Above the Silence

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Chapter Eleven

1963

I was lynched for a crime I didn’t commit; the voice continued her story to Elijah. I would never have hurt Felicia. Her father poisoned her. His intention was to make her just a little sick so I would be to blame. But the poison took a wrong turn. He blamed me for it as planned saying I used voodoo to do this. I was innocent but I was hung all the same. They killed my child.

My ghost and that of my child came back to haunt the house. All I wanted was for Felicia to tell the truth. I never hurt her but she felt the anger in my eyes and my child’s. We would follow her, watch her. Even protected her. After a while, she started to tell people about me. But they thought she was mad. So she was never taken seriously. She couldn’t take the stares anymore….so she removed all the eyes of her dolls.

“What do you want from us?” Elijah asked but the voice was gone. It said nothing more. “It’s gone,” he said after relaying everything to the others. “What do we do now?”

None of them had any idea so they all sat down staring at each other.

“It’s funny how we all came here one way and we’re leaving as different people,” Eliot eventually said. “At least I am. Who would have thought that I would be in the position where I’d be owing to a black man my life?”

“Who would have thought that I would even consider saving a white man?” Steve said with a grin.

“Who would have thought the day would come that I would dread touching the bottle?” Elijah added.

“We’ve all learned one thing or the other through this, I guess,” Nathan said. “Even if it hasn’t personally been tailored to me, I’ve learned from you guys.”

“Who knows how long we are going to be in here? If anyone told me I would be missing the sit-in on Sunday, I would have kicked them in the behind,” Steve said, with a sad smile.

“A sit in?” Paul asked.

“One of those things they do is go sit around at the place we white folks sit and they are banned to make a statement,” Eliot said.

“I know what it is. Steve just doesn’t seem like that kind of a person to me,” Paul replied.

“Well, when it comes to the rights of me and my people, I am that kind of a person. I am a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. The sit-in on Sunday is supposed to be one of the many across the nation. The focus is on students. Black students are expected to be at the forefront of this gathering. I was really looking forward to it.”

“You talk as though you are certain we won’t get out of here alive,” Eliot said.

“Will we?” Steve asked his new friend.

“I strongly believe so. And you know what? I’ve been thinking of what I can do to thank you for saving my life. I just thought of it. If we do get out of this, I would be a part of this sit-in.”

“Don’t joke with me, man,” Steve said glaring at the other boy.

“I’m not. I will stand with you guys.”

“As will I,” Elijah said with a smile.

“And I,” Nathan and Paul both said.

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