Addenum to Elnora age 11


The next year Lemon came to his father’s house. He called Mrs. Pettaway, Momma Pettaway. Momma Pettway wanted him to stay but she did not want Lemon’s mother to come back. Lemon had worked so hard to get back with his mother until he could not accept her offer. Kenneth was a little awkward at first. However, I got the message. He was sorry for damaging my character. Since he had being living in town for a while, he discovered I was really a good person. I apologized for the beating he took from my dad. I also apologized for my uncles jumping on his Dad.
While we sat there apologizing to each other Lemon walked up unexpected. Lemon looked at me and said: I came by to keep you company but I see you already have company. Kenneth said: Oh no, I’m leaving. I just came by to apologize to her. Lemon asked: Apologize for what? Kenneth said: Everything is ok now; that was last year. She was in my bed……Lemon interrupts and said: What? (Then Lemon looks at me) You were in his bed? I said: Yes Lemon, let me explain. Lemon said: Don’t explain anything to me. I’m out of here! Kenneth said: Does this mean you don’t want her anymore. Lemon didn’t say anything, he just kept walking. I cried and Kenneth tried to console me, but he couldn’t. Daddy came out and asked Kenneth what was he doing down here. He told daddy he was trying to console me. Lemon had just dumped me. Daddy shook his head and said: Boy, go home! Lemon couldn’t have just dumped her. Lemon doesn’t live here anymore. I said: But daddy, he is telling the truth. Daddy looked at me and said; girl, go to your room and ask God to forgive you for lying. You and this boy will be the death of me. Now do what I say, go to your room? Boy, you go home. Because of you, my baby brother went to jail. His girlfriend had to pay big money to post bail. I’m begging you, Please, Please stay away from my house and my daughter!

That night I slipped and called up to the Pettaway’s house. Mrs. Pettaway answered the phone. She asked me what you have done to my boy. He has being crying all afternoon. First of all, I didn’t know Lemon was her boy. I thought Lemon was his momma’s boy. She called Lemon to the telephone and I asked Lemon why did Mrs. Pettaway call him her boy? Lemon asked me did I have time to listen to a long story. I said: Yes I do. We have two telephones now. We have one on the second floor. I am sitting in the hallway on the second floor.

Lemon’s story
Lemon told me Kenneth was telling the truth. He knew nothing had happened between us. He had already heard what happened. He had to break up because he wanted me too much. If he had stayed in town, he probably would have forced me to be with him. He didn’t want that for me. I was ready for what he wanted. Lemon said my mother is a good woman. Even though, she had five children out of wedlock. Did I have time to listen to a long sad story? I told Lemon; yes I do.
My grandmother came from a respectable family in India. An American soldier got my grandmother pregnant. Her family was going to kill my grandmother for disgracing the family. She escaped to America. She found the man who got her pregnant, but he had already married. An American family took her in. She could not go home so she had her baby which was my mother here in America. When the baby was born, the family discovered my grandmother had gotten pregnant by a colored man. In India, color made no difference. After she healed the family put her out. She and my Mom went from hand to mouth. When my Mom became high school age she started to work for Mr. and Mrs. Pettaway. Later her Mom took sick and died. Mom had nowhere to go and Momma Pettaway asked her to live with her. One day Momma Pettaway went to the doctor and he told her she was dying. She told my Mom she was going to die soon and she had being watching here. She was a good person and she wanted her to marry Mr. Pettaway after her death. Mrs. Pettaway started her experimental treatments and the treatments kept her alive. She told Mom she was still going to die and it would be ok for her to go ahead and be with Daddy. Soon after Momma and Daddy got together, my oldest sister came along. Momma Pettaway was ok with that. She continues to take her treatments but her sex drive had not come back and so two years later my other sister was born. Three years later I was born. I look like my grandfather in India. Two years later the knee baby was born and a year later my baby brother was born. Daddy went out one night and came to Momma’s door before Momma had healed. She would not let him in. he went to Momma Pettaway’s door and she let him in. The experimental medicine the doctor gave her worked. Since she had money and Dad had none, she told him Momma could not live there anymore. She could leave the children since we were his, but Momma had to go. Momma said she was not going anywhere without her children. Momma Pettaway decided to rent the house up the hill from us. Momma didn’t know who paid the rent. When she got out on her own, she started going to church and dating. Daddy discovered she was dating, and asked his wife to stop paying the rent. After the rent money stopped, Momma had to find a job to support us.
Momma Pettaway wanted Lemon to live with her. He did not remind her of his father. The girls and the two baby boys looked too much like their father.

to be continued

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