F-I-V-E

In the beginning the headaches are far and few between, coming about twice a month or so, allowing Christine to absorb; German- "I am a ‘das Madche’, my die Katze name is Fresh." Swahili– counting "moja, mbili, tatu, nne, tano, nane, kimi, and Chinese Math ‘to be well-rounded socially’, so Em’ry brags. All the academic pressures being dumped on her are already beginning to be too much; dang.

This is when the Common migraines rampantly reveal themselves with a vengeance. Headaches s

o fierce they cause her to halt all childhood activity, to hang her head in a desperate hope of relief; neither one of her parents rushing to aide her. Her crumbling to the floor every time.

"Em’ry, Christine’s head is hurting her desperately, one of her first cousins plead. She needs way more medical attention than y’all are providing for her Aunt Em’."

"She’ll get it if I think she needs it, not you" waving her away like a bothersome bug.

"How are you going to know if she needs it if you never take her to see a physician" Davonica yells.

Turning to focus at her boldness, with one hand on her curvaceously plump hip. "I’ve suffered from migraines all my life and I’m fine, she confirms sternly waving a wicked finger all up in Davonica’s seventeen year old face. I’m aware that the child of a migraine sufferer has a fifty percent chance to suffer intense headaches. She just needs to adjust her diet or something, Em’ry waves off by rotating her pearl-studded neck to a full snap in the opposite direction. Take it up with Kaci."

"That is so like you to not give a damn about your own child, your only child" Devonica says a bit too loud.

Em’ry froze. ‘Oh hell NO!’ not at all accustomed to being talk back too by any one for any reason.

Venomous words rising from her gut to fill her mouth, "You are out of line in my damn house, she barks as veins bulge in her thin neck and beautifully botox’ed forehead, speaking to me like that! E.L." she screams!

"Yes dear" he answers after rushing in, Cognac in hand.

"Get in here and get your rude ass niece before I rip her to pieces, out, of, my, house, NOW! Spinning back to Davonica, to be ignored. Your mother should have spent more time putting her foot down and you wouldn’t be so disrespectful" letting her insult follow her husband's niece out of the amazing and immaculate living room.

Em’ry marches the perimeter of the lavishly humongous room raging; out loud, looking for the cause of her chaos.

"Christine Veronica Webbster, get your black ass in here!" she spits.

"Yes" cowering like an abused animal as she descends the winding staircase. She’d heard every word, and loves her cousin.

"Look what you've caused, touching up her MAC with the tip of her manicured finger. I wish you were never born! Your father did this to me, forcing me to have you. I knew it was a mistake. You run around here whimpering about your head hurting, causing me grief from everyone about your mess! Why are you so damn selfish" Em’ry literally spits in her daughter's perfect yet pain-stained brown face.

"Mother I didn't..."

"Shut your fucking mouth and get out of my sight" Em’ry seethes.

Christine hurriedly retreats, without a word, to the temporary comfort of her personal space, where she can allow her rage to build inside of her; one day.

Tears pool in Davonica's eyes as she can only ‘hear’ and bear the verbal assaults heaped on her little cousin while looking for her mother's brother. There is only so much she can do but in the meanwhile, she’ll drive this wicked bitch up the wall while figuring it out.

"Uncle E.L. please let me speak to you, because your wife is being a bitch as usual" redirecting him by his elbow through the immaculate kitchen onto the decked out patio, sliding the one-of-a-kind stained-glass door closed behind them. The air-conditioned enclosure allows her to calm her heated temper. Why they keep it so cold in here is beyond her; most likely because Em’ry’s hot-as-hell attitude would set the house on fire. Her ass might burst into flames for real; the devil’s daughter.

"Uncle you are well aware that Christine suffers horribly from these debilitating migraines. They are so intense at times they cause her nausea and vomiting and her vision is becoming all screwed up. Noises and lights bother her badly Uncle, even different smells. E.L. they are so bad it staggers her and Em’ry won’t stop taking care of everybody else and being fake long enough to see to it, even worse refusing to let anyone else; what a sorry ass mom, and wife" she adds with emphasis.

"Well Davonica darling I understand you’re emotional about your cousin, smoothing his neat mustache. Kaci has informed us of all this and Em’ry will see about this as quickly as she can, jingling around in his pockets for nothing. You know your aunt is extremely busy with..." lying through his teeth.

"Unc stop always protecting the actions of that witch. She shouldn’t have anything more important to be doing but taking care of her only child who is starting to be disoriented at times. Y'all gone wait ‘til she dead then do all that fake ass hollering and crying when you can do something about it right now; ain't like y'all can't afford the best, the absolute best at that. Why do y'all act like y'all don't want her or love her. Y'all been treating her like crap since she was born, Em'ry abusing her and you ignoring her; don't think I can't see that. I'm two steps from calling the family. The shit is going to come back on y'all just wait. God didn't tolerate ugly in the beginning and He ain't tolerating it now. He is not a respecter of bank accounts" reaching to slide the door open.

"You're right honey, hugging her gently. I’ll get her what she needs darling and right away" E.L. promises.

"Yeah; whatever" sliding the door closed to leave him all alone with his bold-face lie.

PIANO

"You’ll need this attribute to be a decent young lady, now go practice and stay out of my face!" Em’ry yells, pushing Christine up against the kitchen's door frame.

Christine’s piano skills are professionally polished by age seven and almost of prodigy quality by eight. Her trophy case holds numerous musical achievements and accolades.

