Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Preview: 100 Percent Chance of Pleasure

My name’s Beverly Hollisworth and I’m a meteorologist. I’ve been a weatherwoman at WDES, a local NBC affiliate in Destin, Florida, for nearly four years. Weather has always fascinated me since I was in junior high, plus science is my favorite subject in school. In fact, I even entered a project involving weather in the school science fair and won first place. Always an excellent student, I made very good grades and graduated high school with honors. I went to college, studied meteorology, and took several courses certified by the AMS. I also took courses in speech and public speaking, which I’ve excelled in since I went to speech therapy. After all that, I even worked at a local public cable access TV studio before working at WDES, reporting weather. There was a time I boldly reported the weather outside during a category four hurricane. From there, I auditioned for and became the lead meteorologist for the WDES Morning News. The morning news would come on before The Today Show, so I had to wake up extra early each morning. I had to replace the previous meteorologist, a female named Marisa Paulsen, who moved for a meteorologist job over at an ABC affiliate in Fort Lauderdale. I was professional and presentable at informing the public at daily and weekly forecasts; I got along good with fellow anchors and station employees. I enjoyed making public appearances and speaking to kids at the schools. Things were great for the first three years until one morning. The 10-year veteran lead anchors for the morning show, Alyssa Grant and Kenneth Barlow, showed up in their usual moods. Normally on camera, they balanced each other perfectly; Alyssa was upbeat and chipper like 30-something version of Katie Couric and Kenneth was a straight, matter-of-factly, articulate version of Anderson Cooper. Everything was normal as usual on the air, but when we were about to sign off for the day, they had a big argument. Everyone in the studio heard it; the argument started when Kenneth found out that his wife Tabitha had been going out and possibly sleeping with Alyssa’s husband Cameron. Fred Underwood, the morning news sports reporter who looks like he could be Christopher Meloni’s younger twin brother, and I were treated to some daytime drama and it wasn’t even 12:30. When Tabitha and Cameron came by to visit the studio, the fight went from inside the studio to outside at the parking lot. The married spouse smackdown looked like something out of a Cheaters episode. Names and insults were thrown at each other; dirty laundry was aired out in public. Fred and I stayed inside the studio, away from the martial drama. The station owner had to talk to both Alyssa and Kenneth in his office. It seems that they both had some other problems going on, as if cheating spouses weren’t enough. After taping, I went out to the gym for my Zumba workout, which I do five to six times a week. I often go there with Vanessa Healy, who is a co-host on the station’s new hour-long afternoon show Good Day Destin, which comes on at noon before Days of Our Lives. Vanessa’s a cross between Jillian Barberie and Leann Tweeden, plus she’s a lot of fun both on and off camera. “Beverly, can I ask you something?” Vanessa asked me. “Shoot.” I replied. “How does a beautiful and smart girl like you be single?” Vanessa asked. “I’m just single. In high school and in college, I was the kind of girl you ask for homework help rather than on a date. I guess you can say I’m a walking, talking brain.” I responded. “Tonight’s is girls’ night out. Would you like join us?” Vanessa asked. “Count me in!” I happily exclaimed. That afternoon, I went to this stylish boutique called Style Profile and did some shopping. I wanted to get some pieces for when I’m going out with the girls and/or maybe (possibly) going out on a date with a guy. Majority of my own wardrobe, other than a few workout clothes and sneakers, were mostly clothes for work; there were blouses (mostly cotton), sweaters (both long and short-sleeved), a few blazers, a dark gray midi dress, plenty of pencil skirts (bright and dark colors), and shoes with one or two inch heels. The very first piece I saw and bought was this dress that had a dark grey heathered fabric top, a zipper closure in the back, and a black wet-look skirt with a blunt cut hem. I tried it on and it fitted me perfectly. I bought a lot of outfits from the boutique and had them categorized to two kinds of sexy: sexy and elegantly sexy; the very first outfit I bought was in the elegantly sexy category. Another piece I bought was a black sleeveless bodycon bandage dress a la Herve Leger with a zipper closure in the front; I put that in the sexy pile. After my shopping at Style Profile, I then went to the shoe store The Heels Are Real, which is next door to the boutique. I had bought several pairs of six-inch high heel shoes and some knee-length boots. After my shopping sprees, I went to my beachside condo and unpacked my shopping bags. Since girls’ night out was tonight, I had already picked out my outfit and got myself ready. I then got a text message from Vanessa, saying she’ll pick me up at 8:30 because she’s bringing a few more friends for girls’ night. I put on that dress that I first tried on at Style Profile and also put on a pair of black high heels. I gathered my purse, keys, cell phone, and pepper spray, all before stepping out of my apartment. At 8:30 on the dot, Vanessa arrived in her silver mid-size SUV, along with a few other females. I got into the car and sat in the front seat. The first stop on the girls’ night out was the local Mexican restaurant called La Hacienda Fiesta, which is in downtown Destin. At the restaurant, Vanessa introduced me to the other women. There was Alana Atkinson, the meteorologist over at Good Day Destin. I felt relieved to know that I’m not the only black meteorologist at the station. I was also introduced to the Perez-Ramirez sisters from Miami, whose first names are Marisol, Isabella, Elena, and Olivia. Marisol (the lead anchor) and Isabella (the meteorologist) are on Midday Miami over at WMIA-TV, an ABC affiliate in Miami. Elena’s an entertainment reporter on Univision and Olivia’s a meteorologist on Telemundo. All four sisters live in Miami, but are originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. They are a full package when it comes to beauty, brains, and bodies; I bet they all moonlight as telenovela actresses, beauty queens, and models and were probably Miss Universes in another life. “Wow, I love your dress, Beverly. Is that new?” Alana asked me as we all sat down at a booth in the restaurant. “Yes it is. I got it at this boutique here in town, among other things.” I replied as I smiled at her compliment. “I would love to see what else bought from the boutique, maybe you can put on a fashion show for us at your apartment.” Vanessa said happily. “I’d love to model my shopping haul for you girls!” I replied. “This has just given me an idea for next weekend. We all get together for a shopping spree, go to my place, and model our purchases.” I added. “That’s a great idea!” Vanessa happily agreed. “I’m in!” Alana agreed. “My sisters and I would love to see your closet, along with the rest of your apartment.” Elena said while her sisters agreed. A few minutes later, we were approached by this very cute, young white waiter with dark blonde hair and dark brown eyes. He then said, “Welcome to La Hacienda Fiesta. My name’s Alex and I’ll be your waiter tonight. Would you like something to drink?” “I’d like water with lemon and a sweet tea.” I replied as I looked into Alex’s brown eyes. “Great. How about you, miss?” Alex asked Alana. “I’ll have a Diet Coke.” Alana replied. “Agua con limon, por favor.” The Perez-Ramirez sisters responded in unison. “I’ll have a Diet Sprite with a lemon and lime.” Vanessa said. We each looked at our menus as we tried to decide on what to eat. As I looked at my menu, I briefly thought of our waiter Alex. I personally thought he’s really cute. “So Beverly, Vanessa told me that you’re single. Is that true?” Alana curiously asked. “Yes, it is true. I’m single and I’ve never ever dated, let alone hooked up with a guy.” I answered honestly. “I just wanna know, not trying to be matchmaker or anything.” Alana said. “I’ve never dated either in high school or in college.” I added. “There are plenty of fish in the sea; you got your cute, young, energetic boys and experienced, handsome, well-aged men.” Alana said to me. “You should visit Miami someday; they are plenty of hot, fit bodies there, especially the men.” Olivia said. “All are so interesting, yet I think I have my eyes set on our waiter Alex.” I replied to them.

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