Meet Sydney, a talented but unappreciated staff writer who works at The Beach, a magazine company with it share of Real Housewives of Atlanta-style drama.
Sydney just left a meeting where she inadvertently made herself a guinea pig to a social experiment; what would happen if a woman looking for a husband dated a new man everyday for 30 days. By playing the numbers, would she finally meet Prince Charming? Problem is, Sydney knows nothing about the dating world and don’t even know where to begin.
Please let me know what you think of my little ditty in the comment box below. Enjoy<3 -Joy the Lit Diva
“And I thought she was finally making progress.” Sydney heard Nadine said over her head.
“How long she’s been like that?” a male voice asked. Sydney identified the voice as Marvelous but she wasn’t quite sure.
“Since the meeting ended” whispered Nadine
“Well, does she know everyone is going home?”
“I don’t know. She’s been so weird today. I don’t know who this Sydney is.”
“Well child boo, she needs to go home and get ready for her first date. Shoooot, with all dem mens she going go out with, she might want to stock up on some Summer Eve.”
From the ensuing laughter that followed and the “I know that’s right” hands slaps she was 100% sure it was Marvelous. Marvelous was Nadine “BFF” and being around the two of them at the same time was like watching a VH1 reality show. You just knew some ratchet drama was about to unfold.
Sydney continued to keep her head down, hoping they would leave soon. Matter of fact, she started to pray that she would suddenly wake up and discover that she was just having a terrible dream. 30 guys? Arrrggh! How am I going to pull this off? Damn, I should have took the Fred Sanford Look-a-Like up on his offer this morning. Then I would only have to find 29 more guys to date. Oh my god, what am I going to do? 30 guys!
“What’s so funny?” asked a third voice. From the treble tone and masculine assertiveness, she knew right away it was Raymond.
“This mess right here. That’s what so funny.” replied Marvelous “Now Raymond, how in the hey-ell, this chick going to date 30 guys in 30 days and she hasn’t been out with anyone since Te-Te dumped her.” Oh my God, Marvelous still refers to Terrence as Te-Te!
“Heyyyy Raymond” said Nadine. Sydney imagined Nadine leaning close to Raymond when she greeted him while ‘accidently’ brushing her breasts against him.
“Hey, um, Nadine. What’s wrong with Syd?
“She been like that since the meeting ended.”
“Is she ok?”
“Well, she stopped groaning a few minutes ago. So, that’s a good sign.”
“What she needs to do is go to the store and stock up on some condoms for all dem mens” She heard Marvelous say which only brought on another set of giggles from Double Trouble themselves, Marvelous and Nadine.
Sydney couldn’t take it anymore so she raised her head just enough to give Marvelous the evil eye before shouting “DATE! I’m going to DATE 30 guys. Not fuc… sleep with them.” corrected Sydney after she saw Raymond raised his eyebrow over the almost fully form cursed word that was about to come out of her mouth. Raymond knew how Sydney felt about profanity. She considered excessive cursing to be a sign of a small vocabulary therefore Sydney tried not to fall into the habit of doing it herself. But that damn Marvelous brought it out of her every time.
“And what kind of name is Marvelous anyways” said Sydney as an afterthought.
“Cause that’s what I am, BITCH! I’m Marvelous. M-A-R-V-E-LOUS. You better recognize.”
“Negroid, your name is Samuel! That’s what’s on your birth certificate. That’s what’s on your paycheck and that’s what you momma named you. So stop with the bulls…. Go away. Everyone just go away…. 30 guys arrrggghh!” Sydney decided to put her head back down where it was safe.
“What that bitch just said to me? And after what we done for her? I should knock the-“
“Chill Marv” interrupted Raymond “She’s upset right now. You antagonizing her isn’t helping and… and what is that noise?”
“She moaning again” replied Nadine “Guess where back to square one.”
Raymond kneeled next to Sydney and began stroking her hair and although he wanted to laugh so hard his eyes were beginning to water; he held it in because he knew it would make the situation even worse.
“Syd, it’s going to be alright. It’s just another lame writing assignment. If you don’t want to do it, just tell Melissa. It’s not the end of the world.”
Sydney began mumbling rapidly and because her head was down he could only make out a few words at a time. He knew he heard ‘Cause it’s the Summer Issue’ and he understood the meaning behind that statement completely but was baffled when he heard ‘Fred Sanford’ and wasn’t quite sure how all of this was ‘Obama fault.’ But he decided to ignore that for the time being in order to deal with the problem at hand.
“Syd, maybe you should go home and get some rest…. maybe even a drink.” He heard a snort of laughter from Marvelous and Nadine so he looked up to give them a look that silenced them in a flash. Shaking his head and mentally comparing them to children, Raymond continued to stroke Syd’s hair hoping it would calm her down.
Raymond had no idea how he ended up working at The Beach, a magazine whose targeted audience was African American boughetto women. Wait… oh yeah… he was unemployed at the time, ran through his savings and the struggling writer stereotyped was getting played out. But looking at Marv standing in front of him with his one hand on his hip and Nadine’s superficial, albeit fine-as-all-hell, self made him mentally count down the days when he could write this job off as a nice blurb on his resume. The people here, excluding Syd, were all about drama, money, clothes, and image.
For instance, Marv (Raymond refused to call another man Marvelous) stood in front of him wearing what Raymond assumed was the latest male fashion. Since he’s worked at the magazine for a while and hung out with the fashion editor, he knew the white button down shirt was an Armani and the light pink pinstripe blazer would have been alright in his book but the tight matching pinstripe pants looked like it was cut for a woman’s body and he couldn’t get over the Ashcroft Marv had tied around his neck. To him, that was taking fashion a little too far. Yet everyone else in the office loved Marv’s style. But, really though, why did his pants have to be so tight?!
“Don’t worry about them, Syd. Come on. I’ll walk you to your car.” Syd shot her head up quickly and looking even more pathetic exclaimed “I don’t have a car! My car broke down on my way to work and I had to take a bus here.” The gasps that came out of Nadine and Marvelous mouth at the idea that someone they knew actually riding on a bus nearly took Raymond to the edge. He knew if he stuck around here any longer he would fall out on the floor laughing and the only thing that held him back was the look of despair on Sydney’s face. Damn, she’s really upset over this, thought Raymond.
“Ok” he said “I’ll get my stuff and give you a ride home. Just give me a minute to pack up.”
Syd stared at him blankly for a minute before answering “Okay” and Raymond walked away to get his keys and laptop bag. The bag included his brand new MacBook that he purchased with his first book advance and although he promised himself that he was going to deposit the full amount of his next royalty check into his saving account, he knew that at the end of the day, he was going to end up taking that check and heading straight to the Apple Store so he could purchase the new Apple Watch. That device was calling his name and he wanted to add it to his ever growing collection of Apple devices. Raymond wasn’t sure when he became Apple’s bitch resulting in him buying everything they told him to buy. But he didn’t care. He needed that watch.
After he grabbed all of his things, he began walking back to Syd’s desk which was on the opposite end of the office. As he got nearer, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Syd was half sprawled across the top of her desk trying to choke Marv while Nadine was trying to pull Syd off of him. Raymond couldn’t take it anymore. No matter how strong a man is, he can only withstand so much pressure before finally breaking down and the sight of the three of them was the last straw. With a howl, Raymond fell to the floor and finally began to laugh.
Excerpt from my upcoming Novel, 30 Days in 30 Days © 2014