“ Ain’t No Sunshine When She's Gone..." (Song by Bill Withers)    by Lawanda Tibbs

I was at a stop sign when I saw a group of kids arguing. Instead of pulling off,
I waited. Something told me that they were going to fight.


It was 3 boys and 4 girls, age 11-12. The loudest one, the boy with the 4 girls,
was telling the other guys that he was not afraid to fight them. I have no idea what
the argument was about, but one thing was clear; the loud mouth boy, walking
with the girls, was effeminate.


He kept talking smack until one of the other boys  turned around and started
back towards him. Somebody was going down, so it was time to make my move.
I drove my truck right between them. I got out and went off;


“Oh hell no! “ I told them, “ You not fighting today. Now go home!”


The other 2 boys walked away,  but the loud mouth guy still had a few things to say.
Finally him and the girls started walking…..And of course they were muttering stuff
under their breathe.


“ Huh! She ain’t my mom….”


“No, I’m not your mom, but I’d like to talk to her.”


For some reason, the loud mouth boy spoke up quickly and said,

“My mother’s in prison”.


He was trying to say it defiantly, but it came out softer than he intended. 
And although he didn't know it, I heard all the hurt in his voice as he said that. 


“Honey,  just because she’s in prison, that don’t mean you have to act this way.”

“That’s what er-body keep telling me.”

“Then why don’t you listen…”


I looked at him again. As I drove off  I said, “I’m sorry your mom’s in prison.” 
He just nodded.