"Bing Be" - 4

In my family I was the least.

That made me laugh just thinking it.

I was the least successful if you judged my life by those of my Aunts, Uncles and cousins whose lives were peppered with glitter.  It wasn't odd for me to look at something online and see a relative's impressive bio or their picture at some sparkly gala.  I never had the "it" they had because I was raised by my Grandmother who didn't believe in the excess of anything.  It seemed my Aunts and Uncles couldn't wait to get out from under her just so they COULD taste the excesses a successful life could afford them and they never stopped it seemed.

So yeah...in my family I was the least.

I wasn't surprised when my Uncle called and asked if I needed him to get me a ticket and he wasn't surprised when I said, as always, no. 

But thank you for asking.

And I wasn't surprised when my cousin Raif pulled up to the airport driving the type of car I was unfamiliar with.

"Cuz!"  he got out smiling belying why I was home.

"Raif!  So good to see you!"

He popped the truck and carefully put my bag in the back.

"What's this Raif?"

"What's what?

"This car?  What do you call it?"



"I call her Vanessa."

I walked around to the front of the car so I could make out the writing on the hood.  As luck would have it there was not writing...just some symbol I was unfamiliar with.

"Get in.  We're late."

As Raif drove silently but swiftly we talked about everything in general...nothing in particular.

"Your father came by yesterday.  My mother told him you'd be here today."


And then we caught up on Raif.  I loved how I didn't have to say much to be with him because he always did all the talking just like his mother.  I wondered if some woman was tuning him out yet but probably not if you took in all the glitz that was he and coupled it with his looks and quick smile.

And without much time for me to be prepared we were pulling up to his parent's home where the excess was the most abundant.

The great thing about my family is that even though I was the least...it wasn't something they appeared to look down on.  See...folks think the wealthiest people are the coldest but in my family that simply isn't true.  You wouldn't know it looking from the outside wrapped in your own stereotypes of who would live here but behind the private gates and lush lawn was some of the most warm and beautiful people.  My Aunt rushed out and barely gave me time to open the door before she was hugging me and kissing me.  Seriously...it was like a coming home scene from a movie.  Everyone rushed out.  Dogs barking.  My Uncle's voice booming.  My cousins waiting to get their turn.

And I felt the love I forced myself to stay away from for reasons I'm sure a good therapist could help me figure out.

See...I'm the least.

And then the gates opened again and my father's car drove up the long driveway and I remembered more of why.  Because he always tried to use me to get to them.

My father...the reason I live...up there. 

My father was an extremely smart man.  A college professor with a gambling addiction. 

Contradiction huh?


Welcome to my world.





- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/07/bing-be-part-4.html#more

"Bing Be" - 3

This is the second time in as many weeks that I've been in this...this space wherein I can't seem to breathe.  Calling it a panic attack seems to be too simplistic when you look at it from all angles possible because you see...there are reasons why my heart quickens, my breath shortens, the palms of my hands begin to sweat.  There are reasons and it's too simplistic to simply say I'm having a panic attack because, if you're honest with me, they won't stop just because you've named them.  Just because you've decided that there has to be a REASON for this to continue on.

I'm tired of being alone even as I was tired of the life I had while I was with him.  It seemed neither of us had dreams any longer.  We just were.  We simply existed.  And that couldn't go on forever.

I guess if I'm honest with myself I would state I knew what I would do before I did it because I'm meticulous to a fault.  There is nothing wrong with living this simple life and, there was nothing wrong with making it even simpler by extracting the excess.  This is why...when the phone rang twice in the span of an hour I decided to go upstairs and get it.  Answer it.  See what was the urgency since it seemed so many days had passed without anyone remembering I existed mindfully.

So I answered.

And I found out that my Grandmother had passed over to the next life she spoke of so often.  My Grandmother I spoke to every Sunday around four o'clock right before she ate her simple dinner because if I'm considered simple...she was minimalistic indeed.  My Grandmother who'd buried two husbands and four children.  My Grandmother who was healthier than I am.  My Grandmother who...smiled the softness into her skin.  Whose gray hair fell around her shoulders even at age 91. 

I guess my story is like a lot of others in that my Grandmother raised me after my mother decided life would be better for me living with her mother instead of my mother.  I remember the trip on the train, dressed nicely with our hair freshly pressed.   My four bags to my mother's one.  I remember arriving to my Grandmother's love, hug and disapproval.  Not towards me...but to my mother who was always too something or the other in her mother's eyes and no matter how much she loved me I could never get her to understand the good that was in my mother and she made me pay for her own disapproval with the struggles to remain somewhat loyal to all my mother tried to be.

When my Grandmother buried my mother she never cried.  I kept waiting for it but it never came.  When I asked her why she simply stated that my mother lived her life doing whatever she wanted to do so it should be obvious she was happy and a happy life doesn't require tears.

But I cried then.

Just as I cry now because my Grandmother is gone and I have no one to call come Sunday.  Two days ahead of me. 

My Aunt sounded beat down.  Lost...like...she couldn't believe it even as she knew it to be true.  Four hours passed before I was called because the ambulance and the police came and then they had to go to the hospital although my Aunt didn't understand why they had to go to the hospital since she was already dead.  According to my Aunt...it's just another way the crooked Governor has made decent folks have to eek out a living.  By adding unnecessary layers to a process full of contradictions.  See...this way we had to pay the ambulance instead of just calling the funeral home from the git.go.

And I recognized that she just needed to talk because this was the type of incessant chatter she always did with my Grandmother who never really listened and knew enough to not stop my Aunt knowing that my Uncle had stopped listening to her years ago and she just needed to talk.

To someone.

To anyone.

Now to me.

Because my Grandmother was gone and as my Aunt talked I really hoped with all of me that the Heaven my Grandmother always painted with the most vivid of colors indeed existed and that there was a celebration of epic proportions when my Grandmother arrived to take her place among those who lived a true life. 


Different from good or just.

You can live a good life and it not be true.

You can live a just life and it not be true.

According to my Grandmother...a true life was what one should strive for.  Be true to God, your family, your friends, random people.  Be true. 

And good and just will follow.

My Aunt realized she had a host of other relatives to call and told me to stay strong.  That I should probably go ahead and get my ticket to come home so we could put her away right.

And I hung up the phone.

What to do now?  Seems this should change everything even as I look around and find nothing has changed.  My small life mimics my Grandmothers and she had decades on me. 

When I cried it wasn't for my Grandmother because she had a happy life doing what she wanted to do.

When I cried it wasn't for the want of someone there to hold me.  To comfort me.

When I cried it was because now...I had nothing to look forward to on Sundays.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/07/bing-be-part-3.html#more


I'm sitting back watching my stepson, who has been my SON since he was three years old, get ready to go off with his sperm donor for the first time in seven years.

I'm trying to relax.  Trying to play it cool but the fact that he is about to go off with some stranger is really more than I know how to deal with. 

I have to pretend I'm okay with this because I love my wife and I love my son but, to be honest, I'm far from okay with this and don't really know how to deal.

Dude will be here in an hour.  My son is excited but scared.  I told him that it's okay to be excited and scared and reminded him that his mother and I were a phone call away.  Yeah...I was against an 11 year old having a cellphone before but the first thing I did when we found out we had to let him go was buy him a phone.

I'm not good with this.

But I have to pretend to be.

Dude better not cross any lines.  My son had better come back happy and healthy.

Or it's going to go DOWN-T.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.zwQbQESR.dpuf

"Homeage" - Part 2

In the car Roman is checking his emails on his iPad.  Duke is still looking uncomfortable and Ramsey is driving.  Dargon is sitting in the back with his father.

“I can’t believe you just did that to her.”  says Dargon.

Roman says nothing.  Ramsey looks up in the rearview mirror.

“Why would you do that to her?  This isn’t something you could have done some other time?  Six months ago?  Three months ago?  Hell…ONE month ago?”

“Who the fuck you raising your voice to?”

“Do you even care what this is going to do to her?”

“I care about my family.”

“No.  You care about yourself.  This isn’t about Devin.  This is about you.  Jay is a good dude.  He works hard and he loves Devin.”

“I’m not about to let everything I’ve worked for be wasted because Devin thinks she loves some lil’ ghetto boy.  I told her I was against this and yet she went ahead and did it anyway.”

“Dad…” starts Duke.  “This isn’t right.”

“Ramsey, pull over please.”

Ramsey pulls over.

“I have a lot of work to do before this shit hits the fan.  If you can’t be quiet while I work…I’m going to have to ask you to get out.”

Dargon looks at his father long and hard, puts his hand on the door handle and opens it.

Duke turns around and looks at his father with an extremely hurt look.  “Bye Dad.” And gets out of the car to stand next to Dargon.

Ramsey drives off.

Roman never looks up from his emails.

At the church all the ladies of the wedding party are in the room with Devin who looks lovely in her bride’s dress.  A photographer is snapping pictures of her and the finishing touches to her hair are being done.

Her mother’s phone rings and she picks it up.

“Hi son!  Where are you?”

“Yes.  We’re at the church getting Devin ready.”


Her face registers concern first and then a fake smile when everyone turns their head her way.

“Hold on Duke.  Let me step out.”

“Mom?  Is everything okay with Duke?”  asks Devin.

“Yes.  I’ll be right back.  You look beautiful baby.”

And she walks out of the room.




Que drives up to Jayshawn’s house wearing his tuxedo with two well-dressed ladies with him.  They get out and walk into the house.  The mood is noticeably somber.

“Is this a wedding party or a bunch of pallbearers?” he laughs.

“You need to talk to Jayshawn.” Says Neil.

“What’s wrong with Jay?  Where is he?”

“He’s in his room.”

Que walks to Jayshawn’s room and opens the door.  Jayshawn is laying on his bed looking at the ceiling.  The room is dark.  He still has on his tuxedo without the jacket.

“Jay…what’s wrong?  Why are you in here man?  We gotta get you to the church for your wedding.”


Alarmed, Que sits on the edge of the bed.

“Jay?” he asks questioningly.

“There isn’t going to be a wedding.”


“What big deal do you have going on right now Que?  I thought you were done?”

“Wait.  What?”

“Devin’s father knows of some big deal you’re doing.  If I show up at the church he’s going to turn you over.”

Que jumps up.  “BITCH WHAT?”

Jayshawn remains on the bed saying nothing.

“So dude came over here and pumped you full of some shit trying to get at you and you believed him.”

“What’s not to believe Que.  This isn’t the first time.”

