Buns of Steel, Chapter 9: Mama


     The next morning Charlie started off his day as normal;

  or so it seemed. He left his house as if he were going to school, but decided to take a detour instead. He didn’t feel like going to school. He didn’t feel like going to gym. He didn’t feel like seeing Allen or any of Allen’s upperclassmen posse. Charlie didn’t even feel like seeing David. He missed his mama. He missed how he thought the world used to be. He missed what it felt like to be content and happy.

     Charlie walked the six blocks to his favorite tombstone across town. The pagoda next to his mother’s gravesite was the constant thing in his life able to provide peace. It had given him shelter from the rain when he slept there two nights ago. “My birthday’s next week Mama. I’m a be sixteen.” Charlie put his book bag down inside the pagoda, and began to seek solace in his mother’s absence. He fired up his last roach, and continued to talk.

     “Those sonny bitches tore your picture up too Mama. Now what am I ‘sposed to do? Now how am I gonna look at you? I’ll come here every day if I have to. I don’t mind. I don’t gotta go to school. I know what you told me about my education, but I’m sick of that school Mama. The teachers say black kids only play sports to get rich, but I ain’t like that. I remember what Daddy did, and I ain’t like that either Mama. I want to change the world. I want to play college ball and be a good police chief like Pop Warner was. Ain’t nobody protecting our streets out here. I can’t get nobody to listen to me either; except for this one old dude at the park. He’s alright though. I think he can show me some skills. I never saw no old man make lay ups like him! All everybody else sees is a black kid skipping school every week. I’m trying to change that, but I don’t know how to deal with them Mama. I ain’t strong like I used to be. This world don’t show love no more. It’s taking all of my energy.”

     Charlie took his last puff. He stood up and grabbed his book bag. “I gotta go Mama. I wanna see if Mr. Charles is at the park. That’s his name; the old dude. I wish you could meet him. He’s always at the park. Maybe I’ll bring him here someday.” The cool breeze blew a magnolia off a nearby tree. It hit Charlie right in the cheek. Charlie took the flower from his face. He picked up a rock to secure the flower, and laid it on top of his mom’s tombstone. “Here you go Mama. I know you love these. I’ll see you later. Love you forever.” ‘God I miss her. Why’d he have to take my mama?’ Charlie whispered to himself. He waved another goodbye before heading to the park.


Do you think Charlie will keep skipping school and sleeping at the cemetery?

Will he bring Charles to see meet his mother? 


Buns of Steel. You don’t want to miss what happens next!