Paradise Ice Cream
For People Who Like to Get High
“The Women Who Love Rome”
By London Tracy
Copyright 2017/London Tracy
Parking is scarce when we arrive at Paradise Ice Cream.
We circle the lot over and over in search of a space. The song Happy by Pharrell Williams is blasting from the parking lot speakers as we pull into one of the few remaining spots available. To say this place is jam-packed is an understatement. To say that every news organization in town is covering this new venue would be stretching it, but to say how completely psyched I am to be here would be absolutely correct, psyched enough to forget how Rome denied me just so few hours ago, but that’s another story for another time.
Before going inside, we add our name to the lengthy waiting list and soon learn that the ice cream cannot be taken to go, but must instead be consumed entirely in-house. That’s strange, but so is the four of us so eager for a new thrill that we wake ourselves from a restful or maybe not so restful sleep at 2:00 a.m.
After a thirty-five-minute wait, we are invited into Paradise Ice Cream by the beautiful redhead hostess.
Is it just a coincidence that the color schemes in this arena are an energetic orange and white?
Or does it mean that I have come to the right place?
This enormous warehouse-like venue is nothing like a typical tiny ice cream shop. Oh, no! This parlor is rich with the fruity aromas of strawberries and lemons, priming me for a good time.
Several tall barrels of large oranges populate the parlor with a warm flavor, security guards are everywhere, and there isn’t an empty table in sight.
My stomach soon plunges when my eyes drop and I soak up a view of the floor. I am standing atop of a see-through glass floor with bubbling bright orange water underneath. The only thing that I can compare it to is standing on top of a six-foot swimming pool. Though breath-taking, it’s also quite unnerving.
The second two things to blow my mind are the see-through glass ceiling and the tangerine orange tables and chairs. There is something about orange that just makes me feel so alive.
The pretty redhead hostess, whose young face is peppered with adorning freckles is dressed in an eye-popping orange body suit and orange mini skirt. She escorts us to our circular table and we all take a seat in the pillow soft semi-reclining chairs. The setup is the same as at home. Rome is positioned between Storm and India and I, as always, am smack dab on the end next to Storm.
I don’t waste much time making myself comfortable in the amazing-never-want-to-get-up chair and soak up the eclectic ambiance of this place.
This is feel-good central.
Everything about this place surprises me, but nothing as much as seeing that the menu for the ice cream is inscribed right on the table.
Paradise Ice Cream, where it’s not just good, it’s sexually exciting!
We dare you to try our ice cream. We dare you!
Our Signature Flavors
By the Scoop – $50
By the Pint – $100
By the Gallon – $300
Bohemian Nut Raisin
British Cookie Crumbs
Paradise Ice Cream, Inc.
Proprietor, Winter Green
Come in clean, leave dirty!
The pretty redhead hostess who doubles as a server steps to our table, holding an iPad in hand. “Good morning, beautiful people,” she says warmly.
We all return her lively greeting.
My eyes are immediately centered on her bright orange apron which reads: I Can Make You Happy. She is saturated with a sparkling scent of pure lemons, and I like it so much, I move in closer so that I can smell more of it.
“I’m Monti,” she says, extending her hand to all of us.
“It’s a treat to meet all of you,” Monti says, her lively smile energizing all of us. “Are you feeling good this morning?” she asks us. I’m thinking good morning? Then I realize that it is after three in the morning, so technically, it is morning time.
“We’re all feeling pretty good,” Rome says, glancing over at us.
“Pretty good?” she questions. She obviously does not like our answer. “How would you like to feel fantastic?”
I am first to answer with my head lifted high. “We would love that.”
“Is that something that you can help us with,” Storm asks her as she meticulously coats her lips with lip gloss.
“Most certainly,” she says, leaning in towards us. “I’ll put it to you like this.” Monti then pauses and checks her surroundings. She glances to her left, and then to her right before returning her focus to us. “I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you all look like awesome people.”
Monti then fetches a chair from the next table and joins us.
If her intention was to stimulate our curiosity, she has masterfully succeeded. We lean in towards her, eager for her to continue.
“All of our ice creams are good,” Monti says, “but there’s one in particular that will have you singing praises to your maker. And that flavor is… orgasmic banana.”
