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Authors: Karen Williams

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BOOK: The People vs. Cashmere
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I obeyed and stepped back.
Mama rose to her feet and told Desiree, who was moaning, as she lay on the floor. “Next time, step up or step off. I ain't one of these bitches in the street—I'm your Mama and I'll fuck your shit all up! Now that we got that understood, clean up this mess.”
Damn shit was really falling apart by the seams. I tried to help Desiree up. Mama had whipped her ass, for real.
“Don't touch me, shit!”
I pulled my hands back and walked away toward my parents' room to see my daddy.
“Hey, Daddy.” I leaned over and kissed him. His skin felt so cold and lifeless against my lips. “Man, Daddy, I wish you would get your butt out of this bed so you can come in here and watch the game with me. You know what teams are playing tonight? I'll give you a little hint—I hope Kobe's behind passes that ball, but he probably won't. Guess who the Lakers playing, Daddy? The Heat. I know it's crazy, huh? After the way Kobe burnt up Shaq's spot, now he playing against him. I'll bet Shaq gonna let him have it. And Dwayne Wade playing too. Sound like a dream team to me.”
Daddy blinked.
“Awww, don't get mad at me 'cause your boys might not make it to the championship and get that ring. There's always next year.”
I heard the toilet flush. Mama opened the door and yelled out, “Don't bother. He can't, and he ain't gonna say shit!”
I rolled my eyes and ignored her. “Yeah, so, Daddy, don't get mad when they lose.” I used my hand to rub his legs and arms while I talked.
The doctor had said to give him constant stimulation. I placed a small ball in one of his hands, hoping he would grip it. I knew Mama wasn't doing this with him, and Desiree wouldn't spend more than five minutes with him. But I chalked it up to her hating seeing him this way. But, then again, I didn't like seeing him this way either. But we had to do what we had to do. It shouldn't be no different for her ass. But I was done arguing with her dumb ass.
Thirty minutes later Mama emerged from the bathroom all dressed up in a tight-fitting black top, a short white skirt that, if she bent over, all her ass would fall out, and a tight-fitted belt around her waist. She completed her outfit with the skinny stilettos. She made up her face and, for once, styled her hair.
“Where you going?” I demanded.
She gave a curt, “Out.”
Chapter 5
The next day wasn't no different, only a little worse. When I came home from school, I noted that the kitchen was dirty. Fuck, the whole house was. I puffed out air impatiently. The laundry hadn't been done, and all the meat in the freezer was going bad.
After throwing down my backpack, I washed the dishes and waited for the load of clothes in the washer to finish, while I cooked pork chops in one pan, and chicken and hot links in two other pans, so they wouldn't go bad. At least we'd have some cooked food.
Desiree was missing in gotdamn action, and I hadn't caught a peek of Mama.
Once I had got the house together, I went in Mama's room. She was guzzling down some Grey Goose, her eyes glued to the TV screen. The longer I stood in the doorway, the more I started to notice something wasn't right. The room didn't smell like the cinnamon potpourri she kept in there, it smelled like shit. And it could only be for one reason.
“Mama?”
Her silly ass ignored me.
I marched over and stood in front of the TV, trying my fucking hardest not to sass her. “Why hasn't Daddy's diaper been changed?”
She offered no reply.
I raised my voice slightly. “Mama!”
She tossed the bottle on the carpet, causing it to spill, jumped up and ran into the bathroom. “Gotdamnit! You got a problem with how I do things then you do the fucking shit.” She slammed the door behind her.
I took a deep breath, grabbed the gloves, wipes, and extra diaper, and turned to Daddy. “Shit,” I mumbled. Since the shit had obviously been on Daddy for a while, it was smeared all over his butt, boxers, and pants.
“Okay, Daddy, I'm gonna get you all cleaned up.”
I strained to lift the plastic pad underneath him, to not soil the bed. “Just give me a second and you'll be all clean. I'll even put some of your favorite cologne on you.”
I wiped him down with the damp towels, wiping around his penis and testicles, then his ass. Then I tossed the soiled wipes on the floor, hoping Mama would step on them, so she knew what it felt like to have shit on her.
Even if Daddy was paralyzed, that didn't give her the right to fucking neglect him. Damn, I wished I could be like Desiree sometimes and speak exactly what's on my mind.
Once I had him squeaky-clean, I struggled with his legs, pulling some clean boxers and pajama pants on him. I sprayed some of his cologne on him, like I'd promised. I then greased his scalp, and brushed his hair like he liked it, until his pretty hair waved up.
After I went back into the kitchen to cook the other meats, Mama made another appearance. She slipped behind me and hugged me, but I pulled away from her and kept my focus on the meat sizzling in the pan.
“Don't be mad at me. I just have a lot of shit on my mind, Cashmere. Baby, I'm so tired of being cooped up in this damn house. I can't go nowhere, do shit, but care for Desmond. He won't move, won't say shit—”
“'Cause he can't.”
“I know. But on a woman it's hard.”
“It's hard on all of us.”
Mama wrapped her arms around me and had her head on my shoulders. As she talked, I felt the vibrations of her voice on my skin. “I got to worry about bills and shit,” she said. “It's a lot you don't know, and a whole lot you don't understand.”
I finally turned and noticed she had on another one of her getups.
I shook my head and asked dryly, “Going out?”
She gave a nervous laugh. “Baby, I just wanna go get a drink. That's it, Cashmere . . . dance a couple of songs.” She swayed and snapped her fingers. “Ease a little tension out. Then I'm gonna come back home and be a rejuvenated woman. I'll clean, cook those bomb-ass meals I used to make, and take good care of Daddy. I promise, boo. Just give me tonight.”
I stared at her for a long time then turned back to the bacon in the frying pan in front of me. My tone was acidy. “Do what you gotta do, Mama.”
She squealed, “Thank you, baby.” Then she gave me a quick peck and dashed out of the house.
I wondered if she knew that Desiree had been gone for the past two days.
Chapter 6
Man was Christmas a fucked-up day. We opened our gifts in silence, like they didn't mean shit, when they had such a value on them. And, boy, was it some really nice stuff.
Daddy truly was the sweetest. He bought me a portable DVD player, an iPod, a new pair of Jordan's, and a Roca Wear sweatsuit. He got Desiree a camera cell phone to replace the one her dumb ass lost, portable Nintendo DS, 'cause even though her ass was almost grown, she was a big-ass kid, and some shoes like mine, with a matching sweatsuit.
He bought Mama a bad-ass Michael Kors bag, a flat-screen TV, and a beautiful tennis bracelet, but she didn't even bother to open up her gifts. We did it for her. She just sat on the couch with this far-off expression in her eyes and sipped on her wine. I knew exactly how she felt . . . well, minus the guilt.
The gifts were really nice, but they didn't really bring joy or excitement out of us. The gifts represented all the hours of overtime, and sleep Daddy had sacrificed because he cared about making us happy, but he couldn't move, nor feel his damn toes, or even wiggle them. That made the day fucking bitter.
Mama threw her glass down. “Naw! Fuck this shit! I can't take this no more,” she said, and started running toward the hallway.
Me and my sister looked at each other before chasing after her to her bedroom.
Before we even made it her bedroom door, we heard her shout, “Muthafucka, say something!”
When we got there, we found her on top of Daddy, straddling him and shaking his shoulders. “Speak, Desmond. I'm sick of this shit!”
“Get off of him!” Desiree yelled.
Mama gave Desiree a dirty look. “Fuck you, Desiree!” Then she turned her attention back on Daddy. “Talk, damn you!”
I rushed forward and grabbed Mama's hand as it was in midair. She was about to slap Daddy's face. “Get off him!”
Her eyes challenged mine, but I wasn't backing down. I held my breath and my gaze, and slowly the power in hers disappeared.
She slid off Daddy and then snatched her hand out of mine. “Fuck this shit!” She marched up to her closet, yanked it open, and pulled out a skimpy dress, before disappearing in the bathroom.
I pasted a smile on my face and turned to Daddy. “Mama was just playing, Dad.”
Desiree stayed planted in the doorway and shook her head so hard, I thought she was gonna get a crook in it.
Five minutes later Mama emerged in a more slutty dress than the one she wore the night before. Her face painted, she had on enough damn perfume for me, Desiree, Daddy, and her ass. She walked out, clickety-clacking her heels. “I'm going out,” she snapped. “Don't bother waiting up.”
I kept my head down and didn't acknowledge her, and Desiree tossed a hand at her.
“Come on, Daddy. Let's get you a bath, so you can get a good night of sleep.”
“Man, this is starting to be a bit too much. I'm going to bed.” Desiree stormed out the room, much like Mama did.
I was able to give Daddy a sponge bath, feed him, and send him to bed. Desiree's punk ass was knocked out, 'sleep, so I knew I had to do the cleaning up. The damn turkey I had slaved over went to fucking waste, so I stuffed it in the fridge, along with the dressing, greens, macaroni, peach cobbler and pound cake I'd made. Then I took a long shower and took my tired ass to bed.
When I heard moaning that was loud as fuck, I almost thought it was Desiree, but it wasn't. She was knocked out and snoring.
A surge of hope hit me. Maybe Daddy was moving again and fucking the shit out of Mama. I tiptoed out of my room down the hallway, passed the bathroom, and slipped over to my parents' room.
