Ruby Red was born out of grief. She’s nine. She’s spunky. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She appeared out of the blue and stole the first line of my next novel. She took off running and I’ve been tagging along ever since.

It’s difficult to make sense of life after both your sister and brother die within a few months of each other like Ruby’s did. Her whole world turned upside down so Ruby turned to blogging to try and put things “right” again.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Brother Knows Who Shot JFK

My brother knows who shot JFK ‘n who brought the twin towers down—a benefit a bein’ dead I suppose. My sister knows too although she probably don’t care as much as Rubin does…or did. Bein’ the only boy in the family, Rubin liked to get on the computer with Daddy ‘n look up conspiracy theories. Rubin is my twin…or was my twin. I’m so confused on how to tell about things. First my sister died, then my twin. Loraine died from natural causes if you can call a lame heart natural. I guess it was to her. She was born that way—blue, strugglin’ for breath ‘n mad about it. Oxygen didn’t help. Mama lined up ’bout twenty or thirty bottles a pills ‘n fed them to Loraine in applesauce until she got to be a teenager. Yep. On her thirteenth birthday Mama gave her a vase-sized drinkin’ glass filled to the top with sweet tea ‘n said she was done dollin’ out pills. I don’t know if Loraine didn’t know how to take the pills right or what but a week afterwards Daddy found her squatted down against the back fence, cold dead with her hand on a basketball. Loraine wanted to be a basketball star like Sue Bird. Everybody told her she couldn’t play basketball, not even shoot hoops in the backyard, but she always tried. When she couldn’t catch her breath she’d squat. Sometimes when squattin’ didn’t help she’d pure pass out on the lawn. She usually woke up after a few minutes…when the load was off her heart, but last May when Daddy found her he imagined she died happy, doin’ what she loved.
Rubin surprised everyone but me I guess. See bein’ twins we share…shared this connection like we just had one body or maybe just one mind since he is...was a boy ‘n I’m a girl. I’m Ruby. Daddy named me that when I came out twelve minutes after my brother who didn’t get a name until a week later. Rubin had somethin’ called decels real bad so we had to have an emergency C section. He came out drained a blood ‘n white as snow but I came out “red as a ruby” Daddy said. Since we was twins Mama ‘n Daddy ‘n Loraine (she was four when we was born) had to try out every boy R name they could find. Loraine liked Robert. She said we could call him Robbie but Mama put her foot down hard. “No nicknames period,” she said. Then Loraine wanted to call him Nick or Nicholas, or Saint Nick, or Santa Clause but that was because she was so mad that nobody could make a decision. Mrs. Lopez, our next door neighbor, said she hearda a man called Rubin ‘n when Daddy heard that name Mama said he beamed ‘n slapped his knee. Rubin White ‘n Ruby Red. That’s our honest names. It’s a wonder they didn’t call Loraine Loraine Blue or Loraine Purple. Maybe they woulda if she’d been born after us.
Then came September. Rubin ‘n me started fourth grade at the Belleview elementary school down in Chatham County. Even if it is a county over it’s still close enough to ride our bikes but Mama ‘n Daddy insisted that we take the school bus, “because it’s safer.” Well, it isn’t...wasn’t saf-er. The bus driver swerved to miss a deer ‘n the bus ended up on its side with all the kids piled up on top a each other. Everybody screamed ’cept Rubin. He was dead right away. I seen a white ghost leave his body. It hovered over me real quiet like then reached out ‘n took a little white light right outta my heart.
I’m an only child now ‘n always will be. Mama done got her tubes tied ‘n Daddy don’t make enough money to go to Africa or China to get me another sister ‘n brother. I don’t go on the school bus no more. Mama told the psychology doctor that I go all hysterical when I see a bus so Daddy finally consented to let me ride my bike. It’s a good thin’ too because when I pass by the middle school I see Loraine playin’ basketball on the cement court. She ain’t mad as a hen no more. She smiles ‘n laughs ‘n yells for me to watch her dribble the ball from one end a the court to the other. She’s pink now ‘n real pretty ‘n she can slam-dunk the ball just like LeBron James.
I don’t never see Rubin but that’s okay because I’d bawl like a baby if I did. I just know that he took a piece a me…a piece a me that was him too, to heaven with him. The thing that hurts me most about Rubin is that next year I’ll be ten but he’ll still be nine ‘n that’s not the way it’s supposed to be with twins. 

10 comments:

Judy Baker said...

Ahhhh....I love reading about Ruby. Looking forward to reading more.

anearlystart said...

Amazing writing! Looking forward to reading more!

Beatriz McDavid said...

Fabulous beginning! Can't wait to read the next chapter!

Maikata NaJonathan said...

Well done.

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thank you!

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks, Judy! More to come!

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks, Betty! Another chapter in a couple days!

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks for visiting!

Unknown said...

Just LOVE your writings !! This blog is a GREAT idea ! Can't wait to read the next chapter about Ruby !!

Shelia Rudesill said...

Next episode Monday, January 6. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!