It seemed like we were in that back seat for years. The heat kept getting hotter and it made me feel like I was crying, but I swear I wasn’t. Water just kept running down my face. I looked at my little brother and his face was wet. Maybe he was crying too.
I really had to go pee. I didn’t want to make anyone look at me so I squeezed my legs together and I chewed on my bottom lip, maybe this would make the feelings go away; but sadly it didn’t. I think it may have made things worse.
With a softness in my voice I said, ” I have to go pee mama. I can’t wait much longer.” She looked back at me with an empty face and then looked at her companion. ” I wasn’t planning on stopping for another fifty miles yet.”
“Oh George, I could use a pit stop too. I need to powder my face, this heat is just going to make my make-up melt and you know honey, how you like a pretty face.” She purred as she spoke to him and he gave her an extra minute of looking at her face, then shook his head.
He continued driving until he saw a rest area. He pulled in and parked. Shutting the car off, mama got out and took my brother and me to the restroom. That man got out too and he stood at the side of the car and lit up a cigarette.
I peed almost before I sat down. When I got done I walked out of the stall and watched my mama change my brother’s diaper. I thought to myself, why is he so red? I am not red. He had tiny, red bumps all over his bottom. I didn’t dare say anything. I really didn’t want yelled at or slapped when others might see. I just hated myself for crying in front of others. They always looked at me so strange and then they would stare at mama. Usually they just walked off but I never forgot those looks. Sometimes when I was alone in my bed at night, those looks would bounce all over the walls and it made me scared. I would hide under my covers and wish for light.
When we finished our business and left the restroom, I think his name was George, yes, that was what mama called him. Well, anyways, he was drinking something out of a brown cup. I sure would like something to drink and I bet my brother would too.
“Donna, are you thirsty? Do you want some coffee? It’s real good.”
“That sounds good George and can you get a bottle of soda too? I’ll split it between the two kids.”
George did as she asked. Mama and us kids went back to the car. She took my brother’s bottle and unscrewed the lid, dumping the curdled milk on the pavement. She poured half the liquid in his bottle and putting him back on the seat; she handed it to him. He must have been real thirsty because I bet he drank half of it right down!
Mama got me situated and took the can I had from earlier. She shook it upside down, and then filled it with the other half. I don’t know what it was but it was real cold and I liked it.
George came back to the car and got in and started it. Without another word the car began moving again.
To be continued…