"He didn't take no more than he could get into the suitcase that I bought that time I went down home to visit Fang. I can see him now, just as clear, just like it was yesterday. We lived in the Pipe Shop quarters then, up around Twentieth Street. I was back in the kitchen putting up peach jelly. I had been canning all that week. I was through with my tomatoes; then I did my okra. All I had left was the jelly. I hear him call me. He said, 'Edie, come in here a minute.' I told him, 'I'll be there directly.' The jelly has started boiling and I wanted to skim off the foam first. I did that and wiped my hand on the dishrag. When I got to the living room he was standing next to the davenport. Now, I want you to know, if you had told me that Crockett was fixin' to tell me what he did, I woudn't've believed you. It would have been easier to believe that somebody would walk through my front door and hand me a million dollars.

"He said, 'Edie,' it was soft-like, but I heard him just as plain. 'Edie, I want to separate.' It shocked me so much at first, that it liked to knock the wind out of me, like Saul on the road to Damascus. But when I come to myself I asked him. I said, "Crockett, why you gon' leave me after all these years? We been married soon will be thirty years.' I have you to know that he couldn't give me no better reason than he didn't want me no more. That's all he could say before he told me I was black and my hands was big. When he turned his back and closed the door and left out of that house that day, I wasn't good for nothing. I left the jelly out on the stove all day, never did get it in the Mason jars. Didn't matter anyway, 'cause I was making it for Crockett. He favored peach jelly. I ended up just throwing it in the alley.

"Different ones said I oughta try to get back, not give up on one thing, but what could I do but let him go? You know you can't hold on to nobody when they ready to go. It'll kill both of you. Dead as you can die. If they wanna go, you got to let 'em go.


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