Damm, she thought to herself, this is one about the only reasons come, Auntie Tracey’s potatoes. Everybody in the family has the receipt ,but they don’t come out like hers. Maybe somebody will ask for some, and then they can pass me the potatoes. I haven’t spoken to that nigger in years and I ani’t never ever gonna speak to him. Look at him! playing the big father, I wonder if his wife knows. Muthafucker… I am not gonna let him worry me.
“Mary Louise,whats wrong with chu, your lookin funny”her Auntie Reen called across the table. Why ain’t chu eating? if the food is too cold you can heat it up. ” I’m alright she said”
Mary Louise, was named after her mothers older sister who died in a car accident. Her aunts say Mary Louise hated the name Mary, so everybody called her Louise. but everyone in family calls her Mary Louise, away from the family she’s Mary.
As she looks around the table, everyone looks older. And while there are over 25 people here, she remember there were a lot more people around when she was younger There was a big long table that stretched through the kitchen to the dining room. and a smaller tables in the living room, some people ate on TV trays and others put towels on their laps.
As long as she could remember they ate at Auntie Katies house during the holidays, the 4th and Thanksgiving and Christmas. Katies house is the biggest . Auntie Katie always had nice clothes and always drove new cars . Mama said ,she always acted big and thought she was better than everyone elese. Mama and her sisters used to always talked about Katie and her big ways. Katie and Uncle Charles had the longest marriage, Katie worked for the phone company and was bout to retire,Uncle Charles worked for the water company. Uncle Charles moved in with another women in San Pablo and no one has seen him in years . In a weird way, Uncle Charles leaving Auntie Katie had brought the four sisters closer, none of the sisters have a man in their lives.
Yeah, there should be more people here, she thought. She has a lot of cousins, but they dont come to the Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners anymore, in fact, if it wasn’t for mama, I probably wouldn’t come. My boys say the dinners are boring, there is no one here near their age for them to play with. But if I can come they can come. I like Auntie Katie, and Auntie Tracey, but my favorate Auntie Joyce, she is always doing something, going to school she got a lot of life in her, Auntie Reen is a fake, sometimes I hate her more than her black seed.
I rememeber her telling me to not to tell mama about her seed. I was 10 years old, ten years old and I told my mama what he had been doing to me. I told her I didn’t want to back to Auntie Katie’s house, but she said it would upset Auntie Katie and it was important to be around family for the holidays,she said, she would watch him and it wouldn’t happen again.
But it seems like she forgot, she would go into the kitchen and talk he would just come get me and pull me in his room, he wouldnt say nothing. just pull my clothes down, put his hand over my mouth and climb on top of me.
One time, my mama saw me sitting in the room and she could tell by my face something was wrong and she want into to the room and started beating on Troy, Auntie Reen ran in the room and they started fighting.
I didn’t tell mama , but from that point didnt want anything to do with her.
It started as a game, I guess that’s why I didnt tell nobody. I was nine and I think Troy was 17. Me and my cousins where all playing, when Auntie Tracey took the twins home, me and Troy kept playing. He closed the door and kept pullin on me. He said he bet me a dollar that I couldn’t kiss him. I tried, he’d turn his head,after a while he let me kiss him, then he held my face. I didn’t like it, but we kept playing.
Then he started feeling on me… Reaching into my pants, before I knew it he was on top of me. I remember it hurting , ooooh hurting so bad.. he wiped my face and told me to stop crying. I was so young and thought I did something wrong. When I got home, there was blood in my panties and blood some blood on my pants. I knew mama was gonna whoop me , so I put them in a bag and threw them away in the garbage outside.
Everytime he saw me, he would just stare at me ,it made uncomfortable. At first, I made it a point to sit with my other cousins, and when they would leave, I would go into the kitchen with my mama. “You need to go some where and sit yo ass down-grown people are talking-this isn’t a place for children-go on now” Then he would just come get me out of the living room, after a while I stopped fighting him.
One 4th of July weekend, me and my girl cousins was at the park, laughing and talking about Al B Sure, I had a big crush on him, we all did, and when Troy walked by, everybody got quiet, some of my cousins just got up and walked away and stood by their brothers or mothers. I’d didn’t realize it then, but know now, I wasn’t the only one he messed with.
I was a big girl,and one day, I had just come out of the bathroom and he tried to pull on me and I hit him, he hit me back and we fought, I picked something up, I dont remember what it was, I think it was a trophy and hit him with it, it cutting him over his right eyebrow,he has that scar today. I walked out of his room just as mama,Auntie Katie and Auntie Tracey running towards us .
Auntie Tracey started laughing, and mama grabbed me and told me to go sit in the car. On the way home mama didnt say nothing. and that was the last time I spoke to Troy. Everytime I see Auntie Reen with her phoney ass, she always asks, how you doin, are you still doing hair? I just look at her. Yeah, bitch I am, I say to myself, I’m still waiting to get paid for doing your hair three years ago.
Her seed, was kicked out of school in his junior year. nobodys talking.
By the time I was 16, a lot of the family stop comming to the dinners at Auntie Katie’s house. All the sisters are there. but few of their kids.. Mama will call and call and call me, to make sure me and the boys are there. I wouldn’t have made my boys come around someone that did something like that. My boys will always come first, their dad doesn’t spend much time with them, its hard, but we will be okay.
So, here I am sitting across from the bastard,playing the big daddy with his daughters, he’s got to be close to 50 now with his young wife. I wonder if she would stay with him if she knew what he did? You know, who cares? I wish somebody would ask for those potatoes, shit.