Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sample of "Video Light" the novel

My novel "Video Light" is an urban romance story, based in Toronto, featuring a couple who are learning about themselves, about life, and about love. Delia Chinn is a 29-year-old Jamaican-Canadian dancehall princess who raised herself in the city’s west end; Ryan Wright is a humble school teacher, also 29, who grew up in a Christian household with strict Trinidadian parents. They meet at a party on Caribana Sunday and end up in a whirlwind romance, challenged by their sceptical friends and family who think they are too different to fall in love...


Unfortunately, Tuesday morning had to finally arrive. After a breakfast of omelets and orange juice, I drove Delia across the street to the Town Centre so she could begin work. Returning to my condo didn’t even feel the same, when I re-entered the space we had occupied together.

I’m sprung…dawg she got me…” Mike sang T-Pain’s song into the phone when I called him at noon. I knew he was on his lunch break–he was an accountant for Rogers Media–and I hadn’t heard from him since the previous day. “Got me doing things I’d never do…” he continued, stopped only by his laughter.

“Yeah, you think it’s funny?” I asked, turning on the television to check the weather forecast for the rest of the week. “Laugh now, understand later.”

“I don’t even know what to say, guy. You let the whole day pass and couldn’t even link me back. You and Miss Chinn over there tearing up the rug.”

“It wasn’t even like that, man,” I said, putting my feet up on the table.

“Of course it was like that. Don’t try to front like you’re over there reading poetry and s*it.”

“Come on, man. Give me some credit. Give her some credit!” I said, looking over at Delia's sandals by the door. “We just had a nice day together. Got to know each other. Cooked her dinner. Everything went smoothly.”

“Aright, aright. I see you’re taking this seriously now, so I’ll stop. So everything’s straight?”

“Believe me, bredren.”

“And you really think there’s something there?”


“OK, OK,” he said, taking a bite of something. “I just hope you know what you’re doing. Them girls are dangerous you know.”

"What do you mean dem girls?” I asked. “What girls?”

“Those party girls. At the dance three nights a week, bunning a big spliff, drinking Smirnoff Ice and RockStar and getting men to buy them shots at the bar. We’ve seen them in action over the years, and you and I both know not a damn thing’s changed.”

“So she likes to go out. Nuttin’ wrong with that."

“I know, just be careful.”

"Mike, man. I don’t like the way you’re dealing with me, guy. I feel like I just hit the f*cking jackpot, and you’re bringing all this skepticism. What’s up with that?”

“I’m just trying to be the voice of reason man, like you always say. Trying to put things in perspective for you, before you drown.”

“Why I gotta drown? Why I can’t swim, Mike?” I asked, trying to force a laugh.

“You and dat deh hot gyal? I’m throwing you a life preserver from now.”
“I can’t handle it?”

“You can try. It’s not like she’s a regular pretty girl out there either, RW. This is like the dime piece of Toronto. All I’m saying is be careful.”

That was the last time I talked to Mike for a few days. I could admit it: I was wrapped up in her. I picked her up from work on Tuesday evening, stopped by her humble basement apartment so she could pick up a few things, and we went back to my place to chill. Dinner was waiting for her when we got back, we ate, we watched a little TV, and continued to talk about a little bit of nothing, just happy to be around each other.

And the routine continued. Wednesday. Thursday. When Friday finally came and I knew I’d have her to myself for the weekend, I couldn’t have been happier. Except this time when I dropped her home on Friday, her cell phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

I was sitting on a plastic chair in her living room, in the dim apartment, watching as she unpacked and repacked her overnight bag. The phone had gone through three consecutive calls without her picking up, until she finally stopped what she was doing, and put her hand on her hip.

“Honestly,” she said, reaching into her purse to pick up the phone. “Hello?” she asked, walking back to her bathroom to pack few more toiletries for the weekend. “I just stopped by my house for a minute, about to go back to Ryan’s place.” She paused, and came back out of the washroom to roll her eyes at me. “OK girl, whatever you say. I’ll link you when I get there.”

“What was that all about?” I asked her. Over the past few days, I think I had received the entire history of Delia Chinn, from the grade school stories, to the present day drama with her girlfriends. They were always having some issues, and being the single–and relatively unattached one–Delia was always the recipient of the news.