At age nine Veronica unleashes an eccentric rhythmic intensity on her Kawai to secure a slot on Showtime at the Apollo-Kids, at which she wins first place.

"Look Mother, I won..." trying her best to impress her wicked biological mother.

Em’ry snatches the trophy to get a closer look at it; "Cute; but what you should be worrying yourself with trying to win is..., and physically slaps her daughter’s face so hard that she stumbles three feet away from her, landing on her butt in the pretty ruffle dress that Kaci gave her for just this occasion. Em'ry towers over her, punching her from her head to her toes, for no reason at all. Stop trying to outdo me heifer."

Christine refuses to make a sound except, "Yes Madame" reacting as trained to the unwarranted shame unmercifully heaped on her.

Next time you speak with Kaci about something and not me...; I overheard Kaci speaking about you being a part of the Junior National Kawai Presenters, she spits as Christine scurries to pick up her esteem and First Place trophy from the polished marble floor. Why didn't I know about this" acting as if she didn’t just slap her child to the floor for showing her the trophy she’d just won.

"We told you…." rubbing her stinging face, as she gets up, and with that exits Em’ry's presence.

PAIN

Em’ry has for years been replacing Christine's prescribed medication with something from her own personal pill pile, hoping that she can have her long time and personal physician convince the courts that Christine needs to be institutionalized for her own good; and now!

"I will show her who runs shit around here" she blast to Everette.

"Em’ry! Everette! Kaci! Somebody help me please" she screams in agony as the nine blue Valiums kick in for all the wrong reasons.

The pleading comes from around the carved archway down the long mirror-littered hallway.

"Mommm!!!, as the migraine curls her in to a hideous knot under her heavy hand-crafted comforter, gnawing into every nerve in her brain; I’m exploding!!!"

Kaci and Carter hurl themselves through the double doors of her dimly lit bedroom.

"The migraines, Kaci motherly soothes as tears well in her eyes. Baby I’m so sorry."

"Is there anything, anything we can do for this child Ms. Kaci, these headaches are going to kill her" Carter expresses.

"Go see if her mother or father is available."

"Nooooo, grimacing through the episode; I’ll get through this without, OOooohhhh, as I have with all the rest" scrabbling around under the comforter, trying to reposition herself to try hide from the pain.

Kaci begins to croon a soft melody as Carter showers her with affectionate strokes of empathy. Christine forces an attempt to fall into sleep; any form of sleep, even death.

TEN

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dearest Christine, happy birthday to you" the party of eight to twelve year olds try to sing in unison.

At Christine’s fabulous 10th birthday celebration the party room is delightfully decorated in various shades of purple and green and orange for the thirty-six mates she manages, and the host of estrange, strange and strong family members whom she can’t seem to avoid, but whom Em’ry would permit into her castle.

On top of the Center table sits the biggest vanilla-flavored cake she's ever seen, decorated with Scooby-doo characters and surround by vanilla ice cream scoops in crystal cups, and the 8 foot round glass ‘Greeting’ table, in the grand front entrance, holds an expensive party-favor bag for each guest upon exiting.

The children run around enjoying themselves with all the games a child could want while the adults sip Chardonnay out on the balcony.

"What’s the matter honey" Tiffini's mother questions Christine, who is dragging her feet getting back to her own party, after leaving the bedroom-size spit-polished bathroom.

"Nothing Mrs. Tate."

Right on que, Kaci steps on to the patio with another bundle of joy; as ordered. Em’ry selfishly chooses this time to showcase Glory, 8lbs 6ozs, who becomes her precious needle found in a flawless haystack. She didn't gain nearly as much weight as she did with Christine or have as difficult a time with delivery.

Em’ry had decided to vacation in their luxury home in France during this pregnancy so no one would know until showtime. Christine feels stifled and embarrassed by the unnecessary attention bestowed on Glory, at her party.

Also in attendance, in her white party dress with ruffles around the collar, is stinky Angelia McCarthy, whose socialite parents are both Federal Court Judges, plus the six cousins she loathes; Ashly 10, Ashton 11, Auginese 12 and triplets Fransesca, Franklin, and Francina 11. Her mother’s brother drunk uncle Rayford and his high-strung wife Aunt Rainelle. Jeremiah and Claudette are home from Howard University just in time to witness their cousin’s agony; too bad they brought several of their friends who wouldn’t understand how so much pain could exist amongst all this wealth.

A set of the four doctors in the Webbster/Walker/Reddman/Phillips family show followed by cousins, Synthian 14, Imunique 16, and Beblessed 18. Cousin Scott falls in moments later after twisting the cap real tight on his Bailey’s Irish, which he keeps in a small ice chest under his Chevy truck’s front seat.

Immediately her world is socially ambushed, so she equips her emotions to handle it, her journal begins to live.

Christine, Angelia, Auginese, Franklin and Francina dance around Christine's outdoors playhouse; picking apart all Christine’s decorating hard work. The four step inside. Angelia dares them to take a sip of the punch she brought with her, from her house. She’d seen her mother mix the concoction to take to parties so she thought it was okay; nah, she knew better.

Christine pokes her head in as the flask is making its way around the tiny room. Everybody sips except Christine. Everybody gets intoxicated but Christine. When their parents find out, nobody is punished but Christine.

"You fucking little trouble maker, Em’ry scolds, shoving Christine hard into the wall. You can't even behave with guest in the house, snatching Christine to the floor by her hair. I'm going to have your ass committed if it's the last thing I do" Em’ry promises out of the presence of witnesses, smashing Christine’s fingers into the floor under her wedges.

