Well, I thought about what to write for my 50th blog post and I came up with a short story. I love fiction and I have always been very creative and if I sit down and just do it, I can come up with some pretty good stuff, if I say so myself. Much of what I write is based on true to life occurrences, but not so much true to my life. Some of what I write is, but not a whole lot. This one in particular, is not specifically relating to any personal happening in my own life. I hope you enjoy it…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Why won’t you let me be who I am?!”

“Brina, you fourteen years old, girl; you don’t know who you are! Stop trying to make me out to be this awful mama when you know that’s not who I am.”

“I didn’t say you was awful, but you try to control my life and my every movement. I’m not a little kid anymore!”

“Well little or not, you are still my kid and you are a child. You not grown and as long as you live in my house you gone live by my rules.”

These were the kinds of conversations that went on in my house from the time I was twelve until I was around sixteen and a half. My mama always tried to tell me what to do, what to wear, how to act, how to talk, who to hang out with or talk to. It made me angry and frustrated with her all the time. She didn’t understand me. She wouldn’t let me be my own person and I grew to really dislike her over the years. Well let me back up a little bit in my story.

I was about twelve years old when my dad got sick and died. He and my mama were never married, and they went their separate ways when I was about five. I had small memories of him from when I was little, but as I got older, he came around less and less. I really feel like my mom drove him away. She was always arguing with him and picking fights about money or him not spending enough time with me. She never really talked bad about him to me or anything or around me, that I could remember, but when he did come around or when she talked to him on the phone I could always sense frustration in her voice. But when I was eleven, he started coming around a whole lot. Taking me out to eat, or to the beach on the weekends, he even took me to this big water park once. I was having the time of my life! I felt like we were connecting and bonding in a way we never had before.

It was after my twelfth birthday that he told my mom and me that he was sick and he didn’t have much longer to live. I was devastated. He told me not to be sad, but to always remember the good times we had. He told me to hold on to those moments and whenever I thought of him, I should smile and not be sad because the time we had together was short, but we made the best of it. When I think back on it now, I can see why he started coming around in that last year of his life. He wanted to make some lasting memories with me so that I would be happy when I thought of him and not sad. It was four months and four days after my birthday that he died. I remember it like it was yesterday, and it’s now been seven years. I still think about him every day.

My mom was sad, but I think her sadness came mostly from my own sadness. She felt bad for me because he was no longer in my life. It took me a little while to regain my focus on school and my friends and other stuff, but I got it together. It was after I was ‘over’ the hurt of my dad’s death that my relationship with my mom went sour. I was distant with her and rude a lot. I felt like she didn’t respect me or my things, my room and such. She was so bossy all the time. I couldn’t stand it. When I was thirteen I wanted to go to a friend’s house for a slumber party but she told me I wasn’t old enough to be staying out over night. I was really ticked off at her because of it.

“What do you mean I’m not old enough? There are gonna be six other girls my same age whose moms are letting them stay out over night.”

“What those girls’ mamas let them do is not my concern. I’m your mama and I said no.”

“That is so dumb! I’m not trying to go out and rob or kill anybody or steal nothing. April’s mama is going to be at home, you can even call her.”

“Look, this isn’t a debate! I said no! I don’t have to call nobody’s mama to talk to them about you staying over to their house. You too young, and that’s it! Not quit talkin’ to me about it!”

It was always her way or no way at all. That’s what pushed me away from her and really messed up our relationship. I couldn’t talk to her about anything. If I had a problem and I even thought ‘Let me ask my mama bout it…’ I would change my mind just because I felt like she either wasn’t going to care, wasn’t going to listen and give me a chance to explain my thoughts and feelings, or I don’t know… I just felt like talking to her wasn’t going to get me the answer I desired. I overheard her talking on the phone one day to my Aunt Stephanie. “Step, child, I don’t know who Brina think she tryin’ to fool. She always askin me to go to somebody house and stay the night. I don’t know these people! And she not gonna be out here runnin ‘round with some little hoodlum, havin sex and wind up pregnant!”

Well I don’t know what my aunt was saying on the other end, but when I heard what my mama was saying, I was infuriated! I had no intentions on having sex with anybody at that time – I was fourteen then – but it all started to make sense. She was trying to compare me to herself when she was my age. We never really talked about her getting pregnant at sixteen, but I could do the math and I knew how old she was when she had me. And I can only imagine that she had been having sex for quite some time before she became pregnant. But that wasn’t me at all. I wanted to confront her that day, but I didn’t. I let it go. What I did do though, was talk to my Aunt Step. It was about two weeks after the conversation I overheard my mother having that I spoke with her.

“Auntie, can I ask you something?”

“Yeah honey, anything. What’s on your mind?”

“I kinda overheard you and my mama talking the other week about me and I wanted to know what you think about what my mama said. I mean what did you say?”

“Well now, what conversation are you talking about, Brina?”

“I heard mama telling you that she didn’t know who she thought I was fooling by trying to spend the night with my friends and something about me messing around getting pregnant.”

“Oh… that conversation. Well let me ask you this, are you having sex?”

“No ma’am. I’m not even thinking about that right now. Sure, guys try to talk to me, but I’m not really interested. I just like hanging out with my friends. I’ve missed so many sleepovers and parties this last year ‘til its ridiculous! I am the only one of my friends whose mama don’t let her do nothin’! Why don’t she trust me?”

“Well you know your mama was young when she got pregnant with you. She just don’t want you to be making the same bad decisions she made when she was your age. And I know it’s hard for you being the only one of your friends not able to go and do like everyone else, but I think your mama has a valid point.”

“How, Aunt Step? What have I done to make her think she shouldn’t trust me? Yeah, I have an attitude sometimes, and I don’t like her telling me what to do and not to do all the time, but I never snuck out, she never caught me in a lie or nothing like that, I get okay grades, I do what she ask me to do most of the time, even if I gripe and complain about it; but I don’t get why she don’t trust me or why she think I’m having sex!”

“You know what that sounds like to me?”

“What?”

“Sounds like you need to be talkin’ to your mama bout this situation. You know I’m always here for you if you wanna talk, but this is something you need to talk to your mama about. If you don’t tell her how you feel or what your problem is with how she treats you, then how is she gonna know?”

“I guess she won’t but I just don’t think she is gonna listen to me.”

“Give her the chance. I think you will be surprised.”

“I doubt it, but ok. I’ll talk to her.”

My Aunt Step is my mama’s older sister, well her only sister, and she has always been the one out of the two of them I felt more comfortable with when it came to talking about what was on my mind.  But I did like she said and I tried to approach my mama and talk to her about the conversation I overheard as well as how I felt about what she said and her lack of trust in me.

“Mama can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Bout what?”

“Stuff that’s been on my mind.”

“Yeah, come on over here and talk to me.”

“Well I overheard you talkin to Aunt Step a couple of weeks ago about me and I wanted to ask you about it.”

“Okay…”

“Well, mama, why you think I’m having sex; or trying to? That’s not me. That’s not anything I’m into or trying to be into at this time in my life. I feel like you don’t trust me to do the right thing because of the decisions you made when you were my age that led to you being pregnant and having me.”

“Well, I see some of these lil girls you hang out with and they look just like I did when I was y’alls age. Hot and fast! I figure if they doin’ something they ain’t got no business, you will be following right along with ‘em doing the same things. But you tellin’ me you not havin’ sex?”

“No, mama! And my friends may dress a little grown, but they are all good girls! None of us are really into that kind of stuff… yet. We like to listen to music, get online, laugh about silly, stupid stuff, and just have fun. We not trying to do nothing that’s gonna get any of us in any kind of trouble.”

Well the conversation I had with my mama that day went better than I thought it would. My Aunt was actually right; I was surprised. But the so-called trust that she put in me was very short lived. She let me go to a party with three of my best friends at another girl’s house one weekend and a fight broke out. The police were called and two of the boys that were fighting got hurt. Neither I or any of my friends that I was there with had anything to do with the fight, we didn’t get involved or hurt in any way and it seemed like that conversation my mom and I had just never happened. She stopped me from going and hanging out with my friends and it was like she had an even tighter ‘leash’ on me than she did before.

We had our good times, my mom and me. But they were few and far between. While I loved my mom, I didn’t like her very much. She tried too hard to be a mom and she didn’t trust me which with some girls I know, if it were their moms, they probably would have given their mamas reasons to not trust them since they didn’t anyways. But I didn’t want to do that with my mama. I wanted to be trusted and in order to do that I felt like I had to continue to not do things that would make her not trust me. Although she didn’t, regardless of what I wasn’t doing, I refused to give her any reason to say “I told you so”.

It was about five months after I turned sixteen when my relationship with my mama changed drastically. My grandma died. That hurt my mama to her soul. She was really close with my grandma and she was torn up when she passed away.  She had been somewhat sickly off and on for about eight or nine months before she died, but it was never anything serious. About a year after my grandma died is when I found out why my mama started being ‘better’ to me. One day I was sitting on the couch watching TV and my mama came and sat down beside me.

“Brina…” She just sat there after she said my name and didn’t say anything for what seemed like ten whole minutes.

“Yeah, mama? What’s wrong?” She started to cry and then I got worried. I thought she might’ve been sick or something and she didn’t want to tell me. I had already lost my daddy, my grandma, I didn’t think I could take losin my mama. Not after the progress we had made in becoming closer over the past year.

“I never told you this, but I think its bout time I did.”

“What mama?”

“When your grandma passed, on her death-bed she said something to me that hit me like a ton of bricks. I know you saw a change in my attitude with you, the way I treated you and talked to you; the way I let you have more freedom…”

“Yeah…”

“Well your grandmamma told me before she died that I didn’t need to push you away and make you feel that I didn’t love or trust you. We always had a good relationship, your grandma and me. Even after I got pregnant with you, she helped me, she didn’t fuss at me or put me down. She did what most mamas would’ve done, but what many would not have. She showed me how to be a mama to you the best way she knew how.  But what I did along the way…” She started to cry again. “What I did along the way was I held on too tight. I saw what a beautiful, intelligent and open-minded young lady you were becoming and I didn’t want anything to mess that up. I didn’t want for some little boy to be whispering sweet nothings in your ear and mess around and get you pregnant and mess up your whole future. I thought if I was strict enough, you would not fall into any of those traps. But Step saw it, and mama did too. She made me promise her on her death-bed that I would change my attitude and better my relationship with you; so I did. I’m so proud of the young woman you have become and I love you, Brina. And I’m sorry for the time we lost being happy by being mad and bitter with one another.”

So of course by this time I was boo-hooing! “I love you too mama. All I ever wanted was for you to trust and believe in me that I was going to do the right thing. I just want for you to be proud of me.”

“I am, baby! I am so proud of you and I’m proud to be your mama!”

And the rest, as they say, is history. I look back now that I’m nineteen and I hate that we missed out on a lot of mother-daughter bonding time because of my anger toward her for her overbearing ways, but I can appreciate it because I don’t think we would have the relationship we have today had we not had those difficult times. My grandma was a wise woman, and she helped my mom to see the best in me when really she looked at me and saw the worst in herself.

Advertisements