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Triggered.

Triggered.

Автором Candy Washington

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Triggered.

Автором Candy Washington

Длина:
228 pages
3 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Sep 5, 2020
ISBN:
9781005345150
Формат:
Книге

Описание

Step inside the mind of Sophie Whitley.

triggered. is masterfully told through the perspective of a young woman on the cusp of embracing her womanhood while shedding the layers of a stifling dark past.

The skillfully slow pace of the opening of the novel earns the salacious and unforeseen twists and turns that’s sure to surprise even the most seasoned of readers.

Keeping you on the edge of your seat, triggered. reveals what happens when a childhood is stolen and a mind is distorted.

Now, living in Los Angeles and working at a high power advertising agency, Sophie is propositioned by an older client who could hold the key to her emotional awakening.

But during this pivotal moment in her life, her best friend goes missing with the pool of suspects being closer than you think.

Making it her mission to find out what happened to her fallen friend, nothing is as it seems in a world built upon broken promises and unforgivable betrayals.

This psychological thriller explores both the good and evil sides of the human condition. Now ask yourself, are you ready to find out how far one woman is willing go to find herself?

Издатель:
Издано:
Sep 5, 2020
ISBN:
9781005345150
Формат:
Книге

Об авторе

Candy Washington is an author, actor/influencer, and the founder of 1214 Media Productions where she provides insightful and empowering content across digital and publishing platforms. Currently, Candy plays a lead in the digital series, The Salon, from executive producers Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo. She can also be seen on The Doctors on CBS as an on-camera talent and social media expert.Her latest book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Personal Branding, is an easy and tangible blueprint for building a profitable personal brand in the digital era, and has been the keynote speaker at WellnessCon on self-care and social media brand building.She’s performed extensive script coverage for Emmy award-winning writer, actor, and producer Lena Waithe. Additionally, she’s a V.I.P. influencer for FOX shows Empire, STAR, Lethal Weapon, and Pitch, along with USA Network shows Briarpatch and The Sinner. She's also partnered with Lionsgate as a social media influencer for their launch and red carpet premiere of Power Rangers.Her first book, Sugar Pills: 10 Days to Awaken Your Inner Power, is a meaningful self-care journal and guide which was featured in L.A. Style Magazine’s ‘100 Women in Power’ issue. The companion podcast, Sugar Pills: A Practical Guide to Self-Care was picked up by FIRE Media and can be heard weekly on WRS.Candy’s also the creative mind behind Actress with Style, a popular lifestyle brand focused on fashion, beauty, and entertainment that's geared toward the active millennial. She’s also the on-camera host for The Beauty Studio and has appeared in numerous BuzzFeed videos. Previously, she was an on-camera host for Disney Style and she’s appeared in the TBS show, Are We There Yet? and in You Rock, Let's Roll, on FUSE.Three years in a row, Candy has been a panelist during the beauty conference, BlushCon, and was also a presenter during The Altitude Summit on personal branding, past keynotes of the conference have included Jessica Alba and Minka Kelly.Candy’s also been featured and published in Teen Vogue, Refinery29, Simply Stylist, Independent Fashion Bloggers, PopSugar, BRINK Magazine, FOX Magazine, The Stream TV, Muses, and more, and has solidified herself as a sought-after resource for acting, writing, and self-care insights.

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Triggered. - Candy Washington

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CHAPTER 1: THE OLD ME

The generational curse that runs throughout my family mirrors the way blood flows throughout your veins. It's on an incessant loop, pumping from the heart, and then rhythmically infiltrating every molecule of your body. No nook is too small, nor cranny too tight.

There was no place to hide from the poisonous pathology of - wound, deny, and repeat. Every past hurt is still freshly exposed and vulnerable for re-injury, yearning to be tended to or reopened, just so long as it was seen.

We would cut each other with our words, so deep that if you looked closely enough, you could see the white bone of our soul sheepishly peering through the gash. Then we would effortlessly walk over each other as the other marinated in a pool of emotional blood as if the offense never occurred or as if it should simply be dismissed because we're family.

