Two months ago mama was in a really bad car accident. She had broken her collar bone and was placed on bed rest. After six weeks in the hospital, mama still had some soreness and therefore, was assigned a registered nurse. Three days a week the RN came by the house to care for her. As the RN prepared lunch, mama sat on the toilet smoking a cigarette. Out of nowhere, police kicked down the front door and arrested mama, claiming that there was a suitcase full of heroin in the trunk of the car she was driving. Since there was no other family to care for me, the state took over. I was sent to New York and placed in a foster home. It was hell having to share a room with strangers and even worse, strangers that beat my ass! In my fifth foster home, all nine of us bastards gathered to eat dinner that night. One of the girls cut my hair and pushed my face into the plate of macaroni and cheese in front of me. It wasn't my fault, she was dark skinned with kinky hair. She was never reprimanded, of course and I was sticky until morning. The foster mother didn't allow any water to be used after 6pm. Did she not know that after people had eaten, they also like to wash their hands afterward? Being there two days already had proved too much for me. I waited until morning to wash my face and skipped out on the runny eggs and burnt toast. All that day I stood outside of a convenient food mart. When the store was empty, I slipped inside and helped myself to a few snacks and water. The owner caught me in the back choking down cookies and cakes and called the police.
Sitting in the patrol car, my life had flashed before my eyes. Every negative word people said about me was coming true. I didn't want to start my life in jail. Now that I thought about it, mama had been arrested for shoplifting when she too was sixteen. Just then the arresting officer opened the door and took the cuffs off. He pointed to a tall, lanky, monkey faced man standing near the front of the squad car.
"Do you know that gentlemen there?" Wearing a green golf hat and rings on every finger, I was sure he was a drug dealer. Catching my eye, the stranger gazed at me and flashed a tattoo on his fore arm that read, BIG DADDY. I didn't know that fool from a can of paint, but I had to know somebody or I was going to jail. Even worst, back to the foster home!
"Yeah, I know him." Putting two and two together, forty something year old man and the big ass tattoo, my response was automatic.
"He's my daddy." Once out of the patrol car, I walked over to the man, putting my arms around his skinny waist. "Hi daddy!"
I'm not sure if the cops bought it or not, but they really could have cared less that a nigger and a mixed mutt were related. As long as I didn't die from an "accidental" gunshot or having a police train ran on me, I was fine. Once the cops left, the man patted me on my back to let him go.
"Where's your mama?" Lighting up a cigarette. He spoke with a raspy voice like he had smoked cigarettes since he was born.
"Home I guess. Thank you for that. Gotta go." Before the soles of my peanut butter colored shoes could tap the sidewalk, I was hit with the most shocking news of my life.
"I am your daddy, you know!" Puffing on the stinking cigarette, he walked closer, stretching out his long black hand toward me.
"My name is Gregory." There wasn't a funnier joke in the world that could have made me laugh harder. Bystanders looked on as I squatted all the way to the ground, then fell over convulsing in laughter. I didn't even care about the dirty sidewalk and all the gum and spit I rubbed on myself from rolling around like an insane woman.
"Get you ass up!" Gregory snatched me up and sat me in his white Cutlass Supreme with burgundy leather seats. It smelled of potpourri and cheap cologne. Sitting in the wide car made us seem miles apart. Gregory turned the key in the ignition, before positioning his arm to pull the gear shift into drive, I grabbed his hand.
"Where are we going?" This guy was crazy! He didn't even know me!
"We're going home, Ariona." He knew my name! How could he know my name? I was in an entirely new state! No one knew me here. At least, that's what I thought.
Gregory and I rode for hours it seemed like. We talked about Heather, my mama, and he told me the story about how she got pregnant with me. We laughed about how mama was so skinny with a gut full of baby weighing her down. Gregory had a big smile and an even bigger wallet. He took me shopping and brought me anything I wanted. Short skirts and tank tops. Makeup and a pocketbook to match every shade. My bedroom was inside of the most luxurious condominium in New York. Gregory even had a maid! She looked a little young, about twenty, and had on the most eccentric uniform I had ever seen. Short black spandex mini skirt with matching halter top and stiletto heels. Hmmm! There were other girls in the house as well. Some wore clothes and some didn't! When I had Gregory to myself, I asked him who the other girls were. We were standing by the bay window in my new bedroom enjoying the cool breeze. I remember how sweet and gentle it was as it wiped away summer preparing the north for autumn.
"They're my hoes." Another joke! Gregory was such a prankster. I shrugged it off and tried to pass Gregory when he slapped me across my face so hard, I flipped over twice.
"Welcome home baby girl." Before I realized it, I was on the bed face down. My skirt had been pushed up to my bra. My panties had been ripped off. All I could feel after that was the cool breeze blowing so gently over my tears as they flooded my face.