return to beginning

return to Tatum

"Come on in you two!" Zoe's dad hollers from the big wooden porch. I love their house and as I look up at it, I sigh knowing that this is the home I should have grown up in.

Zoe's dad, Max, hugs all my chi out of me and hands me over to Zoe's mother, Betsy, to do the rest. They are fabulous as they try not to mention my parents, but be joyfull for their son going to college with "a beauty." His sisters greet and hug me also before sitting me down for a gossip session. I don't have much to say, but they make me laugh with tales of their crazy cousins in Texas and Florida. Soon enough it is dinner time, and Betsy is pinching my side telling me to eat and fill that tummy of mine. I know I am not a big girl, but I can eat like one sometimes and her potatoes and meatballs were stupendous.

"Two greasy thumbs up Betsy." She grins from ear to ear and Max winks at her. I am almost positive that they have been playing footsie the whole time we have been at the table. I grab Zoe's thigh and he looks down at me and whispers- "I love you babe." I grin and he asks if I am okay. I nod in return and nibble at the last of my meatballs.

Later in the night, I decide to sit out on the porch with Max as he has a favorite cigar.

"Sidney, Zoe told me what happened," I look over at him and nod for him to go on,"I know how whites are and I admit that when Zoe told us about you, I worried, but dammit...." He puffed on the cigar,"we love you Sidney, so if you need us, you got us. Betsy and I aren't white parents, but we are good parents." The tears flowed now and I walked over to where he was standing. He opened his arms and I fell into them. My own father had never hugged me and this felt so good. "Now you realize what this means Sid?" I frown," You gotta marry that weird son of mine."

I wiped my tears away from my face and smiled, "That won't be a problem Max."

"Good, cuz he ain't gonna find better." He smiled and lit up another cigar.

I left him and went to find Zoe, who was trapped with his sisters in the kitchen. I think they were talking about me because it got silent once I entered.

"Hey, babe. We were just talking about you," I sat down in the last chair and probably looked sheepish," do you want to go for a walk?" I nodded and his sisters just kept talking amongst themselves.

Once on the sidewalk that we had walked so many times before, Zoe began to ask me questions. Hard questions.

"Sidney, how much do you love me?"

"Zoe! You know I love you very much. Your family is my family and I love that, I love you because of what you do for me. Your dad and mom are great Zoe, you are so lucky..."My eyes filled with tears again," me being with you feels so right Zoe."

He stopped in the middle of the park and held me close to him. I could feel his heart thumping against my ear. Boom... boom... boom...

"Sid, if we survive this college thing and you still love me, will you consider being with this goofball forever?" This was my cherry on my sundae.

 

I nodded.