Everyone rushes to take their intoxicated children home, leaving stares of concern behind while grabbing a gift bag to go; while back in her bed's room, swollen from fear, she gives life to a journal that will forever be her companion.

AUGUST 1982

Dearest journal, E.L. and Em’ry left for the Alps promising to return in a month. We haven’t seen them in 8 months. Glory is beginning to talk and they haven’t heard a word. Kaci, seems unwilling at times to care for her. I haven’t anyone to tell. Every now and then Rainelle and Rayford come by to borrow money from Kaci or Carter. They seem to rush out after leaving the E’s bedroom; Rainelle’s purse bulges and jangles while uncle Rayford stumbles and staggers. Carter fell in the Rose bushes and had to get stitches in his forehead, legs and butt. He is so broke down why he doesn’t sit down somewhere. He says when I ask him why after working for the Es for over twenty years, ‘There’s not enough in my pockets to leave.’ I think he just doesn’t have anywhere else to go or anybody else to love him. Maybe he should hook up with Kaci but maybe he thinks she's too young or something. Denise, with her stank attitude made piano lessons almost unbearable today because of something going on at her house. Thank God for the gift. Why doesn’t she just have sex with her man, giggling after writing. She comes in here yelling on her cell phone to somebody about her man not being happy; just sex him and shut up, giggling again. This woman Fanny Daniels works for E.L. but I think it’s more than that. She comes and goes when she feels, usually when they're not home, which is usually. She’s in and out of Em’ry’s things, which she has so much of she doesn’t miss or she’ll just blame me. Madame Fenisha brought her smelly kids over today, all funky four of them. James Jr., James ll, James Three and Four James, whom all have different fathers, named James something. She must have a James name thang going on or something. I ask Kaci to keep them outside and to not let them in our swimming pool, but she ignores me, now Carter has to strain his old self cleaning it out, because I’m not getting in it with them smelly kid’s dirt. My life and the people in it sure have changed, never an end.

DECEMBER 1984

Hello journal. I'm emotionally exhausted! E.L. is selling his construction kingdom and has almost convinced Em’ry to do the same with her cosmetics empire which is not surprising since they won’t be handing them down. He mentioned that the combined assets total over 70 million after debts and dues, which are minimal thanks to Em'ry's tight self.

E.L. wants to spend the remainder of his days sailing the seven seas he says but Em’ry cannot think past crimson lipstick and jet-black eyeliner and he wouldn’t dare leave her unattended with his checkbook to ravage. She’s accumulated more money than E.L. so she thinks that his underlying motive may be to have her swim in the seven seas: ha!

At 42 she should be sailing all seven of the seas. She’s no longer needed here, or wanted, or missed. Kaci and the servants, as Em’ry calls them, are raising Glory and I. Who really needs her but E.L. Yesterday Aubrey knocked over Em’ry’s Fabergé egg and blamed me. Why would I be near something so meaningless? I was scolded yet the same; the snitch. Glory banged her face on the two-inch thick glass table, I was blamed, I was punished; that witch. Em’ry really needs to sell and see; that bitch. Never an end.

A Foregone Conclusion

Em’ry pours herself a stiff Scotch on the Rocks then sits in the massive recliner across from Everette; "I’ve been thinking, Christine graduates in three years we can be off and done with this. We’ll take Glory and hire help."

"Caregiver, E.L. corrects gently, caregiver, stuffing his Benni Jorgensen with McConnell, without a second thought of their first offspring’s long-term wellbeing. I’ll have the affairs put in order Em’ry my love. Pack your luggage sweetness because it’s smooth sailing from here on out" E.L. boasts, sucking his pipe to life.

Christine lays across her queen-size PosturePedic contemplating her future. It was hard for her to even see a future even with all the academic success she’s had. She wish she had someone to call and talk to. She knew that if Em’ry even suspected that she was talking with Devonica, it would be hell to pay.

"Hey cousin, how’s it going?"

"I know you hear me yelling for you Christine Veronica. Don't make me come up those stairs after you" Em’ry shouts from her recliner.

"Em honey do you always have to be so harsh with Christine. She is still a child, our child" he questions, looking away from her eyes as she attempts to lock hers with his.

"Everette, I trust that you trust that I know how to treat my child. And it would serve you well to not get in my business where Christine is concerned. You have enough to be concerned with with your construction empire love. Leave Christine to me" emptying her Scotch glass down her long throat.

Slowly stepping from her space into theirs, "Yes Em’ry; what did I do now."

"Are you being flip with me heifer, with your smart-mouth ass. Do I need to remind you that I pay for everything that makes your world go around. Do I need to remind you that without me you'd be even more of a wasted and pathetic effort, she screams at the top of her lungs. Just as Christine reaches 2 feet in front of her raging-for-no-reason mother, you make yourself invisible you sore that won't heal..."

"Is that what you called me down here for?"

"You ugly bitch, Em’ry spits, swinging out at Christine who is four inches out of her reach. You mess of a person. If I call you ten times without a reason you’d better show up real fast and at attention. Get your raggedly ass out of my face" throwing and hitting Christine in the side of the head with the Scotch glass.

YET ANOTHER

She returns to the comfort and sanctity of her bedroom, "God help me!"

Lightning strikes in her head and it explodes.

