A scorching September Saturday in 1997. There’s rowdy cheering and laughter of children running and hopping around outside, and metal squeaking of the playground equipment filtering into a 3rd floor apartment window of an East Harlem tower.
“You are very pretty” Babs blurted in a high pitch “…you remind me of my younger self” she sheepishly chuckled.
She forced her golden-brown hands into a prim fold on her lap with her back upright in a stiff hold to mirror her caramel toned guest.
“I’ll take that as a compliment” Ella replied with an obligated smile and nod.
She refrained from an expression of disgust – that questioned Babs’ gray tooth revealing itself from the right side side of her smile. Instead, she openly glanced around the room. Her eyes lead her head in turns and lifts while examining her surroundings.
“How long have you lived here?” Ella asked.
“About 27 years now” Babs replied eagerly while nodding her head up and down, “Since right afta you was born.”
The conversation pauses into an ear aching silence.
The two women sit on opposing sides of the taupe walls filled with a broken in brown and black corduroy couch, square mahogany coffee table, and the two tufted Parson’s chairs that they are seated in. A nectarine toned haze spotlights a corner of the ceiling from a table lamp’s shade. The household vacuum seems to be missing in action based on the appearance of the rundown dusty carpet.
Boiling from the smothering heat, Ella uses her right-hand index finger and thumb to pinch a black coated elastic off her left wrist. After it has been removed, she lifts her hands to scoop her long Jet Black coarse curly hair into a high bun. It sits like a disheveled crown with random ringlets springing from her temples.
“The air conditioning should start cooling the room off soon,” Babs says in an adoring observation. “I always knew you was gon have a head full of long hair Ellie,” she smiles.
“It’s El-la,” Ella snaps with an exaggerated enunciation. “No one has called me that since I was a baby,” she glares back at Barb.
“I named you Ella after my mother,” Babs says tenderly. “My family called you ‘Ellie’ to tell between the two of yous.”
Ella stares emotionless at Babs.
“Baby Ellie!” Babs continues. “…that’s what your aunts, uncles and cousins would say when dey come ova to see you.”
Ella’s frown turns to a slight delighted grimace.
“…but you got a nice upbringing with your Irish father and…,” Babs pauses in deep thought. “I’m sure Valentina let you think you was a Dominican like her all these years. I couldn’t be a rich house wife like your father wanted, but I always wanted you in my life.”
Ella releases her tense shoulders with an audible outward breath.
“I’m sorry sweetie,” Babs softly responds. “I figured… you were here to learn ‘bout your past. Do you want to know where you came from? How you got dat scar on your left arm?”
She points towards Ella’s left side while holding gaze.
“My mother told me I was an active baby and didn’t sit still while she held me, and the doctor gave me my shot,” Ella explained knowingly.
“Yes, me, ya motha, took you to the doctah,” Babs corrected proudly. “Yo daddy would call me and ask ‘bout you… I told him dat story.”
Silence swarms into the room while the two women stare at each other. Their blinking eyes are the only movement in the slowly cooling off room.
“Your father,” Babs starts to break the silence “He ain’t want no stripper raising his baby…hell…he ain’t want no black stripper to be his baby’s mama,” she chuckles.
Ella continues to listen.
“It doesn’t matter to me that you’re here to request my help for your blood transfusion,” Babs stifles on a tear. “I gave you all I got in the beginning and I’ll give you all that I have in me to make sure you continue to live your life.”
“I am…just in a world of shock. Disbelief. I thought I knew myself…and where I came from – ALREADY,” Ella chokes on a sob and holds it in. A shallow well forms under each eye.
Babs makes a quick step across the room with both hands extended towards Ella.
“I never wanted you to find out this way,” Babs says while clutching Ella in her arms. “…but it feels so good to be holding you now”
“I thought…” Ella sobs “I thought…I just… don’t understand…to find out that the woman who raised me … she lied…she’s not my mother… I feel incomplete.”
A coffee-brown haired femme sits cross-legged on her navy blue Egyptian cotton dressed king bed. Her coral gel manicured fingers hold her smart phone to her right ear. Her head tilts back on the tan colored tufted headboard behind her. She gleefully chats with her supportive mother.
“This romantic weekend away for Christmas was ALL his idea…” she says then pauses to listen to her mother’s reply.
Her eyes stare into the ceiling in a dreamy daze while listening on the call.
“YES! I can tell mom… ” she says reassuringly. “My ring is coming. I always knew he was the one,” she sighs in relief.
The pleasant ping of another call chimes through.
“Speaking of…” cutting off her mother’s sentence.
“…he’s on the other line. Call you later mom. Love you,” she says before switching lines to answer the other call.
