It’d been a week since the funeral and I still hadn’t returned to work. Instead, I saw the girls off to school, Derrick Michael off to work, and I climbed back in bed with the goal of remaining undisturbed. Except my mother, God bless her overbearing soul, had other ideas.
“…now I’m sorry your friend is dead, but that’s no excuse for you to mope around like it’s the end of the world. People die. It’s the one thing in life you can expect. I don’t know why everyone makes a big deal out of it when it happens.” Unlike Monica, my mother didn’t care about offending my feelings.
“If you did your part by sharing the love of the good Lord with her and tried to turn her from the error of her perverted ways, then you should be at peace, and if she lived right, she is at peace….” She continued her insensitive rant. “Then again, I can see how you’d be worried, this is Carmen we’re talking about. If anything, you should let her death serve as a warning. Whatever came to her was her own doing….you cannot love that lifestyle and expect God’s protection.”
I really wished she’d give it a rest. Initially, she loved Carmen…until she discovered Carmen and I were more than friends. From that point forward there wasn’t a thing you could say to convince her Carmen was anything other than the Mother of Lesbianism. She insisted on calling Carmen “unnatural” and said her “lesbianism clung to her like stench on trash”. If she had her way I’d place a restraining order on Carmen and never speak to her again; thankfully, I was too old for her to dictate my friends.
“Mom, no disrespect.” I said, pulling the covers over my head as she rudely snatched apart the curtains, allowing the light to pour in. “…but I wasn’t in the mood for any company today.”
“Good thing I’m not company.” She quickly responded, snatching the duvet from the bed. I sat up, rolled my eyes, and sighed. I could slap Derrick Michael for giving her ass a key.
“Hurry up and get dressed. I need your help at the church.”
“I’m not going anywhere. I told you that as soon as you walked in.”
“I’ll grab your clothes.” She ignored my decline and began rifling through my closet pulling out clothes she thought I’d like to wear.
“MOM!” I shouted startling even myself. “I SAID NO, DAMMIT!!” I screamed across the room, annoyed with her interference.
“Who, exactly, are you speaking with in that tone?” She threw a homely dress on the bed and pulled a slip from the drawer. “Get up and let’s go! And you better have your ass outside in five minutes.” She gritted her teeth as she spoke the final sentence.
“Excuse me?!?” She stopped and stared as if she’d seen a ghost.
“I SAID NO…MOM!” I stood next to my bed with my chest out and chin up. I didn’t want a fight, but if she insisted, I had a little anger to burn.
My mother cocked her head and folded her slender arms. She paused for a moment, sliding me a peculiar look, then began to move my way. I stood my ground.
“Little girl…” She close enough that I could smell the peppermint latte and lightly buttered croissant she always had for breakfast., “….since understand you call yourself “grieving” behind that woman I’m going to let your little outburst slide; but you will get a hold of yourself and you will NOT, speak to me that way again.” She tossed the dress closer my way and began towards the bedroom door. “Now, I’ll be out in the car. Five minutes! And hurry up! You know I don’t like to wait.”
“MOM! I’m NOT going. I yelled as she exited the room. “Lock the door behind you. I’m getting back in the bed.”
She reappeared in the doorway in a flash, a scowl infiltrating her face,“YOU ARE GOING TO DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD, AMYA TIBIDEAUX PEARSON! OR I’LL SEE TO IT YOU—”
“…or you’ll what?” I interrupted her rant, “Tell my father about me and Carmen’s affair from thirteen years ago? Go ahead! Tell him! She’s dead now, mother. I’m married to a HOLYYYYY MAN and we blessed you with perfect little factory-made grand kids. Just like you demanded! Didn’t I give you what you wanted? Why are you still badgering me?”
“What I wanted? You’re lucky Derrick Michael even looked at you after your little stunt with Carmen and Barnard. Not only did you soil yourself by sleeping with Barnard before you were married, but you also participated in…lesbianism…” she cringed as she said the word, “…then had the audacity to involve yourself in a polygamous relationship…and get pregnant! Your father would die!”
“Lucky him.” I snapped back, glaring my eyes.
She always brought this up. She promised she’d never bring it up if I agreed to marry Derrick Michael and lead a “straight” life; yet, every time I tried to assert myself, she threw it right back in my face. She’d even threatened to tell my father and Derrick Michael, or both! Derrick was aware I’d “dated” Barnard a few times, but he had no idea the extent of our relationship; and, he certainly had no idea about me and Carmen. As far as he knew, I was a “recovering homosexual” just as he “is”.
Derrick Michael is one of those, “but I love everybody…”, folk who still (conveniently) found the time to condemn gay people anytime the opportunity presented itself – sometimes, even when it didn’t. He didn’t realize how poorly he hid his lingering eyes around certain men who clearly turned him on. As if I wasn’t aware of his lust for Barnard…or his best friend, Adam. Still, he didn’t act on his desires…at least as far as I knew – and believe me I’d hoped (prayed) he would.
