Visiting from New York, and somewhat glad to be back with her friends and brother, Shane sat on the stoop of their old apartment building and leaned against Victory’s shoulder.

He playfully nudged her a few times before finally giving up. “I wish you would get that big ass head off of my shoulder. It’s gonna be numb by the time we leave.”

“Shut the hell up Vic. We haven’t seen one another in months, and as soon as I get back, this is what you do? Still a jackass.”

He smirked and shrugged. Though he was normally the nice one, there wasn’t much he had to be nice or happy about lately. “Well, let me be a jackass then.”

Shane looked at her brother and sighed. “Come on Vic, be real; what do you have to be sad about? You’re in this amazing band, y’all songs are being played everywhere. Not to mention, they’re the bomb. Your groupies have come flocking back by the thousands, you’re finally making good money, and you’re traveling. What is there to be sad about?”

“A lot.”

“Vic, I think-”

Before she could continue, they were interrupted. “So y’all just start things without me? I know you hate me Shane, but Vic, you could have made her wait.” Cory looked around. “Where’s Shaye?”

Shane rolled her eyes before standing up to hug her friend. “Missed you too Snowflake, and De’Shaye is still in Paris. She won’t be back for another month or two.”

“Damn, I should have begged to tag along. That’s like the vacation of a lifetime. Anyway, hey Vic. I know you heard me speaking.”

He looked up over the rim of his sunglasses and spoke lowly. “Sup?”

Cory rolled her eyes and sat down on one of the lower steps, shaking her head. “Well, we see who’s not glad to be back. Anyway, I missed you guys, catch me up on everything. Shane, how’s your little shop?”

“My little shop, Trick, was just expanded and I’ve really gotten popular with tourists. My guess is that I’m being recommended when they ask where the best dessert shops are, and I’m so grateful for it.”

“Aww, that’s wonderful, Tramp, I’m so happy for you.”

Shane laughed, shaking her head. “Yeah, I see pure happiness in that fake smile.”

Victory shook his head before leaning back on his elbows. He thought that by now, with them all living in separate states, his sister and Cory would have a better relationship, without the name calling. “Can’t you two be nice to one another for once?”

“Bro, this is us being nice. If we were still calling one another bitches, then you could be concerned about how we handle one another.”

Cory nodded. “Right. I’ll have you know, Victory, that Shane and I talk to one another, and have genuine conversations, at least once every two weeks.”

“Yep! That’s a big improvement from the fake civilized conversations we had when we were living together.”

Victory looked at the both of them. “Ridiculous. Anyway, tell me again why we had to come back and meet up here.”

Shane spoke up. “I don’t know, I just thought it’d be nice to see you guys. I wish I hadn’t left my key behind, we could be inside eating up whatever snacks Shaye left behind.”

Cory groaned. “Ughh, Shaye kept ALL the good snacks man. She would have the things we had when we were kids.”

“Right! Like Girl, where the hell do you find the long Laffy Taffy ropes.”

“Yes!” Cory leaned forward, resting her elbows on her knees. “Remember in elementary school when one of the custodians would stand outside of the cafeteria and sell snacks at lunch and recess.”

Victory shook his head. “Nah, I don’t remember that.”

Shane cleared her throat, speaking lowly. “That’s because your nasty ass was too busy looking up skirts. I remember though! Ohhh, Mr. Barry used to have EVERYTHING! Man, back in the day, school was just the best.”

“Nap time.”

“Yes Cory! I feel like now, as an adult, as a married adult, I need a legit reason to take a nap. I feel bad if I get caught sleeping in the middle of the day.”

Cory laughed. “I got caught with my head down on my desk. When my boss slammed a binder down to wake me up, I jumped up thinking I was gonna get beat with a ruler.”

“Ha! Remember that year you spent in that catholic school?”

Cory sighed, shaking her head. “Please don’t remind me. I don’t care what nobody says; those damn rulers hurt. Then I had a boyfriend once that wanted to spank me with rulers. I had never called somebody so many bastards and motherfuckers in my life.”