“Hey” his voice says in a rushed monotone.
“HI baaa…” she gleams until she she is cut off.
“How are you?,” he abruptly ends her sentence.
I’m Great!…but…uhh…Soooo…when should I be ready for our weekend away?” her excitement divulges.
“well uhm… That’s what I was calling to say…” he slowly states.
Her pink glossed smile turns to a frown.
“That may not be happening,” he spews out.
Her heart hammers through her chest to release from its agony.
“…but you promised!…especially since you didn’t even get to meet my family on Thanksgiving,” she pleas.
“I know. I know,” he says.
“I have another surprise for you though… N-New Y-Year’s, N-New Year’s Eve is going to be great for us!” He delivers in an upbeat stutter.
“Ohhhhh,” an exhausted sigh releases from her mouth. “So, I have to wait another month to be with you?”
Her eyes squint and scan the room while searching her thoughts.
“Listen, don’t be upset. I just have a lot with work and my mom,” he insists.
“This is not a real relationship!” her voice raises. “I haven’t even met your friends or family…”
“YOU WILL!” he yells.
“You will baby…soon,” his voice lowers to calm the brewing storm.
She hears the creaking of a door squeak open then closed in the distance behind him.
“Hi honey!…the business trip got cancelled,” a mature womanly voice announces after her entrance into the room he’s seated in.
The sound of steady high heel taps get louder as they near him.
“Hi baby!,” he replies to this mysterious figure followed by the smack of a lip to lip kiss.
“Umm…hello?,” she says confused and almost speechless by the realization.
“Oh yea, so, Rob I’ll call you later. My fiance just got home,” his cheerful voice declares before ending the call.
“Wait! What?! ROB!…are you kidding asshole?” rolls off her tongue.
The call ends before the last of her words are audible.
“I don’t believe this SHIT!” she pouts while eyeing her pre-packed silver upright suitcase.
Her legs unravel and swing to hit the floor. She digs her index finger and thumb into her mouth to take out her dental retainer and place it in the blue plastic case on her night stand. Her feet scamper across the room to grab a worn pair of jeans and pink sweatshirt on the walk-in closet floor.
“This bitch thinks she can step in and ruin my life?! ” she screams. “Who the hell does she think she is?”
She ferociously grunts while stumbling to quickly get dressed.
As she walks from the bedroom, through the hall, to the small cottage’s front door; her angry foot thumps cause the fish residing in the narrow throughway to jostle around.
“I love him. I can’t lose him,” she thinks to herself. “When the hell did he get engaged?”
Her right hand reaches forward, turns the gold knob and …her feet are glued to the cherry wood floor.
“No,” she tells herself softly.
Wells of water form under each eye as she closes the door and pivots back to her bedroom. The droplets scorch down her face while she slowly treads back to her bedroom. Her jeans followed by her sweatshirt are removed from her slim frame in a slothful manner when she reaches her bed. They lay inside-out on the floor near where she stands. Half dressed she plops on the bed face first while her wailing is muffled by the pillows surrounding her.
“Bing, bong bing,”Her smart phone cheerfully chimes in the back pocket of her jeans on the hardwood floor.
The simultaneous vibrating & ring make her pause and roll her body towards the music coming from her gadget. Her right arm dangles over the side of the bed and snatches the phone from the floor. The screen reads ‘Jonathan’ while continuing to scream and shake its alert in her hand. She stares at the screen, wipes a tear, and places the phone on the nearby nightstand.
Seconds later the chiming and shaking starts again.
“Bing, bong, bing, bing, bong…” it attempts to tempt her.
…but it rings and rings…
Standing in her dimly lit bedroom, Wanda, an average height creamy caramel toned dame with straight raven colored hair admires herself in the mirror. She’s wearing a navy blue lace camisole with matching boy-short panties.
Full grown male cats roam her bedroom while she flips her hair and makes sexy pout facial expressions before snapping photos of her reflection.
“You’re a freakin vixen… you gorgeous cat lady” says Wanda’s twin from the mirror admiringly.
The camera light on her smart phone clicks as brightness bounces off the mirror. The twin vamps flirtatiously marvel at each other.
Dexter, one of the cats, leaps off the nightstand and rubs his head on her toned shin after he reaches the floor. Wanda slowly arches her back as she leans forward at her waist to pat and rub her dark gray feline.
“I’m so happy to still have you in my life Dex” she grins.
Cats,” she says delightedly while scanning the room and glancing at each
A long pause stills the twins.
Wanda snaps out of it…
Standing, she lifts her body at it’s highest with the balls of her feet and twirls one round on her big toes. She releases and lowers her slim-curvy frame in a ballerina’s graceful flow. Her twin stills, holds gaze, and watches aroused by the pleasurable sight.