“Really?” I ask her, wondering if what she is saying is actually true, and boy, do I hope that it is.
Her eyes pivot to me… then Storm… then Rome… then India. “You guys want to play or not?” Monti asks us as if she’s referencing some casino game.
For a moment, no one says a word, more than likely, too much in awe to speak. We all exchange looks with each other, giving the secret eye of approval.
“We definitely want to play,” India says.
“Will you actually have an orgasm?” I ask Monti.
“I’ll let you tell me,” Monti replies. Her face is a stone wall, serious as a heart attack, and I have a feeling that she knows what she is talking about.
“I think I speak for all of us when I say this,” Rome says, “Where do we sign up?”
“That’s my boy.” Monti says. “I’ll return with four.”
“I like her,” Storm says.
“What’s not to like?” India agrees.
“Are we really going to pay $50 for a scoop of ice cream?” I ask. “I mean that’s $200.”
I understand that Rome is a wealthy man, but $200 for ice cream is a lot of money.
Storm’s eyes shift to me. She reaches over and touches my hand. “Thursday, how do I say this?” Storm peers into my eyes. “Yes, we’re going to pay $200.”
“Don’t be so concerned about money,” India says to me, leaning back into her chair.
And on that note, I don’t say another word.
“Hey, did India tell you she has a new job?” Rome asks all of us.
“Like that’s a real job,” Storm says in a sour tone.
“No, I didn’t know,” I say.
“You didn’t know,” Storm says with a giggle. “India has a job walking dogs.”
“That’s… interesting,” I say to India. “I didn’t even know you were looking for a job.”
“I wasn’t. It sort of fell into my lap.”
These girls are just full of surprises. I cannot imagine what the next bombshell on the horizon will be.
“I think it’s a fine job,” Rome says to India, leaning over and kissing her hand.
“Thank you,” India says to Rome, then directs her attention to Storm. “And as for you,” India points her finger at Storm. “If I say it’s a real job, then it’s a real job.”
I’m not the only one tickled by India’s last statement. It’s obvious that a volcano of belly laughs is about erupt from Storm and India as they squirm in their chairs, staring at each other before they both explode with giggles.
India finally regains her composure and says to Storm, “I know it’s not a real job, “but what’s important is that I am contributing to society.”
Again, Storm and India burst into laughter. Obviously, not even India believes her own words.
“You two should have your own TV show,” Rome says.
“I agree,” I say. “We could call it The Funny Lives of India and Storm.”
While we patiently await our $50 a scoop ice cream, Storm surfs the web on her Samsung Smartphone, and India, Rome and I breathe easy in our semi-reclining chairs, consuming the mellow atmosphere. I would like to take a quick stroll and see more of this huge factory-like dwelling, but the see-through glass floors with bubbling water underneath terrifies me, and I stay put.
“I almost forgot,” Storm says, bursting with enthusiasm. “If ever there is anyone trying to choke you, just move your head to the left and to the right and it will break their grip.”
“And you are telling us this why?” India asks Storm.
“Because. I saw this special on the Dr. Phil Show the other day. It could come in handy one day.”
Rome chuckles. “Thursday, in case you haven’t already figured it out, both Storm and India are nuts.”
“Why do I have to be a nut?” Storm asks Rome, smiling and seemingly entertained by his words.
“Because you are.” Rome leans over and smooches Storm’s lips.
I am not completely comfortable with Rome kissing other women in front of me, but each time he does it, it becomes a little more bearable.
“Well, maybe I am a little nutty sometimes,” Storm says with a laugh.
“Don’t you worry, Thursday,” India says. “Eventually our nuttiness will rub off on you as well.”
“Maybe it already has.”
Soon our server Monti returns to our table. With her, she brings a platter carrying four giant orange bowls of ice cream with matching orange spoons.
“Okay, beautiful people.” Monti sets the bowls in front of us, and we all ease forward, eyes widened, ready to indulge ourselves.
“Orgasmic banana for four,” Monti says.
“Thank you,” Rome says.
“Now, before you get started on this wild ride that’s about to come, I need to ask a favor.” Monti plucks her business card from her pocket and stuffs it into Rome’s hand. “I’m going to sneak off and take a 15-minute nap. Will you call me in fifteen minutes and wake me?”
“Sure,” Rome says with some hesitation.
“I would ask my boss to do it, but she’ll fire me if she finds out that I’m still taking naps on the job.”
“No problem, Monti,” I say. “We’ll take care of you.”
“I knew I would like you people,” Monti says. “Enjoy! And I’ll see you in thirty minutes.”
Monti is about to step away when I stop her. “Excuse, me, Monti. Are we to call you in fifteen minutes or thirty minutes?”
“What did I say before?” Monti asks as if she’s not for certain herself.
“You said fifteen before,” Storm says.
“Well, in that case,” Monti says, “call me in about forty minutes.”
And Monti is gone.
The delectable bowl of banana ice cream is staring me in the face. Enough of the foreplay, it’s time to get it on.
My first taste is sweet, cold, creamy and lip-smacking good. The banana flavor ignites my taste buds.
Aware of how conscious Storm is of her weight, I glance over at her, expecting to see her eat a spoonful or two and then push the bowl away. But she surprises me and doesn’t do that at all. Instead, she continues to stuff her mouth with spoonful after spoonful of the creamy stuff before her.
After six mouth-watering teaspoons of the orgasmic banana ice cream, a deep peace washes over me and melts into every cell of my being. I drop the spoon from my hand and savor the moment.
Total freaking ecstasy envelops me and saturates my soul, my mind, and my body. I push the bowl away from me and scrunch down into the reclining chair.
Everyone in the world should feel this good.
I am so high right now. I don’t know what’s going on. I lie back and close my eyes while the classic More Than a Woman by the Bee Gees blares from the wall speakers.
There’s so much love in me right now, I could cry.
I wrap my arms around my body, holding myself tightly, my spirits soaring at 30,000 feet.
I am in La-La land.
This decadent feeling induced by the banana ice cream is causing me to really think about who I am and what I want to do with my life. For the first time in my lack luster writing career, I don’t just want to write a great book, I want to start a movement, and be a part of something magnanimous even if I’m not certain what that would be.
I just want to do something awesome. It must be the ice cream talking because I have never felt like this before, and from the gratified faces of Rome, India, and Storm, the ice cream is working its magic on them as well. Not one unhappy camper can be found. Not in this juncture.
One thing is for certain: There’s definitely more to this ice cream than sugar and cream.
With a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I peer up at the high see-through glass ceiling and breathe ever so easily. Suddenly, leaving the House of Rome no longer appeals to me, and I decide to stay. Though I’m well aware of the reasons why I should leave, there’s one pressing reason that keeps me confined.
I simply don’t want to go. I decide to forget about what happened earlier, and just enjoy what we have now, which is complete togetherness. I release another great breath and smile as this feel-good feeling washes over me. I have to wonder: How long do I get to feel this way?
Not only am I feeling sensational, but now as I peer over at Rome, who excerpts a dangerous sexual energy, exuding availability and readiness, I’m thinking about sex again. But I don’t dare tell him that. I’ve seen that movie before, and I know how it ends.
The wondrously contented expressions plastered across Storm, India and Rome’s face tells me that I’m not the only one in danger of overdosing on euphoria. In this amazing state of bliss, I have questions I want answered, and I want them answered now.
“Okay, I have waited long enough,” I say to Rome. “Are you finally going to tell me what you were doing to Storm that evening that caused her to make all of those noises?”
Rome’s eyes twirl towards me as if he is about to speak, but Storm interjects. “He was strangling me and kissing me at the same time.”
My eyes blink and blink and blink some more. “Really?” I say with a curious smile and then ease back into my chair. Images of Rome strangling me and suffocating me with kisses penetrates my mind with a vengeance. Now, I can’t stop thinking about it, wondering about it, and most of all, fantasizing about it.
In the midst of my erotic-filled daydream, Storm touches my hand and ask me, “Are you interested?”
I am jilted back into real time, and I ease forward. Of course, I’m interested, but I don’t tell them that. Instead, I say, “I don’t think so. It’s a little too out of the box for me.”
“Seriously?” Rome asks me with a chuckle. “Who do you think you’re fooling?”
“Obviously, not you,” I say to him.
“Hey, everybody, I have an idea,” India says. “Let’s start a love group.”
