We all finish our meals; Minny takes the dirty dishware and starts scrubbing like there is no tomorrow. She done do that a few times, some days she's real light on cleaning other days it's like someone hit her and told her to work more than should be necessary. Johnny gone off to buy some food for the week so here I am just talking my head off as she irons some of my pants.
"Mm hmm" Minny says every few sentences and the more I hear it the more I go on. It ain't not like me, to not talk for so long once I find a place in a group of friends, but it's more like Minny's the group, and my house is the place I stand.
"Oh, and I joined a club!" I finish the last of my thoughts aloud, excited as a duck with seeds being thrown at it.
"One hilly ain't apart of?" she asks with a sigh.
"Mmhmm! It is for gardeners. Once a week we go out for a few hours and plant lil gardens around town. There's only 7 a us so it ain't like id be a stand alone in a crowd of 30 or, something," I say proud but still worried that might just what it'll be.
"I dun think Hilly knows gardeners? She ain't the type to use her time with them," Minny says setting the iron down and folding the pants to be hanging from a hanger.
"You think?" I ask switching hands to set my chin on.
It is a cool day today, rainy, grey but it doesn't bother me much. I yawn rather loudly and groan with boredom and sigh.
Minny just looks me in the eye and sets up the pair of pants to be burned into a straight unwrinkled perfect looking thing.
I take that as a yes and yawn again. It is just about 4 now, she's just bout finished up with the ironing and she should be off just before my first Gardening Club meets.
"You ever garden Minny?" I ask curious.
"No Celia, I don't take the liking," she says gritty. Slowly she irons down the right leg and shifts standing positions.
"Oh, well what is your favourite past time?" I ask very soft, slow. My eyes are caught by the rose bushes back outside, their blooming quite well. Maybe, just maybe there is a glimpse of hope in the future. They never bloom, not even in the spring summer.
"Teevee, I watch my program when I ain't cleanin' or cooking," she says folding the pants up real nice.
I nod and drift into a depressing mood, not that I am, just memory lane has it in for me real well. I just cannot look back onto my childhood and not grit my teeth.
"Celia? Celia!" I hear faintly and look up to Minny in panic. She is shaking my arm on the table a little but I just turn back to the window. Tears stream down my cheeks and drip onto my tank.
"What's the matter?" she asks folding up the rest of the clothing and set's them on the ironing board like it ain't no big deal. She turns back to me, "I can't work if I you don't tell me what's wrong."
I look up to her then look over towards the other side of the room. "I can't stand thinking about Sugar Ditch. I just can't look back now. I know I have nothing to worry about and I was, crazy, for thinking to go back... But now I just can't control these memories re-entering my mind..."
I wipe the tears off my face. "I hate it..." I almost yell at her. I dig my palm into my eyes and rest my elbows on the table. I am just real glad Minny will just listen; she is real good at that, listening. Like my fish I had back when I was 14, I just talked like an idiot when I had problems.
And if life hadn't gotten a little "different" Minny says the most peculiar thing I have ever heard her say. She sighs real heavy in confession, "If I didn't know any better, and I do, I would let you go on like this."
I look at her oddly as if she just described my life, has she broken threw? And seen what my mother done? Or, has she just opened up a whole other area of depression?
She set's down on the chair across from and looks out the window a second in thought, then sighs again. "I know I ain't supposed to get into the white ladies business, but you just dragged me in. So what I should say is that it's ok, but I tell you something. Something you need to trust me on."
The tears stop, as I look at her full attention, curious about her sudden change of attitude.
"Now look a here. I done know about your past, about Sugar Ditch, or much about you 10 years ago, but I know you know, and what Sugar Ditch is now in the paper."
I continue looking at her with caution like she's going to rip me apart.
"You obviously grew up in a really shitty part of Mississippi, and was..." she pauses a moment and sighs heavily, "obviously done have trama each day. Fear, that you are going to wake up to it again. You understand? I ain't saying it twice."
She says real stern like it's a touchy subject to her, and as true as it is, I feel uncomfortable with this truth. I nod real hard in attention.
"Good, but look, you got a big house, big yard, good husband, a good life. Something that you have and it ain't worth crying about anymore. We ALL learn to deal with it and so will you," she stops looking at me dead in the eye. She smiles a quick second and goes to get up.
"Wait," I say looking at the table, "did, something happen to you? Like, when you were..."
"No... It's 4 Celia. I have things to do at home," and she leaves without saying or warning.
Bizzare as it was, as rude as I feel, I can't help but know she's right, I ain't going to go back to my rotten family, or ugliness, and nothing will change that. Not even two slice Hilly.