Black Short Stories : Melody (Star Ascension) Part 5

Discussion in 'Short Stories - Authors - Writing' started by Legacy21, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Legacy21

    Legacy21 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    L.A. danced Melody around the room smoothly to Usher’s “You Don’t Have To Call”. Melody’s giggles erupted into the atmosphere as he spun her, and executed another display of fancy footwork.
    “Wow!” Melody exclaimed breathlessly as the song ended, “I didn’t know you could move like that boy!”
    L.A. smiled widely as he swung around rocking from side to side. “Girl what you know about this dance? I can gig!”
    Melody giggled again and collapsed into a chocolate brown love seat in mock exhaustion. ‘Yeah, boy, you can work it, but I’m all gigged out! What you got to eat?”
    L.A. arched a questioning eyebrow at her as he responded, “Yo, I’m a bachelor. Do you think I got any real food in my fridge?”
    Melody’s lips pursed in a smirk as she said dryly, “As much as you love to eat, I just know you got something in that kitchen, and if you don’t you better make something appear.”
    L.A. grinned and asked in mock disbelief, “****, do I look like a magician to you? I ain’t Houdini!”
    “Boy!” Melody exclaimed laughingly, “Get your self in that kitchen and fix us something to eat. Got me over here bout to starve. Go on!”
    “Aight, aight,” he grumbled playfully as he turned toward the kitchenette of his apartment.

    It was a rainy Saturday evening, and Melody and L.A. were keeping one another company. They were taking a day of respite after their recent return from performing on the Pittsburgh circuit, and L.A. had been amusing Melody with ball rooming lessons. Melody had slept in late this day, and when she had woken up to the empty silence of her Father’s house, she realized she did not want to be alone. She was too restless to go back to bed, so after she had showered and dressed she had called to see if L.A. wanted some company. L.A. who had been just as restless eagerly obliged. Melody always found L.A.’s playful and good natured presence relaxing, especially when she was feeling stressed. Right now she did not have a care in the world as she reclined on the comfortable love seat listening to “Unwrapped Volume I”, a selection of Rap and R&B songs remixed into jazzy instrumentals by Hidden Beach Recordings. L.A. had one of the most interesting and extensive collections of music Melody had ever seen. His taste ranged from the hip hop classics such as Rakim, Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest, LL Cool J, and Arrested Development to Miles Davis to the rock band Staind. She was bobbing her head to the remix of “Danger”, when L.A. emerged into the room bearing trays of steaming food. The delicious scents tickled her nose and she inhaled blissfully.

    “Ahhh, this smells delightful! What you got here?” she asked eagerly picking up a fork from the tray he set in front of her on the living room coffee table.
    “Leftovers!” he grinned broadly. “My boy Bilal made some jerked chicken and this dish he calls Love Supreme while we was ciphering yesterday evening with a couple of other cats from Sol Empire. It turned into a lil dinner party, cuz everybody was starved. Ole boy can sizzle in the kitchen!”
    “Love Supreme, what’s that and who’s Bilal? I’ve heard of Sol Empire. Aren’t they that business collective with the record label, rap artists, and graphic artists? I recall meeting this guy Odari from Sol. That brother has got a smooth voice.” She queried cutting into the spicy jerked chicken breast.
    “Love Supreme is a mix of lentils, onions, peppers, and some other veggies over curried rice. It’s **** near sinful. Dig in! Bilal is this peace poet that hosts over at Bert’s in Eastern Market on Sundays. Real cool cat. We gotta go catch his open mic one night so I can introduce yall. Yeah, Odari is my mans from Sol. They have a tight organization going on. You’ll meet the rest of them soon enough. Maybe you’ll come cipher at the Medi one night with us.” He suggested spooning up a healthy portion of the lentils and rice.
    Melody blew on the steaming lentils and rice before bringing the fork to her lips. The aroma was tantalizing and her mouth watered. A delectable burst of flavor filled her mouth and she exclaimed, “Whoa, this is so GOOD! Your boy can throw down; cuz I know you can’t hook it up like this!”
    L.A. cut his eyes at Melody before taking another bite of chicken. “I can do my thang now, girl. Please believe!”
    Melody chuckled and took another bite of the Love Supreme dish, and asked, “So what you got up for tomorrow?”
    L.A. shrugged then replied, “I don’t know yet. Probably go to church with the family. I know Moms will be glad to see me there!” he chuckled then continued, “But later on I think I’ll go down to Bilal’s spot I was just telling you about. The cats from Sol Empire will be there and some other interesting heads. We’ll all probably go down to the Mediterranean Café afterward for cake, and to build. If you not doing anything, you wanna come?”
    “Sure! I been wanting to check out the Medi, as you and Wise call it for a minute. Seems like yall be doing some serious hangin at 2 am in the morning. Sounds cool.”
    “Girl, you ain’t built till you been in on a session at the Medi! Wise and I shoulda been brought you with us. All UR members got to go through the rites of passage of politickin at the Medi till six in the morning!”
    “I’m down, but now you need to quit talking to me, cuz I’m trying to get my grub on here!” she joked biting into another tender, flavorful slice of chicken.
    L.A. eyed her quickly emptying plate skeptically, and said dryly, “I don’t think my talking is stopping you.”

