Call It Dreamin' Deja 4 minute read

Deja 4– Momma?


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Her hopeful voice, in a place where hope dies and dreams end, pierced muted light through the fog of despair.


“Momma?” The question, the voice, so starkly dissimilar to anything in that space that it didn’t fade in the background or become apart of the scene; it just hovered in the air.




Deja walked slowly over to the corner where a woman with red hair and a large blue bomber jacket was slumped over. The woman’s head was so deeply tucked into the jacket, like that of a turtle, that you only saw a tuft of her hair at top.




The woman didn’t move.


Deja got down on her knees and grabbed the woman’s right hand. She saw that they were freshly manicured and recognized them as her mom’s. “Momma?”


Slowly Deja’s mom raised her head. She looked at Deja the way one does at photos found in a buried box in the attic: there is a familiarity, but not an instant knowing. Her half-opened, glassy eyes took on the look of a kid at the amusement park when they are having fun, but then realize that they don’t see their parents: from elation to fear in a second.




Deja’s mom put her head down and disappeared back into her shell. Benny tugged on Deja’s shirt and jerked his head in the direction of the door indicating that it was time for them to go. Just when Deja opened her mouth to protest, Benny bent down, and scooped her up and started to carry her out. The woman on the couch, clearly still in the midst of her nightmare, continued to moan loudly. Deja, with her head over Benny’s shoulder stares at her unmoving mother and thinks, never has a sound captured her feelings so perfectly.


As soon as they got out of the house, Deja let out the breath she’d been unconsciously holding, but she didn’t release her grasp around Benny’s neck. Being cradled, like a newborn, was exactly what she needed right now. She relaxed her head on Benny’s tattooed neck and let herself be carried away.


With pants sagged at least 4 inches below his thin waist, Benny carried Deja through the streets, though the night air until they made it to the gates of Brown Projects. He put her down, handed her a roll of bills and said, “Be easy. I’ll be in touch.” And then he walked away—pants sagging, slightly limping.


Deja looked down at the wad of money in her hand and instinctively stuffed it in her right pocket. She walked past two teenagers heavily making out on the one of the brick walls to the stairs. She made it up one flight of stairs before her legs couldn’t hold up her problems any longer. She sunk onto the cold, metal staircase and cried. Echoes of hiccups, sniffles and whimpering filled the hallways where pain wasn’t a visitor.


But, misery doesn’t like company in the hood. It’s already overcrowded, so within minutes, someone opened her door and yelled, “Shut up with all that fuckin’ noise! Shit, some folks gotta work in the morning!” And then slammed the door.


For a moment, Deja stayed crouched down with her face in her lap; but then she got up and willed her leaden legs to get her up to unit #603. She and her sister, Porsche, needed to figure out a plan.

[sommaire-chapitres livre=1 affiche_infos=true titre=true resume=true numeros=true]

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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