What’s the Deal with Sean?

posted in: Book Excerpts, Various Musings | 0

Originally posted on December 27, 2011

How many times have you asked that question while reading a Nicki Sosebee book? One of Nicki’s besties, Brandy, might have put it best in No Place to Hide. She called Nicki’s obsession “this Sean hang-up, which, I gotta say, I just don’t get.” I hope to explain it all to you in Lost, which just hit the halfway mark on this fine December day.

Without giving too much away, you, dear Readers, are going to get to witness several key moments in Sean and Nicki’s friendship that define not only who he is but why Nicki has never been able to let the idea of him go. The first key moment is one you’ve already read a little about. In Got the Life, you learned about the one and only time Sean and Nicki got together. This time you’ll read it in blow-by-blow detail. And I’m so excited about it, I wanted to share part of it with you here. To set the scene, Nicki is finally worn down and she tells Brandy and Jillian why she’s never been able to give up on Sean, and she starts with that pivotal moment in their relationship, the one that changed everything. So, here’s an excerpt from the next Nicki novel Lost, but it’s a little toned down for a general internet audience. If you’d like to read the scene in its entirety (I’m happy to share–and there’s more. LOTS more!), just send me an email. Here you go!

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“You both know Sean and I slept together a long time ago, right?”

Brandy took a bite of popcorn. “Yeah…isn’t that what started it all?”

Nicki nodded. “Yep. I like to refer to that incident as The Night That Must Never Be
Mentioned Again.”

“I’ve heard you call it that.”

“Yeah,” Jillian said, “but why do you call it that?”

“Because Sean and I talked about it once and we came to an unspoken agreement that we’ll never talk about it again.”

“But why, Nicki? Why? Wouldn’t it be healing for you both if you’d just talk about it and get over it?”

“We won’t, though, and there’s a good reason for it.”

“What’s that?”

“Would you really want to talk about a spectacular evening broken by the cardinal sin of sex?”

Brandy choked on a piece of popcorn and started giggling. “The cardinal sin
of sex?”

“Yeah. You don’t call your partner someone else’s name. What an insult.”

“But you called him Brent, right? Couldn’t he understand that?”

“You’d think so.”

Jillian interjected. “So tell us again, Nicki. I don’t remember exactly what happened.”

They were going to make her do it. She took a large swig of her water and leaned her back up against the one empty chair in her living room and started talking about The Night, something she hadn’t thought about in detail since it was fresh.

Up until that night, Nicki and Sean had just been close friends. They’d met in high school, bonding as friends because of multiple common interests, things like heavy metal music and snowboarding. They met through theatre. Nicki did some acting in high school and Sean was Winchester High’s main sound guy. They’d both arrived at a Drama Club meeting after school and sat next to each other. Before other people arrived, they’d started
talking and hit it off immediately. That was near the beginning of their sophomore year.
It was like they’d always been friends. And they remained friends all through high school. Nicki had had one steady boyfriend the remaining three years of high school, while Sean had had many girlfriends and lots of conquests, girls he didn’t talk about, and Nicki respected that he kept those details to himself, even though Nicki knew about them.

Nicki and her boyfriend broke up when he went to college in California and she stayed close to home, attending Winchester Community College. Sometime during her first year of higher ed (which took her three instead of the usual two years), she fell hard for a nontraditional student named Brent, a man a few years older than she, suave and smart and good in bed, at least compared to what little Nicki knew of the subject of lovers. She’d begun considering him the one, much like Jillian and Brandy considered their spouses now. Nicki had started thinking in terms of us and we and considering the future not as a
single person but as a couple. She’d started thinking about buying dinner plates and bath towels, even though she was still living at home with her mom and dad. In the last semester of her second year of school, she caught Brent cheating on her, and it made her wonder how many times he’d cheated on her. Before that, though, she was blinded by anger, sadness, and tears, and she didn’t know how to handle it. She’d never been humiliated like that before, and she decided to get drunk. She didn’t want to tell Brandy or Jillian, because her friends had already told Nicki Brent was a total loser. She might find comfort in their arms, but she’d also hear about how they’d warned her. More likely, though, Jillian would be in her future husband’s arms, because about a month after Nicki’s bastard boyfriend f***ed another woman, Jillian and Nate moved in together. Nicki thought of going home and crying into her pillow, but her parents would know something was wrong, and she definitely didn’t want to talk about it with them. Sean it was. Sean was a solid friend, and even though he and Nicki had never talked about their relationships to each other, Nicki somehow knew he wouldn’t judge her. He would just listen. She knew that from all the time they’d spent together. The only hitch was if he was awake and if he was alone.

Through her cloudy vision, she pressed the lit-up buttons on her cell phone from her car in the WCC parking lot, dialing Sean’s number. Please answer, she begged her phone in silence. “Yeah?” Sean’s smooth voice resonated through her phone.

Nicki took a deep breath, willing back a sob. “Hey, Sean. Are you busy?”

“Nah. I was just flipping through channels. There’s not a god***n thing on the television on Tuesday nights, you know? I’m thinking I need to subscribe to the Playboy Channel.”

Nicki giggled in spite of herself…or it was probably due to the teary endorphins coursing through her veins willing her to relax. “I don’t want to be alone right now. Can I come over? I promise to bring some beer.”

“What’s wrong?”

Nicki let out a breath. “I’ll tell you about it later.”

“Yeah. Come on over. I won’t be hitting the hay for a while.”

