Posted on July 28, 2014July 27, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair7.28.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Garry Winogrand July 28, 2014: When he returned… Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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He’s been gone for the longest time. Mama said he warn’t never comin back. Probably got hisself a girl out east, she said, and a couple of littl’uns runnin at his feet. That’s how long he’s been gone. And there warn’t no letters for the past year and a half, not ‘cept what came last week and it was no more’n a note scribbled on the back of a napkin from a place called Bertie’s Diner, a few words really, just to say Kit was comin home.
A man been away that long, well, he’s gotta ‘spect changes. Stands to goddamn reason. Like I was just gonna sit on my hands and do nothing for all that time! Got me a job when the money stopped comin and I help out in the school these days and they say they don’t know as what they’d ever do without me or how they managed before. And Kit don’t know nothin ‘bout that.
‘What’s he comin home for?’ mama said. And I don’t think she was too pleased none ‘bout it. She heared me some nights, through the wall, cryin into my sleep – though it’s been more’n a year since that happened last. Still, she got first hand the hurt that it was not to be hearin from him and she did all the mendin when he was gone – puttin me back together and gettin me on my feet again.
Only this one morning last week and she was sayin how I done changed some and for the better. She said as how I had a light in me and the whole place lit up ‘bout me. She said it was nothin more’n I deserv’d, too. Then there was the note brought special delivery and Archie, the postman, he winked and I had to sign for it. And it was just three words written on the back of a old napkin, like it was just a spur of the moment thought that occurr’d to him over his apple pie and his coffee and might not have occurr’d if’n he’d maybe had pancakes.
There warn’t no return address neither, else I’da written back. Not sure what I’da said, but I needed to say somethin. And mama, she’dve had a few words to say herself – ‘choice words’ she said she had and I could guess they wouldn’t be no church-words.
There’s only one bus runs in here from the east. Tuesdays it comes in and it comes in just at the middle of the day when the sun is hottest and the air is dry as dust and ripplin, and everybody keeps to theys houses where it’s cool. I reckon’d somebody hadda be there to meet him off the bus, and I suppose that somebody hadda be me.
And I could picture it, even if’n I couldn’t rightly picture him. There’d be this man, who was once closer to boy, and he’d be all smiles and needin a shave. He’d be the first off the bus and runnin. And he’d throw himself at me, his arms scoopin me up, and callin me his girl and his only, and kissin me like the dog licks pa when he’s been away for a day or so, kissin me till I’m wet with kisses. Only, he can’t be doin that, no he can’t. Not now there’s Ted Willows, and it’s me and Ted now and we got a date set at the church and our eye on a house of us own and everythin.
I swore out loud when I read what Kit’d written on the napkin and I reckon that ‘bout says it all – ‘cept I’m here waitin for the bus to come in and imaginin what it’ll be and not knowin how I’ll feel ‘bout it when I see him, not knowin at all.