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Bitter Sweet Memory

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Bitter Sweet Memory

He was my very own personal Abraham Lincoln. He stood like a pecan tree (much like the ones he had in the back yard) and had the color of a Werther's toffee candy (my favorite as a child). Wherever he went I always wanted to go and most times was allowed to. "Go ahead and get in the car, we going to the store." The store he so often spoke of was one of his own. He was a business man, an entrepreneur. Once we got to the store, I was eager to help him. That store was my playground (merry-go-round, swings, and all).

I ran to mop the store. I was barely half the size of the mop itself and hardly strong enough to wring the coffee-like substance out. Noticing that I was making more of a mess than was already there, my daddy came over and helped me. My daddy and I were waltzing around the store.

I had prior knowledge of my daddy's sugar monster. I just did not understand what diabetes was as a child or how serious it was. I remember he would have to stab himself daily to "keep an eye on his blood sugar" as he would tell me. That is the single reason for me being petrified of needles to this day. As I got older he had to do it a lot more times during the day. I never quite understood why my stepmom always fussed at him whenever we went to get pancakes because of the sugar in the syrup (I do now). I joked with my classmates, making fun of teachers, and talking about the day's events on the bus ride home. In fact, I probably laughed harder than I had in a while on the bus. I didn't even mind that our driver gave the impression she was drunk. Darting off the bus and down the street, ready to devour whatever feast my granny had made. Rushing so fast to the front door, I missed the extra cars parked on the side of the street. Yay! That meant we had company. Finally, foreigners are in my house. I swung the screen door open and saw my Aunt Diane, my mom, granny, two uncles, and older brother gathered in the living room. I could hear chatter while running up the porch stairs, but now it was dead air. I was too famished to even care so I spoke with a wave and kept towards the kitchen (must've been a conversation that wasn't for kids). "Come sit down", my granny patted the couch space on the side of her. Plopping down, "Yes ma'am?". "Alex..." she stopped. I could tell she was thinking hard, the vein in her forehead pops out whenever she does. She started huffing air out while shaking her head. "There ain't no easy way to tell you this. Yo daddy died today." (Was there no other more sympathetic way to say it?) I just sat there staring at her for a few moments. "Alex you hear what I said, your daddy died today."

"I want this too daddy, can I get it? Please, please, pretty please?" "Why not Alex? I doubt if you'll stop asking if I don't, will you? (Checking out at Sam's was the best part of being with my daddy.) "Do you want a chocolate or vanilla one today Alex?" "I want a chocolate one!" "What will it be today Mr. Harris?" "Two chocolate cones Mike?" "Is one of these for you Miss Alex?" "Yes sir. And can you give me the bigger one, Mrs. Minnie told me he don't need the big one because of his sugar monster?"

Countless thoughts went nonstop through my mind like Jason pursuing his victims. My daddy, the man who made me interested in school. The man I acted so much alike was gone. My best friend was gone. I began shaking and rocking back and forth like a crackhead going through their withdrawal. I felt like I stood up like a zombie just awakening from the dead and walked to my room stiffly. My relatives came to check on me one by one, but I couldn't bring myself to speak. I heard them constantly tell one another that I must've gone mute. (I feel as though I did.) I didn't go to school for the next two days, instead I laid as if I were in a coffin myself. Going around the house wasn't an easy task for me. "Are you doing any better?", "Is there anything I can do?", "Go ahead and grieve." "Just get out of the house for a while, it'll help." is all that I heard. My eyes felt like freshly bought cotton balls. I couldn't squint another tear out. What on earth made them to ask me if I was doing any better? Better yet, was there anything THEY could do? Could they bring him back? No, people, there isn't a damn thing wrong with me. I didn't want anyone to think I was unappreciative of their types of compassion, so I just kept telling them, yeah and thanks.

The next day I dug deep in the dirt and lifted myself out of my man made grave and went back to school. As I lurched into each class I could see the tension covering the class. As an attempt to break the threadlike ice with them I just began involving myself in the class activities. (Surprisingly no one noticed I wasn't talking and didn't ask if I was okay.) The noise of the classroom began jumping off of the walls yet again. Cheerleading practice was no different. I'm sure my teammates went through our stunts and practice as if nothing happened to prevent any questions coming up. Never imagined I would be a natural at lip syncing. Since they performed so well I participated and played the role of an innocent bystander. I felt as if I had just sifted my way through the day. Goosebumps came the moment I stepped through the front door of my house. "How did school go?", "Did you talk to anybody today?" Again with this bullshit, how can I possibly deal with this? Why in the hell do they keep acting like they know how I feel? They didn't have the same bond with my daddy as I did.



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