by Peppur Chambers
For your reading enjoyment, find the eighth installment of “Harlem’s Awakening”…This is the “True Hollywood Story” (as it were) behind the love affair between Joe and Harlem that plays out in the cabaret, “Harlem’s Night” performed by the Brown Betties.
Chapter 8 – Change of Face
Harlem knew it was time for change. It was time for her to get past her silly little crushing love-less fling with Joe. This past mess with him embarrassing her at the club by bein’ all friendly with another woman right in front of her face, was absolutely enough! And Thank God she had her best friend Cora around to make her know it.
Harlem stared out the window of the dress shop; 125th street was bustling along without her. She’d had plenty with sewing for today. She’d recently taken this part-time job to keep her mind off things. She was realizing that the boredom of it kept her daydreaming so much that her mind was always on the thing she was trying to forget!
She decided to do something about it. She tied off the yellow knot on the last stitch she’d made on the hem of a very pretty floral dress. She hung it up as she thought of something to say so she could leave. Mrs. Bell, the shop keeper and a dear old friend of her deceased mother, would certainly understand since Harlem was usually very reliable. “I’m not feelin’ quite one-hundred percent, Mrs. Bell. I’d like to get myself home and return tomorrow.” Harlem announced as she grabbed her coat so as not the give Mrs. Bell much room to tell her she couldn’t leave. Her hand was already on the heavy glass door knob by the time the portly Mrs. Bell made it from the back of the tiny shop to the front. “Ok dear,” she sighed. Harlem felt guilty for all of ten seconds before she waved a sickly “bye-bye”.
Once outside in the crisp afternoon air, Harlem realized she felt absolutely one-hundred percent better! She nearly skipped with glee at her freedom. She about ran all the way to where Cora was working, which was 4.3 blocks away.
Harlem arrived at the little ice cream shop that Cora’s father owned. She entered and the little bell above the door announced her arrival. Cora looked up from scooping home-made vanilla goodness and squealed with happiness which of course made her bombastic father yell, “Cora! Dammit! We have customers. Show some sense!”
Harlem said her pleasantries to Mr. Benjamin Franklin (Harlem always wondered why Cora’s grandparents would name their child after Benjamin Franklin, but who was she to ask since her name was a bit out of the ordinary too?) Before Harlem could sit her bottom on the counter stool, Cora blurted out, “Have you heard of the Brown Betties?”
Harlem had to bite her tongue for fear of swallowing it. Ohhhh brooooother. Had she ever.
(c)2007 Pen and Peppur LLC