I believe that when you should tell the truth, no matter how big or small the situation.
With the fog lingering over the cool mountains of Chudleigh, it seemingly set the pace
of life, to nonchalant. The temperature was cool and the soil was perfect for farming. The
community capitalized on the rich farmland and grew coffee, yams, and red peas. That was the
main sourceof income and men wore their calluses with pride. A typical morning was seeing
the men walking through the fog, heading off to the fields. Their shirts half buttoned, the legs
of their pants rolled up over their boots, machetes swinging and a “Craven-A” stuck in the side
of his mouth.
The local shop was owned by Mooney, a fat, loud and usually little drunk man that
everyone undeservingly respected. This was the place to buy everything, from the file the
sharpen machetes, to the rainbow popsicle kids bought on their way from school.
Curried chicken, slivers of yams with peas, again for dinner, I picked through it. My
dad stood up from the table and told me to go Mooneys to buy his cigarettes, for the next day
in the field. With a $10 bill that was so crushed, the bright blue color had faded past its glory
days. I skipped out the door; I knew there would be enough change left for me to buy a
“Good evening Mooney” I said, peering over the wooden counter. “Yes” he said
breathing heavily. “Can I have 10 Craven-A and a rainbow?” “You have a box?” He asks
“No, sir” I answered. “Hmrff” He turns and wraps the cigarettes in a piece of brown paper,
gets up from his stool and shuffles to the freezer. “No rainbow” he yells with his head still half
in the freezer. I was so mad; I tried to yank the bill out the pocket of my favorite pink skirt, but
I felt nothing. This time, I pushed my hand slow and deliberate in my pocket, no luck, still
nothing, I turned around with my eyes widened and followed the red painted concrete floor to
the big wooden doors, still no luck. Oh my goodness, the bill was gone. I started to cry and
Mooney offered his grief, while the put the Craven –As one by one back in its red box.
I stepped out of the shop with all intentions of finding that bill, because my dad worked
hard for it. I walked slowly up the road looking as far as my eyes could see. I turned the
corner and looked in the section of tall grass next to Ms. Love, the seamstress’s house, no luck.
Darkness was coming and so were the tears. I walked over the hill searching with each step,
no bill. I stopped at Precious’s house and told her what happened. She put her old shoes on
and came out and helped me look. Through the path, through the thicket, behind the phone
booth, at the main dumpster all the places that it could and could not be, we looked.
With a chill in the night air, we sat on the road and wondered what to do. Surely, I
was deep trouble, no cigarettes and no bill. Precious said “Tell him, some one robbed you”
“okay, but who?” I asked, tears still streaming down my face. She says “hmm, tell him
Steve, everybody knows he is no good”. “Okay,” I said, “I was walking down the hill and
Steve came up to me and took the bill” I rehearsed. “No!, no, say you were coming “round
the corner at Ms. Love’s house and he jumped out the bushes, with his machete and took the
bill”. Precious had more experience than me and I believed that her story was good.
I walked slowly over the hill through the darkness, thinking through the story and
making sure, I had all the lines rehearsed. As I entered the path to our house, I felt lump in my
throat and my stomach felt hollow, with the tears streaming down my face; I
put my hand on the door knob and I shuddered with fear. As I slowly pushed the door open, I
could see the smoke of Craven-A coming from sitting room. The lump in my throat grew
bigger and now there was snot flowing out my nose.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped in front of my Dad, and he said while blowing smoke
through the corner of his mouth, “Girl, what’s wrong?” I stood there frozen. Now with a
fatherly concern in his voice he says again, “Come on, tell me what’s wrong?” The rehearsed
story now needed more rehearsing and no words could come from my mouth. With his
callused hands he patted his leg and instinctively I knew all would be well. I sat on his lap and
told him I had lost the money. He said in his deep voice “Don’t worry, Mama found the bill on
the step after you left”. With a quiver of relief, the tears dried up, the lump in my throat
disappeared and I, felt like myself again.
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