" What you want to do when you get big, Ruby?" Sherry asks in a dreamy voice. Ruby smiles and looks up to the roof.
" Let me see. I want to be a nurse," she says cheerfully. " No, I want to be a hair-stylist lady. All them girls go have to come to me to style-up they hair."
" Well I want to be a teacher," Sherry states proudly.
" A teacher?" Ruby says with disapproval.
" Yes, I want to have my own class and twenty nice children."
" Uuhhmmm! Ten O' them might be like Leroy."
" Uh-umm! If any of them turn out so I will buy a fat wild-cane and beat him every time the bell ring," Sherry says with vengeance.
" And suppose one of them children you beat get a bad-man father like Maxwell?"
" He can't do me nothing, or I would bring my husband on him."
Ruby laughs, then Sherry realizes what she has said and breaks into laughter.
" Who you go marry, Sherry?" Ruby asks when the laughter subsides. Sherry looks at Ruby suspiciously out of the corners of her eyes.
" No, you tell me who you would marry first," she says.
" But you mustn't tell nobody, you know. You swear?" Ruby says.
" I swear," Sherry says and kisses the palm of her free hand then extends the hand in the air toward the heavens.
" I go marrid Harry Munroe," Ruby says reverently.
" Who is Harry Munroe?"
" That boy in Second Form in the classroom next to we own."
" Oh yes. He is a nice boy."
" He go be a police chief," Ruby says proudly.
" Well I won't marrid to him. I would marrid Fenton."
Ruby laughs, then says," Well I hope he don't turn out like Maxwell or Harry go have to lock-up all two O' them."
" No, my Fenton would be a doctor. And we would build a big house."
" Harry would build a big house for me too. We go have two big garage and we go have two cars, no four cars. One is his police car and one is he `going-out' car. And I go have two cars; one to drive to work and one to drive up Sixty-three beach every Easter."
" We would have four cars too."
" And how much children you go have?"
" I would have four children; two boys and two girls."
" Well I go have ten children."
" Ten children!" Sherry is astonished.
" Uh-huh. Ten children, because when I get old they go take care of me," Ruby reasons. " And all must be girls too. Boy-children like stray about too much and they does get the floor dirty. And when they get big they don't treat they mother good. Girl, you know what happen to a ole' lady that used to live in the next street? She had a house and one son and when he get married he and he wife move in and live with she. And the son and the wife used to treat she nice nice. Then the son tell the old lady let she sign over the house in he name. And girl, as soon as the lady sign over the house in he name they start treat the old lady bad bad. They get hoggish and she could only eat when they tell she to eat. And child, the lady get fine, fine and die out."
This sad tale causes Sherry to do some serious thinking.
" Well I would only have one boy and I would have three girls. The boy would have to do the downstairs work and the girl will do the upstairs work."
" And I wouldn't leave my children and go and live somewhere else, even if Harry get knock-off."
" I might do like a girl name Curlene and get all my children before I get marrid," says Sherry.
" Uuuhhmm! Who you go get the children for?" Ruby scoffs.
" How you mean?" Sherry asks with a puzzled frown. Ruby laughs.
" You know how them lady does get baby?" she asks in a whisper.
" God does make the baby and a bird does bring it," Sherry says seriously. Ruby laughs heartily.
" Sherry, you really ain't know how them lady does get baby?"
Sherry looks at Ruby with a dumb expression on her innocent face. Ruby rolls onto her side and closer to Sherry. With her lips close to Sherry's right ear she discloses an important fact of life.
" YOU LIE!" Sherry exclaims and draws away sharply from Ruby then smiles sourly.
" Is true, Sherry," Ruby confesses urgently with an innocent expression.
" That is wickedness," Sherry declares.
" Is true, Sherry. Let me show you something," Ruby says and jumps off the bed. She goes out of the room and into the neighboring room. Sherry hears Ruby move something heavy, like a piece of furniture. She returns to Sherry with a piece of paper in hand.
" Look," says Ruby and sits on the bed beside Sherry who has raised herself to a seated position. Ruby spreads the page flat on the bed between herself and Sherry. It is a page from a pornographic magazine with photographs on both sides.
" Ruuuby!" Sherry breathes in shock and alarm. " Where you get this from?"
" Remember that boy that did call you when we did coming in? Well I tear it out from a book he had."
" Uuumm," Sherry murmurs with an expression of revolt.
" You see now. Is not lie I did telling you. You got to do this first with a man then you go get baby."
" Well I won't make baby by doing this." Sherry indicates the page with scorn.
" What else you would do. Is only so you could get baby."
Sherry is thoughtful for a moment.
" How you know is baby they're making?" she asks doubtfully and points to the photograph.
" A girl tell me. She is a nurse," Ruby says smugly. "And besides, I see a big girl name Donna doing this a night behind the next range with a boy name Mallet and the same year she get baby and she say he is the father."
" I still don't believe. You would do this?" The page comes in for some more finger-poking.
" Yes, when I get big and marrid," says Ruby. " You would do it?"
" I dunno," Sherry says and lies back on the bed. Ruby lies next to her.
" You ever kiss a boy?" asks Ruby.
" Nooo!" Sherry exclaims. " You ever?"
" Uh-huh. When I had my birthday party last year at me aunty I had to kiss a boy." Sherry laughs.