Freeborn: Chapters 1-3

The Decks and the Road
book 1- Freeborn

Chapter 1

Nathan- My father was a serious man.  He never appeared to fully relax.  His eyes always seemed to be following the movements, actions, and even the thoughts of the people around him.  I got the feeling that he hadn’t achieved all that he’d thought of achieving in his life.  Yet, he stood so tall.  He held our family up with a tight grip, and my brother and I were never really more than an arm’s length away.  In the evenings, we sat around the table waiting for him to pour out his wisdom.  My mother never sat around though.  Perhaps she’d already heard all he had to say.  I remembered a lot of what he said, but I hadn’t quite found the opportunity to share any of it.  My family looked somewhat like ours did back then, but there were secrets that seemed to keep us from gathering.  I mostly just kept my head down, and saw to it that we had everything we needed.  I had managed to keep the business my father handed down to me afloat.  Actually, I had done a little better than that.  The shop and the family name remained well respected in our community.  Everyone it seemed knew who we were, and just the same, I assumed they knew our lies.  It made me quiet, and a lot serious; like my father I guess. 

The most notable thing I could remember my father telling me, was not to give away the family name to just any woman, and so I didn’t.  I tried to honor her despite; still I could see her hurt.  But I was also hurt, and although she didn’t know it, I knew it.  I’d lost my father’s approval on account of my love for her, and I still loved her, but these days, someone else had caught my attention.  Yet, that was all I could afford.  I would only take glimpses at her when she came into the shop, but I was never the one to assist her.  I made sure of it.  That was one of the things I’d gotten from my father.  It was one of the non-verbal wisdoms I’d freely taken.  Yeah it was all around him; wisdom.  It came from his pores, and even the guys in the shop always wanted to be around him.  Whatever he was working on, he never had to ask for help.  Help came at the chance to pick up a thing or two.  Thinking of those days is tough for me.  They remind me of Vance; my brother.  We haven’t spoken in just about twenty years now.  He’d worked hard, and he’d expected to take over the shop, but my father decided on me.  In my mind I questioned it a lot, but in my heart I knew I could handle it.  Furthermore, I trusted my father’s judgment.   Vance did too, and that was the hardest part for him.  I'd welcomed him to run it with me, but I think he assumed I’d known all along.  Anyway, he faded away shortly after our father died.  It was a strange thing.  At first I thought, perhaps I hadn’t read enough books, but later I learned, I just needed to walk a little bit more.  Over the years my mother swore he never called or came by, but I knew he loved her, so I walked a little bit more.   

Chapter 2

Derek- I couldn’t bring myself to believe I didn’t deserve her.  I knew I’d made a mistake, but there was no way I could have seen her coming at the time.  We’d already captured a picture of our future, and we’d begun to pay into that future.  So I dropped my pride, and I followed her.  Against her pleas, I held on to everything we wanted, and brought it with me.  I held on to it for us both.  I held on to it for our children.  I held on to it for the future that was welcoming us, and mostly the parts I knew she could not perceive at the time.  Life with all its curve balls was probably intended to make me doubt those things, but I could already see a stir.  I could see pieces of our legacy frolicking together, and they summoned me.  So, it never bothered me that her presence was larger than mine.  I carried my manhood securely into the future.  Still, the first two years were rough; being apart.  I still wonder at times if those years did anything to change our outcome at all. 

Chapter 3

Tayeton- There are things in life that we can never quite understand.  How me and my mother both ended up with HIV I would never understand.  It broke my heart when she told me her secret, and I understood why she shared it with me, but I could never stand to break her heart with my truth.  Her heart was already broken.  I could see it in her face.  I can still remember when her face changed.  It came at the point when she understood that her story had carried on without her.  That was the fork in her road that didn’t represent decision, but rather separation.   In the last eighteen months of her life, we became like glue.  After she’d let me see her bare truth, there was nothing to stand between us.  I mostly felt grateful to know in time to make our last days memorable, but at night when she would sleep, I was angry.  I didn’t understand how to carry this compounded wound.  I didn’t understand a lot of things about where I was standing, but it felt as though something in me was saying, “Don’t give up.”  By the time I learned about Kayla and Kaylin, and the request my mother had made, I too saw a fork.  I thought, what in the devil could create two such circles in my life at the same time.  Surely, I had accepted responsibility for my diagnosis.  I knew I had been careless about my life that way, but I couldn’t help but to feel like somehow I had ended up on the devil’s radar.  Then I learned that Kayla had denied my mother her last hopes.  Yet, my mother made me promise to notify her at her passing.  That I accepted rigidly.  Both Kayla and her father now had no life in me.  My heart even without my approval was hard to the two, but I kept her information along with the promise I’d made.  It was all just a speedy upbringing.  It wasn’t that I wasn’t in driver’s seat of my life, but now I had a passenger to take along.  I didn’t know how I would fair.  I couldn’t see far enough in front of me, but now I knew for sure I couldn’t give up.  She was innocent in all of this, and her young life was about to undergo a facelift I hoped she could endure. 

Read the synopsis of Freeborn

To get the history of this story line, read A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel


"What is a Suspended-Release Novel?"

Answer: A Novel that has its contents released in a suspended manner, according to the schedule prescribed by the author or publisher.

Purpose: To engage the reading audience with an interactive book publishing and book release event.  Learn more:

Freeborn, a novel

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Copyright © 2017 by Natisha Renee Williams All Rights Reserved