She was always known as the dark-skinned one with the body, never as the cute one, like her best friend. She overcompensated by wearing tight clothes that accentuated her ass and breasts. Her promiscuity kept her mother at the drug store buying antibiotics. Though her best friend was light-skinned and much prettier, she often teased her about not having the “bomb body” that boys “really” liked.
“Damn yo ass flat as hell,” Destinee would say only every five minutes.
“And? So what. I don’t have a problem getting niggas, so shut the fuck up,” her bff Tracy retorted.
“You still my girl though,” said Destinee trying to cushion the defamatory blow.
Conversations like these carried on from the time they were 13 years old well into their late twenties. Destinee got pregnant her senior year of high school and dropped out. Tracy graduated from high school then ultimately college. Destinee became a welfare recipient while Tracy became the supervisor at the Department of Human Services where she oversaw the welfare of children and their development. Their lives continued down completely separate paths, but there was something that kept bringing them together. As Tracy grew mentally, spiritually into adulthood, Destinee remained stagnant.
She wasn’t always this way. She had dreams of becoming a beautician and owning her own salon. She got a lot of practice on the neighborhood kids. She was more artsy, creative while Tracy was more practical, business savvy.
“When I open up my shop, you can be the manager or some shit like that,” said Destinee.
Tracy rested her chin in the nook between her thumb and index finger.
“Hmmm, that’s not a bad idea,” she said as she daydreamed.
Three kids and five years later, Destinee was showing no signs toward advancing.
“Damn bitch. Every time I turn around you pregnant. Can you say CONDOMS,” Tracy said jokingly though she was serious.
Destinee had one of the heartiest laughs. It started from the pit of her stomach and traveled up and through every passage in her body. You could witness this happening because her body would convulse as her shoulders bounced up and down. She had the kind of laugh that automatically made those around her follow suit.
“Fuck you. You always talking shit,” Destinee said as she inhaled weed smoke then went into a coughing spell.
Tracy and Destinee sat at the round kitchen table for hours, smoking blunts and getting tipsy. Whenever her kids would come into the kitchen she’d yell at them as if they had entered a private area of the house.
“Get y’all motherfucking asses out of here,” she yelled while managing to keep her teeth clinched.
“But we hungry,” said one of the little ones.
“Y’all a’int hungry. Y’all just ate. Go your greedy ass back in your room and shut the door.”