Seven very different singles – four women and three men – rent a New Jersey beach house for the summer: author Shontae Nichols, self-employed accountant and realtor, Linda Harris, Linda’s sister, hip-hop video dancer Kinnik Watkins, cosmetologist, Jovita Blassingame, Calculus professor Curtis “Doc” Whetstone, actor and drama instructor, Kip Lee, and new housemate, up and coming film actor, Devon Burke.
During their two month stay, romances bloom, friendships are tested and when a tragedy strikes one of the housemates, they all learn the answer to the age-old question: Can men and women ever be just friends?
Scene setup: Beach housemate Linda's goal for the summer is to convince her sister, Kinnik to reconsider her questionable career.
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I left the sunroom and climbed the steps to Kinnik and Jo’s room at the top of the landing. Jo’s good-natured cackle drifted through the door.
“Enter, Lin,” my sister responded, sounding irritated. From the way Jo hurried past me into the hallway, I assumed Kinnik had been griping about my coming to “lecture” her.
“You don’t mind if I keep unpacking while you talk, do you?”
With the amount of luggage she had, I knew I’d have plenty of time to say what needed to be said. “I was hoping we could talk about how your career is going.” I used the term loosely.
She yanked open the zipper on her biggest suitcase. “Obviously I’m doing very well. If not, do you think I could afford shoes like these?”
The gasp I held back came from seeing no less than twenty pairs of shoes inside the bag. I knew she never paid less than three hundred dollars for her shoes. My mind did a quick calculation; I was looking at four months’ rent. “I’m not only talking about the money.”
“Isn’t money the reason most people work?” She giggled and sent me a sly glance over her shoulder as she methodically lined up her footwear in the bottom of the closet.
“Sure it is, but I’m worried about you. You spend like it’s the end of the world. We need to sit down while we’re here and see if we can come up with an investment you can put some money into. If you’re bringing home good money, you should be saving some of it.”
“Oh, look at you trying to be the black Suze Orman.”
Kinnik always made jokes when she wanted to avoid confrontation. Only her financial status wasn’t a joking matter. She needed to face up to this. “You don’t even have health insurance. What happens if you get sick or hurt where you can’t work for a few months? Who’s going to pay your bills? And don’t look at me.”
“Don’t worry about me, I can get money when I need it.”
I didn’t like the sound of that. “What do you mean?”
“It means I know some ballers who’ll loan me money if I need it.”
“And you’d have to pay those ballers back, you know.”
“Not necessarily,” she contradicted me with a mischievous wink.
“K, I understand you know rich people. You can’t count on them to do what you should be doing for yourself. Let’s face it; you might have a good five years dancing in videos, if that many. What will you do after that?” Her blank expression answered my question. “You haven’t even thought that far ahead. Have you?”
“God, you’re starting to sound like Ma. At least if I give her cash she’ll leave me alone for a while.”
“Giving Ma money isn’t the only thing. You’re still living there, and she’s watching your kids while you run the streets.”
She brushed her hair, swept it in a circular motion around her head and tied it with a silk scarf. Her eyes narrowed and two lines appeared between her arched eyebrows. “I’m hardly ever there anyway. Did you come up here just to pick on me, because I’m not in the mood?”
“I’m not trying to give you a hard time. Did you ever consider that I make my living helping people with their finances, and I can help you prepare for the future?”
“All right. I’ll think about it. Okay?” The tone of her voice said she’d already shut me out. There was no need to continue the conversation.
“Sure. I’ll let you finish unpacking and catch your snooze.” I scanned the piles of clothes she’d dumped on the bed. “From the looks of it, you’ll be up here until dinner time.”
I left with the sinking feeling that Kinnik was on a runaway train to disaster, and not just in her financial life. I had to find a way to help her before something terrible happened.
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