The cold compresses, removing herself from bright lights, neither lying on her side works. Christine’s body spins her around, slamming her against the decorated wall, melting her to the shined floor. As she sees death approaching through blurred vision, she blacks out.

The Late Eighties

"I don't want to attend Emory. I’m want to attend Clark, Christine demands. Just because Emory was your school doesn't mean it's best for me and if you force me to attend Emory..."

"You'll what trash, Em’ry dares, fogging up Christine's eyes with her sweet but hot breath. You'll what, run away again. You'll what Christine Veronica" seething one inch from her eldest daughter's face.

Christine stands her ground; "You act as if you'll be attending anything per my academics. You never show for any of the numerous award ceremonies or my debates or anything else I do. So what do you care where I attend. You shouldn't have promised all your snobby high-class friends that I'll be there, right next to their boring ass kids. If not I want to go back to San Antonio to my aunt's house, and not for a summer, but for good!"

Em’ry releases the breath she didn’t know she was holding. "Okay you sorry brat. You go wherever your money can afford" Em’ry ends as she feels herself about to sweat, knowing Christine doesn't have enough money to pay her way through four years of college; and she better not ask my husband for a dime.

"Bet" turning her back to Em’ry’s wrath.

"Bet what bitch; bet what, shoving Christine up against the wall. Bet your ass had better be out of my house by sunrise you nothing sad ass excuse for a child."

An emotional breath catches in my throat. Fuck her, I remind myself; I've already laid-out my master plan; huh.

Being Young, and Grown

‘Christine Veronica Webbster, Masters in Business Management’ is what she hears as she struts across Clark Atlanta’s auditorium’s stage, in her tailored cap and gown.

"Thank you" smiling from ear to ear, shaking the Dean's hand, waving at the attendees.

Not E.L., who secretly helped pay for her education, not Em’ry, who’d made herself invisible through it all, not Glory who was still choosing to ignore her, because mother said so, not even Carter or Kaci was in attendance to applaud her accomplishing her Masters after struggling through it with her head aching. Only Alyxandria, her soul mate, her best friend was in attendance.

"I'll take this side, stepping around a friendly-faced, brown-skinned young lady. I’m your roommate Christine Webbster."

"Hello. Alyxandria Gayles. Where you hail from?"

"San Antonio."

"Texas?"

"Yep, hot ass Texas, she laughs. I went to live with my Aunt a few years back for sanity purposes and that’s all I’m going to say about that, she smiles; you?"

"Cali-for-n-i-a. Mad entertainment; crazy violence; horrible traffic."

They both share laughs out loud as they finish unpacking and instantly become life-long friends.

Too amped to relax, Christine invites Alyxandria to a late lunch.

"On me; your choice."

They include sightseeing and window shopping on their expedition. They talk about their many common interest; values, morals, principles. Lunch comes and goes without a remembrance of what was eaten.

"Now about you becoming a college professor at UCLA, that is the shit I must say. Do you know who Alfred A. Montapert is?"

"Not right off hand."

"One of his famous quotes is my motivation; ‘In life, the first thing you must do is decide what you really want. Weigh the costs and the results. Are the results worthy of the costs? Then make up your mind completely and go after your goal with all your might".

Alyx sits marinating the words of wisdom.

"Back to the subject of earlier, you realize the Legislature voted in 1990 to support fellowships for the graduate study of people like you, Christine tells; human aliens. They find that blacks, Asians, Native Americans and females continue to be underrepresented in graduate education and among those employed at Colleges and Universities. So you have a double blessing."

"Sounds a bit like the red-taped Dream Act. I’ma’ triple threat though, not only am I Native American, I’m part Asian." Alyxandria mentions with a big laugh.

Christine stares over at her then joins in her side-hugging laughter, "Your family reunions but be a muther…."

"Girl you crazy as all out doors."

"Anyway crazy, I read everything I can get my eyes on. This is old info but it’s still relevant. Check this, in the 97-98 Academic year 2.4 was awarded to 764 recipients; now that’s the bomb if you can get a slice of that pie."

"Girl I’ma’ have to let you help me through this with yo’ knowledge about where I’m headed."

"Bet, Christine smiles. What are you writing your essay on?"

"Well I’ve process of eliminated down to two. Politics and Government or David Geffen, a blessed man, in the history of American Culture Capitalism to succeed in three different industries; popular music, Broadway theater and Hollywood film. I’m leaning more towards Geffen."

"That'll be more interesting, because until they fix P and G, it's stuff Americans already know, and don't trust."

"And a lot less mental anguish."

"And you know this."

"Well I’m going to get to my workload at hand and kick as much of these papers out before deadline. What you about to get into" Alyxandria ends.

"I’ma’ put something on paper for you" Veronica smiles.

 

Dear Father God in heaven,

I pray you are still the awesome God

you’ve always been when I've needed you most.

You must be because my life

is now going just as I hoped it would;

no family-induced stress.

I would like to ask that it be Your Will to do

something about these headaches.

My generational curse is not my fault

so I should not be held liable for

what I know not or did not.

I thank you God for my gift of music,

for my gift of learning

and I thank you for Alyxandria;

also for all the wisdom you

have found me worthy to behold.

Thank you; in Your Son’s mighty name,

Jesus the Christ.

Amen and amen again.

