DreamGirls: Deena's Story

We all know the story of the Dreams. We all know how Effie's change from Lead to back up singer almost destroyed her career....we know about Lorrell's love affair with Jimmy Thunder Early; who was also a married man. But what about Deena. The Star of the Dreams who also was once accused of stealing her best friends man; who was their manager. What really happened? Is Deena truly a innocent woman who got controlled by a man using her as his claim to fame? Or did she truly get consumed by fame and fortune? Did she trade in her Friend for the Flashing lights?

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1. 18....what now?

  

 

      Although It was many years ago, I still remember that summer very well. How the three of us were fresh out of High school and eager to get our careers off the ground. 18 years old and we felt like it was the height of our lives; when in fact it had barely even begun. Especially for me little Deena Jones!  The only child of Gloria Jones; the daughter of the school teacher who didn't play no mess when any and nobody. My mother was always strict. It was Deena! come straight home from school. Deena do your homework and study for an hour right afterwards. Deena no going out on school nights. Deena! No boys...no boys cause they aint no good;Even the nice ones. All they leave you with is a broken hearted. I Tell you what I know...your daddy did it to me! And Last and certainly not least Deena Jones! Singing does not pay the bills....

     Yeah...my momma was strict on me. It was bad enough the kids at school picked on me for being skinny. They called me Deena Bones behind my back. When I was twelve I remember hearing this prissy girl name Sarah Mae go "Look ya...Deena Bones walking on by...watch out! Don't bump into her she might break!" The hallway roared in laughter as she pointed and snickered beside her friends. I just clutched my books tighter and walked down the hall; trying my best to hide the tears. But by the time the bell rang I was balling by a locker; nobody cared. Well somebody cared. I heard

     "Hey Sister?" come from directly behind me.


I turned around to see who had call and lord and behold; it was Effie White. I remembered her from church she sang the lords prayer in the choir. I remember sitting in that pew getting chills down my spine. Her voice was so powerful that she over sang the choir and the organ player easily. My mom would go "Hmph there go miss White singing loud enough to wake the dead. Girl we here you" she's mumble. But me...I was mesmerized. She was curvy...thick curly hair and more body then I could ever dream to have. She also had style; not afraid to show off her figure In all the right ways. Not a drop of makeup on her face and yet she was simply beautiful. And now...she was talking to me.

    "Sister?" She said again "Are you alright?" She handed me a tissue. I said thank you and quickly wiped my face and nose. I said yes I'm fine...I...i'll be okay I just need a min to pull myself together.

    She then nodded "Well alright...Not to get all in your business but I heard what Sarah mae said and it aint right. you shouldn't take that laying down. Girl stand up for yourself....I would. Nobody dare talk to me like they crazy. If so they got a death wish." 


    I chucked a little at the way she said it. And she wasn't bluffing either you could tell. Nobody messed with her...I admired her voice; and now I admired her spirit. I looked at her, then looked at me and said 


     "I'm not strong like you; or beautiful as you are I cant. I can only walk away."


"Girl!" She said with sass and a bit or irritation.


  "Do you own a mirror at all honey? Or all you legally blind cause what I see is beautiful black queen in front of me. Your hair is thick and long as ever in that ponytail. Your eyes are round and piercing. Slim like a fashion model. Your lips full and luscious and your coffy brown skin just seems to glow baby. And it aint the sun oh no its raining outside. Of course they pick on you...look at you! Your beautiful sweetie. Act like it" 

   Wow I thought....her words were so beautiful; nobody had said I was beautiful like that. And from that moment on...I was going to take her word for it. We became friends that day and soon we were walking home together. We were studying class together...and one day...Singing?


     I still remember the school year had ended and I was finally allowed to be outside! Well atleast until the street like came on. My momma thought Effie was very outspoken yet; she was happy to see that I had a friend. So she bent a little and let me hang out with her a little more. She was also friends with Lorrell. She was always doing peoples hair on her stoop for money...and she was sassy and funny. We all quickly became closer that summer and then it happened. Effie was singing a song Etta james Tell mama. Killing it...and then Lorrell jumped in and sung another part...then they said "come on Deena...loosing up." And I said....in a soft voice "Tell mama...all about it...tell momma...what you neeeedd....telllll momma...what you want....and i'll make everything alright." And Cee Cee went:

   "Whooo. Ya sound good...ya should be a group! Sing some of my songs....and let me teach you a move or two."

He did a quick spin around me...and I laughed. Cee Cee was Effie's brother...and he to could sing but was known for his poetry and his dancing. At first we laughed at his idea...but after awhile...we just started singing more and more together..Practicing everyday that we could. Before long we were harmonizing to all the latest songs, dancing at all the block parties. Singing in church...and on the bus and train.....Before we knew it we became the dreammettes. We didn't force it it just came to be....my mom actually came up with our name. Said we were the dreammettes cause we were stuck in dream land! 


      Yeah that's how we met....how we got started. I went from that frail little skinny girl to; well skinny girl with a sense of fashion. Thanks to Effie I experimented with my clothes. I was a great sower and I would go to the thrift store and  re animate some old frumpy clothes into something custom made just for me. My mom didn't care cause it kept me in the house. I had a make up bag but didn't dare wear any around her. Just some lipstick in school or when I was out with the girls. Effie white helped me come into my own...I loved her for that. She believed in me...and when it came to our group we all had roles to play. Lorrell did our hair and our makeup since she was extra good at that. I came up with our Looks, Cee Cee made our songs and steps and Effie; she was the lead as well as the leader. She really pushed us through high school...but now we were 18. High school was over. No more school talent shows to sing at. Yet old enough to do sock hops. My momma was cool cause it kept me out of trouble...but now I was an adult and accepted to northwestern in the fall. 

       My momma was proud and expected me to leave the dreammettes behind. I never said to her then...but I wasn't ready to do that. I wasn't ready to give up on my dream. Lorrell was working at her aunts beauty salon...Effie hated her job as a Waitress at a diner. Cee Cee worked at a car lot....none of us wanted this. But Life was kicking in. And as I reminisced while washing those dishes...I said then and there..."We got to do something now. Before its too late." We had to get discovered before life swallowed us in the normal hole....we were not meant to bus table, just do hair, sale cars or me...become a teacher. That wasn't my destiny it wasn't any of our destiny's. I had to do something, we needed something to keep us going....but what? 

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