Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

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Third Girls

This is the Dreamgirls story I was thinking about even as I sat in the pub with surliminal

Fandom: Dreamgirls
Disclaimer: All this is the property of Bill Condon, Tom Eeyen, Henry Krieger and the Dreamworks corporation.
Synopsis: The person close up doesn't see everything.


I was always The Third Girl. Michelle joined, and then she was The Third Girl too.

I was never second, and I never wanted to be.

Jimmy always used to say he loved me because I was the Third Girl, because that way he didn't get caught between.

I thought, and then I said, 'Oh, you mean between Effie and Curtis'. And he looked at me with that look and said, 'Yeah baby, that's exactly what I mean.'

That's part of why I loved him, because he knew stuff, and could be mean, and yet mostly not so mean that he told me stuff I didn't want to know, back then. I was a kid from Detroit City, and I loved to sing, and I loved my friends, who loved to sing, and that was all I wanted to know.

We were the Dreamettes, and that was my dream.

Then, later, we were the Dreams.

Jimmy, well, he may not have ever left his wife or ever stopped saying he would leave his wife, and you could say that wasn't respect for me if he loved me.

He thought he could have us both, hang onto his wife, and still have all the good times with me, and for a while he could, and he thought he wasn't caught between.

He knew things, but there were things he didn't want to know, so he didn't know them.

That's why he started on the drugs, I think, so that he could not know things that he knew and didn't want to.

But he knew enough to respect what I wanted to know, and needed to know, and needed not to know, and that was love. Just not enough love after a while.

Some dreams die.

Jimmy never really liked Curtis, not so much.

He thought, he really thought, that he could hang onto Marty and keep all the good stuff Curtis could do for him. Marty was safety and things as they had been, and things were changing, changing all the time.

Marty didn't know that; Jimmy didn't want to know that. Curtis, he knew that.

Curtis, he made things happen, and it wasn't all just about him. Not for a while, anyway; it was about the music and it was about the change.

Curtis looked up to Reverend King, because he had a dream too.

I just wanted to sing, but even I could see that.

Later, well, that was later.

We all had dreams.

Effie, Deena - all of us.

CC? Who knows what he knew or what he thought or what he wanted or what he dreamed of, behind those sullen sleepy eyes?

You'd talk to CC and you'd say something and he'd go off into a dream, like you weren't even there.

Then, a couple of days later, there'd be a song, which'd be sort of what you were talking about, and sort of not.

CC wanted things to be just so, with everyone liking each other still, everyone family, and all his songs made it out that that was how the world was.

Jimmy once said to him, ' You don't see anything of what's in front of you. Effie's your sister, man, and she is a queen bitch, and she hurts, man, you should take care of your family, like a man, and you just look at her as if she was just some kind of dream girl. You don't see any of us, of them.'

And CC came back, three days later, with 'Dreamgirls.'

Jimmy never liked CC, just his songs.

Jimmy used to lie in bed at night, saying the things he wanted to say to CC, and never did, because CC was Curtis's boy.

No, not like that, but Jimmy used to say so, used to say so to him, or rather, to the CC that was in his head, when CC wasn't there.

He'd talk to him then, lying next to me on mussed pillows, as if it was me who wasn't there. Jimmy would do that sometimes, but I was there, and he knew it, and he wanted me to pay him heed.

He'd say 'CC. CC' and then go all sorrowful and mocking as if CC were a word he was drawing out in his mouth and sucking on it and sucking all the meaning out of it.

'CC,' he'd say. 'Has Curtis made you his woman yet? Because one way or another he fucks everyone. Sooner or later.'

'He's never done that to me,' I said, to tell him I was there. Because I didn't like to use language, even if he did.

'No, baby,' he'd say. 'No-one fucks with you, because you're the Third Girl, and you're my woman. Everyone else, though, baby, everyone else.'

Then he'd say, to me or to the CC in his head, 'See, he wants her to play the Queen of Egypt, the powerfullest black woman there ever was. She made fools of the most powerful white men there ever was. So what does that make the black man who fucks her? Who fucks the Queen of Egypt?'

That was later, though, after Effie left.

Jimmy always used to respect Effie, even if he didn't like her.

It was the voice, and it was the attitude.

'If that girl knew what she wanted,' he'd say, ' she could rule, rule like a queen. She doesn't know, though, and Curtis, he knows.'

'Curtis knows what Effie wants?,' I'd say.

'No,' he'd say, and would give me that look again, ' Lorrell, Lorrell, oh my sweet Lorrell. Curtis knows what Curtis wants.'

Then he'd laugh and say, 'And he knows what Effie wants. Better than she does.'

And I'd say, 'That's sweet. That a man knows his woman better than she knows herself.'

He'd give me the look, and say, 'If you say so, honey.'

Later on, he'd say the same about Deena, and for a while I thought, 'How sweet.'

Then I said. 'Curtis was with Effie and then he cheated on her with Deena, or on Deena with her. That couldn't have been what they wanted, either of them.'

I didn't want to know why Effie hurt us all and left, why Deena turned to ice and stopped being the friend I sang with and became the star I sang behind.

I didn't want to know about the pain.

Jimmy looked at me and said 'What they wanted? It was what Curtis wanted. Sooner or later, that boy fucks everyone.He makes everyone of us his woman.'

I never knew what he was trying to tell me, never wanted to know.

The night we were through, he dropped his pants on national television and told everyone.

I never knew that, once we were through, he'd die, die of the pain. I wanted him to be there, just not with me any more.

I don't know how many months it was that I cried.

Jimmy died, and CC left.

Michelle and I sang, standing behind like Third Girls

And Deena was a star, a star made of ice and pain.

Which seemed to be all we wanted, except that I cried whenever I wasn't singing.

I sang and cried and slept the months away.

Then, it was over.

Deena and Curtis was over. The dream was over. The Dreams were over.

I'd hear angry words in corridors that said things I did not want to know.

So I sang louder and slept deeper and cried from the bottom of my heart and things never went away.

It was like Jimmy was looking at me, and I could hear his words in my head telling me things I did not want to hear, things that would break the dream, bring the pain.

Effie was at the last concert; Effie was singing with us again. It was like a fairy tale.

I looked out into the audience and Curtis was there and Deena and Effie looked at him with cold eyes, and I knew he would never get what he wanted again, that those women were done with him.

Cold eyes, but no ice, and no cold star and no hurt any more.

They were done with him, and done with the Dreams.

Afterwards, Effie showed me her little girl.

'Who's the father?' I blurted out.

'Magic, she has no father,' Effie said. 'She was born of love.'

She looked at Deena and Deena looked at her, and Deena reached out a perfect manicured hand and touched Magic like she was the most precious delicate thing in the world.

I knew what I needed to know, then.

There was no First Girl , no star, and no Second Girl either.

There was Effie and there was Deena and there was their Magic.

I got what I always wanted, in the end. I was the Third Girl, and so was Michelle.
Tags: dreamgirls, femmeslash, femslash
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