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       Second Chances: The Power of Renewal, p.1

           Gabriela Louis
 
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Second Chances: The Power of Renewal
Second Chances

  The Power of Renewal

  This is a work of fiction. All names, characters,

  and settings are product of the author's imagination.

  Any resemblance to actual events,

  names, locales, organizations,

  or persons living or dead,

  is entirely coincidental.

  Copyright 2015 Gabriela Louis

  Discover other titles in the series

  Second Chances: The Power of Renewal © 2015 Gabriela Louis

  Second Chances: The Power of Forgiveness

  Second Chances: The Power of Love

  Second Chances: The Power of Hope

  Cover designed by Danny Cross

  Edited by Anthony Jacobs and Danny Cross at

  [email protected] and [email protected]

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

 

  Acknowledgements

  This book is dedicated to my husband and kids who encouraged me to continue writing and to my wonderful friend Pam who took the time to read each version of the book as it was being revised.

  Contents

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Epilogue

  About the author

  Other books by the author

  Acknowledgements

  Excerpt from Second Chances: The Power of Forgiveness

  You may be deceived if you trust too much.

  But you will live in torment unless you trust enough.

  Frank Crane

  Prologue

  Although Rosalyn was in her A.P. literature class, she was daydreaming about the very hot football player who had spoken to her. She had fallen in love immediately. John was such a good looking man that when he asked her out, she thought that surely every girl in the school would be jealous. She sighed, smiled, and continued to dream.

  “Rosalyn… Rosalyn Miller” Rosalyn heard the teacher call. “I do not know where you are, but you are definitely not here. I need you paying attention.”

  “Yes ma’am, I am sorry,” replied Rosalyn, embarrassed at being chastised.

  Rosalyn had just turned 15 and had never thought of herself as a beauty queen but knew herself to be attractive. It did not concern her because what she did not have in looks she had in brains. She was president of the math and engineering club and had won several competitions. She was also taking several AP classes and she was just a freshman. She was the only freshman to accomplish that. Her parents had to ask for special permission for her to take the advanced placement classes, and after several tests it had been granted. She was planning on being a chemist, wanting to use her talents to find cures for the different types of cancers. She had dreams and those dreams were big.

  Now though, her dreams had taken a back seat to John White, the hottest guy in the school. He had asked her out and she was so excited. She already loved this boy so much. She had spent every lunch period staring at him. He was so very hot and perfect in every way. She was thankful that he was tall, but not overly so. She could just imagine her five-two stature next to a seven-foot guy. It would be like a Chihuahua with a Great Dane. John was probably less than six feet tall, an absolutely perfect match for her. He also had the most wonderful brown eyes, and looking at them was like looking at a fondue chocolate fountain. He wasn’t built huge like most of the football players, mounds of meat that were all muscle and no brains. She disliked those guys who thought that every girl would fall at their feet just because they were bigger than Mount Everest. Her future husband was going to have more brains than muscles. That had to be a prerequisite for whomever she dated.

  John had a checkmark on every item on her list, and she would do anything for him. He was everything any girl could want her first boyfriend to be; he was just perfect, and to top it all, he was the team quarterback.

  Everything was going to be great tonight. They were going to hold hands as they walked to the park, He was going to kiss her - her very first kiss, and it was going to be every one of her dreams coming to life. She could not wait.

  * * * * * * *

  In her room later that day, she was so frustrated. She could not find anything to wear. She was short and fat, and she did not have any girly clothes like the other girls at school had. She saw herself in the mirror and saw the plainest looking brunette girl ever to exist, looking back at her. Why was this good looking guy paying attention to her? She was not going to question it. She was so excited. She saw herself now; there was nothing to notice. She was a little over five feet with short legs. Her butt and breasts were too big compared to all of those petit cheerleaders. Her hair was overly curly and brown, not even a deep brown, but a light brown at that. When God was passing out parts, He must have given her the leftovers, but this boy - this man - had paid attention to her. Maybe he saw something special she could not see.

  She had never felt comfortable lying to her parents, but John had asked her not to tell anyone they were going out. She could not understand. Is that how it was for all the other girls? She regretted all those hours with her nose in the books and not paying attention to her surroundings. John had asked her to wear a dress or skirt, something girly he had said. The only dresses she had were church dresses, and they were not girly. She settled for her prettiest dress, pink with small white flowers. It had a high neckline, and it reached right below the knees. She also donned her walking shoes and a white cardigan. She went to her mom's bathroom and used some of her makeup. She did not want to look like a clown but hoped to accentuate her eyes with a little eyeliner. She also used some blush and lip-gloss for good measure.