    Melody laughed and the meal passed with pleasant conversation and joking. After L.A. and Melody cleared the coffee table, and washed the dishes they lay slumped lazily on the couch. The smooth vocals of Jill Scott’s, “The Way” floated from the stereo system, and Melody and L.A. looked at each other with such comical expressions of slothful satisfaction that they both burst out laughing.

    “This is a **** shame!” L.A. chuckled, “We just like some true ******. Get full, and then wanna go to sleep!”
    “**** right!” Melody exclaimed, “Shooo, ain’t nothing better. I’m not fit for anything but sleep after a good meal like that, and it’s raining too! I’m getting my doze on for sure!”
    L.A. yawned and sank deeper into the couch. “Mel, you ain’t never lied. I don’t even wanna move.”
    “Don’t then, cuz I ain’t.” she said and shifted on her side to get even more comfortable. Jill Scott’s music was lulling them both into a welcomed drowsiness.
    “Eh, c’mere shorty,” L.A. said tugging Melody’s arm as he saw her re-arranging herself again.
    “Hmmm?” she asked sleepily
    “Here, lay your head on my chest, and stretch out this way so you can get more comfortable.”
    Without hesitation Melody allowed L.A. to pull her to his chest and she sighed peacefully. L.A.’s body felt warm and strong through the layers of the gray cotton sweat suit he wore. She could here the steady thudding of his heart beneath her cheek, and the sound oddly made her even sleepier. L.A. rubbed his hands across her braids gently as he closed his eyes. Melody could not recall the last time she had rested so peacefully, and felt a warm rush of gratitude toward L.A. He was always uplifting her spirits and putting her at ease. It was during moments like these she could truly appreciate their friendship.
    “Hey, L.A. thanks.” She said softly.
    L.A. stirred a bit and cracked his eyes open. “For what?” he quizzed.
    “For being such a great friend. I was just thinking about how nice it was to be able to chill this way with somebody. It’s real peace.”
    L.A. smiled groggily as he replied in a low voice, “No problem, shorty. This is real peace to me too. Now rest, and don’t be snoring either!”
    Melody giggled and nestled her head against his chest once more and drifted off into a deep, sweet slumber.
    ************************************************************************
    The loud “Brnnnnng!” of the telephone roused L.A. and Melody from their nap. L.A. groggily groped for the cordless phone and answered in a sleep roughened voice, “Peace.”
    L.A. was silent as he held the phone. Melody lifted her head and cracked her eyes raising a questioning eyebrow at L.A who whispered, “It’s Wise.”
    “Aww **** man, you can’t be serious?”
    “Wassup?” asked Melody sitting up, alerted by the tone of concern in L.A.’s voice. L.A. shook his head and held up a warning finger for Melody to be patient while he continued his conversation with Wise.
    “Yeah man, come on over. Melody is here right now. Aight, see you in a minute. Peace.”
    L.A. looked deeply troubled as he depressed the off button on the cordless phone and set it back on the coffee table. “****!” he exclaimed shaking his head.
    Melody demanded in consternation, “What’s wrong with Wise?”
    L.A. turned to her still shaking his head as he explained, “Wise just found out Mai is pregnant.”
    Melody looked confused. “He’s upset that she’s pregnant? That does not sound like Wise. I would think he would be happy about that. We both know Wise loves Mai more than life.”
    “It’s not the baby he is unhappy about.” L.A. responded grimly, “Mai went to the doctor, and he told her due to the fact she has sickle cell anemia she may not be able to carry full time, or that she could even seriously hurt herself. “
    Melody’s eyes filled with instant compassion. “Oh no,” she whispered, “That is terrible! I did not even know Mai had sickle cell.”
    “Neither did I! Mai just told Wise today! He’s in turmoil right now. He’s on his way over, and I know he’s gonna need our support.”
    Melody nodded sympathetically. “I can only imagine what he’s feeling right now.”

