Jenny checked her high braided dirty blonde bun in the rearview mirror as she turned the corner and her tire hit the curb. Familiar toughts of her little gold mustang stranded with a flat tire flooded her angry mind. These dim mental glimpses were quickly replaced by the clear site of a black man standing by the side of the road. There ahead of her in a long tan coat she saw Howard. Jenny couldn't let go of the brakes and so the high pitched squeal lasted a second longer. Her car jerked and the back of it slid a bit to the side. She then tapped the gas lightly and straightened the car out cruising up next to Howard. Calling out angrily "where's your cousin?" Jenny's mouth moved like a lizard and her low eyebrows frowned sternly. Howard stood still with a frozen stare at the vaguely familiar yet completely unknown ivory skinned frantic young woman. The inquiry about his cousin stunned him. He wondered how she even knew who he was. Howard thought he had seen this woman in the office of a factory where he and his cousin Chester worked. He paused unsure of what to say to the female stranger who seemed to be out of place and out of her mind. His family neighborhood had no one who resembled this woman or spoke in this manner out in the streets at 10am. She was slender and dressed up nicely like a model yet she had a bully of a farmer's way about her. Howard was anxious to see what this was about and wasn't sure how else to find out this information. He certainly wasn't going to ask this threat of a lady. So the next words just seemed to ease out of his mouth in a low tone. "He's down there" Howard responded, pointing at his cousin Chester's house.
Without another word, Jenny instantly fixed her eyes and mind on the little brick house where Chester lived with his wife who was from Jamaica and his 8 year old daughter. Parking right in front of it, she got out of her car and swung the door shut as hard as she could. Jenny had a scream bottled up inside of her. She had been ready to explode even before she got in her car to drive ten miles of countryside and look for Chester. She'd grown up with all younger brothers on the farm and felt capable of powerful manipulation. "Come out here, you know what you did!" her piercing voice glared. "Come out here, you know what you did to me!!" she then screamed even louder. Jenny picked the pretty painted American Indian stone outside and threw it harder than she'd ever thrown anything. It flew into the white front door and made a mark. "You come out here!" she yelled while looking for something else to fling at Chester's door.
Inside Chester's home, Gloria was the first person to reach the window and catch site of Jenny. Fear struck her core. Gloria wondered what all this hollering was about and who else could hear it. There from the inside corner of her living room window she tried to see if anyone was coming. She wondered if Chester was in trouble and would his family be able to protect him from any possible brutality. Like a nightmare the visions of past unjust violent acts that her people had suffered often plagued Gloria. So this is what came to her mind as she looked out. Then she heard Chester's footsteps from behind her. "What is happening?" Gloria anxiously asked Chester. "It's a woman from work" said Chester. "But why is she yelling?" said Gloria. "I'm sorry" said Chester. He slowly walked outside.
Chester had similar thoughts to Gloria. He knew that he was at the mercy of this woman outside because she was white and her parents were wealthy farmers. He on the other hand was of mixed race but of dark complexion in appearance. So he came out as though police were at his doorstep with his hands open and raised a bit. 'Let's go" said Jenny. Chester silently got into the car. His eyes were brimmed with tears and his spirit was broken. "I'm pregnant" declared Jenny. She then began to rant and rave about her fears. "I'm so scared! This is my first baby" Chester didn't mention Jenny's accusatory hollering out in front of his home. Instead, he patiently listened and responded in a calm comforting tone "It will be alright, Jenny". Chester suspected that this was the only way to protect his family from mob violence so he wasn't about to chance it. Jenny knew deep down that she was the one who initiated the whole affair between her and Chester. She even took pride in the ways she had fooled him with alchol and in other ways. She felt victorious to have stolen Chester away from Gloria. Jenny thought to herself that she was attractively innocent. She convinced herself over and over that it wasn't her fault if Gloria couldn't keep her man.
The first thing Chester saw as the car approached Jenny's appartment at the edge of the countryside were the old auto parts and broken down blue Chevy. He'd only been there at night one time when it was dark. He wondered how this junk had escaped his notice. As they entered the musty living room Chester tripped over a plant stand. "Oh give it here!" said Jenny in a mother's tone. Empty flower pots and containers with dirt in them were everywhere. Chester never saw so many plants inside accept for in a greenhouse. Jenny took the fallen plants to the sink and re-potted them.
Chester never did contact his wife Gloria to explain. He just kept working in the garden out in back of the little farmhouse Jenny and him rented. When the baby came, she looked like Chester's mother who was white in appearance and he loved her so. They named her Irene, after Chester's mother. That baby was Chester's only family now. Jenny absolutely hated Chester's mother and her name Irene. Jenny despised Clarence's brothers, sisters and his friends. As Irene grew, Chester gave her whatever she asked for. He never said no to her.
Soon Howard needed a place to stay. So Jenny allowed Chester to move Howard his cousin in. Howard was the only one who would later explain to Chester's daughter Irene about her mother Jenny. Irene would try to gain her mother's love but would not succeed. Irene's mother Jenny only had room in her heart for plants and the things she held onto. Old furniture, plants, cars, Chester and her anger. One day when Irene had just turned thirteen, Irene was crying because she wished to take better care of her mother and show her more love. So Howard told Irene the story of how he met her mother. This somehow explained everything and comforted Irene. It relieved Irene of the responsibility and guilt she'd burdened her own self with when Howard got to the part where her mother yelled. "Come out here, you know what you did!"