The red digital light from the clock on Fortune’s bed stand flashes 2:00 P.M. It is almost time for graduation. He can hear a soft sound from the hallway coming through his door. He stands up and starts to walk around his room and the sound grows clearer. He can tell that it’s someone crying. The crying gets louder and for a second he thinks that his door is the one making all the noise. He walks closer to the door and presses his ear against the wood. The crying isn’t coming from the door, or someone stuck inside the door, but from his own mother just beyond it.
Fortune turns the knob and opens the door just a crack. He peaks his head out into the hallway. He can see the white of the hallway walls and just enough of his mother’s body to know that it is her sitting there on the carpet-head tucked inside her arms and knees, body shaking, rocking back and forth-the floorboards creaking underneath.
He has seen her cry a lot. She usually cries whenever there is a romantic comedy on TV that has Julia Roberts in it. But there is something about seeing his mother cry now that makes Fortune feel like crying too. He can feel the tears building up in his throat. He shuts the door and starts getting ready for graduation because he knows that he wouldn’t like it if his mom or dad or anyone else watched him cry.
A few minutes later the house is quiet again except for the sound of water running from the sink in the bathroom.