David Michael O’Quinn:


"Who I Am and What I Want"


Donald Windham


Desiré Andersen stands with her eyes closed on the darkened stage at Club Café in Boston. The first beat of “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyoncé starts, and the crowd applauds. The lights go up onstage revealing Desiré dressed exactly like Beyoncé as well as her backup dancers Jerome Hart and Curtis Züniga.

       Desiré looks out at the crowd as she’s performing and catches a glimpse of someone walking away; she recognizes those eyes in the sea of people, but continues with the dance routine. Cell phones with their video cameras illuminate the room. After the last beat of the song, the lights go down onstage; the crowd once again explodes with applause.

       Moments later walking through the crowd she sees her people: her adoptive parents Ritchard & Kimberly Andersen along with their son Bryant and daughters Monica & Rachel, her former coworkers Steven Maine & Krissy Lee, Monica’s boyfriend couldn’t make it, but Desiré’s is there; well her fiancé now. He stands staring at her, before she walks over and hugs him.

       While kissing him her life flashes before her.

Chapter 1

Six year-old Elijah Davis plays with the tie of his black suit in the front row of the Springfield Funeral Parlor; while his mother Dorothea stumbles towards the open casket. The black veil from her black pillbox hat barely conceals the mascara streaks on her dark brown face. One of her black gloved hands is firmly planted over the chest of her black dress suit; the other locked around her twelve year-old son Dorian. Taking the jacket off of his black suit he tries his best to hold his mother up as she walks closer to the casket. Staring at her husband peacefully resting in the casket she sobs uncontrollably. Elijah walks up to comfort her, but Dorian pushes him back; defeated Elijah plops back into his seat. Dorothea throws herself on the casket. Dorian and a few attendants pull her back.

Four years later ten year-old Elijah is in the front seat of the packed Ford Station Wagon that turns on the road leading into Pheasant Hill Village in Feeding Hills located south of Springfield, MA near the Connecticut border. Sixteen year-old Dorian is in the back seat listening to his Walkman with his earphones on with Dorothea driving.

“Wow, Mommy, this place looks beautiful,” exclaims Elijah. Just then Dorian kicks under Elijah’s seat. “Mommy, Dorian kicked my seat.”

“Dorian, stop kicking the seat!” Dorothea says while looking into the rear view mirror.

Dorian innocently retorts, “I didn’t. He’s making it up. Remember how he made up that other story.”

Dorothea pulls the car over. She looks disapprovingly at Elijah. “What did I tell you about making things up?”

“No, but he’s fibbing. I don’t fib.” Elijah protests.

Dorothea sighs before finally putting the Station Wagon in “Park.” She grips the wheel. “Now, we are in a new town. We are away from all that bad energy we had to endure since your father died. Do you think he’d want you acting up like this? Think about that.”

Elijah stares at his mother. He looks into her eyes and realizes he’s not the favorite child. He chooses to simply says “I’m sorry” and shuts his mouth. He turns away and looks out the window.

Dorothea smiles at Elijah as she rubs the top of his head. She looks in the rear view mirror at Dorian’s smirk. She again sighs to herself. If Dorian gets this behavior out now, maybe he won’t feel the need to express himself later. He’s a good kid just acting out because of his father’s passing. She thinks to herself.

She resumes a smile back at Elijah as she looks up at the townhouse door to 36 Pheasant Run Drive. She has so much hope for her children.  She turns fully around and looks at Dorian whose smirk changes to a smile. She remembers how helpful Dorian was when she and her husband Kendrick brought Elijah home as a baby. Elijah’s first few years of life where governed by Dorian’s constant presence. It wasn’t until Elijah turned five Dorian’s utter distain for Elijah’s existence began to show.

Dorian still shaking his head to the music from his Walkman looks out the car window; he sees nothing. He rolls his eyes at the thought of now having to share a bedroom with someone he hates, someone he wishes was never born, but also someone he will make miserable the entire time they are here. He smiles at the last thought, and he turns the volume up on his Walkman.

Eight year-old Alicia Andersen walks up with her siblings six year-old triplets Bryant, Monica, and Rachel. The blond hair freckled face foursome stand at the car window. They wave and smile at Elijah. He smiles back and turns to Dorothea. She nods as he opens the car door. The adorable blond foursome backs up to give Elijah room to get out…