Tira stayed with her sister when she was in town. Yolanda was a widow and 3 of her four daughters had grown-up and left home so Tira bunked with her when she was in-and-about Charleston.“Hey y’all, I’m back now” she hollered as she let herself in the front door of the little cottage. But she wasn’t surprised that the small cottage was empty during the middle of the day. Yolanda was almost certainly at the small café she owned and operated in another part of town and Lord only knew where to find her harum-scarum youngest girl. Almost certainly not in school in any case.
Tira sighed and carried her bags over the threshold and into the hall. Now that she was here she felt at a bit of a loss for what to do with herself. Once thing was for certain, she was too tired to go out to a pub or a public bath house. Instead she took her belongings into the back bedroom and just left them sitting on the floor. Tira decided to make-do with a quick hand and face wash-up in the kitchen.
She hunted through the wardrobe in the bedroom and found a freshly washed nightgown to change into. “Nice to have some peace and privacy for a change” she muttered as she sank onto the daybed. Clean sheets and a genuine mattress, what a luxurious feeling! No wonder her eyes closed and her breathing deepened only seconds after she pulled the bedclothes over her.
She woke several hours later to find a boy of about 12 years of age staring at her.
“Who’re you?” she asked.
“I’m Benjamin. Why are you sleeping in my bed?”
Tira sat up, now completely woken, and stared. “Your bed? This is my sister’s house and this is the bed I sleep in.”
Benjamin ran out of the bedroom and towards the kitchen. He hollered “Aunty Yolanda! There’s a strange lady here and she is sleepin’ in ma bed!”
Yolanda laughed, “Honey, thats just my sista, Tira. You don’t need to be scared about her. She ain’t gonna eat ya fer dinner or nuthin’ like that. She loves children!”
“So how come she ain’t got none of her own with her?”
“I’ve got a son but he’s all grown-up now and on his own.”
Benjamin looked sceptical but slowly nodded his head. Maybe the strange lady wasn’t so scary after all.