Puff Puff Pass, Chastity Smith

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He was so selfish. None of this would have presented itself if you would have just kept the weed out of your lungs. “ASSHOLE” I thought on the inside. Therefore, I was seven I couldn’t say it on the out. It was five days after my birthday. Last thing I received was a pink bike that I was begging him for two months. Oh yeah and a surprising death. So bad I didn’t even remember what happened that day. I was in bed waiting for my mom to get up. She said, “Once we get up and ready we can go to Girls Inc.

It was a summer camp I go to all the time. Loved going to that place. It made me so happy inside. Because I got to hang out with young girls my age. Who enjoyed doing the same activities I loved to do. They had singing, step, dance, acting and performances. It was the second to last week there. The girls and I were preparing for the step showcase that Friday at 6 pm. Daddy loved coming to my performances. And I love seeing him and momma’s face filling the blue seats. My friend Nailah and I were just about to hit out solos in the piece. Until my mentor Jasmine came to get me out of class to go home. I was highly upset. Well not until I came outside. I saw momma about ready to cry. I said “Is everything okay momma”?  She said four words that put a throw up feeling in my body.

She said “Daddy’s in the hospital” — instantly I felt like someone just punched me in the stomach. Entering the car I thought about all the times I didn’t care about the cigarette in his mouth.  Because I didn’t know it would have a major impact on my life. Pushing people left and right I arrived at Christian Hospital. Moving so fast momma couldn’t keep up with me. Yelling “CHASTITY WAIT ON ME” she said. I couldn’t wait — a huge waterfall was about to start bursting out of my eyes. My best friend, my rock, my everything was hurt.

I turned left, then right. Opening up each curtain on each room just to see if it was him. (Opens Curtain) Nope not him, (Open Curtain again) Not him. My feet were hurting so bad for a seven year old; I was moving so fast. Finally I found him in a mental condition. For the first time I had to question whether or not Lewis J. Smith was my father. His black pale skin was so cold; eyes were rolled back to his head and nails were extremely dirty. I felt it in my soul that he was dead. There were so many tubes in his body. One for his heart to keep it beating, another to put medicine in his body, and one that was soaking up all the drugs he consumed. Doctors was on their third bag already for changing all the shit in his stomach.

The anger built up more and more. I was worried, confused and disturbed. All these emotions stirred up into my soul. Why would he do this to himself? Did he not know the consequences to his actions? Did he not understand that a child needs a father in their life? SO DAMN SELFISH! Now you have all of the family taking time out of their day to come and check on your ass. For a problem you could avoid. A decision you chose to make. Well I’m here now. Sitting down in the cold blue chair by his side, I shiver. Never have I ever held on so tight to his hand. I’m so used to the grip and warmth of our hands colliding.  It was awkward because it was so cold now.  Because it was just me. That hole that wasn’t filled because our hands weren’t touching all the way.

“You did this,” I thought. Never have I ever felt a cold hand that kept me from my daddy. When we hold hands they touch. Creating warmth, comfort and protection. I didn’t feel that. Now it was a hole in my heart. A missing piece that I can’t replace. Seventeen years now, and I feel numb to the situation. I guess being my age I’m supposed to be “understanding” meaning I have to justify his actions. Do you not know how frustrating it is when someone either ask you What happened to your dad? Or putting a check to deceased box? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE WITH ALL THAT INK!! Instead of wasting it on all those check signs.

Whatever — it doesn’t matter. It was too much for a seven year old to take in. At that moment, nothing will ever be the same anymore. The good night kisses, warm hugs and just the idea of calling someone daddy.  That blue chair that was always filled at every performance wasn’t filled anymore. I didn’t want to perform that upcoming Thursday anymore. There was no point of me doing what I loved when the one I love is not there to support me.

Someway, somehow, I ended up staring at the forty six girls in red leotards. I just so happened to be the forty seventh young lady balled in tears in the corner. Trying not to draw attention to myself. Why was everyone so happy? Do they not know? Whipping off the pain off my face. I told myself, “Pick ya face up off the ground.” Getting myself together I hear Ms. Jasmine said, IT’S SHOW TIME. Hearing those three words turned my stomach into a peanut. For the first time in my life I didn’t complete.

Momma said he’s with you always. BUT HE’S NOT WITH ME! Now i’m left hanging on a wooded stage giving these people a sob story. Covering the little bit of lip gloss and mascara I began the show. Curtains opening up slowly. Front row seat I saw my momma sitting in the blue chair with my granny next to her. But it was a empty chair right next to her. Not remembering the choreography that was taught. I wanted to run to my momma so bad. Everyone was staring at me with the other forty six girls on stage. I stood out like a sore thumb. Finally, taking the bow on stage I ran so fast to get off. I was done suffering — never wanted to stare at the blue chair every again.

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