“I told you last time was the last time.  I don’t have anything going on that isn’t legit.  I paid my debt and I’m not going back to jail for anybody.  I thought we were partners man.  I thought you believed in me.”

Jayshawn sits on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands.

“I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

“Look.  I can understand someone like old boy getting in your head but I’m your brother.  I ain’t never lied to you Jay.  I would never get into business with you if I had some other shit going on.  I know staying clean is important to you and I’d never ruin that for you.  I promise.”

Jay’s shoulders start shaking.

“I can’t deal with this man.  I don’t know what to do.”

“I’ll tell you what you’re going to do.  We might not have their political connects but we got something else.  We got street connects and my street connect told me something a long time ago about Roman Singletary that will blow all of this shit out of the water.”


“Don’t worry about that.  Let’s get to that church and have this shit out.  Man up baby brother.  Big brother got this.


Constance is standing at the street in front of the church.  She’s greeting everyone as they pass by to enter the church but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes.  She sees the car driven by Ramsey pull up and she walks over to meet it and gets in.

“Ramsey, would you please excuse us.”

“Yes ma’am.”  He goes to get out.

Ramsey exits the car and stands off to the side.

“What have you done?”

“What I had to do.”

“No.  You didn’t.  Jayshawn is a lovely young man.  Jayshawn is you back when you were the man I fell in love with.”

“What are you trying to say?  You used to love me?”

“I’m saying that if destroying our daughter is who you are now then no…you’re not the man I used to love.  It’s her wedding day Roman.”

“I told her in the beginning this wedding wasn’t going to happen.  She didn’t believe me.”

“So you’re teaching her a lesson by setting her up for humiliation in front of all our family and friends?  In front of the Governor?  The Vice President?  The media?”

“Public sentiment will be on her side.  It will show the effects of attempting to merge lives from entirely different worlds.  She’ll survive and be stronger.”

Constance says nothing.  Tears well up in her eyes.  “Who are you Roman?  You’ve been knowing you were going to do this all along and yet…you were able to laugh and smile with your family as if nothing was wrong.”

“I TOLD you this wedding wasn’t going to happen!  Believe me when I speak!”

Constance exits the car and goes to Ramsey.  “Did you know this was happening today Ramsey?”

“Aunt Connie…I just do what I’m told.”  He gets back in the car.

Constance walks back into the church and heads to the alter room where Devin is.


She turns to see Dargon, Duke and Dahni walking up to her.

“I’m about to tell her.”

“No mom.  He should tell her.”

Ramsey and Roman walk in behind them.

“Let’s get this over with.” Says Roman.

The family walks into the alter room.

“Please excuse us.  Our family would like some private time.” Announces Constance.

Everyone files out.  Devin turns in her chair and stands suddenly feeling something wrong.

“What’s wrong?” 

She looks at her mother.


The entire family except for Roman and Ramsey move behind Devin.

Roman clears his throat.  He falters a bit as he looks at Devin.  Ramsey discreetly steps back.  “Jayshawn isn’t coming.”

“What do you mean he isn’t coming?  Of course he’s coming.”

“No.  He’s not.  I’m sorry baby girl.”

“What did you do?”  she steps forward and Constance grabs her arm to keep her next to her as the door flies open revealing Jayshawn, Duke, Neil and two other guys who are NOT dressed for a wedding.

“Devin…” says Jayshawn.

Devin rushes to his side.  “What’s going on Jayshawn?  What is Daddy talking about?”

Jayshawn doesn’t say anything and looks over her head to Roman.

“Oh…so all of a sudden nobody is talking?  Good.  Cuz I got some shit to say.” Starts Que.

He walks over to Roman.  Ramsey steps between he and Roman.  Glances to the side and notices Duke and Dargon stand still.

“Devin.  Your punk ass father showed up with some money and some bullshit about me and told my brother if he showed up he was going to have me arrested so Jayshawn wasn’t going to come.”

“Wait.  What?”  she looks at Jayshawn.  “You weren’t coming?  Without calling me?  Without talking to me?  You weren’t coming?”


“We were there Devin.  We saw the whole thing.  We didn’t know where we were going.  He and Ramsey had this all cooked up before we got there.” Says Duke.

“Look.  I’m not about to explain myself to any of you.  I did what I had to do.  What any father would do.  This is a mistake.  His entire family is full of criminals and convicts.” Says Roman.

“Yeah…because we live our mistakes out loud because people like you won’t let us forget them right?  Because people like you forget people like us make mistakes and grow from them just like you can.  At least we don’t hide our mistakes right Senator?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“You tell me.  It seems that even though your family doesn’t know…everyone in the hood knows that Ramsey is really your son.”

The room comes alive with activity and outrage.  The blood visibly rushes out of Ramsey’s face.  He takes off his shades.

“What?”  screams Dahni?  “WHAT?”

Ramsey rushes over to Dahni.  “Baby…”

Roman’s eyes gets big as he watches Ramsey and Dahni.  “Oh my God.  Are you two?  Have you two?”

“IS THIS TRUE?” screams Constance to Roman.

“Wait…wait..”  Roman is looking at Ramsey and Dahni.  “You’ve been sleeping with my daughter?  With Dahni?  Wait…”

“Are you saying this shit is true?  IS THIS SHIT TRUE?  ARE YOU MY FATHER??????”

Roman starts gasping…moving his lips silently. 

Dahni throws up.  “Oh my GOD!”

“Well…I guess he was right after all.  Ain’t ‘gone be no wedding today after this shit.   Wow.”  Says Que.

The fury on her face was what comes after total devastation.

“Everyone.  Out.”

She got that from her father.  That move of standing squarely with her shoulders back.  Her head tilted slightly.  Her voice calm in a pitch others recognize as a voice of authority.

And everyone knows not to question.

The room cleared.  The looks of startled disbelief on everyone’s face.  Jayshawn stays.

“You weren’t coming.”

“I didn’t think I could do it Devin.  Your father…”

“This has nothing to do with my father.  My father showed us what he thought of our marriage long ago which is why he didn’t pay for the wedding.  You knew the sacrifices I’ve made and the struggle it’s been and yet…you were just not going to show up after all?”


“Please leave Jayshawn.”

“I’ll leave but you need to know something.  The way your father went after my family isn’t something a man should have to deal with even briefly let alone for the rest of his life.  I love you Devin but in my world a man holds his dignity and pride near his heart.  Your father broke all the rules and there was no way I’d be good with that forever.”


“You know where to find me.”

When the door closed behind him  she unzipped her dress and stepped out of it wearing heels, thigh highs and her bra.  With a body like hers…there was no need for anything else.  She stared at the floor length mirror and pulled the pins out of her hair one by one and let them fall carelessly to the floor.  When she was done she shook her hair out and smiled.

No teeth…just a tilt at the corners of her lips.

No shine in her eyes.

Just the darkness that comes with rage.

She walked over to the vanity where she’d taken pictures hours earlier getting dressed for her wedding day and got her phone.

“Duke…come get me.  I’ll be at the back of the church in five minutes.”

She slipped on the ridiculously pink dress she’d worn to the church at her mother’s insistence, grabbed her bag and walked out.

Duke pulled up as she stepped out and she got in the car.

“Where to?”  he asked.

“The condo in the city.”

He drove off as his phone started ringing.  He looked in the rearview mirror.  “It’s Dad.”

She said nothing.

“I can’t lie to him Devin.”

“I didn’t ask you to.”

Duke answered the phone.


“She asked me to pick her up from the back of the church.”

There was silence as Duke listened.

“Duke, may I speak with our father please?”  Devin said.

“Hold on Daddy…she wants to talk to you.  Hold on.”  He handed the phone to Devin.

“Daddy?  Fuck you.”  And she lowered the window and threw the phone out.

“I owe you a phone Duke.”

“Might be a good thing to not have one for a while I’m thinking.”

She said nothing.

“Duke…how could he?”

Duke said nothing.

He looked up again…”I don’t know Dev…I don’t know.”

And he drove her to the city.


- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/07/homage-part-2.html#more


Editor's Note:  I'm working on something.  Would mean a lot if you gave me some feedback.  Thank  you in advance.




It was a beautiful Fall day.  Gentle breeze with just enough sun to keep you warm.  No need to worry about the warmth though since the pool was kept at 82 degrees year ‘round so Devin and her father could get their race on.

They stood at the far edge of the pool while Dargon sat casually on the edge of a teak lounge chair.

“Ready, set, go!”  he yells as he blows a whistle.

They dive into the water and get to it.

Dahni, Devin and Dargon’s sister,  jumps up in bed at the whistle blow.  “Devin and her damn daddy.”  she growls swinging her legs to the side of the bed revealing  a body made for pleasure of which she had plenty.

At the pool, Devin and her father, Roman, are racing as if their life depended on it.  Devin’s mother is at the end of the pool cheering them on while her brother, Duke, and best friend, Angelique cheer along the sidelines.

1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2…

Devin counts off in her head determined to win as her father strokes along side her with long, powerful strokes.

Two seconds before Roman is about to win he noticeable slacks off allowing Devin to win.  She touches the end and pulls herself up on the edge of the pool.

“You got me.  You got me!”  Roman says with barely a pant.

“It’s okay daddy. I know you let your baby girl win.”

Roman pulls himself out of the water where his wife is waiting with a towel to dry him off.

Devin grins and kisses her mother. “Love you mommy dearest."

“Mommy dearest?????”

“Just jokes mom.  Just jokes.  You know you’re the best thing since Spanx.”

Roman and Constance beam with pride as they laugh.  Devin rushes over and tackles Dargon on the lounge chair. “Did you see me whoop daddy again? That’s five times in a row!”

She takes the glass out of Dargon’s hand and drinks from it while she leans on him.

“Devin, please.  It’s your wedding day baby.  We have lots to do to get you ready.” says her mother. 

Dahni comes out of the patio doors wearing heels with fur on the tops and a shorty robe.  “Explain to me why you have to use a whistle this early in the morning?  Sheesh!”  She walks past Duke.  Duke pokes her in the side.  She slaps at Duke and he moves out of the way. 

“Early to you would keep a man poor.” Says their father.

Dahni shoots him an insulant glare.

“What are you wearing?”  She rolls her eyes at her father.

“Same thing I wear everyday.  Whatever I want to wear.”  She goes to sit on a lounge chair arranging her shorty robe just so. 

Angelique walks over and grabs Devin’s hand.  “Come on!  Let’s get you cute!”  She pulls Devin up and as they pass by Dahni,  she stoops down quickly and kisses her on the cheek singing “It’s my wedding day, it’s my wedding day!”

Dahni smiles a little but says, “Ugh!  Grow up!  You gotta stop sounding like you’re three with that sing song mess!”

Their parents shoot Dahni warning glances.

“Why you so evil all the time?” asks Duke.

Dargon is watching the entire exchange.  He lifts his glass and takes another drink while Devin is shuffled into the house by her mother and best friend.  Dahni gets up and follows them giving her father an evil look on her way in.

Roman stares without an expression on his face while chewing the inside of his lip.  Dargon notices.  “You ready to give her away?” 

Just then Ramsey walks through the patio doors and heads their way.  Duke sits up straight.

“Unc...you have a few calls and emails you need to return before we head over to the church.” says Ramsey.

 “I need you boys to ride with me in thirty minutes.” Says Roman to his sons.

“Where are we going this early Daddy?” asks Duke.

“Wherever the hell I want you to go.”

Roman walks into the house followed closely by Ramsey.  Dargon’s eyes are tight.  His dislike of Ramsey obvious. Duke doesn’t say anything. 

“That coon’s day is coming.” mumbles Dargon.

“Let it go Dargon.  Ramsey ain’t going nowhere.  He’s our God brother.

“Exactly.  He’s our God brother.  NOT our brother.”



Jayshawn is in the mirror getting dressed.  It’s his wedding day after all.  He spins around happy as hell and pays close attention to his eyebrows.  They usually grow as one but he knows Devin hates that so he’s had them threaded just right for his bride-to-be whom he loves more than life.  He can’t believe this day is here and it shows in everything he does.  He’s ecstatic.  Giddy beyond reason.  Smiling a big, huge smile while buttoning his shirt wanting everything to be perfect for his Devin.

See…a relationship like theirs wasn’t supposed to happen.  Her father was a United States Senator and his?  Well…he didn’t even know the sonofabitch but hey…it’s all good. 

He was ready for a lifetime with Devin.  He knew the challenges ahead of them and, to be honest, he was ready.  His club had taken off due his uncanny knowledge of what was hot and Devin’s MBA had already helped him put together a business plan for a club in every major market.  With her by his side…there wasn’t a thing he couldn’t do.  Life was good and this was the happiest day of his life bar none.

“Say bruh…you want a drink?”  His best friend, Neil, was holding a flask.

“Neil I know you are NOT getting wasted on my wedding day.”

“Um…OPEN.BAR.  That’s all I gotta say.”

“Dude…seriously…do NOT embarrass me.  Devin will kill us.”

“Naw…she’ll kill you.  Not me.  You.”

Neil walked out of the bathroom and Jayshawn followed.

“You know Devin’s people are froo-froo.  Get drunk afterwards okay?  On me.”

 “On you?”  Neil looked at Carnegie.  “You heard that right?  We get to get drunk ON HIM.”

 Carnegie laughs.  “Yes.  I heard.  I’ll be your witness this once Neil.”

 They were laughing when the doorbell rang.

 “Da hell?”

 “You expecting someone?”

 “Just Que and you know he just walks in.”

 Jayshawn goes to the door.  He visibly stiffens as he looks through the peephole and opens the door.

 Standing there are Roman, Ramsey, Dargon and Duke.

 Jayshawn steps back and allows them to enter.  His face is passive wondering what the hell.


 “Nice to see you again Jayshawn.”  says Roman.

 Dargon and Duke nod.  Ramsey does nothing.

 “Well…I can’t say I was expecting to see you before the wedding.” says Jayshawn.

 “Wedding?  Is there a wedding today?” 

 Duke looks uncomfortable.  Dargon speaks to Neil and Carnegie and takes a seat in an armchair.

 Jayshawn says nothing.

 “Ramsey.  Did you know there was a wedding today?”

 Ramsey says nothing.

 “What’s this all about?” says Jayshawn.

 “You don’t know this but I’m going to be President of the United States one day.  Hell…if Barack can do it…so can I.  Because of this I have to have all of my i’s dotted and t’s crossed and, in doing a  routine background check on you I found  a whole lot of nonsense I can’t get past and neither could the voting public.”

 “All a background check would find on me would be juvenile charges.  I’m not a criminal.  Sure…I did some bad things as a kid but I was a kid.”

 “Ah…but could you say the same about Quentin?”


 “My brother isn’t the one marrying Devin.  I am.”

 “When you marry someone…you marry their family.  I’m sorry…but Quentin simply can’t be a part of my family.”

 “Devin loves Quentin.”

 “And I love Devin.  Quentin simply can’t be a part of my family as this report proves.”  he tosses a file onto the coffee table. 

 No one moves.

 “Quentin is currently involved in a job that could put him away for life.  All I need to do is make a call and the trail will be lit.    I don’t have time to pussy foot with you because you’re smart enough to recognize where this is going.  You can’t show up today because Quentin can NOT be a part of my family.  You simply can NOT marry Devin.  To make it easier on you here is a check for $450,000 which my business manager tells me should be enough to open your clubs in Chicago and Miami as well as pay Quentin’s bail bond when he gets picked up for something ridiculous.”

 Ramsey puts the check on top of the report.

 “Sir…I understand why you…”

 “No.  You don’t.  You dare think you can sit at the table with my family?  A family born from the original talented tenth?  You dare think your thuggish ass family would EVER be able to call us family?  Never.  You have the audacity of hope right?  WRONG.”


 “This isn’t up for discussion.  Devin was foolish enough to spend her trust on this wedding and that’s a lesson learned.  Show up and Quentin is in jail for life within the hour.”

 Ramsey opens the door.

 Roman walks out followed by a very nervous Duke.  Dargon sits for a few seconds and walks out behind them leaving the door open. 

Jayshawn continues standing. 

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/07/homage.html#more

"You Thought Wrong..."

Author's Note:  What do you think she looks like?  What does China look like? What do you think her father does for a living?


The fury on her face was what comes after the hurt.  No…what comes BECAUSE of the hurt.  The humiliation that followed standing in that hot ass chapel room waiting on the signal that he’d arrived…knowing it wasn’t coming fed a flame.  Hotter, higher than anything she thought she’d ever experience. 

“Everyone.  Out.”

She got that from her father.  That move of standing squarely with her shoulders back.  Her head tilted slightly.  Her voice calm in a pitch others recognize as a voice of authority.

And everyone knows not to question.

The room cleared.  Her sorors in beautiful couture dresses she and her mother picked out in Paris.  Shoes cobbled in Italy.

Earrings? Diamond pear drops.

No expense had been spared for this day.  She’d put a dent in the trust her Nana left her.

She was only getting married once.

When the door closed behind the last bridesmaid she unzipped her dress and stepped out of it wearing heels, thigh highs and her bra.  With a body like hers…there was no need for anything else.  She stared at the floor length mirror and pulled the pins out of her hair one by one and let them fall carelessly to the floor.  When she was done she shook her hair out and smiled.

No teeth…just a tilt at the corners of her lips.

No shine in her eyes.

Just the darkness that comes with rage.

She walked over to the vanity where she’d taken pictures hours earlier getting dressed for her wedding day and got her phone.

“China…come get me.  I’ll be at the back of the church in five minutes.”

She slipped on the ridiculously pink dress she’d worn to the church at her mother’s insistence, grabbed her bag and walked out.



China pulled up as she stepped out and she got in the car.

“Where to?”  he asked.


“The condo in the city.”

He drove off as his phone started ringing.  He looked in the rear view mirror.  “It’s your father.” 

She said nothing.

“I can’t lie to your father Danny.”

“I didn’t ask you to.”

China answered the phone as he drove.

“Yes Sir.”

“She asked me to pick her up from the back of the church.”

“The condo in the city.”

“No Sir.  I’d rather do as she asks if you don’t mind.”

“I understand Sir but I think this is a time when she should get to give the orders.”

There was silence as China listened.

“China, may I speak with my father please?”  Danny said.

“Sir…she wants to talk to you.  Hold on.”  He handed the phone to Danny.

“Daddy?  Fuck you.”  And she lowered the window and threw the phone out.

“I owe you a phone China.”

“Might be a good thing to not have one for a while I’m thinking."

She said nothing.

“China…how could he?”

China said nothing.

He looked up again…”I don’t know Danny Girl…I don’t know.”

And he drove her to the city.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.fKLPrbFU.dpuf

"Google Voice"

"Da hell?" he jumped back.

"Um...I'm so sorry, please...I'm so sorry."

"Don't worry about it."

"Can I buy you another drink?"

He stopped.  Looked at her.  REALLY looked at her and smiled.  She looked like she belonged in another time.  Sad, dark eyes, gorgeous afro, baby tee tight against her breasts that were, he had to admit, nice.

"Don't tell my mother when you meet her but sure, you can replace my drink.  Gin and coke."

"Are you sure?"  her eyes were dancing.


"Well...you're one of those pretty guys, you sure you don't want an Apple Martini?"

He laughed.  A deep, rich laugh.  "Aw...you got jokes I see."

"I'm just messing with you.  I'll be right back." and he watched her walk away.  Her white pants hugging just right.  About an inch of her middle exposed looking lovely and he knew he wanted to touch that middle in the small of her back where the spine dipped in and the heat beat like a heart.

He moved to the side of the balcony in a corner.  Tucked in so he could see the door and every one else.  He knew this scene well, watched it often.  Recognized the faces of those to whom this was a normal pastime. 

And she walked back to the door and he watched her look for him without saying anything.  He wanted her to work for it.  To look all over worried he'd left and then relieved when she found him with her eyes.  She stood there and he watched her shrink in size.  Her fancy bag without a handle tucked up under her arm.  Her shoulders slumped just a little and she let her right foot go limp a bit in an uncertain kinda way rocking it on the heel she was wearing.  Her stomach, which was flat a minute ago, protruding slightly with her posture.

He still didn't move.  He simply watched her.  Circling her with his eyes.

And then she saw him and she stood up straight, sucked in her stomach and threw her shoulders back again convinced that, once again, she was hot shit and a force to be reckoned with.  In that moment of uncertainty he knew he'd fuck her by this time next week and he'd be out here again looking for another one just like her.  Easy pickings they were.

Easy damn pickings and to be honest...the shit just wasn't fun anymore.  New shit is just like all the old shit.


When she walked over to him and handed him his drink he tossed it back and reached out for her hand.

"I'm sorry, I hope this is okay.  I just wanted to touch you.  See how warm you are." and she jumped a little...startled.  "Would you like to dance with me?"

He leaned in to her a step closer, still holding her hand and if she was ice you'd hear her melt but she wasn't so she simply caught her breath and said softly..."Yes." and he lead her to the dance floor.

And they danced.

And they danced.

And they danced.

And he pulled her to him and fit her grooves in his and let his hand dip two fingers on her skin which was hot and moist from her dancing.  Her eyes still dancing with blue green stuff on her eye lids.  She knew what she was doing. 

She's done it all before.

And they talked and he got to know her without listening to a word she had to say but he smiled just right and held her hand whenever they were moving through the crowd.  Protective. 

Like a man.

When he walked her and her girl to her late model car he stored her number in his phone along with her name, email addy and a picture.  He always asked for a picture.  "So your face comes up when I call you." 

She giggled.

He got in the car and drove home stopping on the way to fill up the car with gas.  He pulled out his phone and called her.

"Just checking to make sure you got home safe."

And she thanked him for calling.  For being so thoughtful.

"What's a good time to call you tomorrow?  I don't want to email you and wreck your flow." he said.

"You can email me if you have something to say."

And they laughed lightly as he continued the drive home.  "Sweet dreams.  I'll talk to you tomorrow."

He raised the garage door and pulled in and, before going inside, he took the garbage can to the end of the driveway off to the side a bit.  Then...he went inside and flipped through the mail on the counter while drinking a large bottle of water from the fridge, turned off the lights and went upstairs to the bedroom.

"Hey baby.  You have a good time tonight?" she asked.

"Yes."  He leaned down to kiss her and laid across the bottom of the bed propped up on one elbow and smiled at her.  "I'm too old for this."

"He's your brother.  It's nice that you make time for him once a week."

"Yeah...I guess.  Did the baby go to sleep easy?"

"Yes.  She was so cute tonight in that lil sleep shirt your mother sent her."

"Imma peak in on her before I take a shower.  Some thirsty chick bumped into me and made me spill my drink."

"Please don't wake the baby, Baby."

"I won't."  He stayed and kept looking at her.  "I love you so much."

"Awwww honey.  I love you too.  I was just thinking before you got here just how blessed I am to have a husband as loving as you are."

And he got up and kissed her again, took the remote and changed it to ESPN.

Then...he looked in on his beautiful daughter and took a shower.


Older shit.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/06/google-voice.html#more

"Bing Be" - 2

Authors Note:  Hell...yall were so good with her...might as well get some ideas on what yall think HE looks like.  Thanks in advance to all!  This is AWESOME!


My shift is from 12 - 8 today.

I'm thankful for my job but I'll be damned if I wear my work shirt and name tag when I'm not there.  That should explain to you why it is currently folded up in my backpack while I'm here at the library looking for a job before my shift starts.

Today.  8 hours on my feet smiling and shit ringing up and bagging people's groceries.

The library is right behind the grocery store where I work.  Well...across the street and down a piece but you get what I'm saying.  It's a nice day so I parked at my job and walked over to the library.  Three days a week my shift starts at 12 so three days a week I get here at 9 and look for a job.  A real job. 

I'm not looking for anything much special but I just want the basics.  I'm all out of dreaming so I'll take one of those good Federal jobs so I can shut it down.  Get me some benefits.  Get my kid some benefits.  Have more money to give his mother.  Help my mother out a bit more.  Basic shit you know?  Shit a man should be able to do.  Yeah...I know I went about it ass backwards but I did it.  I was in school for 4 years and didn't graduate and then got me a good job while I was still in school and then took some time off from education.  By the time I figured I needed to finish school, I'd already been divorced  with a child and back to living with my mama but you know what?  I went back and I finished and when I started looking for me that good job seems like everybody else was looking for that same good job too.  I thought I was doing something getting that degree finally and look...all it seems to be is some more paper trailing me around.

But I'm thankful for this lil piece of job I have because it's something and I see people.  People with baskets overflowing with expensive foods.  People who don't care if it's on sale or not.  People who don't use their reward card because they don't think about every cent they spend.  Imma be one of those people one day soon. 

Probably not though.  I'll always remember this feeling of not having enough and not feeling adequate.  Of having a job that defines me by my current circumstances.  I'll always be scared to be here again.  Of living with my mother as if she's my roommate but not really because she's my mother.

I look around me at the people at the other computer terminals and I know there is probably one or more of them applying for the same jobs I'm applying for and I size them up and see what others will see in the comparison.  Sometimes I'm good.  Sometimes I'm not.

"I'm poor, Black, I might even be ugly, but dear God, I'm here. I'm here"

I have to stop watching that movie with my mother.

I was laughing at myself when I saw Thursday Morning walk in.  I call her Thursday Morning because Thursday is the only early morning shift I have and she's in there every Thursday morning.  I watch her because I can.  She won't recognize me because I'm invisible to people unless I'm at my register with my shirt and name tag on but...I have a feeling she doesn't recognize many.  She's got that look.  Like she don't want no trouble so she's gonna keep to herself.  I see how she balls into herself and has a faded look in her eyes all the time. Like there's a film cross her eyes. 

You know how when your car runs outta window cleaner stuff and you flick the thing to get rid of bug juice and now it's all dried up and hazy?  That's what I imagine her vision is like.  She's never in a hurry but she doesn't linger either.  I bet she has somewhere to be and stays tight up on a schedule.  Ain't nothing wrong with sticking to schedule.  I'm the same way.  Hell...it's Tuesday and I'm at the library right?  Right.  It's what I do on Tuesdays. 

I like knowing there is someplace else I go that she goes to as well.  Seems that somebody with a schedule being where I am makes it seem not all that bad.  I wish I could see her smile because I've never seen her smile.  I bet if I told her some corny ass shit like "You should smile" or "Pretty ladies like you shouldn't frown all the time" she probably look clean through me and toss me an old fake ass smile like I've seen my mother do in church with Elder Morse who is always trying to holla at her on the sly.

Oh well.  She has a nice ass anyway.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.uMRebeqf.dpuf

"Bing Be"

Author's note:  This is a character I've been working on.  This is what she was thinking and doing before action was called on the set.  Her life is about to change today but I'd like to know if you can SEE her.  If so...what does she look like?  TO YOU.


It's been about two years now I suppose.   Maybe more because I can't even remember what today is.  Wait...I saw "24" last night so that was Monday so today must be Tuesday and it's May.  Late May.  I know that much because Memorial Day sales commercials be coming on the tv.

Be coming.

Lawd my daddy would have skinned me alive if he'd heard me talking that way.  Why do I always sound like some old Negro character actor in my head?

I'm currently sitting outside enjoying a cup of coffee.  Coffee is the one thing I haven't cut back on.  I mean sure...I don't waste any like I used to mind you but I still get the good stuff.  Oily, dark roasted fresh beans.  I store them in that airtight canister I searched high and low for forever ago and make my coffee in my fancy coffee maker every morning.  Fresh ground.  If I have any left over, I put it in the fridge and reheat it the next day.  I can't be wasting no coffee man and day old coffee gets a bad rap by the masses.

Be wasting.

I gotta get up and out of here today so I can fax these distribution papers in.  My unemployment ran out, of course...hey...it's been bout two years now.  I take out a bit every 6 months.  Enough to cover my mortgage and car insurance. Household bills and whatnot. Thank God I didn't buy that new car when I was thinking on it back when I had a work home that I'd gone to faithfully everyday for 12 years right out of grad school.

I've been watching "Ellen" because she makes me laugh big old belly laughs although  I've started to have issues lately because of all the people she's been helping out recently and I wonder if I'd tell her all my business so she could give me a car or pay off my mortgage or something.  But mostly I just be laughing cuz Ellen is funny as hell.

Be laughing.

I never lived big.  I always had enough by simply not needing much.  My home is simple out in a quiet area and I live a quiet life.  My phone doesn't ring.  Not my home phone because I shut that off when I shut off the cable.  I didn't really need either of them.  I have a computer and internet so I can watch movies and tv shows online.  My cell phone is the basic plan with the minimum minutes because nobody calls me anyway.  People don't know how to be there for you when you're going through tough economic times cuz money is just so hard to talk about I guess.  My friends invite me someplace and I can't go even though I'd love to and after so many I can'ts...they stopped giving me the opportunity.  I didn't go to the wedding of my line sister and they thought it was because I was jealous because she was getting married.  The truth of the matter is that I couldn't afford the flight, hotel, food and gift.  Her wedding added up to a month of living for me.  But they think it's cuz I be hatin because I don't have a man or children or the life they have chased down until they are thread bare.

Be hatin.

Ain't none of their business no how.

But no...I don't have nobody to take care of me when I get old.  Don't have nobody or nothing and no...I can't buy you a baby shower gift or a house warming gift or give your kid a First Communion card with cash.

I should have adopted that puppy but they gotta eat too and have shots and all kinds of stuff that costs money.

I'm living now as if I have nothing to look forward to except this cup of coffee in the morning sitting outside on the patio of my comfortable, adequate home because I don't.  I stopped looking for a job months ago.  I leave my home on Thursday to buy my food for the week.  I don't need much.  Two packs of chicken do me fine and I've been growing stuff I can eat too.  Frozen veggies are always on sale and I simply eat what goes on sale come Wednesday.  Right now my life costs me about $1,200 hard cash a month to live.  After I take out this distribution today, I'll have about $92,000 left in my 401k.  Good thing I always put in the max all those years for all my years left over.  I do the math all the time cuz I be thinking.  But this is all I can do right now.  Live small and quiet and wake up every day.  All that thinking will make a person feel desperate.  I have lots of time for desperate when I stop avoiding the mirrors.

Be thinking.

Well...that was my last swallow of coffee and I'm not in the mood for another cup today.  The enjoyment it brings me makes me think everything was normal again even as I know that's a dream but I be wishing.  I be wishing.  I be wishing.  I be wishing.    I read they don't start harassing you really until you've missed 3 months of mortgage payments so I can always tack that time on at the end.

Be wishing.

Lord...please give me the strength to repair my broken will.  Please.  Please make it harder for me to accept my life as it is now.  Please make me want to re-join the pulse before I'm far too content with the quiet.

I be praying.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.uMRebeqf.dpuf

"Legs Grew"

"Hey honey!" she smiled as her husband walked through the door. 