***

From a working class Jewish family from Brooklyn, Geffen builds himself to multi-millionaire status, gaining great influence in Hollywood. His role as a philanthropist has had the most relevance in hip-hop culture’s ability to achieve this level of success and clout. By serving on National and State boards he identifies issues he cares about so passionately; the power he has extends far beyond the entertainment industry and is yet to cultivate fully. He’s recognized the need to broaden his reach and to interact with his peers outside the cultural sphere, which is precisely the lesson that new black millionaires have yet to learn.

Elites of all races have played a major role in philanthropy by founding, sustaining and overseeing non-profit sectors. Philanthropy has become a ‘Mark of Class’ that contributes to the maintaining of the boundaries of the elite society. It involves far more than monetary contributions but is the overall involvement with non-profit causes, portraying a sense of involvement with non-profit causes. Portraying a sense of involvement is a strategy that is quite consciously incorporated into fund-raising among elites. Contributions accompany social relationships and organizational involvement.

David Geffen, an activist, advocate and fund-raiser for gay-rights and AIDS awareness and prevention organizations, uses his power inside and outside the entertainment industry as leverage with politicians, scientist, bureaucrats and anyone else that has power to affect his issues.

Within the black community the lack of black wealth and the existence of racial discrimination profoundly shape the tradition of philanthropy.

The history of black philanthropy coincides with the self-help ideology that dominates African American social and political thoughts since slavery. With no persons or institutions to depend on, the black community primarily through its churches, social and civic organizations consistently raise capital to educate their youth, care for the sick, bury the dead, build educational institutions, youth and community centers and black-owned businesses. Black philanthropists actively support the non-violent direct action social movements of the 1960s that dismantle legal segregation in the American south.

Over the past 30 years black Americans have experienced phenomenal growth in both business leadership and actual number of millionaires.

‘The New Black Power’; August 1997 Fortune magazine proclaims from Wall Street to Hollywood; African Americans are capturing real power in the world of business. Young hip-hop artist use records as a stepping-stone to develop business ownership, ‘The New Black Powers’ are ambitious on a scale that predecessors underestimated, for they know money is power. It is the wealth accumulation that distinguishes them from their predecessors. As black millionaires turn to philanthropy their legacy remains to be seen. Hip-hop entrepreneurs are no different from their white Generation X dot-com counterparts; lacking confidence in the Government’s ability to solve problems or guarantee secure economic futures.

White Internet entrepreneurs and black hip-hop entrepreneurs believe in clout, money and ownership. The members of this new generation will definitely have acquired the means to finance new movements for justice and equality; which depends on their ability to build networks and institutions that combine hip-hop sensibilities with a broader understanding of how wealth and power operate in society at large.

***

WORKIN' IT

"I'm sure you can finish up the inventory and receipts before you leave; correct" Mr. Stapleton smiles.

"Sure I can. I'm your best employee right" she smiles in appreciation.

"I need you to schedule a board meeting for Thursday Christine."

"Yes sir. Anything in particular to be included" she inquires.

"It’s for a promotion. Wear a casual business suit."

"A business suit?"

"Yes a business suit. You do have one correct? I know I pay you enough" he smiles back at her.

"Yes you do and yes I do, as the smile grows on my face. Any particular color" she laughs.

"You decide."

"The focus of the promotion will be?"

"The focus will be you being promoted to Executive Director of Foreign Relations" he states.

I can hardly catch my breath. Even a migraine couldn't crash this party being celebrated in my head.

"Bet; I mean yes sir Mr. Stapleton."

The Mid 90's, Rolling On By

"Christine Veronica Webbster, Masters in Literary study. Masters in Foreign Policies."

Again only Alyxandria is in attendance, overcome with proud emotions.

At 28 Alyxandria Gayles has reigned as a black business owner for a little over 4 years, after inheriting an already thriving marketing firm from her grandfather, Beacon Gayles ll. Her four brothers, Baron, Bryan, Alfred and Arieal had mega employment from other thriving entities. She tediously works overtime rehiring and re-structuring to update new implements and employees. She hires 90 percent under 40 and retires in financial style all over 55 to include a trip to any place on the globe they’d like to spend two weeks; family included, plus a $50, 000 per ten-years retirement package; they wouldn’t have to work again if it was left up to her. Retirement is not that difficult.

She utilizes her long knowledge of Black American business leaders, movers and shakers, to gross 8.7 million dollars in her two years, adding ten to fifteen million every three years afterwards.

She finds it profiting to acquire bids with established black America, to include underground entities and urban-laced companies and financially urge them to unwaveringly assist other black Americans into the financial and social limelight; which ultimately continues to lend to their public awareness and financial success; it's enough money out here for everybody. Her main focus is the spoken word and Hip-Hop cultures; taking those underground and being their driving force to the forefront making black that red tape.

Alyxandria’s Amazonian looks, hard knock tactics, Harvard and Howard University education and social circle are a combination to be reckoned with.

