“Mama shoved her chair back and left the kitchen in a big hurry. Naomi watched her go, scraping her bottom lip with her top teeth. There were beads of sweat on her forehead. Then she turned back to me like nothing had happened. I’m watching all this and trying to put it together in my mind. Seems to me that something’s way off but I can’t tell what.
Soon as Mama was out of earshot, Naomi grabbed my wrist with her clammy hands, giving it a hard squeeze. There were tears in her eyes.
‘Honey, you are finally going to get to see your daddy,’ she said. ‘I have prayed my heart out for this…prayed all of these long, hard years.’
My heart raced and I felt my face get hot. So here it was, the very thing I’d been wishing for my whole life, and it had happened right there between the pot roast and potatoes and please pass the the rolls. It wasn’t what I’d thought it would be like, especially the part about upsetting Mama so bad. Surely something was missing, not that I’d expected clouds parting or a heavenly chorus or anything. Just a little bit of joy or excitement maybe. But there was nothing like that. I just stared down at the table, because I didn’t know what to say or think either. This was my dream come true, and I didn’t even know what I felt.”