A Sermon for Tess
Tess rolled over out of the bed and onto the floor, "Yes, ma'am? I'm comin'!"
It was Grandma D. wondering where Tess had gone off to. After retrieving some of her senses, Tess stood, ran her fingers through her thick hair, and hurried to answer her grandmother's call.
"Tess, whu's all 'dis talk I hear 'bout chu' in town?"
Tess looked up confused, "What kinda talk, gram'ma…?"
"You courtin' a white man nah??"
"What?! Since when have I been courtin' a'tall??"
"What happened tuh' dat nice man from Lou-see-anna? That Johnson boy?" Grandma Dinah snapped back.
"Silas Johnson wun't know how ta' court a gal if'n his life depended on it!" Tess was heated, "And, he don't eva' talk about nothin' an' nobody but his'self an' what he got."
"Well, atlease' dat way you know he got som'thin! I won'tcha ta' go an' see 'bout him tomorra'."
Tess stared at her grandmother for a while then replied, "I ain't doin' no sucha' thang…"
Then she turned her back and returned to her room to sleep. She didn't easily shrug off her grandmother's suggestion, but she acted as though she had.
Grandma Dinah wanted Tess to grow, but with the right kind of conditioning. She took pride in knowing that her twenty year old grand daughter had chosen to stay behind and help her out around the house.
And, She knew that Tess was slowly pulling away from her grasp, but she thought that, perhaps, this would be her last chance to exploit Tess' faithful obedience before she fully realized that she was, capable of making her own decisions. Grandma Dinah wanted Tess to be married off… to a man of her own choosing.