2. Settling In
“There she is right there chief!” I looked around but I saw nothing but darkness. My face felt swollen and my body was aching.
“Where am I?” I tried asking but everything I said came out into a muffle. Just then someone grabbed me and I fought back.
“Hey, I got a gun. You do not want to do that.” I stood still and still yet confused. Like why are people going on a search party for little ole me?
“This is the person behind it all?” He pulls my hair out of a ponytail. “A woman!?” He slams me to the bed.
“You think that a little girl would lead her race into a big failure.” I began to cry seeing that this might be my last breath. “Now she’s crying. Cry for all those lives that were taken away.” Crazy how I’m still confused on what lives were taken besides the people the same skin color as mine. “SAY SOMETHING!” The man yelled, pulling on the mask giving me the chance to talk again. “You’re just like the black boy from Britechester. You have drugs in your car too?” I sighed and picked my head up, even though my eyes were covered.
“Are you white?” I swallowed my spit.
I woke up and found myself in my last class. My Professor was next to me.
“Faith? You okay?” I nodded and picked up my journal and put everything in my bags. “You missed most of my class. Everyone is gone.” I looked around and saw everyone gone.
“I’m sorry sir. I’ll get enough sleep.” I replied knowing that I went to sleep at 7:00 p.m. I get up and walk out of the class.
“Congratulations on Britechester.” I waved and walked out of the room.
I walk out of the class to see Tracy, Xavier, and the students that were interrogating me earlier. I sighed and kept walking.
Dear Diary, Another confusing dream. This time they brought up Jaden this time. I have no clue why these dreams are beginning to occur. I hope I don’t have another dream about it. Anyways. Britechester came to school and turns out, they want little ole Faith. I don’t know how I will fit in because I know how that school is. It’s really tough and I’m beginning to have doubts. Maybe I wouldn’t--
I bumped into a close person of mine, dropping my pencil and my paper and all the things I needed to finish writing.
“Dammit Markus. Why do you have to do that.” Markus is my closest friend and one of the best speakers at Foxbury. I know that if I’m ever in some trouble he will always come to my rescue with his good advocate powers. I grabbed onto him and gave him a hug as Kailani picked up my things.
“Sooo Faith, what’s the news”
“Well this morning, I was running late so I decided to speed up a little bit and I got pulled over.” I cuffed my hands realizing that they were concerned of the skin color. “I already got everything out of my bag and I was ready but I kept looking at where his hand was. He was going for his gun.” They raised their eyebrow.
“My poor Faith...” Kailani hugged me and she rocked me side to side like she’s my auntie. “Are you okay?” I nodded
“Hell yeah I’m okay it’s just the officer came at me a little wrong. He was basically profiling me.”
“I don’t know how.” Markus hands me my pen “You always look professional. I never saw you looking...” He pauses.
“Like us.” Kailani finishes his conversation as Markus hits her.
“Thanks Kailani.” Markus smiles normally.
“Also another thing. Remember when you said that the professors from Britechester were here?” Kailani nods and smiles. “Well, they want me at their college.” Then, her smile began to disappear.
“No Faith...Just no.” I tilt my head looking at Kailani.
“Faith, you knew what happened to Jaden? He was a good student and his life was taken away!”
“I remember...It played on the radio this morning.”
“I don’t want you to be like that. I love you Faith.” Kailani hugged me, tearing up.
“I’ll be fine. I’m a survivor. They want me and I hope that they will protect me in the long run.” They both look at me with sorrow in their eyes.
“Faithy...We don’t want you to leave us” Markus said coming in for the hug.
“I’ll be fine guys. I love you guys so much.” I hug them back. “Now come on help me pack!!” I grab their hands and drag them off campus to my car.
“You know I was gonna go get a Frape, not help you pack and go to this white school.”
“Well.” I push Kailani in the car “You’re gonna help me anyway.” I shut the car door and ran to my side of the car. Just then I got a phone call from my mom.
“Hey Faithyy!!” My mom says loudly
“Hey mom.” I smile.
“Hey Mrs. Collins!” Kailani waves to my mom
“That’s Ms. Collins. Faith, your cousin Emmanuel is coming to Foxbury with you, he’s at your apartment.”
Emmanuel is my cousin, he’s like my baby brother. He’s 18 and he’s already ready for college as much as I am. My auntie, she’s been in prison since we were both kids and she wanted my mom to take care of Emmanuel and basically be a second mom to him.
