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Just Another One
Written By: Tammy Ferebee

               “I sure as hell don’t know why I have to dress up for this.”
               “Come on, now. Support your brother.”
               My eyes meet my mother’s in the mirror. “That’s an interesting choice of words. Are you planning to support this one, too?”
               “Alright now, Mya. Don’t you sass me.”
               “I’m not, Ma. I’m just curious, though. When will enough be enough?”
               She dabs a little Poison on each side of her neck. “Things are going to be different. She’s a good girl.”
               “How do you know?”
               “Because I can see the changes in my son. He wants to go back to school, he’s training over at
Metro, and he’s even eating healthier. Now you tell me, what would make your brother change like that? The only thing new in his life is that woman.”
                I scoff. “She’s a fool. I could never respect a man who doesn’t take care of his current children. She’ll see the real Malcolm when she pops that baby out.
               “You have to learn to give people a chance, Mya. He’s maturing. It took a while, but he’s trying. He’s been more involved with the boys lately.”
               “Yeah, lately. He can barely make time for the twins, but he’s ready to move in with this broad and play daddy to her baby. Why is she more special than Trisha? Why is this child more special than the boys? Because this broad is from Potomac? Because she can give him a taste of the good life?” I face my mother. “Malcolm is a user, and he’s going to continue to be a momma’s boy if you keep babying him and paying his child support.”
               “I don’t remember signing up for a lecture today.”
                I soften my tone. “You deserve better, Ma. You should be using your money to spoil yourself.  When’s the last time you went on vacation? To the spa?”
                She adjusts the cross dangling from her chain.
                “Your job is done. You supported and raised your kids. Malcolm needs to support and raise
his.”
                “I’m a mother, Mya. I catch my kids when they fall.”
                 I remind her, “We’re not kids.”
                 She exhales loudly. “How do I look?”
                “You always look great, Ma.”
                “And the earrings?”
                “They look fine.”
                As I help my mother into her jacket, I glance over at a picture of my brother and me from
years ago. I silently wonder what went wrong. We pretty much share the same face, we shared the same womb, we grew up in the same house. How can we be so different?
                “I hope her family is as nice as she was on the phone.”
                “Is that why you’re forcing me to go to this luncheon? You’re nervous?”
                “Oh hush, Mya. Your name is on the invitation. It’d be rude of you not to show.”
                I turn back towards the mirror. “If they’re uppity, I’m leaving.”
                “They sound like nice people. They’ve just done well for themselves. Don’t walk in having already judged them. That’s not fair to them.”
                I fight to lock the clasp on the back of my borrowed pearls. Everything inside me is warning me that today is headed for disaster.
                The door swings open. “Y’all not ready yet?” Malcolm asks.
                I throw the pearls on my mother’s dresser. “I’m not wearing pearls, if this ass gets to wear jeans.”

 

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