    Minutes later Wise was knocking at the door of his best friend’s apartment. His eyes were rimmed with red, and his locks were wild. Melody instantly rushed to embrace him as he came through the door. Wise clung to Melody for a long time grateful for her silent comfort. After Melody released him, L.A. grabbed him in a tight brotherly hug, and Wise’s body began to tremble with repressed sobs
    .
    “Let it out man.” L.A. encouraged in a kind, gruff voice. Wise broke then letting the tears course down his brown cheeks. Melody felt the tears well in her eyes as she wrapped her arms around both Wise and L.A. The friends stood squeezed together for a long while, and finally Wise went completely still.
    “****,” he whispered scrubbing the tears from his face, “Ain’t I cried like that in a long *** time. I just didn’t want Mai to see me fall apart, you know. She needs me to be strong for her.”
    Melody and L.A. nodded in understanding. “I feel you man” L.A. said placing a consoling hand on his friends shoulder.
    “I understand as well, but you need someone to vent too. This is just as hard on you. You know we’re here for you when you need us Wise.” Melody said softly.
    Wise shook his head and whispered, “Man, I love her with every breath in my body, she’s my heart, and just the thought of losing her is tearing me apart. I mean I’m gone fight for this baby and for her, but to see those tears and the fear in her eyes just broke me yall. That’s the kind of pain a man shouldn’t have to see his woman suffer.”

    Melody rubbed his shoulders. She knew what it felt like to lose someone you loved, and she would never wish for anyone to suffer such pain. L.A. had a sorrowful look in his eyes to see his friend buckled under so much grief. He knew Wise practically lived for the love of Mai. It wasn’t fair that what should have been a beautiful blessing suddenly meant a possible tragedy. Still L.A. believed there was hope.

    “Man, **** what those doctors say. You said you would seek a second opinion. You should really do that. I don’t trust none of these **** white doctors. Some of our Black people go in just fine, and then they leave with a whole list of ailments. These fools misdiagnose so many of our people, and we get sicker from the drugs they prescribe, than we are from actual diseases. So you need to check into that, for real.” L.A. said with grim determination.
    “L.A is so right. A lot of these doctors especially misdiagnose sisters. Do you think it’s a conspiracy that so many young Black women me and Mai’s age have problems with our reproductive systems? I think not! They try to take our ovaries and uteruses so that we cannot reproduce. Even birth control is damaging to our systems! I hope to God Mai has not been on the shot or that new patch. You need to get her on some herbs to strengthen her. There is so much natural medicine out here that could help her.”

    Wise pushed his unruly locks back from his forehead and nodded. “Yeah, that is true. I was telling her that we should consult with a holistic doctor, cause I don’t trust them bastards either. That **** doctor got my baby all upset, and I’m up here falling apart cause it hurts me to see her feeling so helpless. The **** makes me so mad!” he said his dark brown eyes flashing with anger.
    “**** right,” L.A. snapped, “So don’t feed all your energy into hysteria. Focus on finding some solutions to Mai’s health problems. We’ll help you anyway we can. It’s plenty of brothers and sisters in the community that can give you a referral to a good doctor. We know too many knowledgeable people NOT to be able to get you all some help.”
    Melody nodded in firm agreement. “God always has the final say, not the damned doctor.”
    “Exactly” said L.A. pointedly.
    Wise exhaled slowly, and gazed at both his friends before speaking, “Yall are right. Thank you for letting me get this **** off my chest. I don’t want to let my baby down. She believes in me. I told her we were going to find a way, and I meant that. Thank you for reminding me that the Divine is the ultimate authority and source.”
    Melody and L.A. nodded and smiled encouragingly at their friend.
    “Bro, you know we always gone keep you on track. You’ve done that for me too many times when I was going all wrong. So you know I’m not gonna hesitate to tell you the real, man.” L.A. said pounding Wise on the back warmly.
    “You know we down for you. These Urban Rootz go deeper than the Earth. These roots connect us in spirit. Brother we are here for one another not just in the good times, but at moments like these when we truly need that support and strength. You know we have nothing but divine love for you.” Melody said earnestly as she grasped his hands in hers, and squeezed them encouragingly.
    Wise’s face shone with light as he smiled with genuine gratitude. “****, I’m proud to claim these roots. Yall know without words how I feel…..I can’t even express it without wanting to get sappy….so we just gone leave it at this…….yall know it ain’t nothing on this Earth that’s going to severe these roots, and I hope they’ll grow even deeper and stronger with time.”
    “Urban Rootz always, baby” L.A. smiled nodding.
    “Urban Rootz, for life!” chimed Melody
    “Yeah, Urban Rootz, for life and always,” grinned Wise.
    ************************************************************************
    “Alright you guys, let’s check on our progress.” LaFaye Wyatt said as the long black coat of her sharp pants suit flared with her movements. “The CD will be dropping in another month, and this week the first single is being released. Now is the time to talk about official touring. When “Urban Matrix” blows up like we all know it will then we want to be on the road like a bullet out the gun. Give the people what they want while it is fresh and hot, and you guys are definitely hot.” She continued excitement animating her pretty features. LaFaye was an attractive 26 year old woman with a smooth mahogany brown complexion, big brown eyes, and a charming white smile. She wore her thick hair tumbling to her shoulders, and the pants suit she wore was perfectly tailored to her trim figure.

    Wise, Melody, L.A. and the rest of the management staff of Connex, Inc. were gathered around a small conference room table having a power meeting. The Urban Rootz were pleased at their progress, and were excited about the eminent release of their CD. However, Wise looked particularly worried once the discussion turned to planning the official tour. Melody could see the lines of tension on his handsome, lean face as she watched him roll a pen distractedly between his penny brown fingers. L.A. could also sense his friend’s tension and he cast a concerned glance at Wise. Even Bryson and Renee could see that Wise was troubled. LaFaye finally noticed the unnatural silence and stopped talking. She glanced around the table, and asked, “What’s the problem? The energy in this room just dropped straight to the floor in here. What’s wrong?”
    All eyes focused on Wise, and LaFaye dropped down into one of the conference room chairs and directed her question toward him. “Wise, what’s going on?”
    Wise sighed and dropped the pen he was fidgeting with a small thunk. “It’s Mai……I don’t want to leave her alone….but at the same time I don’t want to hold up our progress.” He said hesitantly.
    Instant awareness dawned on LaFaye’s face and she sighed. She had forgotten about Wise’s predicament in her excitement of planning the tour. Mai was a close friend of her’s and she totally understood Wise’s concerns. She felt like an idiot now not having thought about the situation sooner.
    “Forgive me Wise. I am such a blockhead. I got caught up in the excitement of our progress, and I totally forgot. What do you want to do?” she asked apologetically.
    “I don’t know. I haven’t had much time to think about it over the last several weeks dealing with Mai and all. I considered that perhaps I should take her with us, but I don’t know if she’s strong enough. All that moving around might not be good for her.” He said thoughtfully as he pushed his fingers through his locks.
    “Hmmm, yes, you really should think about that. Have you discussed it with Mai?”
    “No, not yet. I was trying to think of some other options before I sat down and talked about it with her.”
    “Okay, well keep me posted, and let me know if there is anything I can do,” said LaFaye reaching across the table to squeeze Wise’s hand.
    Wise nodded, and LaFaye turned back to the rest of the table. “Okay the tour planning is on hold for now, but we can talk about the promotions for the CD release party, and the local venues you guys will be hitting to promote the CD. Bryson, what’s your plan of action?” she asked switching back into her business mode.
    That was one of the things Melody especially admired about LaFaye, that she had the ability to be kind and understanding, but could also be a perfect professional.
    “Alright you guys, this is what’s going down,” began Bryson as he launched into a detailed description of his promotions strategy. “We’ve sent out press releases to all the popular weeklies , The Detroit News and Free Press, The Michigan Chronicle, and of course The Metro Times always gives us love. To the point we’ve covered all the major newspapers in Metro Detroit, and local magazines. Our web promotion for the CD will be launched on PR Web, an excellent online advertising tool. I’ve got a street team pushing flyers at all the hottest clubs, and of course we have dispensed the single to every DJ at every club we could think of. The street team is also handling the record shops, and we have the local businesses that support us. We’ve even got an underground team pushing the flyers and CDs to the real hip hop heads that don’t go to the big clubs Renee has been invaluable in putting the plan together. This sista knows a lot of people, and her connections are excellent. . So I think we’ve got the major ground covered, and all the other details will be handled shortly.” Bryson concluded casting Renee a bright smile.
    Renee returned the smile, and everyone turned expectantly toward LaFaye whose fingers were templed beneath her chin. LaFaye nodded, and everyone knew she was poring over the promotions process with a fine tooth comb. LaFaye knew Bryson was one of the best young promotions people in the business, but she liked to review every detail to make sure it was airtight. Not only was her reputation riding on the business, but so were her partners, and she would not allow them to make a costly mistake that would be damaging to themselves. Connex, Inc looked out for the interests of everyone from staff to clients.
    LaFaye’s face lit up with a pleased smile as she announced, “Excellent as always, Bryson. Renee, girl you know your assistance is always appreciated. I think we are solid guys. Great work!”
    “Now, let’s talk about upcoming performances, and see what “in” places Ms. Renee has gotten us into, cause we all know Renee knows all the beautiful people!” joked LaFaye, and everyone at the table chuckled in agreement. LaFaye definitely loved her career, and The Rootz were glad to have her on their team.
    ************************************************************************
     
  2. Bishop

    Bishop Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Keep it coming Legacy....
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    lovin it more more more !!!!!
    legacyyyyyyyyy
     
  4. nini08

    nini08 Active Member MEMBER

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    sistah girl u know u got skills. i appreciate u sharin with us. i enjoyed this series so far and i would like to see the rest. i would also like to see part2 of "Your Mirror......" i would also like to know if u have anything published? if not then u should!!
     
  5. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    had to bring dis one back it's a great read
     
  6. Bluewater

    Bluewater Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    this is a wonderful story Legacy21
    i read half yestrday
    and finish it today
    wonderful
    thank you RICH
    for bringing it back
    Peace
     
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