"What you want to do when you get big, Ruby?" Sherry asked in a dreamy voice. Ruby smiled and looked up to the roof.
"Let me see. I want to be a nurse," she said 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 stated proudly.
"A teacher?" Ruby said 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 said 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 laughed, then Sherry realized what she had said and broke into laughter.
"Who you go marry, Sherry?" Ruby asked when the laughter subsided. Sherry looked at Ruby suspiciously out of the corners of her eyes.
"No, you tell me who you would marry first," she said.
"But you mustn't tell nobody, you know. You swear?" Ruby said.
"I swear," Sherry said and kissed the palm of her free hand then extended the hand in the air toward the heavens.
"I go marrid Harry Munroe," Ruby said 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 laughed, then said,"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 caused 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," said Sherry.
"Uuuhhmm! Who you go get the children for?" Ruby scoffed.
"How you mean?" Sherry asked with a puzzled frown. Ruby laughed.
"You know how them lady does get baby?" she asked in a whisper.
"God does make the baby and a bird does bring it," Sherry said seriously. Ruby laughed heartily.
"Sherry, you really ain't know how them lady does get baby?"
Sherry looked at Ruby with a dumb expression on her innocent face. Ruby rolled onto her side and closer to Sherry. With her lips close to Sherry's right ear she disclosed an important fact of life.
"YOU LIE!" Sherry exclaimed and drew away sharply from Ruby then smiled sourly.
"Is true, Sherry," Ruby confessed urgently with an innocent expression.
"That is wickedness," Sherry declared.
"Is true, Sherry. Let me show you something," Ruby said and jumped off the bed. She went out of the room and into the neighboring room. Sherry heard Ruby move something heavy, like a piece of furniture. She returned to Sherry with a piece of paper in hand.
"Look," said Ruby and sat on the bed beside Sherry who had raised herself to a seated position. Ruby spread the page flat on the bed between herself and Sherry. It was a page from a pornographic magazine with photographs on both sides.
"Ruuuby!" Sherry breathed 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 murmured 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 indicated the page with scorn.
"What else you would do. Is only so you could get baby."
Sherry was thoughtful for a moment.
"How you know is baby they're making?" she asked doubtfully and pointed to the photograph.
"A girl tell me. She is a nurse," Ruby said 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 came in for some more finger-poking.
"Yes, when I get big and marrid," said Ruby. "You would do it?"
"I dunno," Sherry said and laid back on the bed. Ruby lay next to her.
"You ever kiss a boy?" asked Ruby.
"Nooo!" Sherry exclaimed. "You ever?"
"Uh-huh. When I had my birthday party last year at me aunty I had to kiss a boy." Sherry laughed.