Tag Archives: friendship

The Value of a Friend

true-shabu-4I believe there is room for more than one best friend at a time in our lives. Each of mine serves a different purpose in my life – a life enriched by them. They are friends who would drop everything should I need them. In turn, I would drop everything for them.

Two years ago, I took half a day from cleaning out Auntie Boogie’s condo (Auntie Jude and I had just dropped off Dr. Cuz at the airport and ran errands) to spend with Hordus on his day off. I had hinted about the stress I was experiencing on the way back from dinner the night before but I didn’t say more because we were in mixed company. Hordus, as always, picks up the hints and started the long conversation on the way to pick up his oldest son, Four. By the end, I was unburdened and cleansed, not because anything was different, but because talking to him always made me feel better even if nothing was settled. And not that I wasn’t talking to anyone else about it. I had other friends I was talking to, but again, no one is like Hordus and no one ever will be.

This was my first time meeting Four. Hordus used to send me baby pictures of him many years ago, so it was weird seeing him as an adult and working on his future. Four also had the day off so he spent the rest of the day with us. We told him stories about us as teenagers, how we met, how Jerm took Four’s mom to senior prom (Hordus and Four’s mom went to different schools than me and Jerm), and how people thought Hordus and I were dating and would have a bewildered expression when Four’s mom was with us.

Hordus always knows what I need when I’m stressed, whether it’s helping me process through something or dragging me outside to watch a lightning storm. This time around, I needed to ground myself at the beach.



He drove us to Huntington State Beach after lunch and I stood with my feet buried in the sand, watching the storm over the ocean and ignoring the blustery wind roaring around me. In the midst of turmoil, I was at peace and grateful, nearly crying tears of joy because I knew I was where I supposed to be in that moment. Sometimes you have to journey into the eye of the storm to clear your head and see the bigger picture. I knew my personal chaos would come to an end, I told myself that over and over but could not bring myself to believe it until that moment.


You can’t put a price on friendship. I can’t quantify the close friendships I have. It doesn’t work that way. Friendships are meant to lift you up and support you in times of need. Friendships are meant to be your pillar of strength when you are too weak to stand on your own. Friendships are meant to be non-judgmental and guide you to the best choice for you…or to just keep listening.

True friends are priceless.


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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


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Family Ties Playlist


Family Ties

Family Ties is now out in paperback and what better way to celebrate than share the music I listened to while writing it?

When I started writing Sara’s story, oh so many years ago, mp3s were starting to creep into the market. If you know me, you know it’s rare for me to have any type of technology as soon as it is released. I’m one of those consumers who will sit and wait for the hubbub to die down. Lacking the latest technology, I stuck with our trusty CD player, set on repeat. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to Dizzy Up The Girl by Goo Goo Dolls before Chaz bought me an iPod.

Enter: The Playlist.

Anyone remember making mixtapes? They were the best. With iTunes, I was able to make as many playlists as I wanted. It wasn’t long before I formed the basis for the Family Ties playlist, adding in songs as they were released.

I know there are writers who make their playlists based on the songs they like, old and new. With Family Ties, I formed a playlist not only of songs that I liked, but that also fit the tone of the story. Using that formula to make my writing playlists helps me to draw from the music while I write and keeps me going.



Family Ties is now available in the following markets:

Create Space (paperback only)
Amazon US (ebook & paperback)
Amazon CA (ebook)
Amazon UK (ebook & paperback)
Amazon JP (ebook)
Amazon DE (ebook & paperback)
Amazon FR (ebook & paperback)

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Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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How Long Will I Love You? ~ Part 8

Lara 2

Catch up here.

Chase waits outside the gallery in a tailored charcoal grey three-piece suit and pink shirt with the top two buttons undone. He smiles as I join him and presses his lips to mine. “You look gorgeous as always, but the shoes are throwing me off.”

I am wearing a jade green halter dress with black leather flats. “I knew we’d be walking the four blocks to Basil. And thank you,” I add with a shy smile.

We spend dinner discussing the last few days. Both of us were busy since dinner Tuesday and barely had time to text hello to each other. Afterwards, we head into the bar area and wait for Robin at the end of the bar.

Chase keeps an arm around my waist and an eye out on the door.

I move to face him and lay a hand over his heart. I let a small sigh escape.

“What’s wrong?” he asks with his brow furrowed in unease.

I shake my head. “Nothing.”

He uses his free hand to tip my head up and pierces me with his bright eyes. “Tell me.”

“Nothing is wrong,” I insist. “Unless you being devastatingly handsome is wrong.”

A smile spreads wide across his face. “Only if you being incredibly gorgeous is wrong.”

My temperature rises and I rest my forehead on his shoulder to hide the blushing. Chase kisses my head and caresses my back.

Part of me wishes we were anywhere but here. This moment has me yearning for time alone with Chase instead of waiting for Robin to show up.

“He’s here,” Chase whispers.

I lift my head and turn around. Robin makes his way through the crowded bar in black jeans and a short-sleeve blue henley hanging loose on his torso.

Chase drops his arm from my waist and I hug Robin then he and Chase shake hands. Robin leans into the bar and orders a beer from the bartender.

I notice his shiny boots. “Hey, did you get new Docs?”

He twists his head back, still leaning on the bar. “I polished them.”

“You polished your boots? Is the world ending?” I joke.

