“It’s getting dark, sweetie. You sure, you still wanna wait for your mom?”
This isn’t the first time I heard this. It wouldn’t be my last. I can guess where she is right now. She’s probably flirting with the new trainer at her gym. No better yet, sleeping with the new trainer at her gym. She might be at the mall, spending her alimony on panties that were meant to be seen. She might be having coffee with the youth pastor at our old church. One of the many possible reasons why I’m sitting here filling up the space between my fingers and nails with rust, dirt and yellow paint.
She picked this place out. Why couldn’t she pick Disney World or Chuck E Cheese? At least the lights and the mechanical dolls are louder than the tune of rejection. I’m forced to blend in with my hollow com padres on this broken merry-go-round. Ha! Merry go round. It seems like every weekend we gang up, take our positions, and just stare into nothingness.
I know when I get back to school tomorrow, Ms. Sharon is going to ask how my mom is doing? I’ll shoot her the same coy smile and mumble, “She’s ok.” Of course, Ms. Sharon won’t believe me. That’s the whole reason why she asks, but who is she really concerned about? Me? Maybe my dad? I’ve seen the way you look at him, Ms. Sharon. Trust me. He’s not ready. Love was a real thing to him. Love was a test of faith, commitment and trust. Now love is a convenience that he can’t afford anymore. She took half.
Yep. I’ll be back again next week. And the week after that. And after that if the Lord is willing. There are a lot of things we can block out and pretend that it never existed. Love isn’t one of them. I’ll be back because I refuse to forget the feeling of safety and warmth in her arms. I refuse to forget her apologetic voice when she talks about my dad. I refuse to forget her smile when she gazes into my eyes and realize they look just like hers.