The dogs were barking furiously in excitement as if they thought they weren't ever going to see him again when he left this morning.  The 7- year old hurtled himself at his father and slid down his leg holding on as his father drug him across the floor.  When he reached the kitchen island he unstrapped their daughter from her high chair and kissed her all over her face as she giggled and then he walked over and kissed her.

Lightly...on the mouth.

"Hey.  Are you almost ready?"

"Yes.  Christian is in the other room helping Marcus with his homework.  Let me run up and get my bag."

And she wiped her wet hands on her jeans to dry them and ran upstairs to their bedroom.

On the way down she could hear the sounds of her husband giving everyone one last order of the rules of the game.  Listen to Christian.  One hour of television and it's Davey's time to choose.  And...just because we're not here doesn't mean that bed time isn't the same time.

She kissed her three children while answering Davey's questions about what channels he could choose from and finally...they were out the door to date night. 

Just the two of them.

"How was your day today?"

"It was good.  We got the specs for that proposal I told you about last week so that's coming along."

"Oh...great.  That was the thing for the county right?"

"Right.  Did my mother call you about Saturday afternoon?"

"Yes. She is so cute.  She knows good and well I don't have a problem with the kids going to church with her and for her to keep them all day Sunday too?  Whew!  We haven't had a Saturday night AND Sunday without the kids in so long I don't even know what to do with ourselves!"

"Yeah.  Maybe we'll catch an independent movie or something down at the Landmark Theatre."

"That would be nice.  Ooooooh...we could get ice cream from that little place next to it!"

"True.  We haven't had that in a while."



"I heard this story on NPR about chicken being exported from Mississippi to Russia that was pretty fascinating.  I'll have to find it and send it to you."

"I think I heard it on the way home.  The one about how they changed the exporting rules and now they can export and they've made like $28 million since June."

"Yes!  Can you believe one little law tweak could change the economics of chicken farming that drastically for them?"

"Just goes to show what dumb laws hinder."

And they pulled up to the building.

One of those buildings that had an exterior face lift that the interior hadn't caught up to yet except for the lobby.  You walked in and it looked so nice and then when you got off the elevator...you were in a dumpy old corridor with tragic green carpet and beige wallpaper that was rolling at the seams.  When you got to her office, however, you could tell that she'd made an effort to make her space warm and inviting using texture, colors and scents.

So her clients could feel better.

Judy White, LCMFT, LCPC. 

It was some time before she got the answer from Mr. Google as to exactly what all of those initials really meant.  A licensed marriage counselor and family therapist as well as a fancy counselor.  Supposedly the best of the ones they could afford.

When they walked into the office through the reception area...it was small talk as usual and then...they were on the sofa.  He on the left arm.  She on the right.  Same way they slept in bed.

Lots of space between them.

But at least it wasn't a kid.

"So...last week it was Meredith's turn to speak.  This week it's yours.  Start off with the most important thing you want to say and let's go from there."

"I don't love my wife anymore.  I have no plans to leave her.  She's a good mother, a good person, she's smart, she's funny...but no.  I don't love her anymore and I haven't in over a year."

The words came out fast.  In a hurry.  As if he'd worked up the courage practicing in the mirror and then finally, finally...they were out.

Judy sat back in her seat and crossed her left leg over her right.  She glanced at Meredith to see her reaction and what she saw there scared her...

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.uMRebeqf.dpuf

"Marco Polo" - 3

"Marco Polo" - 1

"Marco Polo" - 2

The first time they made love they knew two weeks before it happened that it was going to happen.  They'd met years before when they were both happily married.  Colleagues who always seemed to notice "extras" about the other. 

He preferred sugar cubes in his coffee.

She preferred to sit on the aisle.

He never wore button down collars.

She had an endless supply of crisp white shirts.

He was a runner.

She was a runner.

The day their connection became evident was when they were headed to the same restaurant in their hotel lobby.  Since they were eating alone they decided to have dinner together. 

Her phone rang and she didn't glance at it.

His phone rang and he didn't glance at it.

They talked for hours as the light was replaced from the window by a single tea light in an alabaster votive holder.  They glowed.

They got to know each other more intimately via email, phone and texts instinctively changing up so their "friendship" went undetected like a box of individual chocolate morsels hidden in a decorative container in your home.  A secret no one knows but you even as it is in plain sight.

Months after the connection they arranged to speak on the same panel. He shared with her his love of the water and she told him she'd love to swim with him and swimming became something else to both of them.

All they thought about for two weeks was swimming with each other so it wasn't difficult to imagine her packing a new swimsuit after agonizing for two weeks over finding a new one.  And it wasn't difficult to imagine him stopping on the way to the airport to buy a new pair of trunks that he could throw away so his wife didn't wonder why he took swim trunks with him.

He was already at the pool when she arrived.  She took off her wrap and dove into the water.  He watched her submerge, her body a milky blur under the surface.  He headed in her direction and as she came up for air wet and glistening he said simply, "Marco..." and she submerged again and slid up his body breathing out..."Polo."

And he kissed her.

And she kissed him back.


After being seated he reached over to hold her right hand in his left one.  His thumb moved lightly over the soft pad between her thumb and index finger. 

He watched her. 

She watched him.

Their eyes smiling, content as they were.

"Do you know what you want to order yet?" he asked.

"If you let my hand go I can look at the menu."

He laughed.

"Sorry...I love touching you."

She decided on the Seared Salmon with Artichoke Salsa and he chose the Roast Chicken Breast with Zibibbo Raisins and Pearl Couscous.  When their waiter returned he shared their choices and added a glass of Patton Valley pinot noir as a pairing.

And then they were alone again and his hand automatically snaked across the table to hold hers again.

She watched him.

He watched her.

"What are you thinking?"

"How long it was going to take you before you asked me what I was thinking."  she smiled.

"Am I that predictable?"

"I wouldn't use predictable."

"What would you use?"


"Occupational hazard."

"Or benefit."

"Are we going to do this again?"

"No.  We're not.  I'm sorry."

He smiled.  "I love you."

She laughed.  "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"  He feigned innocence.

"Throw me all off guard like that?"

"I love to see you smile." and he brought her hand to his lips and kissed it closing his eyes when his lips touched her skin.

"So...you're leaving your wife."

"Why do YOU do that?"

"Do what?" 

"Always try and shock me.  I'm not scared of you."

"You should be."

"You want me to be scared of you.  You want me to let you scare me off but I'm not going anywhere."

"Yes. I know. So you've said."

"Sarcastic ass."

"Name calling isn't going to help."

"Are you leaving your husband?"




"After the holidays."

"That's what I was thinking too.  First week of January."

And the rest of the evening was a blur of senses cloaked in surrealism neither of them had felt before.  Freeing and electric the ride back to the hotel was filled with the darkness and the music.  His hand burned her thigh and she felt nothing but it as the heat from his hand seemed to replace the center of her body.  The place on her thigh seemed to now be her heartbeat in the darkness...

...in the midst of the music.

He dropped her off across the street from the hotel and sat and watched until she was inside the lobby.  He then went to park the car and headed up to the room where she was waiting on him dressed in cotton undies and a tank top which emphasized the sleekness of her body she worked hard to maintain.  

There is always music...

...and they rode over the storm...into the sea...neither of them minding the waves.

With a carefree heart she fell asleep naked, moist and yet refreshed.  Released from fear of retribution as she'd called her husband before he'd made it to her room.


They woke at 4:30 am and silently dressed in the dark.  She left first and jogged to the CVS.  He was 5 minutes behind her.

And they ran together.  The cold air stinging their cheeks.  The rhythm of their pace becoming one. 

She was listening to music as she always did when she was with him.

He brought her back the music.

He was her music.

And she...MIGHT be his.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/01/marco-polo-3.html#more

"Marco Polo" - 2

Marco Polo

She was never the type of woman who would end up cheating.  Truth be told she was always adamant that it was the only deal breaker she could imagine in marriage.  If her husband ever cheated on her that is.

He was against the desk in the hotel room as she kissed him.  As he kissed her.  She stood between his legs and kissed him, inhaling as she did.  His smile, his aura, the breathe flowing from his nose.  Her hands pulling his shirt out of his pants so she could touch him.  Feel the warm skin of his back under her fingertips, fully extending her hands feeling that jolt she always feels whenever she is skin to skin with him. 

His kissed her completely and sighed as he stopped, both hands on either side of her face.  His forehead on hers.

"It's been too long."  he whispered.  Hoarse from their kiss.

Her hands came out of his shirt, up his neck, rubbing lightly over his hair.  "I know."

And the silence hummed with all the wishes and wants.

"Where did you park?" she asked.

"In the garage."

"You want to head out or stay in?"

"I made reservations for dinner but we can cancel if you'd like."

"No...I love having dinner with you."

And she did.

In her room she turned on the television and closed and locked the door.  Picked up her cell phone and called home.  The phone rang twice.


"Hi, I made it to the hotel."

"Is it nice?"

"Yes.  Reminds me of the one in Austin we stayed in when we went for James' wedding."

"Good.  Are you doing anything tonight?"

"Nothing for the conference.  Probably have dinner and that's it.  I need to be downstairs by 8:00 in the morning.  Did the kids have fun?"

"Yes.  They are watching that new DVD you bought for them now."

"Good.  Tell them I love them and to call me if they miss me."

"Okay.  Call me when you get back to your room."

"I will."


She was facing the mirror as she spoke to her husband and realized that she always looked different whenever he was around. 

Still looking at herself she reached up and touched her cheek.  Wiping away a tear that wasn't there. 

Then...she grabbed her bag and her scarf and walked out of her room.


They'd done this enough times to know the drill.  She walked to the front of the hotel to the bellman's stand and asked where the nearest CVS was.  He pointed and she walked out in that direction.  Went inside the CVS and bought a 6-pack of water and a tin of mints.  When she walked out of the store, he was there in the car and she got in.

And there is always music.

And he always rents a stick shift.

And she always rests her hand on his thigh.

And he always holds her hand when his hand is not needed to shift into gear.

And there is always music.


Her life used to be so filled with sounds of music.  A love that she'd cultivated from having a musician father and a dancer as a mother.  A scientist with an appreciation for all things beautiful.  A sensuousness that can be seen in the way she smiled slowly with her eyes.  In the way she threw her head back when she felt the music.

And she'd ride the wave of sound like liquid through her body.

With him...there is always music in her head.

With him...she always FELT it.

