Blue sat in his cell naked, hands on his head, the sounds of tires screeching and visions play back to the days he lost the two most important women in his life. They happen, in different eras of his life and in different ways. To Blue he had become all to familiar with lost of love ones, lost of friends being killed. It was a constant and the worst to do was dream while awake in the morning when the sun began to rise, when the world was beginning the day and after the count he heard nothing but the whispers of his mother’s words echoing she loved him. It was then he reminisced about his life, about his mother and the woman who walked into his life at fifteen who was destined to be his forever. Funny thing about forever it’s just a fairy tale nothing last for a lifetime, nothing.
He sat on the steps of the church the sky was gray, the day warm and rainy it was as if the earth was weeping over the lost of his Mother. She was being eulogized today and folks would be able to say their final good-byes. This moment came too early in her life it was because some drunken bastard sped down Humboldt Parkway and hit her as she crossed the street. Every one tried to convince him to come in the church, to watch people cry over the lost of his mother, to say farewell. The same people who ridiculed and talk about her behind her back, the same women who filled those seats where the same ones who was screwed his father behind his mother’s back and had brunch with her and call themselves her friends. He saw her cross over to meet her maker and reality sat in that day he would never see his Mommy again. It marinated when the doctors pulled hiis father into the conference room at ECMC pronounce her dead.
Wasn’t that enough? How many times did he have to be reminded of her death? How many times did he have to sit stuck on the fact she was gone? Goodbye is a fuck up word; it’s indefinite, no coming back from that. No fucking way was he sitting in the church seeing her in a coffin. He wanted her to call him snicker doodle one more time. To hear her yell at him about his sneakers being in the way it’s what he wanted just one more time. He needed to hear Marvin Gaye blasting through the windows while she clean on Saturdays.
His father walks out dressed in a black suit, baby blue silk tie and Stacy Adams his frame six feet four, built of nothing but muscle stands with his hands folded in front of him. His voice strained and eyes red from letting tears come from his eyes. His Daddy always reminded him of Vhing Rhames his stance, his rugged face with small holes in his face, his clean- head and thick mustache. He put his hand on his son’s shoulder and squeezed it. Harper was a few inches short of his father, his high top fade, and his brown eyes, his pencil thin gold-tee and mustache. He resemblance was a combination of his mother and father. He had his mother deep dimples, his hair texture like hers, his hard look and height from his father and his Hershey bar complexion.
“Harper, you don’t think this is hard for me, son. I love your mother with all my heart and soul. This is eating at me too, man. I’m in there and your mother would be proud of her only son walking in there like a man.” He looked his father in the eyes and for the first time his face was cold and hard as stone.
“No, Pops. I’m not going in there.” His father grabbed him by the collar and picks him up, his feet dangles off the ground, and his heart is racing. His father eyebrow raised, his teeth clinched and nose flared. He spoke,
“ You taking your ass in there, boy. This isn’t a request son but an order.” Harper looked in his father’s eyes for the first time without fear of him breaking him in half.” Eye to eye and face to face they stood off he refused to back down. His words spat out like fire.
“ I don’t care Pops. I’m not going in there. It’s not that easy for me she died in my arms. I heard the tires screech, I saw when her body flew in the air and her body hit the concrete. . My mother’s blood spilling all over me, hearing her take her last breath and hearing her speak her last words.”
Harper’s face frowned, his nose flared like his father. The mixture of rain and sweat poured from his face.
“ I said no.”
His father let him go and sighed with defeat. He walked up the stairs and look back he uttered, “Son, your mother would be disappointed.”
He looked at him and saw the girl dress in assembly uniform of black and white, her lips glossed, her hands covered in white gloves, her angelic smile and deep dimples. li She was indeed pretty standing she stood and greeted his father, He knew of her she’d recently moved on the block with her father who was a cop and her mother who thought she was better than everyone else.
He sat on the stairs his face in his hands because now the tears were burning his eyes as he tried to hold them back. He felt a light tap on his shoulder, her scent of strawberries suffocated him, and she touched his head and ran her fingers through it. She sat next to him as if she had been in his life for eternity took his hand and held it, no words where spoken at first. She looked him in the eye and touched his face.
Finally she spoke,
“ If you want Harper Blue I will walk with you in there. I know this is hard for you just lost your mommy. I understand if you don't want to go inside that's okay too. I’ll sit and hold your hand. If you want to cry, I'll cry with you. It’s okay for a man to cry.”
Her brown eyes soft and wide, it weakened him and at that moment the girl he didn’t know he fell in love with by just her kindness and soft voice. Then came the tears he held in for four days poured from his eyes. She too then let her flow easily as she thought what if she lost one of her parents. He lends his head on her chest because the overflow of pain pours out of him. He squeezed her hand, snot drip on her silk shirt. He kept thinking that to himself a man isn’t supposed to cry this hard. He thought it should have been him.
“I don't want to say Goodbye. I can’t say Goodbye to my mom.” She wiped his face with her handkerchief, her fingers touched his cheek and it felt warm to his face
“Harper Blue are you scared?” she asked.
