Close to 15 years ago, and I know I am showing my age, I wrote Basic Reality, a love story about teenage twin sisters who during the course of one summer, everything changes for them, their perception of love, friendships and sisterhood. The book was really a personal book, wasn’t looking to publish it. But I decided to give it to an old editor family friend, just to get his take. It was my first complete novel, and so I braved the world of harsh critical editors and handed it over. I expected different reactions, but the one I got, sort of threw me off.  He said, ‘You have to take out the sex scene.” I was a little confused, sex scene? There is only one mild sex scene and he wants me to take out that?

The rain lashed at the earth with an unrelenting viciousness that she’d never seen before. She couldn’t see any stars as she looked mournfully outside her window. The sky was as black as her soul and as harsh as the world she’d lived in for the last decade. She rose slowly from the bed and stood at the window of her bedroom, staring outside. It was pitch black. The storm had disrupted electricity as usual. When she was younger, she thought it was ridiculous that the lights always went off when it rained. The darkness used to irritate her. With time, she realized it was not so bad. She actually enjoyed lying in bed, listening to the rain, curled up beneath her duvet, just thinking. But tonight she had asked the house boy not to turn the generator on. Tonight was not a night for thinking or cozying up in bed. She just couldn’t think, and there was nothing gentle about this rain. Was this part of God’s continuous punishment?

Is kissing cheating?

Last Thanksgiving, during a particularly interesting and revealing ‘true talk’ conversation with my favorite boys, a question was thrown around – have you ever cheated. Kwame, (sorry to put you on blast) with a genuinely innocent face, he couldn’t have looked more saintly, says, ‘Is kissing cheating?’ The whole room erupts and he’s bombarded and blasted for at least an hour. What was worse, I think, was the completely oblivious way he asked the question. Seriously, he wasn’t kidding, he really wanted to know if kissing was cheating.

The hurdles I’ve jumped, the choices I’ve made

The regrets I have, the pain I feel

Where is the joy in living and being?

Sometimes I feel the warmth seep

Through my body, the warmth of a smile

I saw, the hug I felt, the kiss I received

And then, there is some joy in living and being