[Last year, I wrote this piece in a talk-back with a now MIA blogger. And today, bitten by a creative bug (or some sorta biting insect), I once again experiment with the short short.]
It’s nothing new. She said he had to pay it alone. "Final!"
So he gets up, hot-wires his body with coffee so no matter how much his mouth wants to complain, his body says go.
Rush the kid through his meal, get him out the door, on the bus, wave goodbye. Get yourself dressed. Organize. Lists. Notes. Phone numbers. Bite down hard on your bottom lip. Pick up the phone. Cold call prospects. Send emails when your guts are too tight to talk and your Guyanese accent is creeping in. Make more notes. Wait for reasonable space between dreadful follow-up calls. More lists, more notes, more cheerful, eager calls. Repeat repeat repeat until you can’t take it anymore and you get on your knees before her.
Honey, please forgive me. I’m working hard at this. I don’t want this or us to fall apart. I talked to the doctor and he thinks it's the stress and poor eating habits that caused it. I’m fixing it. Please. Please help me pay the bill. I swear we’ll get out of this. Things are happening right now. Please honey.
In a memory somewhere in a Bookers-owned, four generation house in Guyana, a man is on his knees before his mother. He's the man who cheated on her over and over again, and he’d hit her when she confronted him. But now he’s sorry.
Please baby. Ah sorry. I’m weak...weak man weak. It won’t happen again. She’s nothing and the thing she say is mine is a bleddy lie. I won’t go there just so without no protection. Don’t go nowhere baby. I ain’t married to you? This ain’t more important than any other stupidness?
His mother says yes and forgives the man.
Which is why he knows his Audrey—part-Bajan, part-Guyanese, part-Americanized, part-devoted, part-fedup--will forgive him too. She'll help him pay half the bill.
$2500 a month is the joint price they’ll pay to keep their home.