First year driving Mom’s Rambler –
midnight blue and new and shiny.
Best friend, Billy with long brown bangs
that fall over his chocolate eyes.
An upturned Irish nose,
a wide smile flashing large, white teeth.
A set, determined chin let everyone know
he is stubborn and would not give up easily.
Often a loner; smart, attractive, sullen.
Missing something, but he never really said what.
A friend, not a boyfriend,
but everyone thinks differently –
my riding instructor and my mom.
They have a conversation about us.
His mom had passed away,
his older brother often in trouble,
He was a high school dropout,
smoked cigarettes, on his own:
no control there.
Forbidden to see him
for no particular reason;
Mom would not listen to protests.
We didn’t do anything wrong,
but it isn’t right… THEY SAID.
Defiant and stubborn myself,
nothing to do but lie,
and Mom always knew when I wasn’t telling the truth,
she has this sixth sense.
I take the car and drive to Billy’s house.
Get inside – hug him hello.
Doorbell rings almost immediately…
My youngest sister standing there.
Whispers while her face reddens,
Mom says to come home now.
Staring past her shoulders,
I see the Chevy Impala,
Dad’s car with Mom inside.
Her fury is drifting in waves
out the car window to my nostrils.
My fury is bubbling over –
she had followed me!
How could she do this to me?
But he smiles and says gently,
You better go.
We’ll fix it.
Foolish, young, brave.