Victory finally laughed. “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.”

“Eww, you let women spank you, Vic?”

“Hell no, Shane.” He smirked, licking his lips. “I do the spanking. Go back to talking about the concession stands though. School did have all of the good snacks.”

Shane nodded, naming everything she could remember. “Laffy Taffys, the small ones and the ropes. Nerds, honey buns, Hot Fries, Lik-A-Stix, every type of Little Debbie snack imaginable…”

“The zebra cakes!”

“Yes! Ohhhh, I stayed stocked up on zebra cakes, all in my booksack and cubby holes.”

Victory laughed at his sister, believing her. “What else did we have?”

“Those lil’ hug juices, lemon heads, boston baked beans, every Wonka candy ever made. The bubble gum that they had in the containers, the ones they made look like bandaids. Y’all remember that?” Cory and Victory both nodded. “Jolly Ranchers, jaw breakers, blow pops… oh my God, what else Vic… what we stayed begging Mommy to buy us?”

He leaned forward and thought about it for a second. “Those damn wonderballs, and she stayed telling us NO. The hell I look like giving y’all chocolate balls for?”

“Right! And we would burst out laughing because our minds went straight to the gutter.”

Victory laughed, nodding his head while Cory shook hers. “Y’all were just nasty.”

“No Cory, just Victory. Vic’s been nasty all of his life, I just had my few moments as a child. Oo, oo, y’all remember Warheads?”

“I hated them thangs!”

Victory and Shane both looked at Cory and the scowl on her face. “Aww, did Little Cory have a bad experience.”

“Yeah. Some ugly ass little boy thought it would be cute to try and shove a bunch down my throat and I choked. Then the jackass teased me ‘cause I turned red and then blue before a teacher finally helped me.”

“Damn! You just had it rough. Teachers beating that ass with rulers and classmates trying to choke you. Poor Cory.”

Cory reached over and pushed Shane, laughing a little. “Forget you Shane, but y’all, for real, life was actually the best when we were growing up. No responsibilities, no real fears.”

Victory nodded his head in agreement. “We grew up at the best time too. The 90s. We had the best music, the best shows and movies.”

“Oh man, when Mommy and Daddy would take us to concerts and the artists actually performed instead of just standing on stage!”

“Right! Ohhhh Man, I legit passed out when we saw TLC live.”

Shane laughed at her brother, remembering the moment as if it’d just happened. “You were IN LOVE with T-Boz, and as soon as she came out and they started singing If I Was Your Girlfriend, you started screaming. We were on the second or third row, and she actually looked at you.”

Victory laughed, feeling a little embarrassed. “Man, I screamed like a lil’ hoe and passed out. Aye, but don’t make me talk about how you cut up behind The Backstreet Boys.”

Shane shrugged. “I have no shame. I was in love with them, especially Nick Carter. You couldn’t tell me that wasn’t gon’ be my husband. I had names for all of our pretty mixed babies and everything.”

Cory shook her head. “That is so tragic.”

“Oh, so Cory… you didn’t act a fool behind N*Sync?”

“No, I didn’t.”

“So you didn’t scream your damn lungs out when you got chosen and you got to hug Justin Timberlake?”


“LIES!! I swear if you were old enough at the time, you would have done something to that poor boy, would’ve had Britney Spears trying to beat your ass.”

Victory laughed, clearing his throat. “Damn, now I miss being a kid. We legit had fun and we didn’t need anything crazy. We had no phones, internet wasn’t shit, me and Shane had basic cable…”

“Right, and had to miss all them good ass Disney concerts.”

“But when we got it though, Shane, what were our shows?”

“Yo! So Weird, The Jersey, & Jett Jackson. Fuck whatever else was going on, when those three shows were on, even our parents weren’t allowed to bother us.”

Victory sighed. “Man, that just made me remember that time Mom whipped me because I told her to get out of my face.”