The drive was beautiful and too soon they'd arrived at the restaurant.  He pulled up to valet and got out so he would be the one to offer his hand to help her out of the car.  A beautiful couple they made.  She looked gorgeous, happy and alive.  He sexy, strong, tall and clearly in love with the woman he was with.  A striking couple who obviously "matched." 

Save for her wedding jewelry being platinum...

...and his being gold.

Tonight was the night they promised they would talk about the real. 

Tonight would be the shift everyone had felt coming for a while now.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2009/11/marco-polo-2.html#more

"Marco Polo"

Outside the weather was nasty.  Cold and rainy with a sharp wind that slung the rain sideways.  In the quiet of the house she could hear the weather.  Through the window by her bed she could feel the cold air. 

Her husband hates that she has to have a window open to sleep when it's cold but she does it anyway.  She needs that air to breathe.  She needs a reminder that the air in this house isn't the only air she has access to.

She's been awake for an hour listening to her husband snore.  A sound that has become unbearable as his weight has increased and his sleep apnea has gotten worse.The look on her face is one of a woman who is trying not to think too much but has no choice.  She sighs and her husband stirs, his large arm drops on her chest and she closes her eyes briefly and then she gets out of bed.

As she stands at the base of the bed getting dressed in her running clothes she watches her husband.  Listens to him.  Takes him all in without emotion it seems.

She heads down the hall and stops to look in on both her children.  Her daughter still in the same spot she fell asleep in and her son upside down in bed without covers with his arm slung across their dog, Rasta.

Rasta opens his eyes and watches her but doesn't move.  She picks the duvet off the floor and gently places it over her son and dog.

And then...

She walks down the stairs and out the front door for her morning run.  Her heart heavy, matching the beat of her feet.  Picking up speed, accelerating the sound.

She stopped running to music years ago and prefers to listen to the sounds around her as they blurred in her wake.  As she puts in the work. 

As she puts in the work.

The further away from her home she gets...the easier breathing becomes.  She smiles at the feeling.  She embraces it. 

I'm strong.

I'm strong.

I'm a woman.

I'm a woman.

And after 45 minutes she turns around and heads back home.

When she walks in the house she smells coffee and bacon.  Her husband is up making breakfast.

"How was your run?" he asks.

"It was great.  Thank you for asking."

Polite.  Always polite.

He hands her her favorite coffee mug and she pours her coffee.  He's cooking bacon and eggs with cheese.  There are grits on the stove as well and toast. 

She gets out a boiled egg from the fridge and cracks it.  Puts the peeled egg on a saucer and gets a slice of toast.  Pulls the Smart Balance out of the fridge and puts a bit on her toast and leaves it out so he could use it.  She grabs a banana and an orange and sits at the kitchen bar.

He fixes a plate full of bacon and eggs with cheese.  Four slices of toast and a bowl of grits. Puts the Smart Balance in the fridge and gets out the butter.

Real butter.

He turns around and his stomach hits the handle on the skillet with the eggs and it makes a loud scraping noise.

She looks up and down before he sees her.

He balances his food in his hands and sits next to her while they eat in silence.

"Did you email me your itinerary?"  he asks between bites.

"Yes.  Last week sometime.  I'm staying at the host hotel."

"Okay.  I wish you didn't have to leave on a Sunday."

"I'm not leaving until the last flight this evening.  My first panel is at 9:00 am tomorrow."

"I know.  But still..."

She gets up and puts her dishes in the sink. 

This conversation is over.


In the cab headed to the hotel she checks her text messages and then leans back into her seat.  Bored...she gets out her speech  notes and flips through them until they arrive at her hotel.  She pays the cab driver and walks across the lobby pulling her suitcase behind her.

"Excuse me...Miss...you dropped this..."

She turns and a well dressed gentleman is holding her scarf out to her.

"Oh!  Thank you so very much!"  She notices his lanyard.  "Are you here for the conference?"

"Yes.  You?"

"Yes.  Just getting here.  Make sure you attend the panel on Bioenergetics in the morning."

"Are you speaking?"

"Yes.  Dr. Sonya Christman."  She shakes his hand.

"Wow.  Scientists don't usually look like you."  he laughs.

"That's the same thing my husband said when we first met."  she laughs as well.



"Are you going to the evening social tonight?"

"No.  I have to go over my notes for tomorrow but I hope to see you at the panel."

And she goes to check in.

It was in the elevator that she dropped the phony smile.  It was like magic ya know?  She walked in a pretty professional woman all about business and just like that...with the ding of the elevator...she changed.

Her walk slowed.

Her heart started beating faster.

The smile on her face replaced...with something...

She inserts the card to her room and walks in...unlocks the adjoining door inside her room and pushes it open.

And there he is. 

The most beautiful man she's ever seen...and he opens his arms and hugs her tight while she inhales him and exhales.  His hands move to each side of her face, under her hair as he bends to kiss her in that way he does that makes it impossible for thoughts of anything except him, him, him.

"Marco..." she breathes.

"Polo." he murmurs.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2009/10/marco-polo.html#more

"Bridal Party"

She woke wondering if it was real.  She used the pad of her thumb on her left hand to feel for the solid cool of the band and there it was.  Slowly, she lifted her hand and saw it.  Her lovely new engagement ring...the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen and she smiled.  A genuine, huge, lovely smile. 

He stirred next to her and she  watched him sleep.  Loving the way his face was expressionless. Picturing him as a sleeping child.  Fighting the urge to kiss him.

"I'm engaged." she thought.  "I'm engaged to the man I love...who loves me."

And she snuggled up close to him as his arm reached behind him protectively, "You okay Bey?"  he said sleepily.

"Mmmhmmmmm..." she smiled into the back of his neck.

And she drifted back to sleep.

Two months later a date was set and it was time to look for a dress.  She knew exactly how she wanted to look on her wedding day and had a few appointments set up today to find the perfect dress.  She looked down at her ringing phone.  It was him.  Her love, her life.


"You ready?"

"Yes.  As ready as I'll ever be. I guess." she sighed.

"Come on Olivia...your mother and sister can't be that bad."

"One would think."

"Well, just remember you're going to pick out your wedding dress and don't let them bring you down.  I"m glad Kelly is going with you too.  She'll help."

"She's no match for them.  They get on her nerves so bad she usually just sits and stares at them."

"Well," he said, "be thankful she's coming as a witness then in case you need to cut one of them."

"That's what best friends are for...alibies."

"I'll check in with you later.  Call me if you need me."

"I will.  Thanks.  I love you."

"Love you too.  Be careful."

And then...she was out the door dressed in a pretty white dress with large turquoise flowers on it.  She wore a ballet flat with a coordinating bag.  Her hair was pulled back elegantly into a low ponytail.

It didn't take her long to get to West Broadway and she pulled up and saw her mother and sister standing in front of the door.  They could be sisters at this point.  Her sister looked just like her mother same build, coloring, everything.  Olivia looked like her father, or, more importantly, her father's mother.  Grandma Diane.

"There you are, Bey!" her mother trilled.  "We've been here forever!"

"Um...mom...we've only been here for 5 minutes." said her sister Linda.

"Five minutes standing in the heat."

"You could have gone in if you wanted to."

Her mother looked at her sister oddly.  Linda's face was sharp.  Showing the same kind of wear Olivia's usually showed when dealing with their mother.

Olivia kissed her sister and her mother.  Held the door open for them and walked in.

They were greeted by a dark haired woman wearing a pale pink pantsuit and a jeweled eyeglass holder necklace.  She led them to a pair of sofas and put her glasses on smiling brightly waiting patiently as the seated themselves. 

"So...tell me how you see yourself on your wedding day?"  She smiled the biggest pageant smile Olivia had ever seen.  Her breaking out into the pageant wave would not have been out of place. 

The question was directed to her sister.

"She's not the bride.  I am."

"Oh...OH!" she said...a little too brightly.

Just then Kelly breezed in and sat next to her.  Her mother's lip tightened.

"Sorry I'm late."

"No problem.  We're just getting started."

"So...how do YOU see yourself on your wedding day?"

And she wasted  no time since she's dreamed of her wedding day as long as she can remember.

"I'd like a princess cut with a train.  Strapless.  Ivory colored with beading and a long, beautiful train."

She stopped, smiling.  Kelly reached over and squeezed her hand grinning a huge grin and making a girly squealing sound.  Her mother looked down at her hands.

"Well, that certainly sounds like a dress fit for a princess' big day.  May I ask what size are you looking at?"

"A 22."

"Okay...let me get some books out so you may find something you'd like us to order."

"You don't have anything she can try on?" asked Linda.

"No.  I don't think we have anything that meets her description in the store for her to try on."

"Well, what do you have?"  said Kelly.

"I don't believe we have anything, but we can order whatever you'd like to try on and it should be here in a week from our warehouse in Texas."

"So you don't have anything in her size, not her description."

"Well...yes.  We don't normally keep those sizes in the store."

"So all I can do is look at books today?"

"I'm sorry.  We normally just keep average sized samples in the store.  Had we been aware when you made the appointment we could have had some things brought in for you.  If you pick something in the book we probably have it in the store so you may see it and get a good feel for it and then we can order it."

Her sister stood up.  "C'mon, let's get out of here."

She started stalking to the door.  They got up and followed her as she held the door open for them.  When they got outside her sister said, "Hold on, I think I dropped something."  and returned inside the store.

In a small voice Olivia shared that she was sorry she'd wasted their time as this would probably be the norm at the other three boutiques as well.  Her mother didn't say anything.  Kelly linked arms through hers.  Tightly.

Her sister walked out of the store with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes. 

"C'mon Olivia and Kelly...we're going to have lunch."  Her eyes flicked over her mother disgustedly, "Mother...we'll see you later."

She linked arms through Olivia's free one and they walked into the parking lot.

Their mother STILL didn't say a word.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2009/06/bridal-party.html#more

"Lilly Dahlin"

"Daddy!  Come see my new flip!"  Michael ran into his father's study wet from the pool.  His footsteps making watery footprints along the dark floors.  He slapped his hands on either side of the armchair Gregory was sitting in.  Droplets of water fell on the documents in Gregory's lap.

He looked up at his son who was beaming.

"MICHAEL!"  his mother screamed!

"Looks like you're busted podnuh.  Your mother is yelling for you."

"Crap.  Hide me dad!"

"No can do.  You're a man.  A Stinson at that.  Stinson men face their music."

"Aw man..."

Rachel walked in the room visibly angry.

"Michael why in the world are you running through the house getting everything wet.  Either you're in the pool or you're out and if you're out, shower and put some clothes on now!"

The phone rang and Gregory picked it up. Rachel stepped aside so Michael could pass through the doorway and followed him fussing.  Gregory laughed and answered the phone.


"Is this Gregory Stinson?"

"Yes it is.  Who's calling?"

"It's me daddy.  It's Lily."

"Um...I'm sorry?"

"It's Lily daddy.  Your daughter."

"You must be mistaken young lady.  I don't have a daughter named Lily."

"Oh...I'm so sorry to have bothered you.  My apologies.  Have a good day."

And she hung up.

Gregory sat deeper into his chair and put the phone back on it's cradle.  Rachel came back in the room with a towel.

"Who was that?" she asked while wiping up water.

"Wrong number."

She continued drying the watery footprints saying nothing. 

"I'll be ready for you to start grilling the steaks soon."  She walked out of the room.

Gregory grunted at her and listened to her footsteps and she walked down the hall.  He then picked up the phone and called the last number. 

A man answered.  "Hello."

"Hello, may I speak to Lily?"

"I'm sorry there is no Lily here." said Samuel.

"I just received a call from a young lady from this phone number."

"I let a girl use it when she asked could she.  I don't know who she was."

"My apologies but do you know where she went?"


"Where are you located?"

"New York."

"I'm sorry to have bothered you."

"No problem."  said Samuel.

He hung up the phone.

"Honey I'm running out to the store.  You want anything?

"No. But thank you for asking."

"Who was that calling?" she asked.

"Nobody honey.  Wrong number."

Lily leaned over and kissed her husband.  "I love you"

"I love you too baby.  Drive careful."

Lily walked out the door closing it softly behind her.

Samuel put the phone back on it's crale.  Finished watching the game.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.EfG8PXwN.dpuf

"Grande Mocha Latte"



"This is Debra, John's wife."

"Oh...hi Debra.  I was just thinking I needed to call and get something on the calendar with you guys.  How delightful that you called!"  She sat back in her seat and pushed away from her desk a bit.

"I hope it's okay that I called you at your office."

"Of course.  What's going on?"

"Well, I was wondering if you were available for a quick coffee?  I'm at the Starbucks on the corner by your office."

"Right now?"

"Yes.  Right now."

"Debra, is everything okay?"

"Not really, but I'd like to talk to you about something."

"Okay.  I'll be there in 5 minutes."



"Don't call Mark before you come."


Carolyn sat up straight in her chair.  Cocked her head to the side slightly.  With a bemused look on her face she said sharply, "Okay."

She hung up the phone and pulled out the bottom drawer of her file cabinet and got out her city shoes.  Changed out of her heels, got her coat and her wallet. Her Blackberry.  Wrapped her scarf around her neck twice and pulled one end though the other. 

"I'm going to the Starbuck's on the corner.  Would you like anything?"

Her assistant jumped.  Startled.  Probably doing something she should't be doing like blog hopping. 

"No, but thank you for asking."

And she walked down the hall...her shoulders were squared and her chin set.  A good looking woman.  A confident woman.  A women who knew control.

She walked out of her office past the receptionist and made a left.  Walked down the stairs to the main level of the building.  The cool marble shiny and yet warm.  The security guard nodded in her direction and she nodded back.  "Malcolm."

She walked out of the revolving doors and took a right.  Adjusted the belt on her coat and breathed in the cold air.  Walked steadfastly as her breathe breathed warm air out for all to see.

A woman with a stroller was struggling to get into the door of the Starbucks and she rushed ahead and grabbed the door for her.  The woman gratefully clipped a thank you and went inside. 

Carolyn stepped through the door and immediately saw Debra sitting at a table by the window. 

She walked over and sat down loosening her scarf.

"Okay...I'm here.  What's wrong?"

Debra reached behind her and pulled out an envelope from her purse.  She laid it on the table.

"I think you should have this."

Carolyn reached for the envelope, saw a T-Mobile logo and looked up confused.


"That has been coming to my home now for the past three months.  It's Mark's."

"Why would a bill for Mark come to your house?"  She already knew.

"I wondered that too.  Thought it was for John.  Thought he was cheating on me.  Again."

"Again?  What do you mean?" She already knew.

"John cheated on me three years ago.  Summer of '05."

"Summer of '05?  But that was the summer we..." She already knew.

"...we all rented that villa in Spain for 6 weeks.  Yes.  I know.  Guilt.  That's how it goes.  But hey...we worked through it."

"So you say this bill is for Mark?"  She already knew.

"Yes.  I got it out of John's office.  I make periodic sweeps of it for anything suspicious and ran across them.  I only took one."

Carolyn picked up the envelope.  "How do you know it's not John's?"  She already knew.

"Because I checked.  I've been cheated on once.  Maybe twice.  I've learned a lot."

Carolyn pulled the bill out.  Looked at her husband's name with Debra and John's address.  Surprised at the calm she felt.

"He travels a lot more than I ever thought he would at this stage you know?"

"Yeah.  I know.  He golfs a lot less with John too."

"What am I supposed to do with this?"

"Whatever you want to do with it."

"I already knew you know?  This doesn't shock me."

"When it happened to me, I knew too."

"How did you let him know you knew?"

"I was getting ready for bed and I just casually mentioned it.  He's been making up for it ever since."

"How did you get over it?"

"I haven't.  You don't.  You can't.  You won't."

"Do I know her?"


"Should I be worried about her?"


"What should I do?"

"That's up to you.  I can't tell you what to do.  I know I couldn't be single again.  A divorced woman with three children and half the income I'm used to?  No.  I couldn't do it."

"How do you love him still?"

"Who says I do?  I'm realistic about my options is all."  She took a sip of her coffee.  "You should get some coffee, or tea.  We might be here for a while."

Carolyn stood up, folded the envelope up and put it in her pocket.

Got in line and ordered a grande mocha latte.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.EfG8PXwN.dpuf



"Is there valet at this place?"


"Then Imma need you to wait for me cuz I don't have any money."

"Of course you don't. *sigh*"

"I don't know why in the world you're sighing."

"I don't either.  How far away are you?"

"Right around the corner."

"Okay.  I'm just pulling up now."

"Don't leave me out there looking dumb Candice."


"Candice?  Did you hear me?  Don't leave me hanging."

"Have I ever left you hanging Rebecca?"


"Exactly.  I'm here and I don't see you.  Where are you?  Oh...I see you now."

Candice waited until the valet attendant opened her door and grabbed her bag.  She stepped out of the truck and took the ticket.  Stood there as her sister pulled up behind her and watched as she stepped out of her car daintily her hand in the attendant's hand and him fawning over her as men have always done since Rebecca was born.  She let herself smile as she watched.  The tenderness she felt for her sister evident as she stood there with a sappy stupid smile on her face.

As always Rebecca was dressed impeccably.  Not a hair out of place and not a lump or bump that shouldn't be there.  Men always made fools of themselves over her big sister.  And, as always, Candice just hung back and watched.

"Hey baby sister."  Smiled Rebecca.

"Hey yourself." 

Rebecca hugged her and Candice stiffened up.

"Why you always gotta act so ugly?"

"Why you always gotta be hugging on people hell?"

"Loosen up.  All that frowning is gonna make you wrinkle immaturely."

"Whatever.  Regular trips to my aesthetician will counteract the effects."

"Smart ass."  Rebecca ticked while walking through the front door.

"Fat butt."

"What?  Looks like you've put on a few that's all."

"As you say...whatever.  You really should stop hatin."

"Hate is the new love so maybe I'm loving."

May I help you?

"Yes.  Bergeron." said Candice.

The hostess walked them to their table and Candice noticed the eyes following them.  Mainly Rebecca.  Always Rebecca.  If she were with any other woman those looks would be for her...but with Rebecca...it was always for Rebecca.

She smiled.

They were seated and placed their drink orders. 

Candice watched Rebecca pull out her phone.  She watched as she flipped through the numbers on her phone and felt the calm that always washed over her when she was with her sister.  Her life was so hectic that she always felt on edge as if any minute she was going to have to get up and save the world.  Again.  But with her sister she was transported to nights in the dark giggling with her as they snuck in each other's rooms and laughed.  Her sister had been the closest thing to a best friend in a woman she'd ever had and she missed her even as they lived 40 minutes away from each other because they lived such completely different lives.  Rebecca chose to stay close to their mother and step-father and Candice lived and breathed the city and couldn't bear to be away from it for even a day.

The waiter brought their drinks and they ordered.  Each of them ordered a fillet of fish and steamed veggies.  No bread please.

They were too vain for that. 

"So...what do you want?"  Candice stated looking Rebecca in her eyes.

"What makes you think I want something?"

The look on Rebecca's face said, am I stupid?  "Because we're here. In the middle of the day when you know I'm busy.  Because you called me 3 times when I was in a meeting and you left 3 messages with my assistant.  What do you want?  How much is this gonna cost me?"

"Is it always money with you?"

"With you it seems to be."

"I'm not about to get into that with you I told you Imma pay your azz back."

"Okay.  Just make it cash."

"How about pennies?  Would pennies do?"

"You're gonna get a dump truck to bring them to me?  Cuz that's a whole lotta pennies."

"You keeping track?"

"Hey...when someone says they are going to pay you back...you think on it from time to time."

"Well you'll get your money."

"Whatever.  Notice I'm not holding my breath. Now what's wrong?  Don't worry.  I brought my checkbook."

She took a sip of her water.  She noticed Rebecca's breath catch and suddenly she knew something was really wrong.  She leaned in sharply and did a quick look around.  Placed her hand over her sister's.


Rebecca looked up and the tears started falling.  She closed her eyes and inhaled.  Gulped a little.

"I have cancer."

And the room started spinning with their table as the axis.  All the colors swirled together and Candice felt her hand grip Rebecca's tighter, the air having all left her body, the tears quick and catching.  The lost feeling knocking her silent.  Mute.

"I have cancer Candice.  They found a lump.  They did a biopsy and it's cancer.  I have cancer Candice.  I have cancer."  The last was said watery. 

Candice stood up quickly.  She looked all around as if looking for a place to run to.  Her breath labored.  The air...gone...replaced with heat and she slowly lowered herself back to her seat.


"When what?"

"When was the biopsy?"

"Last week."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"You were working on that merger."

And her old friend anger rose up inside of her.  "What the fuck did that have to do with it?"

"You were busy."

"Gotdammit Rebecca I will strangle your azz!  Who went with you?"


"What the hell do you mean nobody? What about Patrice?"

