Midnight and the Meaning of Love

Midnight and the Meaning of Love

by Sister Souljah


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Sister Souljah, the New York Times bestselling author of The Coldest Winter Ever and Midnight, delivers her most compelling and enlightening story yet. With Midnight and The Meaning of Love, Souljah brings to her millions of fans an adventure about young, deep love, the ways in which people across the world express their love, and the lengths that they will go to have it.

Powerful and sensual, Midnight is an intelligent, fierce fighter and Ninjutsu-trained ninja warrior. He attracts attention wherever he goes but remains unmoved by it and focuses on protecting his mother and sister and regaining his family’s fortunes. When Midnight, a devout Muslim, takes sixteen-year-old Akemi from Japan as his wife, they look forward to building a life together, but their tumultuous teenage marriage is interrupted when Akemi is kidnapped and taken back to Japan by her own father, even though the marriage was consummated and well underway.

“There’s not one drop of inferiority in my blood,” Midnight says as he first secures his mother, Umma, and sister, Naja, before setting off on a global journey to reclaim his wife. Midnight must travel across three countries and numerous cultures in his attempt to defeat his opponent. Along this magnificent journey he meets people who change him forever, even as he changes them. He encounters temptations he never would have imagined and takes risks that many a lesser man would say no to, all for the women he loves and is sworn to protect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439165362
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Sister Souljah's Midnight Series , #2
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 20,609
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Sister Souljah is best known for her work as a political activist and educator of underclass urban youth. A graduate of Rutgers University, she is a beloved personality in her own community. She lives in New York with her husband and son.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Word to Mother

Warmhearted and young, armed and dangerous, I was moving my guns and weapons out of my Brooklyn apartment to one of my most reliable stash spots. As heavy as they were, my thoughts were heavier and even more deadly. I was trying to move murder off my mind.

Kidnapping is a bullshit English word. It doesn’t convey the insult that the offense carries, when a man invades another man’s home, fucks with his family or his wife, la kadar Allah (God forbid), and steals her away.

The man whose wife is gone stands there try’na push the puzzle pieces together of where his wife is exactly and what happened exactly. His blood begins to boil, thicken, curdle, and even starts to choke him. That’s why for me, kidnapping and murder go hand in hand.

In my case, my young wife Akemi’s kidnapper is her own father, her closest blood relation, a man who she loves and honors. For me to kill him would be to lose her even if I win her back. And I refuse to lose.

Ekhtetaf is our word for kidnapping. My Umma pushed it out from her pretty lips. She pulled it from her soul and gave it the true feeling that it carried for us—the hurt, shame, violation, and insult. For half a day it was all that she said after I relayed to her that Akemi was gone. My new wife had been taken against her will back to Japan without a chance to express herself to us, her new family, face to face.

For me to see my mother Umma’s Sudanese eyes filled with tears tripled my trauma. I had dedicated my young life to keeping the water out of my mother’s eyes and returning a measure of joy to her heart that life had somehow stolen. But Sunday night, when our home phone finally rang, and Umma answered only to hear the silence of Akemi’s voice and the gasp in Akemi’s breathing and the restraint in Akemi’s crying, Umma’s tears did fall.

There was a furious rainstorm that same Sunday. Everything was soaked, the afternoon sky had blackened and then bled at sunset. So did Umma’s eyes switch from sunlight to sadness to rain and eventually redness.

Through the evening thunder I sat still trying to simmer. They say there is a beast within every man, and I was taming my beast with music. My earplugs were siphoning the sounds of Art of Noise, a soothing song called “Moments of Love.”

My sister Naja held her head low. She was responding to our mother Umma’s feelings. Like the eight-year-old that she is, she did not grasp the seriousness of Akemi’s disappearance and believed more than Umma and I that Akemi would be coming through the door at any moment.

