Maybe You Never Cry Again

Maybe You Never Cry Again by Bernie Mac Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: Maybe You Never Cry Again by Bernie Mac Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bernie Mac
want?”
    â€œHe heard how sick your mama is. He wants to see her.”
    â€œWhy? He think he gonna get something out of her?”
    My grandpa didn’t answer. I was still hurt, and now I was getting angry.
    â€œThat man weren’t no father to me,” I said.
    â€œWell, that’s true,” my grandpa said.
    â€œWhat do you mean?”
    â€œHe and your mother, they was never married.”
    Jesus. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad that felt. My parents had never married. I was crushed.
    â€œI don’t believe you,” I said.
    â€œGo ask your mother,” he said.
    I was angry-hot inside, but I didn’t want to show it. I couldn’t ask my mother, the condition she was in. And if it was true, you’d think the old bastard would have found a nicer way to tell me.
    Â 
    My father came over later that day, and he spent a few minutes outside, talking to my mama. I watched them from the kitchen window. When he came inside, he smiled at me like he was happy to see me or something.
    â€œHow you doin’, son?” he said.
    I felt like punching him. “How you think?” I said. I didn’t even try to hide my anger.
    â€œWhy don’t you walk me to the bus stop?” he said. “We’ll talk.”
    I nodded. Sure. Fine. Suddenly I wanted to go. Suddenly we had something to talk about.
    We left the house and made our way down to 103rd Street, and before we’d gone a hundred yards I cut in front of him and made him stop. “I got to ask you something,” I said, “and I want you to give it to me straight. Are you married to my mother or not?”
    He tilted his head to the side, like he was carrying some terrible burden. “Did she say that?” he asked.
    â€œNever mind what she said,” I snapped. “I’m asking you.”
    â€œAsk your mother,” he said.
    â€œWhat the fuck you tellin’ me to ask my mother for? She’s so weak she can hardly talk. I’m asking you. ”
    He saw the bus in the distance, approaching, and kept walking. I fell into step beside him, shaking with anger. “You gonna tell me or what?”
    â€œSon, that’s not important.”
    â€œThe fuck it isn’t! It’s important to me. ”
    He turned and grabbed my arm and I pulled away from him. I had to stop myself from hitting him, and it wasn’t easy.
    â€œListen to me,” he said, “no matter what you hear tell, I’m still your father, and my blood runs through your veins.”
    â€œGet the hell out of here,” I said.
    He looked at me hard, like I’d hurt his feelings, then turned and hurried off to meet the bus. I watched him go. I saw my father for the punk he was—a no-good coward. But it didn’t make me feel any better.
    Â 
    I went back home and my grandfather looked up as I came in.
    â€œWhat’d he say, son?” he asked.
    â€œNothing,” I said.
    â€œNothing?”
    â€œI just walked him to his bus.”
    I went outside to see how my mama was doing. She looked up at me and smiled a sad smile.
    â€œHow you doin’, Mama?”
    She lay there on her chair, studying me for a while. She must have seen something on my face.
    â€œYou know, Beanie, as you go through life, you’re going to meet all sorts of people. And many of those people, most of those people, sometimes your own blood even, they don’t have your best interests at heart.”
    â€œI know that, Mama.”
    â€œIf you learn to listen, if you really hear what’s being said, good and bad, you’ll see that most times it’s got nothing to do with you. At the end of the day, son, the loudest, clearest voiceneeds to be the one inside your own self.”
    That’s what my mama had been trying to teach me my whole life. To listen to that voice above all others.
    â€œI love you, Mama,” I said.
    â€œI love you too, Beanie.”
    She closed her eyes and I

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