Middle School

Ms. Garrett was my second grade teacher. A favorite one. She had caramel skin and big hair. A real sweet lady. She was also my babysitter. A mother of one son. I was afraid of her dog. It was massive and black. Or maybe brownish. I guess my mother and her became friends. Maybe she had to work late. Maybe she had a date. This girl from my school lived in the building next door to her house. We almost fought in the coat closet. Some kids were teasing me about my big lips. “Drip Lip” was the name they chanted. She joined in, flicked my lower lip with her nails. I thought she was my friend. Someone kept us from fighting. I never went to her house again for sleepovers. Years later as a young woman I passed her walking the streets of downtown Chicago.