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Chapter 2

We unpacked the groceries that evening and settled into the kitchen.

"Yetta, wouldn't it be nice if I baked a little today?" moma murmured, as she went through the contents of the fridge.

"Oh, yeah, that lemon cake this time," I went to the table in search of a Seventeen Magazine.

"Did you ask Cindy about Rhonda?" moma gathered the ingredients for the cake.

"I did, she's been home a lot,"

"Well, why don't you go and visit?"

"I guess that would be nice..." I opened moma's cook book that her mother passed down to her.

"Good, now that you're going, tell Cindy to send me some more of those herbs...I'll maybe send a slice with you,"

"Open the page and give me the ingredients, I don't want to miss anything," moma coughed so hard into her sleeve that the picture necklace fell open around her neck.

My gaze drifted from the book to the necklace.
"Moma...what was she like?"

"The ingredients, what are they?"she busied herself greasing the baking pan.

"You never talk about her," I dropped the book on the counter.

She snatched the book and opened it.

"Pass me the egg or get out of my face,"
***

As I walked to the back of the bus, I could feel their eyes. Eyes filled with nothing but hatred and stares of disgust.

"These hogs should not even be anywhere near us at all," a white woman seated in the front clutched her small daughter.

"Hell! they came on our land!

"Nigger!" another spat.

"Niggering the land!"

"A menace to society is what you call them,"

"The entire equal rights movement is just utterly absurd, the audacity of them,"

They chimed in one by one. Ain't nothing I could do or say.

By the time I got to my seat, I was numb, numb to it all. But when I sat there, I tried. I tried not to.

Tears burned my eyes. Tears.

Tears coursed down my cheeks unchecked.

It felt good.

It felt good to cry every once in a while. Eventually you get tired.

Tired of it all.

"Don't you dear cry now, don't let them get to you. I've been through it all, seen it all. That's what they do, pick at your soul," a woman said, she sat one seat away.

With a forced smile. I wiped the tears from my face and nodded—laughing.

"My only boy is six feet beneath the ground because of this foolishness,"

"I found peace when I forgave them for what they did..." she smiled up at me.

"What happened to him...if you don't mind," I asked with genuine interest.

"House fire," her hands began to tremble as she played with her tunic.

"If one could turn back the hands of time they would. And not leave my girls behind...stick with them no matter the cause," she coughed into her sleeve.

"Oh, but that's another story,"
she used her handkerchief to dab at her eyes. She opened a necklace with what appeared to be pictures inside of it.

My eyes moved involuntarily.

"This, my sweet, is a photo locket," she turned it to me. "And this is my boy..."

"You have a nice family," I leaned closely.

"Here," she handed it to me.

"I like this one, she's pretty...we even have the same hairstyle," my hands went to my hair.

"She wouldn't have her hair any other way. You remind me of her...Its almost terrifying,"

longer before I said anything, I
felt the urge to ask about the girls, but I thought I was doing too much prying.

"Where are you going my sweet?"

"I'm visiting my cousin," I fixed the bag with the cake in my hand.

She glanced down on the cake.

"Well, this is my stop, you be good now," with trembling fingertips, she reached out and touched me.

The woman turned away and began walking down the street.

The sun dipped below the horizon, as it says goodbye for the day.

The bus dropped me five blocks away from Rhonda's house. Apparently the driver wasn't going 'that way'. So I walked. Overtown was lively in the evenings. It was a center for nightly entertainment in Miami,
the men would sit on the corner and play their games. Teenagers hula hooped, while the little children played hop scotch. We faced oppression but we knew how to live, that sho' didn't stop us. Heck, we were the town of entertainment.
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