If Barnard knew Carmen and I were more than good friends, there was no doubt he’d use it against me in a divorce, which ended in him having sole custody of the girls and me severely limited, supervised, contact. My parents would rally behind him, even testifying on his behalf if necessary. My sister’s shady ass would sign on just to keep her cash-flow from daddy, so she could keep up her doctor prescribed habit. My brother was iffy, but still, I couldn’t afford the risk. I had everything to lose; and I knew this because we’d signed a contract agreeing to such the morning we said our vows.
“You know what,” I grew tired of her threats, “I don’t care. Tell him. Tell them all. Tell them EVERYTHING. I’m sick of this shit anyway….”
“Don’t test me, Amya.”
“I’m not testing you…go ahead…spill the secrets since you insist on throwing it up every chance you get. Maybe I’ll finally get some fucking freedom in my life!” I screamed and threw my hands in the air.
My mother’s eyes widened in offense at my use of the word “fucking” and she responded by storming over and slapping me across the face. I didn’t budge. The pain of Carmen’s death…and possible betrayal…gripped me harder than any strike she could lay. She raised her arm to strike me again, but I’d had enough. Almost instinctively, I grabbed her hand and twisted it behind her back.
“AMYA!!” She screamed in surprise and pain. Thanks to Carmen, I was well versed in the art of self-defense and restraint. If my mother couldn’t speak like the civilized human, I’d restrain her like the animal she was.
“You’re going to learn to stop hitting me, mom. I’m a grown ass woman and I’m sick of your damn disrespect. For once, be a got damned mom and support me like you support everyone else!” She struggled to get free, which only served to tighten my grip.
“Are you going to keep your hands to yourself?” I asked, her arm still locked behind her back.
“LET ME GO!”
“I WILL…JUST KEEP YOUR DAMN HANDS TO YOURSELF, MOM…I DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO HURT YOU…” I warned before letting her go. She begrudgingly agreed so I let her go. This time, she put a little distance between us before she spoke.
“If you EVER! Put your hands on me again, Amya. I swear I’ll kill you. I promise I will.” An unfamiliar tone voice crept from her throat. I was almost shook. I’d never heard my mother speak that way…it was, icy – nevertheless, I maintained my indignation.
“You put your hands on me first, mom. I only stopped you from —” While I was speaking, she marched over to my dresser and grabbed a glass angel figurine the girls bought me for Christmas last year. Without thinking, she sent it tumbling through the air towards my head. I ducked and ran to the other side of the room.
“Amya, I’m not playing! You put your damn hands on me again and see if you don’t come up a life short.” She fumed as if she were the one struck in the face. She continued to rant and rave around the room. Throwing stuff in the process, which annoyed me even more.
I didn’t want to hurt my mom, so I snuck past her and locked myself in the meditation room connected to my bedroom. She was in her feelings, I could see why. If one of my girls ever thought to restrain me I’d probably still be trying to pry a foot out of their asses, but I also don’t strike my girls in the face or attempt to manipulate and control their lives soooo………
I closed my eyes and inhaled, attempting to practice the calming techniques Dr. Sanchez taught me a few months back, but it was hard. By this time, my mother was banging on the meditation room door demanding I let her inside. I declined.
“Amya, open this door or bring your ass out here, right now!”
“Mom…” I spoke calmly. “I’m not trying to do this with you, please just go! Please?! I just want to be alone!” I begged in tears behind the door. She didn’t seem to care.
“Ugh!” She grunted and kicked the door. A few moments of silence followed before I felt something smash into a wall that I was sure wasn’t her fist. I wanted to come out to stop her from destroying my damn room, but I figured it a small price to pay to avoid getting into an actual fist fight with your own mom.
“I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but you better fix it…and you better fix it quick, Amya. Or I promise I will tell your father about EVERYTHING, and not only will we cut you off, but I will cut you down. All of it. Even you. DEAD.” She kicked the door once again hard enough to burst a whole in it.
I heard her exit the room and head into what sounded like the living room, before she headed out the front door. I exhaled and rolled my eyes.
“Uhhhhh…..” I rubbed my temples and grabbed the knob to open the meditation room door to survey the damage to my bedroom. “She’s so childish” I said looking at the photos of her grandchildren tossed about the room like common dishrags, my covers dragged off the bed, my oversized clock smashed into my mirror.
“Well…I see that was the crash.” I folded my arms and sighed trying to decide if I’d bother to clean it up. I wouldn’t. I’d call her cleaning crew and send her ass the bill. Thank God we had guest rooms.
I hadn’t made it a few steps down the hall when out of nowhere something hard smashed into the back of my head. I yelped and crumple to the hardwood floor. A ringing developed in my ears. I groaned and tried to get up.
That’s when I felt someone straddle the top of my body, wrapping gloved hands around my neck from behind. I felt myself giving into the pressure of the hands as the ringing grew louder inside my head. Just as I was about to black out…
“I’m not ya damn mamma anyway, but if you put your hands on me again; I’ll send you to her….” …. I swore I heard someone whisper, before my world fell dark.
*PLEASE REPORT TYPOS VIA COMMENTS! THANKS!*