* * *

Much later that same Sunday night, family day for us, my Umma placed a purple candle in a maroon dish and onto her bedroom floor. She struck a black-tipped match and it blazed up blue. The subtle scent of lavender released into her air. There in the darkness, I sat on her floor, leaning against the wall, and listened to her melodic African voice in the expressive Arabic language, as she told me for the first time ever the story, or should I say saga, of my father’s fight to take her as his first bride, true love, and true heart. I knew then that the darkness in her room was intentional. She wanted to shield the sea of her emotions since there was no love more intense than the mutual love between her and my father. She also wanted to subdue my fury.
She wanted me to concentrate instead on the red and then orange and then blue flame and listen intently for the meaning of her words and the moral of her story so that I would know why I must not fail to bring Akemi back home and why I had to seize victory, the same as my father did.

Monday, May 5th, 1986

At daybreak, when the moon became the sun, Umma’s story was completed. She lay gently on the floor still dressed in her fuschia thobe. Her hair spread across her arm as she slipped into sleep. Our lives and even our day were both upside down now. I lifted her and placed her onto her bed. I put out the flame that danced on the plate in the middle of mostly melted wax.

Umma was supposed to be preparing for work, but her most important job, which took all night, was finally finished. She wanted to transfer my father’s strength and intelligence and brave heart to me, her son. She wanted me to know that I must not be halted by my deep love for her, my mother. She had told me, “You have guarded my life and built our family business. I love you more than you could ever imagine. In my prayers, I thank Allah every day for creating your soul and giving you life. I thank Allah for choosing to send you through my body. But now, ‘You must follow the trail of your seed.’ ”

Chapter 2
So in Love

Naja overslept. When I went into her room to wake her for school I found her sleeping in her same clothes from yesterday and clutching a doll. The scene was strange. At night she usually wore her pajamas and her robe and woke up wearing them as well. She didn’t play with dolls, wasn’t the type, was more into puzzles and pets. As I approached her bed, I saw the doll had the same hair as my wife, long, black, and thick. That hair is real, I thought to myself, and reached for the doll. I maneuvered it out of Naja’s hands and flipped it around. It was a tan-skinned doll with Japanese eyes drawn on with a heavy permanent black Sharpie marker. The material was sewn and held together with a rough and amateurish stitch.

Naja woke up and said with a sleepy slur and stutter, “I finally made something by myself.” She turned sideways in her bed, propping her head up with her hand, and said now with confidence, “It’s Akemi. Can’t you tell?”

I smiled the way a man with troubles on his mind might smile to protect a child’s innocent view of the world. I could’ve easily got tight with my little sister because she had gone into my room and removed the ponytail of hair that Akemi had chopped off of her own head one day in frustration with her Japanese family.

“It looks like her. You did a good job,” I told Naja.

“Do you really think it looks like your wife or are you just saying that to be nice?” Naja asked.

“I’m saying it to be nice. Now get up, you’re running late for school today.”

* * *

Akemi’s expensive collection of high heels was lined up against the wall in our bedroom. Her hand-painted Nikes and other kicks with colorful laces were spread out too. Her luggage and clothing, every dress and each skirt a memory of something sweet, were all there. Her black eyeliner pencil that outlined her already dark and beautiful eyes was left out on the desktop. The perfume elixir that Umma made for Akemi, but truly for my pleasure, was there also. The crystal bottle top was tilted to the right from the last use. Her yoga mat was rolled up and lying in the corner. She had left her diary out for all to see. She knew we could not read one word of the Japanese kanji that began on the last page and ended on the first. Yet she had colorful drawings in there as well. Just then I recalled her fingers gliding down the page with a colored pencil in one hand and a chunk of charcoal in the other.

Everywhere in our bedroom there were signs that this was a woman, a wife who lived here beside me, her husband, and definitely intended to stay. We are teenagers, Akemi and I, but we are both sure of our bond. Furthermore, we took that bold and irreversible step into marriage and our two hearts became one.

