Title: Malentiendido (Misunderstood) by Mara White
Genre: Contemporary, Taboo, Erotica, Romance
Length: 257 pages
Whatever force made Lucky, either God or the Universe, wrapped him so tightly around my heart that sometimes I’m suffocating.
Biologically, we are made of too many similar parts, yet our chemistry is like a meteor shower, raining bright sparks of light into the dark night.
But it’s not our biology or chemistry that worries me the most, it’s the physics of our love that goes against the cosmos.
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Four garbage bags full of old clothes and books for the Goodwill. I promised Mami I’d clean out my room so she can use it as a real guest room. I leave the boxes under my bed for last; they’re filled with letters and pictures, yearbooks and school notes from when I was a kid.
Every letter from Lucky that I ever received lies under this bed. I’m afraid to even touch them. Irma says it brings bad luck to touch things that belonged to the dead. So all I really end up doing is shuffling the boxes around, dumping some half-filled ones into others to consolidate the mess. I’m emptying one when a letter floats to the floor. Lucky’s handwriting. His words. My heart and all of my skin immediately catch fire.
I stare at it without breathing for what seems like an eternity’s worth of cascading memories scrolling through my mind. I pick up Lucky’s words with a trembling hand and hold the yellowed paper to my heart first before raising it to my eyes.
You got me chewed up and spit out, girl. I can’t do this anymore. I’m twisted and fucked up, thinking about you more than is normal.
So what if I’m lit, who gives a fuck if I’m violent? Ese dolor is filling up inside me, sometimes spilling out and taking prisoners wherever it can find ’em. I’ve fucked people up for less than looking at you the wrong way. I can’t live my life like this. But I can’t stay away.
See, part of me wants to run and hide and take back everything we ever done, but there’s another side that won’t quit—that ain’t afraid of no shade they throw or no one.
Anybody would say that me and you ain’t right, that it’s evil—that we holding hands with the diablo mismo, going against God and what’s natural. I been around long enough to know that what I feel for you is real. People don’t get to feel that way, shit, sometimes never in their lives, so even if it’s wrong, I still want it—whatever it is that we got.
I know I’ll never give this to you. You got enough to deal with—y no quiero meterte en esa vaina. But still, for some reason, I need you to know how I feel about you.
Course we always been tight, you always been a mi lado far back as I can remember. Fuck. Then one day it changed and there was no going back from where my mind had taken me, from where my body was going. My feelings were moving forward no matter how much it cost me. Like the bridge done fell all the way down and there ain’t no going back across that water.
Sometimes I’m so lost, sometimes I get so fucking angry. And there’s nothing in this world that can soothe me ’cept the sound of your voice or the way that you touch me.
It’s like there’s a war taking place and the battleground is my life—there’s two sides to me, and all they ever do is fight.
Bey, I’m not a bad guy, it’s just that nobody gets me. I swear to fucking God. I’d do right by you if someday you’d let me.
No soy malo, sólo malentendido.
But you set that straight, Belén, you douse out the fire.
Ain’t shit in this world that can touch me when I know that you love me.
I don’t remember reading this note and I wonder if I was supposed to, or if it was left here by accident. Maybe Mami found it and put it with my things. Maybe it’s been waiting here this whole time for the exact moment when my eyes would finally be ready to see it.
The bowl of milky, honeyed water fits right next to his photo. I light the white candle and with its flame, burn the note. I want to break the tether and set Luciano’s spirit free. He shouldn’t be chained to my memories, my need to hold onto the pain. God gave me a son and Luke is more than enough; I’m grateful. I’ve got to let go.
Lucky and I ignite one another’s hearts and I’m the only one left to put out the fire.
The flames lick higher and graze my fingertips, sending sharp bites of heat and singing the baby hairs on my wrist. I plunge the flaming letter into the bowl of goat milk and honey.
Go free, Luciano. You don’t belong to me.
My Lucky, born with fire on his heart, gave me the most exhilarating love for the first twenty years of my life. But it’s not fair to him, my husband or my son, for me to keep holding on to this so fiercely, clutching what’s now and forever left me.
My love spells didn’t work.
Mara White is a contemporary romance and erotica writer who laces forbidden love stories with hard issues, such as race, gender and inequality. She holds an Ivy League degree but has also worked in more strip clubs than even she can remember. She is not a former Mexican telenovela star contrary to what the tabloids might say, but she is a former ballerina and will always remain one in her heart. She lives in NYC with her husband and two children and yes, when she’s not writing you can find her on the playground.