When we got to the park, I was surprised to see that no one was around. “Let’s go play on the swings,” said Stacey. “I’ll race you” said Robert. “Count us down Le-Le” said Stacey. Three…Two…One… Before I could say the word “go”, Rob and Stacey were already at the swings. I look down at Bre and said, “Why you don’t wanna go play”? “I just don’t feel like playing right now”, she said. “Well, you can come and sit down with me then”. We walked over to the bench to sit down, but as we began to walk I felt dizzy and weak. But we made it in time, so I could sit down. I held my face in my hands and pretended not to feel the pain in my face. “Are you ok?” asked Bre. I looked up and she had a worried look on her face, but I smiled and said, “Yea, I’m fine”. She was holding my hand, but she let it go. “Where are you going” I asked. “To go and get Stacey and Rob and tell them it’s time to go”. “You don’t need to do that, really I’m ok”. “Leshia, you look like you about to pass out for real” she said. “I’m fine, now come and sit down right here”. I patted the seat where she was sitting at.
It was quiet for a few minutes, until Bre broke the silence and asked, “Why do you let her do that stuff to you”? I sighed and said, “Because I don’t wanna see yall get in trouble all though yall don’t do much to get in to tro…” “So let us get in trouble then” she said with anger in her voice. “And get beat like I do hell naw, look I’ve been beat like this since I was 13 years and I’m use to it now” I said. “But still, that don’t give you no reason to take our whuppin’s for us” she said. “Look all I got to say is that no matter what I will always protect yall because I love yall and that’s what I do” I said. “You are saying that like you our momma or something” said Bre. “I know I’m not, but hey, somebody gotta take care of yall, don’t it”. “Yea, but not you, you are our sister and you are not supposed to take care of us and you know that. Well, I’m going to do it even if we do still have a momma at home. Bre sighed and said, “I hope you do a better job then she is doing now”. I hugged her and said, “I hope I do too”. “But, why do you take our whuppin for us”, Bre asked. “Because one day frum all that beatin yall take she might end up killing yall and I don’t want that to happen, so I’m putting my life on the line in order to save yall even if it kills me”, I said. I looked in her dark brown eyes and I noticed tears. “Hey, I said pulling her closer to me, don’t worry bout me I’m gunna be fine”. We stayed at that park for about an hour n’ a half then we walked home.
When we got home, I realized that we didn’t have any more food in the house. “What are we gonna eat?” asked Bre. “I don’t know, but wonder what momma gon say when she figures out that yall didn’t go to school”. “She might just beat the crap out of us again, but this time it might be worst” said Rob. I felt the pain in my face rush to my brain, that I felt dizzy and sleepy. “Leshia!” Bre screamed. I didn’t notice, but when I opened my eyes I was on the floor and Bre was holding Stacey.
“What happened?” I asked. “You fainted with Stacey in your arms” said Bre. “I’m so sorry Stacey” I said. “I believe she hit you in your head instead of your face, cause if she would’ve hit you in your face you wouldn’t be passing out like you being” said Rob. “I think momma hit you in temple to cause you to faint and black-outs or something” said Bre. “I’m just fanna go and to in the bed before it happens again or worst”. “Ok” said both Bre and Rob. I dragged myself up the steps to my room, and threw myself on the bed and fell into a deep sleep.
* * *
When I woke up darkness had shadowed across the room, I slowly turned to glance at the clock, which read 10:45 p.m. I sat up quickly, but as slow as possible trying to ignore the pain that was aching my body, but I just had to get up. Just thinking about what La’ Keisha might do when she found out that Stacey, Brianna, and Robert didn’t go to school made me feel sick to my stomach and to my surprise when I made it down stairs she wasn’t home yet. “She’s usually comes home at this hour I said to myself, but I don’t need to worry about her cause she don’t care about us no way.” I walked over to where Bre, Stacey, and Rob were sleeping. Robert was on the floor and Brianna and Stacey were on the couch, and just when I was about to wake them up I heard a key turn in the lock. La’ Keisha walked in the house smelling like weed and alcohol, but something seemed different about the way she entered the house and looked directly at me in my eyes. She walked right over to me and I expected her to yell at me and then slap me for not take Bre, Stacey, and Rob to school, but instead she looked down at me and told me, “Hold yo face up”. At first I hesitated to until she said, “I’m not gon say it, but once, hold yo head up”. I did what I was told and looked La’ Keisha right in the face. She scarred at my face for a long moment, then she reached up to touch my face, I flinched thinking she might hit me, but she didn’t.
This was a very weird moment between us too, but I kind of liked the way she was acting. She sighed and said, “I know that this is the only and maybe last time I will eva do this, but all I have to say is that I was the worst momma yall eva had and yall probably hate me and all, but I really don’t give a damn at all”. All I could do was shake my head in shame, knowing that she really meant what she said. “Here” she said. I watched her pull out 200 dollars and said, “Thank you”. “It ain’t for you if that’s what you thinking”, said La’ Keisha. “Who’s the money for then?” I asked. “It’s for the food that belongs in this house that you’re about to go get”. I looked at her and said, “How you just gon send me out 11:00 at night with no type of protection or help at all”. “You know how to protect yoself” she said as she sat down on the couch, moving Stacey and Brianna and putting them both on the floor. I rolled my eyes and started to wake them up, but La’ Keisha said, “I’ll wake them up and if yall want something to eat I suggest you get to better get to walking”. “Why you didn’t go to the store on yo way home?” I asked. “Because I wasn’t around any stores at the time and I was gon leave it up to you”, she said. I was done arguing with her, because we really weren’t getting anywhere.
I over to where Bre, Rob, and Stacey were sleeping and woke them up and walked them upstairs to make sure they went to bed. Robert got in the bed first then; I laid Stacey down and then Brianna. I pulled the cover their small bodies, and just as I was about to walk out of the room Stacey asked me, “Can I go with you”? “No, I said, you have to stay here”. Stacey sat up in the bed and begged to come with me. “No Stacie, you can’t come with me, but I’ll bring you something back, ok” I said. “Ok” she said and lay down and went to sleep. I went back downstairs and right before I left La’ Keisha said, “Don’t take forever either”. I looked at her and rolled my eyes and walked out the door.