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24 May, 2008

Another Quick Snippet From JUMP...Because Anonymous Requested It & I'm Flattered She Did

My grandmother spends extra time wrapping my scarf around my neck and tucking the ends. Next, she helps me separate my fingers inside my gloves and pull them on snugly. It is one of the few memories I have stored away that brings a feeling of warmth with it when it comes to me. Most of the other ones bring along with them anger and numbing cold.

She is hardly ever doting but she is today because she senses that her hold on me is loosening, that she is losing my allegiance. Rebellion is written all over my face and she is smart enough, cunning enough, to know she needs to do something to assure my continued cooperation. I am a loose end she cannot afford to leave hanging.

She zips my coat and then tries to kiss me on my cheek but I spin away and leave her kissing air. Leave her wishing she had the right to put her lips on my skin in love and affection. I hate her and I think she can smell the hate wafting from my armpits like musk. She thinks kissing me will neutralize the odor but she is wrong.

"All right now, Leenie. That’s enough of your foolishness, you hear?"

I pretend I don’t hear and I keep staring at the door and counting the seconds until a car horn sounds. My mother is always punctual. She drops Vicky and me off at seven every morning and picks us up at four-thirty every evening. It is four-twenty-nine and we know to be wrapped and ready to run out the door at the sound of her car horn. She never comes inside. I wish she would come inside, just once, so she can see what we do all day, while she is working. Mothers are supposed to be psychic and I just know if she comes inside she will sniff the air and know. She can save us if she comes inside.

The horn sounds and Vicky rushes over to the door like she expects Santa Claus to be on the other side of it. The way she wobbles in her coat would be funny if there wasn’t something so desperate about her need to escape. She too, is wrapped snug as a bug in a rug and her mittens slip off the doorknob many times before she is able to grab hold to it and turn it.

My grandmother’s hand is weighting my shoulder down and as I go to follow Vicky out the door, it clenches tight enough to keep me in place. She puts her face in mine and forces my chin up with a finger, makes me look in her eyes.

"You fix your face, Leenie. Ain’t nothing in the world that bad you gotta look like that," she says.

"I hate you." To my grandmother’s face, I say this. And I feel like I have lost twenty pounds afterward. It is finally off my chest, out there for her to look at and to consider the ramifications. I expect her to apologize, to say she knows she is wrong, to ask me what she can do to make me stop hating her, but she doesn’t. What she says is this: "I hate you, too."

And I never look at the world the same again.

6 comments:

Karen O'Bannon said...

What a great excerpt. Where can I get this book?

Terra Little said...

Hi, Karen. This project is still one of my "babies", one I hope will one day see the light of day. Lena is very outspoken, so I had to give her a little face time here. Thanks for checking it out and letting me know you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes here we go again stingy!

Quit doing this to me! I love this story! Can i read the mss? HAHAHA! Not a chance in hell you say? I feel you. I probably wouldn't let another writer read mine either...

Good stuff lady!

Terra Little said...

LOL. Perhaps if I knew your name...?

Tee C. Royal said...

LOL...I'm here as promised, but I've already told you quite a few times I don't like reading excerpts, so unless I'm going to see it all, I'm not interested. I just can't stand the waiting on more part of reading excerpts (if it's good) and the feeling like I've wasted my time (if it's bad). You are NOT teasing me with these little "snippets". -Tee

Terra Little said...

Tee, you ain't gotta act like that...Lord, I'll be glad when you have little Jax...just evil...LOL