Karen returned to her apartment to find Cicely lounging on her couch. Cicely had put on a pair of tattered blue jeans, a wife beater tee, and a pair of Air Force Ones. Her feet were propped up and she was reading a magazine like nothing had ever happened. When Karen entered the apartment, Cicely only looked up enough to roll her eyes.
“Cicely, I want you out of my house.”
Karen was supremely calm when she spoke those words; words that were not acknowledged at all by Cicely. So Karen walked over to Cicely, gently tapped her on the shoulder, and again politely asked her to leave. But Cicely slapped Karen’s hand extremely hard and sneered, “Get your hands off me!”
Karen jumped back and this caused Cicely to leap to her feet.
“Yeah, come with it!” Cicely shouted. “I’ll beat you down in your own living room!”
Karen retreated to the front door; her steps quick and purposeful. Karen thought about the beat down in Ma Geneva’s living room. The pain she felt then as Cicely pounced on her. It was as fresh in her memory as yesterday. So yes, Karen retreated to the front door.
But perhaps retreat is not the proper word to use for Karen’s movement. Indeed she appeared to be running from Cicely, just like she always did. But in actuality, she was rushing to lock the front door. She locked the knob, the deadbolt, and then the chain latch. She wanted to make sure that Cicely couldn’t escape. Karen had finally snapped.
An Ode for Orchids is a novel about four young women and the challenges that they face, such as making bad choices in men, dealing with infidelity, struggling with promiscuity, and dealing with rejection. But perhaps the most daunting challenge is dealing with the animosity that one woman can have for another woman. Time will reveal whether or not each of them will be strong enough to face the challenges that life will offer them.
For more information about this novel and other works from James Fant, please visit www.jamesfantbooks.com