“Shannon says I need to check out TeeDotVibes when I get to your house. I hate that s*it, Ryan. The only time I end up seeing it is when I’m with Shannon. She’s addicted to it. It’s disgusting.”

“I used to go on from time to time, but after a while I realized it’s all nonsense anyhow,” I confessed, slightly embarrassed because I usually logged on to check out pictures and video of her.

“When I have liquor in my system, I always end up posing for the most amount of pictures. Especially when I’m with Kimmy. That girl loves the video light, in any form,” she said, zipping up her bag and pulling it up over her shoulder. She grabbed her purse with her free hand. “Aright, let’s roll.”

I followed Delia up the stairs, she grabbed her mail, and we headed back into my car. I was addicted to her. It still hadn’t been a week, but I felt like I already knew all that I needed to know. She was open enough to share many of the important experiences and lessons in her life with me, and in return, I also let her know about the happenings in my own world.

Each morning I served her breakfast before she went to work, every evening I had her dinner ready when she returned, and each night we went up to the roof to watch the sun set while she smoked, returning to the couch to chill and talk some more. Sometimes we didn’t even need the TV on, because our conversation alone was interesting. I couldn’t get enough of her, and thankfully, I think she felt the same about me.

Since it was Friday, I decided to take her out to eat, instead of going right back to my place. We just went to the Jack Astor’s across the street from the condo, and sat back in our booth for nearly three hours, talking about all the great dances we had been to over the years, from the nineties, straight to the present time. We had been to many of the same places, and crossed paths numerous times.

It was interesting to hear the tales from her perspective, to hear the perks she and the girls had received simply for being hot and energetic, and also to hear the ridiculous stories of men trying to get into their circle. She knew how to have fun, and I liked that about her. Even though Mike had been trying to break away from the club scene since the year began, I still didn’t mind going out every now and then to hear what the DJs were saying.

As we wrapped up our restaurant visit, Delia’s cell wouldn’t stop ringing. She eventually put the phone on silent mode, and left it that way until we were back at my place, ready to settle in for the night. She warned me that her girls would be calling, ready to see what was going on for the night. Around eleven, she picked up the phone to check her missed calls and inform them that she wasn’t going anywhere.

“I think I’m gonna have to pass on whatever’s going down tonight,” she said, picking up the phone when Lisa-Anne called yet again. Her silence let me know that the clubbing was not Lisa-Anne’s reason for calling. “OK, Shannon called me about this s*it earlier. I really don’t want to bother, girl,” she said, looking at me with concerned eyes. “OK, fine, fine. I’ll call you right back.”

“What’s up? Everything OK?”

“First Shannon told me to check the website, and now Lisa-Anne’s saying that there’s some s*it about me and Kimmy on there,” she said, looking over to the table where my laptop sat. “Do you mind? Otherwise I won’t hear the end of this.”

I brought my computer over to the couch, and logged onto the popular website, TeeDotVibes. Clicking into the Chat Bout section, I saw that Miss Chinn’s name was the subject of a few discussion chains. Delia asked me to skim it for her, and give her the update, while she began to take off her nail polish. It didn’t take me long to get the general gist of what was going down.

People were saying that Delia’s girl Kimmy was secretly hooking up with KG, who I assumed to be her ex-boyfriend Kirk, and that the ‘Goodas Crew’ was on the verge of dismantling.

“Is this for real?” I said, now realizing the time and effort some people put into fabricating stories, just for entertainment purposes. Before, I didn’t mind logging on to see a few pictures, but now, the whole concept seemed completely invasive and disturbing.

“What does it say?”

“Basically that Kimmy and Kirk have something going on, and you don’t know about it,” I said to her, shaking my head. “Some people really have time on their hands, huh?”

Delia kissed her teeth, shook her head, and continued to take off the polish on her fingernails. Curious, I read through a few more postings, and almost became concerned with the jumbled details and bad grammar. I closed the computer, Delia turned off her phone, and we decided to watch television for the evening until we passed out on my couch together...

To order your copy of "Video Light" please visit one of the Toronto sales locations, or purchase the book online @ eBay.

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying the feel. I been there, done dem. LOL. But the dancehall is our ground...who knows it, feels it. Loving the vibez.