My mommy…I miss you
“You mean to tell me, you can’t speak to him anymore.” Maria’s olive complexion darkened, “can’t talk to me anymore?” Hands were whirling about the young teen. She was somewhere between anger and pity. I didn’t know whether to hold her or duck.
“Maria…I’m sorry. I can not disobey.” I just wanted her to understand.
“Holy shit girl! You’re serious. I though this was only in dah movies…you gotta be kiddin’.” But I was not smiling or even looking at the best friend I ever had. I just started to cry.
“Mommy…don’t do that.” I heard Maria use the word when she was talking to her little niece. The young girl was crying, she had lost a dollar.
“Oh mommy…no mommy…I will give you a dollar…my little mommy.” Arms wrapped themselves around her sister’s child. I wished Maria would do the same with me. It comforted the little girl, about eight. Now, Maria hoped it would work on me. Sometimes I felt that age.
“I don’t want to not be your friend.” Her voice exploded at my statement.
“What dah hell you lookin’ at?” Two senior boys quickened their step to avoid any other comment. Maria was on fire.
“Ok! This is what you will do. I’m not kidding…sometime you got to cut them apron strings with a chainsaw.” Maria rambled with a list of actions that the two of us would perform. I knew that deceiving my mother was the only alternative. I felt at the crossroads of life. A choice was to be made. Looking at the young girl that showed me nothing but love and true friendship, I spoke.
“Maria…Maria…” I had to have her stop talking.
“What, Rosie…baby?” Her smile was as big as her heart.
“I can not disobey my mother. I can not.” My words were said with little strength. The last three were frail and weak, yet their affect on Maria was powerful.
“Girl…you are something…you gonna let her pick your husband, too.” Maria fell back, her retreat halted by the Elantra parked to her back.
“Maria…I know you don’t understand. But we’ve been through so much together. She is more than my mother…she is my life.” Somehow, my tears stopped. Maybe it was the shocked, and silent, expression from my dear friend.
I spent the day in school, quiet and invisible. Mario decided to spend the day trying to find a tuxedo stylish enough and cheap enough for the prom.
Maria, stay’d close by. No one would know that our friendship might end by the next day of classes. We talked and hugged as I waited for the bus. Sorrow is not an unusual feeling for a Bru woman. There have been so many hardships endured and so many injustices forced upon my people, that tears or grief could easily become a way of life. But even now in the small enclaves of Montagnards dotting America and their little huts in the Highlands, memories of good times and good friends bring strength. My people think of the kind and brave men of the Special Forces that lived and died with our fathers. Now, as I sat sullen and full of remorse on the noisy and crowded bus, I would think of Maria. The time with her, though short would live on forever.
“Rosie! Its you!” The cell announced with the oriental ring tone, selected for her friend that Rosita was calling.
“What? Are you kidding? Wow! Thank God, we didn’t tell Mario.” A sudden burst of tears erupted from Maria’s eyes.
“Mommy? What happened?” Her mother continued in Spanish. It would be awhile before the girl could compose herself enough to explain.
“I want you to sleep early tonight. But remember…you have to call Mrs. M. She misses you so.” I decided, as a good friend to begin my sobbing. I bid Maria goodnight and continued with my happy display of liquid.
“Why are you crying? You are such a good girl. I am so proud of you.” Mother was topless. She decided to walk around in that condition till a proper nightshirt was found.
“My little water flower.” She only called me that when I was hurt or scared. At this moment, I was neither.
“Mommy…thank you…thank you so very much.” Seeing her half-dressed reminded me of our time together in the Highlands. As people began to disappear, migrating East and West, we felt a freedom that brought us back to our tradition and our roots. Clothing was a necessary that meant modernization and corruption. Her appearance let me feel eleven again. Safe and secure attached to my mother’s hip.
My mother called Mrs. M to ask for guidance on the problem. Mother never told me what was discussed or what was said, but the end of her phone call led to my attending the prom.
Her aunt made Maria’s sister’s dress. It was beautiful. Agua colored, it featured a beaded halter. The halter straps led to a T strap on my back. And yes, it was open. Even in my size, it was fitted and as Maria’s mother giggled, “its tight in all the right places.” I actually looked as if I had breasts. Or at least notable ones.
My mother only winced when she realized the split to the side stopped just below my hip.
Mario was a sweet and polite boy. I knew he was disappointed at the small amount of touching he could perform. I think he thought I was not interested in him, or not as much as other girls that he had dated. How could I tell him, he was the first boy that I ever kissed? The first boy, whose tongue swirled in my mouth? How could I tell him, his gyrating tongue was making my head and other parts of my body explode? Ten years have passed, and I still can’t tell a guy that stuff…Can you?
Writing this story is a tribute to a part of me that no longer breathes her life throughout my life. Little did I realize, before two years would pass, she would be gone?
I will not be posting for a while…kind of getting back to my roots…
But let everyone say…if that person is shopping at the mall or in heaven…wherever she is?
My mommy…I miss you