Brown-Eyed Heaven

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50



Henry cleaned and patch up Daphne’s wounds. When he finished, she watched him discard the dead racist in a body bag.

It was now midnight black. Henry folded the body bag in the back of his truck.

“What we gonna do with the corpse, Daddy?”

“I thought about throwing it in the river but decided against it because it might wash up and I don’t want to leave any trace back to us or any other black person. So, I decided to bury it. Phillip is going to help me bury the body in the country along the outskirts of town. We used to work as gravediggers back in the day in the black-only cemetery.”

“We not going to call the cops?” Daphne instantly regretted her words.

“Hell no! You mean the klan masquerading as the cops. It’s 1968 and we living in the American south. They would only hear black man killed white man. It doesn’t matter why or what happened. Even though we were defending ourselves because this clown broke into our home, attacked you, he could have raped you and killed us. But that wouldn’t matter to those psychos. If we had a righteous and equal justice system, I’ll be glad to call the cops but I know how they work. If it was the other way around, he would have been severely punished. Lynched or life in prison without parole. The klan cops would hang me and probably hang you too. All someone got to do is show me only one time if they can be trusted and if I can’t trust them after that then I’ll never will.”

Daphne nodded. “I’m sorry, that was stupid of me to ask that. Would God forgive us for what we did even though it was self-defense?”

“If he is any kind of merciful God, he will. He knows what happened and he understands why we did what we did. Our enemies don’t deserve the truth and mercy, Daphne.”

Daphne went with her father and their neighbor Phillip to bury the body. He told them that he heard what happened and wanted them to be safe.

Daphne and Henry packed up and left town the next morning. In no time, they sold the house and bought a new one.

Henry had saved up a lot of money and the neighbors including Phillip gave them some too. Daphne and Henry planned to start new lives in another part of the city.

Daphne told Joel about the move but not the murder at the time. She waited until later to tell him about that after she made a vow with her father to keep it a secret.

Joel came to visit and helped out. Then came Dr. King’s assassination and the 1968 riots that followed. After the mayhem, many of the businesses were ruined.

The police and the national guard tried to quell the disturbance and the crowds. On the night of the riots, they had to fight to protect their own business.

Joel and the rest of the Go-Getters had to fend off rioters that their businesses were black-owned and there to help the community.

As the years went by, Henry informed Daphne that he had cancer. He became gravely ill and had to quit working.

Joel moved in with them and helped Daphne take care of her father.

Henry told Daphe that he left everything in his will to her—all of his life’s savings that he had been saving when he began working as a teenager. She learned that it was up in the thousands.

Daphne told Henry that she and Joel wanted to get married. She had wanted her father to be there before it was too late. And that’s what happened.

Soon, Henry died and Daphne and Jole, and the rest of the community attended his funeral. He had been well-known in town and had done a lot for the community.

At his gravesite, Daphne stood in the pouring rain, the wind blowing her umbrella sideways, oblivious of the approaching tornado that was coming the town’s way.

Joel persuaded her to leave with him. They sold the house and bought a new one. Joel worked his way up to management at work and soon left to expand his own business.

Daphne and Joel had two children, hired a maid when the money rolled in. Their business brought much-needed revenue to the surrounding inner cities.

They were forced to put up a gate around the District to keep out racist thugs and hoodlums.

Also, they hired private security and police officers to help keep the peace and thwart off trouble.

Further protests and mass economic boycotts were encouraged by the Go-Getters and other civil rights activists and that resulted in Joel, Trent, and the others being jailed repeatedly.

But they were never locked up for long. Daphne and the other wives of the Go-Getters made sure the businesses were run smoothly.


***


Present Day


“I still can’t believe I lost my baby boy decades ago. That stillbirth almost destroyed me. I think about him all the time. About what he would have been like and where he would have been today if he had lived,” Daphne blinked away tears and sniffed.

Joel touched her hand. “Don’t get yourself worked up again over our baby. Back then, Maude and I had to sedate you to calm you down.”

“I know. We were supposed to have two sons and a daughter.”

Angela had started crying and Chad’s eyes had teared up too.

“Our family history and the memories get me every time y’all talk about it,” Angela wiped her eyes.

Chad’s iPhone rang. He looked at the caller id and excused himself from the table.

“So rude!” Angela scoffed.

“I’m sorry. I have to take this call. It’s business,” Chad smiled guiltily.

“It’s alright, honey. Go make that money! Continue to add to the Summerville’s fortune,” Daphne smiled.

“Are you sure? I can always contact the office back.”

“You can go ahead, Son, we’re almost finished with brunch anyway,” Joel remarked.

“Well, okay, I’ll call you all tomorrow.”

“Bye, Chad.”

“See ya little bro.”


***


Chad got up from between Jessica’s legs, raising his head over her.

“You’re going to make me the world’s first trillionaire. The richest. We are going to be number one. I’m going to be this generation’s Mansa Musa. I see myself as the savior of the urban community. The Douglases are going down ASAP.”

Jessica turned over on her side. “Why don’t you just divorced the bitch? She’s not giving you what you need, darling.”

Chad smirked. “Paulena is my heart. I love the woman but she can be boring at times.”

He looked at his iPhone and saw messages from Paulena, Zack, Francis, and his several other mistresses. Once he leaves Jessica’s place, he was going to spend time with Rachel, Tiffany, and Michelle.

And maybe even make time with his friends Joe, willie, Gus, and Jarron during their biweekly business meeting. All of their wives were having a girls’ retreat this weekend.

