Sequel: Their Rebellion

When the Sun Goes Down

Mama's Comfort

I pushed the crawfish over in the fire, listening carefully as they popped within the flames. They were basically done, so I took it upon myself to put them on the small plates Mama and I had scrounged up. I frowned slightly when one rolled out onto the dirt, steaming and popping slightly from the heat. I would just have to take that one myself. I quickly picked it up and felt the tips of my fingers singe at the heat. I felt a low growl form in the bottom of my throat as I dropped it onto the plate.

I quietly shook the pain from my hand, hoping it would go away after a short while. I wasn't the best cook in the world, but I always managed to escape the kitchen without a scratch. I knew that my mind was in the wrong place right now. I couldn't hide the memories of yesterday far enough away. I was so confused and worried. I didn't want to make the wrong decision about Murphy. I turned toward the group and shouted that dinner was ready.

Everyone piled around the fire, digging greedily into their food. There was more silence tonight than any other night, which put a small frown on my lips. I picked at the few pieces of meat I had scrounged up and shoved them down my throat. I wasn't hungry, but if I went without touching much of my food, Mama would notice. She never liked how skinny I had been in the first place. I set my plate aside and got up from my seat. Mama seemed to take notice of my transparent smile.

She followed me closely to my car, where I only wanted to sit back, have a cigarette and relax. I popped open my driver's door and sat down, finding my cigarette pack by my side. As she stepped up I lit one and held it out to her. She shoved my hand away, so I only started smoking it myself. She knelt down beside me and asked, "What's wrong, Adrienne?"

"Nothin' really, Mama."I tried to smile."I'm alright."

She rested a warm hand on my arm and said, "Let's take a walk."

I slowly stood from my car and quietly shut my door behind me. I ran my fingers along my hip, just to make sure I had my gun on me. I puffed lightly from my cigarette as I followed Mama away from the group. We just began to step into the woods, heading toward the river, when she asked, "So, what's goin' on?"

"There's nothin' goin' on, Mama."I sighed."Really."

"You really think I believe that horse shit?"She chuckled lightly."Give me a drag of that."

I passed over the cigarette with a quiet laugh. She was absolutely right. Mama knew me best, even if I thought she didn't. She handed back my cigarette as I said, "Just thinkin' lately."

"About what, exatly?"She asked.

"About the group. About us. About,"I couldn't stop myself from continuing."yesterday."

"What happened yesterday?"We emerged by the river, where we sat down at the bank.

It felt as though yesterday had come screaming back at me. Pulling the events from my mind as I turned toward Mama.

"Went swimmin'."I flicked my cigarette into the water."Kissed Murphy."

The last of my statement came out in a whisper. Mama's lips slowly pulled up into a smile before she wrapped an arm over my shoulder. Mama was my rock to lean on, as I hers. We had always been close, especially when I started dating. I would cry on her shoulder when my heart would be broken and fight with her about going out for the night with my current boyfriend at the time. I chuckled lightly as she said, "Finally. I thought it would never happen!"

"Don't say that."I grinned.

"I'm tellin' you. I knew one of them would come around at some point. They're good boys, Adrienne. They'll do everything but treat you bad. And now that Murphy came around, I no longer have to stay worried."Mama smiled.

"Why would you be worried about me?"I frowned slightly.

Mama's shoulders slumped at my question. I tried my damnest to keep Mama from worrying or being fearful. Yet she just admitted to worrying about me.

"You've just been puttin' everythin' on yourself. You've become so stressed. You're gettin' smaller by the day, which is goin' to stop,"She began."and I can't stand to be myself anymore. I feel like I'm not doin' the motherly part any justice."

"Mama,"I whispered softly."why would you say somethin' like that?! You're the best damn Ma someone could ask for. I think I turned out alright, so why can't you think that? You're a damn good woman, Mama."

"Thankyou, sweetheart."She chuckled lightly.

"I want you to be okay, Mama. I don't want you worrin' about me or yourself. I told you I'd take care of you. I'm not gonna break that."I stated softly.

"I know you wont."Mama hugged me tightly and let her smile come back to life."Besides, Noah's been showin' me how to shoot."

"How's that goin'?"I snickered."You and Noah seem to be gettin' a little cozy."

"And that's perfectly okay."Mama smiled."So, how you feelin' about Murphy?"

"Don't get me started."I groaned.

"And why not? He's a good boy. Such a gentleman. Both of the boys are."Mama smiled."I never asked them to do a damn thing. They took it upon themselves to help me."

"How did you three meet, anyway?"I looked over at her.

"When I first moved in."Mama said."I dropped a heavy box of dishes. They came runnin' over."

She chuckled lightly before brushing her matted hair from her eyes.

"They were so sweet. Asked if I needed anythin'. If I wanted help. I had them over for dinner a few nights later and we instantly became close."Mama said."They've been there for me since we first met. Now, back to the topic. You keep changin' it. Tell me all about yesterday."

"That's basically it. I went swimmin' and we kissed."I shrugged with a smile."But I ain't thinkin' much of it. It is the end of the world, anyways."

"Don't say that."Mama furrowed her eyebrows together."You're just confused, Adrienne."

I let my head drop slightly, because I knew Mama was right. I was confused, but mainly because I didn't know how to come across the subject. The night ended well, but ever since this morning, I found myself dodging Murphy at any chance I could.

"I am."I admitted.

"Just talk to'm, Adrienne."Mama said softly."Pull him aside tomorrow. I just want you to be happy, sweetheart."

Mama pulled me tighter into her chest and I wrapped my arm around her waist. I smiled warmly and whispered, "I know Mama. I know."

I brushed back my hair and gave a good look down at the water. The moon's glow shined slightly off of it and I instantly had gotten a good idea. Tomorrow I was going to bring some fresh clothes, a ripped cloth and wash myself in the river. I could feel the goosebumps breaking out across my skin. Knowing I would be even a little cleaner tomorrow only made me feel so much better. I would feel more relaxed and confident when I pulled Murphy aside.

"What are you smilin' about, Adrienne?"Mama asked.

I chuckled lowly and said, "Just another damn idea, Mama."