"I just need to know what he said about me. If...if he ever talked about me."
"I don't really know how to answer that."
"What do you mean? It's an easy question to answer."
"Not really. I just lost my husband. You just lost your father. I didn't know you existed until just now so I figure my surprise at you showing up should tell you what he's said to me about you."
"That was horrible I know. I know. That's why I didn't want to answer. I didn't want to hurt you but I'm just so...so...shocked that you're here. That you look just like him...but with hair."
"Yeah...I guess I can see where that would be kinda different. I'm sorry too."
"I mean...I wouldn't even believe you if you weren't...if you didn't...my God! YOU LOOK JUST LIKE HIM!"
She stands up abruptly. Pacing. Shoving her hands through her already unkempt hair. "You, you look just like him! His eyes, his nose, his mouth...yes...you're his child. How could you not be. Even if you hadn't said anything...I'd know. I'd know just by looking at you."
"Sorry. Everyone has always told me I look just like him."
"You talk like him too. All arrogant. Like you can do anything. LIke I should not question a thing you say."
"You got questions...I got questions."
"And answers. One of us has to have answers and I already know I'll fail. How, how did I not know about you? How did he keep you hidden from me for 25 years?"
"I guess it was easy seeing as though I haven't seen him since I was 4 and I don't remember him. 29 years is a long time."
"That's something that shouldn't be easy. He wanted children. We wanted children. We tried. How could...I'm sorry...I don't want to hurt you. I can't...this isn't the time."
"He never said anything about me."
She sat down again not knowing what to do or say. In the chair by the window this time. The chair she usually read in. While he watched a game. But he's gone now. He's dead and that person sitting near his spot on the sofa who looks just like him isn't him because it's a she and she has hair.
That person on the sofa is his daughter. His daughter. He had a daughter that he never said anything about.
"Did he take care of you? I mean...did he send money to your mother?"
"My Grandmother raised me and no...he never sent money."
"Where's your mother?"
"Another question without a clear answer."
"But he knew about you?"
"Yes. Right up until he moved here. I guess it was easier to forget me here. With you."
"I didn't know."
"That's become obvious."
"He's not that man."
"And yet I'm here."
"And yet you're here."
They sat in silence. Each feeling the others' heartbeat across the room.
One on the verge...
"I guess I should leave. I didn't schedule a late check-in."
"A hotel? No. You shouldn't stay in a hotel. You stay here. We...I...have plenty of room. My sister is on her way with her son, our...my...nephew. We have room. There is room for you."
"No really...I couldn't."
"And I couldn't let you stay in a hotel. You're my husband's...um...child."
"And you're my father's wife but I don't know you and you don't know me. The hotel is cool. I prefer it."
"Well...let me fix you something to eat."
"I don't have time to eat."
"You could check in over the phone. Just call them."
"Your family is on their way. I'm not ready for that. I just wanted to meet you."
"How did you hear?"
"You know Lightening?"
"Yes. He's my Godfather."
"I knew Lightening. Lightening knew me."
"The other common denominator."
She slumped deeper into her seat. Small. Angular. A cloud of sadness hovering near her that all could feel.
"Well...if you have to go then when are you coming back?"
"I can come back tomorrow."
"Or tonight. You could come tonight. You look just like him."
"I can come tomorrow. Around 10 in the morning."
"Do you have any other questions?"
"Not now. It's a lot you know?"
"Yeah...it's a lot."
She got up to leave. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"I'll be here."
"I'll call first."
"No need to call first. I'll be here. Waiting. For you."
With no thoughts of returning.
- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/author_monica_mingo/#sthash.0f0DQpY4.dpuf