Alimony by Ashley Bartlett

Dirty Money by Ashley Bartlett

Y’all have probably figured out by now that I’m a huge fan of Ashley Bartlett’s writing, so I’m not going to go on and on about it. I am going to say that you should read her guest blog here today. Then you should check out her website HERE. And be friends with her on facebook HERE. And buy her books HERE.

Do it!

Alimony
by Ashley Bartlett

I’m not ready to break up. I know it’s time. Inevitably, these things happen. But that doesn’t make it any easier. It’s been five years. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was coming. But it always seemed so far off. Far enough away that I could just enjoy the moment (or absolutely loathe the moment. It hasn’t been an easy five years). And now it’s time.

I don’t even think I realized it was happening until it was too far gone. That was when it hit me. It was over. Sure, I had a little time left. Two weeks can be an eternity. Or it can be gone in a moment. A few sleepless nights. A bit too much caffeine. A couple of beers. A day that slips away in sunshine and salsa. It will be here soon. The moment to let go. I’m not sure that I can, though I know I will have to anyway.

You see, I shaved away slivers of my heart. They looked quite lovely bleeding into the white of the page. I arranged them into shapes. Darker pieces accenting the light. Bright fresh blood on top of older, blacker stains. I think each piece is my favorite. Until I see another and then maybe that one, or that one, or this one toward the end; it might be the prettiest. Sometimes it all is hideous. I’m not sure of anything anymore. Maybe I’m afraid that I’ll lose that rush. The heat that crawls beneath my skin. Maybe it was only an aberration. If it was fleeting, I can’t let it go.

And still, the moment is upon me. Our romance is over.

I’m done with the Dirties.

I’ll miss Reese and Ryan. And Christopher and Breno. Carson and Derek and Austin too. Even Adriana a little. Mitch Cooper and his unnamed wife (why didn’t I ever name Coop’s mom?). Most of all I’ll miss Cooper. She’s all of my worst habits and the best traits I wish I had. She’s nothing like me and we’re identical. I’m told that reading her story is like hearing me talk. I really hope that’s not true. She’s an idiot. But she’s my idiot, so maybe I’m okay with that.

I’m not sure what I’m afraid of, really. I think those small flashes where I see a pair of sunglasses that would look hot on Reese, or a boy with Ryan’s hair, or a pair of shoes that Coop would love (and hate) to cover in blood. My own miniature moments of despair or elation that are so powerful for all of three seconds and I know I just have to make Cooper feel that way.

What am I supposed to do with all of this material and no silly twenty-one-year-olds to inflict it upon?

I imagine, in the debilitating way only artists and authors can maintain, that I will wander, bleeding material with no story to catch it. Paying emotional alimony to a character who is no longer listening. I should probably find a couch to sprawl on and drink scotch and sob.

Or I guess I could just start writing another book.

7 comments

  1. Great spin on finishing a series, Ash. I hate to see it end as well. It’s a great story and I’m still envious of that killer name–the Dirty Series, really?

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  2. Write another book to get you through, just not a rebound mm’kay? 🙂 The Dirties are fantastic, original, gripping, soulful and gave me that wonderful clenchy feeling in your heart because you’re so connected to these characters (I don’t know if that’s just me but I’m not ashamed to admit the clenchy feeling). I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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