Friday, June 09, 2006
EXCERPT: When A Sistah’s FED UP
When A Sistah’s FED UP by
Monica Frazier Anderson
City Hall, Diamond took dictation while Faith looked over her calendar and gave
instructions. Then, Faith grabbed her purse and briefcase. “Come on, Son, we need to get on the
road.” Trey was sitting on the couch,
looking like a lost puppy. Suddenly,
Faith froze, “Oh no. What about
leave without him.” She picked up the phone.
“I need to call him,” she said.
nice to be remembered,”
through the door of her office.
straight. Diamond said she tried to
that nit wit called and insisted on speaking to me in the middle of my meeting
with the couple who wants to buy the million-dollar
looked at Diamond. She clearly did not
appreciate that “nit wit” label.
Surprisingly, she held her tongue.
It was about to poke a hole in her right cheek, but she managed to
restrain herself. With a roll of her
neck, Diamond strutted back to her desk.
grip on her briefcase tightened like the muscles in her neck. “
please don’t insult my staff. I would
hope our daughter’s health is more important than anything but, if not, why
don’t you go back to work, and I’ll call you later?”
Dad.” Trey pleaded.
are your eyes so red, boy?”
jumped, startled by the volume of his father‘s inquiry. He stood up and said,
“Because, Dad, unlike you, I have feelings.”
was speechless. Trey stormed out. Raymond gave Faith a reassuring look before
he followed in those angry footsteps.
is he always around?”
boring holes in Raymond’s back.
He works here, fool. Faith bit her tongue and looked around the
office one last time to make sure she hadn‘t forgotten anything. “We should take separate cars,” she said. “You may have to rush back, and I intend to
stay as long as Sloane needs me.”
you implying I’m not a good father?”
tell me,” she said, putting on her sunglasses.
car was quiet during the two-and-a-half hour drive to
It was normally a three-hour drive, but
pushed 90 all the way down I35. When
they arrived at the hospital, Faith had a moment of déjà vu. Not long ago, she
was the patient cocooned amidst the urgent whispers, unfamiliar sounds, and
constant state of crisis.
volunteer at the information desk directed them to the Telemetry Floor on the
second level. They took the elevator
up, exited, and turned left as directed.
They paused at the door to Sloane’s room, each hesitant to be the first
spoke up. “I‘ll wait out here while y‘all talk to her.”
Faith stared at him. Trey tugged at the
do rag covering his braids and slumped onto the floor.
nurse was checking the round patches stuck to Sloane’s chest when Faith and
done,” the nurse said, pulling Sloane’s gown up to her neck.”
were two beds, but only one was occupied.
The room smelled like Sloane’s favorite fragrance, Gucci Rush. In a blink, Faith noted the IV, the heart
monitor, the blood pressure cuff hanging on the wall, and the weary look in her
daughter’s eyes. She leaned over and
embraced Sloane. Their tears mingled.
the nurse finished taking vital signs,
sat on the other side of the bed and put his arms around both of the
women. “We love you very much, Sloane,”
he said, “and no matter what it is, we will beat this thing together.”
you, Daddy,” Sloane wailed. Soon, they
were all crying.
The pathetic sounds coming through the door prompted Trey to enter. He stood behind his mother and joined the
group hug. Faith lamented that it took
something like this to bring her family together.
she had composed herself, Faith asked, “Honey, what happened? Your professor said you had a seizure or
something. Have the doctors determined
what’s wrong with you?”
looked at their expectant faces and broke down again.
not dying are you?”
frowned at him over Sloane’s head.
Sloane blew her nose on the tissue Faith was holding for her like she
was a little girl in preschool. She
wiped her red eyes with the back of her hands and took a deep breath.
had planned to tell you, but I wanted to wait until after school was out.” She paused.
The hum of the medical equipment heightened the suspense. “I fainted in class today. I guess my body was jerking around a little
on the ground and that’s why they thought I had a seizure. The doctor says that’s normal when…” She
insisted. Faith tried to hide the
disappointment on her face because she already knew what was coming next.
you’re pregnant.” Sloane finally said.
“Mary, mother of Jesus!”
forehead. He stood up and stomped his
feet like a kid having a tantrum. “I
need some air,” he announced, leaving the room abruptly. Trey
moved to the lone chair in the room and sat down. Faith remained on the bed, tapping the sheets
with her finger.
she was as composed internally as she appeared externally, she hugged Sloane
again and kissed her cheek. “Are you
Mother. The doctor said I was
dehydrated. I’ve been going non-stop
lately, planning the Spring Formal for the sorority. I guess I haven’t been taking very good care
anything like this happened before?”
