Joining me in my living room tonight are Shae Boles and Heather Miller from The Beginning of Forever, the conclusion of In the Moment. Since I’ve had so much trouble interviewing the story’s heroine in the past, I thought I’d talk to two women who are very close to her, instead. Maybe we can get some interesting tidbits about the couple which Amber would never share.
Vallory Vance: Welcome, ladies. Please tell us a little about yourselves and your relationship with Amber and Kevin.
Shae Boles: Amber Grayson and I have been best friends since college so…over twenty years. Good Lord. We met in a freshman English Composition class at San Diego State where I was always asking her for a pen and she was always so nice and…gracious to give me one. Soon, I realized that Amber hadn’t joined any of the after class cliques.
So I invited her out for lunch and learned that she’d lived in Europe for most of her teenage years and was learning to adjust to American life outside of a military base. If there is one thing I can tell you about Amber it’s that she’s in a constant state of adjusting.
As for me, I’m a pediatric nurse. I’m single with a fantastic credit score…looking for same!
Anyway, I’m glad I have a larger role in this novella since I’m a big part of Amber’s life. I’m only mentioned twice in the first book and not at all in either of the two flash fiction pieces… (clears throat and sips from a margarita).
Author’s aside: In the Moment is a short story and you can’t have everything.
Anyway, I’m Kevin Miller’s sister-in-law. I’ve been married to his brother, Keith, for twelve years. Now I was only mentioned in the first book once, so you did a little better than me on that one, hon.
(Heather pats Shae’s knee and prattles on.)
I was in the Christmas flash. I just love saying that – Christmas flash…I can just picture myself in a red, crushed velvet robe with the feathery, white trim…and Keith and…damn. (Heather gulps down a swallow of her margarita before continuing.)
I can give you any background story, you…
VV: Well, I have a list of questions already…
HM: All right, honey, go ahead.
VV: (I always wonder about what ‘the meeting-of-the-parents’ is like for an interracial couple.) Heather, let’s start with you. Was the Miller Family surprised to meet Amber for the first time?
HM: Well now, Kevin never mentioned that Amber was black. He just gave orders about what we could cook and couldn’t cook during her first visit to the ranch. That’s just the way Kevin is…kinda tells you what you’re supposed to do and that’s it.
But I wasn’t surprised. I knew a little something his mother didn’t.
Suddenly, the loquacious Heather was silent sipping from her margarita while Shae and I waited.
Shae couldn’t wait as long as I.
SB: Like what?
HM: Since you asked…I was a dancer at this club that Keith and Kevin used to go to in Atlanta and all the hostesses knew that if Kevin made the reservation, then the hostess assigned to their table was going to have dark skin and long hair.
At the time I worked there, Kevin’s favorite was this cute little Filipino gal. What was her name? Tangie? Tangerine? Tangiers. Hell I can’t remember.
And well if Keith made the reservation, any blonde would do. Till he met me.
SB: Just what kind of dancing are you talking about? (Shae’s eyes bloom to the size of saucers.)
HM: I’m classically trained – ballet, tap and jazz. Though I was never very good on the pole…lap dances at the club could net me a thousand dollars a night. (Heather gives us both the universal ‘say-something’ look.)
Me? I got nothing except – Ummm and damn and ummm again. I channel Anderson Cooper and get back on track.
VV: Shae same question. Was your circle of friends surprised to meet Kevin?
Shae claps her hand in front of her. I’m sure she like me is still thinking about Heather and what exactly is involved in a lap dance that could be worth a thousand dollars.
SB: Okay, I’m being honest. We were a little thrown off.
Amber told me about this guy she was seeing. He owned a renovation company. I’m thinking he’s like her other boyfriends.
Mind you, I’m not talking about race because my girl has no preference but she likes a well-tailored suit and Italian shoes on a man. So when Kevin showed up at a get-together at my house in a pair of non-designer jeans and working cowboy boots…let’s just say there was some buzz among the friends.
Not to mention the fact that he grabbed her ass like three times during the night…that I could see…and she didn’t go off! Yeah, we were surprised.
HM: He does touch her a lot. I think they need to be locked in a room together for three or four days and get this out of their system!
SB: I don’t think my girl could survive!
HM: (Heather squeals, stomping her feet.) She is wound a little tight isn’t she?
VV: Okay, ladies back to the questions. (With the amount of alcohol these two are consuming, I worry they’ll pass out before we get through my list.) Shae, as one of the wedding coordinators, is Amber a bride from hell?
SB: Oh no, she’s got other things to concentrate on…her mother, her job…She’s probably the easiest bride in the world. I show her something. She crosses it off her list and it’s done.
HM: Same with me. Amber only needs to cross the task off her list and she’s good.
SB: It’s flattering and…
HM: Even though Kevin would have had a coronary, I think she should have gone for something more daring. I mean, Amber’s got the T & A women pay for.
Whoa…Does Heather have a filter? Or has my hubby has made the drinks too strong?
Shae falls back onto the sofa in a fit of laughing tears while Heather giggle-snorts through another sip of the margarita.
I let them laugh for a few minutes and then bring them back around to the interview.
VV: Did you ladies have a chance to read The Beginning of Forever?
With that question, they both straighten and exchange a glance.
HM: Not all of it. There were things…
SB: That were for them…things they wouldn’t want us…
HM: Just…things for them.
Their quick turn from playful tipsiness into abject seriousness surprises me.
What was so private that it couldn’t be shared with best friends and family?
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Wanna a hint? View the trailer on Youtube at http://youtu.be/-LhtuGJCEpU