"I didn't want to worry mom.  You know you shouldn't call your mother by her first name."

"Fuck that.  Why didn't you at least tell her?"

"I didn't feel like anyone knowing everything."

"What are the doctors saying?"

"They are recommending a mastectomy."

"Okay.  What about chemo?"

"I can't take chemo Candice."


"Because I'm pregnant."

And Candice's mouth hung open and she stared at her sister as if she just been duct taped to the chair. 

"Are you fucking with me?  I mean really?  You come in here and drop all this on me...you're fucking with me right?  You have cancer and you're pregnant?  Who the hell you pregnant for?"


"RON?  YOUR EX-HUSBAND RON???????????"

"Imma need you to calm down  Candy."

"Imma need you to understand that this ain't no calm situation."

"Um...people are looking."

"You knew that was gonna happen before you asked me to come to this damn place!"

"I didn't think you'd cut up this bad hell!"

"Don't be cussing me dammit!"

"How the hell you gonna tell me not to cuss and all you do is cuss?"

"I can cuss.  You can't.  How the hell you get pregnant by Ron?"

"He was in town and we went to dinner and um...things just progressed from there."

"So are yall dating again?"

"No.  I haven't spoken with him since."

"So let me get this straight.  You have cancer and you're pregnant.  By your ex-husband, who was basically a one night stand, and who doesn't know he's gonna be a daddy."

"Pretty much it."  She took a sip of her water.

"Does Patrice know about the baby?"


"Girl...she's gonna stroke out."

"Why you gotta say it like that?"

"Cuz you know she is.  Her perfect baby...bout to lose a boob and have an illegitimate baby."

"Damn Candice.  Why you gotta be so crass?" 

"I'm not lying hell.  She's gonna die messing around with your ass."

"Yeah...she's not going to take this well is she?"

"Hell no.  I can see her azz now passing out gingerly so as not to mess up her hair."

Laughing.  "Remember when she pretended to pass out when she found out Jeremy wasn't graduating?" 

"Lawd yes.  That was the funniest thing alive.  When she heard they were about to throw some water on her she jumped up."

They laughed.

Candice could only think about the cancer.

Rebecca could only think about the baby.

"So what are the doctors saying about the baby and the surgery?"

"Well, this complicates things of course.  They want me to get past the first trimester before surgery."

"How far along are you?"

"Eight weeks."

"You've been pregnant for eight weeks and haven't told me."

"I just found out last week after the biopsy."

"So what are we gonna do Becca?"

"I guess I'm having a baby."

"And Ron?"

"I don't know."

"So when are you going to tell him?"

"I don't know.  Do I have to?"

"Yes.  You have to."

"Who made you the moral compass?"

"You did.  I seem to recall a certain poster with 'Miss-Goody-Two-Shoes' all across it in the fifth grade."

"Why you always gotta bring up old stuff?"

"It's old shit.  Shit.  S-H-I-T."


"Girl...can I be there when you tell Patrice?  Please?"

"Stop being evil."

"I'm telling you.  She's gonna stroke out.  I hope she left me the silver and the crystal."

"You are evil."

Their food arrived and they got quiet and played with their food.



"I love you and I'm going to be there for everything."

"Yeah.  I know.  Oh yeah...I need some money."

"I brought my checkbook."

"And I might want to stay with you.  Patrice be tripping."

"You got the key."

"Why you gotta be like that all the time?"

"Like what?"

"All blunt."

"I was raised by wild elephants in the jungles of upstate New York."

Sigh.  "Seriously."

"Cuz I was raised by beautiful women and a man who loved beautiful women."


"It's cool bruh.  So...we're gonna have a baby huh?"

Rebecca smiled.  "Yes.  We're gonna have a baby."

"You know you're gonna get fat right?"


"What?  You don't think you're gonna get fat?  You fat now.  Look at you.  Balloon booty."

"That's why I can't tell you nothing...you always gotta be joking."

"You prolly won't even be able to fit through the door tomorrow.  Eat up."

"I hate you."

"I know.  You're gonna hate me even more when you're fat."

"Whatever.  This fish is good."

"Too bad no chemo."

"Um?  Huh?"

"Means you get to keep your hair.  A bald, fat you would be good for my ego."

"And you wonder why I don't pay you back money."

"Nope...I never wonder.  I already know the deal.  Eat up.  You're eating for two."

Under it all...they are sisters bound by blood always and forever.  It's not going to be an easy road.   And they know this. 

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2008/12/sisters.html#more

"Shatter Proof"

When I looked up and saw you my heart skipped a beat. Not for the reasons you'll probably tell everyone, but because I've dreamed of this moment for years now...the moment you'd see me and realize you didn't break me.

And realized you didn't break me.

I looked good because I always do, always did...regardless of what you said.

You tried to break me and you know you did.

I've often wondered why. Why would you treat my heart so?

I was so in love with you then I didn't see it. I didn't see the hate you had for your mother and how she treated you during your childhood. I didn't see it because you pretended to love her so much. You did everything she asked of you suffering in silence, pretending to be the Cosby's because the truth was so many years ago that maybe the years wiped the slate clean.

It didn't.

I realized you were never alone with her. I realized your disdain for her when speaking of her to me WAS HOW YOU REALLY FELT.

I realized how jealous you were of my family...of my life. Of the fact that we were the normal. That my father loved my mother. That he loved us. That he went to work and came home. That he didn't kick our asses.

Like your father did.

AFTER your mother left him.

AFTER she left you WITH him.

It wasn't your fault.

It wasn't my fault either.

My hair was beautiful, as it always was. Gleaming dreads, natural. Gorgeous. Not ugly and nappy. You know...like you used to call them.

My legs, strong. Still. In lovely heels and a FABULOUS skirt. A little extra than you liked according to your snark. But strong and smooth, shapely. My waist, defined. My breasts...happy.

Happy to see you, and you, and you, and you.

And DAMN did I smell good.

I longed to see you so many times. Out of pain, out of remorse, out of loneliness, out of vengeance, out of spite.

And now...

Out of pity.

Looks like no one takes care of you. Looks like no one cares.

I look like someone takes care of me. I look like someone cares.

Today when I saw you...my heart skipped a beat out of gratitude to God above because you dumped me. Because you forced me to see your lack of love for me. Because you rubbed my face in my sheltered life like it was bad...like yours was better.

Yes it was painful. Some days...I thought I couldn't, wouldn't be able to go on. But I did. My daddy and my brothers packed me up. My mother cooked my favorite foods. My family helped me then...

As they do now.

My daddy will walk me down the aisle.

My mother helped plan my wedding.

My friends, who were NEVER jealous of me because of you, will stand beside me as I pledge myself to him.


A man like my daddy.

It wasn't your fault.

It was my own.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.zd5tOTz0.dpuf

"1 + 1 = 2"

"Mommy, why come spiders have eight legs?"

"I don't know baby." She flipped through the mail that she'd picked up from the box out front.

"Mommy, why come spiders eat fly's?

"Because fly's fly into their web." She looked at a bill she'd never seen before.

"Baby, go change your clothes and get ready to do your homework."

"Okay mommy."

She looked at the bill with her husband's name on it and tapped it on her chin trying to jar her memory. Nothing happening. She was unfamiliar and the dread crept up from her stomach to her heart. With a foreboding sense of dread she opened it and wished with all her heart she hadn't.

The roaring started almost immediately. She could barely hear her thoughts for the beating of her heart, the roar of her emotions. The sound of her breath, in and out, in and out. The bill was for a credit card she was unfamiliar with and the charges were for charges he would have wanted to keep hidden from her.

She picked up the phone and dialed her sister's house...arranged to drop her Mia off and then called her husband and arranged to meet him for dinner by the office as a surprise.

She'd have a surprise for him alright. And she'd bet he'd never, ever forget.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.zd5tOTz0.dpuf


"Please...tell me why you are that way...no...really?"

"You know good and well you were thinking it too."

"Thinking it and saying it are two entirely different things....hey...I'll call you back, I see my girl. She just got off the train."

"Okay Lashamquetta!"

"Stop calling me that or I'm going to start a rumor that your left boob is larger than your right."

"Whateva heffa! I ain't scared of you! Bye!"


She pulle dup to the Kiss and Ride and popped the back of her truck so her friend could put her luggage in the back. It was raining so she decided not to get out. Seconds later, her friend was in the passenger seat and they were on their way grooving to music.

"Who is this?"

"I cannot believe you asked that. It's Frankie Beverly and Maze."

"I love this song and hear it all the time. I never know who sings what."


They hadn't seen each other in over a year and caught up on the ride home. They'd been friends now for about 5 years and it always amazed them how much they had in common seeing as though they met on the internet initially. Funny how bloggers end up finding people just like them online.

When they pulled up to Jessie's home, her husband walked out the front door and retrieved the bags from the truck. Jessie showed Karen to her room and left her alone to freshen up. The phone rang...area code 407.




She hung up the phone.

"Who was it?" Ron asked with one eyebrow raised.

"They didn't say anything."

"Area code 407?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"That's the 5th time today they've called."


"It's an Orlando area code." he reached past her and got a handful of almonds. "Who do we know in Orlando?"

"Nobody since Dawn moved from there. She's in Atlanta now."

Karen walked downstairs looking refreshed and comfortable in velour lounge wear. Jessie handed her a glass of wine.

"Girl...that flight was HORRENDOUS! I need this drink hell. What's for dinner? I know you got something fabulous over there. I already smell it."

The phone rang again. Ron looked at Jessie and picked it up.

Area code 407.





"I'm going to need you to stop calling this number if you're not going to say anything. Thank you." He hung up the phone.

"Da hell?" Karen looked puzzled.

"Girl...we've been getting calls where no one is saying anything. It's very annoying."

"Who the hell does that? Don't they know caller ID exists?"

Jessie looked at Ron. "Have you tried calling the number back?"

"No. Lemme see." he pressed talk on the phone engaging the call and listened. Karen took a sip of her wine. Jessie watched him intently.

He hung up. "It just rang." He looked at his wife steadily. She looked at him unwaveringly. He touched her cheek and let his hand slide to the back of her neck and trail away.

They shared an animated dinner and finished off a bottle of wine. Jessie went upstairs to change into lounge wear and went into the guest bedroom to turn down the covers on the bed. The buzzing sound startled her and her eyes searched for the origin of the sound...Karen's phone was on vibrate...the number calling?

Area code 407.

- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.zd5tOTz0.dpuf