When they see Miss Chanice coming, heads shake, top to toe scans and paused story reels in secret spaces restart. Chanice walked into the Sunday service clad in the latest second-hand replica of the trendiest fashion, except there was always one or two things amiss, a rip here- an unseen hole there, dreadlocks or hand-me-down hair unit. Her big brother was the Senior Choir Director. Chanice always made a fuss with the clicking of her shoes and sudden twists at her waist- I don’t have to tell you- yes that hair swerve was real. Unashamed she walked to the furthest corner even when every usher bid her to sit at the front- (one of the perks that came with being a sister to the choir director).
Chanice was an active church member- when the mood was right. She sang in the choir and didn’t on her off days. If somebody dared ask why she missed practice – Chanice would disappear for weeks. There was something endearing about her though- like a family member who riled you up but was also precious to hang out with. Chanice never missed any funeral- who wants to be rid of a soul like that?
“How dare you? Chanice’s Mama of 9 children asked … how dare you go to the altar for a marriage prayer?. Mama Chanice was a church mother, a single warrior who had raised a whole tribe through war, witch spells, and unspoken generational trauma.
Mama Chanice couldn’t believe that her daughter – who had three unruly sons, not a cent to her name, been through a series of crippling affairs had the nerve to make that prayer.
"We can hardly feed these crazy children, Mama Chanice bellowed. When was the last time you saw your older one- he is a mess wandering around the ghetto. You eat every meal at my house, and now you go to bother the man of God that you would like to be married? On top of that when they asked about who wanted to heal from abortion trauma you had to go up there and embarrass our family"-[that’s the real reason Mama Chanice was so upset]
All this was said through vigorous utterances on their dignified walk home. Chanice would not go back to her mother’s that week and beat up one of her sons for breaking her radio. She didn’t give up, last I heard, someone in the neighborhood had found her a 55 to 60-year-old boyfriend on facebook- another promise to leave her hell hole.
One day I will finish your story Chanice- people don’t know that you were first taken to a bar at only 3 years old by the neighborhood pimps girlfriend. For now, I honor your story- thank you.
I love you.
You are worthy.