Sunday, March 29, 2009

Excerpt: Sunday's 1-liner

Things quieted down, until the only sounds were knives and forks. Mom cleared her throat and spoke. “I have some news of my own, today.”

The elders—Dad and Gramma Savannah—looked to Micaela, as if on cue. They sensed that such a preamble would not be necessary unless the news was of real importance. Dad had his water glass to his lips, but he set it back down without drinking.

“Yes, I got some test results back today. And it appears"—she paused for scarcely a second, but it felt like an eternity to her audience—"that you boys are going to have a baby brother or sister.”

Dad rose very, very slowly from his chair. His movements were dreamlike, almost ghostlike. The three boys surrounded their mother and flooded her with kisses. Gramma Savannah already had her handkerchief out and to her mouth, her other hand on her daughter’s arm. Dad wrapped around his wife, repeating a whispered, “Oh, my God,” and “That is beautiful, Baby.”

Twelve years would separate Julian from the twins; fourteen from Blair Jon.

It was quite a supper table, tonight. The matriarch—the daughter of slaves—seated next to her daughter. At the other end of the table, the white head of the household—three generations from slave owners. And between them, three sons, both black and white.