Smile by JLS





November 2004












 "You ain't my grandbaby! Your mama's a liar! And a hoe! Stay away from my son!"


I sat up like a bolt of lightening in my bed. The room is dark. I slowly adjusted to my surroundings, realizing I am alone in the house. Those were the words of my grandmother; my daddy's mother. She never believed I was her granddaughter and took this to the grave. Coincidently, after writing a very hateful letter to me when I was eight that was meant for my mother.


I think my daddy, who I call Sperm Donor, feels the same way. He was around alittle when I was younger. Those were good times. But, then when my mama was seven months pregnant with my brother, Semaj, he left and I haven't heard from him since. They married young and he said he couldn't handle two kids, when he hasn't lived his OWN life. What kind of shit is that?! He lay down with my mama and made us and now he wants out. My mother struggled to take care of us and got on her feet. She's a successful Real Estate agent and makes good money. I'm eighteen now and she is putting me through college. My brother is in the sixth grade and an all A student. She did this all alone. Without him. I have so much respect for her for what she's done. And I could careless about his whereabouts. He went on with his life and never looked back. As far as I'm concerned, I don't have a father. He's a coward, who couldn't handle his responsibilities.


 I crawled out of bed and headed to the bathroom, tripping over my dog, Cocoa. I looked in the mirror and saw that my face was drenched in sweat. I don't know why I've been dreaming about this. I've tried to put all of this behind me and move on. But there's a lot of damage that has been done. My trust I have in others is on a very low level.  It takes awhile for me to warm up to others. And relationships. Yeah, those are scarce. I have been in one relationship. When I was a lot younger. It didn't work out too well, so I've just given up completely. I'm not ugly; I'm decent, often called pretty. I'm just afraid of getting hurt. I've seen how relationships turn people into love sick puppies; I actually like that part. But then, every thing falls apart. So, I'd rather be safe than sorry.


 I walked back to my room and crawled into bed. Cocoa jumped up and climbed into bed next to me. I've lived in my apartment for a year and you'd think I'd be used to it by now. So, it helps to have him with me. Finally, I drifted off to sleep.






I woke to my phone ringing. I reached over and picked it up.




Sariah: Hello?




Semaj: Hi, Sariah.




 It’s my little brother; an everlasting reminder of our sperm donor.




Sariah: Hey, baby. What's up?




 Semaj: Nothing. I'm just getting ready for school. I just wanted to tell you I love you before I go.




 Aww. I sat up.




Sariah: I love you too, J. And I'll see you later today.




Semaj: Okay. Bye.




Sariah: Bye.




We hung up. I think it’s been hardest on him with me moving out. We're really close despite our age difference. I feel like his second mother.


 I looked at the clock; 7:30. I had a few more hours before I had to get up for my first class, which was at 11. I'm not a morning person, so I made all of my classes to start at 11 or later. I can focus better that way. My thing is painting. Art. I love everything about it. I'm majoring in Art at Texas Tech University in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas.  And I plan on taking this as far as possible. Every Saturday, I teach an Art class for kids. They just play around, but some of them are really serious about what they do. I pulled the cover over my head and tried to get back to sleep.


 My alarm went off right on schedule. I shut it off and crawled out of bed. I took a shower and got ready. We're doing mood paintings today; just paint how you feel. That should be easy, although I hate going to art upset.


 I was doing my makeup when my phone rang. I walked over and picked it up.




Eve: Hey, girl




Eve is my best friend.




Sariah: Hey. I'm almost ready. Give me 15 minutes.




Eve: Nah, you're good. I just wanted to tell you to meet Marcus and me for lunch after your class.




Sariah: At 'On the Border'?




Eve: Of course. So, will you?




Sariah: Yeah.




Eve: Okay. Lata ma.




Sariah: Bye




I hung up and jogged back to the bathroom. I live about 10 minutes from school, so hopefully I won't be too late.


 Eve and I have been best friends since fourth grade. We met Marcus when we were sophomores in high school. Eve though he was cute and asked him out. They've been together every since. He's one of the good ones that are very hard to find. And Eve is so sprung its not even funny.


 I've only had one bad experience with a guy. His name was Bryan and I was attached. Severely attached. I thought we were in love, so I gave him the one thing no one had ever had; my virginity. I was 15 years old. And then, he broke up with me and left. Just like my daddy. He wasn't ready for a serious relationship, but obviously what it entails. Sound familiar? So, I closed my heart and promised never to open it again. But I'm glad Eve is happy.


 Once I was finally ready, I grabbed my things and headed out to my car. Halfway to class, my cell phone rang. As you can tell I'm always on the phone or in contact with someone.




Sariah: Hello?




Mama: Hi, baby. It’s mama.




Sariah: Hey. You okay?




Mama: Yeah. I just wanted to talk to you. You comin for dinner tonight?




Sariah: Yeah. I wouldn't miss it.




Mama: Eve and Marcus coming?




 Sariah: I'll ask.




 Mama: You bringing anyone?




Sariah: Like?




Mama: A male companion.




See how she just slipped that it?




Sariah: No, ma'am.




Mama: Sariah, you're too good of a person to be alone. Just because Bryan was an asshole and the situation with your daddy, doesn't mean all men are.




Sariah: Mama, please not right now. I don't wanna talk about this okay?




Mama: Okay.




Sariah: I'll be there, okay?




Mama: Alright. Bye baby.




Sariah: Bye mama.




I sat my phone in the passenger side seat. As you can tell, my mother and I have different views on love and relationships. She sees my daddy leaving as a new beginning; a good thing. How can being all alone with two kids be a good thing? My mother sees the good in everything. I don't get it.




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