So Nicki stopped by a liquor store, one of her first visits to one, and she picked up a twelve-pack. She had no idea what kind of beer Sean liked, so she picked up Coors, long celebrated by Coloradoans as the beer native to their state. It didn’t matter. She wasn’t a huge beer fan, but she wanted to drink. Could she get drunk on beer? She planned to find out.

Sean had only been living in his apartment for a few months since moving out of his mom’s house. Nicki had only been there twice. She and several of Sean’s friends, including Jesse, as well as his mother had helped him move to his new place. Sean bought pizza and soda for everyone, and Nicki had even helped him unpack some boxes. She’d been there for a movie night a month earlier, but she’d only spent two hours there until Brent had called her after work and she’d run to her boyfriend’s arms. So somehow it seemed apropos that she’d be running to her friend now. Brent kept calling her cell phone, so she turned it off.

She climbed the stairs up to his place in one of the newest apartment buildings in Winchester. It was quiet there, and Nicki didn’t know if it was because it was the middle of the week or if Sean just had considerate neighbors. She took a deep breath of the
cool night air and wiped a knuckle under her eyes, hoping Sean wouldn’t be able to tell she’d been bawling her eyes out. She saw the black eyeliner on her finger and wiped it on the side of her jeans. She inhaled another breath and then tapped on the door of his apartment. She hoped he would want to play a game or crank some tunes. She wanted to do anything except for think about the one thing she didn’t want to think about.

But when Sean answered his door, he took one look at Nicki and said, “What the hell happened?” He took the twelve-pack out of her hand and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, leading her inside and closing the door behind her.

He placed the beer on the table to the right in the kitchen area and led Nicki to the left where they sat on his couch. “Do you wanna talk about it?”

Nicki started crying again. She dropped her head on his chest, and Sean’s arms held her close. “It was Brent.”

Sean didn’t say anything at first. Nicki continued to sob and he said, “What’d that douchebag do to you, Nicki? If he laid a finger on you…”

“No, he didn’t hit me, Sean.” She sobbed again. “I was on campus. There were a bunch of us studying for our psych midterm and they told us they were locking up soon, so I ran to the bathroom down the hall. And I caught him there.”

“What was he doing?”

“He was f***ing some chick in one of the stalls.”

“You saw him?”

“No. I heard him.”

“How’d you know it was him?”

She shook her head, noticing she was making Sean’s black Deftones t-shirt wet. “Trust me. I know. And when I realized it was him, I banged on the stall door and told him I hoped she ripped his d**k off with her p***y.”

Sean chuckled. “God, Nicki, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk like that.” She felt his hand stroking her long brown hair from the top of her head down her back. She managed to stop crying, just the occasional sob continuing to put a hitch in her breath.

“He’s been calling my cell since.”

“Next time it rings, let me talk to him.”

“No, Sean, I can handle it myself.” She inhaled another deep breath, moving her head so that her cheek rested against his chest. “For now, I just turned off my phone. I don’t want to hear any apologies right now.”

She felt Sean nod his head, and he leaned back against the couch. Nicki closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his hand on her hair. She’d had the right idea—no judgment, no I told yous, just acceptance and support.

“Hey, Nick, we wouldn’t have judged you.”

“I know that now. I just…felt really vulnerable then. I didn’t want to hurt worse.”

“We wouldn’t have made you feel worse.”

“I know; I know. Don’t take it wrong. I’m just telling you how I felt then.”

“So how the hell did you guys wind up in bed?”

Nicki’s eyes were finally dry and she brought her right hand up to her cheek, wiping off the last damp remnants. She rested her hand on Sean’s pec. “Thank you.”

Sean’s hand continued stroking her hair. “For what?”

“For being here.”

“God, of course.” She leaned her head back on his chest, feeling herself relax more. She felt warm and loved, even though she still hurt inside, and the two friends sat in the silence of his apartment. Finally, Sean said, “Brent’s a dumb mother****er, you know that, don’t you?”

Nicki agreed, but she wanted to hear Sean’s assessment of the situation. “What do you mean?”

“He can’t keep his d**k in his pants when he’s got you. That makes him a dumb mother****er.”

Nicki chuckled. Yeah, Brent was a dumb mother****er, but she was relieved to have found it out now instead of later, potentially following him throughout Colorado to attend whatever school Brent had planned to attend, somewhere friendless and rudderless. It was a consolation prize, and she’d take it. She felt immense gratitude as well that her friend had managed to make her feel better, enough to even help her laugh. She looked up at Sean, smiling, and said, “That’s so sweet.”

But Sean wasn’t smiling back. He had a look on his face, one that Nicki had seen before. She’d seen it on her boyfriends’ faces when they were thinking of her as a woman, as an object of their desire. She’d never seen that look in Sean’s eyes, though, and she felt her smile wane as Sean’s lips were on hers.

Nicki closed her eyes as Sean’s lips parted hers. She was having a hard time keeping up with her thoughts and emotions. Sean was her friend, for f**k’s sake, someone who was
more like a brother than a lover to her, so she felt confused. But he felt so good, so right, so sweet, and she wasn’t going to say no.

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I hope this preview makes up for the delay in releasing Lost. I figure this scene gives nothing away, because you already knew Nicki was going to be exploring her screwed up relationship with Sean, and you already knew about this scene, so no spoilers involved here! Again, if you’d like to read the rest of the scene, drop me a line–jadecjamison at gmail dot com! Happy New Year!

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