Prolouge

Lauryn and Alexia stormed out of Club Fusion and headed for Alexia’s eggplant colored 2003 Lexus. Lauryn was so agitated, it could be heard as her high heal shoes met the pavement. Her caramel skin began to flush as the light, night time air grazed her cheeks. As they walked to the car, Lauryn dug into her purse and pulled out her chopsticks. While she fumed she swept her straight black hair out of her face and twisted it into a makeshift French roll. “Alexia, this is so shameful! I swear I am not going to another club ever again!” Alexia laughed to herself as they reached her car and she unlocked the door. Another curl fell from Alexia’s curly up do. “You do realize you say that every Friday and Saturday. Then the very next weekend you call me and ask what time we’re going clubbin’.” Lauryn frowned at her younger friend, as she entered the car. “Yeah, well…Okay, what time are we going out tomorrow night?” she asked coolly.

Alexia stared at her friend ever so amused as she shook her head and slowly backed out of the parking lot. “Okay, so what exactly bothered you about this particular club?” Lauryn folded her arms and huffed, “The same thing that’s wrong with the majority of clubs in this town. Why is it people don’t know how to act right? A person accidentally bumps into someone else and they want to fight. Or don’t let somebody’s baby mama see you dancin’ with her ex. If that happens then all hell breaks loose. I don’t like having to censor what I say and do because I have to worry about someone waiting for me in the parking lot.” Alexia focused on merging with ongoing traffic on the highway. “Ok. You have a point there. Depending on the type of crowd and club we’re at, yes you do have to act accordingly.” Lauryn squinted her face as she internally boasted about being right.

Alexia could tell she was gloating and continued on. “But, we go to clubs that are racially mixed and you still rarely enjoy yourself.” Lauryn turned her attention to her friend and held up her pointer finger. “In that instance, the music is good for a little bit, and then they start playing that techno crap. Even you walk off the floor when you hear that.” Alexia laughed again as she looked at her side mirror to switch lanes. “You’re right. Some of these places have terrible music. You have to remember that with clubs it’s hit or miss. Sometimes the DJ is off the hook. Sometimes you need a hook to drag the DJ off his turntable…I don’t even know why you mentioned the music, you rarely get out on the floor anyway.”

Lauryn’s face became defensive as she shot another look at Alexia. Alexia felt the stare, her ears started to feel hot. “What? Don’t get mad. You know it’s the truth. Many guys ask you to dance, a lot of them are cute but you refuse to go out on the floor because ‘you don’t like the song.” Lauryn pouted as she took off her shoes. “I don’t know why these short men keep approaching me. I like my men taller than me.” Alexia turned off onto an exit before she replied, “Then you need to hook up with the Jolly Green Giant. He’s about the only man that’s taller than you.” Lauryn chuckled and adjusted her seatbelt. “But really Alexia, don’t you get tired of wasting money on cute outfits that no one appreciates. I know I look okay. Hell we’re both Super Stunners #1!” She then changed the tone of her voice and gave Alexia the sad eyes. “Guys come up to you a lot because you’re fun and outgoing...I’m decent looking too. I dress nicer than some of those hoochie mamas we see in the club.” Her friend turned on her CD player and lowered the sound. “Lauryn of course you’re beautiful, a guy would be crazy not to notice that. You are a model. Women kill themselves and do ungodly things to look like you do naturally. Your tall, you have this perfect skin and gorgeous hair.” Alexia pulled at her friend’s loose tendril. “And yours you actually grew. Most women can’t say that about their hair. Besides you do have men who approach you, it’s not always the type of guy that you want but you do get approached a lot too.”

