The silence in the room was unbearable. I could feel the pity and grief the people in the funeral home gave me. My older brother wrapped me in his arms and held me tightly while the others tried to keep it together for me. My best friend gave me a look that read, “you know I’m here for you” The pastor’s uncomfortable knowing look gave me chills. The remembrance of my mother this day eleven years ago and my father’s funeral both on my birthday was all too much for me to handle. My mother died giving birth to me, so I only really had my father to rely on, who is now gone. “Excuse me,” a tall, middle-aged African American pastor interrupted my thoughts.He scratched his black goatee while the crowd quieted down. He continued, “I was asked to prepare a speech concerning Robert James Foster. He was not only a member of this church but a huge role model for this community and for the youth. Although I don’t know why or how, he was my fathers best friend. He always bossed my father around acting like he owned him. He took advantage of him, and now he is giving this lame-ass fake speech, he doesn’t even mean. “I remember twenty-one years ago when he first came up to me. He was in a miserable place. But once his first son was born, he turned his life around. He then became a respectable husband and father of five. He survived this long by the love from his children Robert Jr, Prince, Anthony, Damian and Delilah along with the rest of his loved ones.” I honestly couldn’t care less about what he has to say. Not only was he a terrible friend to my father, but he was a terrible person period. He continued, “even though we did not want him to, I know in my heart he was ready to go. As the pastor of Robert Foster, I am proud to say that I know he is in heaven with our Father. He looked up towards the ceiling before he said, “everyday we will think about how much we love and miss you.” The pastor wiped his runny nose and stepped away from the podium. Before he sat down he gave me that same unknowing look I cannot read.
After the service, my brothers and I held a get-together in our living room where anyone was invited. I couldn’t face my friends or family without bawling my eyes out. I just didn’t know how to control my emotions and feelings. I didn’t even really know what I was feeling. Maybe a little bit of anger, confusion, sadness. I didn’t like the way my friends look at me, like I’m some charity case. So I wouldn’t sob in front of everyone, I went up stairs and laid in my bed and just wept silently.
“Deli,” Nicholos Jones knocked on the white wooden door. He is one of my best friends along with his twin sister Katelie. When I don’t reply, he just struts in. He saw my tear-streaked face and rushed over.
“I miss him so much,” I cried into his small broad shoulders.
“I know, I know,” he kept on whispering in my ear.
Katelie walks in and sits on the other side of me. She wraps her long arms around my shoulders. The three of us just laid down side by side. They comfort me as I wept. These dreadful seconds passed by slowly.
Someone knocked on the door, and walked right in. I felt a little insecure because I feel weak when I cry in front of people. “Ms. Delilah?” a petite woman interrupted our moment. Through my blurry eyes, I tried so hard to recognize her round face and short blonde hair. A name did not come to me.
“Yes and you are?” I wiped away the tears that were still falling from my dark eyes.
“Terri, my name is Terri. I am a social worker. First I would like to say that I am dearly sorry for your loss, but it is my job to give you a caring and loving foster family because of your parent’s absence.” Even though I have no idea why I am surprised from events in my life anymore, I still could not believe what she was saying to me without sincerity.
“She is going to live with me,” I heard my oldest brother Robert JR say. “And I do believe you shouldn’t talk to an eleven year old about this, alone.” I could tell by his arrival, he was getting a little pissed.
“I- I am s-sorry, but you are g-going to have to go to court to receive custody.” she stuttered probably because Robert made her lose focus. Ha, look at the way she is looking at him like that. She is so mesmerized. I thought to myself and added a little chuckle. They both gave me a look that said ‘this isn’t funny.’ I ignored them because I needed a little humor in my life at that second. I could always make myself smile.
“Well, we’ll be going to court then,” Robert stated.
After she said she’ll wait for me in the car, she walked out the door. “Damn it!” Robert started to pace around the room. “I will get you back, D. I promise.”
I didn’t respond. By that time my other brothers showed up. I saw tears in Anthony’s and Damian’s eyes. I was always the one who held it together even though it should be the opposite. I packed my clothes and things I cannot live without. My heart broke just by looking at them bawling. We said our goodbyes, then I went downstairs. I realized then how many people were gathered into my living room. On my way out the door, more friends came up to me, apologizing.
“Hello, Delilah,” Pastor greeted me. Couldn’t he see that I was not in the mood to chat with an ungodly pastor.
“Pastor,” I said as I tried to rush past him.
“Revenge is awaiting because it is all your fault.” He smirked and slowly walked away from me, backwards. Soon I lost sight of him.