Heaven and Helda
By Caribbean Spice
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“Heaven put on the lavender dress you wore to Camilla’s engagement. It compliments your complexion beautifully.” Heaven’s mother, Mary shouted anxiously from the bottom of the stairs. Mary was planning a dinner party and Heaven was the dessert. Tonight was the night when Helda will meet her potential husband. Well Mary was hopeful. Mary had her eyes set on her boss’s son Robert the moment she heard he made partner at his firm. After several years at Garlick, Rosen and Warsberg, she was very respected and had a good relationship with her boss. She was office Manager, and her boss right hand. Mary’s boss had a reputation for being very outspoken about her liberal views and had more relationships with black men than slave-masters did in the day. Mary anxiously scurries around the house, making sure the food and wine was laid-out just like the ads in the Gourmet magazines. Mary had out done her self and prepared numerous seafood dishes of scrimp, oysters and stuffed clams. Seafood was her boss’s
Favorite. The bar was stock with Pinot Grigrio, Kendall Jackson, and the best vodkas. Godiva chocolates, truffles and pitifords were place perfectly in a cascade sliver dish.
Mary made a decent living and lived a comfortable life. She lived with her two daughters Heaven and Helda in a brownstone in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. They are one of the few black families in the neighborhood. Mary was very proud of her accomplishments, and whenever she was asked where she lived. She would make sure to point out it confidently and with great diction, Windsor terrace instead of just saying Brooklyn.
Mary was also proud of her two daughters Heaven and Helda, but is especially fond of her daughter Heaven. Heaven had long straight brownish almost blonde hair, hazel eyes and fair skin. Heaven is the love child from Mary’s hay-day hanging out with the Jazz bands. Mary is a strikingly beautiful woman, she has a toffee complexion, an hour-class shape and she struts like a giraffe. In her day she was the envy of all the girls at the Jazz Pubs. She was dating the lead singer and Sacs player nicknamed Cream of a popular Jazz band at the local pubs. His name was Cream because he was the only white Guy in an all black band. He sang the blues well and every woman in the Pub had their eyes on him, but Mary had his heart. Six months into Mary’s relationship with Cream she discover she was not his only addition. He drank and would beat her every so often. When Cream found out Mary was pregnant, he left her for another gig. Mary went into a great depression and on several occasions tried to commit suicide. After some coaching from Friends, she went to see her church counselor for help. The counselor was an older black man that could not resist his temptation for Mary. One faithful Sunday Mary and the counselor had a late evening session and Helda was born.
Helda looked very much like her father. She had coco skin, long curly hair, and her mother’s strut. She graduate high school a year before her sister, and made the honor roll at her college three semesters in a row. She is reserved and when she speaks people stop to listen. Helda had a passion for science and went onto study Medicine. Heaven on the other hand graduated F.I.T and worked as a fashion coordinator at a top designer firm. Before that she modeled for a while but the word got around she had a bitchy reputation and no one wanted to work with her.
While Mary was downstairs fretting over this and that, Heaven and Helda were upstairs getting ready for the party. Helda sat on the bed and watched as Heaven slipped into her lavender dress. The dress was a back-less halter with a plugging neckline that played peak-a-boo with Helda’s breast. It hugged her hips just right. Heaven caught Helda’s eyes looking at her in the mirror, “Why don’t you get dress, Helda.” Heaven asked. “What for! It’s your night.” Helda said snottily. Heaven continued to admire herself in the mirror, twisting and turning, pausing now and then with a critical eye. “Is my stomach sticking out in this dress.” She asked examine herself.
Helda did not respond and got up from the bed, dragging her feet while she walked over to her closet. She started pulling dresses out one by one and throwing them on the bed. She caught a glimpse of her self in the mirror, “Look at me I look awful.” Heaven, smiled and said, “Don’t you always.” and left the room. You could hear the clicking of her Jimmy Choo designer heels fade away in the distant. Helda stared at her self in the mirror and then her eyes drifted to pictures of her and her sister on the walls. In all the pictures she stood slightly behind Heaven. She picked up the frame on the vanity table and looked at the photo of her mother hugging her sister while she stood next to them. It looked as thou someone had clued her next to an already existing photo of her sister and her mother. She sat down at the vanity table staring at her self, tears began to run down her face. The doorbell rang and interrupted her trans like state. She jumped up looked at the clock, “Oh shit!” She said and started to brush her long wavy hair. Helda laid a couple of dresses out on the bed, a canary spaghetti strap dress, a black with a rose on one shoulder dress, and the white sheer dress with a split in the back. She tried on all, took them all off, and tried them on again. She eventually decided on the white sheer with the split in the back. She wore her white mules, and wore her hair down with a diamond hair-clip to the side. Helda did a once over in the mirror and thought, “I am sure Heaven will be the center of attention anyway. Why do I even bother?”
