"I think you should invite her."
Camille, who was cutting a picture, looked like she wanted to turn the scissors on Monique when Monique said this. "No.” Camille responded assertively. “As of right now, Raj is the only one coming. My dad might come too, but that's if they approve his furlough and you know how difficult that can be..." Camille grabbed her glue as her voice trailed off.
Sometimes, Monique forgot about her friend’s complicated parentage. “Well, what will you do with the extra tickets?” Monique wondered. “Sell them for money.” If there was one thing that stood out about Camille, it was that she was resourceful no matter what. Despite having had to defer her enrollment because she got pregnant, Camille was still finishing on time. “That’s smart,” Monique replied. She didn’t know where else to go with the conversation, so she hoped it would end here. Thankfully, it did.
“La voila,” Camille announced. Monique shook her head. “Do you even know what you just said?” “Here it is...or something like that.” Monique laughed. “Or something like that,” she repeated. Camille shrugged. “They do it to our Ebonics, so I’m butchering their King’s French.”
“More power to you, sista.”
“Don’t be facetious.”
Monique sighed. “I’m not tryna be, but I feel like our resistance movements have lost their value. This is not me coming down on you, but I feel like people don't even know what they're resisting anymore."
Camille told Mo, “I agree and, girl, that don’t offend me. You know I’m not with all the fake woke shit.” Monique scrunched her face. “I don’t even like that label because everyone is ‘fake woke’ these days. As always, awareness is the unpopular trope to stand behind.”
Camille nodded in agreement. “To your latter point, you’re absolutely right. I don’t get behind protests or resistance movements because I don’t think they work, but we can agree to disagree. To your first point, it’s up to each individual who will subscribe to a certain label to define that label because humans aren’t monoliths.”
“You make a point. You make a very good point.” “And speaking of labels,” Camille chimed, segueing into her grad cap design. “I am a stereotypical computer science major.” Monique read, “How to secure a degree in computer science: Java.” Monique laughed aloud. “I swear you are the corniest person I’ve ever met.” Camille smiled. “But peep how the coffee stirrer is a degree.”
“Like I said...corny.”
Camille tried her cap on and mesmerized it in the mirror. “Damn, Cam. Back at it again with the hidden talents.” Monique nodded in recognition. “It does look good.”
Camille posed. “Thank ya. Thank ya.” While Camille marveled over her art work, Monique scrolled through Instagram. Camille noticed that Monique was distracted. She said, “He still hasn’t called?” Monique looked up. “No. He’s been acting funny ever since that bitch Bree showed her dumb ass face again.” Camille laughed. "You need some soap for that mouth."
"Whatever. I don't even know why she came back around."
Monique tossed the phone down and kicked her feet up. “What’s really wrong?” Camille asked. “He’s going to break up with me and go back to her. That's why he's been ghosting this week. He's going to do it after graduation so that I won't be stressed out on my big day," Monique guessed. Camille sighed and lay next to Monique. “Stop it. No he’s not.” “Yes, he—-” A ring came at the door. “Oh, Miles is early. Can we table this?” Monique raised an eyebrow. “I'm having a crisis and you have a dick appointment?"
"I'm sorry. I don't know why he came so early."
Monique shook her head. "It's fine. I've stood you up for Andre plenty of times." "Exactly." "So, is this a thing," Monique asked. Camille shrugged. “I don't know - maybe. He’s cute with good dick.”
Monique rolled her eyes. “Let me just get out y’alls way then.” “We’ll talk later,” Camille promised. “Mhmm. Bye girl.” “Bye,” Camille sang while Monique left and Miles came inside. As Camille enjoyed her single life, Monique waited for her phone to ring.
We have jumped in the timeline again. Entry 2 went back a few years, but now we have returned to the present day. This entry takes place a little over a month after Monique and Andre had their not-date and after Camille had her incident with Donald. In this entry, see how those events will overlap and unfold.
Author's Note: This entry was originally posted on the Rebellious Woman blog page as part of a teaser for the short story series and is available there.
Ever wondered about the tension between Camille and James? The "hurdles" Andre and Monique professed to have climbed over? Why we meet Earl's family and not Charletta's? What led up to Daniel and Malcolm's heartbreaking split?