“…And then we found our dog under our neighbor’s porch,” Susie said. “Daddy said it was probably their crazy fucking son who should have been locked up years ago. The end.”
The class clapped politely as Mrs. Coleman paused her game of Bejeweled and marked Susie down for a B- on her oral presentation of her summer vacation. “Very good, Susie,” she said. “You may take your seat. Who hasn’t done their presentation yet. How about you, Da’Quarius?”
Da’Quarius Lobsterclaw Sherman stood up and walked towards the front of the class where Mrs. Coleman was now setting up Da’Quarius’ slides for his presentation. His hair was in braids, and his school uniform was untucked. The class could see is red and blue boxers as he walked towards the front of class. She handed him the clicker and went back to her game of Bejeweled on her cell phone.
“My name is Da’Quarius,” Da’Quarius said. “Most of y’all don’t know me well cuz I started late last year. So now you get a crash course in da Dee-Quizzy, bitches.”
Da’Quarius clicked to the first slide. The screen behind him showed a picture of two elderly woman. The woman on the left was in a bright red dress and a straw hat. She had a big beaming smile on her face. The woman on the right had a surly frown and wore a dark gray sweater. The woman in red had her arm around the other’s shoulders.
“Dis Rose on the left and Helen on da right,” Da’Quarius said. “They my moms. These biddies adopted me after their paperwork got lost for twenty sumtin years.”
Da’Quarius clicked the slide again. A picture of Paulie’s Pizza on State ST showed on the screen.
“Dis Paulie’s Pizza,” Da’Quarius said. “I help out there on the weekends. I get free pizza and soda. One day, it will be mine.”
Mrs. Coleman looked up from her Bejeweled game and started paying attention to Da’Quarius.
“So dat’s it,” DaQuarius said, clicking to the final slide. “I spent my whole summer with my new family.” The final pictures showed Rose, Helen, Da’Quarius, and a man standing with his hand on Da’Quarius’ shoulder. His hair was obviously dyed dark brown. Gray stripes were still present behind his ears. He looked like someone out of a Scorsese movie.
“Who’s the man in the picture?” Mrs. Coleman asked.
“Dat guy?” Da’Quarius said, turning around. “Oh, I almost forgot! Dat’s my Uncle Paulie. He’s my brother!”
There was murmur in the class followed by a few giggles.
“You don’t eva want to talk shit ’bout my family,” Da’Quarius said. “Tell them all what happens if you talk shit ’bout my family, Todd.”
The class turned towards Todd, who sat in the back corner of the class. He shrunk in his seat and hid behind a book, remembering what happened when he insulted Rose and Helen in the school’s cafeteria last year.
“Dat’s right,” Da’Quarius said. “Dee end.”
Mrs. Coleman marked Da’Quarius down for a D.
Freedom Lane Season 2
Go to the main page of budgiebigelow.wordpress.com to catch up on Season 1.