|About the Book|
The rain kept up. Day after day after day it kept up. I stayed in my room. Della brought in my meals. Alan finished the rototilling and went to the nursery for seeds. He came to show me what vegetbles hed chosen to plant and shook a handful of seeds on to his palm. Look, Kit, absolutely perfect. Ill plant the leafy stuff now .lettuce, spinach, cabbage, and Ill pollinate=by hand. In spring Ill plant squash, tomatoes and - I dont care what you plant! Im sick. Dont you know Im sick? You killed Mom. You took her from me. She gave meaning to my life. Kit, I didnt kill - Now Im back to the start. The nightmares . I stroked my forehead. You dont know my nightmares. Thats because youve shut yourself up in this room. Why dont you get out there and start living? Dellas just a kid. She needs you, Kit. What about me? Dont I need someone? Yes, that little eleven year-old. She lost a mother. You lost a son. You could give each other so much. My son was white. If Mom had been black would you have cared for her? My eyes ached with those hateful tears. They lodged there like rocks, pushing against my eyeballs, yet still refusing to fall. I tried to picture Mom with a black face. I saw her only as she haunted me, peaceful and smiling while I read that stupid Bible to her. I had loved her so much that day . her color would have been negligible. But to compare her face with Dellas black one, to suggest Della could ever take my sons place . Sweet Jesus, no child but my own could take Marks place. Alans eyes turned to steel. He clenched his fist and shook the seeds in his palm, as if debating whether to fling them at me. He left the room. I stood and watched rain pelt the patio. A monstrous idea crept into my head. It Started to grow. No child but my own. My own.. ********* February sixteenth. Marks birthday. The idea obsessed me completely now. I could think of nothing else. I would call him Mark. He would have my black hair, my pale skin, my dark eyes, my long body. And I . I would have my son. Della entered with a dinner tray. I told her to send Alan in. He responded to my request almost two hours later. It was the first time Id seen him since he showed me the seeds. He said he and Della had been watching Gone with the wind. What did I want? I didnt hedge. I want you to get me pregnant. What? I need someone to love. His mouth curled with contempt. As long as the kids white, huh? You effing snob! Dont you use that word to me. A cynical look darkened his eyes. The look turned to desire. He reached past me as if to switch off the lamp on the night table, but changed his mind and left it on. He slipped a hand inside my robe and cupped a breast No foreplay! I screeched, backing away. I dont want any foreplay. Just - just do it! You bitch, he said, reaching toward me as I continued to back away. You bitch, he said again, and I knew by his trembling voice that he would stay.