Is It You? 

I woke up early this morning without the aid of my mother calling me or Jean pulling the covers off of my body. I was eager to get to Annie to find out if she was the girl in the picture I took from Mr. Jimmy’s room. I avoided Mr. Jimmy’s questions as I ate my breakfast, grabbed my books, and rushed out of the house, dragging Jean with me. 

“So, what are you going to say to her?” Jean asked me as we approached Annie’s house. 

“I’m gonna say, is this you, and then show her the picture.” 

“Well, now, big Sis is following little Sis’s directions. About time.” 

“You have a good thought now and then.” 

“If it’s not her, then what?” 

“Then nothing. It’s not my business if it isn’t Annie.” 

“It’s not your business now? If you hadn’t been snooping in the first place you wouldn’t even know about the picture. You’re just being nosy that’s all.” 

I was getting ready to reply to that remark, because I am not nosy, she is the one that is nosy, but we were at Annie’s house now and she was waiting for us on the porch steps. She jumped up and ran down the steps to meet us.

“Hey, hey! What’s up, my sisters?” Annie was in a good mood. 

“Lots of things. Isn’t that right Sara?” Jean had a sneaky grin on her face.

I ignored Jean because I was thinking about how to approach the subject without causing Annie to lose her good mood. She had been moody lately, not smiling as much and when she did smile it was forced, not natural. She seemed like her old self again this morning. 

“Isn’t that right, Sara?” Jean asked me again, putting emphasis on the word right. Still with that devious smile on her face.

“Right on!” I glared at Jean, who laughed. 

“Right on what? You two fighting again?” Annie laughed with Jean. 

“No. We ain’t fighting again. Sara just has something to ask, well show and ask you, that’s all. But I guess she’s scared to do it. Go ahead and show her the picture Sara, go on!” 

“What picture? What’s up Sara? What do you want me to see?” Annie stopped walking and turned to face me. 

“It’s nothing. It can wait.” I tried to stall the conversation until later, maybe on the way home from school, but Jean wasn’t gonna have any of that maneuvering and pressed the issue. 

“Show her Sara! Hurry up before we get to school! Go ahead and show her!” Jean gave me a small shove on my shoulders. 

“Keep your hands off of me girl!” I shoved her back. Harder in her chest. 

“Hey you two, stop it! Don’t start fighting! Sara what is it?” Annie stood between Jean and I to keep us apart because she knew where this was headed, an all-out brawl between sisters. 

“Show her the picture Sara!” Jean blurted out before I could respond. 

“What picture?” Annie asked. 

“This picture. Are you the little girl in it?”  I pulled the picture from my jacket pocket and handed it to Annie. 

As Annie looked at the photo I saw her eyes widen in horror, her face go pale, and her lips tighten in a frown.  Her hands started to tremble, and she dropped the picture onto the ground. 

“Annie, are you alright?” I gently touched her shoulder. 

“Where did you get this?” Annie’s voice was quiet but determined.

“From snooping in our boarder’s room. That’s how she got it.” Jean picked the picture up from the ground. 

“Your boarder?” Annie asked. 

“Mr. Jimmy. You know about him. I told you about him. He’s the man Jean is always making bad fat jokes about, Mr. Jimmy.” I snatched the picture from Jean’s hand. 

“This man lives at your house? You know him?” Annie snatched the picture from my hand and pointed at Mr. Jimmy in the picture. 

“Is that you Annie?” Jean asked.

“Is it you Annie. Is that you in the picture with Mr. Jimmy?” I pointed at the girl in the picture. 

Annie looked at the picture again and this time her face softened, her eyes began to tear up as she handed me the picture back 

“Is it you Annie?” I asked in a soft voice. “Is it you?” 

“Yes.” Annie responded with a tear rolling down her face. “It’s me and my Daddy.”