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C-O-F ( the second part of the new version)
June 5 2012

Well I am slowly but surely trying my best to get this new version right, spelling, words and all, here is a few more chapters,, of the first part

thanks for reading
A.J. Angerstein

Ashe walked around the house, thinking it looked so much different than it had the night before when he had stormed out. As he inspected every room and actually prayed, something that he reserved for the riverbanks, he heard a knock on the door. When he retreated toward the living room from the kitchen, he opened the door to find Dorrie's parents, her little sister and her grandparents as well as a couple of aunts standing there. He smiled, and opened the door. As his mother -in-law walked in, she hesitantly looked around.
Ashe motioned for everyone to be seated and then offered them a glass of tea or cup of coffee.
Dorrie's paw was the first to speak up. “Hmm, after this mornings phone call, we thought you might need a little help. So, we gathered everyone gathered everyone and headed over. We haven't been to the hospital yet, so how is Dorrie and the baby? Ashe, the house looks nice. Looks like you were busy all night.”
“My family came over and helped me. We wanted to make it nice for Dorrie and the Baby Jessie, or Jennah, I'm not sure which one it's gonna be. Dorrie wants Jennah Marie, I want Jessie Marie. That aways she's named after both of our families. Y'all wanna see the baby's room? It's real purty. My family helped me paint and we got a dresser and baby bed, and lots of stuff. My sisters and momma went to some garage sales. I know it ain't knew but they are pretty and well, I guess it's everything a baby needs. We got diapers and powder and some kind of cream for rashes, and bottles and I went and bought milk, and my momma showed me how to make water for the baby. My paw even worked extra and bought some cigars. He got both kinds, blue and pink. Y'all want one?” They could all tell that Ashe was nervous and trying his best to make a good impression. He knew they didn't like him much. His father-in-law reached in the bag and brought out a several items. We brought over some things, and well, we also decided that since it's been raining and I can't work in the rain that maybe we could just have that barbeque this evening. Olivia brought some things for the house, if that is okay with you and I have something that my parents donated. He looked over at the older man and woman sitting on the couch where Dorrie's little sister Carissa was between them. That's shore nice of y'all. My boss gave the day off, but I have to work on Saturday to make up for it. There's something that's I hafta tell y'all tho, befores I can keep these things, other than what's for the baby. He lowered his head.
“Well, spit it out, geez.” Carissa had never been one to keep her mouth closed to long. After all, how bad can it be? Has the baby have 3 eyes or 6 fingers or something? It doesn't matter, I mean look at my short arm. I do just fine.”
Ashe shook his head. “I still can't believe y'all came so quickly. Thanks, it's nice. And “naw, Carissa she don't got 3 eyes. But she does have a black eye. Dorrie and me went at it big time the other night. A couple of my brothers came over and we were playing our guitars and singing and having a good time, heck we diddin even go out but Dorrie got all mad and well one thing lead to another and I just don't know. I know it's hard on her, but she's been off work now almost a full month. She won't even touch the house. I don't understand it. She wants a housekeeper and I just don't see how we can do it. It's like she don't want any of my family around at all. I know y'alls all think we ain't good people, but we are, we are just too rowdy I guess. But, my momma always read us the good book and taught us to take cares of each other. I thought that was the way it was supposed to be in every family. We ain't never kilt no one or anything, just because we ain't rich, or educated, it's like we're not good enough. I know y'all think Dorrie could've done better, she probably could have. But I'm a good welder, and don't know what to do. She gets me fired from every job. I've had this one for almost 2 months now, but she's all mad about the new secretary. She keeps calling and I'm about to lose this one.
Dorrie's grandpaw smiled. “That's why I bought this stuff. Since I'm the one with the friends who own a meat store, I got these weiners, and that good ring bologny and bread for free. We ain't rich either Ashe, not at all. As for education, well I finished the 8th grade. Olivia, she is the one who finished high school. We ain't high n mighty, even if my paw does own a gas station. They wanted to come to, so here we are. Now if you don't mind the women here made some beans and tater salad and it needs to be put away and you need to call your family and tell them to come on over, before this beer gets hot. A baby is a reason for a celebration. And Ashe, let's try to make this a new beginning, for all of us.
“Ashe, can I hang up these curtains and well, we need to move in that other couch. You kids don't have enough sittin' space in here. We also got a coffee table for ya and a real big surprise for when Dorrie get's home. Isn't it about time for you to go to the hospital? You don't have to worry none Ashe, we will have the door wide open for your family. Now go pick up my granddaughter, I can't wait to see her.”
Ashe wiped away a tear. All he had really heard were the words “A new beginning.” He jumped up and ran to to the phone. From the living him they heard him saying “MAW, guess what?” and then he started crying, just like a baby. Maybe his maw was right, maybe prayin' more than just on a riverbank was the way to go.
By the time Ashe and Dorrie got home with Jessie J. Marie Redmond, the entire house was bursting at the seams and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
Dorrie looked around at the house, the gifts and then at Ashe. He smiled and said “Welcome home.”
Dorrie smiled, for the first time in a long time. Then she lowered her head, and said, “thanks yall. Here is the baby, I need to go get changed and cleaned up.” Then she started up the stairs, paused and turned around. “Y'all did a real good job at everything. It looks very nice in here.
Paw looked over at his wife. “I told you that girl needed the switchin of a lifetime and if she don't straighten up and lose that cold attitude of hers, I am still gonna do it. To hell to with her, and raised his beer. “Here's to Jessie J. Marie Redmond. May she grow up to be better than any of us. Ashe what does the J. stand for?” Ashe's dad smiled. He had never really knew Dorries' step-father, but he liked the man, from the time he met him. He knew the woman he had married tho and had for a long time.” He seemed like a good down to earth kind of guy. He had known her real father, when Dorrie was little and he was a very rare man, who was kind and gentle, a good provider. So, there was no reason to believe that Olivia would have married anyone any different. But then, one never really knew what went on behind closed doors.
“It stands for Jennah, that's a fancy name that Dorrie read in some magazine or something she heard on a radio show. I don't know, she wanted to name the child Jennah Marie and I wanted Jessie Jean, so we made a deal. Jessie J. Marie Redmond. Maybe she will grow up to be a lawyer or something, having a bunch of names like that.” Ashe kind of laughed.
Olivia was holding Jessie and looking at her eyes. “These are the most expressive eyes I have ever seen. They look like they just understood everything that was said here. Isn't that funny? She must be going to be a very smart child. I wonder where she got that from? Maybe from her grandfather's side. My brother and I were raised in the orphanage, so she certainly didn't get it from that rotten mother of mine. She flat out abandoned us, and that's all I am going to say about it. Maybe it came from your side Ashe. After all, I remember your family as being hard working folks, even if they didn't get an education. Educations don't really mean a lot, common sense means more. Jessie Marie here, she looks like she might have some of that common sense.”
“Well, that's good, cause we know she didn't get that from you”, Dorrie's paw quipped up, reaching over and hugging his wife. She took a hotdog and shoved it in his mouth.
Coughing he smiled, “I think it's about time for some of that music. Let's see how this little lady likes to dance.” Then he got up and started to waltz around the floor with Jessie held tightly in his arms.

Dorrie had the door locked and refused to answer to anyone who tried to coax her out. Her mother finally told her to thru the closed door to quit acting like a spoilt brat and grow up. Dorrie just sat there crying softly. Her baby was cursed, just plain out and out cursed. Lord, what if they all found out?
“Dorrie, come out and join in your baby shower, or I will have your paw come up here and drag you out.”
“Momma, I am just trying to get cleaned up. Then I will be down. Please tell everyone I am sorry. I guess I am just tired still, and have the baby blues.” Dorrie thought she really should go down there and try to ward off anything said about the baby's haunting eyes and how she might have gotten those gifts. She just knew that Ashe's family was going to insist that she did indeed get the gifts. As she opened the door, her mother stood there looking firmly at her.
“Dorene Redmond, your paw is ready to give you a good switching. These people worked darn near all night on this house, and you had to come in here with an attitude as cold as snow. Now, you put on a smile and git yourself down there and apologize for being so rude. And Dorrie, it was your paw who brought the beer, so you just keep your mouth shut and stay off of Ashes back. We already all know how that black eye happened and he was cryin' his eyes out when he told us. That black eye was just as much your fault as it was his. You two kids better start getten' along better, if for no other reason than havin' this baby. Now that is all I am going to say on the matter, but you will get off your high horse and be nice today.”
“Okay, fine mother fine.” Dorrie just smiled sarcastically, but as she got downstairs she did exactly as her mother said. She came down off her high horse as her mother had called it and pretended that everything was just peachy keen. No one mentioned the eyes of the child, and she was extremely grateful for that. Just as the day was winding down, Ashes mother Lidia, looked at her and whispered.
“I will be back tomorrow and we are going to have a nice long talk Dorrie, and don't you even think about getting out of it.”
“I won't be home tomorrow, I promised to stop by the hospital with the baby and then I am taking her over to see a couple of friends of mine while Ashe works. He gave me the money for a cab while we were on our way home and he is taking me to the doctor and the hospital for a quick check-up. Nothing is wrong, he just wants to see his newest patient and do the normal stuff, since I wanted to come on home. It is only because I am a nurse that we got to come home this early. You know that, women who have babies usually stay a few days in the hospital. Maybe we can do it some other time, Lidia.” Dorrie smiled sweetly and gently lead her out the door, without another word other than good night and be safe.
Dorrie looked over at Ashe sitting on the couch holding Jessie. “Well, I am sorry, it's not a boy, maybe the next one will be.”
“Oh, Dorrie, I loved her the second I looked at her. I don't care if she ain't no boy, she is just the most beautiful little thing in this world. And we made her. It is just unbelievable.”
“Well, get used to that holding and feeding bit. I can't nurse and I am going back to work next week. I make a lot more money than you do, so you can just stay home and keep her or get me a babysitter and housekeeper.”
“My momma said she would keep her. So did my sisters.”
Ashe just sighed and Dorrie went upstairs. After he fed and burped Jessie he took her upstairs and changed her and rocked her to sleep. Dorrie turned over and looked at him. “Thanks Ashe for the new sheets, they are real pretty.” Then she closed her eyes and tried to pretend she wasn't living in hell. Once Jessie fell asleep he gently laid her in the baby bed and watched, her for a few minutes. This child was going to be a handful. She even wiggled and jumped in her sleep. Then he quietly slipped out the door, leaving on the small lamp, and went downstairs to clean up from the night.
As he sifted through the different gifts, he just smiled. Both sides of the family had come together and maybe there could be a new beginning. For the first time in his adult life he looked up at the ceiling and quietly prayed for one. After all, maybe his maw was right. Maybe prayer would help.

