Rhapsody In Violet
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Nova is a nonbinary teen who recently moved to Brooklyn New York with their Mother and older sister. After catching her husband cheating yet again, their mother files for divorce and moves back into her childhood home in Brooklyn with her Puerto Rican parents. Nova kills off their old Identity as Shawn Jackson to live their truth in their new home and finds new friends and a steamy romantic interest in the city. Aldo Reed is a young musician who recently graduated college with a liberal arts degree, not that it has done him any good. Sure the girls back in college loved the whole angsty musician gig, but now that he's out of school working as a barista in a local coffee shop by day and playing random gigs all over Brooklyn and with luck in Manhattan barely pays the bills let alone bring in real love.He has always been fine with the hook-ups, but yearns to find his true love. maybe he's just a hopeless romantic, that's what his friends all tell him, anyway. Aldo is smitten with the beauty Nova when they come to one of his gigs, yet pursuing Nova could be a challenge due to both age difference and the ambiguity of Nova's gender. What if Nova has a penis? does that make him gay if he is attracted to them?
Chapter 1 : Shawn is Dead
I am writing my own obituary. Yes, you heard that correctly. I sit at the little desk in my new bedroom and flip on the desk lamp in front of me. I am surrounded by boxes. My whole life boxed up and moved from Atlanta to Brooklyn and I am more than fine with that. In fact I donated or otherwise got rid of more than half of my belongings because they just would no longer be needed. I kept my collection of soccer balls.It was the only sport that I ever enjoyed or was good at and it was perfect that it is played all over the world since we have lived in so many different places over the years, moving to wherever my father has been stationed. Of course, where we lived in Atlanta I was often teased for not playing Football or Basketball, they were what most of the boys were into, but I never could get the taste for them. My father was the one who had pushed me to play sports, he had pushed me to walk straight and tall, lift my chin high, use a firm handshake and look everyone in the eye when greeting them, among other things. I know that I am a disappointment to him with my purple curls and sassy attitude. If he only knew that I had been sneaking out to hang with drag queens for the last two years and taking dance lessons in secret along with my friend Cassie for a year before that. I am sure he would have a heart attack, especially after his true colors came to light during the divorce trial.
Flashback (3 months ago):
“Why should she have the kids? She is the whole reason that my son is a fucking faggot! Have you seen the way my only son looks!? How he dresses? I tried to teach him how to be manly, but she pampers him and gives in to his every whim to be more girly!” My father, Theo Jackson screams at the Judge who had asked my parents to each explain why they should have custody of us kids…well, technically, just me since I am 17 and Aidia is 19 and can live anywhere she wants.
I refuse to cry. I will not cry for the hatred dripping off my own father’s voice. He is angry at my mother and disappointed in me. I suppose seeing him for the first time in months and having my hair dyed purple and lipgloss on hasn’t helped. I blink away my unshed tears and lean in to my mother requesting that her lawyer let me speak on my own behalf as to what I want. I am not a baby, I can state my thoughts and opinions on whom I would prefer to live with. I hadn’t noticed the commotion in the back of the courtroom where a pretty blond woman stood up and shouted ”Not your only son, asshole! but you would know that if you returned my phone calls! Ethan is your son and he is 3 years old tomorrow!” ooh! The drama! I knew my father was a cheater, that is what prompted my mom to file for divorce, but knowing I have a half sibling and that that woman looks to be only a few years older than my big sister is really bringing some perspective.
After getting some order back in the courtroom my mother’s lawyer forwards my request to the judge and she agrees to let me speak. I offer to speak on the stand rather than in her chambers as I feel that if my father can be so callous as to tear me apart in front of everyone I can be bold enough to speak my mind for all to hear.
I take the stand and as requested state my full legal name. “Deshawn Javier Jackson, your honor, MA’am!” I intone with a nod to the judge. She impores me to speak my mind and I comply eagerly. “ I know my father has cheated on my mother, I do not need to know, nor do I care to know the details of his philandering, however I do not want to live with a man who can not accept his child for who they truly are. I have spent my whole life to this point in his shadow. He pushed me to do sports and I found one I not only like but love and am pretty good at. I stand tall and walk with my head held high as he has repeatedly instructed, but I refuse to stop swinging my hips and swaying my waist. I was born this way, baby! I can not be anyone other than who I am and to try to force me would be abusive. So if I could have my way I would want my mother to have sole custody of myself.Thank you very much!”