Wanda pauses after her pirouette and seductively smirks back at her twin.
“You’re right. I’m a hot a$$ cat lady” she chuckles.
Her twin’s lips move from pursed tight to a reassuring smile and up-down nod.
“I’ve been called so many hurtful things as a woman: whore, slut, thot…never a a sexy single bachelorette,” she rolls her eyes while speaking to her reflection.
Her smile turns grim.
“I’m having so much fun…
no I’m nottttt!” she outbursts as water fills like wells in her lower eyelids.
Her twin rolls her dark eyes upward while crossing her arms in front of her chest.
“I have my cats!” she protests.
Wanda takes a deep breath in; causing her shoulders to rise followed by a loud sigh. Her twin does the same.
She grimaces with a slight giggle while her twin stares confused by Wanda’s lame humor.
“For the last 7 years I’ve brought a new guy to family gatherings. He attends the Halloween party, Thanksgiving Dinner, and even the Christmas Eve & Christmas Day family vacation…”
Her half dressed body plops sideways on her bed angling so that she can still admire her coke-bottle figure.
She props her head up with her bent right arm then tucks her hair behind her left ear. Her eyes keep contact with her image in the gold framed mirror.
“…then, like clockwork, right before New Year’s day; my new suitor tells me he’s leaving me. I do everything to keep him. I cook. I clean. I give more affection. My visual pain won’t even convince him to stay, ” she whines.
The well underneath her right eye releases a steamy droplet down her cheek towards her jawline. A daze takes over her and she’s silent.
Leo, her ginger colored feline leaps on the California King sized bed and slowly saunters his way over to her causing her daze to end.
“Then I use my sultry craft to keep them from leaving me,” she smirks.
Her left hand reaches towards the cat to caress his back. He collapses next to her indulging into her touch.
“…and now we’re all living happily ever after. Right boys?”
“MEEEEEOWWWWWWW,” the cats all wail in unison
I just don’t believe it.
I’m here. With him. In this king sized Egyptian cotton dressed bed.
Could this really be? Like any moment will I wake from this dream?
My head rests on his left arm as we lay on our sides and silently gaze at each other. His dark eyes blink quickly as if to not miss a moment of watching me. My heart lives on my sleeve and expresses through my mouth that can’t stop smiling.
“I love your eyes” Donovan breaks the silence.
My lips motion forward to meet his while my hand caresses his moist back.
“I love your lips” my voice whispers meekly.
My matching lace bra and panties are somewhere on his cherry-wood floor, but I was mentally prepared to go home last night – to my vibrator.
His free hand reaches around my pear-shaped frame and forces my body to his. Our bodies feel like one together while our sweat glides like wet glue between us.
“Mhmm” he moans.
His noise vibrates through my 5’5″ frame down to my pinky toes.
After a moment he pulls away and stares back at me.
Playfully, his fingers tickle across my stomach.
“Bwahahahha” I blurt out loudly while squirming.
He continues while amused at his control over my laughter.
“I can’t take anymore!” I yell while laughing. “Bbbhhhhhhttt!” my a$$hole chimes in.
His eyes get larger, mouth wide open.
My eyes squint and cringe. I can’t believe this is happening.
“Oh my Gah! Oh my gah! Oh my gah!” I whine while trying to suppress the smell under the sheets with my arms at my sides.
Donovan grabs the sheets and throws them over my head.
“Ahhhhhhh!” I squeal.
“HahHahahaa hahhahaha” he laughs. “Well I don’t want to smell it!”
“Hahhahahahah” I wildly giggle along.
“How does it smell?!” He continues to joke.
I’m nervous and embarrassed about this awkward yet humorous moment.
Our laughs settle down and we are left panting deeply from the moment.
After we both regain our composure; he hugs me and kisses me lightly.
I hope this means I’ll see him again.
A slim 28- year= old brunette sitting in her parked car in front of a large brick 3-story home. Her car is at least 7 years old, but her mani-pedi is fresh and her jeans are barely broken in. The car is filled with the essence of an overpriced sweet floral perfume.
Corrine: …so, I just arrived at my boss’s home for this dinner. I hope this means she likes me and wants to promote me. *pause* I miss you baby *whining*
*a masculine voice filters through the speakers of the car*
Him: You’ve got this baby…and I miss you too.*pause* I tell you what..I’m going to hurry up with this workout and get back home to you.