“Wait, I don’t remember that, Vic!”

He cleared his throat. “I was watching All That and it was the episode with Tia & Tamera, and you know Tamera was my future wife. I told Mom to get out of my face and stop bothering me. I thought she let it slide, but as soon as it went off … she tore my ass up!”

Cory fell out laughing, seeing it in her head because she knew their mother did not play about talking back. “Woo, forgive me for saying this, but I’m so glad my parents didn’t believe in spanking. I just got put in timeout.”

“And it didn’t work. I bet they wish they would have whipped you.”

Cory looked at Victory and smirked. “They wouldn’t have done it. I was that white kid that would have called CPS and acted overly dramatic.”

Shane gasped. “Now that is sad.”

“What, I’m just being honest! Man, if they were huge back in the day, my mom would have had to put a leash on me.”

Victory leaned back, laughing.

Shane spoke up next. “That is ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody says though y’all, we had the best clothes in the 90s.”

“Nah, y’all girls had the best clothes. Oh, I loved watching the older girls walk around our neighborhood with those short skirts and tank tops with no bra.”

“With knee high socks and the platform shoes.”

“The ones like the Spice Girls wore.”

“Yesssssss Cory! I swear, I would look at them and say that I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. I was so convinced I was gonna dress like them.”

Victory laughed again, looking at his sister. “Enough to give Dad a heart attack. He shut that down quick. Damn y’all, I miss being a kid.”

“Me too. How’s that song go?”

“What song, Cory?”

She looked at Victory and smiled. “You know the song, the one at the beginning of The Wood. The one we stayed singing! Remember you brought that walkman to school with the tape after you bought it and we got in trouble for listening to it in class?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot all about that Cory. Uh, shit… I don’t remember how it goes.”

Shane smiled. “I remember. Back in the days, when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore-

Cory and Victory joined in. “But somedays I sit and wish I was a kid again.

And I remember when!

I remember way back then!


Cory stood up, dancing while Shane and Victory continued singing. “Back in the day. Back in the day!

“Ayeee, I deadass used to play Hide And Go Get It too. Got my first kiss and a whole lot more playing that game.”

“Vic, you’ve just been a little man whore all of your life!”

He shrugged. “It served me well until recently. I have no regrets.”

Shane laughed at her brother. “What the hell were we in a rush to grow up for? I swear, I wish I could go back to being like five or six again. Life was so easy. We had no bills, no problems with friends, barely had homework … and my first, and favorite thing, NAPS. We had naps, every day.”

“Right, and we could go outside and actually play without having to worry about something happening. Whenever we did fight, we fought with our hands and IF you lost, shit was squashed and you went on with your life until the next fight with someone else.”

“Yes! Bruh, I can’t tell you how many lil skanks I beat down and went on like nothing ever happened.”

“You were just a bully, Shane.”

She shrugged. “But people learned and knew not to fuck with me once we got to high school.”

He laughed. “Right. Aye, thanks for this conversation though y’all. It really made me feel better.”

Cory cleared her throat. “I’m still trying to figure out what the hell you’re sad for? You’ve got life, family and friends, and money. Everything else we want falls into place when the time is right. What are you sad for?”

Victory shrugged. “I don’t even know anymore. But you know, all of this reminiscing has me thinking, maybe I need to go back a little. Remember and do a few of the things that made me happy back in the day.” He cleared his throat, standing up to stretch. “Look at that, now I realize that I actually missed y’all.”

“Negro, you’re my brother. You better miss me.”

Victory looked at his sister for a few seconds before walking past her to head to his car. “If thinking I missed you helps you sleep at night, then believe that.” He laughed, ducking when she threw her sandal at him. All they needed to complete the conversation was De’Shaye, but all-in-all; Shane, Cory, and Victory were glad they took a day out of their schedules to come back. It wasn’t what they planned, but the conversation changed their moods completely, and now it wouldn’t be so hard to sit around one another for the rest of the evening.

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