SHEA TRIES TO PLEASE ANTHONY... PART 8
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES aka GRANNY GEE
Shea had on old clothes that didn't matter if she tore, or got them dirty. She could just throw them away if needed. She had an idea... she was going to do something she'd never done before. She was going to surprise Anthony by doing some work he dreaded, hadn't gotten around to... yet.
She walked outside to the driveway behind the building that she learned was called a 'grainery'. Actually to Shea, it was just a building they'd had built to put things in... later... it became her 'art room' for a time. The building itself, was very nice.
Anthony was digging by hand a basement underneath it... when all the dirt was taken out... then, the walls would be completed. There was a huge pile of red dirt where Anthony had worked hard to dig out.
Shea had been eyeing that huge pile of dirt thinking if she would dare to try and move it all... she didn't know if she could move one wheel barrel load. She wanted to take the dread from Anthony so, he wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.
Wheel barrel five, six....................... ten, eleven............... seventeen! Shea was almost 'walking into the ground', she was so tired. She couldn't believe the work she had done! She'd loaded with the shovel... seventeen wheel barrels of red dirt, moved it to where Anthony wanted to put it... and now... she was finished.
She sat down on the bank to look at what she'd done... she couldn't believe she'd shoveled seventeen wheel barrels of red dirt. She felt it in her arms, shoulders... they were on fire, burning with such pain. Her legs, feet hurt... she was the most tired she'd ever been.
That evening when Anthony came in, he never mentioned that the huge pile of dirt was gone... Shea waited to see if he'd be happy that it was gone, and he wouldn't have to worry about it. Shea waited to see him smile, be happy and surprised.
He never smiled, showed happiness that evening... he'd never noticed. He'd driven into the driveway, drove out to the garage passing the grainery, the big pile of red dirt... without noticing it was gone.
Shea just casually mentioned that all the dirt was gone... she saw a smile ...'then'. It no longer mattered to her... she wanted to bring happiness in a 'surprised sort of way'... it didn't happen. Anthony was like that. No matter what she did, it was like it was no 'big thing'.
One day Shea went out to the garage ... just on the other side was alot of boards that needed stacking up in neat stacks. She'd heard Anthony say that he wanted to lay the boards in a 'triangle'... then, continue to stack them up.... making stacks until the boards ran out.
She stood there and wondered if Anthony would appreciate, know, notice if she did that for him. All Shea wanted to do was to please Anthony, let him know with her actions how much she cared about him. Nothing seemed to make a difference. Shea only learned how much she was loved whenever.... she tried to leave Anthony, and go back home to Raleigh, NC.
The next thing Shea knew... was that she was standing there admiring all the hard work she had done... there were many stacks of boards all in a 'triangle' shape. They looked so pretty like that! She liked looking at them. She knew after shoveling, moving all that red dirt that she could do this, too. Did it... she did!
That night when Anthony came home, he drove right by the stacks of wood. She knew he saw them... but, when he came inside he never gave her any indication that he had. Damn him! Shea thought. Just damn him to hell! She'd worked her ass off to take work off his shoulders, to surprise him........ he never noticed a 'damn-ass' ...thing!
Shea was angry. She couldn't win for losing. She'd think she was doing good, she did things her small body shouldn't be doing... for a man to make him happy. She was sick of it, and it'd be a 'cold day in hell' before she did that again. Man's work! She was tired of doing 'man's work' to make a man ...happy.
The day that Shea cried over these two incidents was when the third one happened. This time Anthony 'told her' to do something... the 'something' wasn't a big thing.... yet, it was how, where, and who he did it in front of.
She had been begging Anthony to take her to Raleigh to see her mother, her family. She was so homesick, she just wanted to be around people she loved dearly. They did seem glad to see her when she came... her first cousins would run up to her and instead of hugging her, they would begin asking her ...... for money.
She tried not to hear that and hoped Anthony wouldn't either... she hoped he'd see them running up to her... think how much they must love her. Anthony... heard them always... he always commented on it saying they didn't love her... they just wanted money. This hurt Shea to her heart... she loved them dearly, though they didn't seem to love her back in the same way... her 'family'.
When she'd beg Anthony to take her... he couldn't wait to throw this in her face to make her quit asking him to 'take her home' to see everyone. This time she didn't quit asking... she wanted to see her mama, her two little brothers. It didn't matter what Anthony thought.
She hadn't had her license long enough to drive very far, much less 200 miles, 4 hours alone... to go to her mom's. She was going to learn though... she had so much to learn... she was just a young girl. How naive she was......... it would take years to get to look back... and 'see'.
Shea sits 'in the future'... with a sad, bittersweet smile on her face... she gently shakes her head, closes her eyes. Poor little, naive 'dumb' girl... no one taught her anything as a child... she always learned the 'hard' way.