Corrine: That sounds perfect babe! I’ll make those protein muffins you love. Sheesh, I’m going to be an amazing wife to you some day *she unfolds the sun visor revealing the mirror to check out her reflection* Around what time do you think you’ll be by? *she combs her hair with her fingers and lightly re-twirls it into spirals from her roller set*
Him: I’m sure you will, but let’s not rush baby. I’ll see you around 9. *he replies in a happy tone*
Corrine: Sounds good baby *she smiles* I’m going to go now. I’ll see you later. I love you
Him: Okay later baby. I love you too.
Corrine: *presses red button on smart phone to end phone call, grabs her bag then steps out of car. She takes another glance at her reflection while pushing the handle of the car door to close before heading to the house*
*the sound of a male singer crooning over the sultry-snazzy tone of 80s jazz music whispers from inside the house*
Corrine: *walks up the arch shaped driveway in the front lawn and rings the door bell*
*moments later the door opens revealing a 5’8″ dark haired woman. She is older than Corrine, but her mature features are sultry and timeless in a Catherine Zeta Jones way*
Patty: Well hello Corrine. So glad you made it *in a calm yet enthusiastic tone while opening her arms for a warm embrace* Have a seat in the living room. I’ll be right in. I’m on the phone with my husband. *she leads Corrine through the foyer to the living room at the right of them*
Corrine: I understand completely. *she replies reassuringly, while inhaling the savory smell drifting through the house*
Patty: You know boys will be boys *she smiles then turns towards the dining room that seems to lead further through a maze*
*Corrine sits in the living room on a stiff taupe leather couch. She lifts her right leg and angles it over her right knee. The couch slightly squeaks with her movements*
Patty: *returning to her guest* Let’s chat in the kitchen. I have a lovely red wine *she gestures towards the area she just came from*
Corrine: Sure. You have a lovely home Patty. How long have you and your husband lived here? *she exclaims while standing then following her idolized boss through the foyer to the kitchen*
*the women reach the kitchen meeting at the gray marbled counter top island centered in the cooking paradise with mahogany cabinets*
Patty: It’s been almost 15 years. I see something like this in your near future *she assuringly winks with a smirk after sitting on a stool and pours 2 glasses, 1 after the other*
*the 2 women clang their glasses then take a quick sip of their wine*
Corrine: I hope so. It’s only been 6 months, but I’m ready for my guy to pop the question *in a serious business tone*
Patty: Well have your fun in the meantime. Some guys forget how to love you after years and years of being together. *her usual constant smile turned to a serious straight line*
Corrine: I know. I hear that a lot, but I think he’s the one *slight smile*
Patty: My husband was the one. *pause* I’d think about him and smile to myself *pause* it seemed like we were mentally and emotionally connected because moments later he’d call *she stares down towards the counter stuck in a longing gaze* but that was young love *she says as she snaps out of her stupor*
Corrine: *smiles & cheerfully shrugs*
Patty: Get your guy and seal the deal! *gulps wine, then smiles at Corrine*
Corrine: Thanks! *smiles*
Patty: I noticed my husband acting a little different on and off over the last 2 or 3 years. Just always be on your P’s and Q’s *she says, then chugs the whole glass*
*the sound of the automatic garage door opening followed by the closing of a car door echoes through the first floor of the house*
Patty: Ha! Speaking of the devil. *she directs to Corrine with a sly expression* Jay I’m in the kitchen *she announces in the direction of the door leading from the garage*
Patty: I want you to meet my husband then we can eat *to Corrine*
Corrine: Sure! *nods head up and down*
*both women sit still as if time would stop while anticipating the third person’s arrival*
*the male voice loudly calls to Patty, it gets louder as the foot steps get closer*
Jay: Honey, I won’t be home for long. Bobby is at the bar waiting for me. He’s bummed something dealing with Nancy again.
Patty: Oh no not again! *she calls back to the empty door space awaiting her conversation mate’s arrival*
Corrine: *Listens to the conversation. She keeps her back facing the empty doorway to not seem intrusive in the discussion between the married couple*
Jay: Yea…so, I’ll just grab a bite then head back out *he reaches the doorway and stands in place in the threshold*
Patty: Meet one of my staff members…*her open palm gestures towards Corrine sitting across from her*
Corrine: *smiling, swings her body towards Jay * Hi so nice to finally mee…Jason? *she squints her eyes in a questioning manner*
Patty: Yes, Jason, our family calls him Jay though *still in introductory mode*
Jay: *smiling while nodding his head left to right*
Corrine: *holding eye contact with Jay her eyes slightly well up*
Patty: Honey, this is the young lady I’m going to promote *she says to Jay while smiling at Corrine*
Jay: Congrats young lady *He replies in a counterfeit representation of being genuine* I’ll be on my way now *he swiftly scatters towards the garage*
Patty: Yes, you should be proud *she gives a bona fide smile to Corrine*
Corrine: *tears well up in her eyes* Thank you