Introduction: So, I've been sitting on this idea for a minute. The entry you're about to read, "Broke and Bougie," was started in May of this year and finished today (December 13th). Millen(nia)l Diaries is a way to peer at the lives of the characters inside "Mo's Mix" before readers meet them in the first book. The short story series “Millen(nia)l Diaries” will run concurrently with this blog, but I have not decided when I will premiere the series yet. In the meantime, here is a brief glimpse on what I plan to do with Millen(nia)l Diaires (this segment may be extended in the future). Enjoy!
"Where's your hair?"
"The same place you left your linen. Fuck out of my face." Camille burst into a fit of laughter. For as long as she had known Monique, which had recently hit 5 years, "chill" had never been something that Monique possessed. As always, it was entertaining to see Monique display what little tact she had.
"I'm so tired of ignorant people asking me stupid questions," Monique explained at Camille's prolonged laughter. "Girl, I know. Those be the same ones asking if this is my hair." Camille rolled her eyes. "Yes. It is."
"The ignorance is so real."
"It doesn't get any better around those other people, either. They be staring as if they're wondering, ‘is it your mother or father?’ referring to which one donated the Black gene."
"They need to be worried about why their lips are retracted into their face."
Camille smiled. "You are out of line, but I might use that if one of those crackers stares at me crazy." Unbeknownst to Camille, a "cracker" approached. Camille could immediately sense the discomfort. "You know, you shouldn't use terms like 'cracker'. It's so divisive and offensive. And, if I heard correctly, you're mixed, n'est pas?"
"Oui! I'm mixed with black et crazy," Camille replied indignantly with a purposely bad French accent. The salty woman trotted off. This time, Monique was the one dying from laughter. "Noire et folle, oui?"
"Oui, oui! Negro y loco, si?"
Monique and Camille linked arms and left the store almost in tears from all their laughter. They had been window shopping, people watching, and bonding. On the university shuttle back to campus, Monique wondered aloud, "Camille, what are they going to do with us?" "Who knows? Where are you headed after this?"
"I'm going home so I can get ready. What about you?"
Camille smirked. "Oh, that's right. You got a date. Meanwhile, I've made weekend plans with my bed and pillow." Monique rolled her eyes. "It's hardly that. It's just coffee with this guy I met in the business school."
"It's just coffee with this guy I met in the business school," Camille mocked, twirling her hair with her words. "Don't act like you don't know his name, major, hometown, and social."
"I don't know his social."
"Yet, you didn't deny the other ones."
Monique ignored Camille and looked at her phone, which was vibrating in her pocket. "Oh, this is him now." She read, "Can't wait to get coffee with you. Smiling emoji." Camille smirked again. "Mhmm. What's his name?"
"What does Andre Cassells look like?" Monique pulled up his Instagram and Camille eye goggled him for almost 10 years. "Girl, you tripping. This man wants to have coffee with you and you're hesitant?" "He seems a little f-boy ish." Camille raised her eyebrow. "Oh no." "He was dating Bree, this girl in my class, and she was eyeing me after she saw me and Andre talking a few times, so I don't know if there's drama there. Plus, I heard about what he be doing at parties."
"Let's not act like you wasn't just playing house with Tomas last month." Monique nodded. "Good point. But one plus is that he's in the law program, so I know he's gone be making money." "Girl, if I ain't know no better, I would say that's why you're going out with him." Monique was silent and Camille gasped. "Mo!" "I need a man who has his head on straight. Do you blame me?" "Nope. Does he have a car?"
Camille shook her head. "See, I forgot how bougie you were. But it's funny because we probably have about the same amount in our bank accounts."
"I guess you can call me 'broke and bougie'."
Camille started laughing as they got off the shuttle. "You are too much. Go get ready for your not-date." Monique unlinked her arm from Camille's. "Bye, girl. I'll send you my location." "You know the signal if he tries anything funny. You have money?" "Is that a real question?"
Camille smiled. "What if you need to catch a cab back to campus?" "I'll ask Daniel to send me some money." "Alrighty. Have fun and don't stay out too late." Monique rolled her eyes and started opening her door. "Bye, mom." Camille smiled. "Bye, darling. Make sure you do everything I wouldn't do."
Monique went into her apartment giggling while Camille went toward her own apartment on the next level. There, a visitor stood at her door. He was wearing sorrowful eyes. When she saw who it was, Camille's keys dropped.
