Category Archives: family

MaeHem At The Mall

Chapter 4: MayHem At The Mall

wpid-IMG_20120526_195314.jpg

“Meet me at Towne Square for lunch. There are some great sales, and I don’t want to miss them, but I haven’t seen you in so long. We can do some shopping together. I’m bringing the kids. You bring yours.” Dana laughed.

“I’ll see if I can get Trent to get dressed.” Mae laughed back.

“Well, tell that giant teenager of yours to get going!”

“Yeah, but I don’t know that we’re in the mood for Show Me’s.”

“It’ll be quick. It’s a little early for lunch, so it won’t be crowded or anything.”

“Okay. We’ll see you there in a while.”

“Mwuah! Love ya!”

“You too!”

They hung up, and Mae shuffled into the living room. “Lunch and shopping with Dana and the girls, let’s go.”

Trent wiggled his toes high up on his recliner. “Do I have to?”

“Dana was right.”

“Dana? About what?”

“That you’re a great, big teenager.”

Trenton jumped up from his chair and chased Mae into the bedroom.. “You got that right! And you know what they say about teenage boys!” He tackled her to the bed, and they wrestled and laughed.

“Come on, it’ll be a good time. We haven’t seen Aisha and Alaya for a while, either.” Mae put on her puppy dog eyes and batted her lashes.

“Aw, don’t do that.” Trent grinned. “I can’t say no when you do that. Okay, let’s go.” He got up and changed from his comfy shorts and t-shirt into jeans and a sweat shirt that said ,’roadkill on the grill’. “There. Let’s go hug our girls.”

Traffic was light, and they rode to the mall in good time. Parking was a different story, though, and Trent circled the same four lanes several times, waiting for a good spot.

“We could’ve walked in, had lunch and shopped four stores by now,” Mae said.

“It’s my day off. I deserve to park close to the door.”

“There’s one!” Mae pointed.

Trent pressed on the accelerator a bit and hurried around to the next lane and pulled into a spot just before a teenager in a beater tried to grab it.

“Ha. Beat him,” Trent said, and put the shift in park, pulled out the keys and got out. He patted his tummy and said, “Hungry man. Let’s go.”

Mae rolled her eyes.

“Well, I can’t really say hungry teenager.”

Mae sidled up to him and they walked hand in hand into the mall. They had barely taken two steps in when they heard a voice call out to them, and two other voices squeal.

“Mae, Trent, over here!”

“Uncle Trent! Aunt Mae!”

The passersby stole glances to see who answered the call. Aisha and Alaya ran up to them and locked them in tight hugs. The glued-together group waddled to where Dana stood, smiling.

“Come here, you!”

Trent walked like a robot, arms out in front of him toward Dana.

“Not you, but okay,” she laughed and gave him a light hug. She let Trent go, and the girls swarmed him.

“I meant you!” She did a sort of stuttered, excited shuffle to Mae, and threw her arms around her.

They parted, and Dana said, “What do you think?” She did a little twirl and showed off her new outfit. Her mini skirt had a pleated section that flew up when she twirled.

“Nice. Been here long?”

The group joined together and walked into the restaurant. They were seated quickly. Aisha and Alaya were busy talking over each other, telling Trent about their week at school while Dana and Mae caught up with each other.

“I’m going with the chicken Philly,” said Trent.

The girls sat on either side of him. Aisha ordered a grilled cheese and a dinner salad, and Alaya ordered a cheeseburger.

“Y’all ready?” Their waitress smiled, beaming at the group around the table.

Mae gave a gentle kick to Trent’s shin. “Behave,” she said.

“Yup, we’re ready!”

The group ordered, and chatted while waiting for their meals.

“So then, Jamie, she said…. Dana, what are you looking at?” Mae followed Dana’s eyes to a set of broad shoulders and a trim waist sitting at the bar.

“Sorry, what?” Dana said without looking away from the eye candy on the bar stool.

“Do you know him?” Mae asked.

“No, but I don’t think I’d mind getting to know him,” Dana said and raised her eyebrows.

“You…” Mae said with a little laugh.

“Can’t blame a girl for window shopping. He’s as fine as Ghirardelli Chocolate. I, uh, have to go to the ladies room. No need to come with me, though,” Dana rose and winked at Mae. “I can take care of this on my own.”

Mae shook her head and watched Dana walk away.

As Dana passed the bar, she made eye contact with the man. He had a draft beer glass in his hand, and had just pursed his lips on the rim to take a sip when he saw her. Dana paused ever so slightly, did a little twirl and walked to the ladies’ room with her miniskirt swaying with her stride.

When she came out, the man waved her over. “Hey, good-lookin’. Can I buy you a drink or something?”

“Oh, I’ve already ordered, but thanks. I’m Dana.” She held out her hand.

“Jerome.” He took her hand in his. “You here by yourself?”

She shook her head. “We’re on a family shopping spree.” She nodded in the direction of her table.

“Ah. Well, how about you give me your number, and we’ll see about getting you here sometime by yourself. Or somewhere else. You like to dance?”

“Oh, yeah. Here.” Dana pulled out her phone.

