The Color of Nothing Coming Soon Part 4
Darla was working. She saved her money. Somehow we managed to get her a driver’s license. She bought a car from a friend (against my advice).
In my ridiculous optimism I bought her a yearbook, actually believing she might make it through her senior year of high school and graduate.
What happened instead is that she and I argued over something to do with a school assignment. I grabbed her arm in an attempt to get her to listen to me and she jerked away in anger and all I could see was the same thing happening between us that had happened between her and her mother. I finally had to admit that I hadn’t made any progress at all with her, and that’s when I knew I had no more to give. I’d always told Darla that she gave up on herself before anyone else did. But I had finally had it. I told her to pack her stuff. She had to go back to live with her mother.
I called her mother who promised to come and get her. We waited all day and when her mother never showed up I drove her back to the trailer park, dropped her and her stuff off and told her to have a nice life.
Maybe we were both relieved. We could stop pretending that anything I’d done had made a difference.
I didn’t hear from Darla for a long time, but I heard about her. She got arrested for selling drugs to an undercover cop. Went to jail. Got out. Had a series of unsuitable relationships. Had a late-term miscarriage before later giving birth to a boy. She lived with the baby daddy’s mother for a time. Baby daddy was in jail. Darla came to see me once when I was at work and I got to see her little boy.
Later, Darla got arrested again on felony drug charges and was sent to prison. While there she gave birth to twins. The father of those babies took custody of them until Darla was released.
At one point Darla called and left me a message. I didn’t call her back. But when she called me a second time I answered, certain she was going to ask me for something. Didn’t she realize I’d given her all I had? But she called to say she was sorry for how she’d behaved toward me. I’m sure she was in a 12-step program and one of the steps was to make amends. Whether she was just going through the motions or was sincere, I don’t know.
What I do know about her now, all these years later, is based on her Facebook posts. She married the father of the twins and gained custody of her oldest son. I don’t think her life has been easy by any means, but she’s making it work. Her posts are sometimes hopeful and inspirational and optimistic. There are mentions of church and a belief in a higher power.
Although I did contact her a couple of times and asked her to update me on her life, she never did. And that’s okay. Our story is over.
What I hope for the real life Darla is the same thing I hoped for my fictional Darla. That she’d get out of her own way. That she’d stop giving up on herself. Because inside both of them is something special, and I want to see them both succeed.
Check out the next blog post for a sneak peak of The Color of Nothing.
The Color of Nothing releases December 1, 2021, and is available for pre-order on Amazon. And elsewhere.