Note: This is a fictional ongoing mini-series. Once you finish part one hopefully you will want to keep reading. But until the second part drops, email me your thoughts.
This shit is stupid. This is the type of shit that makes you remember why you tried to off yourself.
That was the only thought that swirled around my mind when I read the big gold hashtag #BlackGirlMagic that hung from an arch of gold balloons by the check-in table, followed by Conference 2018.
How did I end up here? My mother was talking to the check-in lady who looked like she just stepped out of Essence magazine. She was beautiful, her hair was natural, she had the whole natural fro going. Her skin was dark and flawless. She had the type of skin that made you rethink drinking acidic beverages.
She had on a black t-shirt that bore the logo of the conference name written on it in big white letters. Even though she was sitting at a table I could tell she was model height, her complexion matching that of her shirt made her all the more striking to look at.
She smiled graciously as my mother yapped away. I could only imagine all the questions she was asking the beautiful woman. That was my mother, the overprotective nutcase that carried her Bible everywhere she went.
This is what I get. Somehow, my mother thought that because I tried to kill myself coming to an all black women’s conference with the catchphrase #blackgirlmagic would make me want to live.
It was amusing to watch all of these beautifully well put together black women fix their hair and snap photos of each other like they were family when they were perfect strangers not even five minutes ago. Photos which I’m sure were being uploaded to whatever social media site that made them feel empowered by way of likes or comments to prove that they indeed cared about their blackness. So much so they spent 8,000 for five days to listen to a bunch of “educated” and “informed” group of black women tell them just how magical their blackness really was.
There were hundreds of black women in the lobby of the Rock World Resort. Apparently, my mother didn’t have to go far to fix me, a ride from New York City to the Poconos would do the trick.
“Connecticut, I have you all checked in, just put on this pink wristband and take this itinerary and you are all set,” my mother said as she came up to me. She actually held out my hand and placed the pink wristband which of course read #BlackGirlMagic Conference 2018 on it.
I gave a weak smile to reassure her that I would be alive and well when she came to pick me up in five days. My smile was a contract, it assured my mother that I wouldn’t try for a third time to unsuccessfully end my life. Her identical smile back assured me she accepted my contract of agreement to live…for now.
“Do you need anything? Coffee, tea, or gum?” My mother couldn’t help it she didn’t want to leave but her time was up.
“No, I don’t need anything,” was the only reply I could muster up, she played the mother role well. To random eyes looking she seemed like a normal concerned mother. Wearing a navy Ralph Lauren dress that came past her knee she looked like the role model for well-kept woman.
Everything was always in place, she actually fit right in with all the rest of these Black women looking to be made whole by this stupid ass conference. For five days we were going to talk, cry, eat, and repeat until we left feeling as though all the bull shit these “power women” spewed were saving lives.
Social media had convinced all of these black women that they just had to be here to figure out how to be the best black women they could possibly be. What a load of shit.
My mother, being the good Christian woman that was always in the know heard about this conference from one of her church friends and thought it was the perfect blessing. She paid for the conference before telling me.
Once she received her confirmation she gave me two options, go to the conference or go see a psychotherapist. I had been down the shrink road many times and I was over it. I had seen a regular therapist, a holistic psychiatrist, a child shrink, a dipped the blood of Jesus shrink, a shrink who incorporated yoga and meditation, and it was all a bunch of bullshit.
So to appease my mother I chose the conference. From the looks of it the shrink option didn’t seem so bad now.
“Okay Connecticut Marie Brown, I better be leaving the lady at the desk said they would be starting soon.” I hated when my mother sang my full name it was so annoying.
She tried her best not to cry; I could see her eyes start to water as she came in to hug me. I froze at her touch, I didn’t know how to reciprocate, too much had happened. She loosened her grip realizing she was the only one doing the hugging and stepped back almost stumbling.
“I won’t fight you for a hug, but I want you to know that I am praying for you. God loves you so much Conny, so much that even after…” Her voice went low, I’m assuming because she didn’t want the black girl magic folks to know that her daughter tried to kill herself not one but two times.
“Even after,” she cleared her throat barely audible in a room full of women who were in a joyous mood. “Even after…you know. God said it was not your time, not yet.” My mother couldn’t even say it; it was moments like this that made me question her sanity.
