Pam和柯蒂斯史黛西牙买加因为they didn’t know what else to do with her. They believed that her old-time granny would straighten her out. In Brooklyn, Stacy cut her classes often, and she was caught giving a boy a blowjob in an empty classroom. They looked at the sweet little face on the body of a woman, and they were terrified of her and for her. It seemed that her breasts and ass were getting bigger every day. Often Pam would pull down Stacy’s shirt to give her ass better coverage, and Stacy would groan and laugh, tucking her shirt back into her jeans. Pam wondered aloud to Curtis whether Stacy’s curvy body was because of all the chicken wings she enjoyed eating from the Chinese food restaurant. In America, Pam argued, chickens were injected with hormones, which could explain all the little black girls with breasts and asses before their time. Stacy refused to eat breakfast because she was never hungry in the mornings, and because the school lunch was “nasty,” she was ravenous by the end of the school day. She would come home with a take-out box: fried rice with pork and fried chicken wings. She ate while she did her homework—somehow, in the midst of teenage angst and man hunger, she remained a diligent student—and later she would refuse to eat dinner with her parents and little brother because she was still full. Recently, Curtis was driving on Rockaway Avenue when he saw Stacy walk out of the train station, just come from school. A man, not a boy, but a man in baggy jeans, just any old street thug, had called to his daughter, and she had actually turned around and walked back to him. They were still talking when Curtis showed up to escort Stacy home. Pam and Curtis were afraid of their fourteen-year-old daughter. Often they would tell each other that this was what America did to children. This blasted country that turned parents into children and children into parents! One need not look any further than the white people on television who asked their children what they wanted to eat for dinner. In Jamaica, children knew to respect adults, while it wasn’t unusual to hear an American child call an adult by her first name. It wasn’t that Jamaican children were perfect—it was that when they made mistakes, they knew to be ashamed. All children are selfish, but American ones have an easier time living for themselves.

They took their daughter to Jamaica on the pretense of a vacation. Before they left Brooklyn, when Pam checked Stacy’s suitcase, she found that her daughter had packed two nameplate necklaces that readBAD BITCHflawless, and some thongs that Pam didn’t know she owned. Pam left the “flawless” necklace in the suitcase and hid the “bad bitch”项链和丁字裤。Stacy似乎没有注意到缺少的项目。在海滩上,她戴着太阳镜和用自己的钱买的两件套泳衣,露出肚脐刺穿父母不知道自己有。当一个辫子的男人看到她独自坐在海滩上时,他邀请她跟随他去他的房子。她看着那个男人的脸,嘶嘶地嘶嘶作响,毫不惧怕他和她的身材。每天,史黛西(Stacy)爬上奶奶房子后面的芒果树,然后她一次坐着吃了几个芒果。下午,她走到商店买了香蕉薯条,尽管她坐在梳妆台上有五个未打开的包裹,因为她喜欢那个男孩在柜台上调情,并公开看着她的乳房。

第五天,史黛西睡觉时,她的父母和弟弟离开了。几个小时后,她的祖母特鲁迪(Trudy)把她放下床,问:“ Yuh goin'睡一整天吗?”当她想询问父母和兄弟时,她正在吃奶油和祖母做早餐的盐鱼和饺子。这不是她第一个早晨醒来很晚才听到他们没有她的一天开始了。起初,特鲁迪(Trudy)无视她,所以斯泰西(Stacy)再次问。她的祖母安静而小心地说:“你是你自己的。史黛西表现得非常糟糕,刺了一些坏话,把她的早餐扔到地板上,这使老太太感到惊讶,以至于她只能说是“耶稣基督”。她不相信这个女孩像他们说的那样糟糕,而且由于她独自生活在那所房子里,她很高兴欢迎她。史黛西(Stacy)跑到房子的前面,看着路,看看他们最近才离开。她知道情况并非如此,但无论如何她看上去。 Then she went to the back of the house, behind the old pit toilet, so that she could cry without anyone seeing her. She bawled for a long time. She punched her fist into the walls of the long-retired pit toilet, but the pain only made her cry harder. She felt someone watching, and when she looked down, Fatty, her grandmother’s mongrel dog, was looking up at her. When she bent to rub Fatty’s belly, since it was heavy with puppies, the dog reached up to lick the tears from her face.

在父母离开后的前两周,史黛西的精神变软了。她更安静,更内向。当她通过电话与父母交谈时,她保证自己会表现自己。但是柯蒂斯(Curtis)和帕姆(Pam)还没有准备好让Stacy回到他们的家中。有时他们想念她 - 毕竟她想成为一个可爱的女孩,而她是第一个出生,这意味着他们以不同的是爱她(不一定更好),而不是爱他们的儿子柯蒂斯小,一个胖乎乎的十岁男孩,很简单。他们告诉她,一年后,如果她有所进步,她可以回家。

最终,特鲁迪(Trudy)长大史黛西的不良行为回到纽约:“刚才这样的h pretty girl fi do some ugly tings. Why yuh won’ be’ave yuhself?” And Stacy had smiled and looked embarrassed because she was shy for her grandmother to know certain things about her, and yet it was a compliment to hear that she was pretty. She’d been afraid when she put her mouth on the boy’s penis. Patrick was one of the most desired boys in school, and of all the other girls, he had dragged Stacy into an empty classroom, putting her hand down his pants so that she could touch his penis. This happened a few times, them kissing in empty classrooms, and one day he pushed his fingers down her jeans, and eventually she climaxed, and it was surprising and gratifying because she had never masturbated before and hadn’t known that a boy’s fingers could do that to her. She told one of her friends and the friend had been surprised to hear that Stacy hadn’t reciprocated, and this made Stacy feel as though she’d done something wrong. She was sure that Patrick would never pull her into a classroom again, and when he did, she wanted to make it so that he wouldn’t be disappointed. The first and only time she was caught. Her parents had been furious, and they had said all kinds of things, but they hadn’t asked why.

Every morning, Trudy woke her granddaughter so that she could help with the breakfast, and she would help with the other meals as well. Stacy learned to fry dumplings that were almost as good as her grandmother’s, to make a nice chicken foot soup, and to bake sweet potato pudding. In New York, Pam had done all the cooking. When Stacy started at the all-girls high school, she learned to wash her uniform by hand even though Trudy had a washing machine because her grandmother claimed that it was the only way to ensure that a white shirt was really clean. She was distracted from boys because the relationships with her classmates were so intricate and consuming, all of them interested in befriending the foreign girl.

特鲁迪母亲是另一个女人。当帕姆16岁时,特鲁迪(Trudy)在邻居的小费上行动,在女儿的一本学科书中发现了一封情书,并殴打了她,甚至打了她的脸。直到帕姆(Pam)成为一个有丈夫和孩子的女人,她几乎可以原谅母亲。并非所有母亲都可以负担得起。当帕姆第一次来美国时,她为一个白人家庭打扫卫生,一个下午站在雇主的卧室门上,她听到了女人,十几岁的女儿辩论女儿决定失去童贞给男友。帕姆惊叹于这可能发生的事情。她誓言要成为一个比Trudy更好的母亲。但是随后,没有意识到为时已晚,不知道为什么或如何使女儿失败。她不得不送女儿给母亲,她希望那个老妇人会很艰难。她认为,也许这么多加勒比母亲在女儿身上使用的配方并不是更糟糕的事情。 Maybe, she thought, it was sacrilege for daughters to discuss their sex lives with their mothers, and what a daughter needed was not a confidante but a woman who loved her enough to show her some of the harshness that the world was ready and able to give her.