Happy Black History Month! Although I write fiction, I incorporate factual Black History into my books, and throughout this month I will be posting excerpts from my novels that reference Black history. This is the fourth installment, an excerpt from my classic romance novel FANTASY.
This excerpt is truly personal because it is based on an incident that really happened to me. I am an avid cruiser, and this happened to me as I boarded a cruise ship several years ago:
“Sameerah stopped for a moment to show her ticket to the waiting steward, then continued up the gangplank to the cruise ship. A fortyish woman in a blue uniform was greeting passengers.
“Hello!” the woman said brightly to a group of women boarding together.
“Good Afternoon! Welcome aboard the Fantasy!” the woman said to the couple directly in front of Sameerah.
The woman’s eyes shifted in anticipation of warmly welcoming the next passenger. Then her gaze focused on Sameerah. The woman looked confused for a moment, then looked right through Sameerah, not saying a word.
The light-hearted holiday mood that was just beginning to build for Sameerah crashed in flames. The woman’s gaze and silence said more clearly than words, “What are you doing here?”
Oh, no, Sameerah thought, hurt, angry, and indignant, all at the same time. Do I have to deal with this crap even here? Well, Missy Anne, I have as much right to be on this ship as anyone. And I’ll be damned if I let you get away with ignoring me!
Sameerah stepped to her and fixed the woman with her brightest, phoniest smile. “Hello! How are you today?” she called to the woman in the most syrupy, artificial, nice-nasty tone she could muster. The woman really looked at her then, giving Sameerah the uncertain, frightened gaze of an animal trapped in a corner.
Yeah, girlfriend, Sameerah thought with satisfaction. We both know what time it is. You know you were deliberately slighting me, and now you know I know you were deliberately slighting me. As she continued into the ship, Sameerah chuckled to herself as the woman greeted the passengers boarding behind her, but with quite a bit less gushing gaiety than before.
Maybe you’ll think before you pull that crap again, Sameerah thought as she made a mental note to file a complaint about this heifer with the cruise director.”