TITLE: ABANDONED 10/07/15
By Rachel Jamerson
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
“Mother, how long will I have to stay here?” his voice quivered with emotion. “I don’t like it here everybody is mean to me - everybody but Grandma.”
“I don’t know son but right now I don’t have any other choice. I have to work and there is no one to care for you.” The tone of her voice said the subject was closed.
Fighting hard to hold back his tears, James clutched his suitcase tightly and leaned back against the ragged vinyl of the seat. Soon the old grey weather boarded house came into view. Ethel eased the car up under a huge oak tree and turned off the engine. James sat quietly praying that he was dreaming and soon would wake up back in his bed.
“We are here son time to show Grandma and Papa how grown up you are.” She opened the car door and motioned for him to get out. James stepped from the vehicle his little ragged suitcase in one hand. He held tightly to his mother’s skirt with the other.
“Hi honey,” it was Grandma’s voice; she was sitting on the porch in her rocking chair. “Come here to Grandma - everything’s going to be alright.” James dropped his suitcase and ran into her arms as hot tears flooded down his cheeks.
“Now son you need to stop that crying.” His mother’s voice was sharp. “It’s bad enough I have to leave you here for Mama to care for she doesn’t need to deal with your blubbering.”
James was only five when he lost his father and now he felt abandoned by his mother.
Mrs. Cole pulled the little boy up into her lap and he buried his face in her blouse.
“I know you are sad honey losing your Dad and then having to leave home. But don’t you fret Grandma will take care of you.” She hugged him tightly and whispered in his ear,.“We might even go wading in the creek before supper.”
“I have to go.” Ethel called over her shoulder. “I have to meet John at the boarding house to see if I can get a room near the mill. Now you mind Mama son. I will see you soon.” It would be a long time before James would see his mother again.
James rested in the safety of his grandmother’s embrace as she rocked him gently. A soft breeze was blowing through the trees. The distant sound of a Whippoorwill rose above the rustling of the leaves. He felt so lonely and alone. Nobody wants me, he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.
In the days to come the young boy learned to stay out of the way of his mother’s siblings. Several still lived at home with his grandparents. They were used to having their own way and didn’t care for their cousin. Besides, their mother babied him always taking his side when there was a disagreement. She even let him steal cookies – something she never let them get away with. Their teasing was unmerciful and at times physically painful.
There wasn’t money for clothes so James wore hand-me-downs. Sometimes he put cardboard in his shoes to cover the holes. The house was over a hundred years old. The only heat was two fireplaces and a wood stove in the kitchen. It seemed his life went from bad to worse. It seemed he was always hungry and cold. Some mornings it was so cold he would actually stand inside the opening of the huge fireplace. It was warmer there away from the wind hissing through the cracks in the floor.
“Don’t touch that!” The screech came from Keffie she was his uncle’s new wife. “You know better than to bother my stuff.” Stomping across the room she snatched the bowl of fruit off the table.
“I didn’t know it was yours,” mumbled James, looking longingly at the plump grapes and oranges. He had never eaten either and so wanted to sink his teeth into a juicy orange.
“Keffie if you can’t share with the children leave your stuff in your room.” It was grandma’s voice; she had entered the room with a platter of golden brown fried chicken. “It’s Okay son. Supper will be ready in a jiffy. You don’t need her fruit.”
James perked up at the sight of fried chicken and grandma’s hot buttermilk biscuits. “Man that smells good can I have a leg this time please?”
“I don’t know son we have a lot of people to feed. We will see after the adults get finished.”
James dropped his head and crawled up on the battered old wooden bench behind the table. “They always get the best pieces,” he mumbled under his breath. “I’ll be lucky to get the neck. Nobody seems to care if I eat or not. I wish Mama was here.” When he finished eating James quietly slipped off the bench and headed for the back room where he slept.
“Where do you think you are going?” It was Grandpa Cole he had finished his supper and was having his after supper smoke. “You have to fill the wood box and bring in some water before you go anywhere.”
“I know Papa,” replied James. “I’m just going in the back room for a minute.” The dresser drawer squeaked when he pulled it out. There she was looking up at him with a big smile. He picked up the picture and held it close. “I miss you Mother, I really miss you.”
Nothing changed much over the next few years. The visits from his mother grew less and less. He didn’t miss her as much anymore but there was a deep sadness inside him. He didn’t understand but it was similar to how he felt when his father died. He began to retreat into his own world shutting the pain outside.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.