The Life of Kiana Young

“Morning Miss Young, how are you today?”
I watched the doctor take his usual seat in front of me. His pad of notes under his left arm and his glasses in his right hand. His white coat down to his shins, with his white shirt and black skinny tie underneath neatly pressed and ironed completing the doctor look that I’d grown so well to hate.
“The same as every day doctor.”
“Oh Miss Young,” He said sitting down whilst opening his pad on the table. “I told you that you could call me Lucas.” I looked at the doctor, watching him closely as he clicked his pen ready to start the 9’o’clock session.
“I prefer doctor.”
“Then doctor it is.”

He flicked through the pages of notes, skimming through what he’d written about me in the last few encounters we had. Trying to seem as though he was reminding himself where he left off, doing the occasional scratch on his chin or silent approval when he came across a key note. When in actual fact, he remembers exactly what we last spoke about and what he wanted to speak about this session.
He falls onto his most recent notes on myself and nods, then flicks onto a new sheet of white paper.
“Where did we finish last time?”
“I thought that was what you were doing just now?”
“What do you mean Miss Young?”
“All the flicking through your notes, nodding and humming to yourself – weren’t you doing all of that so we could skip all these niceties and get straight to the point?”

“Hmm, you seem a little tense today Miss Young?”
I look towards the two guards standing by the door, then at the two plain clothed guards that were acting as though they were watching the television when really, they were waiting for me to out of character so they could pin me down and sedate me. I rolled my eyes, trying to hide my annoyance, but failing to do so.
Ever since they put me here, classified me as crazy, I continuously failed to suppress my inner emotions. Maybe it’s due to the number of times I’ve been drugged, sometimes I don’t even know how I feel or think. But all I am aware of is that the more they pump these drugs into my system, the more I can feel my self-control slip.
“Doctor, how can one not be tense when they are in a stray jacket?”

I chuckled ever so lightly, trying to keep the sane image solid, even though I knew the doctor could see through it as clear as day.
“Well that is true, but I heard you got a little physical last night?”
“Doctor, I requested for different colour bed sheets. They bought me white… I refused to use it and here I sit today. With white bed sheets and strapped in a white stray jacket.” “Hmm,” He wrote a few notes in his now less empty pad and then looked back at me. “I want to talk about how you got here Miss Young, where this all started.”
With no response, he continued on with his plan of the day. “I want to know how Miss Young got in this seat, opposite me in a stray jacket – what triggered all of this?”

“Well I told you about how I’m in a stray jacket.”
“Miss Young…”
The doctor looked at me sternly, the two guards by the door turned their focus to me and the two plain guards had moved closer to my seat without my knowing. I swallowed my sarcasm and looked back at the doctor. I knew how this went, if I didn’t comply then I’d find myself laying in the room which was now my home. The four white walls taunting me, letting me know that no matter how much I tried, I was getting nowhere they didn’t want me to go.
Refocusing my attention back to the doctor, I sighed. “What do you want to know doctor?”
“I want to know what caused you to react the way you did that day. What went through your mind as you decided to change your life and commit that crime you did?”
With a sigh I look at the table. Where was I meant to begin? It’s clear to say the beginning, but every time I thought of the beginning I realised that the change happened within me long before I was aware. I looked at the doctor and then closed my eyes.
“I was sixteen and I’d just woken up to some tragic news.”

[Continuation of Kiana’s story next week- stay tuned]

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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

Under The Bus Shelter

Each droplet cascaded down his face, the rain failed to stop for two days, the only difference about today was that the clouds had descended to join in on the game the rain had already started. He couldn’t see. The fog had taken his sight and the rain had physically trapped him under a bus shelter. The street lights did next to nothing on creating a sort of path for citizens to follow, the weather had control of everything and everybody. This was recorded to be the worst day in the year, but he knew that the weather wasn’t the reason this day was the worst – it was the earlier events. He looked down at his jacket that was completely soaked, ‘Superdry my ass.’ He’d spent good hard earned money on that coat, which did nothing other than invite the rain and keep him wet, rather than keeping him dry. The irony he thought, Superdry insinuated that anyone wearing it should remain dry, but here he stands, his shirt underneath his jacket soaked, and his face and hair drenched.
He knew he had to keep moving, there was no point staying under the bus shelter, the weather wasn’t going to ease up, according to the weather man, who finally was right about the weather. He looked to his left and to his right, not like he could see anything, but just to make sure where he wanted to walk was clear, as he was planning on sprinting home.

 

She dashed under the bus shelter and took a loud exasperating sigh. She’d jinxed herself, nobody told her to utter those fours forbidden words, ‘What could get worse?’ And here she stood, under the bus shelter, hair soaked and a lousy jacket to protect her from the rain that seemed to continue to pour without anyone’s consent. The fog had her running into multiple people. She’d never had to say ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me’ so much in her life, until today. She squinted down the road, hoping for a bus, but knew that’d be a slim chance with how the weather was panning out. Her glasses were literally futile now, as drops of rain had blurred her vision. She sighed again, and looked around, noticed many people under the shelter. A elderly woman stood, what seemed to be huddled to the corner, visibly cold and worried, but remaining quiet. She could barely make out the features of the old woman’s face, as the rain destroyed her sight, so she continued to look on. Another woman, of similar age to her, stood looking angry and frustrated. She continuously checked her watch, and looked to the sky as though a plea for God to reduce the rain, or do something for everyone to make it home, but she guessed her pleas were gone unheard. A man nearest to the edge of the shelter stood posed for a dash. He kept watching the sky, the sidewalk and the rain all at once, as though he was weighing up the odds. She chuckled lightly to herself and shook her head, they’d be no way he was getting anywhere far with the way the sky had cried for the past two days. But he clutched onto his hood and seemed to be pumping himself up. She would have loved to watch him try to make it even across the road without turning back, but her glasses had began fogging up again and she didn’t have any dry wear to try to clean her lenses.

 

She thought about her husband at home by himself and tried to control her irrational thoughts. Harold was old and couldn’t move around as freely as he once did, and she knew by now he’d be panicking about her whereabouts. But she was also old and fragile herself and this bloody rain had forced her to remain under this bus shelter, which was steadily getting more packed by the minute. She’d been there for almost twenty minutes now; seen people come and go. Some would make it as far as Bennie’s sweet shop and return back to the shelter, where others, those she referred to as the bravest of them all, would manage the rain and continue on with their journey. She wished she were like them.
She had a husband who would be worrying himself sick if she didn’t return soon and she didn’t want to imagine him stepping out to look for her. She’d only said she’d be doing some food shopping and wouldn’t be long. And ever since his accident, he’d been glued to the TV, so when she told him she was going he was very adamant that she stays indoors because the weatherman claimed today’s weather was going to be a whole lot worse than yesterday. But she didn’t believe Harold or the weatherman. And now here she stood, clasping her bag and hoping the weather would slow down for just a few minutes so she could get home. The buses seemed to not be in service due to bad weather and cars had slowly stopped driving passed her, which only meant the roads were too dangerous for vehicles to be running. She sighed again and looked at the sky, praying Harold had patience and would wait for her at home.

 

That’s it, this is definitely the worst birthday ever.’ She thought to herself after finding a spot under the bus shelter. Her hair appointment was cancelled the day before, so the money she’d brought on her hair (that she’d bragged about for weeks) was wasted, as it wasn’t going to be used for her birthday. The restaurant she called for her boyfriend and herself had somehow lost her reservation number and to make matters worse she was trapped in the rain she fought so hard to dodge. She planned that she’d leave her house extra early to get some food supplies, to make this day somewhat worth celebrating. But some mother at the store had found an issue with every item she brought; making her fifteen-minute shop, turn into a thirty-minute moan.
She looked down at her waterproof Uggs and screamed in her head. They said waterproof, but this rain was on a whole other scale, she wasn’t sure her Ugg boots could withstand this rain, and by the feel of the little tiny wet drops of water tickling her toes, she knew they were damaged. She checked her phone, realising her phone had low battery and stuffed it back in her pocket.
Was this rain trying to symbolise how her new year was going to turn out? Because nothing had gone according to plan, if anything her life seemed to fall apart after hitting the age of twenty-five. She huddled deeper into the bus shelter, feeling stray rain droplets caress her face. As she moved back, a man ran passed her crunching her foot and further damaging her boots. She looked down in horror to find a black, wet footprint across the front of her beige boots and felt the urge to scream. She looked up to see if she could catch the man, but he was gone. She was about to stare at her boots again, feeling the need to cry her day away, when an old lady caught her eye and gave her an unapologetic smile. ‘Today couldn’t get any worse.’

 

He couldn’t contain his audible laugh. Everyone had given him funny looks earlier on in the day, questioning his attire. Looking at his wellington boots and umbrella and chuckling to themselves, as he seemed to look overdressed for the rain that was only spitting at that time. But look who prevailed! Yes it was raining and heavily too, but he was prepared and now watching a man sprint from the bus shelter to his next destination and observing the many people camping under the bus shelter, had him laughing. Nothing was going to stop him, not this rain and definitely not the judgmental stares he was receiving as he walked passed everyone.
He wanted to shout, ‘you should have been more prepared!’ but he wasn’t that much of a dick. So he watched them all bunch together like an awkward extended family meeting and laughed some more. Today hadn’t been the best day for him. Money was tight and the rent was coming round fast again. He tried to get a second job – but with his attire he hadn’t managed to impress anyone enough for a handshake and hopeful words. But the sight he was seeing had definitely brightened up his day.
A woman stood looking at her ruined boots, another kept constantly wiping her glasses, a man kept searching for a bus that was never coming and an elderly lady watched the sky. And there he stood, opposite them as dry as he could possibly be, under a sturdy umbrella that wouldn’t flip inside out against a strong passing of the wind, in a raincoat that didn’t keep him warm, but did keep him dry and in boots that fought hard against the rain. He shook his head and continued with his journey home. ‘Should have come more prepared.’ He thought.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun