Gladys, a plump brunette with gray streaks in her hair lays strewn across a navy-blue chaise lounge. The sun gradually rises and blankets her pale skin as she slowly awakens.
“where the hell am I?” she announces in a boozed daze.
A slim caramel toned woman gleefully prances from her bedroom through her open concept home. Her shoulder length raven colored ringlets bounce with her walk as she smiles from inner thoughts. Her sashay skips a beat when she reaches the living room leading to the kitchen.
“Oh… you’re awake,” Donna replies to the disappointing image.
“Excuse me…” Gladys calls to Donna.
“…Ma’am, I didn’t have a chocolate on my pillow last night.”
“You’re lucky I gave you a pillow,” Donna remarks snidely.
She places a K-Cup in the coffee brew machine and presses the start button.
Gladys lifts her head to get a view of Donna.
“I used to look like you,” Gladys smiles. Her ear-to-ear grin reveals missing teeth on the right side of her mouth.
“…and then what?” Donna requests.
Gladys chuckles “…and then nothing. I guess that’s not a compliment since I’m old and fat now… aye.”
Donna sips her steaming coffee and stares blankly at her house guest.
“ok…I’d look like you if I was dark…like you have tan skin and I’m white,” Gladys further explained her case.
Donna swiftly stomps to the living room area, snatches up the black duffel bag from the floor near the chaise lounge. She returns to the kitchen and grabs a few items from the pantry; tossing them into the bag.
“Now, now sweetie. I don’t mean any harm. My dead husband Harvey was black,” Gladys continues while watching Donna quickly travel from room to room of the 2,000 square foot ranch.
“He left us…and then he died MOM! So, stop reminiscing like he was this great man,” Donna sneers.
She hands Gladys the duffle bag. Gladys slowly stands from her seat squinting her eyes in confusion.
She ignores Donna’s anger “You do look like you could be my daughter, but she’s a little girl.”
“…Only seven years old with nappy curly pigtails” She groans from elderly pains as she stands from her seat.
“You have to stop these antics,” Donna sighs as a tear rolls down her right cheek. “Next time I find you drunk and passed out on the side walk…I’m leaving you there.”
Accepting the filled bag and walking towards the front door “This is a rude bed and breakfast,” Gladys declares.
“Your ride back to the home will be here in 2 minutes,” Donna says over her left shoulder while walking towards her bedroom. The door closes behind her.
“That lady reminds me of my baby girl Donna. I sure do miss her,” Gladys thinks out loud.
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…
It’s been 5 months since I paid off my luxury condo with a view of the New York City skyline.
2 months ago, I sent my parents on a month long vacation to Jamaica on my “lottery winnings”.
Last week, I hired a personal assistant who runs my errands, pays my bills, walks my dog, and sends slutty texts on my behalf to my lovers when I’m busy.
Before you assume that I’m a lazy pyramid scheme running, escort just know that I believe I have helped people control their substance abuse.
My rise to wealth started 3 years ago, as a prank. I decided to get my coworker/bestie, Nancy, high to loosen her up at the company’s holiday party. After all the financial reports she organized and presented to our VPs; she deserved to have some fun. So, after her small chat with her office crush turned sour I walked her to the restroom. Awkward discomfort showed in her doe-like eyes. Hoping to ease the pain, I reached into my clutch with my index-finger and thumb to revel a tiny clear vial with a black cap filled with (pause) let’s call it a white powdery substance.
“I don’t know about this…”Nancy nodded.
Disregarding her comment I poured the substance onto the scoop part of my pinky finger nail. I could only base my actions on what I’ve seen on TV.
“Can I get in on that?”
A familiar voice requests from a distance about 3 stalls away.
Nancy tilts her head while extending her neck to see over my shoulder and I turn slightly to see where the request is coming from.
I hesitated. “…get in on this?” I replied like an amateur.
The last stall door swung open revealing my director, Janis. Her sultry and intrigued eyes held gaze with me as her foot steps got louder when she came closer to us.
“I really need to get through this dull night” Janis said suavely when she reached our standing point of the bathroom.
I passed her the vial and she sprinkled a tiny hit onto the back of her left hand. We watched in awe as she brought her diamond dressed wrist closer to her face, held her right nostril closed with her right hand and vacuumed the dust up her left nostril.
“Ahhhhh” Janis sighed and fluttered her lashes ” Come have a drink with me before you girls leave”.
Janis checked her reflection, pinched her nose to grab the white excess and rubbed her fingers together until the powder disintegrated. Her slim figure swiftly glided out of the bathroom along with the taps of her four inch high pumps.
“Your turn” I gestured the vial at Nancy for her to give me her hand.
Reluctantly, she followed Janis’ same steps, but her attempt to be suave turned to uncontrollable flinching and coughing.
“This better make me a rich bitch like Janis too” Nancy coughed.