  She told her parents that she was going to her best friend's house and walked out. They did not even look up. Her dad was reading a newspaper and her mom a book.

  Rosalyn knew that her parents cared for her greatly, and they trusted her implicitly. When she walked out, they did not question her about her plans. She felt the guilt begin to rise because she had never lied or hidden anything from them before, but she wanted badly to be with John.

  * * * * * * *

  Rosalyn had forgotten how fast it got dark in the fall. When she had walked out, everything looked beautiful and bright. As she got closer to the park, the pretty pink skies had turned into darkness. She wished now that they had chosen a diff
erent place, but this was actually the halfway point and she was early. She would just sit on one of the park benches and wait. Everything would be just perfect.

  Behind her in the playground were a group of boys ranging in ages from fourteen to about twenty-one. They were the ruffians of the neighborhood. It was a good neighborhood, but they had decided to run their business from the park. There were no cops here and the park was deserted on weeknights. Unfortunately for Rosalyn, they had noticed her. A pretty prim girl, sitting all alone in the dark was a gift, and it was rude to decline a gift.

  * * * * * * *

  Nine months later a child had been born. At the hospital they had done all the necessary things to make sure that there were no repercussions from that night, but it had not worked, and she had not noticed her periods missing. Her mother and father had not known what to say to her or how to deal with the situation either. The subject became the white elephant in the room everyone avoided. When they had found out she was pregnant, it had been too late for a termination of the pregnancy. It would have been too dangerous, not that her parents would have felt comfortable with that. She knew that they would have supported any decision she made, but she knew her parents respected life. The life of an unborn child was still a life, regardless of the conception circumstances.

  Her mom had tried to get pregnant for so many years unsuccessfully, and then all these other women got pregnant so easily, and discarded their babies. The unfairness of the situation had caused her mother many tears. Every time her mother had gone to an abortion clinic to rally for the right of life, she had come back home torn and broken. She had wanted a child so desperately.

  She had finally gotten pregnant when she was 40, and they adored their daughter, even this imperfect daughter. Rosalyn could not help it. She cried at how she had disappointed them.

  *****

  But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;

  they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

  they shall run and not be weary;

  they shall walk and not faint.

  Isaiah 40:31

 

  Chapter 1

  Boris Brockovich was a man in his late 50s. He was a fit and good-looking man and was a very successful businessman. He was respected and loved, not only by his employees but also by those people of influence in the community. Boris was a charismatic man who always knew what to say in the midst of chaos. He was a big supporter of the armed forces and took the time to remember individual agents and their families. He also supported schools and children’s programs in general.

  He owned a successful import/export company, —Global International Import Export Trade. He wasn’t always successful though— at one point during the recession, he almost had to close his doors for good. Those events had influenced Boris to make drastic changes to how he ran his business.

  Boris loved life, but life wasn't worth living without money. Money made things possible. Money bought power, comfort, and women. So if there was one thing you could say about Boris, it was that he would do anything for money.

  When the recession happened and his carefully made plans for the future were endangered, he figured that there were things he could do to save his company. Those things might not be legal, but that was irrelevant. It would not be the first time that he lived on the other side of the law. In his opinion, one could do anything as long as one did not get caught. He was not planning on getting caught.

  His plan was finalized at a bar when he and two of his friends, Kruno Ivanovo and Davor Petrov, had been drinking their customary vodka. Boris, who had been quite intoxicated, remembered asking, “Gentlemen, how are your businesses doing? Kruno, I know that you are not doing so well in the housing market right now, and Davor, you cannot be doing any better with the banking industry. I cannot be the only one hurting.”

  Both Kruno and Davor had nodded emphatically, but Kruno had spoken first, “I know you Boris, what do you have in mind?” Davor and Kruno had been friends since they were in grade school in Russia and they had become closer than brothers with every conflict they had to survive. Later they had added Boris to their group, but the relationship was not the same. Kruno and Davor were there for each other and as long as Boris served his purpose he was accepted. Boris was a source of amusement for them, and most importantly, he was also the one to get his hands dirty.

  "Nothing that is too illegal.” He chuckled, and then continued, “We bring people to work here, and we get them jobs, but a percentage of their salaries come to us. We buy a house and we rent it to them. We charge them for rent, food, etc. and we let them keep some of the money for necessities and some to send back to their families. Whatever we give them will be better than what they will get over in their country. They are happy. We are happy. They will pay for their passports, tickets and visa, and then pay us for bringing them and giving them a job. It could be quite lucrative if we have enough people."

