Short Story Saturday: The Big Sister Blues

The Blues

“BEANIE…BEANIE…WAKE UP” I hear a high pitched cry, sitting up and I can barely open my eyes. But when I do, I see the kids standing in the doorway.

“Purple, get up Beanie won’t wake up” Jackson urges. I jump up and hurry down the stairs, through the hallway and into the living room, where Beanie usually fell asleep. She loves the big, brown couch and would rather sleep on it than in bed. Mama’s clutching her, crying, and Winston isn’t around.

“What happened?” I ask.

“She won’t wake up” Mama’s screaming. I hear the sirens but continue to stare at Beanie lying peacefully in Mama’s arms.

“Excuse me” I hear and I’m shoved by the EMS worker, who argues with Mama.

“Purple” Jackson yells in my face.

“What?” I mumble still staring at Mama; he turns my body to the hallway Billie and Franklin stand sobbing staring at the scene before us. I rush to them, shielding them from what I know they won’t understand.



The doctors are making Mama cry and there’s a police officer standing next to them. A woman wearing a suit with a stiff hairstyle watches with a disapproving look. My aunts and uncles, now sober, are enraged. I don’t understand. Jackson is leaning on the wall staring at the floor. This cold, hard, floor. Green walls with plastic flowers hanging from the ceiling. Mamas in handcuffs and sobbing; we catch eyes but I look away. She’s being drug away like a dog on a leash that won’t move. Franklin jumps up as if he wants to save her, but Jackson holds his arm.

“Sit down” he says as I glance their way. The way everyone is crying I can’t help but realize the truth, something happened to Beanie. I can see their lips moving but nothing is coming out. Pills. Mama tested positive for drugs. An investigation is going on at our house. Our uncles and aunts aren’t real so we have to wait at a foster home.

“What they mean Uncle Ronnie ain’t my real uncle?” Franklin asks, because they’re close. I know that Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Lee-Lee, Butter, and Aunt Vicki aren’t our relatives but Mama’s closest friends. Our real family hasn’t been around for years and I don’t know if they’re dead or alive.

“Just be quiet” Jackson tells him. I can see the hurt on his face. Beanie called him daddy and he’s worried. Billie has cried herself to sleep and rests heavily on my lap. Stiff Hair walks our way and I tense up; I don’t want us to go to foster care or to be separated.

“Come on children, you can go with me now?” she says with a polite smile. I hesitate, and Jackson exhales, shaking his head. Before we can answer, three very well dressed people step off the elevator.

“Is that Maureen?” Jackson asks, and I freeze because I didn’t recognize her.

​Maureen Portier is our maternal grandmother, Jackson and I are the only ones that have ever met her or seen pictures. The sight of her, nose in the air, poncho thrown across her chest and a Louis Vuitton purse on her arm makes us sit up straight. Stiff Hair turns to see where our attention has turned. I watch the three of them. Neat hair. The women wear makeup and perfume. But all I can smell is money.

“Oh hello” she greets.

“Hello, I’m the children’s maternal grandmother,” she announces loud and clear, making Billie shift.

“Our what?” Franklin says as Jackson nudges him. The young woman with her is looking at each of us slowly, a look of disgust on her face. She’s wearing real gold earrings, a huge wedding ring and a short stiff haircut. She reminds me of Halle Berry, but real.

“Oh. You must be…” Stiff Hair’s voice trails off as she looks through a folder.

“Maureen Portier,” she says with attitude.

“Yes, nice to meet you Ms.-“

“Mrs.,” she corrects.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Portier,” Stiff Hair apologizes.

“Who do I speak to about my daughter and grandchild. I understand something has happened,” she asks, as Stiff Hair leads her to the nursing station with the man she came with, Halle Berry follows. Mrs. Portier walks over to listen to the mumbling. I keep quiet and stop breathing to eavesdrop.

“Ecstasy….dead…maybe thought they were M&M’s….our condolences.” Those are the only words I make out as my heart drops. Beanie always loved M&M’s and I would have to take them out of her hand if she found one on the floor or in the couch.

“Who are they?” Franklin asks as my eyes water.

“Mama’s family,” Jackson says. I know that sitting still is killing Franklin so his mouth is about to run.

“I never seen them before,” he states. “I ain’t going with no strangers” he says folding his arms.

“Shut up, you’re going wherever they tell you to.” We stare at the small crowd of people. Halle Berry is holding her chest and has a tissue in her hand. The Suit has his hand on Maureen’s back with his head down. Maureen is still keeping eye contact with the nurses. My mind drifts as Billie turns to a more comfortable position. She won’t understand when she wakes up. Poor Beanie. Lying somewhere by herself calling me.

“I’m here” I whisper closing my eyes picturing her smile.

“Well children you don’t have to worry about going with me, your family is here” Stiff Hair says with slight cheer in her voice. I’m relieved; I didn’t care where “the family” was taking us as long as we weren’t being separated.

“I don’t know them,” Franklin tells her.

“Me neither,” Jackson speaks up with a scowl on his face. I glance at both of them because I’m surprised; usually Jackson understands things and agrees with me. Apparently he hasn’t grasped this situation.

“I’m your Uncle Francois, your mother’s older brother,” The Suit says, finally coming over so that I can see his face. He looks like Michael Ealy except with a clean cut. His shoulders are filling out the suit and I can tell that he works out. Up close Jackson resembles him a great deal.

“And I’m your Aunt Dominique, you’re mother’s little sister,” Halle Berry says, forcing a smile. Her nose and eyes are red. She cried about Beanie without even knowing her.


“Franklin, and that’s my twin Billie”

“I’m Purple, I mean Pierre.” I speak up not wanting to say Purple because I hear Beanie’s voice when I do.

“Pierre, you’ve gotten so big and beautiful,” Aunt Dominique says with a big smile. She remembers me and I can’t place her face from anywhere before.

“And look at Jackson, how old are you now, thirteen?” she asks, turning to him.

“Yeah, fourteen in July,” he says with a fake deep voice. He’s going through puberty and has this annoying, scratchy voice.

“Wow, it’s been a long time,” she continues, but my focus moves to Maureen who is now sitting down. She’s talking with a doctor. Her face is tight and she’s nodding, staring at the ground. Details about Beanie. She’d only seen four years and now it’s over. Another tear.

“Pierre,” I hear I look up and brush it away. It’s Jackson who has called me but when I look at him he’s nodding at Aunt Dominique.

“Yes,” I ask.

“I asked how’s high school?” she repeats.

“It’s good,” I lie to avoid the ugly truth. Detroit Public School. Lazy welfare mother. No new clothes. Taking care of four children, now three.

“How about you Freddy?” she asks, looking at Franklin.

“That’s not my name, lady,” he says, as Jackson nudges him.

“I am your Aunt Dominique,” she says in a snappy way that made me look at her. I know how Franklin is but I’m not used to people talking to him with attitude.

“Well, I ain’t neva seen you before,” he adds. He’s like Mama once they get started it’s hard to stop them. Mama once argued with a grocery store clerk until her voice went out and we still had to leave.

“I know and I want to apologize” she says just above a whisper. I watch the way she shuffles her feet.

​ After Franklin set her straight she walks over to Maureen and Uncle Francois. I remember him. I was five and Jackson was four. He held me as Mama argued with Maureen and rushed our things out of the house. I remember him trying to calm her down, and when he couldn’t, he looked in my face and smiled at me.

“Why are we still sitting here, I’m hungry?” Jackson mumbles.

“Me too, and what about Beanie are we supposed to just leave her here?” Franklin asks. I look to see that he’s serious; he’s always been protective of her.

“She’s not coming home with us, Franklin,” I tell him using my hand to cover Billie’s ear.

“She died,” Jackson says as we look at him. I wait to see his face drop and his eyes water as Jackson grabs him. I can’t look. Beanie made all of us happy when we were sad. She was our cheerleader. Mama called her “Love” because that’s what it felt like when she was around. Whenever one of us was sad or upset, she would give you a hug or kiss. She used to say everything with a smile when she wasn’t sucking her index finger. I would miss that wrinkled finger and the way she avoided touching you with it. I smile because I can see her switching hands while we cross the street.

“Children,” I hear, looking up to see Maureen in her shiny shoes and heavy perfume. The look in her eyes makes us once again straighten our backs.

“Yes,” I say.

“You’re going to come home with me,” she says nervously as we all look at each other.

“Okay, but who are you?” Franklin asks, exhausted with our new family introductions. A smile slides across her face. It’s my smile, the one I use after a sarcastic joke.

“I’m Mi Mi, your grandmother” she tells us.


Spring into Action

New season, who dis?

Living in Michigan all my life has made me appreciate all four seasons. Mainly because they don’t change on schedule which gives you a little more time to adjust. If the winter weather crossover still has you with the blues, try these simple things to boost your blooming mood:

1. Clear the closet: It’s time to go in that closet and pull out everything that you haven’t wore in two years make room for your new Spring wardrobe.

2. Clean: Because it’s still chilly out, enjoy being in your Home making everything shiny and decluttered. The basement, dust the window sills and get that car cleaned out. Get ready to spend more time enjoying the outdoors.

3. Mental Cleanse: You’ve made it through wool coats and hats. Blanketed Sunday’s and not trying to busy your ass on an icy driveway. Now is the time to sit still and remove the toxicity from your life. People and situations that no longer serve you or good mental health. Let them and it go, a new season means another fresh start. Take advantage.

These are just a few tips to get you started and get your mind off of the fact that the heat is still on. Follow these tips and the warmth of the season will hit you in no time.

Get Naked

How to be the best possible you?

Strip away all the limits you put upon yourself.

Stop asking “how”, just go for it. What is meant for you will be, the more you ask “how” the longer it will take to accomplish your goal.

Shake off the negative naysayers. Yes, there will be people to question and criticize you. Good, you need those people to motivate you. No need to prove anything to them. This is all about you.

Look in the mirror. That person who stares at you is the only person that you’re competing against. Everyday is an opportunity to become a better you, don’t waste the day.

Remove the layers of hurt, abuse and pain. Living in your misery will only bring more misery. You have to learn to forgive and move forward.

Show gratitude. You knew it was coming, that’s what this whole thing is about. Are you thankful enough for the life that you have been given to move on to the next step? Great things are coming for you, but you have to believe that they are on their way.

Happy International Women’s Day!

The celebration of the creators of the world. Just like every other day, women should be celebrated. If not by others then always by self. Some of us struggle to celebrate ourselves on a daily basis.

“We’re too busy”

“Too tired”

“Too emotional”

“Too broke”

These are myths that you’ve created in your mind because sometimes you feel guilty about taking care of yourself more than you do you children, spouse or family.

Do you realize that if you’re not taking care of you, then in due time there will be no you to take care of anyone else?

Make time for:





Meditation and prayer

Learning something or someone new

Remember that although you were many hats throughout the day. Woman is the first.

My testimony: Beating depression with a “thank you”?

Showing gratitude is more than saying “Thank you” to the man who holds the door open or the women who complimented your new outfit. Saying “Thank you“, should be a way of life. When you are grateful for everything and everyone around you, it returns positive blessings back into your life.

I was depressed a few years back and was in total denial. Not because I didn’t want to  relate to those people on that one commercial with the hundred side effects. But because I didn’t know that I was depressed. My situation didn’t look like others that announced that they were suffering from such a serious mental illness. I was placing myself in confusing temporary relationships one after another, bills were all the way b

ehind and still piling, and I questioned if I was raising my son to be the man that he needed to be in this world. It didn’t stop me from smiling and pretending that everything was alright. Being positive in negative environment is a challenge but you have to take the challenge. And I found out that my remedy was “thank you”.

My sister presented me with a blank journal, fancy in appearance but this book would become my medicine. She told me that she could tell that I was struggling and that all I would need to do was write down everything that I was grateful for and things would be alright….What?!! I’m a writer, I write all the time how would writing on this subject turn my life and thoughts around?!! As easy as it sounds, it was rough, my mind fought to prove that I didn’t need to write down what I was thankful for because I had nothing.

Lies….lies..lies… so

I started off with the basics:

“Thank you for waking me up”

“Thank you for my career”

“Thank you for my loving family”

And as I became more specific, more things to be grateful for came to me, it was hard for me to stop. And this is what has pulled and still continues to pull me out of darkness. Yes, we all have dark moments, but we do not have to live and loath in them. They are moments and we have

the power to push through those moments and remind ourselves of all the good that is happening around us and will continue to happen. Focusing more on saying “thank you”. You don’t have to just write it either, when you wake up “thank you”, when you have a good conversation or meet someone new say “thank you”. Make it your ritual until it feels weird to not say it.

I’m not saying this is a cure for depression, but it sure brought me back to light and loving myself and everything around megloves. Who knew something as simple as a “thank you”, could change my whole life.

Thank you for reading

Angry, Bitter and Pregnant

Hmmm, the title describes how I felt the majority of my first pregnancy. These feelings were easy, I found myself in a situation that was foreign. First year at college away from my family, friends and support system. What’s a baby? I saw them before, made funny faces but it’d been a while since I lived with one, better yet I’d never had one live in my body. I became angry with myself more than anything or anyone else. How did I let this happen to me? For nine months, I allowed the bitter fruit to poison my body. No one was safe, I fell out with the whole village. A village who continued to wrap their arms around me and help me grow and raise who is now one of the most beautiful human beings to be around.

No regrets, but sometimes I wish I could go back to young me and tell her that everything will be alright and that there are no mistakes only blessings and lessons. Looking back, I don’t think I enjoyed my pregnancy. Too worried about how this whole raising a baby solo would work. That’s the past, the NOW is what’s important. Despite my angry and bitter attitude, raising him has been an honor. Being able to teach him to become his own person, think with an open mind, forgive and to love. And I’m learning a lot from being his mother. EJ has taught me how to be patient, when to step back and allow him to learn and even when I’m wrong. I know, being wrong and a parent don’t sound right but sometimes it’s the only right. Otherwise, we teach them that they can never be wrong as well.


My message is not to allow the feelings, emotions or your situations discourage you from being the best possible parent. Not a half-assed excuse maker, but the best. Kids don’t ask to be here and it’s not right to make them feel that way. Whatever the situation, there is always a way to teach and learn from your children. Raising them like you were raised might not be the best way. How did it make you feel? Did you fight for your parents affection? Are you still fighting for acceptance now?

Remember your children are watching, listening and learning from you. And one day, the tables will turn where they will have to take care of you.


Don’t allow the pressure from your family and friends deter you from happiness.

If your SANGLE not single but SANGLE, mingle in your alone time. The more time you spend with yourself, you actually get to build a foundation and protection. If you found yourself in the same situations with people who didn’t appreciate you or respect your time, it’s because they could tell that you wouldn’t do the same thing for yourself.

How many times have you let yourself down? Why hold someone else to a hire standard than you hold for yourself?

Be clear about what type of person you are before you look for the type of person you want to be with.

For the couples, those who feel like the relationship isn’t progressing or it’s not moving at the pace that you would like, it’s time to reevaluate.

How happy are you as a couple? Does the good outweigh the bad? Do you respect one another? Is it a relationship or just some shit you’re hanging on to so you won’t be SANGLE?

We’ve all been in a situation with a person that was ongoing drama or problems and we stayed too long. It’s cool, if you wake up the next morning then you have the power to change the situation.

Don’t get love confuse with comfortable. You’ve been together for five years, two kids and you live together but every other day you’re miserable as hell.

Regardless if you’re in a relationship or SANGLE. Waking up with peace and a smile on your face should always come first. The person that you’re with or working to be with shouldn’t be making you cry, checking their phone, tracking them down or wanting to do harm to them.

You deserve to be in a healthy, happy, relationship even if it’s by yourself.

The Procrastinator: Judgement Day

Having a passion or talent can be a funny thing sometimes. You love what you do whether it’s been since you could remember or just last week. Excitement builds in your stomach as you research the how-to’s of the business. Google becomes your assistant while you read up on tax laws in your city/state, start picking out logo’s and creating a new email address strictly for this new business venture. Making Facebook posts about how “It’s about to go down”, letting your friends and family know that your time has finally come. Weeks pass and your’e still riding the wave finding buildings, creating websites and logo’s even going on Vistaprint to get your business cards together because your business is a coming. Then it happens… usual teeny, tiny life interruption shuts your shit down. Doubt sets in or one talk with a “realistic” person causes you to pack your dreams away on the high shelf until its a better time.

I feel like I have been the Queen of Procrastination, month after month I get hit with a new and better business idea than the last. I waste my own precious time planning and getting loved ones involved only to continuously let myself down.

“Why do I continue to do this to myself?”

“Don’t I deserve to follow each and every one of my dreams?”

These are just a few of the clean version questions I ask myself before I continue with my procrastination. The key to break through from watching everyone else live their dreams out is simple. GET YOUR ASS UP! As simple as it sounds on most days it’s the hardest thing to accomplish. I think we get so caught up in thinking and fantasizing instead of actually doing, what’s easier opening up your own boutique or actually opening your own boutique. We get so caught up in our dreaming and fantasizing that we end up telling our children’s children about that one time we wanted to open a business. Enough is enough, it’s time to BE ALL and DO ALL. No matter how big or how small if you have a passion and love for something go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old, the market is too crowded or that no-one will want to buy it. The moment you do, it’ll be a dream forgotten. You have to not only try but to do you VERY best, don’t give up on the dream until the dream turns into reality. Think about those people family members or friends who have been selling something, singing/rapping or offering a service and you’re wondering when they will give it up. Those are the people that you need to be closer to rather than sit back and judge. No matter what, those people are determined to accomplish their dream and who are you to judge because your’e comfortable just watching.

As much as I love supporting others, I feel like it’s time I supported one of my dreams if not all of them. If you’re given something great make it your reality, it’s not a mistake or a coincidence. It’s why you were born, go BE ALL and DO ALL.

Big Sister Blues (excerpt)

The Blues

“BEANIE…BEANIE…WAKE UP” I hear a high pitched cry, sitting up and I can barely open my eyes. But when I do, I see the kids standing in the doorway.

“Purple, get up Beanie won’t wake up” Jackson urges. I jump up and hurry down the stairs, through the hallway and into the living room, where Beanie usually fell asleep. She loves the big, brown couch and would rather sleep on it than in bed. Mama’s clutching her, crying, and Winston isn’t around.

“What happened?” I ask.

“She won’t wake up” Mama’s screaming. I hear the sirens but continue to stare at Beanie lying peacefully in Mama’s arms.

“Excuse me” I hear and I’m shoved by the EMS worker, who argues with Mama.

“Purple” Jackson yells in my face.

“What?” I mumble still staring at Mama; he turns my body to the hallway Billie and Franklin stand sobbing staring at the scene before us. I rush to them, shielding them from what I know they won’t understand.