I followed suit and couldn’t help to cough, flinch, and flicker my eyes as well. I was shocked by the sense of clarity my mind felt 10 minutes later. I couldn’t believe I cooked up a potion that had this effect.
Seeing it as a networking opportunity, we made our way to the corner of the bar Janis was standing at and chatting up one of the hottest guys from the office. My mental plan was to chat and have a few shots with Janis before the night ended.
“…there you ladies are,” Janis smiled ” I was just telling Adam about how much fun you two ladies are.”
Without hesitation, “Would you ladies care to share?” Adam asked in a flirty charismatic tone.
The glisten in his eyes seduced my soul, but I played nonchalant.
I swung my hand forward “It’s so nice to meet you,” I smiled “I think I’ve seen you around before” We shook hands with the vial transferring from my hand to his. He grinned then walked away.
Nancy got the sense of courage she needed at the party. We effortlessly chatted up a few VPs and laughed about our night on the way home. I felt like a proud mom watching my girl passed out on my couch.
Next workday, my list of besties in the office had grown. Janis seemed to spread the word about me. VPs, Directors, and even the CEO knew my name not only because of my hard work in the office, but also for my overnight sensation of a side hustle. They assumed I worked for a man, but I was my own boss.
I had weekly private meetings with the CEO to discuss deliveries.
“Stella, your boss makes an amazing hit!” he spoke in a low tone while shaking my hand “Last batch caused me to wake up not knowing where the f@#k I was” he chuckled.
People in the office hate me for my popularity. I, of course, love the attention.
I’ve heard whispers from random coworkers as I walk by “…it’s like she’s got some kind of hold on them”.
Many don’t know why management plays favorites with me. It’s a simple formula: 3 parts baking soda, 1 part crushed baby aspirin. Harmless fun combined with legal substances. I’m not hurting anyone just fulfilling a demand.
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
5:00 am (alarm clock sounds obnoxiously)
A feminine apple shaped body connected to a chipmunk faced lady turns her head towards her left shoulder to view the morning darkness. She glares out the beige curtain-dressed window. Rolling her eyes, she extends her right arm at the night table next to her bed, swinging it to end the buzzer.
Her: *soft yawn while staring at the ceiling*
Him: *his back facing her* *body laying still and unbothered*
Her: *her left hand uses a soft pressure to nudge his shoulder*
Him: *deep tired mumble* yes sweetie
Her: don’t forget to wake the kids and get them dressed. My trainer is waiting to torture me *she giggles, and then slowly sits up and swings her feet to the floor*
Him: Arrrggghhhh alright *in a loud yawning voice*
Her: and don’t forget their oatmeal for breakfast. Their lunches are packed.
Him: YEP! * with sarcastic enthusiasm while stretching to rise from the bed*
Her: *walks to the lounge chair in the corner of the room while stripping of her nightie* I’m serious. No more pastries or big slices of cake for breakfast. I don’t want our kids to be obese.
Him: *grabbing her naked body from behind and hugging tightly while mumbling into her neck* I don’t see a problem with that
Her: *flattered and blushing* arggh really babe! come on we’ve discussed this before. This will make me feel better. Plus I want to look good for your sister’s wedding this summer. No more Shamu standing behind the skinny chicks in pictures. *she wiggles out of his hold and gathers the workout sweats and t-shirt from the chair to put on*
Him:*sighs while watching her walk away* Well I hope you and your aerobics teacher have a nice time pumping iron or whatever it is you do.
Her: ha ha! it’s cross-training Mr Ex -High School jock. Time has been catching up to you…and your beer belly. *she smirks while grabbing her gym bag and water bottle*
Him: *looking down in a wide legged stance* I thought you liked my hairy gut *patting his stomach in a goofy manner*
Her: see you later. Love you *she announces loudly while making a beeline for the front door of their 2 bedroom apartment*
*a hint of giggling children stirs in the background*
Him: I love you too baby *he announces back* Oh, babe I forgot to tell you…
Her: OhMyGosh babe what is it? *she pauses in her tracks, and turns to make eye contact with her husband*
Him: *he continues* I forgot to tell you Kevin is supposed to bring in cookies for the bake sale. Nothing store bought.
Her: *loud sigh* call your mom. I’m out the door right now
Him: actually mom’s knee is still bad. She can’t stand honey.
Her: I have to go babe. You’ll figure it out *opens door to leave*
Him: We can’t send Kevin to school without the cookies. We signed up for this.
Her: *closes door, drops the gym bag at her feet, kicks sneakers off, walks into kitchen, grabs supplies from fridge, pulls hair into ponytail*
Him: *saunters back into bedroom, calls over his shoulder while walking away* yea do your aerobics step mess some other time
Her: *mumbles, as a pea sized tear speeds down her cheek from her eye* this is why I still haven’t lost the weight