Alexia turned off an exit onto a street and briefly turned her attention to her friend. “Girl your problem is you’re too shy. You have all this great personality but refuse to show it to a guy.” Lauryn continued to stare out of the window and sulk. “I don’t know why I get so shy and clam up. I just never know what to say.” Alexia switched lanes again before speaking. “When we go out it shouldn’t always be about meeting a guy. I try to have fun whether I’m approached or not. Sometimes for me it’s about enjoying the music. There’s times when I dance all night by myself.” Grunting loudly Lauryn threw up her hands and rolled her eyes. “But I don’t want to dance by myself, I want a guy. Why is it that dating is so damn hard? It hardly seems worth the effort.”

From previous conversations Alexia knew instinctively what was coming next, before she could say another word Lauryn started her dissertation. “That’s another thing. Most of the black men are into the vanilla girls and act like we’re dodo stuck to the bottom of their shoe. If a Black girl dances with a White boy those very brothers get an attitude.” Alexia continued driving and nodded in agreement. “I have to admit; once in a while I do have a problem with the whole Black guy/White girl thing. Sometimes it seems like everywhere you look, that’s all you see. I realize that sometimes they date them for the obvious reasons. Some of which are true and some are fictional—there’s issues on both sides. If that’s why some of them hooking up then it’s trifling.” Alexia turned another corner as she continued, “There are some instances when people really do love each other and color has nothing to do with it.”

Lauryn put her fingers together and played the world’s tiniest violin. “I hear a BUT coming.” Alexia interrupted her, “As I was going to say, sometimes its not always about the fact that a Black man is with a White girl. A lot of the time, for me, it’s the attitude you get from these couples. The women act like “I got your man and a Black woman is ish.” The guys act like these women are the ish and sometimes theie behavior eggs them on.” Lauryn threw up a hand, “Girl you better preach.” Alexia grinned at her behavior, “Can I preach to the congregation? Therefore what bothers me is the couple assumes you have an attitude about them, even though you’ve done nothing to imply that. They both act ugly and nasty to us, which in turn makes me show my ass.” Lauryn leaned against the window and started laughing. “You are too crazy girl, but it’s too true.” They both settled down and Alexia turned up her CD player as J. Lo and Ja Rule’s “I’m Real” blasted through her speakers.

At the end of the song, Lauryn turned the sound back down as Alexia entered her driveway. “Alexia, I know you dance with White guys but would you date one? I’m just not into that.” She put the car in park and looked over to her friend. “Everyone has this image of who they’ll be with, but that doesn’t always come to pass. With me, in my head a Black man would be my ideal mate. However, if love comes in a different form than that…who am I to deny my heart. You can’t pick and chose who you love…so I intend to follow my heart.” Lauryn silently pondered all that Alexia said. “Don’t forget your keys.” Lauryn broke her train of thought, as she said aloud, “What?” Alexia reached over and opened the glove compartment. “I said don’t forget your keys.” Lauryn reached for her keys when some paper scratched her finger. “OW! Paper cuts hurt like a bitch! What was that anyway?” She took out two tickets and squinted in the darkness to read the front. “These are VIP passes. When did you get these?” Alexia took the tickets from her and turned on her car light. “Thanks I damn near forgot to tell you. I got these free VIP tickets from my cousin Aaron, he’s a bartender there. He works at this club called the Harbor Club.” Lauryn narrowed her eyes at her. “Is that the shu-shu-fru-fru place that all the celebrities go to? And it’s strictly hip-hop?” Alexia nodded and chuckled. Lauryn raised her voice, “Why are you holdin’ out. That’s where we need to be.” Alexia put her hands up, “Ok, okay calm down. Sorry I forgot. We’ll go there tomorrow night. Now be forewarned it’s racially diverse. Seventy-five percent us and twenty-five percent other.” Lauryn got out the car and peered back in there. “Okay. So what. I just can’t believe you tryin’ to hold out on people, talkin’ about how she forgot...See you tomorrow. Oh yeah I’m driving so you can get your drink on. Drive safely and call me when you get home so I know you made it ok.” She closed the door, as Alexia waited for her to enter her house. She gave her a final wave and Alexia pulled out of the driveway and headed into the late hour darkness.


CHAPTER 1: