Thumbwars is a fictional story about Richard, a young American adult who, believing himself responsible for his brother's shooting, flees to Ghana, his parents' native African country. Before leaving home, Richard ends his relationship with his girlfriend, Sheila.
Through the interplay of dreams and flashbacks, he confronts not only his problematic family dynamics, but also a life-altering romantic liaison with his white female English teacher.
Believing himself to be James Dean, Richard finds false comfort in a fleeting view of himself. He, in turn, projects an image of his English teacher upon Sheila, preventing him from “seeing” and loving her. In Africa, Richard abandons the mythical perceptions he holds of both himself and Sheila. Empowered with both a new conception of his self-image and his own definition of love, Richard returns home with the hope he and Sheila will be able to reconcile their differences.
Thumbwars by Sam Nortey Jr.
PUBLISHER: Blazing Heart Publishing
RELEASE DATE: August 20, 2018
GENRE: Blazing MF, Contemporary New/Young Adult Romance.
WORD COUNT: 66,480 words
PAGE COUNT: 242 pages
It was my opportunity to say what only one other person in my life had ever told me before. Up until that point, I’d never said them to anyone before. However, before the turn on the dance floor was complete, I self-consciously looked away from Sheila’s eyes towards my feet.
Looking up, I hoped to recover Sheila’s eyes, once more. However, the eyes that now stared back at me belonged to another woman. Sheila had vanished completely, and in her place stood Ms. Opal, my high school senior English teacher.
It was the weekend following my high school graduation. Of the many Saturday night graduation parties, I attended Ms. Opal’s.
No longer in the presence of the other students who’d long since gone home, I was under the dimly lit sconces of Ms. Opal’s sitting room. Awkwardly, I moved not to the rhythm of the music but to the stern direction of her voice and the steady grip of her hand as she guided me through my first waltz. As always, the song came to an end and I was left standing alone. The silence frightened me.
Still alone in my apartment, I searched furiously for a new radio station. Beginning to bob my head back and forth, I listened to the inspiring sounds of Desiree as she sang, “You gotta’ be bad. You gotta’ be bold…” This song was so popular it was used as the theme song for a morning talk show.
“You gotta be.” What a strange string of words. The concept of being and existence has been under debate by philosophical pundits throughout the ages. I’d always wanted to believe that I couldn’t want to be; I just was. I could only be myself. How could I say that I’ve gotta be this way or that way if I was already one way?
On the subject of “being,” Sheila had said one thing, and Ms. Opal had said another. The words to the songs on the radio seem to fade as I tried finally to come to terms with what my mother had told me today.