  So the idea had come to life, and the three friends decided to use their companies to bring immigrants to the States to work. It was actually brilliant, because people in other countries would be selling their souls for the opportunity to come to the States, and once here, they would never know they were being cheated. Boris had seen it as helping them and making their dreams come true, while he was getting paid for his services. He had not realized then, how ambitious his friends were and how out of control his idea was going to get.

  Boris thought that his plan would work to perfection, except that it had been a great idea until his friends and partners got greedy and they had come up with a twist to his plan. Davor and Kruno had come to his office and Davor had said, “We like your idea, but it is not profitable enough. I believe that if we bring girls and rent them out, we will make more money.” Boris was shaking his head as he was hearing them. “That won’t work. One girl gets hurt and we are in deep trouble. Anyhow, how are you going to control it?” Boris knew that, as long as they benefitted from their actions, it did not matter who got hurt.

  “Simple,” answered Davor, “we bring them here to work as Au Pairs with a J1 visa, but once here they’ll be totally dependent on us.”

  Boris had gotten up and walked to the door. He opened it and replied, “I do not think so; I am fond of my freedom. I’m out.” Kruno and Davor had walked up to him and without any hesitation; Kruno punched him in the gut while Davor closed the door. Boris fell to his knees on the floor as he tried to catch his breath. Then Davor came behind him and pulled his hair, pulling his head back, forcing him to look at Kruno who said, “you are in, and you will do as we say, or else.” As he said that he punched him one more time for effect. Boris nodded.

  “One more thing,” said Davor as he approached the door. “You try to cross us, and you will be praying for death to come.”

  He knew karma; he had seen it many times. The bad you did in the world had a way of getting back to you. And his hell had just begun. Once one dealt with the devil, one was enslaved to him. He had known his partners for a while, and knew that if he refused, he would regret it for the rest of his life.

  It had been several years since he became part of this business. He did not remember how to be honorable and moral anymore. He had built an empire, a very successful empire at a very high cost: his soul.

  The heart is deceitful above all things,

  and desperately sick;

  who can understand it?

  Jeremiah 17:9

  Chapter 2

  Rosalyn loved college life. As soon as she had graduated from high school, she had gone away to college. She had chosen a school that was about eight hours away from home; close enough that she could drive back and forth when needed, but far enough away that she could not do so very often. She knew she was going to miss home. She had never been away until now, but living at home had been difficult. For the last three years of high school she had felt like a stranger in her parent's home, and she had needed to move out, to get away from the people she lov
ed. It had become a matter of survival.

  Since that fateful night, her parents had become controlling and demanding. She had gone from having all the freedoms in the world to having to ask permission for every little thing. Not only that, but if she did not call or check in several times a day, they drove to wherever her activities were to make sure she was okay. She had become involved in every extra curricular activity her schedule allowed her to participate in just so that she could stay away from home, but it did not matter, she had to call them from each one of those activities. She had to make one call apprising them of where she was and then one call letting them know she was done and on her way home. In her opinion, she needed breathing space. Her parents had become micromanagers of her time and life and a constant reminder of the worst night of her life.

  On the other hand, at home they barely spoke to her. They whispered and plotted among themselves. Her parents had insisted she spent time with her daughter, so Rosalyn was not surprised every time she found herself taking care of Mariah, her sweet daughter. Her parents had not understood that she needed space. Although Mariah was a great kid, Rosalyn wasn't a great example for her and Mariah was a reminder of that fact. Rosalyn understood that the events of that awful night were her fault, but she wondered if she would ever be forgiven.

  Her need to be away from home had become necessary for her sanity. While in high school, she had been busy with her normal school load. When that had not been enough, she had become part of every extracurricular activity that fit into her schedule. Her college life was no different. Rosalyn had managed to stay busy, working and studying.

  As a student she took a minimum of fifteen credit hours, and then she managed to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. She did not need the money as she had been awarded several scholarships. The busier she was, the less time she had to deal with her memories. She did not like remembering that night. She had created for herself a fantasy world where everything was all right. She was just a normal busy girl who did not have time for the social demands most other young people were part of. She understood academics, and she had made school her shelter.

  In her junior year of college, her roommate had been persistent, to the point of obsession about them going out. Alana had decided that a social life was a must. Rosalyn did not know what to do with her happy extroverted friend. She had been tempted to request that she be moved to a different dorm, but was too afraid to ask and was apprehensive about who the new roommate might be.

 
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