Authors: Ashley Weis
Tags: #Marriage, #General, #Religious, #Fiction
|Exposed: A Novel|
|Winslet Press (2010)|
|Tags:||Marriage, General, Religious, Fiction|
Allyson Graham, marriage counselor and lover of love, lived a life of romance few could imagine. Until her husband's secret addiction stared at her from the computer screen. Will she be able to forgive the man who lied to her all of those precious years?
Follow her painful story alongside the heartbreaking story of Taylor Adams, a young girl searching for her worth in the world. As Allyson struggles to forgive her husband for lying about his addiction, Taylor naively falls into the same self-destructive industry and discovers that the attention and fun is nothing like she thought it would be.
Discover the hearts of these two women as they search for beauty after the rain.
Honest, raw, redemptive, surprising, fearless EXPOSED is storytelling at its finest. Ashley Weis has woven two compelling stories into one, highlighting the devastation of both sides of the porn screen. --Mary DeMuth, author of
Life in Defiance
Ashley Weis takes us where few in fiction dare to tread. She addresses every woman's nightmare with devastating frankness. Her style is clean and efficient, her story line, powerful. Weis shows that hope can shine just as brilliantly among the neon of the sex industry as it does through a stained glass church window. Anyone who claims that Christian fiction is pat and irrelevant hasn't read Ashley Weis. --Gina Holmes, author of
and founder of Novel Journey
This is the story of my own journey, but not completely. While I wrote much of this book based off of my own life, Ally and Jessie's story is a lot different than mine. Ally tends to be a little nicer than I was during this trial in our marriage. Honestly, I relate more to Taylor, the porn star, in this book. Some people may think Taylor is the cliche porn star story, but her story was based off of many actual porn stars and ex-porn stars I met throughout this journey. While Ally is obviously closer to my heart in many ways, Taylor isn't far from the girl I used to be either. I think that's the biggest theme I want people to come away from when reading Exposed... that we are not very different from each other at all. As women, our hearts carry the same tune. I realized this while writing Exposed, and I hope my readers find this while reading it.
“You must read
. Not only will you see the lives of a porn star and a porn addict’s wife, you will also see the face of God. The raw pain and reality in this book will twist your heart, but the hope will move you.”
—Shelley Lubben, ex-porn star
founder of The Pink Cross Foundation
“Honest, raw, redemptive, surprising, fearless—
is storytelling at its finest. Ashley Weis has woven two compelling stories into one, highlighting the devastation of both sides of the porn screen.”
—Mary DeMuth, author
Life in Defiance
“Ashley Weis takes us where few in fiction dare to tread. She addresses every woman’s nightmare with devastating frankness. Her style is clean and efficient, her story line, powerful. Weis shows that hope can shine just as brilliantly among the neon of the sex industry as it does through a stained glass church window. Anyone who claims that Christian fiction is pat and irrelevant hasn’t read
—Gina Holmes, best selling author
and founder of Novel Journey
is a “must read” novel for all married Christians. Ashley Weis cleverly intertwines the lives of two very different women, both suffering from the devastating effects of porn. She dives into each of their hearts and exposes the raw pain that is true to real life. It is also a story of hope as God works in mysterious ways. I found this book very hard to put down. Being a wife of a porn addicted husband, I identify very close with Ally. It brings great promise and joy to a wife that finds herself overcome with pain from a porn damaged relationship.”
—Jenna, wife of an ex porn-addict
“Wow. This story . . . there are no words. Read Taylor’s story. It may be dramatic for some, but it is my experience as a stripper and prostitute. Ashley has broken my heart with this book—in a good way.”
—Anonymous, ex-stripper and prostitute
took my heart from my chest and sprawled it out on the page, only to show me the beauty of hope and redemption. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
—Anonymous, wife of a porn addict
“As a wife of a porn-addict, this book gave me hope. It’s intense, but realistic. Few fiction is as real as this. Ashley, you are brave for writing this. Thank you. Thank you for being willing to go where few are willing to go.”
—Anonymous, wife of a porn addict
Exposed: A Novel
Copyright © 2010 by Ashley Weis
To learn more about Ashley Weis, visit her Web sites:
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or bay any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, etc.—except for quotations in reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2010927835
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.
All scripture used is from the NIV Bible.
Cover & Interior Design by George Weis of Tekeme Studios
Printed in the United States of America
First Edition: September 2010
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
To my husband:
for showing me the true colors of love.
To Jesus Christ:
for making all things new.
And to everyone affected by the porn industry:
You are loved.
Note to readers:
Throughout these pages you will see the aching truths hidden behind the porn industry’s mask. This is not reality for every porn star, but it is for many. I have chosen to omit language and details to protect the minds of my readers, but the porn industry can be much, much worse than it is portrayed in these pages. Also, the wife’s story may seem melodramatic to some, but it is loosely based off of my story and the story of many women who write to me. No story is the same and some may be better or worse than the lives I’ve chosen to show in these pages, but for many of us …
these stories are painfully real.
The sound of my cell phone buzzing across the dining room table, the scent of Pine-Sol from the kitchen sink, the strange feeling that my life might change forever—I remember that Friday as though it were yesterday.
I picked up my cell phone before it slid off the edge of the dining room table.
“Ally, are you home yet?” Jessie’s voice forced its way through bad reception.
“Yeah, I left work early.”
“Oh.” He paused. “So, you’re home? What time is it?”
“4:30 or so. About to start dinner.” I paused. “Is that okay?”
“You’re not planning something romantic, are you?” I smiled. “Did
I ruin it?”
“Maybe,” he said. “I’ll be home soon. Love you.”
We hung up. I sat down at the dining room table, tapping my foot, daydreaming about a growing belly. We’d been trying to get pregnant for two years. No luck. My hand moved to touch my stomach, but I accidentally jostled the mouse of Jessie’s shiny Macbook Pro. The screensaver displaying our wedding pictures disappeared, then an image of a naked woman starred at me from the screen.
My foot stopped tapping.
Unable to blink or move, I trembled from my hands to my lips. Unclothed women drove their teeth into my heart, shook it around, and slobbered on me. I scrolled down the page as the slender arms on the screen reached out to choke my dreams. I checked Jessie’s browsing history, the Google search bar, every centimeter of his computer I possibly could.
Each site I found showed the same thing. A blonde woman posed in ways I never imagined, wearing things I never knew existed. Her silky hair cascading down her shoulders and chest, highlighting features my own body lacked.
My chest tightened. Memories flashed in my mind, like the first time I discovered pornographic magazines in Dad’s dresser, tucked under a pyramid of t-shirts.
“What’s this?” I said to Mom.
She never said a word, but her eyes glazed over and I knew something wasn’t right.
I blinked away tears. My thoughts centered on Dad and the pain he caused Mom and me. I didn’t want to end up like them.
Jessie should have told me his secret. We could have worked through our problems together. As partners. Now the one person who wrapped his arms around me during every storm in life created a typhoon. Head in my hands, lips hugging tight to each other, I screamed inside. Tears streamed down my neck and my shirt collar caught their fall.
Who would catch me?
His computer screen went black, but I still saw them—the women he admired.
He lied. He told me he never struggled with porn in his life.
Until this moment our marriage seemed to be so alive, so healthy, so honest.
I replayed his words in my head. The sound of his lying tongue jarred me. The steady deliverance of his words, the serious eyes I thought were faithful—all of it made me want to throw the computer at him and leave without a word.
I awakened the computer and clicked on a link he visited a few hours earlier at 4:24am. The page loaded. Images of women loaded. There’s no mistake with that word. Loaded. I swear it felt like a rifle blowing my life to pieces.
I closed the browser window, disgusted at myself for viewing something so raunchy. So hard to imagine my husband, the man beside me every morning, immersed in pornography—the one addiction I swore I’d never tolerate in marriage.
Sweat-inducing fury took a roller-coaster ride through my body, heating my face and tightening my lips. I clenched my teeth and closed my eyes, trying to erase the images from my memory. But every pose and body part of every woman grafted themselves into my brain.
I wanted to run away but my feet stayed planted, and I hated that my roots were so strong.
The door opened.
The floor creaked. Jessie’s black dress shoes, loosely
tied, stood before me.
I refused to look at his face, but I imagined it. Red cheeks, balloon eyes, pure shock lining his every feature.
One step. He stopped. Another. His heel scraped the floor. He stopped again.
I saw a picture of us ten years from now. Lines on my face like Mom’s. A strained marriage if any at all. No kids. No passion. No love. Life peeling like toxic paint chips onto the floor.
He reached for my hand. “I’m sorry.”
My shoulders dropped.
His untied left shoe stepped toward me as I wilted in my chair. Reminiscent of the night he proposed, Jessie bent his knee and knelt before me. His hand hovered above my hands, folded in my lap. I crossed my arms and tugged at my sleeve.
“How could you do this to me?” I said to his shoe.
He sat in the chair beside me, close enough for me to hear him breathe but far enough that I could take a breath. “I wanted to tell you.”
I wiped my nose with the back of my hand and sniffed. “Jessie, you lied to me.”
I looked up. He looked down. Reminded me of the day we met.
I moaned and looked at his eyelids. “Say something.”
He stood. My eyes traveled up. His arms hung alongside his cream shirt, un-buttoned and un-tucked. His eyes. I saw tears.
He licked his lips. They shimmered in the beams of May’s setting sun. Along with his glistening eyes. No sound. No words. Nothing could fill the emptiness in the room. Nothing seemed to matter anymore.
I looked at Jessie and saw naked women. People can say that Internet pornography is simply a form of betrayal, but right then, those images told the truth. My husband cheated. He lied. He hid.
“Ally, I was going—”
“Please stop,” I whispered, but my chest burned. I rubbed my palms on my favorite work pants and stared at Jessie’s shoes. But those shoes wouldn’t budge. I combed my hair clip through my hair, swept it back up and re-clipped, then stood and walked away from him—to get away.