She had left her designer life and luxurious apartment behind and moved into the Brooklyn projects to be beside and beneath me. So in love, even in the chaos of this hood, and the glare of the ambulances and scream of sirens, she could only see me. Each day her love became more sweeter, her smile even brighter.

After hearing Umma’s story, I understood now that in the Sudan, my home country, the kidnapping of females is unusual but has happened, especially when two men were battling over the same woman. A Sudanese man will fight hard and by any means necessary to earn the right and advantage over the next man to marry the bride of his choice and make her his own.

Yet our men never battle over a woman after the marriage has already taken place, been witnessed, acknowledged, and agreed on. We never battle to win a woman after her husband has gone into her. And I had gone into my wife Akemi over and over and in so many ways that the thought alone made my heart begin to race and my entire body began to sweat like summer, but in the spring season.

I looked at my bedsheets that I had never thought about before. Umma had selected those sheets knowing that a man wouldn’t mind but a woman would. She dressed up my bed one day while I was out. Umma wanted Akemi to feel good and welcomed. I had to admit that those Egyptian cotton sheets were soft and comfortable. Only Akemi’s skin was softer.

Eateda is the word from back home that describes for us a bigger offense.

My mind switched to that thought. Eateda happens when a kidnapper steals a woman against her will, then rapes her. I promised myself that in my blood relation beef with my wife’s father, this was not that type of problem. Yet I also knew that when a man is not beside his woman, protecting, loving, providing, and influencing her all the time, eateda is always possible by any man who is allowed to be in the same room with her, if that man is living low.

* * *

My sensei taught me the technique of breathing a certain way to lower the blood pressure and calm the mind and settle the heart. It was not a technique meant to prevent a murder. A man has to think but not too much. Thinking to an extreme can paralyze a man’s actions and turn him into a passive coward. What Sensei taught me was a technique meant mainly to calm a warrior to prepare him to make the sharpest, wisest, most effective strike against his target. So I was using it as I stepped swiftly down the subway stairs and out of the spring air. Now it was Monday. My feet were moving rhythmically with my breathing. My game face was neutral, but my soul was scowling. Each time that I cleared my murderous thoughts, they would reappear.