JUNE 2000

So much has happened journal. I apologize for not writing in you for such a while. Let me catch you up briefly while I have time. I’ve accomplished two major goals of receiving triple Masters. Now to get my own business started. What shall I call it; watch out now, she laughs out loud. Glory has two kids, Samuel and Samantha, and is still honeymooning after 2 years of marriage with Taylor, her black knight in a shining white Lexus, in his final year of Aeronautics Engineer training; and their only source of income. I don’t see them as much as I’d like but oh well. That girl is truly lucky journal. What troubles me is she’s never wanted much from life but to be married with children; that’s sad. What if Taylor dies, she’s acquired no employable skills unless buying a bunch of useless shit counts, especially since Em’ry came to her insane senses and stopped her allowances plus cut her out of the Will just as she did me. What would she do living without her Platinum Card lifestyle. A pot to piss in fills up fast if there’s no window to throw it out of. How can a woman be that happy with no control over her financial future? They went to Haiti last year to meet his folks and she didn’t bring me back so much as a picture, not one. Not a trinket or treasure. Kaci is in and out of the hospital because of her strained back. I told her all that lifting she was doing was doing damage. ‘Em’ry says it’ll be alright.’ Carter passed. He fell in the pool and couldn’t get his old ass out. No one was home so the story goes. His funeral was small. Glory, the twins, Rayford and Rainelle, Alyxandria and I. No one came to either of my graduations as I expected of all the 40 something relatives I have; I guess they didn’t know. Only Alyxandria showed with bouquets of roses and envelopes stuffed with cash and gift certificates and stuff. She bought me a beautiful diamond Rolex watch and matching two-karat earrings. God bless her soul. She has something important to tell me. I just don’t understand why I’m meeting her at the hospital, maybe she’s pregnant; I can only hope. Journal we may have a baby to celebrate. I’ll write in you later. Never an end.

IT’S GETTING EMOTIONAL

"Can you direct me to room 714? Alyxandria Gayles" Christine smiles.

"7th floor, make a right; stop by the nurses’ station."

Instead of a right she makes a left and misses the sight of the gurney entering the elevator with a body covered with that last white sheet they’ll ever use.

Back on track she stands at the door eying the room full of mourning faces and hesitantly asks, "Is this Alyxandria Gayles’s room" she whispers.

A shuddering, thick, cocoa-brown, middle-aged woman wearing massive pearl earrings, steps towards her.

"And you are honey" dabbing her red, tear-stained eyes.

"Christine Webbster. Alyx and I were college roommates. And you are might I ask."

"I’m Alyx’s sister."

"Where is Alyx" beginning to feel her head churning. The zone was on the way.

"Alyx has told us so much about you, guiding her by her lower back back into the hallway, away from the tears and fears, to the cushioned benches. Alyx had breast cancer of the worst kind. She decided to keep it hidden from everyone even her own family until she started making calls last week for this gathering. She passed on to glory today."

Christine slowly rises. She could feel a migraine beginning to erupt; nausea, bile in her throat. Her nose had stopped up seconds ago making it difficult for her to continue inhaling the necessary oxygen she needs to get home when the inevitable eruption takes place. She nods to show she understands all the words that are coming out of Alyx’s sister’s mouth. She floats to the exit and the 8 miles to her condominium not hearing a sound except the escalating hammering of the migraine; not the stop and go traffic, not the sultry sidewalk conversations. She unlocks and opens her stained-glass front double doors, neglecting to close them behind her. She lets her purse and emotions and tears fall to the cream-colored tile floor as she sluggishly forces herself up the polished staircase. After five hours of soul-wrenching crying and mental memoirs, she opens her comfort zone.

FEBRUARY 2002

In 1991 I began my quest to secure a future within this emotionally mangled life of mine; within all this insanity I’ve been privy to. Goals I've reached are of my own doing; by the grace of God. I enrolled in an accredited, prestigious college and made the right friends. As smart as I am, my plate consist of why was it necessary to learn all that I have learned if no one is going to be around to show me how to use it; my parents time and time again not at current available. My capabilities versus my triumphs. Will the stink in my life ever smell better? Dr. Meckos is working on my migraines. I’ve taken almost everything, Ergotamine. Migranal, Imitrex. I am becoming slightly addicted to Stadol; and through all the emotional bullshit in this life, Alyx died from breast cancer today; shit! Why she never told me I don’t know. Well yes I can guess. ‘You have other things to concern yourself with, so why worry you. Concentrate on Christine. Alyx is going to be alright.’

Her sister left a message about Alyx’s Will being read Thursday and that I need to be in attendance. I have to go to the hospital to get my car. I’ll write later. Never an end.

OH YES!

Dressed casually for Fall in her flowing pant suit and matching calf-high designer boots by DEOLA SAGOE, Christine enters and sits slightly on edge through the formalities, stifling at best an emerging migraine.

"Not now. 1, …, 4, …, …, 7, 8, …, 10. 1, 2, …, …, 6, 7, …, …, 10."

"Christine Veronica Webbster is to receive 100% ownership of ‘GIVE ME A MINUTE’, wholly and solely. My family is to receive...."

"Oh hell no" coming from behind her head.

"We don't even know this woman" came another threat.

"We'll see her in court" threatened another. 

Dear Father God Jehovah

hallowed be Your Holy name;

once again you have seen fit to bless me

and overflow my cup.

I thank You for every breath I’ve taken.

May Alyxandria’s soul and spirit

rest peacefully in Your loving arms.

May Your shoulder be her resting place.

I thank you for allowing such a precious being to be

a part of my life because of all the wonderful

things I have learned from her.

Amen and amen again.

 

THE SEA

In the presence of hundreds of jealous onlookers, and those full of imaginable envy, a $10,000 bottle of vintage champagne christens the bow of the nineteen million dollar yacht the ‘E’.

After retiring in grand financial fashion, they set sail on the grand yacht knowing everything is going to be all right, just splendid; oh my goodness!

"Phone the children, she roughly orders her maidservant. Have something soft and melodic on the system. Swab, is that right E.L., swab."

"Yes Enjoila, it’s swab."

They both heckle impish laughter.

