By Tamyara Brown
Blue sat in his cell naked, hands on his head, the sounds of tires screeching and visions play back to the days he lost two of most important women his mother Vera Bluesman and his first love, Treasure Marie Jones. They happen, in different eras of his life and in different ways. To Blue he had become all to familiar with lost of loved ones, lost of friends being killed and those who walked out of his life. He dreamed of his mother and his ex girlfriend Treasure. The worst time to dream while awake was in the morning when the sun began to rise, when the world was beginning their day and after the count he heard nothing but the whispers of his mother’s words echoing she loved him. It was the voice of Treasure that said the exact same words.
It was then he reminisced about his life, about his mother and the young 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. It was how Blue perceived it because everything had a time to live and to die. He realized that the day he lost his mother.
The way he met Treasure he knew it was destined for them to meet. She appeared when he needed someone the most. His mother gave her to him and he would allow no one to tell him different. There were a lot of girls he grew up with at the funeral, the girl Ashley who gave him her virginity and he pushed her away. They all sat at that step trying to convince him to come inside but he refused to. He smiled and shook his head because twenty five years later the way he met Treasure he would never erase from his memory. Her fat cheeks and wide smile has never erased from him. She was always a thick girl with full hips, big butt, and thighs. Yet her gentle voice and kind spirit was what he fell in love with.
He pulled out her picture, kissed it, and held it to his heart. Treasure was the ghost of his past. He flung her picture on the floor and step on it as he got that feeling in his eyes again. Fuck him for still loving a woman whom outright abandoned him. Yet, he could not escape the very day she sat next to him and made him strong when he was at his weakest. The way he still remembers she was the sweetest person he’d ever met and lastly how she nuzzled comfortably in his soul. He picked it back up and dusted it off because love was unfair. He kissed it again and placed it in his bible next to his mother’s picture.
Those two women love made him smile but the lost of them cause him never ending pain. It caused an ache that made him grasp his chest; it made him nauseous and sick in the morning. He’d jump up and shadow box to avoid them from coming from his eyes and when he finally had control of them he would continue to reminisce of the day he met Treasure Jones. In order to forget her he would play chess for endless hours with himself, workout until every ligament burned in his body and read. It was to forget about his Treasure Jones.
To escape the fact when he looked in the mirror he saw and heard his mother ask him to forgive who hurt him. Today was the anniversary of his mother’s death and he plays back the scene of a fifteen-year-old boy mourning a lost and at the same time discovering love. He cried as he did each push up in his cell. He spoke to no one and stayed in his cell alone refusing to come out for the yard or chow. He was no longer thirty-five but now fifteen years old sitting on the church stoop mourning the lost of his mother.
Blue 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 East Ferry 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 and to say farewell. The same women who ridiculed and talk about her behind her back were calling her ugly and fat. The same women who filled those seat where the same ones who had screwed his father behind his mother’s back and smiled in her face. 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 his father and him into the conference room and they pronounced 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 fucked up word; it’s indefinite, no coming back from that. No way was he sitting in the church seeing her in a coffin. It was not how he would remember his Saturdays saying good bye to the woman who birth him.
The scent of Jean Nate in the bathroom and the smell coming from the kitchen of bacon, chocolate chip pancakes, and coffee on Saturday mornings with the fresh air swarming in. He wanted her to call him snicker doodle one more time and just smile at him. To hear her yell at him about his sneakers being in the middle of the living room floor it’s what he wanted just one more time. To watch her smile and laugh one more time.
He needed to hear Marvin Gaye blasting through the windows while she clean on Saturdays. His Saturday mornings where not filled with sad music and mourning. Now he was going to bury her and that was unfair to him. He would have to live the rest of his life without his mother. His Saturdays never the same because he no longer had a mommy.
His father walked 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 them. His Daddy always reminded him of Ving Rhames his stance, his rugged face with small holes, his head clean-shaven 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. Blue facial resemblance was a combination of his mother and father. He had his mother deep dimples, his hair texture like hers that was curly, 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. Losing her is killing me inside and I’m in there. 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.” Blue mumbled.
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 said,
“ 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 fly 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. I don’t care what you say I can’t walk in there and say goodbye.”
Harper’s face frowned, his nose flared like his father. The mixture of rain and sweat poured from his face. He wasn’t ready and if that meant keeping Saturdays the day he spent with his mother filled of joy instead of her death he would avoid it at all cost.
