Click here to Download Call Me Tuesday PDF Book by Leigh Byrne Language English having PDF Size 1MB and No of Pages 227.
When I had finished, and there was a mountain of paper-thin peelings in front of me, Mama snatched up the pan filled with creamy, spotless potatoes. “Now, pick up the papers and put them in the trash,” she said. “I have another chore for you to do.” She pulled a brown paper grocery bag from a cabinet drawer, and motioned for me to follow her into the family room.
Call Me Tuesday PDF Book by Leigh Byrne
|Name of Book||Call Me Tuesday|
|PDF Size||1 MB|
|No of Pages||227|
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“I want you to pick up all the crumbs on the carpet in here,” she said. With her finger she drew a series of small circles in the air above an area of the floor littered with crumpled potato chips. “Don’t stop until this whole room is clean.” She handed me the paper bag, and I nodded my head as if I understood her. But I didn’t.
I had never understood why she made me use my fingers to pick up specks of dirt and food crumbs from the floor when she had a perfectly good vacuum cleaner. On her way back to the kitchen, she stopped in the hallway and pointed in the direction of the back door, where there were dirt clods and mud ground into the carpet.
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“On second thought, start there,” she said, “and work your way up the hall, into the family room.” I trudged down the hall, dragging the paper bag beside me. When I came to the top of the steps leading to the door, I sat and stared at the dirty carpet, wondering where Daddy and the boys had gone. Wishing I were with them.
About ten minutes later, Mama came back to check on my progress, and found me sitting down on the job. “What in hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked, her voice reflecting disbelief more than anger. Had it been a year, a month, or even a few days, earlier, I would have been terrified of what she might do to me for disobeying her.
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I would have dropped to my knees and started picking up crumbs, scratching mud. But on this day, something was different. This day I didn’t budge when I heard her coming. I was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of Audrey, holding one of her cold, stiff feet in my hands. Mama was beside me with the other foot, showing me how to use gentle pressure with my thumbs to roll away the loose.
Cheesy flesh from between Audrey’s toes, and scratch off the more stubborn patches with my fingernails. The dead skin that accumulated on Audrey’s feet had to be tended to on a regular basis. Not because it itched, or was uncomfortable to her in any way; she couldn’t feel anything south of her hips.
And not because of how gross it looked, all yellow and crusty—but because of the smell, nauseatingly sweet, like meat when it first begins to go bad. If the skin wasn’t cleared away, at least weekly, the smell of it would first permeate every surface in the bedroom Audrey and I shared, and then waft down the hallway, gradually claiming the rest of the house. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book
“It stinks,” I whined. “Then breathe through your mouth,” Mama said. “I am breathing through my mouth, and I can still smell it.” “Shush before you hurt your sister’s feelings.” Mama always called Audrey my sister, but she wasn’t really. She was only my half sister because she had a different father than my brothers and me.
Mama said he deserted her after she got pregnant, and she had to drop out of high school when she was only seventeen and take care of a baby all by herself. She handed me a bottle of Rose Milk. “Try adding some of this.” I pumped a mound of the pink lotion into my palm, slathered it between my hands, and began rolling away the skin on Audrey’s feet, like Mama had showed me.
“Still stinks,” I mumbled under my breath. “Tuesday, not another word!” I loved how she said my name in her syrupy, Southern way, like, Tooosde. I loved my name too. I was named after the beautiful actress from the sixties, Tuesday Weld. “I had my mind all set to name you Marilyn, you know, after Marilyn Monroe,” Mama had explained. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book
“Then a few hours before you were born, out of the clear blue, one of the nurses at the hospital up and asked me, ‘Has anybody ever told you that you resemble Tuesday Weld?’ Well, I figured it had to be a sign. I mean, it was the perfect name for you, because you were born that night, and it was on a Tuesday!”
She leaned in to me and whispered, “Actually, it was seven minutes past twelve, Wednesday morning, but it was still dark out, so it felt like Tuesday to me.” Mama liked to name her kids after famous people. Audrey was named after Audrey Hepburn, and she wanted to name my older brother, Nick, after Charlton Heston. But Daddy stepped in and vetoed the idea, insisting his firstborn be his namesake.
He couldn’t think of anything to save my younger brother, James Dean, though. It was Sunday morning, and Mama was still in bed. Daddy had gotten up early and driven to Nashville to go to church with Grandma Storm. I was at the kitchen table, in a morning daze, shoveling Rice Krispies into my mouth. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book
Nick was sitting across from me, slicing a banana over his cereal. “You look like you have popcorn balls in your cheeks,” he said. “Who, me?” I asked, glaring at the sunlight reflecting off the silver flecks in the linoleum tabletop. He pointed the butter knife he had in his hand at Jimmy D., who was beside me. “No, him.” I looked at Jimmy D., his cheeks bulging with cereal.
Milk was oozing out of his lips and running down his chin. “You do look like you have popcorn balls in your cheeks!” Jimmy D. got tickled, and blew milk and bits of Rice Krispies through his mouth and nose onto Nick’s face. I cracked up. That’s when I heard Mama calling out from her bedroom. “Tuesday!” she yelled in her gravelly morning voice.
“Tuesday!” she called out again, this time more insistent. “Come here now!” I put my spoon down beside my bowl of cereal, wiped the milk from my mouth on the front of my pajamas, and ran down the hall to her bedroom. When I got there, she was sitting up in the bed. She had just woken from a hard sleep. I could tell from the deep creases in the side of her face. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Download
I bounced up to her and sat down. “What do you want, Mama?” “I don’t know what you’re so happy about, young lady, because you’re in big trouble!” Springing up, I started backpedaling and searching my memory for something I might have done to upset her. I couldn’t remember doing any of the usual things that got me into trouble, like running in the house, or fighting with my brothers.
And my school grades were good. But it was obvious she was mad about something. I could see the rage in her face, hear it in her voice. I stood before her, nervous, and suddenly cold from the wet spot where I’d wiped milk on my pajamas. “Why, Mama, what did I do wrong?” “Don’t play dumb with me, girl! You know exactly what you did!” she said in a growly tone she had never used with me before.
“As punishment I want you to stand in the hallway with your face to the wall.” From her bed she pointed to an area between two doorways right outside her room. “Stay there until I say you can move.” As I lay on the blanket, I caught a glimpse of Natalie Page, a girl my age who lived next door. She was standing out on her back patio watching me in a curious way. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Download
Natalie was in my grade at school, but I didn’t know her as a friend. I knew who she was—everyone knew who she was—because she was pretty and popular, but we didn’t hang out together. We had passed a couple of times in the halls, and had waved to each other politely, in an obligatory way, like neighbors do. She smiled and waved when she realized I saw her watching me, and I waved back.
She turned and went into her house, and I stretched out on the blanket, letting the warmth of the morning sun caress my face. Around noon I got hot. The skin on my face stung and felt tight. I pulled one end of the blanket over my body to shield it from the sun. Mama must have seen me, because she knocked on one of the windows facing the backyard to let me know she did not approve.
I slung the blanket off. She called the boys in for lunch, and the yard got still and quiet, except for the chirping of birds. After a while Nick came out and handed me a cheese sandwich wrapped in a paper towel, and a small cup of water that I gulped down right away. As I munched on the sandwich and listened to the birds tweet all around me, I decided I liked my new arrangement. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Free
Even though I was still confined to one area, being outside gave me a sense of freedom. It was far better than standing with my face to a wall, in perpetual dread of what might happen to me next. I stayed out in the sun all day, and watched the sky change from blue to burnt-orange. When the sun had disappeared behind a distant hill, Mama called me in.
She sent me directly to bed, telling me to sleep in the swimsuit, because I would be doing the same thing the following day. When I woke up the next morning, I had sunburn on my face and all down the front of my legs and arms. My skin was swollen in patches, and tender to the touch. Mama took one look at me and said, “You may want to turn over once in a while today so your back will match your front.”
Like the day before, I stayed out in the yard on a blanket in the sun until late in the evening. Once again, that night I slept in the bathing suit. The next two days were the same. An old wooden door with a broken window was leaning up against a wall, and I decided that under it would be the perfect place to sleep. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Free
I wrapped the blanket around me like a cocoon, covering as much of my face as possible, and then balled up on the floor, making sure the warmth of my breath was directed down toward my body. Sleep came easily. A faint, scuffing sound woke me up. I opened my eyes to unfamiliar surroundings. But then I saw the broken glass of the door leaning against the wall above me, and remembered where I was.
I peeked around the side of the door, and saw a light tracing across the floor of the shed. My first thought was that it was Kat, checking on me. Then, I heard a man’s voice. “She’s not in there, I tell you. If she is, she’s frozen stiff by now.” “The Miller girl told me she was in the shed, so let’s have a good look around to be sure,” another man said.
There was more scuffing, then one of the men called out, “Tuesday Storm, are you in there?” The noises got closer. “Honey, come on out now, it’s time to go home. Your parents are looking for you.” Home? Oh, no! If I hadn’t been wrapped in the blanket, I would have made a run for it. The only other option I had was to remain still and hope they wouldn’t find me. Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Free
“There she is!” one of the men said. “There, under that old door!” I saw the door being lifted away above me. “Tuesday, are you okay?” he asked, shining a flashlight in my face. Through the glare of the bright light, I saw two police officers standing over me. I wiggled loose from the blanket. Once I was on my feet, one of the officers took my arm with his black-gloved hand and led me out of the shed.
When I got outside, I glanced over at Kat’s house, and noticed her living room light was on. I saw a shadow of someone parting the curtain and peering out of the window, but I couldn’t tell if it was her or her mom. I hoped she wasn’t in trouble. “You shouldn’t have run away like you did,” the officer holding my arm said. “Your mother and father are worried about you.”
“Don’t you know you could have frozen to death?” the other officer asked. Sensing he was the more sympathetic of the two, I turned to him and begged. “Please, mister, don’t make me go back.” As if he hadn’t heard me, he opened the door of the patrol car and motioned for me to get in the backseat. “It’s time to go home now.” Call Me Tuesday PDF Book Free
During the ride I didn’t say a word, but my mind was full of questions: How could this have happened? Why did Mama send the cops to bring me home if she hates me? How did they find me? How did they know about Kat?