The adults were discussing what the doctors had said after all the tests had come back. I didn’t say anything but I couldn’t help but listen to what they were saying about my brother. Grandma sat there in her seat and when I looked at her; I was so surprised. She had tears falling down her cheeks, not a lot but I saw them and they were real.
” I just can’t believe what they said son. Neglect and they meant what they said. Trying to tell us it is our fault that he’s retarded now. Well, if anyone’s to blame, it’s that mother of theirs. I wonder if we should have the sister checked out too.”
Daddy wasn’t saying a word. I tried so hard to wiggle in my seat to try and see his face but I couldn’t. Did he believe the doctors too?
” I told you she was a no good tramp. Big trouble from the beginning. I bet you wish you had never met her now.”
“No dad, I don’t wish I never met her. She was a good person, she just makes bad decisions.”
“Bad decisions? I don’t think she even had a brain. She thought more with her legs than her brain.”
Daddy didn’t say anything else. Daddy always reminded me that it wasn’t good manners to talk back to a parent and that I better just keep my mouth shut. Maybe that’s what he was doing too.
” Did I hear that doctor say that because he is retarded.”
“Dad, he never once said the kid is retarded. He said he was a little slower than most kids.”
“Well, it;s the same thing to me, slow, retarded, whatever you want to call it, he isn’t like other normal kids. I suppose it’s that brain of his that is making him not walk too?”
“No, the doctor called it Rickets. It’s from him being taken from me and not being fed properly.”
Dad shook his head back and forth. I think it made grandpa feel better to blame someone, anyone, other than the right person. I thought back to when daddy, mama, me and my brother all lived together. Mama always put a bottle in brother’s mouth. I don’t remember him eating real food like I did, but I sure don’t believe mama did this on purpose, no, not for one second. She loved us kids didn’t she? She had to. All mama’s love their children, don’t they?
Everyone got quiet. I looked at grandma and for the first time she put her arm around my brother and I saw some more tears falling. Somehow my chest started hurting. I think it was my heart and I don’t know why but I felt like my heart was breaking in big pieces. Poor brother. I made a promise to myself. From that moment on, I would always keep an eye open and check on him because I just know, he is like a little birdie that falls from the tree and gets hurt real bad.
To be continued…