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You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.
I am fourteen years old. I am I have always been a good girl. Maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me.
Last spring after little Lucious come I heard them fussing. He was pulling on her arm. She say It too soon, Fonso, I ain’t well. Finally he leave her alone. A week go by, he pulling on her arm again. She say Naw, I ain’t gonna. Can’t you see I’m already half dead, an all of these chilren.
She went to visit her sister doctor over Macon. Left me to see after the others. He never had a kine word to say to me.
Just say You gonna do what your mammy wouldn’t…
He start to choke me, saying
You better shut up and git used to it.
But I don’t never git used to it. And now I feels sick every time I be the one to cook. My mama she fuss at me an look at me. She happy, cause he good to her now. But too sick to last long.
My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing. She scream at me. She cuss at me. I’m big. I can’t move fast enough. By time I git back from the well, the water be warm. By time I git the tray ready the food be cold. By time I git all the children ready for school it be dinner time. He don’t say nothing. He set there by the bed holding her hand an cryin, talking bout don’t leave me, don’t go.
She ast me bout the first one Whose it is? I say God’s. I don’t know no other man or what else to say. When I start to hurt and then my stomach start moving and then that little baby come out my pussy chewing on it fist you could have knock me over with a feather.
Don’t nobody come see us.
She got sicker an sicker.
Finally she ast Where it is?
I say God took it.
He took it. He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods. Kill this one too, if he can.
He act like he can’t stand me no more. Say I’m evil an always up to no good. He took my other little baby, a boy this time.
But I don’t think he kilt it. I think he sold it to a man an his wife over Monticello. I got breasts full of milk running down
myself. He say Why don’t you look decent? Put on something. But what I’m sposed to put on? I don’t have nothing.
I keep hoping he fine somebody to marry. I see him looking at my little sister. She scared. But I say I’ll take care of you.
With God help.
He come home with a girl from round Gray. She be my age but they married. He be on her all the time. She walk round
like she don’t know what hit her. I think she thought she love him. But he got so many of us. All needing somethin.
My little sister Nettie is got a boyfriend in the same shape almost as Pa. His wife died. She was kilt by her boyfriend
coming home from church. He got only three children though. He seen Nettie in church and now every Sunday evening here come Mr. _____. I tell Nettie to keep at her books. It be more then a notion taking care of children ain’t even yourn.
And look what happen to Ma.
He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got somethin in my eye but I didn’t wink. I don’t
even look at mens. That’s the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I’m not scared of them. Maybe cause my mama cuss me you think I kept mad at her. But I ain’t. I felt sorry for mama. Trying to believe his story kilt her.
Sometime he still be looking at Nettie, but I always git in his light. Now I tell her to marry Mr. _____. I don’t tell her why.
I say Marry him, Nettie, an try to have one good year out your life. After that, I know she be big.
But me, never again. A girl at church say you git big if you bleed every month. I don’t bleed no more.
The Colour Purple, Alice Walker
Mariner Books; First Edition (May 28, 2003)