Helda sat back down on the bed again and memories of her childhood were racing through her head. Mom was always giving Heaven whatever she wanted but always had excuses why I couldn’t have what I wanted. Helda remember the time she was being teased in school because her shoe had a whole. “You don’t need new shoes Helda” her mother would say, “What’s wrong with the ones you have.” Helda never argued. She watched as her sister got new shoes. Helda’s eyes filled with tears but she dabbed a tissue to stop it from running down her face and ruining her make-up. The guest were arriving and there was a lot of laughter and “how are you?” coming from downstairs. She mustered up the courage and headed down the stairs for the party.
Helda stood at the foot of the stairs looking around the room at everyone. She smiled, waved, at some familiar faces. The aroma of the food made her hungry. All the guest was all standing around in small groups with wineglasses, smiling, laughing and chatting. The Sun went away and day was turning into night, and the party was taking off. Mary was beaming with excitement, as everyone complimented her on how delicious the food tasted. It was a full moon and the drapes were pushed back allowing the beautiful moon to shine into the dimly lit living room. Helda spotted Heaven at the window doing her hair flip and her catwalk pose. It had to be a man she was talking too, Helda thought. Heaven had a wineglass in one hand and as she giggled she would caress the person with the other hand. Helda couldn’t see his face but did not want to intrude on her sister’s good time. “Hi, Helda,” Ms. Joseph said, starling Helda. She had long straight dyed red hair with a part in the middle. She wore a long emerald green dress that made her green eyes look even greener. When she smiled her eyes squinted, making her wrinkles noticeable and her age obvious. “Hi Ms. Joseph, how are you?” Helda said and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek. “Mary told me you would like to be a lawyer like my Bob.” Ms. Joseph took a sip from her glass smiling. Helda could not believe her mother actually talked about her to Ms. Joseph. “No! Not a lawyer. I want to be a doctor,” Helda corrected.
“I would like you to meet my son.” Ms. Joseph guided Helda over to where Heaven was standing. As they got closer Helda felt her stomach to do a sumasault. It was him. “Robert, I want you to meet Mary’s other daughter Helda” Helda forced a smile and extended her hand. He held it, their eyes interlocked, and he slowly released her hand. He noticed Hilda’s discomfort and acted as if they had just met for the first time. Heaven continued animatedly with the conversation, but Robert was distracted, his eyes were on Helda. Helda excused her self, grabbed a glass of wine and headed towards the kitchen out into the garden. The light from the kitchen shined sparingly through the window giving the porch a candle lit effect. Helda thought of his hypnotic eyes and smiled, sipped her wine and looked up at the stars. She felt a flutter in her stomach and leaned on the porch rail reminiscing of the night she first met Robert. He was bobby to her. She had left her dorm that night to take a break from writing final papers, and stopped at the blue ribbon bar for a drink. She sat at the bar next to him and ordered an apple martini, she guzzled it down as if it was juice and ordered another. As she was about to leave he ordered her another one and she refused, but he insists, “I have already paid why don’t you have this last one and then you can go.” Helda looked at him and their eyes interlock he had the most hypnotic green eyes she had ever seen. He place his hand in the center of her back to help her back onto the stool, this sent chills down her spine. They immediately became comfortable with each other, they were laughing and drinking, before you knew it, they were in the back of his explorer with her legs wrapped around his waist. Helda felt a sudden rush of heat on her neck. “Are you always this antisocial,” She spun around and spilled her wine it was him. She blushed and looked away, “Oh! I just needed a breath of fresh air.” He was standing closer now and Helda could feel his hot breath on her cheek. She sat down and he sat next to her, there was an uncomfortable silence. “It’s a beautiful night.” He said, and took a sip from his class that looked like rum and coke. In the background Michael Bolton’s, “How can we be lovers” played on the stereo. Robert took Hilda’s hand and said, “Could I have this dance?” Helda found it had to resist smiled and oblige. They swayed together, cheek-to-cheek, “I never forgot you.” He held her closer and she felt a tingling in her spine and a burning sensation in her vain. He held his head back, look into her eyes and kissed her long and passionately.
I was not the marrying type so I never pursued Robert but he did date my sister, while he frequents my bed in the middle of the night. I remembered the night he proposed to her, he took her home after a romantic dinner at the Russian Tea Room and told her he had to meet a client. We met that night at the W hotel and celebrated their engagement.