“No. I just don’t want to say goodbye.” I lay my head on her shoulder she wraps her arms around me. She takes the angel necklace from around her neck placing it on around his.
“ Here is something that will always remind you of your Mom. She will always be with you Blue. Only now she is your angel watching over you.” She puts it around his neck he touches it.
“Are you an angel? He asked
“No, my name is Treasure Jones. I’m just a girl who would like to be there for you.”
They stand up and he looks at the church doors more mourners walk in. The loud sound of the church bells rung, the sound of the organ playing Amazing grace and the smell of flowers and the sound of people weeping stopped him dead in his tracks. She held his hand and slowly they walk up to the steps of the oldest church in Buffalo.
“ You promise Treasure you’ll stay right with me?” She looked him in the eyes and responded.
“I never make a promise I can’t keep.” She smiled and her dimples appeared.
He walked in and heads turn, he squeezed Treasure’s hand and strength from knowing she was right there empowered each step. His body tremble with fear, the sweat poured off his forehead and his cries rang throughout the church. She rubbed her hand on his back and in front of the whole congregation she gently kissed his cheek. Her voice still soft praised him.
“ Harper Blue you are the bravest person I know.”
With that one statement his steps became easier as he reached his mother’s sky blue casket surrounded by her favorite flowers behind the casket. There was his mother looking angelic, her lips covered in red lipstick, her cold body dressed in a beautiful light blue dress, white gloves her finger laced with the diamond engagement ring his father gave to him. The church became silent, no whispers only the sound of the music playing. He bends downs and kissed her cold cheeks, he wished at that moment she kissed him back. He cleared his throat and in her ear he whispered,
“Mommy, I'm going to be the man you always wanted me to be. I promise” He leaned up, looked at Treasure and took her hand. He walked out the church. I sat on the stairs and she sat with me.
“Thank you Treasure!”
“You don’t have to thank me. I did it because I want to. You okay?”
“Yeah I think so. Will you come with me to the park? I don’t want to go to that burial site. I can't”
“Yes, but I have to be back to help my mother with the repast.”
They walked to Martin Luther King Park and Harper placed newspaper on the bench where they sat. The birds where chirping and it sounded as if they where singing a song, the sun had finally came out. It was brighter than usual. She was a girl before today he rarely spoke to she seemed stuck up and conceited never talking to any of the other girls besides Lyrical. Today he had seen her in a different light.
“Blue, what type of man did your Mom want you to be? If you don’t mind me asking?” I cough and clear my throat.
“She never wants me to sell drugs and just be some sorry ass thug Negro. She wants me to finish school, go to college, and own my own business. I promised her I’d never follow in my Pops footsteps as a drug dealer.” She pushes her hair out of her eye, licks her lips. My vision was blurry but my thoughts were clear she was something special. He didn’t know why but he felt that safe around Treasure, felt like she was supposed to be here today.
“That ‘s fly Harper. There enough drug dealers and not enough black doctors. Why do you say Negro? Don’t you mean Nigga” He thought back to the time he kicked the shit of the teacher for calling him a Nigger he was expelled and that day he went out on the porch calling his cousin a Nigga. His mother beat him and Dru reminding them if she bet not ever catch them alive calling another Black man Nigga or Nigger. It was a promise he and Dru ever broke.
“Another promise made to my mother. I promise to never call another black man a Nigga.” She touched his face.
“ Harper Blue I want to be your friend?”
“So just friends and not my girlfriend? You can be that I’ in mourning but you fine.”
“Yes guys and girls can only be friends, Right? My mother said I can’t have a boyfriend until I’m sixteen. ” She was beyond her years of fifteen Blue thoughts, she carried herself differently then the rest of the hoochies. She spoke softly, she crossed her leg and she called him by his full government. Even when the way she dressed was unique.
“So, Harper Blue can we be friends?” He kissed her on the lips softly and he hugged her tight. His father appeared and his voice was strained and horse.
“Come on we going to the site. I need you there. You’re her only child we need you there, please son.”
“I’ll go with you Harper Blue.”
He stood up and this time he walked to the limousine. He looked back and she looked angelic, the wind stirred, he knew that she had a purpose in his life. He knew at that moment he had to go to that burial for his Mom she sacrificed tolerated and did things and he knew he had to be a man.
“ Treasure, I got do this alone. Just promise me friend you’ll always be there and I’ll always be there for you.”
“ I’ll always be there for you. I never make a promise I can’t keep.”
He stepped in the limousine with an insurance policy that though his mother was gone. She sent him Treasure to watch over him that nothing could tell him any different. Out of nowhere a girl he hardly spoke to came to my rescue. He felled in love with her that day of his mother’s funeral; he knew that she would one day be more than just his friend, she was going to be his woman. He watched as she walks back to the church and the limousine drove past her. He touched the angel that hung around his neck me and kissed it. He whispered,
“Thank you Mommy.”
© 2012 Tamyara Brown- Tamluvstowrite