Mercy sakes. That woman scares me. She sure don’t smile much. Not that she should be smiling at her brother’s funeral, but she can hardly muster even a polite smile.
She got a little bit of her daddy in her. At least what I seen of him when I first got locked up at Estelle. He was always kind of quiet and respectful, but George had a side to him, mainly if the guards tried to give him any grief. They was bought and paid for and he let them know. Sometimes with just a look. I can see that in her.
Didn’t even know he had a daughter. It’s a curious thing he never mentioned her to me. Course, looking back, I can see that he only talked about his boy cause he came to visit now and then. But she was her daddy’s girl. I can see that, in spite of how she feels about him now. Reckon I can understand her feelings.
There’s a little something that’s not quite right. She’s ailing in some way. I can see it in her eyes. And she’s a little twitchy. But that ain’t the worst of it.
She got that dark speck growing in her. It’s the way she talked to me. I’m a aggravation to her. She’s bitter at George and I’m part of that. Fair enough. But I can tell she’s lonely, too. Been lonely for a while, if I’m guessing right. No man with her, not even at her brother’s funeral. That’ll put you in a bad way. Not that she couldn’t have a man if she wanted. Maybe she don’t want it. Maybe she had enough of men. Bad husband, maybe. Bad father. Don’t know much about the brother, but I’m guessing there was something there, too.
It ain’t too late, though. Maybe she’ll soften on George. Maybe soften on life a little. I can tell she was a looker in her day. Still got enough to attract a man. The right kind of man. I been without for a long time now and I know that cloud of lonely. But that woman’s not for me. She scares me. I need a woman that can give me some gentleness. A woman that I can sit with on a porch swing and listen to the crickets. A woman that can take hold of today, live in the moment and not be ate up with the past or fretting about the future.
That Heather, I’ll pray for her. Pray that she finds some relief from her demons. Maybe she can forgive old George. Maybe she can find her smile again.
from the novel Heather Girl
Darnell, also known as Booger, has just met Heather
copyright 2020, joseph e bird