Archive | August 2012

“Ms. Heddy Through it All” Chapter 5 How Sweet It Is


The smell of bacon, and fried potatoes and onions came up through the vents and cracks waking me up early the next morning. Janet had come home and was cooking breakfast. I was so happy to see her. She stood about 4’9” inches tall and was spunky.  She’d tackle anybody no matter how big they were. She’d say the bigger they are the harder they fall. Janet wore her dark brown hair in a short bob with a bang combed to the side. She had a pair of gorgeous round brown eyes that she used when expressing her thoughts and feelings. I remember her favorite phrase was “Nigga Please” The way she said it made me crack up—it was so funny. Janet was frank she called a spade a spade and walked with plenty of self-confidence and pride. And I loved her like a big sister.

After eating the kids went outside to play. Janet washed the dishes and I dried them and put each plate carefully in the cabinet above the counter. I knew Leon was coming over again that night; I had to tell her that I had met a boy. So, I told her about Leon and how we had met in the park and asked if he could come over. Janet stood at the kitchen sink washing the pots and pans and asking me a zillion questions like:

“Where does he live, Heddy?”

“He lives over by the park on Columbus.” I wiped the table with the wet dish cloth that was on the kitchen counter and sat down at the table.

“Where does he go to school?”

I was getting more and more uncomfortable with every question. I rested my elbows on the table and put my head on my hand; then I looked up at her.

“He goes to Garfield High School.” Janet returned the plastic milk carton to the refrigerator.

“Where did you say you met him?” she asked.

“I met him at the park down the street.”

“Who are his parents?”

“I don’t know his parents.” I knew I didn’t have all the answers. Actually, I didn’t know much about him at all. I guess I was too busy looking at him and wasn’t paying attention when he was telling me about himself. Janet turned and looked me in the eye.

“Heddy, I’ll have to know more about him before he can visit.”

I didn’t tell her that he had been over many times to visit. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to have company, but I should have known. Mama never let me have company unless she was there watching every move and listening to every word like a hawk.

“He’s a really nice guy, Janet.”

“I’m sure he is, Heddy, but I need to know more about him.” She walked out of the kitchen heading towards the upstairs.

Later that day after calling around and doing some checking, Janet finally said he could come over. It was still daylight when the door bell rang early that evening. It was Leon, I ran to the door. He was wearing a black waist length leather jacket and black pants. I could smell his cologne before I reached the door. I guess black was his favorite color. He looked so handsome standing there smiling at me. A white two door Pontiac Grand Prix,  parked in front of the house waited with the motor running.

“Hi, Angel, I came to let you know, I can’t come over tonight. I’ve got to go to Cleveland, but I promise I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?” I was sadly disappointed I had spent half of the day trying to convince Janet to let him come over. The other half I spent hoping and praying that she would say yes. Just when she agrees to let him come over—he has to go to Cleveland! I couldn’t believe this was happening. I stood there stunned and paralyzed from the mouth down.

He gave a slight grin and waited for my response, but I just looked at him and said; “Oh, okay.” Yes, I was disappointed, but what could I say? I had a bad feeling, as I watched him step off of the porch, walk down the sidewalk, get into that Grand Prix, and ride off. I watched him until I couldn’t see him anymore.