Girls Will Be GURLZ
I spent the entire summer in recollection. For the first time in years I could dwell on the menial thoughts and pleasures of a teen.Or what little time I had left at eighteen. At age ten my mother passed away abruptly from cancer. The last of girly interaction we had together as mother and daughter was..sparse. She helped me put on my earrings a month before she died. As a teenager I always at some point struggled to be ladylike. Rugged, awkward, aloof and as more time passed skinny. All of the baby fat I acquired through adultrification, school and stress slowly trimmed away. I steadily kept to myself and was determined to stay as such in college. Hard to believe, even now, I would meet or befriend a few characters unlike myself. Every other girl from D.C made girls from Maryland look..well..stuck up. Or complacent. When I met Tanya Evans, it was during freshman orientation week The initial move-in trial for all freshman to get acquainted or familiar with campus, class schedules and departure from home. Being on my own was nothing new. But I distinctly remember Tanya asking at lunch, " You eat meat?" My entire plate was filled with romaine salad and ranch dressing. I refused to eat anything more than cranberry juice and vegetables. My newfound shape pronounced femininity, control and an identity I could live with despite the lack thereof. However, I was intrigued and joined her alongside a group of girls I hardly knew. Each vastly different than the next, and by personality alone I learned their names before lunch was over. Tanya being the warmest of the group swung her poetic justice box-knot braids every so often from her face when she spoke. We had much in common, and she laughed at how stoic I answered her from compared to the other girls. Niecey sat adjacent of Tanya and I, who for the very best of her spoke in-and-out of conversation with her boyfriend on loud speaker. She popped gum alike the turn of wheels on a car, and constantly smoothened her short bob hair cut with a mini comb she had attached to a lime green key chain (of a dozen keys that clatched against her wide hips.) Kristen, a girl that later joined us at the table reverses her chair backward and places down a bowl of cereal and red gatorade. Her high top Nike shoes screech in-toe of her noisy swish-swish sweatpants. She flung her thick honey blonde dreads aback of her pointy shoulders and politely shook my hand. She says aloud, "Basketball tryouts comin' next week on Monday at 8. You should come by the gymnasium and try out. You seem like you've played ball before." Niecey chimes in, "Scuse me..we dont know this girl." My jaw drops, and before I can move my mouth to speak, Kristen says, "Bitch.. I just met you like two days ago." Niecey snickers aloud, her boyfriend readily says on speaker "Who?" Tanya waves her hand dismissively, her giant brown eyes light up in laughter along withthe other girls. Perhaps I'm slow, but another girl from the edge of the table asks, "What'd ya do?" I barely understand the context of her question, from the look on my face the same girl says, "Oh she such a sweetheart. Where you from?" I straighten my back and lowly respond, "I'm from Maryland." Niecey clashes, "Err' body know Maryland girls guh'... like.. shit. She a miss plain jane." Kristen licks her lips from off a spoonful of cereal and playfully rubs her palms together, "Not if I know first." Tanya shakes her head in dismay and focuses attention onto Kristen, "No girl..that's not for you to know." The other girl introduces herself, "Scuse them, they actin' up t'day. Im Sky, what's your name?" My voice barely above a whisper, "Marie." Another girl pulls up a chair and places her tray dramatically onto the table, she too has dreads but they are pulled uptop the crown of her head in a short ponytail. She wafts amongst the table an earthy, skunk-like odor that pulls attention off of me immediately but not in a way I expect. Niecey briefly stops talking to her boyfriend and says to the girl, "Im'ma need a dub from you girly when we get back to the dorms." Tanya neatly folds a ten dollar bill and slides it over to the girl, whom carefully clasps hands with me and nods to handover to Tanya. (A baggy of rough mixture the size of a quarter from what I could feel within my palm.) Niecey hangs up the phone and menacingly clicks her long green acrylic nails, "Daddy has a small get-to-together later on at his place, he said I could bring some ah' you cus' his friends'll be there." Kristen hops excitedly in her chair, "Ahhh shit, they got patron. Bet..Lala you comin'." Niecey rolls her neck, her pearl necklace almost stiffins when she says, "Uh bitch you got a friend that's striaght?" Sky eyes me, and quickly guzzles a water bottle (I learn shortly after is full of vodka.) "You in?" The girls become quiet and await an answer. (Please keep in mind I knew less than fifty percent of what they were talking about, but for the first time in my life I wanted to be apart of something. Anything. It felt liberating and I theoretically wanted 'in' on the action.) I shrug innocently, "Yea, sure." We all decide to regroup and meet throughout "Khadijah's room." Strange enough her dorm is literally a few doors away from my room and I have yet to meet her. A short and squatty girl answers the door before us all, she embraces Lala kindly and flops onto a bed covered entirely of soft, velvet pillows. She types rapidly throughout a small laptop and beckons I close the door. And once I do, the song "Deuces" beams loudly from a portable speaker placed conveniently upon a window sill center of the room. All dorms were made similar and the windows were placed front and center as to overlook the campus soccer field. A small driveway swerves all throughout the campus to allow traffic (from michigan avenue.) Just slightly beyond the soccer field reveals a sight I soon aspire or obsess over just by sound alone (a street neatly aligned of vibrant pink cherry blossom trees that leads further downtown, several blocks away from the Capitol.) My attention reverts back unto a conversation I miss entirely, and as usual I quietly overhear and blend alike the masses. Lala lyes beside Khadijah on her bed slowly blowing smoke into perfect O's. Niecey tosses a bill onto Lala, who pretends to be unbothered as she enters the room. Sky stumbles from leaning against a wall and walks toward me, her breath smelt of strong ligour, "You ever smoke before?"
Lala coughs, her snickering shortly is muffled from smoke, "How in the?..who in the?.. What?" Khadijah looks at me and says, "Baby girl, you've never smoked before?" Her room smells of Pink Oil, coconut and a hot iron. She combs her frow with a large pic and grabs hold of a cordless flat iron. Lala sits up, "Nothing? White boy, weed..cigarette?" I shrug innocently once again, "Nope. Nothing." Niecey chimes in, "I told you..This girl here is a goody two shoes. She from.. Maryland." (I notice how she overtly pronounces 'Maryland' like Cher from Clueless pronounces 'as if'.) Kristen snaps, " Leave the girl alone. She seem like good people..So what if she from Maryland and doesn't smoke. Or whatever the fuck. I like her." For the first time in my life I realize what lust must feel like from a girl and shyly nod my head. I can feel her stare from a distance as I nervously look away. Tanya intervenes, brushing aside her braids, "Girl, please..stop with the thirst trap. I can't. I can't. Marie don't want you. You know that.. What time should we be ready Niecey?" Niecey peers at her enlarged rolex, "Be back by nine."