Jessica got up to use the restroom. Her husband was out of town on a business retreat.

Chad sext one of his mistresses back. She sext him back a sexy and naughty video. That made him smile. Jessica was back in minutes.

“You can play with your little girl toy when you visit her,” Jessica French-kissed him as she brought herself on top of him.


***


“I barely remember having sex with him, Mom,” Paige whispered.

“Oh, honey, so are you saying that he raped you?” Jude asked.

“I don’t know. I guess. Everything happened so fast.”

Edward knocked on Paige’s bedroom door and came inside. “Hey, Jude, Paige, what are y’all talking about?”

“You can’t wait until we answer the door?” Jude asked.

Edward smirked. “Hi, sweetie, what’s up? You don’t look happy. By the way, you haven’t been yourself lately. Is everything okay?”

Paige sighed heavily and hesitated. “I was just talking to mom about girls’ stuff.”

“What kind of girls’ stuff?”

“Edward, that’s personal for our Paige!” Jude scolded.

“Hmm, I could swear that y’all were talking about Zack,” Edward sat down.

“I was talking about my period and pads too,” Paige commented.

Edward made a face. “You trying to run me out of here, aren’t you? I know I’m a man but I’m your father and I want to know what’s going on with my sweetheart too.”

“Awe,” Paige muttered.

“Awe, Paige, don’t fall for it!” Jude teased.

Steven poked his head in Paige’s room and then came in. “I heard what Paige and mom said because I was listening, Dad!"

“You were eavesdropping!” Paige angrily replied.

“Dad, Paige couldn’t remember having sex with Zack and mom was asking her if he raped her!”

“What? No way! Y’all tried to keep that from me? Thanks, Steven!”

“I’m getting ready to whup that little boy’s ass!” Steven cracked his knuckles.

“Son, don’t! We don’t want to cause any problems!” Edward warned.

“Why not? We are not the type to get pushed around by the Go-Getters. They don’t own us! We ain’t no punks!”

“Let me handle it. We are not trying to start something with that boy’s family especially his crazy daddy!”

“Paige, you should speak up when it’s something important like that,” Steven told her.

Paige rolled her eyes. “I was about to. You should have let me tell it when I was ready!”

“Steven, your mother and I are going to speak to Paige privately.”

Steven left out the room

“That’s why we grounded you for two weeks because we didn’t believe you. You lied to us about sleeping in Zack’s guest room. You slept with him,” Edward looked into her eyes.

Paige nodded. “Yeah.”

“Were there any alcohol and drugs there?”

“There was alcohol. We drank whiskey and because I got high, I couldn’t remember if we had sex.”

“Oh my gosh, Paige. You got high and can’t remember if you two had sex! He could have raped you!” Jude put her hand over her mouth and look at Edward.

“Maybe you should go and file a police report at the station?”

“Even if I don’t remember everything.”

“Yes, hopefully, it will come back to you. Let’s go do it now.”

“Now, Daddy?”

“Are you sure about that?’ Jude asked.

“Yes, now.”

“It’s not going to look good that I don’t remember all the details,” Paige uneasily replied.

“We’ll be back. Don’t kill Zack!” Edward warned Steven before they left.

Paige followed her parents to the police precinct. Officer Sally Boyce filed Paige’s complaint.

Officer Wiley was out sick and Police Chief Daryl Winters was out on a prominent case. Paige didn’t want Chief Winters taking her report especially after he treated Porsha.

But since he was in charge, she was wondering how far will her case against Zack go. The police interrogation that he did with Porsha had somehow leaked to the press and it was causing negative publicity with the public.

It also spun allegations of racism, sexism, and classism too. Black Twitter and activists were calling for the chief to resign or be fired. People were protesting at the police station.

Reporters were camped out, filming for the next news report. Officer Boyce was nice and patient with her. She had spoken with Paige alone and with her parents.

Paige told her everything about the house party, when she got drunk, when she blackout, and waking up the next day and not remembering what happened.

The officer listened carefully and didn’t interrupt. She asked appropriate questions and didn’t victim blame. Basically, she did the opposite of what Chief Winters had done with Porsha.

“I’m sorry that you went through all of that. I have to be honest with you, this would be a tough case to prosecute. It always is with these he said, she said cases. You would need to go to the hospital to get a rape exam. It would help if you can remember anything about that night. Maybe if something can jog your memory. If you remember anything, please let us know. You can call me at any time, you have my personal number, Paige,” Officer Boyce sympathized with her.

“Thank you,” Paige smiled. The officer made Paige feel better.

Edward and Jude spoke with the officer privately. Paige waited for them. Then they left the precinct and went home.

Zack called and text Paige but she ignored him. She replayed his voicemail.


“Paige, why won’t you talk to me. I have a feeling you have been avoiding me. You won’t answer my calls or texts, or emails. It’s about that night, isn’t it? I’m sorry about what happened. You’ve been acting differently to me. Anyway, please get back in touch with me.

Bye, Zack"


Paige leaned against her bed and laid down on it. Her period had come on. It was over a week late. She was glad that tomorrow was the start of the weekend.

Paige had taken some Pamprin and drank ice-cold water and got back in bed. Sometimes her cramps were mild and then sometimes like this time—it was bad.

She glanced at her television and saw Chad Summerville having a political rally for his reelection, tens of thousands of fans were looking happy and cheering.

Paige couldn’t stand the noise while she was in pain so she turned it off and tried to get some rest and sleep.

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