That’s what everyone said about Ramona Marks – who had won every beauty, sport, and talent competition that has ever been held here in New Orleans.
I mean, who wouldn’t find her beautiful, gorgeous and striking? The jade earrings she got from her boyfriend three years ago really brought out her eyes and her hair, God her hair was like ink and so long. We usually called her our own Karlie Kloss because of their identical statures and the grace they each possessed.
Mona’s dad was Cajun and passed away when she was three. Already blessed with Creole and Cajun genes it was just a matter of time until she blossomed into the humble beauty she is today. I wish I could stop being jealous of her but I couldn’t, she was just too perfect. She excelled in sports, could sing like an angel and looked as if the magazine Vogue birthed her.
I, on the other hand, wasn’t so exotic. My father wasn’t Cajun but just an African-American waste of space that got what he wanted and left so, the melanin in my skin was more compared to my caramel-skinned sister. My mother had a hard time taming my toffee hair from a young age so it wasn’t so silky soft and straight like Mona’s. I absolutely adored food and it was evident because I struggled to get my jeans up past my knees.
“Timmy Turner!” a sweet voice hauls me out of my thoughts and I lower the mustard-covered, black maxi dress so it could sweep the floor with my every step. I wasn’t exactly tall but maxi dresses were loose and comfortable, discouraging anyone from seeing my rolls and lumps of fat.
“What!” I yell marching down the stairs so I could have my breakfast. Mona has this wide grin on her face so immediately I shudder in fear.
“I love you.”
“Uh huh,” I mumble removing my retainer that will hopefully fix my buck teeth before prom in three years' time. “what’ya want?”
“I have planned a double date for us -” instinctively, I sought after the only source of help that I know will rescue me from this mess.
“Mom!” I yell at the top of my lungs and Mona shifts into panic mode “mom-” her hand clamps against my mouth and due to her athletic built she’s definitely got the upper hand. I thrash aggressively against her hold but she’s hugging me like a baby koala, reducing my movements to one occasional squirm.
“And why youse making a noise?” Mother enquires entering the room with curlers in her hair and a glass of amber-colored liquid in her hand.
“Mama,” Mona smiles cheekily “Jae wants to cancel the plans I made for us.”
I nip her tight skin and she yelps in pain. She looks so adorable with the jutted lip and sparkling jade eyes but I will not fall for that adorable puppy dog face.
“Mama, she made plans without consulting me first,” I grumble and a sly smile made way on my mother’s full lips. My eyes flicker between the two women and I nearly said the Lord’s Prayer because they were about to gang up on me. They were about to make me leave my comfort zone and I’m not sure if I’ll even have any other choice but to succumb.
“I wanted to borrow his pencil but my hands were clammy and the pencil slipped...” Twanika’s voice becomes muffled as Treyvaughn enters the cafeteria with Mason by his side. Treyvaughn Williams is a chocolate 6′1 and hazel-eyed attractive brother who I used to tutor for Pre-Calculus. We’ve never shared anything other than a glance but who would want to be seen with the fat, buck-toothed girl with thick-lens spectacles anyway.
“Ey yo Mason,” a voice bellows behind me and I turn around to see a big jock tossing around a ball in his palm as if it were nothing “catch!”
The ball flies in the air and I see a dark figure coming towards me. A hard body crashes into my much smaller frame and I feel my bones burn underneath my skin once I make contact with the cold tiles of LexonVille High.
"Cara,” a husky deep voice brings me out of my blanket of darkness and I flutter my eyes open, only to find that a film of blurriness has laced my eyes ”cara, are you fine?”
“I think I may need mouth to mouth,” I mumble before clamping a hand on my mouth, the fall must’ve gone all the way to my brain.
“I think we could make that happen, tesoro.” Italian accent? Bless me.
A blurry figure hovers over my body and my heart drops down to the pit of my stomach when his calloused large hand falls over mine to remove it off my lips. His breath is warm, minty and -- why can I feel his breath because that would mean that he must really be close.
“Jesus!” a voice shrills and his breath soon ceases to exist on my skin “Jae, why are you on the floor?”
Mona hands me my glasses and I push them up the bridge of my nose only to see the one person I wouldn’t ever think of meeting, let alone being close enough to kiss.
The incredibly hot Mason DeLuca.
That was years ago and a lot has changed. I moved away so I could complete my studies at Yale University while Ramona went into Hollywood and I’m aware that she tops charts often. Mother has been stuck in a miserable marriage after tradition claimed that since Mona’s dad passed on then she was to marry his brother.
To be quite frank, I’m westernized and I’m proud to say that because I don’t have to deal with anything culture-related.
Mother and the rest of our small Creole family have disregarded me because I’ve moved away. I didn’t mind it though, I like my space and I can do a lot within that space rather than if I were to be cooped up in my small bedroom.
Mona and I still talk but with all the assignments going on and the grueling hours I spend working as a junior assistant down at the police station, I myself even struggle to find time to cook, thus resulting in beans on toast every night for supper.
I won’t lie; the public protection and security department is a man’s place. We women are hardly given a voice and it’s hard to impress because there are only so many of us.
Criminals patronize the police force every time and men have that certain barrier that prevents them from breaking down. Now, unless you’re a female-turned-tomboy and had military training while you were young because your father wanted you to stand up to bullies, this job is definitely for you.
Unlike me, with a 4.5+ GPA and prestigious awards, because then you are most likely to be their playground.
Chief knew that I didn’t have the bold exterior and gave me the measly job of being a junior assistant to a forensic investigator. The pay wasn’t too bad because I only took care of myself but I was more qualified than my senior. The old hag has so many zeros in his bank account that I nearly convulse every time he asks me to check his balance monthly.
After a long day at Uni and at work, I found myself in a deadbeat pub while a random guy kept on filling me with alcohol.
“Ey,” I hiccup while eyeing the handsome male who had a head full of thick jet black curls “I may be on the chubby side but you’d fúck any pussy, right?”
He chuckles, the sound creating tremors on my skin and I gulp down the bitter shot, “pússy is pússy, a man’s got to eat.”
My lips tilt into a smirk, my head feeling like a ride at the carnival and a burp leaves my mouth, “you have to take the top though, I don’t want to be breaking some bones.”
“I know a motel a few meters from here, DeLuca.”
“Lakeisha Duckett,” I slur before burping once again and the harsh taste of tar fills my mouth. “nice to meet you.”