“At least you married a white man with money. That’s one good thing in this mess,” Uzuri said, looking around the impressive living room with its expensive furnishings. “However, your interracial marriage is not going to work out no better than mine did.” She settled her gaze upon Inaya and frowned.
“You were never married to anybody, Mama, much less a white man.” Inaya frowned, as well.
“I was. I just didn’t tell you about it,” Uzuri replied. “You just think I only dated Jerry Murdock. No, I was married to him.”
Inaya listened in shocked silence as her mother talked about her disastrous marriage with the white man that turned her against all white people as a whole. She knew some of the story already. She knew that her mother used to be named Minnie Seabrook thirty years ago. How she met a white soldier named Jerry Murdock who was stationed at an army base near the diner she worked at ever since she ran away from an abusive home at the age of sixteen. She also knew how Jerry and Minnie quickly fell in love.
What she didn’t know was that her mother eloped with Jerry after only knowing each other for three weeks. That by the time Jerry took her home to meet his parents in Georgia, she was already pregnant with their first child, but hadn’t told anyone yet. Needless to say, the Murdocks did not welcome Minnie with open arms. In fact, they downright rejected her and their son’s marriage and forbid either of them to ever visit them again.
Although Jerry and Minnie tried to stay together after that, so much damage had been done to their young marriage from intolerant people like his family, followed by rumors of infidelity, that they soon fell out of love just as quickly as they’d fallen into it. A divorce occurred shortly thereafter.
By the time their child was finally born, Minnie was alone in a new town and so saturated with bitterness that she deliberately gave the small rural hospital a fake name for the child’s birth certificate so that he’d never be able to find her when he grew up. She called herself Marguerite Jean-Baptiste and named the child Chandler. Then she gave him up for adoption.
Afterwards, Minnie relocated to a city that agreed with her newfound personal views on interracial relationships, changed her first name to Uzuri, went back to her maiden name, and swore off all men that weren’t black.
“I can’t believe this!” Inaya said, pacing the floor. “I refuse to believe it.”
“Believe it, because it’s true. When Joe sent me a picture of Chandler and told me what his birth name was, I knew he was the son that I’d given away.” Uzuri held up an old never-seen-before wedding photo of her and Jerry. “He looks like he could be Jerry’s twin. Now you know the real reason I didn’t want y’all dating white men or even light-skinned black men.”
“Lies! All Lies!” Inaya shouted, though she could see the physical similarities between her husband and the man in the picture. “I understand why Joe wants to cause trouble for us. He’s mad with the Edenfield brothers because he thinks they took his women. But you…you just want to get back at me for what happened with Duncan. Fine! You don’t want to be a good mother to me, then don’t be one to me at all. I want you out of my house and out of my life forever, and don’t you ever come back!”
Uzuri jumped to her feet. “I’ll gladly leave your life. Kali’s all the daughter I need anyway.” She huffed and quickly headed for the door.
“Good luck trying to get her to give you a monthly stipend. Unlike my extremely accommodating husband, Neil isn’t about to let $500 leave their household on a regular basis for a non-emergency like you. Especially not with a baby coming,” she flung at her mother’s back.
Uzuri looked back, gave her the evil eye and then exited the front door.
Disregarding the slamming of the door, Inaya made her way to the den where her laptop and Chandler’s personal file cabinet were. Then she spent the rest of the day trying to verify what she’d been told.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier