Ambiance – Loving her husband, building her brand, and being there for her girls are the only things that matter to her. But she’s quickly learning that her love is not enough to build a strong, stable marriage. Surrounded by family, friends and business constituents should be enough; yet, she’s all alone.
Naomi – As a teen she made the decision to be a single mother. Choosing to build her life around her daughter has molded and shaped all the decisions she has made until now. Her relationship with her daughter is highly valued and nothing can shake it, not even her daughter’s attempts to grow up. But when her past comes back full circle her carefully constructed world may begin to crumble. Will her efforts to protect her child be the one thing that pushes her away, and will history repeat itself?
Paige- running from her inner demons she struggles to build a life vastly different than her mother and aunt’s. With a mindset of use or be used, she takes love them and leave them to a new level, and her promiscuous lifestyle is a cause of concern of all those who love her. She doesn’t care whose heart she’s breaking or whose life she’s ruining, it’s all about her. Until it no longer is. Three women are on a journey of self-discovery, as they deal with the fallout from choices made from emotion rather than self-awareness.
Married, mother of none. Diva of the fashion consulting world! Personal shopper at Vanilla Rose Boutique and owner of Bleu Diamante Fashions guaranteed to put your style on top. One hundred seventy pounds of mocha chocolate rolled into five feet and eight inches of woman. Wife of Eric Caldwell, daughter to Alexis (my step-mom) and father Jerry Richardson, and best friends of Naomi Blankenship and Paige Dougherty. Those were the words most people would use to describe me.
But if I were to take out a personal ad, the description would sound more like: emotional, lonely, unloved, desperate 32-year-old woman seeking, no scratch that…maybe not seeking, but craving, yeah that was more like it, craving personal attention. Yep, that’s me, Ambiance Lorraine Caldwell. And this is my story.
Our youth are the most important resource we have. They are the leaders of tomorrow and as such, it is our responsibility to instill love, honor, integrity and responsibility in them. Especially our young black women. Sisters, I’m keeping it real with you, we haven’t actually left them a positive legacy to look up to. High fashion, stylish shoes, money out the ying yang, a nice whip to drive and a fly ‘do’ to sport. Not to mention a brother rolling in cash. That’s what we strive for and that’s the message we send to our young girls, get it while the getting is good at whatever cost. That’s the true message we send when we perpetuate the myth that chasing after ball players, hip hop artists and the like is something to aspire to.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with dating these brothers. What I am saying is be yourself, love yourself, and be true to yourself first. It’s just like that Ne-Yo song, “She Got Her Own.” Go out and get your own education, your own career, your own money and your own life. Because when you work hard for what you want in this life and not depend on your body or someone else to give it to you, then you respect yourself more. And when you respect you, he respects you. And know who you are, because only then will you know what you have to offer someone else.
I guess you’re probably like, ‘who are you to tell me what I need to do or don’t need to do.’ Well I’m the CFO at Edwards Broadcasting System. Single and saved. Alpha Xy Zeta sistah and a Master of Arts graduate of Clark Atlanta. A thick, five foot four inch, cocoa sistah who’s a force to be reckoned with in the boardroom. At 33 I have no time for games in my life. Despite what my friends say, my motto is ‘All business and no play makes Naomi a very successful and determined mother.’ My girlfriends, Paige and Ambiance often tell me that I have no time for nothing but my career and my teen daughter, Sasha. That may be true, but at least it keeps me from life’s little games that men and women often play.
Sometimes it seemed as if they were on a personal crusade to end my almost two decade abstinent streak. But this lady was just determined to stay focused on seeing my daughter through high school and college. I am very much a present part of every day of her life and will remain that way until she is grown and gone, as the old folks used to say. But that’s not even what makes me qualified to tell you, my sisters, how you should or shouldn’t live your life. But my story and life makes me qualified to give my opinion. My name is Naomi Blankenship and this is my story.
The men, the men, they all love me! Because I’m a beautiful and sexy honeybee! There’s a whole lot of F.I.N.E packed into five feet and two inches of a 115 pound woman. With my beautiful golden bronze skin and slanted, almond-shaped green eyes, let’s just say I was turning heads wherever I went.
Say what you want about women who are out to get theirs. I believe every woman has the right to rule her life and her body the way she wants. Hell, if you ask me I say we better get ours before they get theirs. It’s either use or be used. And I’ll be the one using…yep, I’m using men up like my favorite credit card. My favorite gift from them? A roll in the sack to relieve a day’s stress. No women, despite what men say, that doesn’t make me a whore. That makes me a smart and clever negotiator, getting what I want and giving them what they want in return. In the end nobody gets hurt, and nobody gets burnt, right? Haha!!! Not if you wrap it and strap it, you won’t. Or at least that’s what I thought!
My name is Paige Dougherty and this is my story.
I was preparing to leave for work, and Eric had not returned home yet. He had never come home the night before. The only thing I received was a phone call telling me he would be home late. He told me not to wait up for him; he and his brothers were hanging out again. I was so tired of this treatment from my husband, the man who promised to love me for life. His actions lately were reminiscent of our first year of marriage. When he had stayed out with the boys then, I eventually found out it was a particular girl he was staying out with…Kendra.
Eric and I had gone through a lot to heal our marriage. We had fought, cried, prayed, and sought counseling to get through the devastation caused by his affair. It had taken a lot for me to learn to trust him again. And when I did, things were good for a year. Looking back now, we hadn’t had a lot of great times. The first year of marriage he cheated. The second year, we were constantly at each other’s throats because of the hurt and pain caused by the cheating. The third year we worked on healing and enjoyed each other the fourth year. This last year, the old habits Eric had displayed were popping up again.
Several nights he wouldn’t come home, he had little patience with me, and we seldom went out on dates anymore. We were starting to argue over little things again, and he wasn’t as affectionate as I needed him to be. It was lonely lying in that big bed most nights all alone. When he was there, he didn’t hold me in his arms, or kiss me, or make love to me anymore.
I left him a note telling him that I would be home early this afternoon and could he please wait around for me. We needed to talk. I was running a couple of hours late for work, trying to wait for him to come home. I couldn’t wait any longer. I had done all that I could do from home, but now it was time for me to go into the boutique.
I pulled out a pack of chicken from the freezer for tonight’s dinner and set the alarm, preparing to leave.
Just as I opened the front door, I saw my errant husband making his way up the sidewalk to our porch. I knew when he pulled up in the driveway and saw my car it surprised him. Funny how he decided to come home after I was supposed to be gone to work.
“Hey, baby, you headed off to work?” Eric was reaching out to me for a hug and kiss. He was still wearing the clothes he had left for work in yesterday. I sidestepped him, not wanting to pretend I didn’t smell another woman’s scent on him or act as if everything was lovely, when I knew it wasn’t.
“Oh, so I don’t get a goodbye hug or kiss?” he asked, with his arms held out to his sides. He had a look of disbelief on his face, as though I was the one tripping.
“Eric, I don’t want to play your games. I have to go to work, and I don’t plan on being any later than I already am just because you can’t do what you’re supposed to.”
“What am I supposed to do, Ambiance?” he asked, frowning at me.
“Be home to take care of, provide for, and protect your wife. Not to mention doing your husbandly duties,” I informed my ignorant husband, ticking his responsibilities off on my fingers.
“I don’t have a problem performing those duties. If you needed some loving, babe, all you had to do was say so,” he said, approaching me again with a smile on his face.
I shook my head and walked to the driveway to hop into my mint green 2010 Toyota Camry.
“Ambi...Ambi, you’re just going to leave me like that?” he asked. I couldn’t believe the audacity of this man. He’s the one that stays out all night, comes home the next morning, after he thought I was gone, and pretends all is well.
“Look, Eric, I can’t do this right now. I need to get to work. I sat here for two extra hours waiting on you. I have to go. If you have the time, I’ll be home by three. We really need to talk.”
“Aight, do you, then.” He waved a half-hearted goodbye, turned around, and headed into the house. I headed off to work to plaster a fake smile on my face as though all was right in my world again.