I stopped at the counter to search for my keys, but I couldn’t see them. Jessie walked over to me. Part of me wanted to work through things, but most of me didn’t. So I hunted my keys in the dining room.
Jessie approached me from behind. “Ally, let’s talk about it.”
“There’s nothing to talk about. I need some time to myself, to think through this.” I raised my hand to my face and pinched the bridge of my nose.
Don’t cry, Ally. Don’t cry over him. But I loved him. And I hated that I loved him.
Jessie lifted his left hand—complete with meaningless wedding ring—and swiped his hair from his forehead.
“Why did you do this to us?” I said.
He warmed my back with his arms and pulled me into his chest. I pushed away, hoping he’d pull me back in, but hoping he wouldn’t at the same time. I didn’t know what I wanted. The past. I wanted the past back.
Oh, God, please. My Jessie. . . .
He pulled me back into his chest and cradled me. I let him.
We slumped down to the dining room floor, two feet away from the computer, and held each other. I wondered if the naked women watched us, mocked us.
“I wanted to tell you,” he said. “I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to hurt you.”
The lie cuts deeper than the act, I thought.
Unwilling to move, unable to speak, I reclined on the floor and analyzed the IKEA lights strung across our dining room ceiling, trying not to remember the day we bought them. Trying just as hard to restrain my tears. Jessie joined me on the floor.
“How long?” I said, not looking at him.
Silence answered back. I pretended I was at work and turned on the marriage counselor in me. “When did you start?”
He cleared his throat and swallowed. “It started when I was thirteen.”
My bottom lip dropped. Of all the couples I’ve counseled, you’d think I wouldn’t have been shocked.
“My neighbor took me into his attic.”
I barely heard him.
“He showed me magazines. I knew it was wrong. I tried to leave, but he told me a real man likes to look at naked women. So, I stayed.”
“So you wanted to say no?”
“Part of me did, yes. I felt guilty, but I was curious.”
“Okay, so what happened?”
“He told me to sit on the floor, so I did. Then he pulled a box from a closet shelf.” His eyes twitched while he looked at everything in the room but me. “The rest is history.”
“What did the women look like?” My eyes stung with tears I wouldn’t cry. “Did you masturbate?”
“Ally.” He pinched his tongue between his lips and shook his head. “I don’t remember what those women looked like.”
I watched his lips, wondering how many women he imagined kissing. “Did you masturbate?”
“Not at his house. I did later that night.”
“Was that the first time?”
“It was the first time I knew what I was doing. Only because he told me.”
Memories of our wedding day danced in my mind. A single tear fell to my neck. I wondered if he looked at other women on our honeymoon. “So when did the Internet come into play?”
“When my parents got a computer. Kids at school talked about porn all the time. Wasn’t hard to figure out.”
I sat up and shook my head, trying to shake the nightmare away.
“Sometimes I felt awful, sometimes I didn’t. I’ve tried changing my computer password to Jesus so that I’d think of Him every time I logged on. Didn’t work. I just dismissed the thought and made excuses. No matter what I did to punish myself, nothing made me want to stop.”
“Not even me.” My words lingered.
He reached his hand toward my face. I moved away. “Actually you were the first reason I wanted to stop,” he said.
“Did you ever do it while we were dating?”
“But you did when we were married? That doesn’t make sense.”
He rubbed the hair on his chin.
“Are you sure you didn’t when we were dating?” At least part of our relationship wasn’t a lie. Just everything after the wedding vows.
“Promise me.” Jessie never made false promises, or so I believed.
“I promise,” he said.
I sighed. “You watched porn while I slept upstairs alone? And you didn’t care enough about me to stop?”
He covered his eyes with his hands. “I don’t think of it like that.”
I wanted to cry again, but the tears hid behind closed lids.
“I tried to stop. I don’t want this in my life. It sneaks up on me when I least expect it.”
I veiled my eyes with my arm.
“Sometimes I’m in the car and an image randomly flashes in my head.”
“Right. And next thing you know, you’re staying up late, in our house while your wife cries upstairs because she can’t get pregnant, and there you are, sitting downstairs with a cup of tea as you fantasize about other women. These aren’t just airbrushed magazine models you’re talking about, they’re real women! And they’re not me!”
His mouth froze.
“Why do they titillate you, and I don’t?” I used the word on purpose.
He inhaled, expanding his entire chest.
“What do they have that I don’t?”
“You’re everything I ever wanted.”
“How have you shown me that? I mean, after all this, how?”
“I can’t explain it.”
I stood. “Try.”
“It’s just, I don’t know. A man can have all he’s ever wanted in a wife, but sexually, in his flesh, I don’t know, it’s like I want everything.”
I looked at the man I married, for better or worse, wishing I never had to experience the latter. “I can’t believe I’m hearing this from you.”
He stood. “I guess you shouldn’t have expected Mr. Perfect in the first place.”