We all know how most of these stories go. The “self righteous” woman who’s done with love happens to stumble across an amazing man to sweep her off her feet. In a short amount of time he changes her mind about love, serenade her with sweet nothings and they both ride off into the sunset. Well let me be the first to say … wrong story.
I’m not rich, I did not come from money but I also didn’t grow up poor. I came from a regular degular shmegular middle class family who couldn’t afford trips out the country for spring break but made “too much” money to qualify for financial aid. I don’t have the body of a video vixen. I’m not a YouTube celebrity and my goal in life isn’t to go viral on gossip blogs. I know by now you are probably thinking damn well who are you?? I just want to make sure you guys all know what you’re getting yourself into. This isn’t by any means a hood fairytale but it definitely ain’t clueless. And as much as I wish I was Issa Rae, my story isn’t about an awkward black girl turned Cover Girl.
I am Naimah Cohen, Founder of the Cohen Talent Agency. I am consumed by emails, headshots, comp cards, and look books 99% of the time. I am currently building an empire signing young hot talent and sky rocketing their careers to the next level. I’ve put my all into my company because I love what I do. Shit wouldn’t feel right if I wasn’t up working until the wee hours of the morning. Which brings me to why my love life is trash actually it would have to exist for it to be trash so the reality is it is currently nonexistent. Romance and love isn’t something I have time for right now and trust me that isn’t just an excuse… I’m serious.
My dream is to make the Cohen Talent Agency one of the biggest talent management agencies in the country. After working as a booking agent for Wilhelmina for 6 years, I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and start my own agency. Nothing about this process has been easy. I’ve lost some friends and a few great loves along the way. I dumped all my savings into the Cohen Talent Agency (CTA) so nothing comes before my company.
It hasn’t been all bad, my best friends Autumn and Kyle have been my support system since day one. When I decided to work for myself full-time, my girls volunteered to help with whatever I needed. Both of them are extremely talented so I must say I am lucky to have them in my corner.
Before coming to work at CTA, Autumn was a columnist for a women’s nutrition magazine. After 3 years of building her column she decided she was done with writing for print magazines, especially since budgets were being cut left and right due to digital media taking over. In recent years most magazines are transferring to online publications in order to cut costs and keep their readers. The nutrition magazine offered to keep Autumn on staff if she’d continue her column online. This meant she would have to take a major pay cut. Needless to say, Autumn wasn’t interested.
After leaving the magazine, Autumn finally came to work for me at CTA full-time as our Communications Director. She has always been phenomenal at handling press & media.
Kyle was a freelance photographer before I asked her to be the head of CTA’s photography department. It was an obvious choice and perfect fit. Kyle is a new mom and in need something more stable. She already handled all of our photoshoots and look books so why not come work full-time with your best girlfriends? Since we have become the dynamic CTA trio, business has been booming.
Professionally things are going better than they ever have but lately everyone has been on my back about my love life. Concerned that I spend too much time working. But who needs a social life? If it wasn’t for work related purposes, I really didn’t have a desire to go out and mingle.
“Nai, I know you probably aren’t interested in a club event but I put us on the guestlist for Infinity anyway. No more excuses girl. I am getting you out of this office if it kills me!” Autumn said while walking into my home office.
It was Saturday but I had a habit of bringing work home with me.
“I didn’t see anything on the event calendar happening at Infinity tonight. Did I miss something? Is there a launch party or show scheduled today? Today is the 29th right?” I rushed to check my calendar. “I am going to kill Riah if she hasn’t been updating my calendar and sending me a reminder for important events! Do I have to do everything…” I said to myself while rolling my eyes to the ceiling.
Autumn sat down on the love seat in my office, “Girl are you listening? Do you hear yourself? No, it isn’t work related! Nai, it’s New Year’s Eve! You need to relax. A night out on the town with your girls is what you need.”
“Oh shit! You’re right it is New Years Eve… Autumn, not this weekend. Pleasseee, I am swamped.” I placed my hand on my forehead. I understand holidays was the time of year you’re supposed to spend with your loved ones but I couldn’t afford to take a break with Fashion Week around the corner.
“I knew you would say that. You will not be bringing in the New Year working. I’m not taking NO for an answer.”
I took a deep breath. “But… I don’t have anything to wear. It will be impossible to find anything on such short notice.” It was already after 3pm trying to find an ensemble for tonight on this kinda time wasn’t going to happen.
“Already handled. This week while we were doing fittings for the Balmain look book, Oliver left dresses for all three of us to wear especially for tonight. Right after we joked about you kissing your laptop at midnight.” Autumn laughed.
“Ha Ha Ha… very funny. Where are the dresses Autumn?”
After running out to her car and getting the dresses out of her trunk, I looked them over to see if I approved. I had to hand it to Oliver, for such a young head designer, he was definitely killing the game. Partnering with the French fashion label Balmain was one of my biggest accomplishments this year. This has definitely been a year to celebrate plus the dresses Autumn had for us to wear tonight were breathtaking. All three of them were variations of Rihanna’s best Balmain looks. Oliver and Autumn both know I live for Rihanna’s fashion, so one look at these dresses would definitely get me out the house tonight.
