It's Me, Melody Green
I am just a woman. An everyday, run-of-the-mill woman. Nothing fancy, nothing glamorous and there are no adventures, so to speak. Well, maybe some adventures that normal people don’t experience every day . . . so, I guess it does make me . . . different . . .
My name is Melody Nicole Green. My mom, who raised me all on her own, chose the name Melody for me because she said that after I took my first breath after being born, I belted out a perfect pitch with my tiny lungs. She just knew I was going to be a singer. Little did she know that 27 years later, I wouldn’t be able to carry a tune in a bucket even if I tried.
Mama always told me that my father was 6′3". I’ve never laid eyes on him, so I can’t deny nor confirm that.
However, with him supposedly being of tall stature and my mom being a statuesque 5′9", how in the world did I come out to be a height challenged 5′2"?
Technically, I am 5′1" and ¾, but who cares, right?
I weigh a hefty 140 pounds (I say hefty because, according to my doctor, I’m 20 pounds overweight), but by looking at me, you would never guess that I’m considered overweight by my doctor’s standards.
I think I look perfect with my curvy hips, ample bust and with my legs (although short) shaped in a curvilinear motion.
I get my whiskey-colored eyes from my mama’s mother. Out of all 18 of my cousins on my mama’s side, only three others had the luck of the gene draw to gain this trait.
I have been accused of wearing color contacts throughout my life. If I am in a good mood, I just flatly reply, “Okay,”, but if I am in a sour mood, I usually respond with a colorful string of expletives.
I had heard a lot of quiet buzz behind my back so many times growing up about my eyes.
In my 5th grade class, girls would snicker behind me, whispering loudly enough just so that I could hear, “Dark-skinned girls look so scary with funny colored eyes. Hee hee hee!” That was the first time I had ever told someone to kiss my ass. I was 10.
It was also the first time the teacher sent me home with a note asking for a conference with my mama.
I am 27 years old and just shy of my 28th birthday. I live alone in a 3-bedroom 2-bath ranch that I had inherited from my former model agent, Randy McConnell.
Randy was a sweet guy who had passed away at the age of 68 from heart failure. I modeled for his agency from the age of 19 until I was 24. I had bowed out of modeling with dignity before I reached the dreaded aged out category.
Randy was definitely the father figure that I never had.
I was a sophomore at the local college downtown when I lived on campus. I was the stereotypical starving student.
Before I began working at the corner hair care supply store, I had found a crumpled dollar bill under my bed while looking for the mate to one of my shoes. I popped up and did a little dance and realized that I had a problem and I needed a job to help me survive. No one should be that happy to find a dollar bill!
I had been working at Lucille’s Hair Supply for about a month when Randy walked in with a dolly loaded with boxes of the hair product that we had been waiting for. I nodded to him to acknowledge that I knew he was there and continued studying for my Anatomy 101 class.
I was hoping to dabble in physical therapy as my profession back then, but later changed my major to business once I was made aware that I would have to work on human cadavers in Gross Anatomy. Yeah, it was sure gross to me!
“Would you like to model for my company?” he asked as he walked up to the counter, digging into his back pocket. “You have the perfect bone structure and your high cheekbones are to die for!”
“You mean, my zygomatic bones are to die for,” I said to myself while imagining patting myself on the back. I just put a self-righteous smirk on my face as I did not let Randy in on my inside joke.
Randy had pulled a business card from his wallet and gave me permission to call anytime if I decided to do some freelance modeling.
He was looking for a fresh face to model his hair care product that he made himself. It sold pretty well and there were customers who left disappointed when we had run out.
It pretty much went on from there. When we had grown to know each other well, I had opened up to him about me not having a father in my life, and he would invite me and Mama over to his home for holidays and anything that came up that needed celebrating.
He had never married and never had children of his own, so our friendship was a match made in heaven.
Towards the end of his life, he had told me that he wasn’t feeling like himself and that he felt as if his end was near. I poo-pooed it off and said, “You know you are not going anywhere no time soon. Who is going to walk me down the aisle when I finally meet my Prince Charming?”
He had lightly sat his cup of coffee on the kitchen island, folded his arms, leaned down to rest on them, tilted his head downwards in order to peer at me over his bifocals, and said, “What? You expect me to live until I’m 120? You don’t pick them very well.”
I’m embarrassed to say, but he was right. I don’t know how to pick them. My love life has always been up and down on a tragedy of a rollercoaster destined to derail at any second because there are a couple of screws missing on the rails.
But Randy was always there for me, opening his door to me at 2am with tears rolling down my face as I shook with adrenaline from being dumped. He would turn on his record player and play soft jazz, guide me to his kitchen table, ask me to sit while he made me hot chocolate with marshmallows, and encourage me to tell him what happened. He and his home (now mine) was and is my refuge.
So now, I am sitting on my front porch in a green captain’s folding chair that was left behind by Randy. It is 9:32 at night, the sun has finally said good-bye to my part of the earth, and the moon has taken over its shift.
It’s still pretty humid on this summer’s night, so I have a tall glass of sweet southern tea with ice by my side on the table.
It’s pretty quiet tonight as the neighborhood moms have called their children in for the night, probably with dinner waiting on the table as the kids took their baths.
I briefly wonder what a household with a father would be like at this time of night. Is the dad sitting in a big, overstuffed armchair, reading a newspaper like you see in the comics? Is he eating at the table, asking the kids what they had done at school that day? Is he flirting with his wife in hopes that the offspring don’t catch the drift?
I am creating a scenario in my head about what’s going down across the street in the house of the Woodlums.
The Woodlums are a married couple in their 40s, they have two kids in their teens, a dog and a cat that they let out every night at 8:00 on the dot. That darned cat is out here somewhere, probably scratching up someone’s flower bed and leaving behind a very unpleasant present.
“WHAT . . . THE . . . FUCK!!” comes ringing down my quiet street. I quickly turn my head towards the male scream to my right.
A man wearing nothing but a pair of jean shorts comes running full speed, screaming, “OH, GOD! OH, GOD! WHAT THE FUCK, MAN!”
As he gets closer, I can hear him gasping for air in-between his yells. Under the streetlight located in front of my next-door neighbor’s house, I notice what looks like blood spattered on his chest. It speckles his pecs and is concentrated on his left bicep, leaving a drip pattern trailing down to the crook of his arm.
The man is now in front of my house and shows no signs of slowing down. I hear his bare feet slap against the sidewalk’s concrete.
When he passes my mailbox at the end of my driveway, he turns his head towards me. Pure fear dominates his face. “STOP STARING AND CALL THE POLICE, BITCH!” He moves his head back forward and continues his sprint towards Tamisville Road, just three houses down from me to my left.
I pick up my cell phone, which is next to me as always, and dial 911.
“Cedar Tree 911, what’s your emergency?” asks the bored dispatcher.
“Yes, there is a man—” I begin, but my words get cut off by an enormous screech of tires, a long blare of a car horn and then a sickening thud. “Oh, god—” I whisper.