Someone comes to town, someone leaves town
By Bett Correa
09-20-2011 performed at Tampa Writers Alliance Spoken Word event on 10-28-2012
No tears leaked from Lola’s stern eyes as she pulled on to the road in her beat up red Toyota 1991 MR2. The days of crying over her life would remain in the past like the dust her thick tires threw into her mother’s face as she left. Her mother’s face remained dry as well, Lola noted with a hollow emptiness. She watched her mother’s wheel chair bump over the uneven gravel as she pushed herself back to her wooden porch of the trailer. The wheel chair and its occupant struggled to make progress, even as Lola’s powerful mid-engine Japanese car quickly gained speed.
No tears leaked from Lola’s worried eyes as she pulled into a Cumberland Farms gas station several hours later. Mother would be taking her evening pills and giving her evening bitter pills to Lola now. Lola would be crying in her room soon, but not anymore. She pulled next to the pump and selected Regular. Regular Lola with a regular life. No more abuse.
No tears leaked from Lola’s curious eyes as she pulled into Tampa’s USF campus only twelve hours later. Mother would be waking up now with screams of terror and waking up Lola from the same happy dream. Dad ran next to the bicycle. The thrill of the air rushing threw her long black hair. The terror of realizing Dad wasn’t holding on any more- the happiness of not falling and instead flying. She was flying down the side walk. Other children were biking too. They joined her and they all flew along with the wind so loud in their ears they could barely hear each other laugh. Then the laughs would become screams and the faces would shrink away as she woke up.
No tears leaked from Lola’s amazed eyes as she pulled into her desk at her first English Composition 1 class. The other students bumped and pushed as they slide into their seats. Professor Gilders wrote her name on the white board then turned and gave the class a warm smile. She radiated a warmth which Lola sucked in a big gasp into her lungs. The warmth filled the hollow emptiness in her tummy all the way up to her neck then crept into her chin then slowly pushed the corners of her mouth up into a smile.
No tears leaked from Lola’s excited eyes as she pulled herself up on stage. Lola laughed uncontrollably as she put on a red wig and skipped into place. Dancing, singing and speaking, Lola auditioned above an adoring audience. The thrill of losing herself in a role matched the thrill of bicycling. Alone on stage or with the voices of others, she felt complete.
No tears leaked from Lola’s triumphant eyes as she pulled the flowers into her arms from the stage. The audience’s roar rang in her ears. Lola blinked away the bright lights to see her fans. She stopped suddenly as she recognized her mother’s face looking up at her. Her mother’s face no longer looked disdainfully down on Lola, but up in wonder. Lola jumped off the stage and ran to her mother. She dropped the flowers and hugged her.
Tears leaked from Mother eye’s as she whispered, “Will you forgive me?”
Tears leaked from Lola’s eyes as she whispered, “Yes. I love you.”