The Forever Night Stand
by Bena Roberts
Sara's world shatters when she stabs her husband's lover at a party. The press has a field day, and Sara moves from Scotland and her life of riches back to her parent's modest home in West London. She ditches her married name of MacDonald and becomes Sara Sharma once more. With no friends and little money, her electronic prison anklet a constant reminder of what she left behind.
Living back at home with her eccentric Bollywood loving parents is a challenge. It gets worse when Sara realizes how badly she let them down. For the sake of her family, she considers having an arranged marriage. Could she be the perfect wife again?
Just as she thinks she might, her childhood love George Wright walks through the door. Memories of the past come flooding back, including how he betrayed her. Sara vows never to forgive him, however hard he mixes things up.
Unreliable Narrative Books
If you enjoy tarnished unreliable hero stories like those from Gillian Flynn, Chuck Palahniuk or Sara Lotz mixed up with romance, then you will enjoy Sara's story.
Sara’s wild energy and unique perspective of the world is engaging and endearing. She’s a very unusual person, confined in her parents’ home and a very ‘normal’ world.
The Forever Night Stand Delivers heavy hitting and thought-provoking fiction without diminishing the entertainment factor.
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Joe’s name brought back the smell of his intestines. I popped two painkillers into my mouth. Fish-gutting feelings lingered like glue on my soul and were a sign I needed my medication. I hadn’t premeditated the act; I didn’t wake up planning to stab Joe. it just happened. Some people have a call to the wild or whatever. I didn’t. The stabbing was my private battle with the dark side. For five minutes the dark side won, and I picked up the pieces.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Like a movie. That’s what the jury thought, too.
I was the actress and the courtroom my stage.
Getting the story straight, cross-examination, remembering what I wanted to forget.
Brain fog from chemotherapy.
That part, genuine.
My speech, nothing like the reality.
The papers called me “Knife-Crazed Wife.” The Daily roared, “Man Stabber.” Other tabloids shouted, “Psycho Wife Knifes Husband’s Lover.” My love of Hitchcock made me partial to the latter. The headlines exaggerated. The man I stabbed was Joe. My husband’s work colleague, a family friend, champion and my personal-shopper. I knew now; he was a fraud, and in case you are wondering, no. I didn’t kill him.
But Paul was the perfect husband and my group of friends were like blu tack. St. Elmo’s Fire on the outside, ideal life, excellent friends. I craved that image for the whole marriage. Paul was rich, our home a dream, but his personality was more like Billy the Kid, too scared of hospitals to dote on me or drive me to my cancer treatments.
Yes. Blasted humiliating, but I didn’t talk about it. I was the great wife for a very long time. Some dirty laundry needed to stay dirty and locked away in the closet.
The day of the party, everyone was dressed up. It was my afterchemo party, and for a few minutes, I did feel like blu tack. But then it started dissolving when Paul and Joe embraced.
The slow strokes…the way Joe caressed Paul’s side.
I didn’t think anything of the sensual nature, but the looks of pity from my friends as they touched turned my stomach more than the after-effects of the chemo.
With every gesture the pitying looks intensified.
The knife rack in the kitchen; alcohol bubbles pumped through my veins.
The vault door opened.
Blood stains seeped into my skin, they permanently marked the rest of my life. I said that in court. Yes, i said that in court because it sounded dramatic, the fact that it wasn’t right, irrelevant. No. That
is not fair, it was horrible, and the stains would be there. But I didn’t regret hurting Joe.
Lies. How would you feel if you lost your best friend?
Yes. I know I stabbed him, don’t mention that now!
My new dress was bloodier than a butcher’s apron.
My body flew towards Joe; it was the blasted chemo side effects that saved Joe’s manhood; the carpal tunnel syndrome swayed my aim. Again, I didn’t admit it in court, but my hands aimed for his penis. It was the despair.
I was hurt.
Nightmares would ravage my dreams for the rest of my life. Well, at least that is what I told the lawyers. I needed to apologize; unreliable, my story foggier than my brain.
My sentence loomed.
The judge said, “Diminished responsibility.”
Did someone just stand up? I saw a baseball cap and a hat, who was that?
I didn’t jump; I didn’t smile, but I did continue to act like the good wife. To perform and to look were two different things. I sat for the space of a few breaths and then pulled my beanie hat over my cold ears, my contoured face still elegant, despite my hair loss. My lawyers hugged, Paul smiled, but I chose to ignore him. Paul’s glamourous sidearm was gone. I was now the awful wife, the even worse friend. My feelings for Paul emptier than a deserted parking lot. Joe? i couldn’t go there, not yet.
The real courtroom wasn’t like the movies. I had to sit in court through summaries of the trial and the judge’s comments which reminded me of when I found out I had cancer; I was Elizabeth Taylor. Famous for being strong! All lies, and all the wrong reasons. When chemo did start and my hair fell out, I didn’t want to be a film star. The movie was on repeat, the unpaid extra; same thing now. The judge’s words boomed through the court.
“Mrs. McDonald. We have been lenient with you today because of your pristine past and excellent character witnesses. However, what you did was a ghastly attack on someone close to you. You are the one that will have to live with your actions ...”
No tears came, time stretched out in slow motion; a zombie, turning off and on. I could hear but not listen. instead, the pain in my hands quadrupled every second and the symptom of every chemo ailment resurfaced. Eyes sore, the follicles in my head stabbing, mushrooms living in my mouth, spots on my body, cystitis and the loss of feeling in my hands and feet.
The pain worsened until the judge finally fingered his hammer.
“…We have considered the three months you were detained in Edinburgh. There are three remaining months of your sentence, and you will receive a prison tag or electronic ankle monitor.”
Bang. it was over; all eyes were on me.
My life signed and sealed. Shafted from Scotland to England. I would go back to my parent’s home and I would have community service and electronic monitoring. The movie star, the demure wife didn’t react, but inside my body screamed, Haven’t I been humiliated enough?
Then my consciousness caved in. My poor parents.
Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.
Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as 'home.'
Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was 'top 50 most influential woman in mobile.' Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.
Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.
Bena's favorite literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet also entertaining. The second novel out in 2018 offers thought-provoking fiction which embraces the absurd with reality.
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