Usually I have to go there by myself but today Dwight's coming, too, and I'm glad. It means I'm not the only one wearing the church clothes. It makes me feel special when I'm the only one wearing them on a weekday. I hate feeling special.
I can feel her behind me, opening her mouth, showing her big sharp teeth, and now I'm scared, but this time, I turn around real fast and she's changed human again. Standing there in the doorway, smiling that fake smile.
"Where is Dwight?" she says.
The closet door creaks slowly open and out steps Dwight, his red-green-and-yellow-plaid Sunday-school bow tie slightly crooked.
"What-choo doin' in dat dhere closet? Nigga! Get on out here so we can get ready ta go! Ya think we got all day?"
She grabs him by the shoulder and jerks at the bow tie to straighten it.
Then she turns back to me with that same put-on smile as I hop to the floor in panic. Panic that she will yell at me next. But instead of yelling, she talks in a making-fun, teasing way, telling Dwight, "Twonny has ta see his momma today." Barely concealing her disapproval of the visit, her mouth twists as she talks and she pushes up her glasses from slipping down her nose, like she's mad at the glasses that she has to take me downtown in the rain.
Her words stick in my ears and my mind begins searching as usual.
Finding Fish. Copyright (c) 2001 by Antwone Quenton Fisher Reprinted with permission from William Morrow Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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