Sunday, December 12, 2004
Mama going away to Dallas. She says she need to so she can find work that pay her good. She say she send for me when she able to but I just shrug my shoulders cause she crying when she say it. I always remember how Grandma say that sometimes tears hide the truth and as much as mama was struggling to say what she say, I could tell she was just trying to make me feel good. I didn't cry. I'm a boy so I ain't supposed to cry though I did wipe my eyes later when no one was looking.
Mama took forever to get herself ready. She kept talking and going on about this and that. Telling me to mind Grandma and how to act in school. She say it's important that I get an education so I wont have no troubles later on. She say she want me to be a good man in this world and be able to walk proud because I've got an education.
"Always do your homework..." Mama say when she look at me.
That was about the only time she stopped packing and looking around to see what she forgot. She must've done that for hours and I sat there watching while trying to get used to the idea that I wouldn't be seeing her no more. It hurt me a little bit to watch though I didn't know at the time that that was what I was feeling. I mostly just felt confused.
After a while, some man pull up in his car and knock on the screen door. Mama scream out that she's coming and then the man just stand there on our porch. He didn't see me on the other side of our screen door but I just watched him. He lit a cigarette and stood there, blowing out his smoke. Mama was still grabbing things and stuffing clothes in boxes while the man stood outside waiting. He seemed comfortable until he finished smoking.
"Hey, we got to go! You know it's a long drive to Dallas!" The man yell through the screen door.
Mama say "I'm almost done, just let me do this one last thing..."
"How many bags you got in there? Why am I standing outside here, I been in your house before..."
The man pull at the door and look surprised that the screen was unlocked. Then he step inside and look even more surprised when he seen me. I'm kind of scared because this man look at me in a strange way. He dont even say hello. He just kind of nod his head and then walk further inside. He looking for mama but at first he dont say nothing, I guess because he seen me. I dont say nothing either. Mama walk into the room and seen how me and this man just looking at each other.
Mama say "Timothy this is Travis. Say hello..."
I dont say nothing but the man say my name and then he smile. He all dressed up in a suit and hat. It's a light brown suit with a fancy tie and a clean white shirt like what some men wear to church on Sundays.
Mama go back to what she was doing. She doing things so fast like this be her last opportunity to get what she needs. The way she look to me is like she ain't coming back and I feels it too. Then mama come back into the room where me and this man she call Travis is standing. She look at me and smile. She out of breath from so much running from room to room.
Mama say "did you speak to Travis, Timothy? Why you so quiet?"
I look at this man and then I look at mama. I ask her "is this man my daddy?"
Mama kind of laugh but she seem uncomfortable by what I say. She take me in another room where she can talk to me alone. She talk to me like she dont want that man to hear what she say. She hold me close and look into my eyes like she wants to make sure I understand what she gonna tell me.
"Timothy, Travis is someone... well, he's someone dear to me and I will be staying with him in Dallas. When I get there I'll call and give the number to Grandma. I'm just a phone call away, sweetheart."
"He not my daddy but you going away with him?"
"No, he's not your daddy. I have to go Timothy because like I said, I have to find better work. Ain't nothing out here for me..."
"I'm here mama and Grandma is here..."
"You'll understand when you're older but that's why I want you to do your best in school. It'll be okay. I have to go, okay?"
Mama stood up and walked away. I just stayed in that same spot and watched her and that man gather her things and go outside. The man was complaining about how much mama bring and she just kiss him and look all happy. Mama dont want me no more. That's what it feel like to me. I just stand there. The house feel colder cause mama take so much with her.
After they finish loading up the car, the man get inside and start the engine. Then mama walk up to the screen door but she dont come inside. She yell out to me like she just leaving for a little while.
Mama say "okay Timothy, I'm gonne now so you be good! Make sure you lock up the house real good when you go over to Grandma's, okay?"
I didn't say a word. I was confused and didn't know how I was supposed to feel. I just know I didn't feel right. Mama was leaving me behind and expecting me to find my own way to Grandma's house because that's where I would be living.
"Timothy?" Mama called out.
I peeked my head out to look at her. She was standing outside on the porch and had her head down as if she were listening out for me. I stayed quiet.
"Suit yourself, Timothy. I have to go so I'll call you later, okay! Bye..."
I heard the car door slam and then they drove off. I walked to the front door just to see if what I'd heard were true. Mama was gone and I was alone in a cold empty house. That's when I did what I wasn't supposed to do. I cried but I wiped my tears before they could be seen. I dont know why I wanted to hide them. Nobody was around. It was just me. I didn't go to grandma's right away like mama said. I just stayed inside the house. I sat on the living room floor and watched daylight turn to darkness. I was hungry but I didn't want to move away from looking out the screen door. I guess deep inside, I was hoping mama would come back. Like maybe she forgot something but wasn't nothing left that was worth taking, including me.