It's here! The latest release from Tess Allen.
Meet Rowena Wilkes...
The View from Suite 2100
I’m Rowena Justina. At least that’s what my family always calls me, Rowena Justina. I think they like the way it rolls off their tongue. But my friends call me Ro. My whole name is Rowena Justina Wilkes.
To be honest, some folks call me Dorothy in Technicolor. I’m from Kansas and I’ve definitely clicked my heels a time or two hoping to find my way home after making some very wrong turns and ending up in a few terrifying Lands of Oz of my own making. Actually, I’m in one of those now, and talk about bumping heads with the Wicked Witch of the North! Believe me, I know exactly who that cow is, but then that’s another issue entirely.
I’m 5’2”, Ethiopian brown, turned 37 last month, and can easily pass for ten years younger as long as I keep my hair cut short and my lips painted a soft, innocent pink. Innocent! I am learning that there are degrees of innocence. Although I have never lived hard, I assure you it would blow my friends away if they knew half the truth about what’s currently going on in my life.
Alexia, Melayne, and Becca would argue anyone into the ground if they were to try to make them believe what I’ve gotten myself into. I can even imagine them riding upon my haters like they were a posse from the old west, rushing to my defense and threatening to give my detractors an unsophisticated beat down for daring to insult my integrity, (despite how upstanding and proper they pride themselves on being). You see, my friends love me just like I love them, but I’m not at all sure they’ll feel that way after Friday.
Ah, Friday. I wonder if I’ve forgotten anything I’ll need on Friday. No need to try to rack my brain now. I can attend to those things later. Right now I need to stay focused, which hasn’t been easy lately. With all the balls I keep juggling, it’s a wonder I’m able to keep any of them up in the air.
As you know, I’m an entrepreneur? My friends like to brag about me, but I’m not entirely sure they really know exactly what all I do. I own a handful of small businesses. At least they are considered small by the Small Business Administrations’ standard, which is a good thing since with some of my firms that allows me to take advantage of a lot of exciting and profitable opportunities designed for small American businesses, especially those owned by women. My companies include RJW Commercial Realty, Afri-Trade Export Company, Maximum Shine Booking Agency, and, my newest and probably my most intriguing venture, 2-of-A Kind, Inc.
I like to laugh and say that I’ve made my first million at least three times already. It’s too bad that number is so overrated. I actually thought when I got there, when I could honestly say I’d acquired those seven digits, I’d be whole. I’m not. Not by a long shot.
I want to make it clear that I’m not engaging in a little pity party. Rather I’m in the midst of a reckoning, as the old folk would say where I come from. You make your bed hard you’ve got to lay in it. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the possible consequences of my actions mentally, but just trying to think through this mess is wearing my nerves to shreds. I’ve really wound up taking my tension out on my friends to some extent.
I was a little testy the last time we had a sister session at Magic Hands, but I tried to check myself. Apparently I was especially snappy and uptight a few weeks before when everyone stopped by my house for an impromptu evening. I must have been unusually brisk in my interactions with Becca, whom I really adore, at least until Alexia took me to task. She tends to be our sergeant-at-arms when things get out of balance.
“Hey Ro,” Alexia had finally said, following me into the kitchen at my row house in Georgetown. “What’s up with you? Why are you treating Becca like that?”
Alexia doesn’t beat around the bush. Of the three, she’s my closest friend, or, at least through the years, she has been. “And just how am I treating her?” I asked defensively. “I’m just telling her the truth! Getting involved with Marcus – the father of her step sister’s twins, for goodness sake, Alexia - is inconceivable to me. What is she thinking?”
“She isn’t,” Alexia said quietly, laying a hand on my shoulder gently. “Her heart is. Normally, you’d be the first to understand that.”
Alexia was right. Normally I would be. With all I’ve been through with Drew David Ardmore III I should be the very last person to offer a less than charitable opinion about anyone’s affairs. I think dealing with Drew and the Ardmore’s over the years has served to erode my sense of well-being. Before Drew happiness was the rule of my day, not its exception. Before Drew I knew exactly who I was and exactly where I wanted to go. Truthfully, before Drew, my life had nothing in common with this endless circle of confusion.