• Kia

#SampleSunday: Keep Dancin'

Updated: Jun 5

****Lightly edited, subject to change, I do not have an official release date yet.

Nikita

Yes, a shower!

I had just arrived home from a long day of classes. Of all the classes I had, my Psychology of Minorities class was the worst. That class was no joke. Just thinking about it drains me. So, I popped in one of my old mixed CDs, hopped in the shower, and washed my hair to clear my head and refresh my mind.

Just as I finished my shower, my phone began to ring. I towel-dried as much of my locs as I could while I looked at my phone to see who it was disturbing my peace. It was my best friend/roommate, Delilah, and I knew exactly why she was calling.

I instantly chuckled as I answered, “Yes ma’am?”

“Hey bestie… How’s it going?”

“Did you lock your keys in your car again?”

“Yeah, I kinda did,” she confesses as we laugh.

“Give me a sec. I just got out of the shower.”

I was still in my wrap-around towel with another one “Badu-styled” around my head as I made my way to open the door and handed Delilah my copy of her car keys. We’ve been best friends since middle school. She seems to always be abstracted and tends to repeat the same actions so much that I know exactly the problem before she voices it. Like I said, she’s been my best friend since we were kids. Knowing someone for damn near ten years will have you like that after awhile.

After I gave her the keys, I made my way back to my room to put some clothes on. I checked the time while I was deciding on what to wear, as much as I wish my day was done. The problem is we, along with Delilah’s older sister, Kamren, and our other friends, still had that meeting tonight.

We established a dance troupe last year shortly after Kamren started working on campus. It was originally an all-girls group. However, she invited her “friend” Johnathan and his homeboy, Devonté, to one of our performances and next thing I know, our practices were infiltrated. There are six women and those two negros in the troupe at the moment. Tonight’s assembly was an interest meeting to recruit a few good men to balance us out.

By the time I’d gotten dressed and pulled my damp hair back into a ponytail, it was time to head out.

I gathered my things and made my way to the living room where my girl was sitting and waiting on me. She’d already changed into some black leggings and a grey crop top that said “Keep Dancin’” in black lettering across the front. Delilah had her hair pulled into a top puffy ponytail that was almost the size of her head that exposed the smooth brunette skin of her face. She wore silver hoops in her ears, another in her left nostril, with a dozen silver bracelets on her right arm while her black smart watch sat on her left wrist. She looked completely different from what she did when I opened the door not too long ago. Damn, did I take that long to get ready?

“You ready now?” Delilah asked, looking at her watch.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

“Good. You driving, or am I?”

“I’ll drive.”

“Thank God!” she exclaims.

“If you didn’t really want to drive, you could have just said that, you know.”

“It’s better to let you think you have a choice in the matter sometimes, my dear friend. Oh, and Kam’s not coming tonight.”

“What! Why not? She’s the president of the freaking organization. How is she not going to be at the first interest meeting?”

“I don’t know. Something about another emergency meeting. But she sounded stressed and didn’t stay on the phone very long. She called me while you were getting dressed. Said that John would step in for her.”

My head reared back. “John? How did he—” I just stopped myself.

“Girl, your guess is as good as mine. She probably gave him step by step instructions during a session of pillow talk.” We laughed at that probable fact.

“I don’t know why she keeps telling everyone they’re just friends.” I stated as I shook my head at the secrecy they had going on.

“Me either. I mean, it’s obvious as hell that they’re together, in my opinion,” she said as she shook her head. “And I’ve passed by her bedroom door while he’s been over. Didn’t sound like “just friends” shit was happening in there to me.”

“Of course not. We both already know he’s tapping that. But that’s because we live with her.”

“Exactly. I guess my sister is trying to be discreet about it with the university though. I think them both working there is the only reason they keep that fake ass friendship title. Personally, I wouldn’t give a fuck. But that’s their business.”

“Chile, I guess.” I gave her a look.

Kamren is four years older than us. She’s a graduate student at our university and the only reason Delilah and I are in our own three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment now. And it’s right down the street from the school. Kamren has two jobs to foot the majority of the bills, but my bestie and I aren’t freeloaders either. We both work on campus to help out, but with us working minimum wage jobs, there’s only so much we can afford.

The elder Jones doesn’t complain about our living arrangements much, but she does have rules for us to continue living off campus with her. We have to maintain honor roll, the apartment has to be spotless at all times, and no overnight male attention. It’s not that we can’t have none at all. They just can’t stay overnight. To be fair, she goes by the same rules with Johnathan. After they do whatever the hell they do in her room, he is still gone by the time we wake up the next morning.

Delilah and Kamren’s parents weren’t that thrilled about De moving off-campus. However, having an older sister that went through the same experience of living in the dorms was her saving grace. My parents didn’t care one way or the other as long as I kept my grades up and paid my bills without asking them for the money. Thankfully, I have so much scholarship and grant money for school that I get a nice little refund check each semester anyway.

