feel a momentary sense of euphoria. But Evie is right; I don’t want to be that person anymore. I deserve better. I just have to tell myself I’m going to break the habit. Start fresh.
My phone beeps and a message from Elliot appears on my screen
Elliot: Tonight?

Do I need to give up every bad habit?

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