Saturday, August 9, 2008

Winter 1948


Winter 1948

He’s not coming.

The thought was colder than the February air that was numbing her fingers. Gloria’s eyes stayed transfixed to the bend in the road from where he should have been traveling three hours ago. She began to worry about his safety. It wasn’t safe for any coloreds to travel down that part of town this late in the evening. Not even a foreign one. It always seemed strange to Gloria that white people owned everything, even the roads, the dirt. It was impossible to even exist and begin your own life, love who you choose without their approval.

She couldn’t even bring herself to walk into the house to warm up. As if her presence on that porch on that chair was enough to will him to her. As if all he needed was her eyes transfixed on the road as his beacon to this place.
“Come inside, girl. You’re going to freeze to death.”
Yes, freeze to death. That is what would happen. Either he would come or she would die and she would be frozen.

Little by little her worry turned to despair. The reason behind his absence didn’t matter. The plans they had made would be of no use. The Spanish she learned, the job leads in Philly, the English accent he’d perfected, all useless without him.
“Don’t worry,” he’d told her. I will come for you and we will be together. We can be a family and I will take care of you. Just wait for me.”

She wondered if his family figured out his plans. They hated her. They hated the fact she was a negro. They hated the fact that she had no father. They hated the fact that of all the Mexican girls that had migrated with them or they had left in New Orleans, he chose a nigger girl with no family or culture to speak of.
It didn’t matter. Even if he had never loved her, even if it had all been a lie, even if he was lying hurt in a ditch on his way to her, the result was the same.

He’s not coming.

And so after four hours and 26 minutes on her porch in the dead of winter, she died. She waited until every feeling, organ, and piece of hope was frozen. And when that was done, she got up, gathered her things, and walked back into the house.
She was dead, every piece of her. Every piece except the one growing inside her fifteen year old belly.


  1. Wow!Great.. I could visualize it.