That was the first time that I openly declared any inkling of my true self, and it still wasn’t the full picture. So, here I am writing an obituary for myself while looking at my still unpacked life in this apartment above my grandparents bodega in Brooklyn, New York. I pull out the paper and a pen and I write…
‘ Deshawn Javier Jackson, on this day has been laid to rest. His friends knew him as Shawn, and few as they were they were his truest supporters. They never judged his taste in music or flamboyant style, they often encouraged his creativity and love of dancing. Shawn was a bright boy with good grades and a shy demeanor in his youth, only growing bolder as he got older and grew a sassy mouth and attitude to match. Shawn knew from a young age that he wasn’t quite like other boys. He never liked to play rough or tease girls, he rather liked being friends with them, especially Cassie. Cassidy Clearwater was his best friend. They met when his father was stationed in Germany when he was 7 and was thrilled when she came back into his life when he was 14 when her father was stationed in Atlanta. They were both “army brats” being moved around the world to wherever their fathers were currently stationed every few years.He and Cassie even tried dating briefly, however it soon became clear that kissing Cassie felt more like kissing his own sister, and that was just wrong. Shawn never really discriminated in his attractions based on gender. Having crushed on both girls and boys, he wasn’t sure he really had a type…or maybe that would be wrong. Shawn had a type. Artists and musicians, creative and passionate and beautiful people. Shawn loved soccer and dancing and listening to music while he sketched in his sketchbook or scribbled poems. Shawn snuck out to hang out with drag queens or attend dance class or go to clubs with Cassie, quite often, but never could tell everyone his whole truth…’ That ends now.
Sitting up from my desk I sigh. Stretching, I mumble to myself “It all ends now.” I vow to photocopy the obituary and send a copy along with a letter explaining to Cassie as well as to plaster copy to my vanity mirror. The vanity in my room had been my auntie’s. Adia has mom’s old vanity and I got Aunt Rosa’s. Miine has some stuff still in the drawer and after I unpack I may just see what it is all about, there is a notebook and journal along with the old eyeliners and lipsticks (the old makeup is going in the trash, that shit grows all kinds of nasty germs and stuff over time).
I stand and unpack the only box of clothing that I have, these are the things that I truly like, although still not fully expressing myself, these will hold me over until I can go school clothes shopping with Adia and mom Saturday. I had saved up everything I earned while working at the drag club that I used to sneak out to, first I had acted as an assistant, helping the queens into their costumes and with any quick changes and wardrobe assistance, but eventually I started performing myself. It was fun and I may do it again when I find a club around here, but I don’t think that it is where my true calling lies. It is time to live my truth. I hang my few shirts in the closet and carefully fold the stack of skinny jeans placing them into my lower dresser drawer…I need to get myself cute panties…these boring boxer briefs have got to go, but until then they go in the top drawer…
“Shawn! Are you done unpacking? Dinner is ready!” I hear my mom shout from the other room.
I scoff “Shawn is dead, mom!” I shout then sigh “Shawn is dead.”
Chapter 2: Call Me Nova
I stand in front of my new school, Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, NY. It is the first day of my senior year of high school. It has been just over a month since we moved to Brooklyn, and I have essentially killed off my past life letting go of everything from my past.well, almost everything. I still talk to Cassie weekly and text and email her as needed. She’s my bff and the only person from my past that knew the real me. I even had mom get me a new phone and phone number to match the fresh start that I am making.
Looking around I am relieved to see some diversity here, other kids with colorful hair, one proudly displaying a rainbow flag on their backpack and giggling with a girl with an eyebrow ring and mischievous look on her face. Her short hair is dyed in shades of greens and blues.I also see a group of typical jocks and some preppy looking kids, and a small group smoking across the street with their bad boy , gang banger type vibes…okay, them I d
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