But one night he working late at the Scanlon-Taylor mill, lugging two-by-fours to the truck, 1splinters slicing all the way through the glove. He too small for that kind a work, too skinny, but he needed the job. He was tired. It was raining. He slip off the loading dock, fell down on the drive. Tractor trailer didn‘t see him and crushed his lungs fore he could move. By the time I found out, he was dead.
That was the day my whole world went black. Air look black, sun look black. I laid up in bed and stared at the black walls a my house. Minny came ever day to make sure I was still breathing, feed me food to keep me living. Took three months fore I even look out the window, see the world still there. I was surprise to see the world didn‘t stop just cause my boy did.
Five months after the funeral, I lifted myself up out a bed. I put on my white uniform and put my little gold cross back around my neck and I went to wait on Miss Leefolt cause she just have her baby girl. But it weren‘t too long before I seen something in me had changed. A bitter seed was planted inside a me. And I just didn‘t feel so accepting anymore.
“GET THE HOUSE straightened up and then go on and fix some of that chicken salad now,” say Miss Leefolt.
It‘s bridge club day. Every fourth Wednesday a the month. A course I already got everthing ready to go—made the chicken salad this morning, ironed the tablecloths yesterday. Miss Leefolt seen me at it too. She ain‘t but twenty-three years old and she like hearing herself tell me what to do.
She already got the blue dress on I ironed this morning, the one with sixty-five pleats on the waist, so tiny I got to squint through my glasses to iron. I don‘t hate much in life, but me and that dress is not on good terms.
“And you make sure Mae Mobley‘s not coming in on us, now. I tell you, I am so burned up at her—tore up my good stationery into five thousand pieces and I‘ve got fifteen thank-you notes for the Junior League to do…”
I arrange the-this and the-that for her lady friends. Set out the good crystal, put the silver service out. Miss Leefolt don‘t put up no dinky card table like the other ladies do. We sat at the dining room table. Put a cloth on top to cover the big L-shaped crack, move that red flower centerpiece to the sideboard to hide where the wood all scratched. Miss Leefolt, she like it fancy when she do a luncheon. Maybe she trying to make up for her house being small. They ain‘t rich folk, that I know. Rich folk don‘t try so hard.
I‘m used to working for young couples, but I spec this is the smallest house I ever worked in. It‘s just the one story. Her and Mister Leefolt‘s room in the back be a fair size, but Baby Girl‘s room be tiny. The dining room and the regular living room kind a join up. Only two bathrooms, which is a relief cause I worked in houses where they was five or six. Take a whole day just to clean toilets. Miss Leefolt don‘t pay but ninety-five cents an hour, less than I been paid in years. But after Treelore died, I took what I could. Landlord wasn‘t gonna wait much longer. And even though it‘s small, Miss Leefolt done the house up nice as she can. She pretty good with the sewing machine. Anything she can‘t buy new of, she just get her some blue material and sew it a cover.
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