This is a short excerpt from the novel in progress,
Tripping Prince Charming.
A Romance of s(h)orts
Carmella Candi, Ivy Gardiner, and Lillie-Rose McIntyre are best friends and have been since birth. Strong minded women, who defied the fairy tales, tore up the pink fluffy dresses and enjoyed kicking Prince Charming in the teeth. In their lives, they decided who would make the choice of when the ‘happy’ became ever after.
Carmella, elbow resting on the counter, chin in hand, leaned over the extensive research notes she had spread out across the counter in the kitchen. She was way too distracted. It was getting late, but she couldn't talk herself into going to bed. She had felt a little freaked out knowing Franklin had enticed his friend to pretend they didn't know each other in order to ‘watch' her. The entire idea was a little romantic and a lot creepy. She wanted to call Ivy and see if Bernard had shared anything with her, but decided to wait on her cousin's call. Within an hour, her wait was over and she had included Lillie-Rose on the phone's three way system to add her two cents to the conversation.
"You know what's wrong with you Carmella?"
"Nothing is wrong with me, but I know you'll tell me differently, Lillie-Rose."
"You have your mind wrapped in the pages of a romance novel
and love doesn't work like that."
"Why not?" Carmella put down her pencil and moved to the living room to flop in a recliner. "Why can't I have a beautiful love story? Why can't I have Franklin fall in love with me the way those girls do in those books? Why can't I have one of those silly fairytales your dad used to harp on, Ivy? I used to think they were really stupid until I saw, Franklin. Why can't I believe it can happen to me?"
"Because you are a Black girl, Carmella." Lillie-Rose stated her answer with a clap of her hand between each word. "You have to work for the happily ever after. You read those fairy tales, where was that pretty Black princess? You ever read a story where this little Black kid married a prince?"
"At least we think she is." Ivy commented softly. She knew this was another sore point with Carmella.
"At least you think I'm what? Ivy I know you're not gonna go there this time of night."
In a flash the two cousins were in the middle of an argument about what makes a person Black. Same argument they'd had all of their lives. The same argument that had been going on for generations in the African-American communities and it didn't help any that Carmella's mom was Asian.
"Hey, hey wait a minute." Lillie-Rose broke in. "Let's have that argument after I make my point. As I was saying, you're a Black girl and it doesn't work like that. We have to go and ‘get' our man." Lillie-Rose smacked her lips, the sound loud and irritating through the phone's receiver.
"You think because I'm Black there's no guy going to come and sweep me off my feet? What does that mean? Go and get our man? Do I have to settle on being 'the baby mama' and call it my 'romance'? I'm not going to be part of some baby mama drama relationship."
"No, girl, it's just that no sincere Black guy runs around with flowers and candy. That romance stuff is just a figment of someone's imagination. I told you all through high school about reading those idiotic romance books; they'll warp your mind. You passed up some mighty fine guys back in the day, hiding your head in those books."
"You should've read some Lillie-Rose and you wouldn't be so cynical and hard when a man approaches you."
"I heard enough about the idiotic romances when Ivy's dad used to read us those stories as kids. Didn't believe them then and I don't believe them now. When Prince Charming comes poking around me, he better just watch out. As for now, Ms. Carmella Candi when a man approaches me then I won't be as cynical. All that's coming at the moment are the same broke boys still spouting the same lines they used freshman year of high school. Those fools thought they were cool then when those girls allowed themselves to be caught, but they were just luckin' out 'cuz those were the years the girls were tryin' anything and anybody to be part of a crowd."
"You see that's what I'm talking about. You're too hard."
"I think I have a right to be. The one time I trusted a man, what did I get? And anyway we're talking about you? Just look how you ran from your heart throb, Carmella. You've been watching Franklin for the past year. Mooning and crooning over him, in my ear mind you. I thought he was ‘so romantic'."
"I don't know about that. I mean I'm glad to know he likes me it's just disconcerting to know he went through such a devious extreme to get to know me."
"Something someone in your novels would probably do." Ivy sighed loudly. "It's so sweet."
"Could be, but now that she's in it, she can't accept it." Lillie-Rose agreed. "She just left the man standing alone in a dark parking lot. Goes to show we're really not made for that romance junk. Remember what we used to say as kids? We will run our own love story and not sit around waiting for the big swooning rescue scene."
"Again it just goes to prove my point. You don't have a romantic bone in your body. I think age has changed me and I can envision a love story. If things work out the way I am hoping they will, I'll be living the perfect romance."
"What do you think about that, Ivy?"
"I'm with Carmella, Lee. I would love a little romance. If Bernard looked at me the way Franklin looks at her I would pass out."
"You really like him like that? Ewww."
Carmella made loud gagging, hacking noises and Ivy laughed softly before speaking up in Bernard's defense.Write About Or Link To This Post On Your Blog - Easy Links :
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