“Jerome Elias Watson!” A harsh voice pierced through the restaurant, right into Jerome’s eardrum.

“Sasha?” He winced and pulled away. Dana turned to see a rather large, very angry woman stomping their way. Her fury shone through the dark skin of her cheeks like the glow of embers at dusk. Jerome’s face reddened, and he turned to the bar and picked up his glass. “Shit.”

“Missy, you can just keep going.” She pointed a finger in Dana’s face.

“Oh no, you don’t. You need to talk to this sorry excuse for a man, not me. He came on to me.” She turned to Jerome. “Tell her.”

“You can’t talk about my man that way!” The woman took a step closer to Dana.

Unintimidated, Dana stepped inward, too. “He’s the one picking up women right under your nose. How would I know he had an old lady?”

Jerome swung around on his barstool and stepped between the two women. In any other situation, he would have been safe, but even a six-foot-two bundle of muscles is no match for women who are riled up.

“Old lady? Go look in the mirror!” Sasha reached an arm around Jerome to slap at Dana.

Jerome swung his arm out to block Sasha, but when her hand hit his arm, he bounced back and smacked Dana’s shoulder.

By that time, Trenton was walking calmly toward them with a stern look on his face. “Hey, be careful with my sister. Let’s just be cool, okay?” he said.

Alaya yelled from the table, “Yeah, leave my mom alone!”

Mae put a hand on the table.

“She’s okay. Uncle Trent is there, and we’re going to just stay here and not make it worse, okay?” Mae saw the girls as they nodded but watched closely, ready to defend their mom, and she felt kind of proud, the way the family stuck together.

Jerome’s temper flared. “Keep out of this, kid!”

Trenton put a hand on Jerome’s arm and led him and Sasha away from Dana. “That kid, as you called her, can run you down and put you on the floor before you can say ‘outside linebacker’. Just cool this off. Okay?”

Sasha folder her arms and huffed heavily. She shot a dirty look toward Dana, but then looked up at Jerome. “Yeah, what the hell? Get your ass home, motherfucker.”

He dropped a bill on the bar and left with his head low, and his woman behind him scolding him the whole way.

Dana held her head high and sat down at the table and watched the leave with daggers in her eyes.

“Should have stuck to window shopping,” Mae said, trying to inject some humor into the situation.

“I just wanted to try, not buy,” Dana said.

She and Mae laughed at the same time.

“Hey, look at it this way. You didn’t end up as ‘the other woman’. I think that Sasha would have drawn blood.”

“Yeah, but dammit. I just can’t get a break.”

The waitress arrived with their food, and they dug in.

“Uncle Trent, will you take us to Scoops & Smoothies for dessert?” Aisha asked.

“You gonna have room?” he teased.

“Let’s all go. Then we’re going to look at shoes,” Dana said, and raised a glass. “To family.”

They all raised their glasses and said, “To Family!”

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

An Honest Discussion About Ferguson At Our Weekly Denny’s Meeting

image

My family restored my faith in humanity tonight. I’ll get to that later, but first we sat down and ordered. Our waitress came over and took our order and looked like life had just kicked the shit out of her. She was not her normal perky self! I said, “What’s wrong pooky?”

She said, “My home burned down last night…I have eight kids.”

“Eight kids?” Dana asked. “My God that’s my worst nightmare!”

Our waitress let out a big chuckle and walked off.

Dana and I sat with the girls and Kristal. Dana said, “Welcome everyone to our weekly Denny’s Meeting! I’m glad to have you hear this week with us, Aisha!”

Aisha started to laugh and really I was just happy to be there with everyone. I wasn’t my normal self.

With tears in my eyes, I look at my beautiful bi racial nieces as we watch the news in Denny’s. “Girls, what do you think about what is going on in Ferguson, Missouri? Do you understand why people are so mad?”

My niece Alaya is 14. “Yes. They are mad because he was just a boy. People are mad because they think that the police officer that did it should have gotten in trouble. Black lives don’t matter.”

And that was when I lost it.

I look at my 15 year old niece Aisha that isn’t saying that much. Aisha always has a whole lot to say, “Aisha, do you understand why people are protesting?”

Aisha nods her head yes.

“Do you understand why they are protesting?”

“….Well…I understand why they are protesting…but….I don’t understand why they are burning down their own city…”I nod my head yes, “I think that is a very wonderful observation…but for some….burning and tearing that city down is so much more symbolic than just burning and tearing it down. It is tearing down every racial wall that anyone has ever built for you. Anyone that has ever made you feel different or unequal. Tonight is not a racial issue. It is a human rights issue.”

I keep going back to our waitress.Could you imagine your home burning down at the holidays?

Dana and the girls go to the restroom. I set there with Kristal and just stare off into the distance. I start to tear up again. “Shit ain’t ever gonna change Kristal…I’m SO sick of the same shit happening! I don’t know how much my more I can take!”

Kristal half way chuckles, “Maeviss…who you tellin? Just have to sit back and be like Gandhi. Be the change you seek in the world.”

Dana and the girls come back to the table. Our waitress  is weighing on both of our minds.Kristal calls over the cook. “Did her house really burn down?” He nods his head yes. Dana asks, “Does she really have eight kids?” He nods his head yes.

Kristal starts whispering in the cooks ear. She hands him her credit card and she keeps whispering in his ear. The cook gets a huge smile on his face.
The girls start smiling too. “Aunt Kristal are you giving that woman money?!?”
Dana says, “I want to help.” She pulls out her wallet.
Aisha and Alaya pull out dollar bills from their pocket. Aisha said, “It isn’t much, but here!”

Three grown men sitting next to us pay their bill. They are mad because they have been waiting for an hour for their food to get there, so they leave even though they have already have paid for their meal!

Their waitress sits their food down. Dana says, :”Cha-Ching! Free food!” She runs over and the girls are so embarrassed they get up and go to the car! Lmao, Dana said, “What?!?! You won’t be so embarrassed when we are eating it for breakfast tomorrow!”

Dana and Her Denny's Haul

I go home and when I walk in the door I fall to my knees and let out a long cry. My heart is with Ferguson tonight. Trent grabs me.I think about what Kristal said. What Dana said. What my nieces said.

And the only thing that kept playing over in my head was, “Don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

On The Edge

His eyes were no longer the same. His eyes, once full of life and compassion- now looked dead.

It happened the week after our miscarriage. He told himself to be strong for me, he wasn’t allowed to be weak.

He told himself that he wasn’t allowed to feel anything about this painful event that had taken place in both of our lives together. He was the man – men are supposed to be strong- didn’t you know?

Trent had been out of a job. He went looking for work the next week. It was right after the crash of 2008. Everyone was out of a job! I had been working since I was 15, and I was out of a job! I wasn’t working either, but Trenton told himself he was the man. It was his job to take care of us. He would go to these interviews and there would be ten other people there, and Trenton would go in to the interview thinking, ‘Oh great! What’s the point? These people  look way more qualified that me!”

I held in my hand the third rejection letter Trenton had received in three weeks.
I sat in the van silent as Trenton quietly read the letter to himself. After about two minutes Trent put the van in drive. He started out at a normal speed but as we hit downtown area of Owensboro, Kentucky, his driving became more aggressive.
So, here we are in a van painted like a FUCKING COW, on Frederica, and we are at 65 MPH.

Our car had broken down a week before this. Trent and I were pretty much only left with the option of buying this 1995 White Cargo Van. His brother had already started making jokes about it looking like a van used to abduct children, so I thought I would spruce it up, and I thought it was a awesome idea to paint it like a cow! Trenton had a really good time painting it, too. It was the first time he had smiled in months.

“Trenton, you’re scaring me. Please stop the van!”

“STOP THE FUCKING VAN, TRENTON! ” I screamed as loud as I could.

I watched in horror as Trenton pulled into the parking garage of the RiverPark Center. I remember thinking,  this isn’t my husband!

First Floor- “Stop the van, Trenton!”

Second Floor – “I’m calling 911 Trenton!”

I picked up the phone and accidently dropped it as we reached the Third floor. “It’s going to be okay, Trenton – JUST STOP THIS GOD DAMN VAN! PLEASE!!!”
I tried reaching for the phone but it was too late- we were at the top of the building.
I remember watching this beautiful man – the man I promised the rest of my life to grow old with, get out of the van and walk to the edge of the building.
But I wasn’t giving up that easy! I was not going to lose him! I remember running after him as his second foot reached the ledge and grabbing onto the black peacoat he had on.

A black peacoat that I had bought him our first Christmas together because he had always wanted a peacoat. It was Trent’s favorite possession in the world. I grabbed the inside of that beautiful peacoat and somehow that beautiful peacoat managed to give me leverage enough to grab onto him and throw him to the ground.

We laid there and for a moment there was silence, until he started to cry. “Why the fuck shouldn’t I just end it? You would be so much better without me.”
And so I said the first thing that came to my mind,”Because I love you. Because you love me. Because there is no me without you, and if you do this right here, right now – you are going to fuck me up for life.”

I look back on it now and think of how insanely selfish it was that it was the only thing I could think of to say. What him killing himself would do to me.

But it worked. And we got in the van and I called every person possible I could that could help my husband get to the hospital to get help.

It took a lot of work and through the process we learned a lot about Trenton. We learned that Trent had undiagnosed depression for several years.
The truth is right now – even without really thinking I can come up with three things I love about Trenton.

1. He has a great heart and he would do anything for anyone
2. He has these almond shaped eyes that I used to stare at for hours when we first started dating. They’re gorgeous.
3. Trent is crazy smart.  He doesn’t even have to try – he just is!

There’s a ton of qualities that I see in Trent. But that doesn’t matter. Because Trent doesn’t see Trent that way.

I’m not going to lie – there have been several bumps in the road to Trent’s treatment of depression — but he keep going. And we all love him very much for that because we couldn’t imagine him NOT in our lives.
I would really love to hear your thoughts and if you have stories like this- please feel free to share them with me. If you feel like you need to get it out of you and put it to paper-send it to me! I will listen!

I love you Trenton Hagan, and I am so incredibly proud of how far you have come!

1959989_580392303041_426037146_n

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: