Harlem Death

My knuckles turned white as I gripped onto the steering wheel, remembering how they marched and chanted for freedom and “equal rights”, holding banners like they deserved to be placed on the same peddle stool as us white folk were on. I was beyond tempted to take down each and every one of them that walked passed me, all high and mighty, fists in the air and hope in their hearts. My fingers twitched on the trigger of my gun, but lucky for them my colleague stood beside me and reassured me there’ll be other times where we could get revenge, for now that was their moment.

It was bad enough and obvious that that nigger, Rev Brown, used black magic in order to win the vote to send his child to our schools, but now they demand for more? My blood still boils daily when I think about how a nigger has the opportunity to sit amongst my kind and learn the same information my children are learning. It’s an abomination. We all know their mentality isn’t strong enough to comprehend what the schools teach, that’s why they were under our control for so many years, because they needed our brains to help tell them how to function. But here there are now, ungrateful bastards, declaring for equal rights and the rights to vote, when did they feel they were the same as us?

I took a deep breath and controlled my anger, releasing my grip on the steering wheel. It was only a matter of time before God corrected this mistake that the devil obviously had committed and put America back into order. Because if God failed to return America to what it once was, we’d have to deal with more people like Malcolm X, who felt the need to speak for his people and demand for things like the rights to vote or equality, which he had no right in asking for. People like him would provide all of them with false hope that I didn’t have time or energy to shut down. I can already see it, all of them walking around like they own the streets, attempting to stand up against us because we haven’t taken the time to assert authority and fear over them.

Instead, now it’s my kids that come home with the same fear that they used to have in their eyes a few years ago. It’s my kids who look at me during dinner as though I failed doing my job as a father and as a police officer. It’s my duty to keep them safe and to keep those animals out of the public eye, but here I am, cruising through Harlem watching them chant for segregation to be abolished, walking into ‘only whites in’ entrances in order to prove a point.

Being in this part of town did nothing but fuel my anger, seeing them so frequently and not under the care of a white persons command, kept my frustrations at bay, so I decided that leaving would be the best. Not for myself, but for them, because the longer I stayed amongst them, the more tempted I felt to kill them all, to prove that they have no chance in succeeding in a society that is ruled by our kind. Just as I begun to leave Harlem, a boy rushes out in front of my car, causing me to slam on my breaks, jerking me hard against my chair. Instantly a sharp pain in my neck arose and I knew this anomaly of the world had given me a whiplash. I was already having a bad day and there stood a coloured boy watching me in awe as I rubbed the back of my neck as it ached in agony. Cursing quietly, I opened my door and rolled my neck back and forth, in attempt to ease the pain, whilst walking towards the boy.

 

“I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking!”

“Shut your damn mouth.” I rubbed my neck, making sure the pain wasn’t too severe then focused on the boy.

“I was in a rush to catch the bus, that I wasn’t focusing on the road, so I didn’t see you.”

“I said shut your mouth, I didn’t ask for a explanation. Where are you coming from nigger?” His face grew tight after hearing the word ‘nigger’, but he seemed smart enough not to react to it. He shifted from one leg to the other, never breaking eye contact with me.

“From school sir.”

“Oh you’re one of those ones. You think you can handle me right?”

“No sir.”

“Well you’re looking at me like you want to hit me?”

“That’s incorrect sir.”

“So you’re telling me I’m lying?” The coloured boy kept quiet and lowered his gaze to his shoes. This is what my duty was, to enforce fear into his kind, so that they knew their place in society.

“Sorry sir.”

“Where’s the evidence that you’ve just come from school?” The boy slowly reached in his pocket, making me draw for my weapon. I wasn’t going to take any chances, knowing how those people worked, they’ll act like they are going to co-operate and before you know it, your body is laying on the floor covered in blood. As soon as he saw my gun, he stopped moving and put his hands in the air.

“I didn’t tell you to stop, show me some identification that you came from school.”

“But sir, you’ve drawn your weapon.”

“I won’t tell you again nigger, show me some identification or I’ll be forced to take you to the precinct.”

The boy’s hand visibly shook as it moved closer to his back pocket, whilst my fingers twitched on the trigger of the gun. As soon as he’d grabbed something out of his pocket, I shouted in my radio, ‘I have a suspect reaching for a weapon.’ And the pulled the trigger. His body lifelessly dropped to the ground, whilst his registration card lay a few inches away from his body. I put my gun back in my holster and stood closer to the coloured body feeling no remorse, as his body lay limp on the ground, other than joy. I looked around, wondering whether anyone else had witnessed the scene, but there was no one around. I made sure I didn’t stand close enough so that my shoes were in his blood, but I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I knew in my heart that, I had managed to get one less nigger off the streets. I felt as though I had done my duty, my kids were safe. My fellow white folks were safe. That was all I wanted for my kind, for them to be safe and have no fear that their lives were in danger – and as the thick crimson blood slowly began creeping towards the tip of my black leather boots I knew that as long as more blood was drawn, the world was going to be a better place.

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note:

 

As a young black female, I tend to see a lot of videos posted on my Facebook wall about how the world has become more abusive to a selective group. And for what reason? Because of the colour of their skin? Or their religion? I’m a Christian and one thing I believe in is freewill and it utterly disgusts me when I see people mistreated, verbally/physically abused and alienated by something that should not be a issue in the first place.
I’ve been trying for a while to write stories that reflected the hurt that I see when I watch these videos of people being shot for no reason, or for kids being bullied due to their religion and weirdly enough I find it difficult. Harlem Death was something I wrote a few months ago but didn’t post because I wasn’t too sure how people were going to take it. But I do hope that people see the irrationality from the narrator of this story and hopefully dislike him as much as I did as I was writing him up.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Sarah E. Balogun

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Big 6 [Part 1]

Harriett could read people in a matter of seconds. And it took her less than a second to realise she wasn’t going to like the woman that stood before her. Her stance and her atmosphere-oozed with power, power she clearly didn’t have once she’d left this school building. Harriett could have mentally listed approximately seven things about the woman that stood hovering over her that she disapproved, but the one she found herself repeating the most was the way she was looking at her. Like I was nothing. The woman’s chin lifted ever so slightly. Not in a defiant way, but more so challenging Harriett. This woman wasn’t going to be easy interviewing, and staying calm was going to be even harder, Harriett thought. It didn’t help that the woman was a foot or two taller than her, so any action the woman performed, like gesturing towards a chair for her to sit in, felt like a demand that she was forced to comply with.

Harriett politely declined the offer to sit, knowing if she sat down her height would further decrease along with the power this woman seemed to try to take away from her.

“What can I do for you detective…?”

The woman said sitting behind her desk, speaking whilst rearranging the items that were already neatly organised on the table.

“Costa.”

The woman nodded and smiled, in attempt to hurry her along with the conversation.

“Yes, so what can I do for you today?”

Harriett stood behind the seat that was offered to her and brought her pad of notes out, ignoring the blatant hint the woman threw at her showing her lack of interest.

“I have a few questions for you.”

“Regarding?”

“Regarding the two missing children from your school, Annabelle Adedun and Abiola Lawal?”

Harriett watched her face attentively to see how she reacted to the news about two of her pupils being classified as missing. But only felt angered when the woman shrugged nonchalantly as though she hadn’t taught or known both girls that were students in her own school.

“Detective, I have many pupils in this school. Calling out a name or two won’t help narrow down who you’re referring to. I assume you have photo’s, information or something more specific to help me remember these girls?”

Harriett controlled her anger and plastered a smile on her lips, she’s testing me, she thought. There weren’t many reasons as to why Harriett disliked teachers, but one reason for sure was that they never seem to turn off that patronising voice they used on their students. No matter who you were, teachers were most likely going to speak to you in the same tone they spoke to every child who walked through those gates every morning and who walked out every afternoon.

“I’m surprised you, as the head mistress, is unfamiliar with the names of pupils that attended your school. When I was in school my head teacher made sure she familiarised herself with all the students.”

“Well detective, I don’t know what school you were taught at,” She paused, far longer than needed. The unspoken words added to Harriett’s anger, but she calmed the roaring seas in her mind and allowed the woman to finish. “But it’s not a priority to learn the names in this institution. What is the priority is to ensure the students are learning in a safe environment and are getting the most out of the education we provide for them.”

“How safe can this environment be if two of your pupils were reported missing a week ago, whilst on school premises?”

This had gotten her attention. Straightening her back and squinting her eyes slightly, she looked at Harriett daring her to add to her last comment. With no further addition to her question, the head teacher leaned forward on her desk, resting her chin on both her hands that were intertwined with each other.

“Are you claiming that ­I – the head mistress – played a part in the disappearance of these two pupils or are you just being disrespectful about the way I handle and run this school?”

“Neither, I just want to know a little about the students and their progression in school. Whether they were failing or not, did they have behavioural issues, was there any complications between the girls and other students?” The head mistress dropped her hand and slowly rose from her chair, not breaking eye contact with Harriett. She slowly walked around the desk, sorting a loose sheet of paper and stood head to head with Harriett.

“You’ve come to me in the middle of the school day, insulted my procedures and as I will take it, have attempted to place me under the suspicion that I may be a suspect of the disappearance of those two girls. Whatever information you are looking for would not be coming from me detective. Maybe try their parents, or close friends but for now I suggest you turn around and leave my office – because there is nothing here to help a person like you with this little case you’re trying to build.”

“A person like me? Being a detective or being black?”

The head mistress bent down just a little so that their faces were a few inches away from each other and slid on a small smile. Looking into Harriett’s eyes, holding her gaze as she spoke, “Either, take your pick.”

Sister Abigail’s Unfaithfulness

Questions. All I’ve received these last few months are questions. ‘But father, if what you have been preaching about is true, then why would other people go searching for answers that the Bible should have provided?’ How many times must I explain to them that those who search for answers that the Bible has already given to them are unwilling to see the truth that is brought to them by Christ?

But none of my responses ease their mind. It’s almost as though, the more time I spend answering their questions and giving them reasons for other people’s actions, I fuel them with more enquiries. Father what more can I do for your people? I am only human and for that reason myself, I cannot deliver the answers they all search and plead to hear. I try to teach your people in the way you’ve instructed me, but nothing seems to work. Instead, more questions arise.

A few weeks ago, Sister Abigail came to me after Sunday service with a look I knew far too well. She had wanted to confide in me, which was a regular thing for people to do. She stood in front of me as everyone had begun to speak in small groups after service, shifting her weight onto each leg, fiddling with her fingers and looking down towards the ground. Noticing her tense posture, I rested my hands gently on her shoulders and reassured her things would be okay. No matter what she told me it’d be in confidence and I would be willing to advise her the best way I could, with the help of you.

She sighed and proceeded, “Father, now that the niggers are claiming for civil rights, it’s made me wonder why we, as the church haven’t accepted them earlier. They are human, just like you and I, and today you preached saying ‘God made everything in his own image’. If that’s the case then the niggers should have been allowed to worship with us, right?” I wasn’t too sure how to answer her question, let alone process it. I don’t get asked regularly whether niggers should be allowed to worship with us, because everyone knows that niggers and us folk are two completely different beings. But here before me stood Sister Abigail, asking me why I haven’t let niggers into the house of God to pray with us… was the preaching I performed today all in vain?

I wasn’t angry, more disappointed. She should know how the world functions, and the world only functions in the way it does because of you Lord, so why would she question such things when this is way life is meant to be? I tried to give her an uplifting smile and explained to her, ‘You see Sister Abigail, the way the world spins is because of God, the way food grows is because of God, the reason why you and I are here is because of God. And the reason why niggers aren’t accepted into the world is because of God. It is just the way God made things. You see, they are examples for us, parables even. The way they are and the way they behave are ways us folk shouldn’t. We must deter from their behaviour and remain in the path of God. Did God not create the Devil?’ She gave me a small nod, still looking down at her feet. ‘And the Devil is nothing but wicked and disobedient, hence why he was abolished from the Kingdom of Heaven. Niggers are like the Devil in this case and we are like God. The niggers are disobedient, destructive and downright bad, so we must cast them out of society and out of our lives, like what God did to the Devil. You must understand Sister Abigail, everything in this world happens for a reason, because of the one and only.”

She seemed to understand everything I was saying. She listened attentively, nodded when I asked a question and then thanked me when I was finished and left. I knew I had done my job to answer her question and give you justice to the best of my ability. But this Sunday after service I heard rumours, and you know me God I don’t indulge myself in idle talk. But what was being said was that Sister Abigail had left the church. I thought about it and realised she hadn’t been to church ever since she confided in me and now she’s left. Of course I felt like her choice of action was my fault. Was it what I told her? Or was it something else that had bothered her? She’d been a member for almost twelve years now. I would consider her one of the most devoted and reliable members of this church.

That was until today. I needed to understand the reason behind her leaving, just in case if I was the cause, because at least then I could pray for forgiveness for losing a member of the church. So I asked the committee, who found, through word of mouth, that she had left to join a religious organisation, one that was very unknown, but was apparently known (told by Sister Agnes) to express equality. Equality between black folks and white folks, I shook my head after hearing this. No church that was built in that way was a church of Christ.

If that was the church Sister Abigail’s heart desired to go to, then I wasn’t going to stop her. It was obvious from her actions that she was the minority of white folk who seemed to believe niggers and us folk were meant to live together. There was nothing I could do for her anymore, no amount of prayer could save her from the clutch the Devil had upon her. All I can do is pray that nobody associates her abnormal behaviour with this church, because this church is strictly for whites and God fearing people only.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

 

Elliot & I [Part 2]

I hadn’t seen Elliot since our intimate moment on the balcony where we found ourselves confessing our love for each other one moment and then where I found myself being pulled away from him the next. I wasn’t sure what mother planned to do with me as she dragged me closer to the hall that evening. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I wasn’t even sure if she could do anything more to increase the pain I had begun feeling. But when she abruptly stopped near the rotating doors that led into the ceremonial hall and faced me and said,

“Love? You think you love him Alexandra? You no nothing of love, so get that out of your head.” It was then I realised that mother could actually somehow make this already bad situation worse. Even now as I lay on the bed thinking about that evening, I wouldn’t forget how she felt no sympathy towards my emotions. Instead she sent me to the toilet to get cleaned up (as she stood guard outside) and then told me to not utter a word throughout the rest of the night. Not as though I was planning to talk someone’s ear off anyway. It didn’t help that once we did return back to our seats, Elliot and his family had left. I couldn’t even have another chance to see Elliot and explain my love for him, explain to him how important his love is to me.

And here I lay, two weeks since I’d shared that passionate moment with him, I can’t help but find myself grow impatient. Every day grew more harder without speaking with him or seeing him. Not as though we saw each other frequently, but at least we had the opportunity to text. But ever since mother caught us, she made sure my phone was confiscated. Not only that she made it a necessity that anywhere I went I was to be guarded. I wasn’t under any threat, well – she’d say Elliot was enough to be a threat. But because of her lack of trust in me (I could only presume), the security men followed me wherever I went. I could barely leave my room without one of the guards trailing behind me, like an unwanted shadow. What still puzzled me was the fact my father hadn’t sat me down to discuss what had occurred. I was sure my mother would have instantly told my father as soon as we got into settled into the limo on our way home that night. But after he continuously spoke about business deals and future movements with other companies, I realised he knew nothing of my venture with Elliot on the balcony. Which surprised me as to why my mother would spare me? It’s almost to impossible to believe she would do anything to protect me, especially when it came to Elliot. But I knew she hadn’t told father, so I made sure I didn’t bring it up.

There was many times I thought about sneaking away from the guard that was allocated to watch over me. Last week I tried to lose Mr O’Neil in the hustle and bustle of the London streets. But after I believed to have gotten away, he showed up in front of me a few minutes later. These men were trained to follow orders and it was then I knew no amount of plotting or sneaking away would actually be successful. I sat up, tired of being caged away in my room with nothing other than my thoughts to keep me company. I was exhausted of thinking about how Elliot was or what he was getting up to. I didn’t want to think about how only two weeks ago did he confess his love to me and my mother and now I no nothing of how he currently feels. I had to do something to ease my anxiety. I slipped my feet into some casual slippers that were laid just near my wardrobe and opened my room door. I was done laying waiting for something to happen. I was going to make sure I saw Elliot today.

As I opened the door Fredrick stood firm, his gaze looking straight ahead, whilst his body remained upright and ready to defend. When he saw me walk out, he looked at me.
“Fredrick there’s somewhere I need you to drive me.”
“Miss Alexandra, I’ve received orders that you should remain at home whilst your mother and father attend their meal tonight.”
“Fredrick I understand you’ve taken orders, but there is somewhere I must desperately go. If you fail to take me, I will find my own way there. And there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
I looked at Fredrick’s build and slightly chuckled in my head. If Fredrick wanted me back in my room, there were more than ten ways he could do so without breaking a sweat. But I was determined to see Elliot today. Especially with my parents out having dinner, there wasn’t going to be an opportunity like this anytime soon. I had to seize the opportunity.
“And where would you be going Miss Alexandra?”
I hadn’t decided on the lie I was to tell Fredrick, but if I hesitated for just a second, he would know that I was planning on meeting Elliot.
“I’d prefer to direct you myself. It’s private.”

The guards had no right to intervene with our personal lives. They were there for a job and that job purpose only. Fredrick understood he had no right to question my privacy, which pained me to see him disobey his orders. But I had to start doing things for myself or else I’d never find happiness. He gave me a stern nod and walked me out of the house to the family car, ready for his directions. It took a while for us to arrive at Elliot’s house. I made sure the directions I gave Fredrick were beyond complicated so he couldn’t trace where exactly I was going. But as soon as he saw the road name, he parked the car and turned off the engine.
“Miss Alexandra –”
“Fredrick I won’t be a second. Please remain here whilst I just go and return something to someone.” Without another word, I left the car before he could stop me. My heart pounded against my chest as I grew excited knowing soon I’d see Elliot. Soon I’d be with him, in his embrace, digesting our newfound love for each other. I walked passed a few cars before getting to his property. Normally two or three cars would be parked in his driveway, however tonight, a row of cars were lined up, and even spilling to the street where other cars were parked. I quietly snuck passed the entrance and begun making my way to the back of his house, where a vine which clasped on tightly to the bricks of his home would be awaiting me to climb right into the window of his room. The vines were beside the kitchen window, where it seemed the event that must have been occurring at Elliot’s house was taking place. Different voices emerged from the kitchen, whilst cutleries were being played with constantly. Elliot could be amongst them and probably was, but I was willing to wait for him in his room, rather than check if he sat with the cluster that seemed to be going on in his kitchen.

After testing a vine or two, I started to climb up when a voice from the kitchen stopped me in my tracks.
“That fucking Harold Bennett, you know what if I had the choice to build my business or kill him…I’d kill him.” The kitchen burst out into laughter, as the male voice choked on his own laughter and continued. “No that man is a bastard. I still don’t understand how a nigger has managed to get what he’s got. Can you imagine Clifford is till this very day struggling on receiving clients for his upcoming technology program he’s starting. And there’s Harold Bennett, not even giving a fucking damn. I told him about Clifford and he said he’ll ‘sort something out’,” He huffed and continued. “Sort something out, the cheek like we need help from him, from people like him.”
“It’s ridiculous how things have changed.” A feminine voice spoke after the room had settled to listen to the mans story. Quickly climbing down from the vines, I slowly creep up to the window, just to see who was talking so poorly of my father. But recognised no one, just a room full of people in suits and dresses, eating a meal and bad mouthing my father.
“Don’t worry Jo, they always seem to fuck themselves up one way or the other. Am I right?”
The room fell into laughter again as these strangers mocked my family and my race. Stunned, I couldn’t find the energy to stop watching, to leave and tell Fredrick to drive me home. No, instead I looked around. Hoping to not see anyone I recognised, it was bad enough these people I knew nothing of was praying for my father to face a downfall, but if it was people I recognised I wouldn’t know what I’d do. But then I saw him. Elliot, sitting down with a plate full of food, chuckling with them. Finding the words that cut so deep to me amusing. I wasn’t sure I was seeing accurately. But the more I stared at him, the clearer everything became. He agreed with what they were saying. I shouldn’t be shocked, my father always made it obvious to him that he didn’t like Elliot. But I never assumed this would have had an affect on how he saw the rest of us. The scene that was before me was far too much for my brain and heart to comprehend. Who was Elliot? Elliot, the same man that I just recently confessed my love too, was the same man that sat amongst racists and found their disrespectful words amusing. Even as I stood there in what I can only assume was shock, I couldn’t help but remember my parents. Remember their own narrow mindset and how discriminating it was at times. They never truly gave me a reason why they disliked Elliot so passionately, but it was obvious his skin colour was a factor. So did that mean I had a right to be angry? My parents were just as bad as the strangers in suits and dresses that sat around the table hoping for my father to fail and belittling my race?

With the pain, hurt and confusion slowly slipping its way into my muscles, I found the energy to turn away. Not aware of Elliot’s mum who stood a few steps away from me, watching me watch them talk about my father. With a pained look in her eye, she followed my previous gaze onto Elliot and then returned her gaze back to me. With no words to say that could possibly explain or reduce the shock I received, I walked passed her and back to Fredrick. Wishing I stayed in bed.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun