Yeah, Write #498

Yeah, Write # 498

Congratulations. By Shannon Barber

As he flicked through the mail, a small handwritten envelope caught his attention. When he stopped abruptly in front of me, I bumped into his back and put my arm around his waist. “Anything good bae?” Since he’d had top surgery, I’d taken to putting my face between his shoulder blades when I got to be the big spoon, I felt his voice before I heard what he was saying. “Uh nah. Come on.” 

In the hustle of our usual life together, I forgot about the moment. Summer started to fade, and I noticed he was fidgety and distracted, by October I was terrified. The night before Halloween I found him sitting on the stoop when I got home, he held a small handwritten envelope in his hand. I stood in front of him, holding in pre-emptive tears. I knew what was coming. He met someone else. He didn’t want me anymore. I was waiting for it. 

“Babe?”  

When he looked up there were tears in his eyes and in his beard. “I, um- eh” he didn’t usually stammer. I sat next to him and put my arm around his shoulder. “What is it? You can tell me. I won’t be mad or laugh or nothing.” He nodded and handed me the little envelope; his hands were shaking. I didn’t recognize the writing; it was large beautiful script. “Open?” He nodded and I felt him trembling, I pulled a card out of it and there was a cute little Black toddler in overalls on the front. On the inside the same script just said, “Congratulations! It’s a Boy!”  

I looked up at him, puzzled. “That is so sweet. Did someone miss you coming out? Or maybe was it for your top surgery?” He shook his head and started to sob. I pulled him close and he wept into my locs. I waited and we rocked together until he could take a breath. “That is from my Mom.” His Mom had passed quite suddenly right before he came out. I checked the date on the stamp, and it was July 9. “I didn’t tell you but when we went to Baba E, I prayed that your Mom would know and-” 

He held me so tight I couldn’t breath for a moment and we cried together. Eventually we made it inside and lit new candles and put new fruit and flowers on our altar, we knelt together and put the card on the altar and prayed. 
 

Praise to the goddess of mystery 
Spirit that cleans me inside out. 
Praise to the goddess of the river, 
Spirit that cleans me inside out. 
Praise to the goddess of seduction, 
Spirit that cleans me inside out. 
Mother of the mirror, 
Mother of dance, 
Mother of abundance, 
We sing your praise. Ashe-O 

2 thoughts on “Yeah, Write #498

  1. I love the way you described him embracing him from behind, it was an effective way to communicate his love and tenderness. Heartbreaking that he lost his mom, this story we as a creative way to show that she truly knew him. I think I missed the hot air balloon connection, sorry!

  2. Christine

    I love how human your characters are, and how you mixed in that little touch of divinity at the end. That detail about being the big spoon – that tells us so much about their relationship.

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