Happy Thursday, all!
I'm continuing the celebration of my forthcoming debut novel, ANOTHER 4.0, with a full summary and excerpt.
Check 'em out!
But all is not as it seems.
Daria is angry with her father...because her father is angry with her. Apparently Adrian Nelson still doesn’t like Maurice after all this time, an attitude which makes no sense to his daughter. Maurice is the handsome owner of a successful West Philly barbershop and the kind of guy any girl would be lucky to have. So what’s not to like?
Well, no, Maurice hasn’t exactly supported Daria’s decision to matriculate some 150 miles away. He expected her stay local and attend the University of Pennsylvania like she promised and hasn’t quite forgiven the drastic change in venue. But Daria understands his frustration because college hasn’t been everything she expected either. Though confident in her choice of English as a major, she has no idea what she wants to do with her life and feels constant pressure to figure it out. Best friends Bernie and Cherrie sympathize with her struggles, but even they don’t fully understand some of Daria’s decisions. To say nothing of the internal pressure Daria feels to maintain the excellence expected of a student at the premiere HBCU in the world.
And with all these issues jockeying for her attention, all Daria wants is peace and another 4.0.
"Daria!” Cherrie yelled. “Don't forget the 9:45 shuttle broke down yesterday, so the 9:30 will be crowded. And I need cocobread!" She banged a few more times and scurried away.
How she could be so chipper before breakfast was a question for the ages.
I marked the entry "to be continued," slid the thin satin bookmark between the pages, and returned the journal to its place of prominence in my desktop bookshelf. After stretching myself fully awake, I clicked on the radio while I ate breakfast at my quaint side table. WHUR FM confirmed yesterday’s sunshine would continue today, so I’d be fine in a t-shirt. I’d packed my bookbag last night but felt the need to double-check it. Yesterday I was one pen short in Literary Criticism, and the lack of options drove me to distraction.
The back elevators were working for once, and I joined the small crowd waiting for them. As I got on, someone in the hallway yelled “Hold the elevator!” and I stuck out my foot to keep the doors from shutting. And the person who boarded was not only grateful but familiar.
“Mordecai Hill, as I live and breathe.” I smiled as he bumped my shoulder. “I was starting to think you were commuting this year.”
“Says the girl practically living in Founders Library. I heard they kicked you out last night.”
“I was at Borders last night.”
“Cleaning out their reference section, I’m sure.” He lifted my bookbag. “I bet there are three dictionaries in here.”
“For your information, there’s only one. And a thesaurus. And a glossary of literary terms.”
He laughed, his shoulder-length locs falling away from his face. “That’s what I thought.”
The doors opened on the second floor, and the few boarders earned a round of derisive applause.
“You’ll never work off the Freshman Fifteen that way!” someone crowed behind me.
“So how was your summer?” Mordecai asked me when we reached the bottom floor.
“Good but too short. I didn’t get to half my to-do list.”
“Of course you had a summertime to-do list.”
“Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. How was yours?”
“Eventful. Mel went to a week-long overnight camp for the first time.”
“Oh, wow.” His kid sister Melody was the apple of his dutiful eye. “Were there tears?”
“Only the first night. But I slept on her bedroom floor and felt much better.”
We exited the building as the shuttle inched forward with the doors open. When we climbed on, Cherrie met my eyes, mouthing an apology for not saving me a seat. I held on to the back of the seat beside me, and Mordecai did the same as the bus pulled off.
Howard University had four off-campus housing units and provided shuttle service to and from campus. The Meridian Shuttle serviced Meridian Hill Hall and the East and West Towers. Another shuttle handled the Slowe and Carver dormitories, and a third shuttle went to the Shaw/Howard University Metrorail station. The shuttles were convenient when punctual and a nuisance when not. HU professors were unsympathetic when you blamed your tardiness on the shuttle and marked you late anyway. More than a few students missed more than a few tests because of the shuttle's inconsistency, yet every morning we lined up at stops across campus to press our luck again.
The Meridian shuttle pulled in front of Cramton Auditorium, where fashion shows, lectures, and other special events were held, and Cherrie and I disembarked. I waved goodbye to Mordecai who turned toward the Fine Arts building, and we headed across the street to the food trucks for Cherrie’s cocoa and cocobread.
And ran smack into Bernie.