Meanwhile, Monique prepped for her (non)date with Andre. As she fluffed her low fro, Monique sort of laughed to herself. "wHeRe's yoUr hAiR," she mocked. Then, Monique turned "I am not my hair" up to the fullest volume and belted along with India Arie. "I am not your ex-pec-ta---" Andre started calling, which cut Monique's music off. "Hello?" "Hey. I'm outside." "On my way down." Monique checked her eyeliner one last time then went to meet Andre. He's looking good, Monique thought as she walked to his car.
Andre smiled a little when he saw Monique walking out. She looks even finer than normal. "You look nice," he complimented. "Thank you. So do you."
"Thanks." Andre opened Monique's door and let her get in. After buckling his seat belt, he asked, "Can I be honest?" Oh Lord, Monique inwardly griped. Still, she replied, "Yeah, sure."
"I'm nervous as hell right now."
Monique gave a sideways smile. "Nervous? About what?" "This. You," Andre admitted. "You're way out of my league." This made Monique really grin. "Really? How do you figure?" "You just are. You're beautiful, you're smart, and you're focused. I can't match that."
"You don't think you're beautiful, smart, or focused?"
Andre laughed. "Of course I do and all of the above. But, I'm just not on your level. I admire your kind of drive." "Uh...thanks." Andre sighed and got onto the highway. "What do you plan on doing when you get out of here?"
"You must have a lot of siblings."
"Why do you say that?" Monique told him, "You talk so much." Andre raised his eyebrow. "Is that a problem?" "Not at all. That probably came out wrong." Monique let out a deep breath. "I guess I'm nervous too."
"First date jitters."
"That sounds like it could be a song."
"Then, write it."
"You're the poet."
"Okay I'll write it and you can rap it."
"I'm not a rapper," Monique explained. "Doesn't mean we can't make music," Andre countered. "Is that a sexual innuendo?" Andre chuckled seductively. "I meant we'd be harmonious; our auras would be in sync." Monique smiled. "That's beautiful."
"I want to run a business," Monique finally answered. "I'm actually working on a business plan now." "What's the name?"
"That's cute; it's catchy." "I hope so. And what about you? What do you want to do?" "When I finish my degree program, I have a job lined up with Markson, LLC." "Markson? And you say I'm the one with the rich daddy." Andre chuckled again. "Nah. I just work hard. It's something I'm used to doing." "Why?" Monique felt like she was being intrusive. "If you don't mind sharing."
"I don't. I have 6 siblings, like you guessed, and after my dad died, I had to take the lead since I was the oldest boy." Monique sighed. "I'm sorry to hear about your dad. How long has it been?" Andre thought about it. "It's been...5 years now." "Oh wow." Andre nodded. "Yep. So, what is 'Mo's Mix' talking about?"
"Hair," Monique replied excitedly. "Hair, hair, hair." "And what about hair?" Andre pulled into the coffee shop, but he didn't want the conversation to end. He came over to open Monique's door. "I love yours, by the way. What made you want to cut it?" "Boredom," Monique replied honestly. "But, I want to make haircare products for Black hair." "I think I know your first customer."
"Yourself?" Andre opened the door to the shop and held his chest. "Um, no. My tresses are amazing."
"...Ly dry," Monique finished. Andre smiled and pulled her chair out. "You're mean, but I like it." Monique wondered, "Mean or honest?"
Monique smiled and scooted in. "Shade aside, who's my first customer?" "My mamma." "Why do you say it like that?" "Mamma?" "Yeah. Why not 'mama' or 'mom'?"
"It's Italian," Andre explained. "Want to hear some fun facts about my parents?" "Sure." "My mom's mixed with Ethiopian and Italian and my dad's Jamaican and Mexican." "What does that make you?"
Monique chortled as the waitress came up. Still nigga, she sang in her head as she and Andre stared at each other. After ordering their coffee, Monique had a question for Andre. "What made you say your mom would be my first customer?" "She struggles with finding good products for her hair, so that would really help her out."
"I guess that means you gotta plug Mo's Mix?" Andre smiled as the words flew so eloquently off Monique's tongue. "I just love that name. It's so aesthetically pleasing." "They should have you shoot a commercial for Webster with this vernacular: aesthetic; jitters."
"Okay, Miss 'innuendo' and 'vernacular'."
"But we both understand each other."
"That, we do." "The next generation of Black intellectuals." "Can I be the Malcolm to your Betty?" Andre looked directly into Monique's eyes when he said this. It made her feel some type of way.
"I DON'T USUALLY DO THIS LESS I'M DRUNK OR I'M HIGH..."
"RAIN DROP. DROP TOP..."
"YOU DON'T WANT NO PROBLEM..."
Camille tried to plug her ears, but it was useless. Her roommate was blasting music and having a good time while Camille was trying to wrap her head around Donald's visit.
Camille picked her keys up. "What do you want?" "Baby, I'm sorry." Donald tried to grab her cheek, but she swatted his hand away.
"Don't touch me. I'm not your 'baby' anymore." Donald attempted again to touch Camille and she took a gigantic step back. "I don't want you here. I'll call Nia PD."
"Don't do that. It was a misunderstanding."
"You had me in a choke-hold on your wall then you knocked me into your armoire. What did I 'misunderstand'?"
"My intentions. I didn't mean to hurt you."
"Well, you did."
"I know and, for that, I'm---"
The apartment door had flung open and Camille sneaked inside, careful to close the door before Donald could cross the threshold. "Leave me alone!!" she ordered at his banging. "Just tell me one thing, Camille. Is it true?"
In reality, Camille looked at the pregnancy tests lining her garbage can. How did I let this happen? Then, Camille remembered Donald saying the condom hadn't slipped when she felt like it had. Why was I so stupid? For the rest of the night, Camille sat up crying and blaming herself. At this point, she was feeling hopeless. While she cried, something shiny caught Camille's eye. Camille turned in her bed so she could be face to face with the shiny object.
Slowly, Camille's fingers wrapped around the object. She ran her thumb across the handle and spun the object around her index finger a couple of times before resolving to make use of it. Camille opened the scissors, lifted them up, then made the first cut. A little while later, Camille's floor was covered in the results of her "art" project. Camille lay still on her bed.
In lighter news, the date had gone well. Monique got home giddier than ever and was eager to share the details of the date with Camille. Monique bounded the steps to Camille's apartment and started to knock, but the door was already opened. Her stupid roommate, Monique thought to herself.
Monique walked inside and saw Camille's roommate and associates taking turns on a bong. "Is Camille here?" "Yeah. In her room." Monique went toward the room and saw something peaking from under the door. "What's going on here?" Monique murmured.
Camille's body jolted when she heard Monique knocking. "Yes?" "It's Mo. Can I come in?" Camille removed herself from the bed and swept the hair into a neat pile.
"You're too young to be shedding hair, my dear," Monique told Camille upon walking in. Camille sighed. "It didn't shed. I cut it." "I know." Monique opened her arms for a hug and Camille graciously accepted. "What's going on?"
"He stopped by."
From experience, Monique automatically knew who "he" was. "Did you call Nia PD?" Camille nodded. "Yeah. I filed a report. Then, I came back here." "And cut all your hair off?" Camille nodded. "Yep." Monique grabbed what little hair was left on Camille's scalp. "Bad bald bitches association, right?"
This made Camille smile, which made Monique smile. "BBBA all day." "You want the number to my barber?"
"How bad does it look?"
Monique let Camille see in the mirror and Camille turned away in horror. "Yeah. Send me his contact." Monique shook her head. "No more scissors for you." "Agreed, but how did your date go?" "Well, actually. The jury's still out on if he's an f-boy, but he was well-mannered. Oh, and he talks A LOT."
"I think you've met your match." Monique looked back at Camille. "I like him." "I know you do." Then, Monique felt like she was making it about her. "Hey. Why don't we clean up in here and go downstairs to watch a movie?"
"That sounds good." Monique moved the hair to the garbage can and saw the pregnancy tests. Then, she and Camille just stared at each other.
Andre was nearing his apartment and his car gave up. “Ugh!” He groaned. He had put $3 in the tank so he could take Monique on a proper date. Even though he couldn't afford the date, Andre had really wanted to see where it would go with Monique. As Andre was pushing his car into his apartment complex, he thought about money.
Ever since his father’s military checks had stopped coming in, Andre’s family became strapped for cash. So, he couldn't ask any of them for money. Most of his friends were just as broke as he was, so that also wasn't an option. Andre had a major assignment the next day and needed to drive there. Where am I about to get this money?
As Andre dragged his feet into the apartment, he was greeted by the sounds of music that was almost as loud as the smell of marijuana in the air. Per usual, Andre's friend Nate was having a session. Nate looked at Andre with reddened eyes. “You tryna hop in?”
“Nah, I’m broke right now. I can't even afford real gas - let alone this gas."
Nate laughed and handed Andre $20. "I know you're good to pay it back." Andre nodded. “Good looks.” "You can add 5 to that if you tryna smoke," Nate added.
"Oh, I'm definitely tryna smoke. I got 30 for you when it's bill time." "Bet. Here." Andre sat down, took his hits and forgot he was on the verge of being kicked out of law school because he owed $10,000, he didn't know how he was going to pay Nate back, and his family was calling him for money again. While Andre smoked his problems away, the song switched:
You know Young Rich Niggas
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!