“ I said no.”
His father let him go and sighed with defeat. He walked up the stairs and look backed he uttered, “Son, your mother would be disappointed.”
He looked at him and saw a girl dressed in assembly uniform of black and white. Her lips glossed, her hands covered in white gloves, her angelic smile, and deep dimples. Even at fifteen Treasure’s body was voluptuous as a woman. She was indeed pretty she stood and greeted his father by hugging him. 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 the June Cleaver of the hood.
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 filled his nose, 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 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 that what my Daddy told me.”
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 own tears 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.” He whimpered. 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 while taking his hand for added security.
“No. I just don’t want to say goodbye.” He lay his head on her shoulder she wraps her arms around him. She takes the angel necklace from around her neck placing it around his. She kisses it and touches his cheek.
“ 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 and he touches it.
“Are you an angel” He asked
“No, my name is Treasure Marie Jones. I’m just a girl who would like to be there for you.” She smiled and her dimples sunk in. Blue thought what a beautiful smile she has and that he could never forget that about her.
They stand up and he looks at the church doors as 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. 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 her dimples appeared and fat cheeks turn a rosy red.
He walked in and heads turn, he squeezed Treasure’s hand and that gave him strength of knowing she was right there. 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. There was his mother looking angelic and 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 her. The church became silent, no whispers only the sound of the music playing. He bends downs and kissed her cold cheek, 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. They walked out the church because he did what was ask of him he pay respects to his mother. Blue sat on the stairs and Treasure sat with him.
“Thank you Treasure!” He ran his finger across her dimples.
“You don’t have to thank me. I did it because I want to be there for you.
You okay, Harper Blue?”
“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” He held his head down and he cried some more. He wiped his eyes and gave a small smile.
“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 bright and beautiful
“Blue, what type of man did your Mom want you to be? If you don’t mind me asking?” He coughs and clears his throat.
“She never wanted me to sell drugs and just be some sorry ass thug Negro. She wanted 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 and licks her lips. His vision was blurry but his 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. Her embrace filled him with a strength he could deal with anything because she was there.
“That ‘s fly Harper. There are enough drug dealers and not enough black doctors. Why do you say Negro? Don’t you mean Nigga. It is what everyone says around here.”
He thought back to that time he punched the shit of the teacher for calling him a Nigger. He was expelled and that day he went out on the porch having a conversation with Dru. He said, “ Nigga please.”
His mother whip him and Dru reminding them she bet not ever catch them alive calling another Black man Nigga or Nigger. It was a promise he and Dru never broke.
“Another promise made to my mother. I promise to never call another black man a Nigga,” She touched his face and ran her fingers down to his cheek and chin. She laid her head on his shoulders and held his hand.
“ Harper Blue, Can I be your friend?” she
“So you just want to be friends and not my girlfriend? You can be my girl I’m in mourning but you fine, Treasure,” He complimented.
“Guys and girls can only be friends, Right? Besides my mother said I couldn’t have a boyfriend until I’m sixteen. ” She was beyond her years of fifteen Blue thought, she carried herself differently then the rest of the girls on the block he was normally use to you know loud, fast and disrespectful. She spoke softly, spoke proper English ,she cross her legs and said, “ Yes Ma’am and No sir” Even when the way she dressed was unique never showing her body off to get dudes.
“Yeah true.” He nodded his head.
“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 burial site. I need you there, please son. I’ve raised you to be a soldier and I know it’s hard but prove me proud.
“I’ll go with you, Harper Blue.” Treasure chimed in.
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 he knew he had to be a man.
“ Treasure, I got do this alonejust promise me friend you’ll always be there and I’ll always be there for you.” He smiled again and lean on the limo door.
“ 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 no one could tell him any different. Out of nowhere a girl he hardly spoke to came to his rescue. He fell in love with her that day of his mother’s funeral. He knew that she would one day be more than just his friend would, and she was going to be his wife. He watched as she walks back to the church and the limousine drove past her. He touched the angel that hung around his neck and kissed it. He whispered,
“Thank you Mommy.”
© 2012 Tamyara Brown- Tamluvstowrite
Author Tamyara Brown
My love for writing is unconditional. It is my sanity in this crazy world.