Lynda, Tracie & Nyla
Steve: “Why are you only eating the brown ones?" Mary: "Because someone once said that they had less artificial coloring because chocolate's already brown. And it kind of stayed with me…”
“God, I love this movie,” Nyla says, turning to her girls with a sigh. “Doesn’t it make you believe in love just a little bit more?”
“No,” says Lynda. “It’s fiction—a fairytale in living color. Why do they make these movies anyway?” she continues.
Tracie gets up from the couch to get the other bottle of wine off the dining room table. Laughing, she hands it to Lynda. “So, um, why so bitter?” she asks.
Nyla, still lying on the floor, turns over to look at Lynda. “Yeah girl, you know you love this movie just as much as us,” she says. Lynda pours another glass and shrugs. “I’m not bitter, just real,” she says. “Think about it, since childhood we have been inundated with this false idea of ‘happily ever after’ and it never happens. There is no Prince Charming coming, at least not to D.C.”
Nyla and Tracie watch their girl down a glass of White Zin in one tilt and reach for the bottle again.
“Okay,” says Tracie. “Give me that bottle and tell us what’s really going on.”
Annoyed, Lynda puts down her glass. “What? All I said is that I didn’t like the movie, it’s not that deep,” she says, twisting her hair up into a clip and laying back on the pillows. “Seriously, I’m just over it. I’m about getting my degree and getting into a kick-ass med school and becoming a pediatrician––I told ya’ll I decided on my specialty, right?”
“No, you didn’t,” starts Nyla, “and that’s great, you love kids, but pause on that for a second. Why are you all doom and gloom on the man thing? Is this about Dylan?”
“Of course it is,” says Tracie.
“No, it’s not!” says Lynda, a little too loudly. “Dylan and I are kicking it, not playing house. Who really takes a stripper seriously?” Nyla sits up, nodding her head slowly. “Yes, who does that? Except for me, right? That’s what you mean to say isn’t it?”
Tracie is looking back and forth between her two best friends. This is going to get bad. “Ladies, let’s not say anything we can’t take back tomorrow,” she says.
Nyla––now standing––shakes her head, her long curls bouncing. “No, I want to know what she’s trying to say. Is she calling me a dumb bitch? Hell, is she calling you one?” she asks.
Lynda stands up, reaching for her bag. “I don’t want to fight. But I guess the truth hurts,” she says. Tracie stands in her way. “No baby, you’re not driving anywhere. And you’re definitely not running away from this conversation that is clearly not about Nyla and Donte. What happened?”
Flopping back down on the couch, Lynda sighs loudly. “Look, I honestly don’t think Nyla moving in with Donte is a good idea,” she says. “It’s just my opinion. And as far as you and Tyler, Trace––once you give him some, he’ll either be done with you or you’ll just end up in his chick rotation. That’s just how I see it.”
“So why are you voicing these ‘opinions’ now?” asks Nyla, still standing. “When I asked for your advice before, you were all for it, now I’m playing house and it doesn’t make sense to you?” Nyla walks over to where Tracie is sitting on the loveseat and sits next to her.
“Again, I don’t think this is about us,” Tracie says. “I think something happened with Dylan and now you’re extra negative. None of us know what our relationships will turn into with any guy. They are all full of it,” she says. “So cut the crap and be real.”
“I don’t like you two ganging up on me,” says Lynda. “You guys want to live in a fantasy world, go ahead. But me, I’m not stressing no dude, especially not that one.”
“No one is ganging up on you,” says Nyla, calming down a bit. “Look, I do have my reservations about moving in with Donte. You think I don’t? I mean, he’s trying to get back into training boxers, and he’s trying to deal with his child’s mother so I don’t have to ...” Her voice trails off and Tracie continues.
“What she’s saying is her situation isn’t perfect, but she stepped out there and decided to live in the moment for once,” she says. “And you know how hard that is for Mama. Tyler and I had a good date, that’s it so far. Will I go out with him again?” Tracie looks at Nyla who nods her head ‘yes.’ “Oh, I will?” she laughs. “Sure, a date’s a date. He could be in it for the chase and if so, fine––on to the next. I’m not giving up on the whole species.”
“Well good for you,” says Lynda, “but I am.” She reaches for the bottle again. “Since you chicks are holding me hostage, I might as well drink some more,” she says.
“Yep, drunk ass. And we’re not done. Tell us what happened,” demands Tracie.
Lynda sighs. “I know he’s dealing with other chicks, and while I’m not trying to make him my man, I don’t necessarily like that mess, okay? It doesn’t mean I’m in love, it just means I’m human. He’s not the type to settle down, and I just have to remember that,” she says.
“Right,” says Nyla. “But I thought you didn’t care about him––that he was just something to do between study sessions and classes. Why do you care about other girls?”
“She cares about him and she doesn’t want to,” says Tracie. “You know you can’t do casual. Who the hell are you fooling!” Lynda stands up and heads to the kitchen. “Is there anymore cheesecake? And can one of you put in another damn movie? I am over this conversation!”
Trace and Nyla look at each other and both start laughing. “Uh huh. So what’s next, Dirty Dancing or Two Can Play That Game?”
Lynda pops her head out of the kitchen: “Don’t you have He’s Just Not That Into You?”
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-Photography by GMO Photo Editor, Billy Montgomery