Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chapter 3: What If You're Over My Sh*t?

Views Magazine presents….
Marc and Rachel Isles
Exposé of a Marriage Uncovered

Dear Readers,
Here at Views, we take pride in presenting our community with honest opinions of relevant members of our community. Tonight, you will read the honest opinion of an Elysian Fields insider who would like to illuminate the marriage of Marc and Rachel Isles for us.

Rachel and Marc Isles need no introduction. They are rising stars in the Los Angeles community and relevant figures throughout the entire urban community. From New York to Atlanta, up to Chicago, down through Dallas, and back over to L.A. And so here is Part 1 of a series of exposés that uncovers the real story of the newest It Couple, Marc and Rachel Isles.

    Breanne Lang

Their Wedding
Marc married her.
Yeah, you heard that right. Six years after they graduated from UC Berkeley, they were married. Marc wasn’t even 30 yet.
Marc’s old girl, Karla, cried for months.
Rumor had it Karla took a bus to San Francisco, where Marc was living. She showed up at his new condo. All she wanted to do was ask him why, and she wanted to hear his answer in person. But when she showed up, Rachel was there with—what was alleged—a million-dollar rock on her hand. Rumor has it that Karla got into a fight with Rachel and it didn’t end up too good for Karla. Karla's not the toughest Down-Bitch on the street, in fact, she's the sweet type.
Karla’s the secretary of a councilman in our district, and the job suits her well. She likes to smile when she talks, and she talks nonstop. She meets new people with a hug; she’ll walk to the corner store and then forget why she came; she’ll tell you about something funny that happened, and laugh the entire time she’s telling you. You end up not knowing what the hell she has even said. Her voice is two octaves higher than your average woman.
She's a member of the trendy-and-cheap, I-love-the-Kardashians style movement. She's got a tiny stomach pouch that's highlighted by the small dresses she wears to work. Her weave always has a color of the rainbow on the ends: purple, blue, red. She loves all her boyfriends fiercely, calling them daddy or papa, and talks about having their babies, after two weeks of dating. After Marc married Rachel, Karla married a guy named Quan after two months of dating because he felt like her soulmate. She ends every sentence, raising her voice at the end, so she always sounds like she's asking a question. Because of this, Karla comes off a little… ding-batty. Dippy. That's no shade towards Karla; I'm just saying. But still, we were all shocked when Rachel beat her ass.
Rachel is a rich girl from San Francisco. She grew up on a country club. Her style’s stuck somewhere between the late 60s and mid-70s, with the pot-smoking, hippie, all-natural, rock-n-roll, Motown girl movements. She’s 70s hippie: She wears yoga clothes because she actually practices yoga. She drinks green-juices that have nothing but vegetables in them. She pretends to like these juices. She wears her hair wild but organized, like a rocker’s girlfriend. She’s 60s Motown: Her shoes are always designer; her nails are always polished, short, neat, and dark. Her eyes are always thinly lined above the top lash. She’s still mourning the death of Amy Winehouse. Sure, Rachel’s got edge, but what the fuck does she know about whooping somebody’s ass?
I heard Karla tried to call the cops during that ass whooping, but Marc stopped her. Again, we were shocked. Karla's a dip, but Karla's from the hood. Where we're from, you don't call the cops for anything! What was she thinking? I guess that’s what love will do to you. After everyone found that out, people were walking around calling her Snitch. Karla was beside herself with grief—as only Karla can be.
Marc had Sean drive Karla back to L.A. Rachel was pissed about that; she would have preferred Karla’s broke ass to hitchhike her way back. Rachel was also mad at the fact that Karla knew where Marc’s new condo was. She assumed Marc cheated on her with Karla, at one point. Of course, he had not, but there's no reasoning with Rachel. Everyone knows that. She didn't talk to Marc for a month. She's terrible like that.
A week after the fight, Karla was jumped by Marc’s two cousins: Evie and Renee. Marc’s mother stopped talking to Karla’s mother. Karla was the brunt of neighborhood jokes. All of the main-chicks and wives started calling Karla Side-Bitch. The fellas were calling her Snitch. The whole ordeal was nasty. Karla was at the lowest I’d ever seen her, which got to me because Karla’s cool. She’s never got beef with people. She’s not the fighting type; I told you, she’s too dippy to have enemies.
