She didn’t ask if he was guilty, she simply asked “why?”
Everyone looked at her as Keith looked at the floor. Suddenly it all made sense. His mom must have known about his sick attraction for little girls all along. Incredible, I thought, trying to put everything into perspective. If she knew her son was capable of such horrible things, why didn’t she do something to protect us? The silence was uncomfortably thick, and then all of a sudden my grandmother made a statement that was barely audible, but I heard her.
“Aw shucks, y’all stop all this nonsense. That boy is just like his granddaddy. Peabody was the same way.”
I couldn’t believe it! Just like that he was justified. Recalling a scene from The Color Purple, I guess Miss Sophia was right when she said, “a girl child just ain’t safe in a family of men…”
“Sure was,” my grandmother’s sister chimed in.
Finally, my mother spoke.
“Sierra, how could you let him do that to you?”
This would become one of the worst days of my life. It is permanently etched in my mind and replayed on a daily basis. I never know when the thoughts will come and I haven’t determined a specific trigger. The images just suddenly appear and I’m held captive by my own mind until they fade away.