All eyes shoot to India as she slides out of her chair and stands before us. She wears ankle-length pants and a peach cardigan sweater. “Here’s what I’m thinking.” Truckloads of zest and vigor ooze from her mouth as she continues. “We find a group that we love, and we love the hell out of them. It would be the opposite of a hate group.”
Storm laughs. “Maybe you should lie back down.”
“I happen to like India’s idea,” I say, then turn to India. “You just let me know who we’re going to love.”
India returns to her semi-reclining chair and stretches out her hands to us in her giddy state. “Let’s all hold hands. I have something very important to say.”
We connect our hands with each other and wait for India to speak.
India’s eyes rotate over to Rome, then Storm and then over to me. “You guys are my true family. I hope you all know that.” She looks as if she’s about to cry, but she doesn’t. “And I love you.”
Even though it’s definitely the ice cream talking right now, India’s words are sweet and heartfelt.
“Well, I have news for you, India,” Rome says. “We all love you, too. Right ladies?”
“Absolutely.” Storm winks her eye at India and smiles.
“And I want you all to know that if there is anything any of you ever want, please, please don’t hesitate to ask,” India says. “I probably will not be able to help you, but I want you to ask me just the same.”
“There is just so much freaking love in this room, between all of us,” I say, allowing my eyes to fall shut, “And I love it.” I scream, expelling the overabundance of positive energy inside me.
I swing forward because now I have something I want to say. “I might not have a million dollars or big breasts like Halle Berry or a sexy ass like J-Lo, but at least, I have all of you.”
“Who wants a sexy ass anyway,” Rome asks. “What’s it going do for you?”
“Well, I wouldn’t mind an ass like Jennifer Lopez myself,” India says.
“Me either,” Storm agrees.
“You know what ladies,” Rome says. “Listening to all of you talk about breasts, asses’ and millions of dollars has me thinking also, and you want to know what I’m thinking?… I’m the luckiest man alive, and do you want to know why I’m the luckiest man alive?… Because I have it all.”
“I won’t argue with you there,” Storm says, stretching out her arms over her head with a warm glow splashed across her face. “Let’s celebrate and take a trip somewhere.”
“You have my vote,” I say, my eyes twinkling.
“Where should we go?” India asks.
“How about the Virgin Islands or Honolulu?” Rome suggests.
Rome erects himself from his chair. “Life is too sweet. To sweet! Too sweet!”
I have never witnessed this kind of exuberance before in Rome. I’m seeing him in a new light and it’s quite notable.
He stoops down in front of us, showering us with his beautiful eyes and warm smile. “Do you want to know why I’m so lucky?”
“I do,” I say.
“I have the privilege of sharing my life with three remarkable women who I cherish.”
I listen to Rome share with us how lucky he is and India confess her love for us and suddenly I have a notion of my own. “You know what this ice cream makes me want to do? Sing?” I break into a song The Best by Tina Turner, a song I choose when things are looking oh so peachy in my life.
“As I sit here in this luxuriously comfortable chair, listening to Thursday sing and feeling like I can do anything,” Storm says to all of us, “I have decided to forgive my mother for cutting me out of her will.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” Rome says to Storm.
This ice cream is having the most amazing and positive effects on all of us.
“As a matter of fact,” Storm continues. “I think it would be a good idea if we all forgave someone.”
“I’m game,” I say to Storm.
Storm looks to Rome. “Rome, what about you, are you game?”
“Let me think about it,” Rome says.
“India?” Storm says. “Is there anyone you need to forgive?”
“Well, there is this one person,” India says, staring straight ahead, “but I’m going to have to think about it. Maybe you could follow up with me in a month or two.”
“And that’s exactly what I’ll do.” Storm washes down three more scoops of ice cream, licking her lips and the spoon. “What is in this ice cream? Why does it taste so good?”
“Why does it make you feel so good?” I say.
Storm throws herself into a standing position, stretches out her arms and lunges forward. “I’m feeling like some salsa right about now.”
Loud enough to wake the dead, Storm yells across the room. “Is there any salsa music in the house?”
Mysteriously, a half minute passes and salsa music blasts from the wall speakers, which shakes me as I was clearly not expecting to hear salsa music.
Now, I’m thinking to myself: Is this some version of Fantasy Island where anything is manifested upon request?
While I enjoy the energetic sounds of the bongos and congas, bopping my head and snapping my fingers, Storm performs her sexy salsa moves. Soon, she is joined by several other enthusiastic dancers, eager to exorcise their bliss like the rest of us.
As I watch Storm and the other joy-filled customers exchange oh so sexy provocative dance moves, I remember that we are to call Monti and wake her from her nap, and we do just that.
India is all sprawled out on the chair, legs and arms open and head hanging off to the side. “I’m not sure I can take it anymore.”
“Take what anymore?” Rome asks her.
“Feeling this good,” India says, wiping the sweat from her face. “I think I’m overheating and I need a cigarette.”
“But you don’t smoke,” Rome says to her.
“I think I might have to start,” India says, struggling to hold her head up.
India’s condition is beginning to startle me. “Are you okay?” I ask India.
“I’m okay,” India says, fanning herself.
Monti approaches our table, looking as lively as ever. “Thanks for the call,” she says to us.
“Of course,” Rome says.
India struggles to hold her head up, raises her hand as if she’s in school. “Monti, can you help me?”
“Sure, baby girl, what is it?”
Sweat pours from India’s forehead. She unbuttons her sweater, exposing her black bra. She is wasted beyond all comprehension. “I need a cigarette.”
Monti steps to India and helps her out of the chair. “We’re not supposed to smoke in here, but because I like you, I’ll see what I can do.”
Monti wraps her arm around India’s back. “Come with me.”
Monti escorts her across the room, and they disappear into a sea of delighted customers.
“I really don’t want India smoking cigarettes,” Rome says.
I have never seen India in such an inebriated state before and it concerns me. We all love the ice cream and all are having a good time, but the ice cream may be having a negative effect on India.
While India is off smoking a cigarette even though she doesn’t smoke and Storm is engaged in salsa dance moves, Rome and I are submerged in the semi-reclining chairs, spread out like lions with a full belly. My chest and stomach are extended to its full capacity. This orgasmic banana ice cream has trumped every negative emotion, thought or memory.
I lean my head over the edge of the chair, soaking up the mood and the intensity of it all, and I savor the moments.
Fifteen minutes later, India returns bubbly and full of life. She is accompanied by a woman, more than six feet tall, wearing thick black framed glasses. She and India are huddled together like teenagers.
“Meet my new best friend,” India says to Rome and me. “Don’t we look great together?” India and the woman are cheek to cheek, gushing with smiling faces. “Dorie, this is Rome and Thursday.”
“Hello, Dorie,” Rome says.
“Hi,” I say.
“Hello,” Dorie says, directing her attention to Rome. “India has told me all about the living arrangement you have with the ladies, and I have to tell you. I want in.”
My mouth falls to the floor. I bend over, pick it up and place it back onto my face. “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” I ask this woman.
“What I’m saying is, where can I get an application?” Dorie asks Rome.
Storm ricochets back to the table and resumes a seated position on the reclining chairs. “What’s going on here?”
“Storm, this is Dorie, India’s new best friend,” I say, “Dorie, this is Storm.”
“Hello, Dorie,” Storm says.
Before Dorie has a chance to speak, I say to Storm, “Dorie is interested in joining our family.”
“Or really,” Storm says, studying Dorie from top to bottom.
After an awkward and drawn out silence, Dorie directs her attention to Rome, “So, where can I get an application?”
Rome clears his throat, looks to all of us and smiles. “Dorie is your name, is it?”
“Well, Dorie,” Rome says. “I’m not exactly sure what India has told you, but—”
Storm completely cuts Rome off. “What Rome is trying to tell you is that our family is full.”
“Oh, that’s too bad. I heard about all the fun you guys have together.”
“It’s okay,” India assures Dorie. “I’ll take your number and let you know if anything opens up.”
“You promise?” Dorie asks India.
As soon as Dorie returns to her table in the back, Storm’s eyes dart at India. “What is the matter with you? Asking strangers to join our family? Is that what you want?”
“Calm down. I was just having some fun,” India says. “I wasn’t really going to let her join our family.”
“Good because you had me worried,” Storm says.
“I take it you are feeling better now,” I say to India.
“Much,” India says. “Life is grand. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I would agree,” I say.
When I see Monti at the next table, I raise my hand, summoning her to our table.
“Are we having a fabulous time,” Monti asks us.
“The best,” India says.
“Monti, is there any way we could stay here for the rest of our lives?” I ask her.
“You know how much I like all of you, but unfortunately, there is a two-hour maximum,” Monti says. “There’s hundreds of people outside waiting to get in. I’m sorry.”
“Do you think I could get some more ice cream?” India asks Monti.
Before Monti can answer, Rome interjects. “That’s not necessary, Monti. She’s had enough.”
“No, I haven’t,” India whines.
“Yes, you have,” he insists.”
India squints her eyes at Rome and twists her mouth. She then heads towards Dorie’s table before moving from table to table, speaking to the customers as if she’s on the welcoming committee for Paradise Ice Cream.
Ten minutes pass and just as Rome is placing a $50 tip on the table, India returns to the table and drops down in the chair.
“I’d glad you’re back,” I say to India, “because I have an announcement to make.” I ease forward and uncross my legs. “Ladies, gentleman.” I am bursting with a hint of enthusiasm and seriousness all rolled up into one. I continue. “Let’s make a pact today. Let’s agree to”…I’m thinking, trying to come up with something clever, then it hits me.
“Let’s agree to eat this ice cream every day until we blow up like Governor Chris Christie.”
“I’ll agree to that,” Rome says.
“Me, too,” India says.
I look to Storm, waiting for her response.
“Storm, are you with us on this?” I ask her.
“Okay, Okay, yeah, let’s do it.” Storm says, surprisingly.
If I could bottle up the positive energy exploding between us right now, there wouldn’t be a bottle large enough to contain it.
“So, let me ask all of you something?” Rome says. “Are you guys feeling good?”
“Is orgasmic banana ice cream good?” I say.
“Does Donald Trump wear hair plugs?” Storm says.
“Is Bill Gates rich?” India says.
We all burst into laughter as it is obvious that we are all stoned out of our minds.
I am caught off guard when Rome switches places with Storm, landing him right next to me. Up until this moment, I have been the odd-girl-out. It’s the first time Rome and I have shared space all morning.
“Hey, you,” he says to me, taking my hand into his and kissing it. “Are you all right over here by yourself?”
“I haven’t been alone,” I remind him. “I have Storm by my side.”
“True, but… having Storm is not the same as having me by your side. Is it?”
I do not speak. I allow my smiling eyes to answer for me.
A slow sexy smile spreads across his face, and my insides melt. His suggestive smile activates my sexual inclinations, and I turn away. I’m just too turned on by him right now.
Monti delivers our check, and I utter a sigh of relief. The sexual tension surges through me. Rome presents her with his credit card, and she disappears into the crowd.
My eyes stretch over to Rome, who can’t help but look edible every waking hour of the day. It should be illegal to look that appetizing, especially in public when there is not much I can do to help myself to an extra-large order of Rome Nicki.
Why can’t I help myself to him?
What’s stopping me?
Might he reject me again?
What the hell?
I can’t help myself. I’m doing it. Besides, he started it by switching places with Storm and igniting my sexual itch with his attentive ways.
I don’t think about it anymore.
I hurl myself out of my chair and throw myself onto Rome, drape my arms around him and suffocate him with kisses.
“Something on your mind?” he asks me.
“You bet it is,” I say to him. “Let me show you.” I continue to saturate his face with my mouth and tongue.
Moments later, Storm joins in and climbs upon my back. Now it’s three of us in one chair, me on top of Rome and Storm on top of me. Ten seconds after that, India joins the party, pouncing on Storm like we are a pack of wolves.
I glow because I am a part of that pack.
I gleam with childish delight.
I continue to infuse Rome with my sweet kisses, and it’s perfectly apparent to me that I am not ready to depart from the House of Rome, and not sure if I ever will be.
This is my life, my family, and there is no other place I’d rather be.
If you have enjoyed this excerpt, a free download of the complete novel, “The Women Who Love Rome” is available at Shakespir.com.
Paradise Ice Cream
For People Who Like to Get High
“The Women Who Love Rome”
By London Tracy