“How many niggas you think gonna be in there tonight?” De broke into my thoughts and asked as I drove.

“I want a nice group, but not too many. Because trying to decide from too many for only four people would be a headache,” I stated.

“The criteria that Kam set to be in the troupe will probably eliminate a chunk ASAP.”

“Sadly true,” I shook my head at the fact. Kamren was a stickler for education and being on time; especially practices and performances. Everyone in the troupe had to maintain a 3.0 GPA and if you were late to either practice or performance, you had to pay up. One of her favorite lines is, “Time is money and I don’t play with either of mine.” Luckily for me, I don’t like being late for anything either.

We pulled up to the building we’d dubbed Doggy Central, since it was named after a prominent Omega alumnus, and parked right in the front. All of the other girls were there already and directing people where to go.

Once he noticed us, Devonté walked up to the car and greeted us with the energy of three Pitbull puppies, flirting as always. We both gave him a hug before he escorted us into the building. Martinique and Audrey were at the door, handing out applications and pens to all of the prospects. Tequoia was being the bartender, although there were no alcoholic beverages there. Just juice, soda, and water. We also had cheese and crackers, a fruit and veggie tray, and chips to snack on. Johnathan was standing at the podium talking to someone who, no doubt, was trying to sweeten his chances of getting selected. Johnathan looked like he couldn’t care less what the guy was saying to him though.

The spot was packed, as expected, and much to my chagrin. It was going to take a miracle to keep these wild bulls quiet with me and Delilah having to do most of the explaining. Well, depending on just how much pillow talk Kamren and Johnathan actually had. We were already getting the catcalls as we walked toward the front where Johnathan was standing.

Devonté raised his voice to get his attention, “Yo dawg, the last two ladies are here.”

“What up, ladies?” John spoke as soon as we walked up to him. The guy that had been talking with him was dismissed with a head nod before looked back over at us. Devonté made himself comfortable in a chair not too far off. “Surprised it took you two so long to get here. Y’all good?”

“Yeah, we good,” we stated in chorus.

“Cool, cool. Y’all ready?”

“As the day I was born,” Delilah quipped with a smile.

“Okay, everyone! We’re about to get this thing started. If you all could get to a seat and quiet down,” John hollered over the crowd to get everyone’s attention. Once it was somewhat silent, he continued. “Now, we’re only going to explain things one time. So, if you miss it, tough shit.”

Everyone laughed.

Johnathan looked over to where Delilah and I were standing off to the side before requesting, “Ladies, if you could join me behind the podium.”

I took my jean jacket off and asked Devonté to hold it for me as Delilah and I sauntered up beside John behind the podium. Once again, the catcalling was heard from throughout the large venue. It didn’t help that Delilah was showing a healthy amount of skin in her get-up. And my outfit wasn’t much better. I was wearing some black and grey tie dye biker shorts that had my little bit of curves on full display, even though the black t-shirt I had on, with our troupe logo on it, fell over the top of my ass.

Johnathan had to forewarn them that if it continued, people would be asked to leave. I just shook my head and ignored the childish idiots. It was a sign of immaturity and that meant they weren’t going to be disciplined enough to make the cut anyway.

“Good evening, gentlemen. My name is Johnathan Jeffries, for those of you that don’t know me. I am the Athletics Director for the university and I’m also a doctoral student here. I’m currently one of the only two guys in this dynamic dance troupe we have and that is why we’re here tonight.”

John walked around the podium and stretched his arms out as he spoke, “So, as you can see, the ladies are running the ship. In fact, the president, Kamren Jones, was not able to make it tonight due to an impromptu meeting with some of our sponsors.

“Now, we’re only looking to fill four slots from these auditions and we’re looking for the best. So, be sure to bring your A-game because Kam is a beast to get through. So, you’ll definitely have to be top notch to impress her. Trust me, Devonté and I know that all too well.”

“Amen to that,” Devonté quickly agreed to Johnathan’s statement.

John chuckled before looking our way again. “Miss Ke and Baby De, which one of you lovely ladies would like to do the honors of giving the ins and outs of the group?”

“It’s Miss De and Baby Ke. You’ve been watching Next Friday too much, bro,” Delilah corrected him promptly.

John smiled and rolled his neck saying, “Well, excuuuuuse me, Miss De.” We couldn’t help but to laugh at his “sista-girl” antics. “So, are you doing the honors?”

“You know, I think we can show them better than we can tell me, John,” I stated after a thought popped up in my head.

John smiled. “Oh yeah?”

“Oh yeah… I think so too,” Delilah added.

Delilah knew exactly what I was thinking. Apparently, Martinique was two steps ahead of us, because she was at the podium in no time with her phone ready to play a song from one of our old routines. Audrey and Tequoia abandoned their posts and made their way to the front as well, stripping out of their jackets in the process. Then it was on and popping.




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