"Swab the deck. Set Mr. E.L. and I something fantastic to dance the night away in. I’ll instruct you further when necessary. That’s all," waving her away like smoke burning her eyes.

Heloise disappears quicker than she’d appeared at the ding of the bell, hating their presence but loving Mr. E's money and all the precious things she's able to collect without them knowing.

On a king size triangular bed stuffed with ostrich feathers covered with 1700-count silk sheets, the E’s make love. They involve themselves and bind one another up with the most passionate, somewhat humbling super-rich older people sex they could muster. After a matter of minutes of fulfilled exhilaration; they slumber.

"What’s that horrible noise E.L." she questions sixteen hours into the voyage, jolted from her relaxation.

Em’ry pulls on her satin robe and satin slippers and steps up the stairs to the spotlessly swabbed deck. The wind kicks and howls and is unsettled. They'd made deserving love. Slept more that they had in well over twenty years. Rekindled what had ignited lives of wealth and splendor; always careful to avoid being on-hand parents, and made multi millions upon semi-retiring.

"What’s that E.L." she cries as he steps up behind her.

The yacht has sailed into the sometimes unrelenting Atlantic Ocean.

"Come Em’ry! Hurry" E.L. urges, pulling her away from the violently swinging door.

The engulfing yet serene wind along with the humongous and punishing waves, make the ocean a frigid black-blue bottomless abyss, which beat the ‘E’ unending. For all the beatings they’d orchestrated, the ocean beat just as fierce. For all the missed moments, the Atlantic left no secrets untold. Every un-honorable reaction; exploited. Things better left unsaid; screamed! Heloise and the others had gone ashore at Trunk Bay; surviving.

Headline News

"Ms. Christine, you need to come to Trunk Bay right away" Heloise urges. She's sad, but oh well

"What's the matter Heloise; I'm truly very busy."

"It's your parents Ms. Webbster."

"What about them; I’m truly very busy for real. Have they been arrested" sneaking a smile across her face.

"No Ma'am; it's worse."

"What, are they in the hospital" beginning to get emotionally aroused.

"Please come Ms. Webbster."

"I'm on my way."

DEAL

Christine’s private plane lands on the runway. The limosine drives her to the location. The cameras flash as the Reporters’ question. The breath-held atmosphere is shouting.

The military helicopter whirls down to the beach blowing the fine, white sand upon the onlookers, the Coast Guards, CSIs, police officers, Captains and Sergeants, and Christine Webbster.

Out strolls a dark-skinned, history-making looking face in a dark-blue suit decorated with four rows of all the right medals, followed by several others in slightly lesser authority.

He extends his hand, "We are sorry to inform you that your parents’, Em’ry LaiVerne Webbster’s and Everette Laurence Webbster’s yacht capsized and was completely destroyed in a Freak storm. There are no bodies. No possessions recovered. Our condolences" Coast Guard Commander Randy Nice speaks solemnly, and with a nod, returns to the comfort of his duties. Christine stands, not knowing whether she should be laughing or crying. Her serotonin soars. She crashes. She spills to the sand.

She holds her head reaching for her Blackberry. She’s been unconscious for 80 hours, missing all the fireworks of the memorial services.

Bliss

Unlike a honeymoon different from heaven and farther from hell

a heart can entail many stories

more than your entire life can begin to pronounce

in the mind of those with limited fear

and in an abundance of what’s love

within the struggles

the light is born to devote such tranquility

dividing a puzzle ripped of a piece excluded

from a reunion of hate

complete and utter joy can only be found

in oneself the world cannot provide

you wealth.

 

The Spices

Tracey Carter and Christine's friendship goes back to their early teenage years. It appears they'll be best friends forever; but seasons and reasons change. The last time they spent a few days together they were 17 years old sitting in front of a Western Union in Christine’s black-on-black convertible Jaguar, in Los Angeles, waiting on a transfer of $2,000 from Kaci. They’d decided to take this much needed vacation before life gets hectic with growing up and all.

After 14 months in sunny California Tracey dreams of becoming a Commercial Real Estate agent, and sets off to do just that. Angelia McCarthy, 5'10, with a workout body to include small perky breasts that seem to always be alert for one reason or another and an ass so firm that a quarter can skip across it burns with a hell-heated fire needing to revenge that slick shit Christine and Tracey did; the horrific stunt they pulled when they were in high school, which caused her and her family to have to leave Georgia and disappear in Montana.

After re-surfacing right under Christine's nose, incognito, she is determine to use her social muscle to influence the outcome of Christine's fate; 10 to 25 Fed. Ruthless, raw, savvy and sophisticated in relationships, Angelia orders her own steps with her own words. She works from the inside out to get the now financially and socially powerful Ms. Webbster’s ass back for such an unforgivable sin. Frederick Franks, is a 21 year old undercover brother. A well-educated young man raised and educated in France in a bi-racial dynasty who arrives in Atlanta after four years of University education and much parental prodding to continue his education at the renowned Georgia State University. His goals include becoming a respected photographer and or somebody’s 'necessary' personal assistant, by all means necessary. The means to include late night parties, economically-connected men, savvy secrets and, unbeknownst to him, Veronica Webbster. Maxila Davis is a handsome, vanilla-toned stud with 22 well placed red freckles that loves herself some Veronica Webbster. As a financial genius for Fortune 500 clientele, she easily affords rendezvous in any country she chooses. From their initial contact she unnecessarily spoils Veronica from coast to coast until Veronica begins making excuses about every damn thing. When she thinks she’s about to lose Veronica; she loses it; and death does them apart.

