first da month

His name was Earnest Hubert Jackson. He started school as Hubbie but that only lasted a little while. By the time he entered St. Martins, he was EJ. His Mama wasn't too thrilled; Hubbie was her daddy's name. But she wasn't going to school so EJ it was.

He managed to do well enough to get a partial scholarship. He remembers that Graduation Sunday at LexingtonBaptistChurch, standing at the altar. Pastor Owens reading his name with the other scholarship winners-looking at Mama and Pop right up in front crying. The first time he'd seen Pop cry. That Sunday seemed so long ago. today was today. No time for reminiscing. "Come on. Ain't you ready yet?"

"No, I just gotta get the baby dressed. Be down in a minute."

"S." EJ rummaged through a drawer in the tiny kitchen "Anything ," he mumbled to himself. He knew he shouldn't be smoking bad for the baby the clinic doctor said.

Right now he didn't give a shit. "Hell," he reasoned, "I don't do drugs don't even drink

enough to mention, I gotta have something to get me through this."

At last he found a half smoked butt he had hidden there. He went to the stove to light it..

"Well at least the gas is still on," He inhaled deeply and walked to the back porch. A part of the ceiling was falling down, boxes and bags were everywhere. "Damned hell hole,

got no business with a baby up in here." He watched the smoke drift over what they use to be..

She trapped him and he knew it. However he didn't come to this knowledge till it was too late.

"State's only a three hour bus ride I'll even send you the ticket soon as I find a job," he lied. Deacon Miller had already found him a job to help with books. EJ was suppose to leave early to get started. "I'll be home just as much as I can. Vacation's, weekends. It ain't like I'm going to the other side of the moon." Another lie. With the job, classes, he planned to carry a full schedule and trying out for football, EJ wasn't going to have a minute to spare which suited him just fine. He needed to get away. Too many of his running buddies were dying, getting arrested or taking jobs they hated to pay for babies they didn't want. He had no intention of fitting into any of those categories. He should have known by the way she didn't look at him the whole time he was explaining. She just sat there playing with a blade of grass. He brought her out to CarringtonPark cause it's were the white folks lived. They'd been out there once, some picnic . She couldn't stop talking about how clean and fresh everything looked and smelled. He thought telling her out here would make it easier. He was wrong. "You can't go EJ.. You have to stay here and help me take care of the baby." ...

It felt safe, he felt safe. For a moment he let the peace drift towards him through the steam of Mama's coffee.

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