A whole new world for Kitty …
“Oh look, there’s the New York skyline,” Alva raised her head and pointed out the window.
They were at the top of a long hill. The road curved onto an overpass above a big tidal marsh that bordered the highway on either side. Kitty had never imagined it would be like this. So many cars. So many buildings and roads and bridges all crisscrossing each other, arching over the marshes below. It was all such a jumble. And there, silhouetted in the afternoon sun, glints of light reflected off the glass towers of New York City standing like some great mineral deposit across the Hudson River. Could people really live in such a place? Kitty found it unfathomable.
“Something isn’t it? I remember the very first time I saw it. I couldn’t believe it was real,” Alva whispered. “Now it’s home. Leastways over on the other side of it across another river is home.”
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” Kitty said.
“Where was your home? Before you married that no-good.”
“A long way from here,” Kitty said. “In Kentucky. Near the river by the Ohio border. I remember coal cars and smokestacks and barges. I remember being poor. And hungry. And . . . ” She stopped talking as a flood of memory overwhelmed her.
“You thinking about your family ain’t you?”
“Yes,” Kitty said softly. Tears came to her eyes.
“Maybe before you shut yourself up in that convent you ought to take a look around for your kin. It don’t do to lose touch with the ones you was born into. No good at all,” said Alva. “Is your mama still living?”
“I don’t even know.”
“Don’t you want to?” Alva asked.
“I never let myself think about it,” said Kitty. “I thought it would be useless.”
“Maybe she’s still in that house in Kentucky. Maybe she’d like for you to come visit her.”
“I don’t think so,” said Kitty. “And besides, she’s the one who took money for me. She’s the one who let him take me away.”
“Maybe she thought you could handle it,” said Alva. “Maybe she thought she was doing good by you.”
“You think so?”
“I can’t say for sure,” Alva answered. “But if it was me . . . I’d want to know what happened to my mama, no matter what she done. And I’d want to know where my sisters and brothers was. I’d sure want to know before I shut myself away again.”