“Oh yeah mom, I’m not going to be home anymore.”
“Because that bullshit, excuse my language school Britechester University wants her.” Kailani yells
“Oh the white school where the boy attended. Nope!” She shakes her head as I laugh.
“Mom, I’ll be fine.”
“Okay. Emmanuel is at your front door okay. I love you bye.” She blows a kiss and hangs up the phone.
I keep driving and I hit a red light.
“Okay you can drop us off here please I don’t want to help pack.” Kailani said as I stopped the car and they get out.
“Hey.” Markus walks to my window. “Maybe later on Faith, we can go get a burger or something?” I smile.
“We can get something. I wouldn’t mind.” He grabs my hand and he walks away from the car. I drive off.”
As I was driving around I heard on the news again about the boy Jaden Woods and how the police officers were proven not guilty. I personally think that the story is a little fishy. There is no way he would be doing this and he attends Britechester University. Only 10% of the people there are Black and Hispanic. It kind of sucks to be honest.
I finally made it to my apartment and saw my baby brother and his girlfriend Kelly. With a box full of my stuff on the side of them. I ran to him and gave him a hug.
“Faithy!” He replies, tightly hugging me. “I’ve missed you” He smiles.
“What are you going to Foxbury for?”
“I’m going for Journalism like you. I already have something for them and I call it. All American. Just like the show.” I smile “You should read Faith, an advocate like you I know you will like it.” I grabbed the paper out of his hand and put it inside of my bag.
“I’ll read it tonight. I just have to pack my clothes first.”
“What do you mean?” Emmanuel asks.
“Britechester wanted me. Before you say no, I’m going to be fine Emmanuel” I said seeing that his facial expression changed.
“I know Faith. She’s a strong woman.” Kelly said
“Now about you. What is my sister in law doing with a jacket on in this hot Florida sun?” She unzips her jacket showing a baby bump. My heart dropped seeing that I was going to be an auntie. Well, half auntie. “Oh my God. I’m going to be an auntie...ish.” I chuckle and hug Kelly.
“Your mom told us about you leaving. We will house sit and keep the house warm.”
“Thanks--” I stopped seeing that they forgot something. “You forgot my favorite poster” I ran inside to my room and grabbed my Malcolm X poster.
Since I was younger, I have been studying Malcolm X. He was a big part of the civil rights movement to me. Not many people know how wise Malcolm X really was. What I really like about Malcolm is that his love for what he was doing outweighed any fear of dying.
I don’t believe I will ever have that much courage as Malcolm X, Nat Turner, or any leader that came before me. I got on my knees and looked at the poster
“You know...I never thought I would make it to this step in my life where I would be going to a college full of white people. I told everyone that I will be fine, but.” I paused. “A part of me is scared. I have never been so filled with fear because I don’t want to become another name people are shouting on the streets.” I looked at the poster. “Jesus, I’m calling on you now.”
I grabbed it off the wall and ran downstairs to my car.
“Bye Faith.” Kelly waved and I pulled off driving to the penthouse. Luckily it’s on the other side of town.
I don’t want to become a statistic...I don’t want to die, I’m only seventeen. Tears streamed down my eyes realizing that I could be dead next week. Please God, don’t let it come to that. I have to wear my hair like this. I have to present myself in a way to say I am non-threatening. This is not my style. I don’t like pencil skirts, button down shirts, suspenders, I don’t even like dresses.
I look like a Great Value Demi Moore.
I finally made it to the penthouse and I ran inside to the desk.
“Hi, I’m here for the penthouse.”
“A black girl? Name please.”
“Faith Collins.” I look around.
“You’re on the list?”
“Is that a problem?”
“No...” He clears his throat giving me my key. “Not at all. Just make yourself at home just don’t invite your... homies.” The way that he said it was very stereotypical.
“I don’t have homies, I have friends.” I said with a little sass and I walked away to the elevator.
I finally made it to the top floor of the penthouse and I walked in. It looked very boyish at first but then I saw a room that I look like I can settle in. I unpack my bag on the floor and the first thing that I hung up was my Malcolm X poster. I walked out of the room and saw a room across from mine that had a journal, music notes, and stars on the door.
“This must be the writers workshop” I assumed and tried opening the door but it was locked of some sort. Why can’t I open it?
