It was the spring of 2004 and I pulled up to the white townhouse on Park Avenue and was speechless. I could not believe that I was going to be staying here for a month. I was one of the eight finalists chosen in a sweepstake to live in this townhouse with seven other classmates from my senior class of 1994 in Public School 9. To my knowledge, this was the first time something like this was ever done. I was a bit anxious and excited because I wanted to know how my former classmates were doing with their lives.
I waited for this day since I received the e-mail a few weeks ago. Many thoughts roamed around my head. This was the perfect time for me to catch up with old friends and confront enemies, rekindle an old relationship, network with old friends, and take care of unfinished business. I hope that my old classmates still remember me, Murphy.
I was a twenty-one-year-old brown-skinned African-American man with a shaved head and athletic build. People often say that I resembled Roc-A-Fella artist Cam’ron, but a shade darker. I recently graduated from City College with a degree in English.
I entered the townhouse with my luggage, and I inhaled the fragrant wafts of Mr. Clean that emanated from the place. I loved the wooden floors and the vintage paintings that hung on the white walls. I began to get Goosebumps just thinking about living here for a few weeks.
As I walked in the living room, I finally saw some familiar faces from the old school. Faces whom I truly believe I would not see again in this lifetime. There were Sonny, Christopher, Joquim, Yesica, Shakerah, Bonny, and Lotus. They all looked good! I went around greeting them all with a pound and a hug.
Let me talk about the fellers first. Sonny was my best friend back in elementary school. He was a short, clean-cut African-American blessed with good looks. He had an amazing talent for art. I considered him the best artist I had ever encountered.
Christopher, another good friend of mine was Puerto Rican. He was short, burly and had a pale complexion. Christopher often hangs out on the corner of 84th Street and Amsterdam Avenue with his friends from that block.
Joquim was another cool dude. He was half-Dominican and half Puerto Rican. He modeled for the Gap and Calvin Klein. Joquim was so full of himself that just about everybody in our class could not stand him. Joquim fought so much that he might hold the record for most fights in the school.
Now, these girls were the most popular in the class. I remembered them always hanging out and wearing the latest fashion. They were also all of our exes. Personally, it was quite rewarding having them as roommates.
Yesica was a tall, Domician woman with long brown hair and a pretty face. She had a nice personality and perfect smile. Yesica was also Sonny’s ex-girlfriend. They were voted best couple in our senior class.
Shakerah was my ex-girlfriend. She was African-American and blessed with a banging body. The mole above her lip only added to her beauty. Shakerah resembled a young Janet Jackson, and every time I saw the “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” music video, I often think about her.
Bonny was a pint-sized cutie mixed with Black and Italian. She had nice shoulder length brown hair, and a body that could attract both sexes. Bonny was the type that liked to hang out with the boys and talk about WWF. Bonny and Joquim had a brief relationship.
Lotus was Christopher’s ex-girlfriend. She was a gorgeous light-skinned Black woman with long straight black hair and green eyes. Back in Elementary, we pretty much could not stand each other. We argued about anything and came close to fighting numerous times. After ten years, I wonder if we can live and tolerate each
A few minutes later, the owner of the townhouse came downstairs to meet and greet everybody. His name was George, a millionaire, who looked like a retired playboy with his gray hair. Just by looking at him, I can tell he was friendly and down to earth.
“Good morning and welcome to my townhouse.” He said softly. “I’m happy to see y’all getting acquainted and doing some capturing up. As you know, the eight of you were chosen out of a lottery from your senior class of 1994 to participate in this first special project. The wonderful people from your old school have agreed to rent my townhouse for a month so the eight of you can live and work together for a month. You all are responsible to write about the experience by the 30th day as if it was a class assignment. Have fun and take extra care of my place.”
After George said his goodbye, we took a quick tour around the townhouse. The girls occupied the bedrooms upstairs and the fellers had the bedrooms downstairs. The rooms were big enough for two people so Sonny and I shared a room. We had so much in common. We both wore the same size and had similar styles. Sonny reminded me of the platinum-selling rapper Fabolous because of the way he dressed. He had nothing but throwback jerseys with the caps and sneakers to match. I just knew I could rock his wardrobe with no problem so I pretty much did not have to worry about wearing any of my outfits twice.
After we settled, Christopher and Joquim came inside the room and we all started chatting away. The ambiance in the bedroom was positive. It felt like we continue where we left off in school.
“Man, it has been a long time right?” Joquim said. “Wow, ten years since the last time we had seen each other.”
“Yeah, I was looking for you two asses.” Christopher was pointing at Sonny and I. “I was going to go on the Jenny Jones Show to try to find y’all.”
“I haven’t forgotten about you, Sonny or Joquim.” I continued. “All I could think about was how you guys and the rest of our old classmates turned out. I wanted to know who succeeded or who got married.”
“I’m not even going to lie I thought Murphy was going to be thugged out.” Christopher joked.
“For real?” I murmured.
“Back in school you were crazy.” Joquim expressed. “You were ready to fight anybody even the teachers. I thought you would fuck around and be in jail.”
After talking about the good old days of Elementary school, we gathered around in the living room with our exes and reminisced. Looking around the room, I could tell that everybody was happy to see their old friends and exes. We were sipping sodas and eating popcorn like youngsters.
“Hook ups in the house,” Shakerah continued. “Do you think it’s a possibility or not?”
“I think so.” Joquim quickly answered.
“I don’t know.” Yesica said.
“All this love we have in this house, shit why not.” I jested.
Laughter broke out as I gave all the fellers a pound.
“On the serious tip though,” Christopher chuckled. “It is good to see everybody again.”
“Yeah, it is.” Lotus agreed. “I wasn’t expecting to see any of you guys.”
“Okay.” Bonny smiled. “I thought I was going to be living with students from another senior class.”
“Good thing we know each other because this would have been a crazy experience if we were strangers.”
Sonny said. “I don’t feel comfortable living with people that I don’t know.”
“Sure you’re right.” Yesinia replied.
Later on that evening, we went to Jake’s Dilemma for some drinks. We had a great time hanging out. I was looking forward to more nights like this with my friends from the past!