Learning To Love You More




Assignment #52
Write the phone call you wish you could have.

J. Nicole Harris
Louisville, Kentucky USA



Me: Hello?
Him: Hey, it's me. Don't be scared. I know this is strange. But I could just sense you needed to hear my voice.
Me: You were right. I have so many things to ask you.
Him: I'm listening.
Me: When you found out that mama told me about you, were you happy?
Him: I was sad because I knew you'd never be the same.
Me: In elementary school, I talked about you all of the time. But I lied. I told everyone you died.
Him: But I was never dead to you?
Me: Never.
Him: I'm still not sure if that's a good thing.
Me: Did you ever hate her?
Him: I couldn't. She's my mother.
Me: Did you ever hate me?
Him: You couldn't choose my fate or your own.
Me: I write poems about you, about her, about how she sees you when she looks into my eyes or strokes CJ's face. I write about how you should have been around to teach me to play kickball, to scare boyfriends who broke my heart, and lift the heavy boxes when I moved away. These are the things you do in my dreams.
Him: I don't dream, but if I did I'm sure it would be of you, and of CJ. How old is he now?
Me: 17. I can't believe my CJ is about to be a man.
Him: Your CJ. Your love for him spills from your speech.
Me: I think I love him so much because my heart was built to adore two brothers, not one.
Him: Perhaps. But I have to tell you. I actually called to tell you that you need to let me go. I've been watching you and I see I complicate everything in your life from you poetry to your politics.
Me: My friends call me “the reluctant feminist” and say I only think that I'm pro-choice. Because of you, I couldn't even but a red Planned Parenthood t-shirt to “Save Women's Lives.” I just couldn't help but wonder why no one saved yours.