I suppose that's what primed me for the unfortunate situation that I had found myself in, and I think this is a good time for us to get acquainted.

My name is Sophie Whitley. You could describe me as a unique mixture of a classic yet exotic beauty with my mocha cinnamon skin and almond-shaped eyes. I was a formally educated, 27-year-old girl. I use the word 'girl' purposefully because even though I was technically 27, all of the unspoken attributes of womanhood escaped me, which could be summed up as a potent cocktail of an unshakeable sense of self stirred with zero fucks given.

When it came to my sense of style, despite my inclination to err on the side of 'homeless chic,' I was a pretty attractive girl. I had saucer-bowl shaped dark brown eyes that matched my cocoa-caramel skin. I was flat-chested with a round butt. Both attributes I liked but didn't accentuate. I knew I was attractive, but my inherent self-doubt wouldn't leave the space for me to take joy in my beauty.

For being relatively young, I make a pretty decent living as the senior creative writer at a Beverly Hills advertising agency called DigiAd. DigiAd likes to pretend that it has the charm of an innovative start-up, with complimentary catered lunches, foosball in the break-room, and Meditation Mondays. But the truth was that DigiAd was just like your average corporate advertising firm, with office politics, a 'money over everything' mentality, and a bullshit hierarchy hiring system.

In my position, I write catchy copy for corporate Facebook ads and Instagram promos while also coming up with viral campaign ideas. Under the guise of being a creative outlet, it was actually quite soul-sucking. Yet, it was extremely lucrative, and since I had to support my aging and ailing father, the need for a paycheck superseded my need for a purpose.

This old version of me was numb to my inner world. It was continually seeking any sense of belonging, which meant that I fit in pretty well at DigiAd, as I was your stereotypical people-pleaser, perfectionist, and overachiever. I came in early, stayed late, and never said no. My pride came from being the busiest employee, and the suits subtly validating me with their affirmative head nods.

But the old me had finally become tired of living this phantom life, and for other various reasons of which you'll soon find out, I, Sophie Whitley, was ready to fuck some shit up.

One of the reasons was that I was knee-deep in creating an important marketing proposal for one of my most high-profile client meetings. As usual, I had been tasked with coming up with the creative direction for our upcoming NetClix pitch meeting. NetClix was the premiere streaming platform for movies and T.V. shows, and every creative agency worth their salt from L.A. to New York wanted a piece of their pie.

NetClix was the client that would take our company to the next level, so when my boss cornered me in the conference room to ask me if I would take the lead on this new endeavor, I didn't hesitate to oblige, even with the fact that my plate was already full gnawing at the back of my mind.

I remember feeling the usually cherry-sized pit in my stomach grow into the size of a plump pumpkin, threatening to explode and expose my seeds of insecurity, and I'd have to watch them drip down one by one, settling at the feet of my boss. So instead of doing the normal thing, the adult thing, and simply saying no, I silently nodded, Yes, and then scurried back to my desk in fear of being seen as incapable.

I guess my fears, like most fears, were rooted in the fucked shit that happens to you in your childhood, and that's also why I call Los Angeles my home. It's the glossy city that I only ever dreamed of living in as an awkward pre-teen obsessed with VOGUE magazine and reality television, who was desperately trying to escape the reality of her world. I was the youngest of three, two girls and a boy, and we were all by a single dad in Connecticut.

We lived in a wealthy part of town. Still, it was clear that my family didn't make as much money as the other families, as my mother, Amelia Whitley, had been the primary breadwinner as a bankruptcy attorney. My dad, Blake Whitley, worked in middle management at a construction firm in the city. He made a decent living and a home for us kids, but he never fully realized his potential as a fully functioning man. But he did his best.

Blake was what you called emotionally unavailable. Most of my childhood was spent making sure that he didn't spiral into a deep depression or drown inside the bottle of Bourbon that he kept hidden under his bed.

After our mother walked out of on us the day after my tenth birthday to run off and start a new family with my father's best friend, Gary Johnson, my dad never quite looked the same.

I knew that he was still my father, but the way his body moved was distinctively different. He was bloated, stiff, and disassociated. I don't think he ever fully recovered from the shock of the betrayal. He lost his wife, his best friend, and any semblance of a family in one day. He never remarried.

But I suppose that losing his self deep inside of a bottle of Bourbon was easier than facing us kids, with our three grinning and needy faces that looked like the reflection of his ex-wife who had recently broken his heart. But like I said, he did his best.

But none the less, this also meant that we had to learn how to fend for ourselves. My eldest sibling and my only brother, Dwayne, now 35, became just as detached as our dad was. He studied hard and went off to college, and then we barely saw him. He now has two kids of his own, lives in Memphis, and is on his second divorce. He still keeps in touch with our mother from time-to-time.

My middle sister, Laurie-Ann, now 29, was a living nightmare. Her go-to coping mechanism was anger, and at times, even blind rage. She got into fights at school and was even more atrocious at-home. It was clear that she missed our mother and had decided that it was my fault that she was gone.

When our mother left us, she hadn't only broken my father's heart but also my sister's. She had no other place to put her pain, so she inflicted it upon me.

Sometimes I think back to this one time that I had tried to hug her in the hallway at school. She never really acknowledged me in public, but this was my unsuccessful attempt at getting her to give me some lunch money. Dad had forgotten to leave me any, and my stomach was beginning to growl. She looked me up-and-down with the warmth of an iceberg and simply walked past me as if I didn't exist.

Even though I was still hungry, I was appreciative of this passive dismissal as it paled compared to the time I made the ill-fated decision to borrow her sneakers without her permission. They were these dark blue Nike's with silver laces, and they were two sizes too big, but I loved them.

I had sneaked down into her room and placed them into my backpack before heading to school. The secrecy and the deception gave me a rush that I had never felt before because, in some way, I had felt entitled to them, like they were my consolation prize for being her whipping girl all of these years. A pair of $200 sneakers seemed like a small price to pay for my sister's emotional betrayal.

Later that afternoon, she found out that I was wearing her sneakers, and in true Laurie-Ann fashion, she went after me without missing a beat. I ran all around the school, hiding in empty classrooms and bathroom stalls, trying to get away because I knew that my private beatings would become a public spectacle if she found me.

So there I sat, in the closet in the band room, praying. I waited and waited, and then finally, I peered out, and it was now dark outside. The school was silent, and I felt safe enough to emerge from the confinement of the closet.

I looked down at the dark blue sneakers and smiled because they were mine for this moment. I danced throughout the hallways to the sound of the rubber soles screeching against the freshly buffed floors. I had stolen her shoes, but she had stolen my voice, and at that moment, my quiet pain sang along to the melody made by my feet echoing throughout the hallowed halls, and I felt free.

So when I turned 18, I left for an out-of-state college and then made my inevitable move to L.A. My father visits from time-to-time, and we send each other obligatory holiday cards. We talk daily on the phone, and I make sure that his prescriptions are filled and that he always has enough money to put food in the fridge.

Now that we’re all caught up, this brings us to my present state of professional and personal chaos with my apartment looking as though the Office Depot had thrown up in it. Markers, files, papers, post-it notes, and a large dry erase board had all laid claim to my fully furnished, one-bedroom, and one bathroom apartment in Silver Lake.

Working feverishly to finish the NetClix pitch in time, I had defiantly decided to put together two different creative proposals. One that was safe, as it was corporate, boring, and very vanilla.

The other one was creative, edgy, and provocative, and that was the one that was mine, like those dark blue Nike's with the silver laces, that was the one that could fuck could some shit up.

It was the one in which I had poured my heart and soul. It was the one that I thought would be able to make a difference. It was the one that I was scared shitless to share with the powers that be, so I kept it hidden while quietly working away at it, making it more mine. I just hoped that when the time came, I'd have the confidence to pitch it.

CHAPTER 2: MY BEST FRIEND HEATHER

Ihad been running around all day at work. First, my boss, Paul Schneider, had me go pick up his favorite breakfast: mango Kambucha with a hint of lemon and lime paired with his specialty omelet that consisted of an egg white, vegan feta cheese, plant-based bacon, and kale with four thinly sliced pieces of tomatoes on the side.

He had a personal assistant, but for some reason, I'm the only one that he trusts to get his order right, and he always needs this particular breakfast, in this specific way, before big client meetings.

So I walked into DigiAd before anyone else was there, and I left his hot breakfast waiting for him on his desk. I then caught up on emails, poured myself a strong cup of coffee, and relaxed into my day before the office became a madhouse.

A few hours later, the assistants, managers, designers, and everyone else started to roll in, and I heard a familiar saccharin sweet voice hum behind me with the faint scent of last night's vodka still on her breath.

Good morning, buttercup.

The candied voice effortlessly oozed into my ear while wearing her signature shit-eating grin. She spun my chair around, so my eyes, nose, and mouth were mere inches away from hers, and the glowing face that still wore last night's make-up belonged to Heather Chen, my best friend since I moved to Los Angeles and had started working at DigiAd.

I cringed a little at 'buttercup,' as it was one of the many patronizing pet names that Heather had for me; darling, sweet pea, poodle, pumpkin, pooh bear, ladybug, the list was endless.

I had once asked her to stop calling me them, but she pretended like she hadn't heard me and replied, "What did you say little one?"

She had reminded me of exactly how small I was in her world, and I've never spoken about it again.

She ruffled the soft curls at the top of my head the way my babysitter used to right before she would sneak upstairs to let her boyfriend in through the window. It was our secret code and her way non-threatening way of saying, You better keep quiet.

Heather was 'the cool type' of girl. She was 'the easy to be around' type of girl. She was 'the comfortable in her skin type' of girl. She was 'the zero fucks given type' of girl.

Her clothes always fit, not too tight and not too loose, perfectly suited for Heather. She had a crescent moon shaped smile, and the way her raven black hair was sprinkled with streaks of honey blonde that seemed glisten in the sunlight gave her distinctive Chinese-Korean-American features even more of an edge.

By chance, we had both started working at DigiAd during the same week, and we'd met during orientation. I was in the writing department, and she was in marketing. We had sat across from each other in the large conference room. I remember thinking, Who was this girl? because she had breezed in 15 minutes late, missing a name tag and with a Starbucks venti iced latte, dark shades above her head, and nothing else on her person other than an over-sized Louis Vuitton handbag.

It was abundantly clear that she was grossly underprepared, but she had this way about her that you knew that it just didn't matter if she came prepared or not. Everyone had just wanted her to be there.

She had that sweet essence of je ne sais quoi, and you just craved being near her. Watching her fumble through her purse, I had kindly lent her my spare pen and tore off a few sheets of my notepad and slid them over to her when Diane from H.R. wasn't looking.

Heather flipped her hair while giving me a sly nod to say thank you, and with a meek smile, I had nodded back and then quickly looked back down to my laptop as I didn't want her to think that I was weird by staring too long.

She made sure to find me in the break room after orientation and asked if I wanted to join her outside by the back of the building for a smoke. I replied that I didn't smoke, and she gave me an, Of course you don't, look and then simply said, Then be my company.

I couldn't say no to that shit-eating grin of hers, and we've been best friends ever since.

During our inaugural smoke break, Chuck and Benji from I.T. had joined us. They flirted with Heather while I looked on. In between puffs, she would smile and wink at me, and I was in love. It wasn't romantic or sexual love but in a girl-crush kind of love.

I was smitten with Heather Chen because that was the effect that she had on everyone around her. I looked up to her in an almost childlike way. I was in awe of her and always in need of a little bit more from her. I was willing to give anything to be closer to her. And give anything, I did.

What are you working on, sweet pea?

She cooed in my direction. The smell of the stale vodka on her plump lips grew stronger as she leaned in.

Nothing too important, just catching up on emails from Paul.

I hesitated, but then continued, Are you still drunk? What time did you get home last night? Did you go home last night? I asked, unsure if I wanted the answer.

Heather had begged me to go out the night

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