Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Wise Beyond Years:

A little girl is sitting on the porch, wearing blue jean overalls with one strap hanging off the white short sleeved ruffled blouse. She is playing with her doll, raggedy Ann and her brother Andy. “Mommy said, stay on the porch, or you will get a spanking Andy,” said the little girl. The neighbor down the street has come to visit the girl’s parents. He stops on the stoop and says, “hello, little girl, your parents’ home?”

“Hello, yes they are home, just ring the bell, and they will answer.”

The neighbor said, “you are a smart little girl. How old are you?” The little girl’s facial expression seemed bothered by the man’s questions, and taking her attention away from playing with Ann and Andy. She throws up 3 fingers and says, “I’m this many, and worth every one of them, my mommy and daddy told me.”

“Oh,” says the man and then he throws up two fingers, and then five. So, you’re, two pennies short of a nickel.” The little girl looks up at him, lips crookedly pursed, and says, “Whatever,” and goes back to playing with her dolls. The man chuckles and soon her dad opens the door, inviting the neighbor in. If you listen close enough, you can hear the little girl say to Ann and Andy, “what a joke, two pennies, short of a nickel, then she bust out with a giggle. “Come on you, guys. Andy, you go hide and we’ll come and find you.” The little girl lays Andy down in the flower box and goes to the wall. She props up Ann, with her face against the wall and begins counting to ten.

Hop Scotch Wisdom:

It’s a beautiful spring day. Children are out playing riding their bikes, skateboards and foot racing in the street, to see who will carry the name for the fastest on the block. The young girl, playing alone, was drawing a hopscotch on the sidewalk. An older gentleman, walking in her direction, his pace is slow, a little bent over, and his hands folded behind his back. He would be tall and straight like a pin, if life had not beaten him down. His copper toned face, slightly shone wrinkles around the areas of his eyes and mouth. He did not want to disturb the girl sketching her canvass, so he stepped upon the grass. A tall elm tree favored him with shade from its voluminous leaved branches. He found it a good time to rest and watch the girl, as she put

the last number in the boxes. She stood back, and through the small pebble to see where it would land, and the game began. When she decided, to take a break, the old man said. “Be thankful for your youth and hold on to it as long as you can, and enjoy it, for as long as you can.” The young girl said. I like, being young. I can run, jump, play and laugh loud with my brothers. The old man smiled, accentuating the lines around his eyes and mouth. He then asked the young girl, “how young are you?"

"I’m a nickel and three pennies.” This time the old man laughed out loud, unfolding his hands, and with his right hand touched his chest to keep all his breath from escaping, and then asked the young girl, “who taught you to express your age this way?” She said, “My mom and dad.” The gentleman smiled, nodded his head, and once again folded his hands behind his back. He said his goodbyes, but before proceeding down the block on his daily walk, he shared this with the young girl. “You are two pennies from being a shining dime.”

Age Is Nothing but A Number:

The alarm went off and Melanie is lost in her dream of being with the love of her life. “Wait, I don’t have a man in my life, get up.” Thirty minutes past the alarm going off, she foregoes the 3-minute shower, opting instead for a quick bird bath and washing only the important areas. Then goes to the closet and pulls the first business suit she sees off its hangar. “This will work, I haven’t worn it this week.” She puts on her panty-hose, bra, slip, shoes, snatches her laptop, purse and out the door, flicking out her curly Afro with a pick, as she fast walks to her car. She sits and realizes, “I forgot to put on panties. Really! Melanie, well, it’s a good thing the suit is a dark navy blue.”

She starts the car and says a silent prayer to calm herself, before getting into traffic. Melanie is standing at the elevator and as the doors open she steps in and pushes, floor 16. A middle-aged man, graying around the temples and dressed business - casual, asked, “you work on the 16th floor, isn’t that the Robeson CPA & Associates firm?” You’re, young to be working for them, how old are you? Melanie looks at him, kind of rolling her eyes, and then nicely says. "I’m 3 dimes, 1 nickel, and three pennies, and I don’t work for them. My name is Melanie Robeson, Owner and CEO. The elevator reached her floor, and as she stepped off, she asked, “which floor?”

Surprised at Melanie’s answer, the man, says “floor?”

“Yes, you seemed to have missed your floor.”

“Oh, right, right? 4, the fourth floor, thank you.”

“You’re welcome and have a nice day.” Melanie pushed ‘4’ and watched as the doors closed.

Too Old, To Be Bothered.

A 2013, pearl gray Mercedes Benz, top down, pulls up outside the Home Depot. Sylvia Monroe is shopping for a new faucet for her upstairs master bedroom, oval tub. The one she has kept leaking, although she just replaced the seal around the base. She would prefer a handy man do this for her, but then she would have no peace of mind. Sylvia, retired well, divorced for over three years and her children are grown with families of their own.

Her loving, supportive husband of 20 years, up and left her with a twenty-five-hundred-dollar monthly mortgage and wonderful memories of their time together. It was first a shock to her, the kids and then to other family members, friends, and associates who ascribed them as a loving supportive ‘power couple,” who were adored and envied by many.

One morning at the breakfast table he says, “Sweetheart, you know we have had a beautiful marriage, we built a loving home environment for our children, and are successful with their own families.” Sylvia, doesn’t know where this conversation is going, and in thinking to herself, she questions, are we finally going to Paris or take the Kenyan trip we have talked about since forever?

Sylvia is smiling at her husband with the look of love. She can see the tickets being pulled from his jacket pocket and handing them to her. She holds her breath for a minute in anticipation, and then he says, “Honey, I want a divorce, I know…”

“What, what did you just say? You want a divorce. Why?” “I know it’s going to be hard on you for a year, but I am no longer happy with you, and I want to live.”

“Have I kept you from living? We, have lived, work and built our lives together. I thought we were content. I thought we were happy? Oh, I know, who is she?” Tears, now streaming down her face, and sarcastically says, “I no longer do it for you in the bedroom, is that it?”

“No, no, nothing like that. It’s, I want my freedom. I love you, and to be honest, I can’t explain why. The reason, it is what it is.” And that was that. He moved out the same day and they’ve remained good friends, once married and now divorced.

Sylvia allowed herself to succumb to the depression. No one had seen or talked to her for months, but when she emerged from her dark dungeon of despair. You could not tell what drain she had gone down emotionally. She dressed as she always did, and the women envied and the men wished. Psychologically, going to the gym played a big part, keeping her body tight, toned, and mentally stable. The hair was never out of place and her manicure always fresh. Her visit to Home Depot today, could have been a brunch date with the girls, she looked that good. The sandals she wore, were tan sandals, with ankle straps, a tangerine linen loose-fitting belted linen walking suit to match. Her jewelry: earrings, bracelet and Gucci watch only added to the sophisticated flair Sylvia, is know for.

Inside the store, she is met with smiles from both men and women. She heads down the aisle where the

hardware for bathrooms is. As she is looking and comparing her faucet, with the others, a man walks up beside her smelling like cigarettes, which only made Sylvia back away from him. He asked, “can I be of some help?” “No thank you, I got this.” Sylvia said being congenial.

“It’s no problem. I can really help you find the piece, here. Let me see it.” “No, I don’t need your help, thank you, I have this.” ” I only want to help you? How old are you, anyway?” “I’m old enough to know better and I’m old enough to know, when I don’t want to be bothered, now move.”

© Clover Journesy 9/11/2021

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