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Edwina Jordan is the
middle child of a hard working, nonetheless, perverted daddy. Edwina’s mom,
Annibelle, stays broken in hives, half from drinkin’ and some from worry and
wishes she were dead. One day Edwina runs away. But the hope she’s expecting
to find isn’t there. Instead the door to her hell cracks open just a little
Another year is gone and ain’t much changed since the Christmas before. Rhonda and Giselle do belly flops all over the living room rug. Nadine tries to strike Boogie Woogie on our old piano. Me? I sit beside her plucking high notes out of key. Alfreda, she’s just twelve years old and she should be having fun, right along with me. But she’s on punishment in the bathr oom sitting on the floor crying her eyes out.
“What’s the matter, Alfreda?” I keep asking, but, she don’t answer me back. “Alfreda, do your stomach hurt?” She stays doubled over, grabbing hold to her belly like she got a bellyache. She don’t say nothin’, but her tears don’t stop, just keep rolling down the sides of her face. Alfreda ain’t sittin’ on the floor no more. She just squattin’ over the toilet stool, drawers dropped ‘round her feet. Her cheeks are wet and big veins pop from the sides of her neck. Her eyes stretch so wide, it looks like her eyeballs gonna pop. And she don’t stop hollering.
“My kidneys are fallin’ out! My kidneys are fallin’ out!” When I see her, I just start screaming, jumping and screaming! WAILING – to the tops of my lungs.
“Alfreda’s kidneys are fallin’ out!” Then I hear my big sister Celia calling back.
“Edwina, what’s the matter? What’s goin’ on!” My hands slap my ears and my mouth pops open.
“Alfreda’s kidneys are falling out!” is all my mouth can say. Same words over and over – feet glued to the spot.
Now, Minnie runs down the staircase. She sweeps the banister with her hand and leaps over the whole bottom flight. Soon everybody is there, – all standing with ‘dey eyes stretched. Until Celia shoves our tongue-dropped, dirty faces back into the living room. The bathroom door slams shut and Celia stays stuck behind that door, while Minnie calls my mom at work. Mommy comes in a hurry, then my daddy and next the family doctor. Seems everybody is behind that closed door.
Everybody wanna know what happened. All I know is what I saw, and still I don’t know.