Today I’m featuring an up and coming author, Stacy L. Moor. He is a Jersey Native and has been focused on his writing thing ever since, well forever. He is This guy is definitely going to be the next big thing, showing people (myself included) that if you don’t give up and follow your dreams, they can come true.
YOU are getting a sneak peek at his debut novel, hitting stores on Oct. 13th. I’m going to give you a piece each week for the next 3 weeks, so stay onto your seats.
I couldn’t believe I was here.
Standing on this doorstep.
With this gift in my hand like I haven’t been away from her for more than four years! Heart pounding like I’m dusted or something and all I can think about is why am I-
“Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey! I’m so glad you actually came! Damn boy you been eating good, hunh?” She seems to giggle all that out in one short breath.
“Yeah, I’ve been doing alright. All I do is work and stay in the gym. You look good yourself, Starr. You’ve done a lot of growing up, too.”
“Well ya know, can’t stay with tight shoestrings and high waters forever. But, damn boy! Come in! Come in! Acting like you’re a stranger and all! Everyone’s still not here but the ones that are here, are mostly on the deck and in the living room.”
She looks nothing like the goofy teenager I remember. Nothing like the little girl I used to take to the park and buy ice cream off the truck for. Was I really getting that old? Or was it just a shock to know that after everything that her sister and I had been through, she would still think of inviting me here. I still wanted to know how she got my address anyway.
She shuts the gigantic red door behind me but doesn’t lock it. I assume that it’s because incase no one hears the doorbell that guests can walk right in. Or, she was letting me know I could run when ready.
I walk into the loft that she now calls her own. The decadent, high ceilings with several skylights along the center mass really add to the décor that was already impeccable. I guess Hoboken had really rubbed off on her. After not seeing her for years, I have to kind of admit that I could see why I stuck around for so long. She’s beautiful and artsy like her big sister. Although they shared the same genes, they couldn’t fit each other’s jeans. Slimmer than her sister and about four inches taller, Starr aka Starry Sky was the polar opposite of her older, overbearing sister. If they were twins, it would be an easy choice on who to pick.
She led me down the railed stairs as she pointed out paintings and sculptures her boyfriend had done. The ones on the side walls were new but the older ones were her favorites. Her finger shows the direction of where particular rooms were and I should have been listening to her but I wasn’t. I had tunnel vision and was trying hard not to trip down all of these stairs. It wouldn’t help the plan to become the center of attention any way other than how I wanted to be. Starr told me that she helped put the track lighting in along with the brick face on the far wall. Said that like she was proud that her mother’s and sister’s attitude towards manual labor was not hereditary.
Fourteen steps until we were on the first landing, we stood against the rail as she pointed out faces in the crowd. Old friends, new friends, business associates, her boyfriend and his frat brothers, a few of her sorrors… I remembered the names and the associations, but I didn’t look at their faces.
I don’t know why I was so nervous, things had changed.
We moved off the platform, down the other fourteen stairs onto the hardwood floor that looked like it had been freshly shined. Starr being the nut that she is tried to slide on it. I smiled as I told her some things never change.
“And you know this! Maaaaaaaaan! Look! There’s mommy!” she said grabbing my hand.
Mrs. Crespin was standing by the sliding door with her eyes on the clouds and a drink in her hand.
Starr pulled me through the crowd towards her as I tried to keep the tunnel vision focusing on her mother only. I wanted them, if they were here, to see me first. I didn’t want to know they were here unless they were right n front of me. I heard my name being called but it wasn’t to get my attention, it sounded more like a warning.
“Look who showed up!” she says to her mother. Mrs. Crespin turns a slow head doing a double take when she recognizes me. She smiles at me the way her youngest did a few moments ago.
“Quentin? Look at you! How have you been?” She hugs me, “It’s so good to see you. How’re your parents?”
“Everyone’s good, no need to complain. Hopefully it stays that way, God willing.”
“I’m sure you keep doing the right thing and HE will take care of you and yours. You really grew up in… what has it been? Four or five years?”
“Something like that,” I say to her with a slight smile that felt as phony as it probably looked.
“Glad things are working out for you, son. Well I’m not going to keep you, sure you have to make your rounds but I’m right here. Oh, Joe says hi.”
“Joe? He’s here? I thought-” the words run into themselves in my head when I remember that Mr. Crespin died two years ago. Summer told me that it was hardest on Jewel. All the arguing that she was doing with her parents about her direction made her move across country and change her number again. She didn’t get the news about her father being sick until she was on a plane a month later and ran into her old roommate who knew everything. She got the news at thirty-thousand feet from someone other than family about her father.
I could only imagine how she took it.
How she tried to act like she was unaffected by it while sitting next to her deliverer.
How many gospel songs she must have sung in the bathroom of that airplane while she tried to fix her make-up after crying into her hands while she sat on the toilet, letting it all out.
I try to say my apologies, the smile on her face telling me it was ok. Starr’s still holding onto my arm as I hug my adopted second mother and tell her I’ll be back around in a little while.
“Ok, baby,” she tells me. Swishes the ice in her drink about and stares back up at the sky and nods. She looks back at me before turning back to the higher up and her lips start to move like she was continuing her talk with her husband.
“What did you put in the punch?” I ask her as we walk away.
“You know Mommy doesn’t drink. OJ and Cranberry juice. She started doing that every time it was a nice day, said that those were Daddy’s favorites so, she does it now too.”
“Oh. How have you been you handling it?” This was the first time we talked since before her father’s funeral. A funeral that I couldn’t make because my own father wasn’t doing too well. It didn’t make sense at the time to pay my respects to a man who I wanted to be my future father and leave my real father’s bedside since the doctors didn’t believe in miracles like my mother did. They said he didn’t have long, but you can never tell with those situations.
“Some days it’s hard. Just want to cry in a corner but whenever I do, always hear a voice telling me to get up and stop crying. Know he’s watching me,” she says as she leads me back into the living room, “so he’s not really gone. I still have to make him proud.”
“You sound like a young version of your old sis. The version of her that we both liked.”
We walk through the back of the loft as she tells me about how she wanted it to look, and how everyone thought she was nuts until they say it. Starr shows me the bathroom that has a shower without walls and a floating sink set inside a full length mirror on the right wall. Tiny tiles had been cut, shaped and carefully placed to look like the moon in the sky surrounded by stars along the entire bathroom.
“This is the masterpiece,” she tells me with a gigantic smile on her face. She lifts the lid on the toilet and I wonder if the yellow in the bowl was supposed to be part gold or something.
“Who didn’t flush the toilet!” she yells. “That’s just plain nasty! Bet it was one of Jerry’s damn frat brothers. The nerve of those ungrateful…” She takes a deep breath and flushes. She washes her hands as I see what she wanted to show me.
“Wow, that’s funny.”
“I know right! I did it all myself when we bought this one. We had to throw the old one out because it just didn’t fit in with the décor I wanted. So every time I have to pee or poop, I get to do it on his face.”
She hits the second switch on the bottom row of the panel along the wall and we leave the sexy shower, magic sink and George Bush with his shit-eating grin in the dark. The moon and the stars glow when the lights are cut off. How cool is that?
She pulls me to the bedroom and tells me, “It’s not Movie-Starr fashion yet, but it’s the Music-Starr Suite.”
A guitar signed by Anthony David hangs on the wall in front of a life-size painting of him. The waving musician is next to the piano that faces the wall so the painting of Alicia Keys can play it. I didn’t know it was supposed to be her until she told me. It looked kind of funny but it was a lot better than I could do.
The large treble cleft and double notes followed by a myriad of sixteenth notes flows in magenta against the vanilla walls accented with cranberry etching.
Her Mac sits on the nightstand next to her bed alongside the projector facing the only bare wall in the room.
“Guess you don’t need a TV.”
She smiles at me with sneaky eyes, “Nope, I have a movie screen anywhere there’s a wall. It’s so the new hotness right now.”
“Hotness. And look at my closet…” She sings, “Tadaaaaaa,” as she pulls what I originally thought were curtains to the side. Her walk-in closet has barely any room to walk in. The girl was a packrat to the fullest.
“Ok, don’t really look in it, ‘cause it’s messy but it’s dope. Jerry built the shelves and I painted them.”
“How long have you been with dude?”
“Jerry? Since junior year. He asked me to his prom and I told him he had to meet my daddy and he wasn’t scared like the rest of the guys that asked me to go. He walked me home from the bus stop and we sat on the porch talking until Daddy came home. Jerry stood up, shook his hand and asked if I could give them a minute.”
“Did it the old school way, hunh?”
“Yup. Daddy walked in the house with Jerry behind him and did that little smirk he used to do. He walked right passed me and went into the kitchen. Jerry asked me right there in the doorway if I would do him the honor of accompanying him.”
“Your dad let you go to a senior prom when you were a junior? What were you? Seventeen?”
“Sixteen, and of course he let me go! I make my own decisions and I was just informing him that I was going anyway. I didn’t have to ask.”
“You asked your mom first didn’t you?”
We laugh as she does the running man in front of the window before looking outside. Starr waves excitedly to get her boyfriend’s attention out on the patio. He’s drinking a Heineken and not watching the grill and from the dark smoke coming off of it, I’m not eating any of whatever he was burning.
We head back to the where the guests are gathered and Starr leads me to her friends as polite ‘how do you do’s accompany dainty hands with soft shakes and warm smiles. She conveniently has to go fix a problem in the kitchen and leaves me alone with three very, very, very attractive women. She tells them to behave, I’m almost family so respect me as such. They look amongst themselves and chide Starr as she struts then skips towards the kitchen.
I know how this is going to go…
I ask the ladies how they know Starr and they give me their answers in unison.
“We were all on the same line in college.” Starr was in college already… funny how times flies and people grow up.
I must have given my age away when I shook my head thinking, the things I was thinking would get me arrested in a few states I’m sure. I’ve got to get out of here.
“I like your new song,” one of them says. The golden one in the purple dress that looks like she would be the worst of the group, so bold and beautiful stared at me with those hazel eyes and fingered the cowry shell that clung to one of her locks.
I think I’m going to hate her if Starr takes very much longer. She would be the one I would let get close because she came to me first.
“Thank you,” I tell her. “Which one?”
My eyes don’t leave hers but I take in the oversized yellow belt that she had on also matched her shoes. The cut of her dress clung to her sturdy frame, the definition of every muscle underneath that royal color begging for attention. The crisscross stitching in the hem of her dress insinuating that it had been taken up a notch since the fabric was the thickest there.
“All of them,” she replies.
Damn, she is going get me in trouble.
Luckily her friend to her left saves me by asking me how I knew Starr. Tell her that her older sister, Jewel, used to be my best friend.
“Used to be? As in past tense?” she asks.
I turn my attention to her, the Godiva Diva dressed in teal and white. Her brightly colored suspenders matching the plaid in her shorts that left all of her thigh exposed lay nicely against the bare white of her shirt and so appealingly against the depth of her dark skin. With her heels on she’s the tallest of the group. Slim with thick legs, her locks the longest between her and Golden Girl in purple.
“Sometimes people grow apart.” I try to say it with sincerity not showing the regret that has added to the reason.
“I hear that,” is the first thing the little one says. Barely five-foot I surmise, she was so light she could be see through in winter. She was cute but the Halle Berry old school cut wasn’t working for her. Was the side of her head faded? Did she have stars cut into her hair? What the hell?
“Mmhmm… like Marissa.”
“Yeah, just like Marissa.”
I took the bait. “Who’s Marissa?”
“She was a friend that wasn’t really a friend. She slept with all of our men freshman year.”
“Wow, that’s,” how funny is that I think. “Sorry to hear that.”
“No need to be sorry,” Golden Girl in purple insists. “Any man that’s not willing to wait until I’m ready to hand over my virginity doesn’t deserve it.”
Her girls look at her before following her eyes to mine.
They bust out laughing before apologizing and Golden Girl starts blushing before she laughs as well.
Now, for those that need to know, this work is copyrighted.
Enjoy! Come back for more Next Week!