Calling All Rebels

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Mama was hell bent on driving the seven hours it took to get to California from Texas instead of dishing out for a quick flight. I understood her reasoning though, at the time she was a full time college student with a major in education and a part time job catering at this classy upscale joint in Downtown Houston.

So yeah, I completely understood. But she lacked logic. Obviously a fourteen plus car ride would have emptied her pockets quicker than a money-grubbing man, not to mention the snack-age we would have went through.

I’m just saying, I like to eat ok?

“Mama,” I rolled my eyes and absently caressed Addie, her black and white Shit-zhu. Thinking about it now I don’t know why I even had her in my arms, she smelled like a Ces pool tank, I didn’t like her and she’d managed to get fur on my favorite baseball tee, “Why don’t we just…”

I meant to finish by asking that we ask my dad for a couple hundred for a plan ride, but she caught on quickly. She, darker than ebony itself shot me a fierce look. Her almond eyes converted into the thinnest of lines and she didn’t have to say anything verbally. From her body language; hand on hip, I knew that it was an absolute no. She didn’t like my daddy, she tolerated him. Since she didn’t care for Mr. Slick-Back, she had no desire to ask him to pay the ticket fee. I was S.O.L.

I was doomed to a boring car-ride filled with reprimand, warnings and speeches of caution. I was a good girl, but in the world of big bad wolves I was little Miss red riding hood. Which is why I couldn’t understand why she’d agreed for me to spend the summer with my dad and his family. Supposedly he’d brought up the idea a few months prior with hopes of ‘reconciliation’ and a ‘bonding opportunity for everyone’.

Give me a break. I didn’t see the point. I’d made it to his wedding five years before, got snubbed by my snobby older brother and dissed by his friends the weekend I spent there.

It was horrible, and me; chubby, awkward, nappy headed and darker than tar as they referred to me spent my last night there crying into my pillow. At twelve I didn’t want to know them and at seventeen I still didn’t want to know them, but daddy insisted.

Daddy. I couldn’t get comfortable with the term.

A full summer in California, what did I expect? I can tell you what I didn’t expect—a good time that’s what. Two months with a man I didn’t know, a mulatto woman I didn’t like and her –Light-Enough-To-Pass-For-White-Son. Oh joy.

My friend Carla couldn’t understand my dismay; she figured a summer in Cali would be better than our droll and hot summers in Houston. But whatever, she didn’t understand; she had a mom, and a dad. She would never understand the life of a bastard.

Luckily one part of the problem solved itself, in the nick of time Daddy Dearest ran me up and kindly ‘offered’ to pay for my round trip ticket to San Diego. But I’d like to think that was because I spent the better half of an hour hinting that I frequently became car sick and suffered from fainting spells often.

On June 1 of 2007 less than a week after school had ended I found myself braving a flight all by my lonesome from the great city of Houston Texas to the foreign San Diego California.

“You lo9ok better than I remember.”

What kind of greeting is that? Especially after I’d spent the better part of my trip huddling into my pillow with my eyes squeezed shut praying that the plane wouldn’t crash.

I rested my hand atop my unpackaged luggage lodged in the center of my bed. My head turned to the right, my lips tilted and my eyes rested on my fair-skinned step brother Stephen. At nineteen he’d filled out from the skinny fourteen year old boy I had last seen. His biceps bulged under his cupped sleeves, an indication that lifting weights was an expenditure of his. His grey eyes sparkled underneath his eyebrows, the light brow hairs brushed over crazily nearly shadowing his eyes. A thin layer of fine light hairs stuck out of his cheeks like baby porcupine needles and a short crop of equally light curls shined beneath the sun invading the hallway.

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