Rich’nald Regis is a 35 year old brilliant business man and undercover government agent and cheating husband and ladies’ man and attentive father and lying ass; whew. He is a forced-upon friend outside of Christine’s immediate social circle but kept close to her side all the same; for her own personal reasons. Maybe it's because he's married and can only demand so much of her time or maybe it's because his career takes him to foreign lands and she's always invited or maybe because his sex is A-bomb; whew again. A beautiful black man with an awakening character. Rich'nald chooses his smiles and cries carefully when it comes to beautiful black women. He never imagines an Angelia McCarthy, and a Veronica Webbster. 20 year old wild child Tammy Stuart inherits $5,000,000 from her grandfather's Will while her older sister Wanda gets nothing; what a shame. With that Wanda allows her trusted friend, the neighborhood serial rapist, to do with Tammy as he pleases, almost taking her life. Whether it was fate or circumstance Tammy is allowed a get back so heinous, that it should be counted as an unforgivable sin. Her crack head sister betrays her in the worst of ways and Tammy re-pays her equally the same. Her wildly animated, self-entertaining lifestyle challenges every one she meets until she meets Veronica Webbster on a much needed cruise around St. Croix; breatheeee. Desire Floute, like fiiire baaaby; is a 19 year old erotic, exotic dancer with a rap video body; Player’s Club. The kind of body that turns the light on in a room when she enters. She stands 6’2, royally beautiful and playboy sexy. Her only flaw is being too vulnerable to Veronica. She’s been on her own all her life and avoids the dangers, toils and snares the hard way; by being consistently persistent in pursuing becoming a top magazine and runway model. She has everything in her favor except...

Mackenzie Phelps is a gentle soul that enjoys throwing parties for his friends, cooking culture-influenced meals, flirting with gorgeous women and being of assistance to anyone that may need him; exactly what he does for Christine Webbster; check please. Dennis Carroll, is a universal hustler making his ends hella meet. He's been in Atlanta 2 years and has accumulated 4 baby mommas. His lust for Veronica has no end plus he'd love to make her a baby's momma; or is it more about her money and mild ghettoism. Their relationship is emotionally strained because of him trying to make a thoroughbred drink the bland water she’s being led to; she’s never going to be that thirsty. 6’3, 27, stocky, sexually enticing in his light brown skin, short naturally curly hair, brown cat-eyes with a flair for putting clothes together. His thuggish roguish attitude is what turns Veronica the hell on and he knows it. He tries forcing her to comply but she’s not having it; no not one bit. Charlston Hays, the avid traveler, researcher and writer, relocates to Africa with his life partner, Raymond, to express what they deem still unnecessary suppression of the good majority of the black-skinned folks of the Motherland as well as spill the facts about the horrendous sex/rape still being used as a weapon of war/oppression against the women and children of Congolese; proving that the pen is mightier than the sword. He creates an Africa to America newspaper 'Listen Up'; it sings. Antonio Consuelo at 25 decides that the only way of becoming a notable writer is to leave his comfort zone and live life. America will suit him just fine. His current credits include 6 published short stories collections and numerous awards and acclamations plus a portfolio of a hundred professional photographs. Antonio relocates to Atlanta where he enrolls at Georgia State University to further develop his literary, photographic and social skills. He blindly engages in unprotected orgies with high-maintenance men, undercover or not protected or not, just to fit in with what he’s told is a natural American custom; liar. He finds out later that a recent sex partner succumbs to AIDS. It was a down low that almost seemed worth it; damn.

In Life

Christine Veronica Webbster;

an emotional wreck becomes a financial powerhouse,

having spent secluded years building her world

to fit securely into her sanity.

Her experiences with life’s ups and downs,

its ins and outs, tricks in her emotional trade,

allows her to refocus her instilled views

of the harshness of potential relationships;

refusing to be sucked up out of her spirit.

Her psychological fits fight her every step of the way

as she steps into adulthood knowing she is about to face

an unknown reality truly alone.

The spices in her life define her morals, morals that cause her

to maintain a certain distance from people;

it being necessary for her mental stability.

Veronica’s principles guide her to the beds of many

and into the hearts of none.

With her headaches and emotions in and out of remission,

she rushes from her past, blaming her beginnings.

She blossoms; one of the many things she’s great at.

At 35, with two established businesses and more money than most

in her amazing social circle she lives with the spices in her life to the fullest;

on her own terms; until...

In Life

Christine Veronica Webbster, wrecked emotionally, becomes a financial powerhouse, having spent secluded years building her world to fit securely into her sanity.

Her mental excersizes to strengthen her for her life’s ups and downs, its ins and outs, tricks in her emotional trade, allows her to repeatedly refocus around the potential harshness of demanding relationships; refusing to be sucked up out of her spirit.

Her psychological fits fight her every step of the way as she steps into adulthood knowing she is about to face an unknown reality truly alone.

The spices in her life define her morals, morals that cause her to maintain a certain distance from people; it being necessary for her mental stability. With her headaches and emotions in and out of remission, she rushes from her past trying not to blame her beginnings. She blossoms; one of the many things she’s great at.

At 35, with two established businesses and more money than most in her amazing social circle she lives with the spices in her life to the fullest on her own terms; until...

The Spices In Life

Kim Wilson, OOWEE

254-420-6575

onmyownkikl@yahoo.com

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