The first dress was a mid length edgy off-the-shoulders denim dress detailed with gold chains number. The second was a white long-sleeve fitted military dress with perfectly designed gold and pearl embellishments. The dress was pretty short about mid thigh length but was perfectly paired with white Manolo Blahnik pumps. The final dress a waxy, leather-like blue dress with fringe detailing and a matching oversize belt. Autumn even bought shoe options, everything from pastel-toned blue strappy sandals to metallic ankle boots.
“So you had this all planned out huh? What about my hair?” I questioned because even with gorgeous designer dresses like these it would be impossible to get me out of the house if I did not have my hair laid and face beat. She could forget about it.
“C’mon now girl I know you too well. We already have appointments for hair and makeup. I knew you would be working most of the day so I opted for something fast and simple.” Autumn smiled because clearly she had this all under control. “Nai, you need to have fun let your hair down a little. This will be a good look for the agency. A few photos of you enjoying yourself, living life, and celebrating the successful year you’ve had… he’ll that we’ve all had!”
“Okay, okay, okay! Where’s Kyle? I know you bitches were scheming on getting me out the house together.”
“AHHH!!! Yesss we’re going to have so much fun! Her sister agreed to watch the baby so Kyle’s on her way over here now!!!”
We were dolled up and finally on our way to Infinity when I received a text.
Lamar: i wish i could bring the New Year in with u. I never meant to hurt u. i love you and tricey more than life itself
“Ugh why do the holidays make niggas so desperate. I left that nigga on read cause I felt like it … AYEE turn on Cardi B! I’m ready to party” Kyle start dancing in the passenger seat.
“Yea fuck him girl! This is our night!” Autumn gave me a high-five and twerked in the driver seat.
We rode to Infinity in Autumn’s new Jeep. I loved being out with my girls and not worrying about my shit show of a life. We pre-gamed while Autumn’s little glam squad hooked us up. This is exactly what I’ve needed. I love my baby girl to death and it’s hard being away from her but Mama needs a break sometimes. Even if it is just for a night.
About a year after I had our daughter Patrice, my EX-fiance Lamar start showing his ass. He start going out more, coming home in the middle of the night, and barely helping around the house. He was amazing all throughout my pregnancy and when she first was born. Now it seemed like we were never on the same page, and I still have no idea what changed.
One day after work, he asked to take me out on a romantic date. We hadn’t been out in a while so it was some much needed alone time for us but it was a little suspicious considering how he’d been acting. I have to admit I had a really good time on our date. We were laughing and having great conversation all night so once we got home I felt hopeful about us getting our relationship back on track. All we needed was some alone time to bring back out spark, or so I thought. A few days after our date night, Lamar admitted he wanted to go on a break, he’s not ready to get married and everything was moving too fast for him. Well I let him know I was done and didn’t want nothing else to do with him if it did not concern our daughter. That night I asked him to leave because I was done fighting for our relationship by myself.
It’s been two months since we’ve broken up. I don’t know where he’s been staying and I try not to worry myself about him these days. We are still raising our 19 month old baby girl together and he’s a great father. I haven’t said more than two words to Lamar since that night. He waits until I changed my life around and had his kid to say he wasn’t ready??? The one night I chose to hang with my girls now he wants to confess his love. He could go to hell for all I care.
Once we breezed past that long ass line to get inside the club, since I put our name on the list we were able to walk right in. Inside the club the atmosphere was turnt all the way up. This was the place to be in San Francisco on New Years eve. I know this was a good idea to get these old hags out of the house! Since we arrived fashionable late, we made our way to the bar to get our drinks for the countdown. As Naimah was trying to flag down the bartender, I felt a hand grab me by the waist. I thought I was tripping but I knew that scent of cologne from anywhere. When I turned around I was met with the set of eyes that sent chills down my back. The DJ was warning everybody the countdown would begin soon but I was too busy stuck in a trace to even care. This can’t be…
Happy Wednesday everyone!
Thanks for reading the beginning of my first story! I want it to be part of a series. I started writing this story in July but I was kinda nervous and doubting myself so I stopped. This week has been kinda crazy for me! My job was broken into twice so we’ve been kinda scrambling to figure things out. I’ve also started organizing a natural hair community here in Northern California called Claim Your Crown. Alot of great things in the works right now. With all the chaos it’s been hard to focus on my blog so I decided this is no better time to finish and post the short story I started a few months ago.
I want to explore black female entrepreneurs who’ve been putting themselves first, sometimes before anyone or anything else in their lives. Could this be a good thing? Is it self-care or just being plain selfish…
I named the story Selfish after the Slum Village song featuring John Legend and old Kanye. It had me thinking… most times single independent women especially ones with no immediate desire to start a family are often called Selfish. But is that true? Are we selfish and if so, is it a bad thing? Men are allowed to selfish why aren’t we?
Like this post if you want to know what happens next and comment below to let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading & we’ll talk more next week!