Excerpt from the novel, “The Boy Next Door: A Jamaican Teenage Love Story”

THE BOY NEXT DOOR: A JAMAICAN TEENAGE LOVE STORY was written in 1997 by Mandisa M. Parnell and was finally published on July 31, 2014.

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This, the very first authentically Jamaican teen romance novel, is available for purchase from Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/The-Next-Door-Mandisa-Parnell/dp/1628576928 in both eBook and paperback as well as through all major online distributors. If you are in Jamaica, feel free to contact the author on 1-876-445-7279.

Learn more about THE BOY NEXT DOOR at http://www.jamaicanboynextdoor.com

Here is a sample now:

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CHAPTER FOUR

CHO! Blouse an’ skirt!
Noelle hissed her teeth in frustration and sent her Mathematics textbook flying through the air! It sailed across her bedroom, landed with a thud against the concrete wall and fell heavily onto the carpet-covered floor.

Noelle rose swiftly from her desk, snapping off the switch on the desk-lamp and causing the chair to fall over backwards. Disregarding both chair and book, she flounced over to the window and threw it open. She inhaled several gulps of the fresh night air, savouring the feeling as the motion filled her lungs. She had only spoken to Ryan Reece on three occasions and already it seemed that he had imprinted himself on her mind, heart and soul. No matter how hard she tried, she just could not get him out of her head. It was an impossible feat!

She had not been the same since their encounter at The Wardrobe a few days earlier. After he had walked out of the store, Noelle had drifted off into uncontrollable daydreaming with Ryan starring as her Prince Charming upon a white steed. And, at closing time, when all the employees were leaving the store, she had walked face-first into the glass door after forgetting to open it. Her co-workers had gotten a good laugh at her expense and to make matters worse, she had gotten a “coco” – a bump, the size of a pebble just below the hairline, to show for it. She had been making a concerted effort to avoid him at school thereafter.

For the last three days, Noelle had found herself looking left and right over her shoulders whenever she visited her locker. Then, it had dawned on her that he wore a white uniform shirt so it was evident that he was in the upper school; boys in the lower school wore full khaki suits. She had investigated, nonetheless, and had been happy to confirm that he was indeed a member of the Twelfth Grade population. That meant that his classes were housed on another block which was comforting; she would not have to worry about running into him in her building. But, as a precautionary measure, she began to avoid the cafeteria, resorting to eating lunch outside on the quadrangle instead.

When Danielle mentioned that Ryan was trying out for the Track Team, she stopped walking past the playfield at certain hours of the day. This was done to great inconvenience to herself as her Form Room was situated just beyond the field and she had to walk the long way around to get to class but she remained steadfast. Come hell or high water, she was determined to conquer the disturbing attraction to Ryan Reece. The number one strategy, in a situation like this, had to be having minimal contact with the object of the unwanted feelings. Noelle reasoned that such a tactic must have proven successful a time or two since a great man or woman had coined the phrase: “Out of sight, out of mind!”

So then, why was she still thinking about the boy constantly?

She could not even close her eyes for a nap anymore. Ryan Reece and his haunting green eyes were there taunting her every time she tried. She had been unable to sleep for the last couple nights and she was afraid of the prospect of things being no different that night. Ryan Reece seemed to be there – like a duppy sitting on her shoulders – twenty-four/seven.

Face it, girl! She admitted grudgingly to herself. Danielle is right…YUH LIKE HIM!

Standing by her window, staring down at the garden and Trisha’s one-time house, she felt even worst. It seemed that her life was full of nothing but misery lately. First, Trisha moved thousands of miles away to blinking America leaving her “alone and hurt”. And now, Mr. Ryan Reece and his blouse-an-skirt green eyes had stridden uninvited into her life making it impossible for her to do something as simple as homework.

She placed one hand on one trim hip and ran the other through her curls as she started to walk away from the window. A sudden movement down below caught her eye; she stopped dead in her tracks. Noelle turned back to the window; shifted the curtain.

A boy was walking up the path to the house that had once belonged to the Lees. He paused at the porch grille and fished a set of keys from his pocket. In the soft glow of the incandescent light, Noelle was able to catch a glimpse of his profile just before he inserted a key into the lock, opened the door and stepped out of her line of vision.

Her photographic brain had memorized everything about Ryan – including the sideways view of him. She had never before seen anyone, especially someone Black, with a nose like that. She guessed that was yet another physical attribute he must have inherited from the Caucasian side of his family. And, now she had seen, or thought she had seen, that same nose on that guy!

She shook her head and winced in self-pity. She had to be paranoid. Ryan Reece was making her paranoid!

Lordy, lordy! She thought, closing the window and traipsing to her bed. Now I’m imagining that the fool-fool bwoy lives next door! Mi really pathetic.

* * *

Copyright © 2014 Mandisa M. Parnell. All rights reserved.

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