HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME by Chicki Brown
Seven very different singles – four women and three men – rent a New Jersey beach house for the summer: author Shontae Nichols, self-employed accountant and realtor, Linda Harris, Linda’s sister, hip-hop video dancer Kinnik Watkins, cosmetologist, Jovita Blassingame, Calculus professor Curtis “Doc” Whetstone, actor and drama instructor, Kip Lee, and new housemate, up and coming film actor, Devon Burke.
During their two month stay, romances bloom, friendships are tested and when a tragedy strikes one of the housemates, they all learn the answer to the age-old question: Can men and women ever be just friends?
Interview with Kinnik Watkins, the female antagonist in HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME:
I have been invited to Beach Haven, New Jersey to the house where Kinnik Watkins and her friends are spending the summer. To give us some privacy, we cross the beach and sit in the gazebo about 100 feet from the house. All the tall, voluptuous bronze goddess is wearing is a microscopic bikini and a pair of oversized sunglasses.
Me: (I stand and introduce myself.) Before we get started, can you tell me the correct way to pronounce your name?
Kinnik: (with a coquettish smile I find a bit strange.) It’s Kinnik. It rhymes with unique.
Me: You’re my second interview. As I explained to Shontae, I write for a magazine that wants to do a story about real singles living at the Jersey shore, considering how the TV show has become such a big hit.
Kinnik: (She slides her shades to the end of her nose and glances at me with soft, light brown eyes.) Something’s always on and popping on that show. I love it.
Me: (I sit on the chaise next to where she is reclining.) Thanks for agreeing to talk with me.
Kinnik: (flashes a captivating smile and runs her manicured fingers through the long strawberry blonde hair that complements her café au lait complexion) Sure, why not? You’ll probably need me to straighten out whatever Shontae told you anyway.
Me: I’m going to ask everyone the same questions, and I’ll be taping this, if you don’t mind.
Kinnik: (She crosses legs that make me want to hurry and call the nearest plastic surgeon for an emergency liposuction appointment.) No problem. I’m used to being recorded.
Me: I understand this is your third year together, so you must know your housemates pretty well. Can you tell me a little bit about each of them?
Kinnik: I guess this is the best they can do when it comes to vacations, considering none of them are really big money. I’m only here because my sister begged me to come. Personally, I think she has something up her sleeve.
Me: (checking my notes) Linda’s your sister. Is she older or younger?”
Kinnik: (rolls her eyes) Older, and she always has to make it a point to remind me. “She says she wants to talk to me about my career. Since she paid my rent for the summer, I couldn’t very well refuse. Linda doesn’t like me dancing, but I am not a nine-to-five person. She forgets that I make more than she does in a year, and I have two kids to take care of.”
Me and Jo have been friends for years. She’s for real people, the only one in this house that doesn’t judge every more I make. Jo is my makeup artist and hair stylist and she’s got mad skills. She’s just here to chill and see if her old man is going to pop the question.”
Me: Tell me about the men.
Kinnik: (Flips her hair over one shoulder) “Kip is my boy. We spent some time together during our first summer in Beach Haven, but that’s ancient history. Kip’s here to see how much coochie he can conquer in eight weeks. Doc, well there isn’t much I can say about him. When he doesn’t have his nose stuck in a book, he’s sniffing after my sister. Linda is the only reason he’s here, but he’s wasting his time, if you ask me. Kip and Devon provide the testosterone. They’re both so fine; you can hear the panties dropping when they walk into a room.
Me: You forgot Shontae.
Kinnik: (with another eye roll) No, I didn’t. She’s just not worth mentioning.
Me: Why is that?
Kinnik: “Because she’s easily forgettable.”
Me: “That’s funny. Shontae seemed very pleasant.”
Kinnik: (stiffens and haughtily raises her chin) “That’s because you don’t know her. That bitch is boring as hell and thinks she’s better than everybody else. I can’t understand why. All she does is stay closed up in the sunroom banging on her laptop. She lives in her little fantasy world cooking up stories in her head. Shontae wouldn’t know how to deal with a real man if her life depended on it. She thinks she’s better than everyone else. I can’t stand her cheap dressing, snobby ass.
Me: Do you think each of your housemates has a motive for being here this summer?
Kinnik: They sure as hell do. Doc is chasing Linda. Jo says she’s researching her new stylist business, but she’s really waiting for Walter to ask her to marry his dusty old ass. She’s been waiting for five years. Devon is rehearsing for the lead role in the new movie Denzel’s directing, and he needs to study the script.
Me: (smiling at the way she’s avoided telling me about herself.) “So what about you, Kinnik? Why are you here?”
Kinnik: I’m just breezin’ in and out when I’m not in the Hamptons with Q. I’d much rather be there.”
Me: That’s Q.E., Quentin Edwards, the rapper?
Kinnik: (a proud smile lights her beautiful face) That’s right. I’ve been staying with him for the past couple of months, but Linda insisted I spend some time with her.
Me: Isn’t Q.E. the one who was recently assaulted his personal assistant?
Kinnik: (puckers her lips then sucks her teeth) That’s never going to court. The heifer is still working for him, so she can’t be too upset about him clocking her in the head and pushing her into the pool. (Her face spreads into a proud smile.) “Yeah. This place is okay, but his estate is off the chain. It’s all about luxury. The food is better, and I don’t have to do any housework when I’m there. His chef and butler wait on me hand and foot.”
Me: “So are you two a couple.”
Kinnik: (her eyes becoming flat and unreadable as stone before she picks up her sunglasses and puts them back on.) “When we’re together, we’re a couple.”
Me: (the thread of warning in her voice lets me know it’s time to end the interview.) “Kinnik, it’s been a pleasure. As I mentioned to Shontae, maybe I’ll be back at the end of August to hear what actually happened during your vacation.”
Kinnik: (rising to her impressive full height. Adjusts her bikini to make sure it’s covering everything important.) Yeah, check in and see who’s left standing.
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