“Yeah, that’s what I said! Buds girlfriend. Is Ada daddy’s old girlfriend.”
“No, No. Ada is not your daddy’s old girlfriend. Ada is not Buds old girl friend. Do you understand me child! Ada is your daddy’s old girl friend! Your daddy. Ada is your daddy’s old girl friend from down south.”
“Why you talking crazy mamma, why you talking like you having some kind of nervous breakdown. I’m talking about daddy. I’m talking about Bud. What you talking about.?
“I’m talking about you Thomasina. I’m talking about you, your daddy and Adaline Love. I’m talking about your kin folk.”
“My kin folk.? What kin folk, what kin folk beside you and Bud? Huh mamma, what kin folk you talking bout beside you and daddy!
“Tommie, Tommie – your daddy wants to talk to you.”
“Daddy, what mamma talking about, what she talking about Bud?”
“Thomasina, listen, (“tell her Bud, tell that child what’s going on”) my mom yelled in the background.
“Thomasina, Thomasina, I’m trying to tell you, I’m trying to..(“we should have told her a long time ago”) my mom yelled out.
“Emma, Emma, be quiet, be quiet now. I’m trying to talk to Tommie, I’m trying to tell her, stop, stop yelling, stop yelling and let me talk to her, please, just let me talk to her Emma, let me talk to the girl.”
“Thomasina. I’m not your daddy, I love you, but, I’m not your father, least, not your biological father, and, and, Emma, Emma not your mother, she not your mother in the natural way, she didn’t give birth to you from her womb – but, but to her, and, and, to me, you, you our baby girl..(sobbing) you our one and only baby girl.”
I heard my daddy talking. I heard everything he said and what he was saying now. I heard my mamma in the background yelling at Bud and telling him what they should have told me a long, long time ago. I heard my daddy’s tears in the phone as he sobbed and wept and telling me he loved me, he loved me…. somebody else’s baby. Not my mother, not my mother I heard Bud’s voice say…. not in the natural way, Emma not your mother in the natural way. I heard all of that, heard it all with my own ears, on my own phone, from my own daddy’s mouth. Your daddy, your daddy was Ada’s old girlfriend from down south, Ada is your daddy’s old girlfriend… your kin folk, your kin folk. Down South, down south. That’s why they don’t go there, that’s why they don’t go there for nothing. Down South, down south, that’s why they don’t talk about it, don’t talk about it at all -not to me anyway – never mention it. Who never goes back home? Who never goes back to their roots, to their people, to their kin folk?
“I’m leaving Monday for Alabama. You and mamma wanna come with me?”
“We’ll be ready when you get here baby.”
“OK. See you Monday daddy. Tell mom goodnight for me.”
To Be Continued.