The whole thing was just sad. But apparently, Rachel had gotten over it all. She and Marc married.
I remember that wedding like it happened last night.
“This shit is sick,” I heard Sean say to himself. He didn't know I was nearby. I could tell that he was looking around and wondering. Imagining. What if he married a girl like Rachel? Somebody rich and from the country club. He could have a wedding like this too. It was the first time I had saw Sean care about having beautiful things and a lot of money. He was a small-time lawyer, working on small cases in the Elysian Fields community, like getting dope boys out of jail so they wouldn't have to stay the entire weekend. But that wasn't going to get him a wedding like this.
It was June on Martha's Vineyard, and we were outside under the stars. But what most people don’t know is that it’s cold on Martha’s Vineyard during the summer, so Rachel’s parents had heaters set up to keep us warm. They also had waiters walking around with raised arms, holding silver trays, filled with flutes of champagne.
Sean was facing the orchestra, and I was standing about ten feet behind him. Yes, there was an orchestra. They were playing that old-timey jazz. I still remember the band playing, In The Mood. Nobody from L.A. or Marc’s side knew the name of it. I had to ask the name of it later, by describing it to Rachel’s grandmother, who had this rock of a ring on her finger.
In the Mood,” she said to me, almost bored. “Where are you from again?” Everybody from Marc’s side fell in love with the song. And as soon as the band started playing it, everyone from Rachel’s side ran to the dance floor and started twirling around under the stars. Marc's side doesn't know how to twirl, so we just watched them. 
“I mean, this shit is just sick,” I heard Sean say again. I couldn't believe it; he was really into this. The son of a white whore and a black pimp dared to dream that he'd have a wedding like this. I wondered what woman would marry someone like Sean, without her parents giving her hell for it. Not saying that anything's wrong with Sean, but he had his past against him. Marc's history wasn't as bad as Sean's: his father was a science teacher; his mother was a nurse in a nursing home. Both of his parents graduated from college; they were just poor as hell. But Sean's parents were another story. Sean was amazed at the life Marc was creating for himself, and honestly, we all were. Marc married up. Nobody wanted to say it, but we all thought it. Nobody wanted to make it seem like Rachel, and her people were better than us, but we all thought it.
Marc had married up. Rachel had married down.
I looked beyond Sean and saw Marc. He was within a crowd of Rachel’s family. All guys. All important looking.
“Cuban’s from Cuba,” I heard Rachel’s father shout out to Marc. “But we have to pretend like they’re not.” He slapped Marc on the back, a massive smile on his face. Marc was one of them now. Marc stood with them all, smoking a cigar, smiling, and laughing at all the right times. He loosened his tuxedo tie; his cufflinks were sparkling, he was tall and confident, broad-shouldered, and deep brown. He stood with Rachel’s father—who’s a psychiatrist—, a California congressman, Vivian’s father—who’s an attorney—, Vice President Singer, and…
Someone took a picture of the scene. Vivian would release the image on her lifestyle blog, in black and white. Classic. Rachel and Marc’s wedding would be the reason why Vivian’s blog has over two million followers, to this day.
Four years, after that wedding day, the nation would fall in love with Marc. Americans love a good story about a nice guy who starts from the bottom and rises to the top. Marc’s a Berkeley graduate who came from a questionable beginning and is now the owner of a leading California tech firm named Dumbbell. How can you not love that story?
Rachel was another story.
Rachel was off to the side, standing with Vivian and drinking champagne. She was laughing uncontrollably at something Vivian had said. I don’t know why, but I thought it was about me. Doesn’t that sound crazy? Later, Vivian would update her blog with pictures of her and Rachel, Marc, Sean, the Vice President of the United States, senators from Massachusetts and California and everywhere in between, and a handful of authors and musicians. None of me, of course. But even though I wasn’t in the pictures, I was there. It was a mixed group of us, all enjoying the luxury Rachel's family experiences on a daily basis: summers in Martha's Vineyard, Cubans (illegally obtained), live jazz music.