Next Day.

After Ashe dropped Dorrie off at the hospital, she went inside and watched as he drove out of the driveway. Then she went over to the desk and asked the nurse to call her a cab. After a few minutes of showing off the baby and having them all ooh and ahh over it, she left.
Jessie was fixated on the ceiling high above her. They were in a church and the woman holding her, her mother, was talking to the preacher. She could hear and understand every word they were saying. She started crying softly, as if she might need to be changed or was hungry. But she wasn't either, she just wanted her mother to love her, not hate her because of her eyes or the gifts she had been given. She wanted her to understand that babies did know what was going on, but that the memories of old would fade with age and by the age of one, she would have forgotten them and her new life, which had already started on a bad note would take form as she learned to walk, talk, and do all the things children do. But somehow, Jessie realized it wasn't going to be that way. She would never have a normal childhood, and the one person who did love her, well she wasn't so sure he could protect her, and she was suddenly scared, very scared.
“Dorrie, you can't possibly be serious. The baby is beautiful. So what if she has expressive eyes. That does not mean she is cursed. You know curses are man made, how many times have I preached about the curses of liquor, or breaking the Ten Commandments. She is a baby Dorrie, she wouldn't know or understand what being baptized means. I am sorry Dorrie, but I just don't think we should baptize a baby of 3 days old. Listen, if you really think this baby is cursed, then perhaps you should talk to a Priest. I have a very good friend who is a Priest. Maybe he can help you, prove to you that this child isn't cursed.”
“Forget it Preacher Joe, I will take her and have her sprinkled. And don't expect me to come back here ever.” Dorrie grabbed the baby and stomped out of the church. Even her own preacher didn't believe her. Maybe she should just go and drop the baby off at the orphanage. But she knew if she did that Ashe would kill her.

copyright A.J. Angerstein

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