The multi-paned windows in the airy living room were gently slung open with the rusted screens tightly attached, allowing for a brisk and mild existence of a summer breeze to slowly escape inward, but not being very purposeful or of great satisfaction. It was the hottest day of July in the summer of 1982. At an easygoing and fragile 15 years of age, there was not much selected for me do during the summer months besides use my creative imagination to the fullest extent. I would play jacks and ball, or just peek in the mirror constantly at this body that I failed to recognize anymore, looking curvy and pronounced, as if I borrowed it from grown folks.
This day, yes THIS day would be quite different from all of the other days, ever. This day right here would change the lazy,fun, and mindless moments of summer that I used to embrace, forever. As I bounce around the house in my over-sized house coat, having a
'who cares' kind of a moment, the door bell rang its' crazy, dragged out tone but somehow sounded so intentional. I hurried to the door and peeked out the smallest of the six windows.
I could see a rather small boy figure with huge, red yet excited eyes glaring at me with anxious behavior. He rang the door bell again but this time without stopping, as if to break it from its foundation. When I finally realized that it was my youngest brother's best friend Lamont, I snatched the door open, ready to give him a piece of my mind for being so rude and without great patience. Before I could twist my mouth to speak my hammering and stinging vocabulary to him, Lamont blurted out, stuttering and stupidly, your brother is dead man!
He drowned, HE DROWNED! He drowned at the pool, a few minutes ago!
I heard what he said but my Soul, Spirit and Being wouldn't receive such non-sense, especially from a disruptive child like Lamont. Collecting myself, I tried to speak but he shouted again, so loud that all the neighborhood dogs stood up and began to bark in disciplined rhythm. My knees buckled but I was too stubborn to fall, not interested in buying into this garbage, especially without more facts or a grown person's confirmation. I heard myself saying, Lamont, I'm going to kick your little lying ass, this isn't funny! Quit lying to me little boy! Don't play games like that. I know your momma taught you bettah! But the truth in his eyes refused to back down and I was forced to possibly believe him.
By this time, my brother Emanuel flew passed me and Lamont, grabbing his ten speed bike off the porch and rushing down three steep layers of cracking concrete steps ,to see if Lamont was indeed lying or, heaven forbid, telling the truuuth. As he desperately petaled off, I heard him shout back that he was going to personally kick Lamont's ass if he had played us for a family of desperate fools.
Lamont rushed behind on his 'barely making it' bike almost falling down the steps, trying to keep up.