This wasn’t Elysian Fields, the land Marc was raised in.
But back to Rachel and Vivian. Within moments, the two of them locked eyes on Sean and started whispering behind their champagne flutes.
“Nice speech!” Vivian called out to him. Vivian was stacked in a black ball gown, all curves, and dips. Her hair was down and parted in the center. Her hair's texture is typical, but its length is eye-catching; it drops to the middle of her back. And she never wears it up. She blow-dries it straight or wears it kinky-curly. She had on red lipstick and long black lashes. She looked old Hollywood. Cali girls love the old Hollywood look. Only a few women I know can achieve that look. Vivian is one of them.
“Thank you,” Sean said, raising his champagne flute to Vivian. He smiled at her and pointed to the dance floor. Was he asking her to dance? But only Rachel’s family was dancing because they were the only ones who knew how to dance. Right? He reached out his hand and nodded towards the dance floor. Vivian accepted, and soon they were twirling under the stars just like everyone in Rachel’s family.
That was when I knew he was different. He wanted to be different. Sean's life consisted of bailing dope boys out of jail and living in a shotgun house in Elysian Fields because he wanted to stay true to his roots. And now here he was on an island, twirling under the stars. How did he even learn how to dance like that?
No one knew it then, but Sean, Vivian, Rachel, and Marc’s lives were on their way to a level of what we call hood stardom, that no one could have prepared for.
When Sean and Vivian left for the dance floor, Rachel was left standing alone. I looked her over. Rachel: Toffee-brown skin with licorice-black hair. Tall and lean, but curvy in the hips. She smirks instead of smiles. She wiggles her fingers instead of waves. She gives Marc a single slow kiss on the lips, instead of a quick peck. Rachel has always reminded me of a rock star’s girlfriend: cat eyes, pepper-red lips, hoop earrings, designer high-heels, shiny cherry-black nails—always short and perfectly groomed—and a fuck-you grin. That’s Rachel. It’s a nearly impossible look for anyone in the hood to pull off, so when we all saw Rachel for the first time, we just stared at her.
I watched Rachel look down at her ring finger. That ring was all everyone was talking about. I knew that Marc couldn’t afford to buy that million-dollar ring outright. Famed jeweler, Evans Primm, created it. Word on the street was Marc had arranged payment plans for it. Marc's brother Trev offered to pay for it, but Marc said no. He didn't want Rachel's ring bought with dirty money. Rumor is Evans Primm agreed to give Marc payment plans for the ring as a wedding favor to Rachel's father, as long as Marc invited Evans to the wedding. He was. And of course, he came. Rachel didn't know any of this though. I hear, she nearly passed out when Marc placed the ring on her finger outside of In-n-Out Burger. Yes, Marc put a 5-carat ring on Rachel's finger outside of a burger joint, as they sat in his Dodge Challenger eating cheeseburgers, fries, and milkshakes.
I watched Rachel look up from her ring and at Marc. He was already looking at her. He winked at her. She smiled. He then pointed to Sean who was ballroom dancing with Vivian. Marc and Rachel laughed. Sean noticed them. He raised his chin, in a mock show of elegance, and twirled Vivian in a circle. Marc and Rachel, Vivian and Sean, laughed together.
That wedding is when all four of their lives would really begin. But that night, they didn’t know any of this. Vivian was just a girl living in San Fran, with a trendy fashion and lifestyle blog because she didn’t need a real job, she had a trust fund. Sean was the community lawyer in L.A. that everyone turned to for free advice. Marc was the owner of a modest tech firm in San Fran, who was rent-to-owning jewelry to give to his new bride. Rachel was a first-grade teacher in a rich San Fran neighborhood who didn’t need her salary, because of her husband’s salary and her trust fund.
None of them, not even us at the wedding, had a clue that they’d become who they are now.

Disclaimer: The above views and interpretations are the opinions of the writer only.

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