The wonderful feeling of an old friend going home.

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A VG Serial: Where It Ended

Chapter 13 – 2

The next couple of years be heaven on earth. I git to stay home, watch after my own family, play with my grandchilun, an love on Miss Polly as I don’ espect she’ll be round much longer. I manage to save a little money over the years an Mr. Ware, well he get some odd jobs that help us. Plus my dear chilun, they good to us in many ways. My only wish be that my mama could have lived to be here during these days, so I could finally return the favor an take care of her.

I stay in touch with Mr. Judd an even Miss Frankie, though she not be much of a letter writer. She did send me a tape of her singing, the kind that git sold at stores, but I had no way to play it. It muss have twigged on her sometime during that year that I be here looking at her tape rather than listening to it ’cause on my next birthday, my sixty-fifth, Miss Frankie send me this little machine to play music tapes in. An since we now have lights in Small Town, I can play it. So on that birthday we hear her sing after all these years. She sing from her own blues now. It be the real thing. It take me back to all those times she stand next to me, leaning up agin me as I iron or scrub clothes or sew up rips an tears, leaning there singing in my ear with that voice that belong to a woman but be coming outta a child. I don’ forget a single time of those sweet moments.

That sixty-fifth year be one I never fo’git. Not juss ’cause I can hear Miss Frankie singing agin, but ’cause that lil’ child I give my heart to all those years ago, that child I cry ’bout in my sleep, that child who teach me how to love the world in ways I never imagine, that child come home to me.

It be late October. I juss coming in from visiting Polly’s grave. She leave juss like she say she gonna as the cold air start to gather round at night. It didn’t take much cold to get her shivering those lass days, so I glad she git herself tucked into the warm earth. I be with her when she lay her head down fo’ the lass time. I set there an stroke her softly so she not afraid. Juss afo’ she close her eyes, she whinny this little whinny like to get my attention. As I lean in close to those big ole eyes of hers I swears I see her smile. I know horses cain’t smile, but I sees what I sees. An then I feel this breeze blow through though nothing wagged in it, but whatever it was it be what carry her away. An since we two so respectful of each other all these years, they be no pain on parting, no regrets, juss a wonderful peaceful feeling like any time an ole friend be going home.

The cotton come in early that year an the fields be filled with corn an beans waiting on harvest. The temperature beginning to help you remember what it feel like to be in the comfort of cool air rather than sweltering in summer heat. The scent of drying leaves, dusty earth, an witch hazel berries tell you Mr. Autumn has taken up temporary quarters to ready the earth for winter. I juss come in from my morning chat with Polly. I cain’t say it be a two-way conversation, but it feel like that so.

As I be walking slowly cross the yard toward the house, talking to my resident mockingbird, a big, shiny red car pull into our yard. I stop to see who git out an my heart stop.

She still slender as a rail an her ashen hair juss a tad darker. The washed-out blue of her eyes almoss match the October morning sky. Katie never lose her grace of movement. I can see it in her turn as she close the car do’r, an then she juss stand there lookin’ at me with that same look that espect the world to say, “No, we don’ want you.” Like she know outta the womb for her this be an alien land.

Episodes of Where It Ended by Christina Carson will be published every Tuesday.

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