I was horrified to see Mama not only fucking a man in Daddy's house, but she was fucking him in the same room she shared with Daddy.
“Ouu, baby, fuck me!” she moaned, her titties jiggling in the air as she rode on top of some clown.
I glanced at Daddy, hoping his eyes were closed and he couldn't see the shit. I didn't say nothing, just ran back into my room and closed the door.
I felt like smoking some weed, maybe taking a swig from one of Mama's bottles of “feel-good,” which she had a lot of nowadays. I was stressed and mad. Mad, 'cause I was too damn young to be stressed. I should've been hanging out with my friends at the movies, the mall, the beach, or in some boy's room getting my titties or pussy licked for the first time, but instead I was playing the role of a wife, nurse, housekeeper, and damn cook. And Mama wasn't doing nothing, except clubbing and fucking—Desiree and her, both.
Mama interrupted the little bit of free time I had as I sat on the porch collecting my shitty-ass thoughts. It had been two months since the accident, and I now had to face the fact that Daddy would stay the way he was. The hope I had before didn't do shit but hurt me more. All I was doing by having that hope was prolonging the pain by running away from reality. Hope wasn't just a bottomless thought, it will kill your ass. Morgan Freeman had said that shit well in
The Shawshank Redemption
.
I rubbed my sleepy eyes and took a sip of water. I had just cleaned, cooked, and got Daddy straight. Now I was sitting on the porch staring out at kids coming home from school. I ended up not going today 'cause Mama wouldn't get herself up yet again. And who in the hell knew where Desiree's worthless ass was?
“Hey, Cash.”
I didn't bother looking when I heard her voice and the shuffle of feet behind me. I continued staring off, even though my focus mentally wasn't on what was taking place in front of me.
“Mama fucked up, huh?”
I glanced her way finally as she rubbed her arms like she was cold. I was cold too. Inside.
She sat down next to me so close, our thighs were touching, so I scooted over slightly and felt her stiffen when I did. But then she pretended she didn't feel it and it didn't bother her, when I knew it did. Oh, well.
“Boy, yo Daddy sure loved me. I say he loved me, 'cause I don't know if he still do.” She smiled, her eyes glazed with tears. “But I sure do love him. Hell, I don't know if anything is gonna ever change that shit. That's what worries me.”
I bit my lip as she pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and took a long drag. I was tempted to ask her for one, but when she continued to talk, it cancelled the want.
Thank God. Addictions in people is something ugly
.
“Remember how much fun we used to have. Your Daddy, boy, was so silly . . . a straight fool. But he has always been the kindest, sweetest man I've ever known my whole life.” She licked her dry lips. “He's been a friend, protector, lover, a provider, and he did it all without ever making me feel neglected in any of those areas, Cash.”
“Then why can't you do the same for him?” I spat out angrily.
She smiled. “'Cause it ain't in me. It just ain't. Some people equipped with the right stuff, some ain't. That's why God put people in the position in life they in. He looks out less for some and more for others. You ain't nothing like me. That's why we ain't never had no drama all these years. But your sister”—she blew out a circle of smoke—“shit, Desiree is a reincarnation of me. Her downward spiral started when she was ten years old, soon as them titties started sprouting out. She ain't gonna be shit.”
“Does that mean you ain't shit?”
“Naw. See, that's the twist. I wouldn't have been shit if it wasn't for yo Daddy.”
I shook my head at her fucked-up logic. “You ain't making a bit of sense.”
She ground out her cigarette. “Oh, it will one day. Like I said, some people built with the good stuff, and some ain't. God looks out more for those who ain't got it and less for those who do.”
“What does this have to do with me?”
“In other words, baby girl, life is gonna be hard as hell on you, so figure it out.” Mama pointed her finger at me. “But there is one more catch. Those people He looks out for more tend to find a way to fuck up, so they end up in the same fucking barrel as the ones made of the good stuff.”
I hung on to every word, but just as quickly dismissed the shit as babble. Maybe later on I'd have the time to decipher her words and determine if something there made sense, or if it was all pure butt shit.
Mama's moment of deepness
.
“You would take good care of Daddy, wouldn't you?”
I pierced Mama with an evil look, at what she was implying with her question.
She just stared down at her bare toes. “Shit, yo Daddy loves the hell out of you. Things gonna always be cool 'cause, as long as he got Cash Money, he's going to be okay.”
I looked at her for as long as I could before my face crumbled. I covered it with both my open palms and cried into them. She pulled them away, kissed both my tear-stained cheeks, my mouth, then both my hands, and then she walked away.
That was the last time I saw or heard from Mama.
BOOK: The People vs. Cashmere
5.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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