Unspoken Joy Series

Unspoken Joy: an emotional journey

Joy Claxtin is sitting alone at a booth in a little downtown restaurant called the Sandwich House. She is waiting to have lunch with her sister, an airline attendant, who has just flown home from overseas. Joy is not paying much attention to the familiar surroundings, since this is her usual place where she eats lunch with her work colleagues. But today, there’s a new patron, Keith Riley. She hasn’t noticed him, but he’s noticed her. He sits where he can see her, but she can’t see him as he observes her and is captivated by her beauty and her aura. He hesitates to approach her because by the setup he could tell that someone is joining her (maybe a boyfriend or husband, he thinks). He relaxes when she is joined by a woman who looks strikingly like the woman he’s been observing. They embrace and exchange affectionate greetings like they hadn’t seen each other in a while. As he observes them in conversation, he’s contemplating how he’s going to approach the lady when her next move catches him off guard. The lady uses sign language! With intrigue and dismay, he watches the exchange of verbal and sign language between the two women, when he concludes that the communication barrier between them would make a relationship impossible, so he let’s her get away – a move he later regrets. When he can’t get her off his mind and after a futile six-week search to find her (with the help of a friend) he finally meets her. Read to find out what makes this journey to love so exceptional and so emotional, especially when Keith’s past comes back.

Unspeakable Joy: a bittersweet journey

Iris and Joy Claxtin, two sisters, are lounging in their apartment on a rainy Saturday morning having a casual and humorous conversation about their former lovers. It may seem impersonal, but the sisters are personable that way. Iris, the oldest, is not involved in a relationship right now. Her boyfriend, Benjamin Sweet, dumped her to marry a woman for money. Now Iris doesn’t trust her emotions anymore. Joy is involved in a relationship with Keith Riley, the man she thought in her wildest dreams would never be interested in her because of her disability. Joy is mute; she communicates using sign language, and Keith talks for a living. Joy tries to abate Iris’ fears and skepticisms about getting involved in a relationship again by reminding her of her own fears when she first started dating Keith. Only four months into the relationship Keith and Joy have learned to communicate in their own special way. Then the conversation shifts to Keith’s mother when Joy brings up the subject of the dinner invitation for tomorrow at Keith’s parents’ home. Joy is nervous about meeting Keith’s mother, and for good reason. Mrs. Riley is a perfectionist. She’s heard about Joy’s disability, and she doesn’t approve. She feels that Joy is not good enough for her son and in the long run would be a burden to him. But Joy’s problem is exasperated when she puts her trust in Keith, and he betrays her. Read to find out what makes this amazing journey so bittersweet.

Tawny’s Uphill Journey

The story opens with 18-year-old Tawny Washington packing her suitcases for a road trip to the University of Michigan where she has earned a two-year academic scholarship. She is having a conversation with her mother. “I’m not a child anymore, Mama. I want to know who my father is!” she demands. But she gets nowhere with that. Her mother won’t tell her but pleads on deaf ears for her to stop exclusively dating men old enough to be her father. On the first day of class at the university, Tawny is enthralled by her psychology professor. He’s the perfect man of her dreams; he’s her vision of her father. The professor maintains a professional relationship with Tawny, but he’s picked up on her cues, and at the end of the semester when he’s no longer her instructor, he makes his move. Tawny and her psychology professor, Dr. Charles Ovabee, a married man twenty-five years her senior, start a clandestine sexual affair. But Dr. Ovabee is spooked when they are spotted out in public together for the second time. He tells Tawny that she needs to start seeing someone on campus her own age to throw off suspicion from them. Tawny is horrified at the suggestion, but she does it anyway to please him when she meets Keith Riley. He is young, handsome, and unaware that he’s entangled in a love triangle and a part of Tawny’s uphill journey.

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