Category : Stories
Sub Category : Drama
"Dear? Do you know why I named you 'Gloria' ?" Gloria stares at mama then looks at me smilin'. My big sister is always praised by mama every while an' on. "Yes, mama. It's 'cause 'I beautiful an' made to be glorious." Mama smiled, rubbing her black, wrinkly hands on her cheek. I looked at mama, but mama kept her gaze on big sister Gloria. My eyes were watery. I didn't think it was fair that Gloria got all the attention. All the boys eyes lightin' up after seeing her caramel skin, her big butt, and her green eyes.
I wonder if I'm beautiful like big 'sis an' if I have smooth, caramel skin, a green eyes, an' round butt. I must not. Gloria wouldn't have all the attention if I was built like her. So one time, I asked daddy if I was beautiful.
It was late that night and he'd done just come home. I'm never sure whether he goes to workin' or not, but it's always dark out when he barges in through the door. And whenever I was around 'em, he always smelled of, of cigar an' liquor. Though this time around I regret asking him, I really do.
"Daddy?" He looked at me annoyed by the face. "What?" He asked with his voice all dark an' heavy. "Am I beautiful like Gloria?" He stared at me for a few seconds then he chuckled and drunk his liquor. He stopped, swallowed what he held in his mouth, an' looked back at me. "Darla, you ain't never gon' look like no Gloria." My heart raced an' my eyes start to water again. "She look like a, a angel an' you just a ugly child. She my child, the lord done gave me her. But you? Naw, you ain't my child! No indeed!" He walks away shovin' the bottle down his throat an' stoppin' and swallowin' the drink in his mouth.
That's what I regret. I shoulda known he'd say I was no Gloria. The next day, I sat there watchin' Gloria. Even though mama said she was beautiful, she thought she can have any boy she want. So later on, she went an' asked daddy if she can have a boyfriend since mama was out runnin' them errands.
Though daddy was the same as always. Smellin' of cigar an' liquor an' his voice all dark an' heavy. "Daddy?" Gloria asked. "What?" He said with the same annoyance in his tone. "Can I have a boyfriend. I went to go listen in on 'em. I knew daddy was gonna say yes, but I was still curious. I wanted to hear 'em for myself.
So I got closer. Then...I heard a loud smack, a cry, and a thump hittin' the floor. When I walked in the room, I seen Gloria on the ground cryin' and coverin' her face. Daddy right there shoving his bottle down his throat an' stoppin' an' shovin' the drink in his mouth. It was known from the looks of it that he'd done said no. Even though daddy said she was a angel an' all, he wouldn't let her out with no boy.
One day, me an' Gloria were walkin' from the store. We were gettin' groceries for the house since mama left with her sister. We don't know when she comin' back, probably in forever. Thougj she really wanted to take Gloria with her but daddy yelled at her tellin' her to get out his house.
So now it's just me, daddy, and "Glorious" Gloria. I was really angry at mama still. Gloria had gotten all the attention. It ain't fair. I just hate that day. Even if daddy woulda let Gloria go with mama, I still be here gettin' beat just for being here.
After we left the store, Gloria and I started our way home...till this boy came up to her. She gave me all the bags and told me to wait while she an' the boy went walkin' somewhere. I got angry and ended up walking home by myself.
When I got there daddy was the same. He smacked the words back into my mouth when I told 'em Gloria was with a boy somewhere. And where were they? I don't know.
So I sat there with daddy after putting up the groceries...all by myself. He just sat there drinking his bottle watching whatever was on the small box television. That is, till Gloria stormed in calling my name. But 'for a she get a good look at me, she was slammed onto the floor by no one other than...daddy.
He wrapped both his arms around her neck, chokin' and yellin' at her, too. I got up runnin' behind the door as he started throwing her around. All I could hear were Gloria's cries, daddy's yelling, and lots of things breakin'.
It just seem no different than how mama and daddy used to fight. Then after they fought, there was silence. Soon me and Gloria would hear moans and grunts in the next room, mama and daddy's room, that is....
Though right now, after this silence all I could hear was daddy screaming as he swore. Out of me being curious, I walked back into the room where there was daddy pacin' around cryin' like a baby done lost his nuk'. <pacifier>
I looked to find Gloria and after a few things gettin' in my way, I found her. She looked like she was sleepin' but not like no Sleeping Beauty, that is.
She had a blackish with something purple on her eye, blood slidin' from the side of her head, her nose, her lips, pretty much everything, was good an' busted. I listen in for her snorin' but I don't hear a thing. Then I heard daddy yell out, "I done killed my baby! I done killed my baby!" It was clear now. As my tears start to runnin' I hear the police, the ambulance, an' all the sirens.
My big sister was dead.
They done took my daddy in an' put me in child protective services or foster care. They reached out to my mama, but she never came. She had died of breast cancer months ago.... So now it's just me and ...only me. That is, until this white family came and done took me in. They had a bigger house like a mansion. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had one other child, but they weren't livin' on here no more. They say it took years till they came and decided to adopt.
For once I felt loved by people that actually cared about me. For the past twenty years, I may have been living in a different environment, much different from where I used to live, however, I've been the most happiest.
I've grown up to be a smart, beautiful twenty-eight year old woman. That's what's been said by my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, my past high school and college teachers, and nonetheless my fiancè, Brian.
I'm living a good life now, though I still have the same scars that reflect my earlier and ugly childhood. I could still remember the damages and the insecurities, but I'm at least grateful to have fought and lived through it. So I can now only say, "I love you and thank you, Mama for my birth, Daddy for most of my scars and discipline, and Glorious Gloria for being my big sister and my insecurity and I'm happy to have been your shadow."
From daughter and sister, Darla Alisha Johnson.