The Lost Generation
Based on Music: Grammy Versions II
"Heeeyyyy, Momma." My 6'1 frame towered over my 5'0 mother.
"Hey, my beautiful Sunshine." My mother practically yanked me down by my neck to kiss me on the cheek, a ritual I was used to since before I can remember. "The food is already out on the table. Twinkle is in the kitchen finishing up your niece's hair." She closed the door behind us but continued the conversation, "Malik should be here soon. All you kids, late as usual."
I sprinted to the kitchen to catch sister and niece off guard, "Ahhhh, Ashley-," and I did catch them off guard from cry of my niece. "Ouuccchh Momma you burned me." I walked over and looked, "Put a little butter on it, you'll be fine." I laughed and gave her a big hug, "How's my favorite niece doing?" "Kayla, she's your only niece-," Ashley began, but was interrupted by Alexia, "Mom, I'm done with hot combs-."
She wasn't able to finish either because my Mom interrupted by yelling from dining room, "Twinkle, Sunshine, your brother is here and the table is set to eat."
"Uncle Malik!!" Alexia ran to the door while Mom, Ashley and I went to get our seats at the table.
Next thing we heard was the rich deep voice of Malik as he and Alexia walked back from the door. "A gift for my favorite niece." Alexia started to open the gift but Momma told her she had to wait until after we ate.
Malik went directly to Mom to give her a big hug, next was Ashley. Then, he sat down directly across from me. "Hey Kyle." He didn't even look at me. Ashley said something before me, "Malik, her name is Kayla. Why-," I stopped her before she could finish, it was my battle and I was the big sister after all, "You know my name is Kayla, Malik, why do we go through this every time."
Malik avoided my comment of course, "That's your Aston Martin One-77 outside right. In this neighborhood? Man, you're so bougie now."
"Well, I am bougie and I come bearing gifts too. I was going to wait until we finished, but here you go Momma." I passed the envelope to Mom and watched her open it.
When the keys fell out and she began reading the paper. All eyes watched as she read, except Malik,"What is it for the car outside? You know she can't have that in this neighborhood."
"No," I looked at him, "it's the deed and keys to a house that comes with 11 acres, in the same neighborhood as mine." I smirked.
"Ahhhhhh, yay, we're out of here." Ashley ran to hug Mom. Alexia also ran to give Mom a hug.
Malik just went from 0 to 60, "You always doing this fuck shit, what you change your name, put on a wig, have your new fancy job, and think you're big shit."
"Enough!" Mom rarely shouted. "First. Malik, I know you're upset she didn't tell us about herself before the change, but you have a sister now and in my house you will address her as Kayla." Mom took my hand but looked at Malike, "She's always been this way, we all knew it was coming. It's just more official now, and she's happy."
Now she looked at me, "You know I can't move there. This is home. A real community. The neighboring blocks are all gentrifying, but this block is staying together."
"You don't need this ghetto hood anymore Momma." Malik rolled his eyes as I said it, and put his two cents in the conversation. "Oh, here it goes, the Kayla that hates where she came from speech. You do realize you could buy this whole block for the price of that car, right."
I chose not to respond to Malik and instead tried to make Mom see reason. "Mom, it's not worth it. Crime rates keep going up-," of course she didn't let me finish. She never let me get far. "Listen, I'm happy for you, but your brother is right. There are plenty of black and brown babies running around here who could use help."
"Momma, let it go. Those kids aren't your responsibility. It's time for you to retire and enjoy life. Everything isn't just black and white." Once I finished my sentence, Mom looked sad. She came over, kissed me on the forehead, and went up the steps to her room."
Alexia was next with a hug, "See you later Auntie Kayla." She left the room too.
"Listen, I'll stop by your place this weekend to give you a wash and go alright? I'm going to check on Momma. Love you sis." When Ashley left, Malik and I were alone.
"We were all raised together. How'd you turn out so fucked up?" He's actually surprisingly calm.
"We were best friends. I told you how I felt way before any of them, since we were kids Malik, so why-" I couldn't finish again because he spoke over me.
"I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about you not giving back to where you came from." He stood up and walked to the front door and opened it while I was still sitting. Right before he walked out he said, "No matter how smart you are, no matter how many of those fancy little degrees you have, nice big house, car that's too expensive... ," he paused and chuckled, "I mean you can chop your dick off, but you can't change the fact that you're black."
He left. I sat there at the table alone.
(Spoiler: Based on Jay-Z x Story of OJ)