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Elnora’s Senior Year

Elnora’s Senior Year
When I returned home from the hospital, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I walked around the house aimlessly. It was hard for me to return to school and stay focused on my schoolwork. My grades plummeted. My doctor recommended that my parents take me out of school for a year to get my concentration back on track. Mother didn’t know what to do with me. I was in a terrible mess. Everything everyone did infuriated me. I was a monster.
One day as I sat in the swing Lemon made, with my head down, I saw a pair of unfamiliar feet coming toward me. Gradually I lift my head and I saw Lemon’s Mom as she sat in the swing next to me. I looked at her. She was still a beautiful woman. I couldn’t believe she was really there. She said: Hello, how are you doing? Breathlessly I said: Hello, I’m fine. How are you? Lemon’s Mom had gotten married and she was now Mrs. Carr. She told me her husband had to run some errands and he would soon be back. Mrs. Pettaway had taken Lemon’s death pretty hard and she wanted to see the other children. She had told Mr. Carr the children were Mr. Pettaway’s children and he didn’t want her to stay there either.
She said: Elnora, you have got to get yourself together. We all loved Lemon. His father loved him because he was his first boy. Mrs. Pettaway loved him because he was the only child that did not remind her of me or his father. His school loved him because he brought trophies to the school in both basketball and debating. I loved him because I was his mother. I love all of my children. Who did Lemon love? He loved all of us. But most of all, Lemon loved you. When Mrs. Pettaway was bed ridden he would take her supper to her bed and have long talks with Momma Pettaway. She told me when he was just six years old; he told her you were the girl he was going to marry. She told him you were too young to get married. He said: Then I’ll wait until she gets to be an old woman then I’ll marry her.
Lemon was sent his academic scholarship check from an Ivy League School to make sure he chose their school. He cashed it. That’s how he could afford to take you to The Copperfield Restaurant. Its’ been four months and they have not asked for the scholarship money back. Many of the Institutions sent representatives to his funeral. Lemon would basally want you to have some of it. Take this money and take a trip to Europe. Live! Have fun! Don’t sit around here and waste away. Lemon would not want your life to stop. Lemon is dead, but you are perfectly alive. Mr. Carr drove up and Lemon’s Mom had to go. She asked Mr. Carr to come meet Lemon’s fiancé. He walked up to me all-embracing and shook my hand. Mr. Carr said: I’m sorry you spent time in the hospital after Lemon’s tragic accident. I hope you will take the money and use it wisely. I’m sure Lemon would have liked for you to have it. They got in the car and left, leaving the money in the swing besides me.
I told Aunt Mable about the money and what Lemon’s mother and stepfather had said. Aunt Mable said: Baby Dew, I know Lemon thought he loved you. Everything came easy for Lemon. You were the only conquest he needed to conquer. However, I’m afraid once he conquered you, he would have lost interest.
At that moment, I decided to use the money to go to college. I fell complete and ready for school. I went back to school and graduated with my class. It was hard because I had to do double the work to catch up with the rest of my class. When I graduated Momma’s brothers and sisters came to my graduation. Even Grandpa came who now lived with Herald and Cheri, Momma’s brother and his wife.
Momma’s folk had children near the ages of Janie, Sam, Samuetta, Little Earl and me. Everyone came: all of my brothers and their wives and children, my sisters & their husbands and children, my Dad’s sisters & brothers and their spouses and children came. It felt like old times at the home house. I felt like we were a true family again.
Kelvin came home from school for the summer and invited me out. We had fun. Kelvin never once mentioned Lemon. He did ask where I was going next year.

The end