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Midnight and the Meaning of Love 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 168 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Spoilers* I tried to like this book. I really did. I enjoyed "Midnight: A Gangsters Love Story" enough to pre-order this book and read it within a week of receiving it. Let's just say what set up for an intriguing premise was destroyed at least 150 pages before the book was even finished. My review will contain spoilers so please skip down to the BOTTOM LINE to avoid them. Midnight And The Meaning of Love picks up right where A Gangsters Love Story left off. Akemi, the 16 year old wife of Midnight has been kidnapped by her Japanese father, and of course the young Sudanese Ninja vows to do whatever it takes to get her back. The book has three sections, with about 16-20 chapters each. The first section takes place in Brooklyn, the second in Japan, and the third in Korea. The Brooklyn section is more or less filled with preparation for Midnight to go to Japan and take back his bride. While he organizes his plan though, he also takes time to play basketball with his friends, meet Santiago (Winters father from Coldest Winter Ever), train with his sensi, lust after Bangs, and move his family (his 7 year old sister and his non-english speaking mother) from their apartment in Brooklyn. It's a slow but necessary read and for the most part really helps to paint the mindset of Midnight before making his journey across the globe. The second section kicks off once Midnight boards a plane to Japan where he meets several teenage girls; one of them a half black-half Korean ninja named Chiasa that Midnight hires to be his tour guide and translator. She impresses him with her knowledge of fighting and her quick intelligence and this lays the foundation for the love triangle that takes place later in the story. Sister Souljah goes into great lengths to explain every single detail of Japan through the eyes of Midnight, which includes brief introductions into history, language, fashion, and culture. Midnight also finds out more about Akemi's father and mother which helps him form a strategy for safely finding and retrieving his wife. Built like an odyssey with many trials and obstacles, Midnight encounters many people along the way that could be friend or foe, but ultimately finds a way to get his wife back. The reunion doesn't last as a new set of circumstances emerge which forces him to travel to Korea. Midnight and his hired mercenary teenage comrade Chiasa travel to Korea to finally complete the mission of getting Akemi, and alleviate the other set of issues they have encountered on the way. This is also the setting where Midnight and Chiasa fall in love, and Midnight goes through a Mission Impossible-like courtship to win her hand and take her as his second wife. This is the premise of the book. 14 year old Midnight (Souljah rarely mentions his age in the book. Likely to not remind the reader how young he is) travels to Japan to find his 16 year old wife that was kidnapped by her father and returns a few weeks later with two wives. If this isn't the most ridiculous plot ever... The first book, though reaching on so many levels, was decent enough of a read to me. Obviously Midnight is bred differently from most boys so I gave SS the benefit of the doubt when it came to his "love story" with Akemi as well as his character arch in the first novel. But with this book, I was hoping it would take that next step and explain how 14 year old Midnight, who married a woman he couldn't communicate properly with, had tu
Feed_1 More than 1 year ago
Words can not explain how Sister Souljah's characters come to life as your reading and it really makes you feel as if your there experiencing the same things as Midnight. She's so vivid with her storytelling. Midnight was a character out of THE COLDEST WINTER EVER and I knew he had a story to tell and I am glad she has taken the time to tell his which now explains alot and the discipline that he had with WINTER and any other female. Midnight is so deep taht it has taken her two books to write about him and I still feel that there's more to tell about him. As author you have to admire how she researches and lives within the culture in order to be able to write about it. Can't wait for the next book.
supastamaof3 More than 1 year ago
This highly anticipated sequel did not disappoint. I WAS THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I find it mind boggling that people are saying that there is two different "Midnight's" when they mention how he met Santiaga. Read and comprehend what you are reading thanx! Sister Souljah is a sell out in my eyes and she fell off after 'The Coldest Winter Ever'. I looked forward to the sequel just like everyone else and was greatly disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book it just was not good too many loose ends i feel like i read a roughdraft of the book after the first one it was a frustrating read. If she was releasing this she should have written it better or released two books at once this book is full of irrelevant details that lead to an unfinished and disappointing not even clifhanger its like she shutdown her computer midroughdraft.
lmathis-CT More than 1 year ago
just finish reading midnight and can't wait for the meaning of love already Pre-ordered it. Also Loved coldest winter ever by Sister souljah one of my favorite books!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This cannot be compared to Coldest Winter Ever. As a matter of fact it shouldn't even be associated with it! After reading the first Midnight book flop why I ever read the second is a mystery to me! I guess I loved CWE so much I was hoping it would make up for the first one. Boy was a wrong. The only reason this got 1 star is b/c I couldn't post with no stars!!! SMH
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the review written by anonymous:Meaning of Love? Just one in many unanswered questions, summed up the book perfectly but i enjoyed the trip to japan and korea (although it was hard to pronouce some of the words) but what was most fascinating to me was how this 14 year old black male who had been raised in the new york for 7 of those years, who had adapted some of the lifestyles of the "homeboys", was able to stay fast to his muslim beliefs.. compared to our american youths, midnight is one of a kind.. maybe a lil to good to be true, especially w/o an older male muslim figure involved in his life daily basis. he mind-set, thought process and preparations for the future were not of a 14 year old but more of a 40 year old.. i loved the book.. now i can't say i agree to the multiple wives but how is that any different from the multiple baby-mama's our young men have today..at least midnight married them and vowed to take care of them. can we say that for the baby daddy's of the world?..
Cochila More than 1 year ago
This should have been classified as fantasy. No way can a 16 year old accomplish all that. The story is long and drawn out and really quite boring. Unlike other Sister Souljah's books I had to force myself to finish. A big disappointment!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will start by saying it took me a month in a half to finish this book. So already it wasn't a good sign for me. As I was getting almost to the middle of the book I already felt like I wanted to ditch the book or better yet read something else worth my time. The story was drawn out for me, it was slow getting to the point. I lost interest very quickly after giving it time in the middle close to the end. I wouldn't read it again nor would I recommend this book to anybody. It's hard to believe that two women so young would share one young man. Unbelievable, down right unimaginable. I did like midnight in the coldest winter ever but reading the second book on the subject of just him alone turned me the hell off. He was arrogant, and very judgemental, very rude at times and he felt everything he did was righteous. He made to my stomach that I had to rush through the second book. But after reading the second book I thought I would give the 3rd book a chance to find out why his wife was kidnapped and who was responsible. To be honest I wasted my time and now I will not waste my time any longer. This is a waste of time writing about it I might as well just say I hated the 2nd and the 3rd book that she's written. Hopefully you will not waste your time either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me want to be involved with midnight! The musluim religion was potraied well in this book! Couldnt put this book down either
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You must read this book!!!!! If you have not yet read minight a gangsters lovestory you have no idea what you are missing!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sequel....I was sorry for it to end!
goldenqueenreader More than 1 year ago
what an excellent book or should I say books. This is the 2nd book of the midnight series and its very intricate story line based in Japan and Korea. sister Souljah has been gifted with the talent of telling a very great story line. It amazes me the amount of detail this author put to into midnight's actions and feelings. The detail doesn't drag the plot down it enhances it and makes the story so believable. Ok so I read some of the comments about Midnight being 14 is too young to have such intelligent thought but its a story people and really its not that far fetched what about King Tut he ruled at 10 years old? The age shows the significance of capturing a youth at the turning point where he feels and sees women and starts to see himself. Midnight in this book is now on a mission to get his wife back by all means necessary. The meaning of love to him was following his faith. Which taught him the importance and gave him the road map for his love. Love was defined as being courageous enough to take difficult paths and not just the easy route. Last note I recommend you read book 1 Midnight a ganster love story first it will give you a deeper explaination of Midnight. Without book one his actions may confuse you. The love scences are explosive and detailed detailed detailed! I fell in love when Midnight fell in love, I was hyped when he was hyped and I love the action pack excitement. The cultures, the styles, the vending machines "Dirty Panties" eeewh yuck, the food, the language, the emotion, and most of all his faith I loved it!ilearned so much about Japan I didnt know there is a no tip law! I felt as though I was the one walking those clean streets with all those book stores at NIGHT! I want to go to Japan! This a true page turner and real exciting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok. It was so long and drawn out. Me personally i dont think that i could have two companions. What i dont understand is its hard for ppl to change Chasia always said Japanese people do this and that. She was mixed, but i dont think she showed her African American side. I refuse to believe she will accept second wife if she is so use to being number one. Akeima was the same person in the last book who had a stare down with that muslim girl the mother is staying with, but now all of a sudden shes cool that he was in love eith another girl. How could he fully love appreciate his first wife if they barely had time together. He still didnt properly teach her the muslim life, but yet he went off and considered marrying another girl. I think the other was so caught up in her ideas that she forgot what was actually happening. I felt like this book was a waste of time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u like adventure, a spiritual awakening, love, lust, culture, dominance, travel....I COULD GO ON! BUT I WON'T SO JUST READ THE BOOKS. Sexy!!! Part two was my favorite!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
But again, ending has me lost. Its been years since i read the coldest winter, but i dont remember midnightbeing married. So hoping next books come out with whst happened to akemi and chiasa.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for this book to drop. The first book was an interesting read and I can not wait to see what happens in this episode. Keep in mind that the original Midnight that was in the first book The Coldest Winter Ever is not the same Midnight that is in this series of books. I give five stars only because I know I will not be disappointed.
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Loved it