That day Anthony and Shea drove over to his mother's home to visit. He just had to drive a mile whenever he wanted to see his mom. Shea had come to love his mother, also. His mother had beautiful red hair, twinkling blue eyes ... she was quick to smile. She also, had the gift of gab... she loved to talk... Shea loved her accent. Shea didn't know she'd come to love this woman as much as her own mother.
During the conversation Shea mentioned to Anthony that she hoped he'd take her to see her mother soon. Anthony looked at her for a moment, then he said ..... 'go outside and wash the car, both inside and out'. Shea sat there stunned, staring at Anthony. She heard his mother make a sound.
'Anthony, don't make her go outside in this cold weather to wash that car with cold water'! His mother went on to tell him that he shouldn't do Shea like that, it wasn't right. Anthony sat there with a smile on his face... he wasn't changing his mind. He'd only take Shea to see her mother if she did as she was told.
Her small hands were freezing, God that water was so cold! She scrubbed the car with a soapy rag, she scrubbed the tires. It was always clean but, if you missed a place... Anthony would notice.
She was shaking from the cold, she wanted to be inside with Anthony and his mother who were sitting by the wood stove... staying warm. Anthony never came outside to check on her. Hot tears were in her eyes as her cold hands washed, rinsed that car. She cleaned the inside... it was clean but, she still had to 'clean it'.
She put the hose away, emptied the bucket she'd been using... dreaded squeezing out that cold rag... her hands, fingers hurt so bad. She managed to do it, making a soft, crying sound... she made herself stop crying before she broke down.
Shea went inside... the warmth inside caused her great pain. She was just so cold, she was trembling. She put her cold, water-soaked hands over that wood heater... almost crying for the pain that she felt when 'the heat met the coldness' in her hands. It caused a 'storm of pain, hurt' in Shea's heart.
Anthony had been cruel to make her do that... he was just sitting there with a soft expression in his eyes, and a gentle smile on his face... like it wasn't a 'big thing'. Shea took note, she never forgot..... it took many years for Shea to finally 'give up' on that marriage... she endured many things trying to keep a home for her only child. She knew how it was to come from a broken home. She ... suffered alot through those years, though she did have ...some happy, fun times.
Can we go now? Can we go now, Anthony? I want to see my mama so badly! We'll go .... next week, Shea... we'll go next week. That was Anthony's answer to her after she'd been out in that terrible cold, washing his car with cold water, feeling the ungodly pain in her hands... in her heart trying to 'earn the right' to go to see her mother! Shea was very upset, she'd never forget this... she still remembers.
That was the third incident that crushed Shea's heart... but.. it would take many, many more to 'break' her. Shea just went on with her life as it was... she did get to go see her mother the following week... her happiness outweighed what she had to endure, go through to get to go to her mom's.. Shea even 'forgot' the agony she suffered to 'earn the right' to go to see her mother. Happiness of any kind can make a person 'forget' the hurt, pain they go through... for a little while.
Shea never washed that car again... she 'meant not to ever again'. When Shea 'meant to do, or not to do'............. that was it, she'd taken a stand. She wouldn't be pushed into something when she 'meant not to'. Even being that young, she was learning to hold her ground in a 'grown-up' world. Anthony was four years older than her.
Shea went on through those fourteen years... trying to please Anthony... while he 'pleased' other people, women... sometimes with Shea within feet of him. Shea was a very young, naive little girl... she had so much to learn.
She 'couldn't see the double world in that grown-up world'... she'd never lived those things so, she wasn't aware that things weren't always what they appeared.
Such things as innocently sitting at the kitchen table playing cards with her husband, 'friends'......... Shea would play and enjoy the game ...so happy to be with people. Anthony would sit and enjoy, with the biggest of smiles, with 'their friends', too.
Shea soon learned that though it appeared the card game was making Anthony and her 'friend' so happy.... that there was a game going on... under the table. Shea was so naive, so innocent... in a grown-up world.
Sometimes when visiting, Shea was made to sit in the car. Anthony would go inside when a husband 'was gone'.... Anthony wouldn't come back out for a hour or more. Shea didn't have the nerve to go to the door to find out 'why'.... she really didn't know what went on in the 'grown-up' world. With relief, she'd see Anthony coming out of the door by himself... his face would be ... smiling. Poor little naive, innocent girl... how 'dumb' you were in the most saddest way.
Many years ... many incidents... all explained 'away' in Shea's innocent mind... giving Anthony so much credit. She loved him, he was a 'god' to her, she had her nice home, her only child... she didn't want it broken... so, she 'blinded' herself... she was blind like George.
So, Shea kept trying to please Anthony... on and on... and ... on......
Colors As I Go
grief (32) only child (4) Scary (2) Boiled eggs (1) Distrust (1) Don't call me Faye (1) Dying (1) I hate to be called Faye (1) I'm afraid of the dark (1) Middle age woman (1) Pain that reaches the soul.. can't be seen (1) Running (1) Where did my youth go? (1) dying in a beautiful way (1) life is fragile (1) light on my path (1) my son (1)