Pt III. Melrose Place: Luna Melrose

Melrose.

She was born out of necessity. It wasn’t a formal affair or a planned event; Melrose came into this world as means of escape. She was created to be the voice. The ‘no’, the fight back and the fearless Melrose would be the reason Luna didn’t have to be quiet.

Luna, the youngest of three girls and her sisters were both nearly 10 years older than she. In many ways, she felt alone. When she was learning her way around this life thing, they were on their way out of the house. When she was coming of age and going through puberty, they were partying in college and enjoying their newfound freedom. Her at home life resembled that of an only child filled with self-entertainment, artistic creation, and music.

Her parents were divorced and shared custody, although Luna spent as much time as she could at her dad’s house. This wasn’t because she was the proverbial ‘daddy’s girl.’ In fact, it was the polar opposite; Luna and her father didn’t get along well at all. They started butting heads early when she was about 8 years old. At the time her older sisters were 17 and 18, both graduating high school at the same time, with high honors. Lennox, their father, literally doted on her elder daughters. His pride could be felt as easy as placing your hand on his chest. Lennox Gold, also known in the area as “Spin” for his unique ability to spin like MJ with gym shoes on, loved his girls Lannete and LeAundra. Luna, on the other hand, was a toss-up day-to-day.

She would later come to the belief that his palpable disdain for her existed because she did; simply put. Luna came into the world nine years after what her parents expected to be their last child. They not only wanted two kids but they could afford two kids. When Luna popped up all needy and hungry, she was welcomed by her mother, but her father saw her as a leech of all things from love to money. “Because of you, I had to work an extra job” was a phrase he often bellowed toward her during heated disagreements.

But as life would have it, the very love Lennox kept shrouded in secrecy for Luna was the love she so desperately wanted and actively sought. Her mother and father separated just before her 6th birthday and by the time she had turned seven, they were divorced and splitting holidays, birthdays and weeks up on a family scheduled that hung on both sides of the double door refrigerator at her mother’s house. Her mom, Sydney Square-Gold, didn’t want anyone to have an excuse to say they didn’t know. Whether you were getting cold milk or hard ice cream, you will know where you are to be”, her mother would say.

Both of her sisters left for school that fall, so this schedule only pertained to Luna. As often as she could get her mother to agree with, she would be with her father. Luna and her mother had an exquisite relationship and she loved her mother dearly. She never questioned her mother’s love or wondered if she needed to be doing something or become someone else to earn her affection. Those sentiments pertained only to her father, and because of that, she didn’t feel like she needed to be at home with Ms. Gold anymore but rather, at her father’s house, becoming.

And every time was the same. She would arrive with her bags to a clean room as she always left her small bedroom tidy and start working on cleaning her Lennox’s house and preparing dinner. It may seem like a lot for an 8-year-old, but Luna didn’t have time to think about her age. She was focused on love.

She spent years attempting to morph herself into her own version of her sisters in hopes that it would sway his attention. Her father worked late at an automotive plant and in her mind, him walking in the door to a fresh house and hot food was a way to earn her stripes. There were days when it seemed to work but most times, he would barely acknowledge she was there or had done anything special. She never stopped trying. Even in her teenage years, Luna wanted her father’s love.

Her father, however, wanted Luna.

He was annoyed that he had her.

He was angry that he couldn’t have her.

He also recognized her willingness to do anything for him, so when Luna was 15, he decided to give her something to do.

 

And that’s how Melrose came to be.

 

Broken Jewels: Guest Blog by Tony Styxx

Alone in my room, I could hear the millions of questions my 6yr old daughter asks her grandmother… Some are of food but most are about a game show that has been modernized that her senior still enjoys the nostalgic moments from, answering as if she were a contestant.

Then the channel has a change and a news report speaks of a current movement not seen since a King had a jewel knocked loose from his crown or since a Queen was told to leave her throne. In the walls of my home my 6yr old daughter’s questioned echoed: “Grandma, what do black lives matter mean?”

And in that moment, I was a coward. How could I explain to her that as special as she thinks she is, it means nothing in the eyes of her oppressors???

…That her laugh is only accepted when it is at her expense and that if she is going to take a picture, make sure her ass is out and her head is cocked or they won’t see you. Be caked up in so much makeup you lose your childhood. Dress older than you are, shake your ass, fight your kin and maybe you will be lucky enough to hear them say your name with distaste for its pronunciation. I laid as if postmortem had me in its grasp as I tried to find the courage to tell her she can be whatever she chooses as long as it is socially accepted or can be spun into media gold and used as a conduit to spark taboo debates about her womanhood. [I wanted to say] that you will always be the blame for our heritage’s downfall and that you are fit for pleasure; not happiness. You are only as good as your degree and only as important as their needs.

How do I tell the one I hold the highest, that she is seen as the lowest no matter how tall her spirit may be? That no matter how good she is at behaving in our home and being obedient in school, one day her reward for this kind of integrity might be a beating with white pillows that resemble daddy’s hands. [And] that ebony men will hate you for not submitting to their lack of growth and that women of noir will spite you for being original as if they can’t do the same. That no matter how diplomatic you are, the rest of the world will call you a threat.

You are no equal here.

Her voice haunts my inner sanctum.

“What does black lives matter mean?”

What DOES black lives matter mean?

It means to wear your hair with pride because your bravery should not pay the balance of their inferiority. It means to be as smart as you can and make them keep up. It means to continue dreaming in purple, walking as if rainbows fall at your feet, and keep laughing like the wind whispered a joke from God for only you to enjoy out loud. It means you have the right to be you, with no consequences.

Be thankful if you are slim and smile about your A’s, be it cups or plus. [Black Lives Matter means] a big brain beats a big behind any day. That your southern draw is an extension of your mother and you are the sweetest fruit of her roots. It means you too deserved to be loved by the world for who you are and where you come from; not as a cash cow where culture is the currency for other races who live in debt.

It means to be magic baby!!!

You carry the universe in your Afro puffs, all of Africa in your skin and generations of women weak or strong will watch you take your place in the world of struggle only to emerge a citizen of greatness.

But I speak none of this.

I only come from my door to be greeted by a chestnut grin standing less than 1000 lifetimes from God’s throne. And she says “hi daddy”!

And I cooked up the will to smile back.

I hugged my 6yr old daughter.

…Hoping that even though my words never made it to her ears, my intention made it to her heart.

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King.