"I take it your little date with Bernard went well." Carmella’s disappointment could be heard through the phone line.
Ivy chuckled softly. "Of course, there's no way things could have gone wrong."
"Of course." Carmella and Lillie-Rose agreed, laughing in unison.
"What?" Ivy laughed. "What's the joke? You already know how I feel about him. He could have ignored me all night and just the fact he spent so much time with me, oh my God, my life is made."
"Ivy you're crazy. You can't have just one conversation with a guy and decide he completes your life."
Lillie-Rose snorted. "You're the one to talk, Carmella. Franklin hadn't had a hint of a serious conversation with you and you melt at the mention of his name. I can't believe how easily the two have you have dumped your entire outlook on relationships and turned into drooling man-hungry squeezers."
Carmella laughed in denial, her long giggle light and infectious. "Lee stop. I never drool." "You know what your problem is, Leelee? You need someone in your life."
"Okay, let's stop right there, Ivy, and change the subject. I'm not interested."
"Leelee, you know it's time to get over the past.” "Listen, you two, if you can't change the subject I'm off the phone."
"Fine, but I feel sorry for you. You can't let one mistake, horrible as it was, direct your steps for the rest of your life.
"Carmella, I'm not having this conversation. Change it or I'm hanging up."
“Okay, don’t get all puffed up. We’ll change it.” "Besides,” Lillie-Rose, like a dog with a bone, had to gnaw a conversation until she was satisfied. “You know what's wrong with you, Carmella?"
"Nothing is wrong with me, but I know you'll tell me differently, Lillie-Rose."
"You have your mind wrapped in the pages of a romance novel and love doesn't work like that." "Why not?" Carmella put down her pencil and moved to the living room to flop in a recliner. She could already tell this conversation was going to take the turn towards a therapy session. "Why can't I have a beautiful love story? Why can't I have Franklin fall in love with me the way those girls do in those books? Why can't I have one of those silly fairy tales your dad used to harp on, Ivy? I used to think they were really stupid until I saw Franklin. Why can't I believe it can happen to me?"
"Because you are a Black girl, Carmella Candi.” Lillie-Rose stated her answer with a clap of her hand between each word. “Wake up, you’re dreaming. You have to work for the happily ever after. When you read those fairy tales, where was that pretty Black princess? You ever read a story where this little Black kid married a prince?"
"At least we think she is." Ivy commented softly. She knew this was another sore point with Carmella.
"At least you think I'm what? Ivy, I know you're not going there this time of night."
In a flash the two cousins were in the middle of an argument about what makes a person Black - same argument they'd had all of their lives. The same argument that had been going on for generations in the African-American communities and it didn't help any that Carmella's mom was Asian.
"Hey, hey, wait a minute." Lillie-Rose broke in. "Let's have that argument after I make my point. As I was saying, you're a Black girl and it doesn't work like that. We have to go and ‘get' our man." Lillie-Rose smacked her lips, the sound loud and irritating through the phone's receiver.
"You think because I'm Black there's no guy going to come and sweep me off my feet? What does that mean? Go and get our man? Do I have to settle on being 'the baby mama' and call it my 'romance'? I'm not going to be part of some baby mama drama relationship."
"No, girl, it's just that no sincere Black guy runs around with flowers and candy. That romance stuff is just a figment of someone's imagination. I told you all through high school about reading those idiotic romance books; they'll warp your mind. You passed up some mighty fine guys back in the day, hiding your head in those books."
"You should've read some, Lillie-Rose, and you wouldn't be so cynical and hard when a man approaches you." "I heard enough about the idiotic romances when Ivy's dad used to read us those stories as kids. Didn't believe them then and I don't believe them now. When Prince Charming comes poking around me, he better just watch out. As for now, Ms. Carmella Candi, when a man approaches me then I won't be as cynical."
Scroll through the posts and see what brings on this episode. Act 1: Scenes of a Breakup.
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