She was just like all the black folks who prayed to white Jesus asking him to deliver them from all of their sins. Faithfully going to her black church giving them all of her money to ensure that when she died, she would have a VIP seat in heaven.
I am sure that after I survived both suicide attempts she was positive that God himself came down to save me from myself. I watched as she left, disappearing into the sea of black women who wanted so badly to find their magic. A loudspeaker adjusted in the lobby and a women’s voice calmed the room down.
“Welcome to the 2018 Black Girl Magic Conference!” The room responded to the loudspeaker with cheers and hand claps, I swear I even heard a few Amens. Black women of all age’s, shapes, and sizes listened eagerly to hear the next set of instructions that would soon follow.
“Black women you are magic and this conference will prove just how magical you really are.” Again the crowd went up in cheer, no face to place the voice to but from the applause in the lobby you would have thought a concert was about to start.
I looked around the lobby and finally took it in; it was really beautiful, an upscale resort in the Poconos that had been revamped to look like a cross between a spa and an old-fashioned cabin. Everything was wood, trimmed with specs of red and gold. The lobby was huge, there were flat screen televisions hanging on each wall that played on a loop of what the resort used to look like compared to the 2018 upgrade.
The red-carpeted floor made the revamped look come together. “Everyone should check into their rooms and play close attention to the itinerary so you won’t miss any of the magic.” If this anonymous lady says magic just one more time I swear I am going to haul ass out of this conference and check into the hotel I saw across the street.
As soon as the thought crossed my mind I saw Chelsea waving over to me, the shrink visit seemed like a walk in the park now. I dragged my feet through the sea of women with my rolling luggage to meet a yelling Chelsea.
“Praise the Lord, you made it! I am so glad Sister Brown got you to come.” Chelsea said in the most upbeat church voice she could muster. “Yup, Sister Brown has her way of making me attend just about anything these days,” I said matching her tone with my fake enthusiasm.
Chelsea is 33, she has no kids, no man, and thought it was her job, correction, her career to always be in my fucking business. Always giving her opinion when nobody asked, always popping up over my house uninvited, and my mother simply adored her.
She was the child my mother should have got but instead she got me. “You look soooo bohemian rocker, Zoe Kravitz meets Willow Smith,” Chelsea said, as she looked me up and down.
Chelsea was short about 5’3 and dressed like she was a trying her best to make sure she had a spot in heaven when the time came. She was brown skin and wore her shoulder-length hair straight with a part down the middle. If I had to guess I would say she was a size 12. She always wore a knee-length dress and some sort of blazer; come to think of it she dressed just like my damned mother. And today was no different, a beige dress with a beige blazer, and beige pumps which I’m sure came from H&M and Forever 21.
Chelsea loves to brag about how much money she saves and doesn’t let a human go by without telling them she purchased her home at 21 and blah blah fucking blah. Chelsea was a thorn in my ass and I was dreading spending five days with her. “So are we bunking it together or what?” Her words came out almost knowing that I had no choice in the matter. Just then the anonymous lady started to speak over the loudspeaker.
“Everyone, open your black girl magic folders, inside you will find your room key. You will also notice there is a number, those who have the same number as you will be your roommate for the duration of the conference.” I had never been so happy to hear the anonymous ladies voice as I was in this moment. Chelsea opened her folder and saw that her number was 109 if there is a God it would be today he would exercise his power to fuck me over and I would have the same number as Chelsea.
Women everywhere started yelling out numbers and running over to the women who matched theirs. I opened my folder slow; I could see Chelsea growing impatient trying to see if we had matching numbers. I let out a sigh of relief when I saw that my number read 203. “Looks like we won’t be bunking it together after all,” I said cheerfully waving my number like the American flag on the 4th of July.
Chelsea looked as though she had lost some type of bet she had going. “Maybe I can talk to the front desk and we can ask to be roommates, and whoever has our numbers they can share.” The very thought of that made me scream out 203, I turned into one of the black girl magic women eagerly looking for a response.
“I have 203,” a voice without cheer said behind me. When I turned around a stylish and very pretty brown girl held up her number that matched mine. Before Chelsea could even proceed with her plan I grabbed the girls arm and headed toward the big elevators I spotted by the check-in table. I waved at Chelsea letting her know by practically dragging this stranger that I did not want to be roomed with her annoying ass. I let go of the pretty brown girl who was clearly startled by my behavior.
“Are you fucking crazy? Your bag damn near took off my leg while you dragged me!” I guess I should add that she was pretty, stylish, and had a fucking attitude the size of the golden nugget. “Look, I’m sorry I just didn’t want to bunk with this other girl who was about to try her damnedest to lock me in a room with her for five days.” “Are you a lesbian? Because I respect your way of life but Ummm, I’m strictly dickly.”
I was confused but then I replayed the last sentence I said over in my head and it did make me seem like I could be a potential carpet muncher. “No, I’m not gay, I honestly don’t even want to be here so can we just start over. I’m Conny.” I extended my hand and the pretty brown girl shook it suspiciously. “I’m Brooke, we are in room 203.”
We waited for the elevator, I saw her reflection on the doors that she was eyeing me up and down. The elevator came and we both got on, she had a big black travel bag on her shoulders. I noticed she kept making eye contact with my rolling travel bag. I hope this chick is not a thief who came here for a quick come up. Every woman in the lobby was in their Sunday’s best so I could only imagine how much a person could steal if that was their intent.
“Are you a thief?” I asked looking directly in front of me never once turning to make eye contact. “Am I a fucking thief?” Brooke yelled as she turned to look me.“You’ve got some nerve; you dragged me to run from your lesbian lover and now you’re accusing ME of being a thief? What would I want to steal of yours?
Your ugly ass black leather pants or that ugly ass black t-shirt you have on? Wait, I know maybe it’s those long frizzy ass box braids that need to be done over. Nope, hold up, it’s probably those ugly biker boots.” Brooke spat back and angrily laughed at her own jokes as she ripped my entire outfit apart.
I was amused, but she still had not answered my question. “You kept looking at my bag…” Before I could finish Brooke jumped in, “Yeah, I kept looking at your bag to see if you might be carrying a bomb, you’ve got on all black doing the whole goth look, all that’s missing is a black trench coat.” I laughed at her assessment of me; she was wearing light blue denim jeans with matching long sleeved denim button up. She paired it with nude pumps that matched her nude camel coat.
Brooke’s brown skin against her camel coat made her brown eyes stand out. Her hair was jet-black and cut in a long wavy bob. She went easy on the makeup, so easy that if I were a man who didn’t know any better I would think she was without any. She looked at me in disgust and while I didn’t look at her directly in her eyes the reflection I saw from the elevator doors told the story.
“I always get paired up with the crazy bitches. I came here on a whim and now I’m with fucking psycho Carrie who thinks I’m a thief! Of all things a thief!”
Brooke was yelling at no one in particular until the doors opened to our floor. Neither of us stepped off the elevator, we both realized that we needed to get our shit in order if we were even going to consider staying in the same room for five days. “Look, I didn’t mean to offend you,” I said as calmly as possible. “Yes the fuck you did, you called me a thief! What human on earth wouldn’t be offended?” Brooke said with a sharp New York City accent.
“Fuck it, maybe it was offensive but you kept eyeing my bag and…” “Bitch, I eyed your bag because it’s a nice Louis Vuitton bag, not because I was going to steal it.” She snapped back. Somehow in between her yelling and my explaining, we walked off the elevator to our shared room. “If you think I’m a thief we can go back downstairs and get our rooms changed because I will not have some Zoe Kravitz look-alike tell me I’m a thief.” Her tone had calmed some but then again she might be one of those chicks who became really calm right before hitting you.
“Look, my life at the moment is fucked up beyond repair, I was dragged here by my mother who paid for me to attend this dumbass conference. I bumped into her golden church child downstairs who I am sure is probably here to keep an eye on me. I assure you I don’t think you are a thief, I really just want to go into this room and drink.” I was now exhausted from the entire ordeal.
“Well shit me too, I have been arguing with everyone and I don’t feel like arguing with you.” Brooke’s face relaxed, I didn’t know what she was going through, but she looked like she had a lot on her mind. She surveyed the room and chose the bed next to the balcony. After accusing her of being a thief I wasn’t going to put up a fight over what bed I got.
The room was painted in a turquoise color very different from the lobby area. The queen-sized beds looked comfortable, as I neared my bed I noticed the big black and gold envelope that laid on my bed. And of course the shit read, Black Girl Magic Conference 2018
To Be Continued…
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