“Ha ha.” He rolls his eyes with a little sparkle in the grey irises.

“I see a table opening up. I’m going to grab it,” Chase says, pointing across the bar.

“Okay,” I reply and check where he is pointing. “We’ll be there in a minute.”

He takes our drinks with him. I watch as he crosses the room through the throng, remove his jacket and hang it over the back of the chair before sitting down. If I thought he was devastatingly handsome before, he was even more so now. There is something about a man in a tailored vest that makes him look even better.

Robin snaps his fingers in my face. “Earth to Lara.”

I blink hard. “Sorry.”

“What are you guys drinking?”

“I have a dirty martini, he’s drinking Basil Hayden, neat.”

The bartender sets Robin’s beer in front of him and Robin orders fresh drinks for me and Chase. We join Chase a few minutes later.

“I hear you’re a great cook,” Robin says to Chase after the initial small talk ends.

“It’s my fun time after work,” he says, shrugging his shoulders.

“What else do you do for fun?”

“I run a few mornings a week and check out local artists when I can.”

“Right. Lara said you like art.” Robin takes a swig of his beer without taking his eyes off Chase.

“I do.” Chase takes my hand under the table. “What about you? Lara mentioned you’re in a band.”

I spin my martini glass by the stem between my fingers with my free hand.

“Yep.” He nods. “Punk band. Lara comes to most of our gigs in town. You should join her for one.” I could hear a hint of Robin trying to egg on Chase in his statement.

I shift slightly in my chair.

“I would love to.” Chase releases my hand then drapes his arm on the back of my chair and massages his thumb into my the back of my shoulder.

“We play tomorrow at The Dive.”

Chase looks to me. “Shall we?”

“If you’d like,” I answer and put on a smile.

“We’ll be there,” Chase tells Robin.

“Great,” Robin says a little less than thrilled.

I narrow my eyes at Robin.

“Pardon me,” Chase says standing, his eyes on the bar. “I’ll be right back.”

I wait for Chase to shake another man’s hand at the bar then I lean across the table. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Getting to know Chase,” he says feigning innocence.

“I know you better.” I narrow my eyes at him. “You’re setting him up for something.”

Robin leans in. “He’s obviously likes you, but he’s so…proper.”

“Proper? Just because he likes to cook, supports local artists like Trevor, and takes me to the opera?”

“And his clothes!”

“Dammit, Robin. He’s an investment banker! What’s the difference between how he dresses for work and how I dress for work?”

Robin presses his lips together to form a line. I had him and he knew it.

“We can’t all dress down like you do for the record store,” I remind him.

He averts his eyes and looks past me.

“Yes, Chase is much different than you, but he’s just as attentive and caring. If you can’t see that past your own feelings then maybe this was all a mistake.” I push my chair back quickly and it scrapes against the wood floor.

Robin reaches over and grabs my wrist. “I’m sorry.”

“Damage is done.” I state tartly. “I think you need more time.”

I stand and he looks up at me with sad eyes, pleading for me to stay. He releases my wrist and I pull my purse onto my shoulder then carefully remove Chase’s jacket from his chair.

“He’s buying your affection to get you into bed,” he says flatly, staring at my empty chair.

“Fuck you!” I grab the rest of my martini and throw it in his face.

Chase rushes back, pulling me to him by my waist. I shove his jacket into his chest, still glaring at Robin. He swipes his hand over his face then wipes his hand on his leg.

I bend down close to his ear. “He hasn’t bought me a damned thing and I haven’t slept with him, you ass.”

He turns his head to me with steely eyes. “Maybe you can’t get him into bed because he’s still in the closet,” he returns acidly.

I douse him with his beer then march off with Chase following as Robin jumps up from his seat. Chase folds his jacket in half and gently lays it over his forearm then twines his fingers into mine once we’re outside.

“What were you two whispering about?” he asks as we walk towards my apartment.

I tell him then tears well up and overflow.

He untwines our fingers and pulls me into him by the waist. “I’m sorry, Lara.” He rests his head on mine. “I had hoped we could be friends.”

“Maybe in time,” I say wishfully, then more seriously, “We’ve never fought like this before.”

“I never wanted this to happen,” he says soberly.

“You didn’t do anything,” I remind him. “It’s not your fault he decided to declare his love for me after he found out about you.”

“You know what this night needs?” he asks, looking at me with a glint of mischief in his eyes.


“Chocolate cake.” A grin forms.

“Chocolate cake sounds divine right now.” I smile in return. “Cuppa Joe?”

“Unless there is somewhere else nearby with good chocolate cake you haven’t told me about.”

Half an hour later we’re at my door wrapped up in each other’s arms engaged in a chocolate-y goodnight kiss.

“Thank you,” I say breathily as I slide my hands down from his neck to rest on his biceps.

He touches his forehead to mine. “For what?”

“For being supportive and understanding with all this.” Then add with a grin, “And for the chocolate cake.”

He beams. “I know how you love your chocolate cake.” A long sigh escapes him. “If I could make this better for you, I would.”

I give his biceps a squeeze. “You are making it better. You’re making me want to trust you. That hasn’t happened in a long time.”

One of us has to trust the other first.

A smile returns to his lips and he closes in on my mouth, brushing his lips against mine. I open up and let him in for another chocolate-y kiss.

©Debi Smith, 2014

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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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