Cheryl Watson

watsonLaid off from her job as an administrative assistant in 2008, Cheryl Watson decide to jump into the driver’s seat and change the direction in which her life was going: She became a college student. With a 3.0-plus GPA, she knows she’s grown now, and nothing can stop her now.

 


I’m Grown Now

(249 words without title)

It’s my 18th birthday, and I just graduated from high school.

Good morning, World. Free at last, free at last, thank God I’m free at last.

I can go where I want to go, do what I want to do, and say what I want to say.

All my life I’ve told “Keep Yo’ Mouth Shut!”; “Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard!”; “Speak When Spoken To!”; “Stay Out Of Grown Folks’ Conversation!”; “Stay in A Child’s Place!"

Well, I’m no longer a child, and I can do all that stuff and then some now. "Keep Yo’ Mouth Shut"?  I’m Grown Now, and I’m gonna speak my mind. I got so much clogged up inside until I could shit and throw up for a year and still have something to say.

“Children Should Be Seen and Not Heard”? Yeah, right. All that over because, I’m Grown Now.

“Stay Out of Grown Folks’ Conversation”? I have something to say; I’m a Grown Woman, and they can’t keep me out now. I have rights; I’m Grown Now!

“Speak When Spoken To”? I can speak first now. I can start the conversation. Change the atmosphere with my words; after all I’m Grown Now.

“Stay In A Child’s Place”? I’m not a child anymore. I’m Grown Now. Grown? What is that? How do you be grown? No one taught me that.

Keep my mouth shut; they taught me that. How to be grown?

I had to learn that stuff on my own.

I’m Grown Now.

 


Connie: 1

(299 words without title)

Connie was a young, short, pretty, light-skinned black female and a friend of the family. She had to be 18 or more because she smoked and drank liquor. She had good long black wavy hair. All the guys loved her including my brother, and he was only 16 years old.

Tap, tap, tap.  Tap, tap, tap.

“What’s that noise”?

Tap, tap, and tap.

“It’s somebody at the door.”

The tapping wasn’t quite loud enough to wake the other people in the house. But, it was loud enough to wake me and my baby sister. Our bedroom is in the front part of the house. So was my brother’s bedroom; but he can sleep through a 7.5 earthquake without a peep.

What was Connie doing at our door at 3 o’clock in the morning?

“We’d better wake Mama.” 

"No, let’s see what she wants."

"You better not open that door.”

"Come on, go with me. Who is it?”

"It’s me, Connie. Is your mother home?"

"Yes, just a minute." 

By that time my Mom yelled from the back of the house, “Who's that at my door?”

"It’s Connie."

"Connie? Is she by herself?"

"Yes."

"Let her in."

Connie’s clothes were dirty and torn, her hair was all messed up, and she was crying. She rushed in the door and asked, “Where is your mother?”

"In her room."

Connie ran and fell to her knees alongside my mom’s bed crying profusely. My mother ordered us to go back to bed and close the door. We did not dare eavesdrop at the door because if caught she would whoop our ass.  So off to bed we went. Plus, my mom would be gossiping all day tomorrow on the phone about why Connie came over at 3 o’clock in the morning.

 


Connie: 2

(299 words without title)

What could have happened to Connie? We have never in all the years we have known her seen her all messed up. Connie is a diva, well-dressed in expensive clothes and shoes. She went to the beauty shop every week. She never had a hair out of place let alone having on dirty clothes.

What is that smell? Food! Mama is cooking breakfast. Mama cooks us a big breakfast every Saturday morning. I smell pancakes, sausage and bacon.

”I am starving!" cried Baby Sister.

"You not starving, and don’t say that anymore before it really happens," Mama said. “Don’t talk up bad luck."

Connie probably talked up bad luck; she looks really bad, maybe.

Baby Sister and I stay in bed watching cartoons until Mama calls us in to eat breakfast, pan-pans, bacon and sausage. I can’t wait.

"I am going to peek and see if she is almost finished."

"Okay, don’t get caught, or she is going to feed you last. You remember when brother went in last weekend.  She fed him last and made him wash the dishes."

"I don’t want to wash dishes."

"You’d better get yourself back in this bed."

Where is Connie? I have not heard her voice in the kitchen. She is probably still sleep in Mama’s room. Yeah, she’s sleeping on that big soft comfy couch in Mama’s room.

"Breakfast is ready," yells my Mother. Brother beat the both of us in the kitchen. We thought he was still sleep, darn it. He tries to eat up all the pan-pans.  Not this morning!

I spoke up, “Ladies first, boy. I know Mama taught you to be a gentleman."

"Gentleman don’t count this morning."

“Yes, it does,” says Mama. He is mad because Mama lets us go first.  Connie, too.


Editor: LinckeN@WLAC.edu | West Los Angeles College | 9000 Overland Ave, Culver City CA 90230 | www.wlac.edu
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