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on the park floor.
With distant eyes and a shipwrecked heart, Lasean lied on the park floor amongst the restless creatures. From a distance, a man sang as passing strangers threw him change.
"My funny valentine, you make me smile with my heart..."
Lasean licked his heavy, chapped lips. His fingers swept the perspiration on his forehead back to his curly black hair. He inhaled the scent of morning dew and excrement. He picked the grass with his bare bronzed toes. He fumbled with the holes at the seam of his blue t-shirt. He turned his attention to his beloved companion who perfectly inhabited the space beside him. Love once haunted him in his worst nightmares and now it occupied his heart. Still his heart was only half full. Those who he had beseeched for a loving hand, had only turned away. Their wrenching words echoed in his mind.
“You need to get a real job. This music business is not stable,” his mother would say. Music was his passion, the defibrillator that made his heart thrust against his chest. It turned his stormy days into radiant nights. She didn’t know that She didn’t know him one bit. She hadn’t raised him. She didn’t hold him when he cried in stormy nights nor did she take photographs at his most proudest moments.
“I don’t care what you do anymore. I don’t care if you go out there and die,” his stepfather stated, nonchalantly. That moment was still in Lasean’s mind. He never hated anyone before, and yet, replaying that moment in his mind, made him despise his family. They could never see any good in his actions, because his actions didn’t mirror their own. He had all the support in the world, but not the support he really longed for. He doubted his own tenacity, but was it really their fault? He had trouble deterring his fingers from pointing.
But how could he think of the abysmal truth of his present without letting his mind trail of to his contented past.
His grandmother, Mama, he called her, was indeed worthy of her name; raising him and nurturing from a child. Yet, he couldn’t be with her right now. Love chose to torment him, as he twiddled his fingers thinking of the times Mama would hit the back of his palm when he would play with her delicate fingers instead of paying attention to the sermon at church.
He thought of Jamaica, his birthplace, and how even though life was not easy, it was always fun. The late night parties and sneaking through the backyard so Mama wouldn’t catch him, but she was always awake. Sitting on Alex’s porch when the sun was hot enough to cook an egg-- no, a goat and even so, they laughed and tormented the girls who passed. He thought of those who had perished by the gun for reasons less than none, but before a tear could reach his eye, he shook his head.
When he turned to his left, these thoughts became meager shadows.
There I lied on the park floor, where I perfectly inhabited the space beside Lasean. My fingers entangled into my curls as I massaged the grassland with my bare legs. Looking into his fervent eyes, I wondered if he was aware that I knew everything he was thinking, though I couldn’t read his mind. I drowned out all the noise until all I could hear was his heart. I was at peace.
He looked at me compelling me to smile, uncontrollably. I secretly damned him for making me stumble upon himself. I poked his navel, my fingers gently brushing his skin. He then tackled me, encircling me and darting kisses at me. I laughed hysterically as we rolled across the greenery. We fought like preschoolers on a playground, laughing and choking on our own breaths.
He caught his breath and said, “You hungry?”
He clasped my hand and raised me up, grunting as if he struggled to do so. I pulled him to the ground, and we wrestled, once more, on the park floor.