Colorful books sit on a shelf bathed in sunlight.
Photo courtesy of Pxhere.

One whole hour Mac listened to his dad explain, in a calm and cool manner, that Mac had control over his own feelings. Mr. Johnson’s demeanor took Mac by surprise. His dad brought to his attention how very important he is to his family, his parent, and should be to himself. His dad said no one can cause him to make him feel a certain way. He stressed how important education is and expressed it in ten different ways. He thought the conversation would never end. But he was glad it was calm. Even though he and Mac’s mother work very long hours, that doesn’t mean they don’t love Mac, he insisted.

Mr. Johnson: We work long hard hours because of the love we have for you.

Mac listens and understands but can’t stop thinking about Jenny. In Mac’s head, he’s fantasizing about her beauty. Will she call? Does she like him? Or is she just like all the rest of the girls he’s dated? His dad’s lips are moving and his face is making expressions, but the words come in and out.

Mr. Johnson: No games, no TV.

That was always his punishment, just a room full of books: novels, history, autobiographies of conquerors and Black leaders, dictionaries. So Mac has a very big imagination.But his fancy bubble pops and all the words come in clearly when his dad says “You’ll punished for the whole week you’re out of school, son.”

Mac: But Dad?! But Dad!

Mr. Johnson: Nothing, son. We’ve had this conversation too many times before and I have warned you son!! (He was no longer calm) You have eaten, your stomach should be full for the night. You have your own personal shower and bathroom. There’s no need for you to exit this room.

So it was The Quiet Room again. As Mac’s father leaves out of his room, Mac hears the door lock (Click) “Dammm!” Mac says to himself, careful not to let Dad hear him curse.

To be continued.