“Faith!?” I heard a woman yelling. I hurried downstairs. It was the woman from the other day.
“You can call me Grace”
“Hello Grace nice to meet you.” I open my hand out.
“You are a very sweet human being.” I smile as I look behind her and see men in suits. But it wasn’t the teachers.
“What is this?”
“You are the only student...besides Jaden that was given this opportunity. You should have the privilege of having your own butler.”
“Why are they all black?” I asked
“You wanted a white butler? I am so sorry Faith I can go get one.” She was going for the elevator. I stopped her.
“It’s fine.” I smiled and looked at all of the butlers. I really like him.”
“Greetings, Ms. Collins my name is Austin.” He bowed as I curtsey. Grace smiled.
“So you can make yourself at home. Austin please cook something lovely for the Faithy.” I giggle as Austin walks to the kitchen. “Faith, if you ever need anything and I mean anything at all you can press this adorable button right here.” I nodded my head. “Any questions?”
“Yes, I was wondering if that room with the stars and the music notes and things was the writers workshop? Is that my roommate?”
“Um no, That door remains locked. Faith, please don’t open it okay.” I cuff my hands and look down. “You are really a gifted child. You remind me of Jaden so much.”
“Nothing, I’ll see you tomorrow in my class.” She walks to the elevator and leaves as I was left in the middle of the penthouse.
“Dinner is ready Ms. Collins.”
“Just call me Faith Austin. I don’t want you to seem like a slave.” I walk in the kitchen as he pulls the chair out and lets me sit down.
I saw a steak, mashed potatoes, and corn on the side. He also puts macaroni on the side of the plate.
“I’ve seen in your writing that you love Macaroni so I made it personally for you. I smiled
“Thank you so much.” I was beginning to eat until I saw him standing behind me. I got up out of my seat and made him a plate.
“Did you want more? I’m sorry Faith. I should have--” I cut him off by handing him the plate.
“You seem very hungry, you should sit down and eat.”
“You should.” I put the plate on the table and sat him down. He began to eat like he hasn’t eaten in days. “So, you read my writing?”
“Yes, the Butlers you see we all have read your writing. Who would’ve thought you were a high school junior writing all of this.” I smile
“You are making me smile. See, I grew up in New Orleans. Not many people can make it out with an opportunity like me. Some people go to jail, drop out of school, or.” I sigh remembering my brothers whose lives were taken.
“Is something wrong?” I teared up.
“No, I’m okay. Suddenly I lost my appetite. I’ll just go to sleep.” I get up walking out of the kitchen into my room.
The Next Day
“Wake up Faith.” I heard Austin “Time for your first gifted day at Britechester University.” I woke up stretching my bones walking to my bathroom, did my morning routine, tied my hair up, and put on my same Demi Moore outfit. and walked downstairs to the kitchen. I saw breakfast already on the table with another plate of pancakes on the table.
But it wasn’t for me.
I looked at Austin and I smiled.
“See, make yourself at home.” I smile.
At the School
I opened the doors of Britechester and everyone looked at me.
Hello to you too?
I accidentally bumped into a jock and again dropped all of my stuff.
“Hi I am so sorry. Can you ever-” I look up to see him reading one of my writings. “Um Invasion of Privacy I can sue you. I would really like that back please...” He nods in awe and hands my writing back.
“You have a gift. You should take that somewhere. Faith.” He bows and walks away.
“Okay today we have someone new joining us.” Grace looked at me. “Faith.” I stood up looking at everyone and there was only one black person in here. Me.
“Uh...My name is Faith. I’m seventeen and I love to write.” I sit down and smile nervously.
I scratch my neck as two kids walk in.
“Michael, Kate. Please take a seat.” Names like that I thought they were white for a second. I was jumping for joy inside of my head because I finally have someone in the class with me the same color as me!”
“They are always late, you should kick them out.” A guy said, rolling his eyes. I just look down, writing in my journal.
“Is that a black girl?” Kate said
“Please sit.” Grace demanded as they sat next to me.
“Hey sis. What’s your name.”
“My name is Faith.” I kept writing in my journal.
“Well I’m Kate and this is my brother Michael.” I smile.
“Would you guys shut your pie hole!” The boy says “I’m trying to learn!”
“Can you pay attention then?” Kate says as Michael looks at him in a calm way. He turns around.
He didn’t even look violent...