JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO
HOSPITAL - CALVIN'S OFFICE
just can't deal with that woman anymore!" Naomi exclaimed as she burst into
the office, her son placed precariously on her hip.
Dr. Calvin Jackson immediately looked up
from the report he'd been working on and saw the intense emotions that were
being displayed by his sister. Realizing that he was about to have another
ringside seat for one of her tirades, he let out a heavy sigh and resigned
himself to the inevitable.
are you talking about?" he asked, knowing full well that the cause of
Naomi's apparent frustration was their mother. "What's happened
"Mamma! That's who!" she
replied and moved further into the office so that she could take a seat next to
Calvin's desk. "That old woman is just impossible."
"Naomi, why don't you just take a deep
breath and calm down," he muttered, less than enthusiastic about listening
to another one of her rants, "and tell me what happened."
"I can't believe how she just prisses
around like she's somebody just because she works for Mrs.
Albany. Why she
has to moon over those people is beyond me. Is she so stupid that she
can't see that she's only a maid?" Naomi paused and rolled her
eyes. "It's just embarrassing!"
"Naomi, you know it's not like
that. Mary Albany and the entire Callison family have been good to
Mamma. They're not like a lot of other people."
"Oh, now don't tell me that you've
bought into her fairytale, too!" She shook her head and stared at him
in disbelief. "I thought that you hated it that Mamma was working for
them! Didn't you just tell me in a letter a few months ago that..."
"Yes, yes, I admit that I got myself a
little bent out of shape," he nodded, "but I was wrong. I
thought Mamma would be better off if she were living with me and I were taking
care of her. I couldn't understand her devotion to those people,
but...well...Mary Albany and her family aren't like regular
employers. They're friends, too."
"I can't believe my own ears!"
"Just accept that Mamma knows what
she's doing and that she knows what's best."
"Oh, Mamma always thinks she knows
what's best!" Naomi snapped. "She's always trying to tell me
what a horrible life I've made for myself and how everything I do is a
"Now, Naomi, you know that's not
true," he sighed and hung his head. She could be so headstrong.
"Yes, it is! All I've ever
wanted is her support, but the only time she'll ever support me is if I do
exactly what she wants me to do, letter for letter! I'm sick of it!
I'm sick of her and I'm sick of that old woman she works for!"
"Mary Albany has been very good to our family," he nodded as he tried to reason with her. "Besides,
you should be grateful to Miss Mary for giving you and the baby a place to
stay. She didn't have to do that, you know."
"Oh, Mamma only talked her into
letting me stay there so she could watch my every move! I swear that woman
is like a hawk. I can't take a breath without her hovering over my
shoulder waiting to tell me that I'm doing it wrong!" Naomi's jaw
tightened as she thought about her mother's constant interference.
"I'm just sick of it! I'm not staying there anymore!"
"Naomi, if you don't stay with Mamma
and Miss Mary, then where are you going to go?" Calvin eyed her
curiously as he waited for her to explain her latest half thought out
plan. "You don't have any money. You don't have a job."
expressions softened slightly as she stuck her bottom lip out into a pout.
"You've got that extra room in your house. It would be nothing to set
the crib up in the corner for little Aubrey and..."
"You want to live with me?"
His eyes grew wide with shock and apprehension. He wasn't sure that kind
of living arrangement would be a good idea. His sister could be quite a
whirlwind and he knew that her constant presence in his home would most
definitely upset his normal routine. However, she was his sister and...
"You sound like you don't want to give
me a place to stay!" she snapped angrily. "I guess you think
that because you're some big shot doctor now that you're too good for me,
"No, Naomi, that's not it at
all," he sighed with a shake of his head. "It's just
"We're family! I wouldn't think
that you'd want your own sister and her baby out on the street!"
"You don't have to be out on the
street!" he reminded as he became more and more annoyed with her
dramatics. "Mamma and Miss Mary have given you a perfectly nice place
to stay and..."
"I told you that I'm not staying with
her anymore! I'm staying with you!"
Calvin's shoulders slumped in defeat and he
sunk back into his chair. There would be no winning this argument.
That much was certain.
"Okay," he relented with a
half-hearted nod, "I'll let you stay with me...on one condition!"
"I shoulda known that there'd be
strings," she grumbled. She paused to take a deep breath and realized
that she had to take what she could get. "What do I have to do?"
"Get a job," he replied flatly.
"Oh, all right," she sighed with
a scowl. "I'll bring my things over tonight and I'll start looking
for work tomorrow." She paused and glared at him. "Happy
"Well, I guess it'll do," he
As Calvin hung his head in defeat, Naomi
clutched Aubrey close to her chest. Of course, staying with Calvin and
working at some silly job would only be a temporary arrangement. She
couldn't let him know that, however. Once she'd set her plans into motion,
she would have everything that she'd ever wanted and she wouldn't have to rely
on him or their mother---and all of their interference in her life---ever
again. She wouldn't need any of them.