“No. I was sitting there taking notes while Dr.
Neal was going on and on about constitutional rights. I remember feeling a little lightheaded, and
the next thing I knew, the paramedics were putting me on a stretcher.”
the baby alright? How far along are
baby is fine. I’m only five or six weeks
pregnant. They did an ultrasound and
they’re going to do more tests as a precaution, but, really, I’m fine.”
what your father said was true. We do
love you no matter what. We’ll do what
we can to help you, but this pregnancy is a result of your choices. It’s obvious you have some very important
decisions to make. And since you have to
live with the consequences, please pray about this and choose wisely.” She patted Sloane’s hand and said softly, “Take it from a
woman who knows.”
was devastated. Her worst nightmares
were becoming reality. She wanted to run
from the room in retreat like her husband, but instead she sat with her
daughter and waited.
night in their suite at the Four Seasons Hotel, Faith and
won’t she tell us who the father is?”
said for the thirtieth time, cracking his knuckles. He felt helpless and weak. His eyes filled with tears again. His once perfect world was falling
apart. He remembered the little girl who
loved to go for pony rides on his knee and screamed in delight when he came
home from work. That little girl was now
a pregnant woman who didn’t trust her daddy anymore. He blew his nose on a tissue and looked at
took a gulp of her second cocktail.
“She’s protecting him.”
snorted, “He can’t be much of a man. He
didn’t even show up at the hospital tonight.”
he doesn’t know.” Faith massaged her
temples. The cocktails and four Advil
hadn’t touched her pounding headache. In
her haste, she had forgotten her prescriptions.
She couldn’t sleep without her pills, and she needed rest.
paced from wall to wall. “I didn’t press
her tonight because of her condition, but I’m not leaving
is.” He clenched and unclenched his
fist. He imagined himself pounding the
baby’s father in the face. He wondered
if Faith knew more about this than she was telling him. She talked to the girl several times a
week. How could she not know?
push her right now. She’s under a lot of
stress. I don’t think she planned for us
to find out this way. Maybe she’s trying
to protect me because of the election.
I’m shocked she’s been having unprotected sex. We’ve warned her about that a million times.”
shouldn’t be having sex at all, unprotected or not.”
I remind you of your own past to stop you from being so judgmental? You do remember why we got married don’t
got married because I fell in love with you,” he said in a beleaguered tone.
that before or after I got pregnant?” she asked in a voice devoid of emotion.
was going to marry you anyway, after you graduated.”
that a little secret you were keeping to yourself because you never mentioned
the subject of marriage until I got pregnant and my father threatened to break
your neck.” She
crunched an ice cube in her mouth and glanced at the bloody images on CNN.
He followed her gaze.
He picked up the remote and turned off the television. She looked at him stonily. “Are you saying you wouldn’t have married me
if you hadn’t gotten pregnant?” He was
taken aback. It had never occurred to
him that marrying him was not her highest pursuit in college.
sure.” I sure as hell wouldn’t marry your self-righteous ass now, she
was so affectionate when they were younger.
And so romantic. But he didn’t even select her Valentine and
anniversary gifts himself anymore. Inez
did it. Fortunately, Inez had good
taste, but it wasn’t the same.
did finish college,” he said defensively.
after the children started school and you got your career off the ground.” She stretched and yawned. “I’m sure we would
have gotten married eventually. I would
have preferred to do things in order, but that doesn’t mean I regret having my
children.” She watched him pace back and
forth across the room. “Let it go. I was just reminding you no one is
perfect. She made a mistake. We’re her parents. We have to help her. If the father comes around, that’s great, but
if not, I do not want Sloane to quit school.
She cannot support herself, let alone a baby, without a good education.”
right,” he admitted. “She needs our
support now, not our condemnation.” He
sat down on the bed, biting his thumbnail.
leaving the hospital, they stopped at the mall and the grocery store to
purchase a few essentials. Faith removed
the tags from her new pajamas. “I’m
going to take a shower,” she said.
“Would you make me another drink, please dear?”
are you drinking so much? You rarely
touched hard liquor in the past, now you want a cocktail every night. Why can’t you drink juice or water?”
froze at the door to the bathroom.
Without turning around, she said softly, “Some sorrows don’t drown in
WHEN A SISTAH'S FED
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