course I saw it, baby. I picked it out.”
“Man, it is so cool,” Chase squealed. “I wish Donnie and Steve could see it.” Angela expected Chase to get a little nostalgic when he talked about his best friends back in Atlanta. But he appeared to have forgotten them already, especially when he noticed the group of boys riding their bikes outside. “Can I go play outside? I wanna meet them boys riding their bikes.”
“Yes, you may go outside and introduce yourself to those boys riding their bikes,” Angela said.
Chase ignored her correction and ran outside. Angela smiled. He had never been a shy child. He was such a handsome little boy. He had a head full of curly hair and beautiful brown eyes. Unfortunately, he was the spitting image of his father. It had taken months of counseling for Angela to get over the nauseous feeling she would get every time she looked at him. She would find herself staring at Chase and playing out every moment of her relationship with Jonathan, trying to figure out signs she missed, how she couldn’t have known her husband was gay. And although she hated to admit it, there were times when she’d look at her son, see Jonathan, and find herself getting angry. When she caught Chase playing with Constance’s daughter’s Barbie doll one day, she’d nearly lost it, screaming and throwing the Barbie doll against the wall. It had scared poor Chase to death. That’s when she knew she had to get help.
Angela had been doing well. Counseling had worked and she had tried her best to move on. It had helped that he hadn’t really tried to see her. He’d sent money and letters, but she’d never responded. Now, everything was changing.
“And why, pray tell, are you standing here in the middle of your living room with the front door wide open?”
Angela smiled at her mother, whom she hadn’t even notice walk up. “Hi, Mom.” She reached out and hugged the older woman. “Chase took off to go play and left the door open. I was just staring at him and got lost in thought.”
“Umm-hmmm,” Mrs. Brooks said as she closed the door. “I saw that little mongrel out there, acting like he didn’t want to kiss me around his new friends.” She laughed. “I absolutely love this place.”
Angela followed her into the kitchen. “That’s one of the perks of working in corporate America.”
“All these perks just for buying clothes,” her mother said, shaking her head.
Angela laughed. There was so much more to her job as a buyer for Macy’s. People thought all she did all day was buy clothes. She fumbled in a box and pulled out a large coffeemaker. “Sit down, I’ll make us some coffee,” she said as she plugged it in.
Mrs. Brooks moved another box and sat down at the kitchen table. “You have your work cut out for you.”
“I know. I don’t know what I was thinking. I should’ve had the movers unpack, too.”
After fixing both of them a cup of coffee, Angela placed the sugar bowl and cream on the table, then sat down across from her mother.
“So, have you heard from that lowlife, Jonathan Jackson?” Mrs. Brooks snarled.
Angela smiled. You’d think her mother was the one Jonathan had hurt. She hated him with every bone in her body. “No, he hasn’t been in contact with me since I got the custody papers, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.”
Mrs. Brooks dropped two sugar cubes in her coffee. “So this silly custody suit is real?”
“Yes, it’s very real.”
“I tell you what, you better not let my grandson around that fa—”
Mrs. Brooks shrugged. “What? I call it like I see it. And ain’t no sense in sugarcoating it.”
“I know, but still.”
“Fine, I don’t want my grandson around his kind.”
“Even if it’s his father?”
“Especially if it’s his father.” Mrs. Brooks sipped her coffee. “I mean, how is that child supposed to understand that?” She shook her head. “And I’m just so disappointed in Reverend Jackson. I