by Candace Habte
I loved my mama just fine, but it was daddy that I liked. My daddy was a big man, built like a refrigerator, tall and wide, always smiling with his straight white teeth. Mama had nice teeth too but she barely smiled. And when she did, it wasn’t a teeth showing smile like daddy. Mama was was never satisfied. Daddy would bring her flowers and perfume, and she’d let the flowers die. And she never even went anywhere to put on perfume. Sometimes I’d put it on, right behind the ear like I seen the women on TV do.
My favorite thing to do with daddy was just to go riding. He’d get into his caddy, one long leg at a time and I’d hop right in the seat next him mama thought I should sit in the back like a baby, but daddy would say “that girl grown enough to ride up front." That’s right, I’d think. I’m not a baby. I’m daddy’s girl and we’re cruising to our next adventure.
“Alright Peach,” he’d say to me. “Daddy’s gonna have some man time now…night time ain’t no place for a young gal”. I would pout and ask to come anyway even though I knew he wouldn’t budge. “Naw git on now,” he’d say. And that’s when I knew he was getting impatient.
I imagined daddy going on adventures without me. Maybe card playing at Jack’s, or at the beach bar that wasn’t really on a beach but they called it that anyway. Or maybe with the woman who smelled just like mama’s perfume, and smiled wide and bright like daddy. I wished my mama was more like her, then maybe she could come on our adventures too.
But then again, daddy never asked her to go anywhere.
Candace Habte is a writer whose work has appeared in The Liberator and emPower magazines. She lives in Maryland with her husband and is working on her first novel, The Love That Grew From Concrete. She blogs about her writing (and life) at candacehabte.com.