Momma’s Touch

Fat girls need love too – at least that’s what momma told me once. I watched her waddle her weight around the yard picking roses as she sobbed over Mr. Freeman, the next door neighbor. Their affair lasted for two years after Mr. Freeman divorced his wife. Of course, momma was much smaller then. I’m not one to pry in grown folk business but when it comes to my momma, I can’t help but to pry just a little, even if I really don’t want to.

As I walked around the yard picking roses with her, tears ran down her cheeks. “Don’t you ever let a man tell you that you aren’t good enough.” She said, more so to convince herself than speaking to me. But I took her advice for what it was and held it close to my heart. I didn’t want momma to hurt, so I wished that maybe somehow if I listened it would comfort her.

Closer and closer to Mr. Freeman’s yard – I watched my momma pick her roses, her mind clearly in another place.

BAM – Mr. Freeman’s door slams and he walks outside. Beside him stood a woman much smaller than momma. The tension in the air turned so thick that I could’ve choked.

“Hmph.” Momma snarled as she watched the two of them walk to his car. By no means was this woman more beautiful than my momma. She was just skinny. Her hair, in a ponytail, and her face boldly kissing the air. Momma however always dressed her face with the most expensive make-up. She even kept her hair nice too. Momma was the prettiest big woman I know, even though I really didn’t like to think of her as fat.

I gaze up at momma with one eye so that she doesn’t notice me watching her. If she did, she’d probably tell me to go in the house. Her movements became slow and her face frowned. It was as if all of that convincing that she’d done about fat woman needing love had gone in vain. Momma was hurting.

After Mr. Freeman and his skinny woman drove off, momma and I went inside with her dozen roses. I helped her cut the stems and place them in a vase. I understood why she picked her roses today. I remembered back to when dad died. She said that she didn’t want another man to show her love, and that sometimes we need to love ourselves.
Silent we stood, but our hearts touched. I didn’t quite understand what momma was going through but I was glad she kept me close.

After putting the roses in a vase, momma sat on the couch and turned on the television.
“Hand me my cheese puffs and a soda,” she asked just before I too made myself comfortable. With no questions asked, I went and grabbed her cheese puffs and soda.
Years later, I had no idea that I would follow the same pattern just to feel close to momma. To this day, I feel her warmth as I sit on the couch eating cheese puffs and soda. I guess this is the beginning of my fat girl confessions.