“Okay Lena you can go now, don’t need my friends seeing a negro in my house looking like that.” Mrs. Lonnie said, looking me up and down, sticking up her nose. I have been working for little Mrs. Lonnie for over seven years, and I hated every single second of it. She had no right to talk to me like that, yet she can because I need this job. Quietly I said “yes ma’am” and walked out, finally getting to go home.
Ring. Ring. Ring. I had just gotten home from a long day of cleaning Mrs. Lonnie’s house. Huffing, I picked up the telephone and closed my eyes saying "Hello, Lena speaking." "Yes ma'am my name is Officer Wilkes and I wanted to let you know your husband Marcus has been arrested." All I felt was shock that I didn't realize I had dropped the phone. My only thoughts were about my poor Marcus. What happened? Suddenly I snapped out of my delusional state and picked up the phone. "Excuse me sir but, what seems to have happened? My husband ain't no criminal." There was a brief pause, and some shuffling on the other line, then he said, "Well me being the arresting officer, I know exactly what that negro did. I got a call saying some black man had come in and sat down at a white restaurant trying to eat there. So I came in and told him he had to leave, and he refused. Then I had asked him twice more and he still wouldn't budge so here we are now. Does that answer your question Miss?" Pure rage surged in me and I had to refrain from yelling loudly into the phone. Still with venom in my voice I said, "Sir, do you know who your talking to? I'm his wife! Don't you dare call my husband a negro! He did no such thing wrong! We should be allowed to sit, eat, play, drink, and go where ever we want when we want. Our skin doesn't define who we are as a human being. Now I demand you release him right this moment!" Again there was the slightest pause, making me hope I had gotten my point across. Finally, Officer Wilkes cleared his throat and said, "No can do ma'am. He has a right for a lawyer if your poor, sorry negroes can even afford one, and visiting hours are Mondays through Sundays from 1-5 in the afternoon. Goodbye now." Suddenly the line went dead and by now I was so angry I could have been mistaken as a venomous snake. This was not over.
“Hello Sir? Sir?”, I slammed down the phone for what seemed to be the hundredth time in the last two hours. Ain’t no one gonna help me I guess. What does it take to get a lawyer round here? My poor, poor Marcus. If only my parents had left more money in their will for me so I could get someone representing Marcus. I sunk down on the wall and put my head on my knees, tears threatening to fall for the millionth time today. What was I gonna do? My Marcus was counting on me and there’s nothing I seem to be able to do. Somehow I found the strength to get on my knees and started to pray. “God, please im begging you to help me out on this one. I’ve never wanted something so badly other than freedom to be myself and wear the skin I bare. Have mercy on your soul if you are listening. My Marcus, oh my Marcus-” I couldn’t seem to go on, as my soft sobs became unwillingly louder and out of control. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something red catch my eye. I went over to the small bookshelf we had in our living room, practically dragging myself there. It seemed that it was an old, dusty book at first sight but when I looked through it, it was a diary. The whole diary was empty and seemed to be at least a decade old. When did this get in here? Then I remembered, it was my mother's gift to me on my fifteenth birthday, made to be “special”. I never got much on my birthday because we usually had little to no money left after my parents got paid. Our main priorities were food, clothing, and a roof over our heads. This was a time in our lives where things were going good and my mother said that it was about time I got something worth their money. Father never knew about it which made it our “special” secret. I never forgot that day because it was one of the good memories of my parents that I could still wrap around my finger, tugging at my heart strings every once in awhile. I could feel something tempestuous flowing through me and then I started to write. I wrote all my feelings I felt right at this moment, and started shaping out a story about my whole twenty nine years of living that I could recall. From all the looks and names directed towards my family, and all the blacks out here in the south, to the events that had happened in the last twenty four hours. After I had miraculously finished in just under three hours, another strong feeling overcame me. Relieve. I had written down my feelings and my body had lost its sorrow, anger, and loss. In that very moment I just knew that things would work out because God has plans for everything.
All I could think about was my Lena, and how she was holding up with the arrest and everything. I hope she could find a lawyer or something because I couldn’t stand this cold, dark jailcell anymore. I haven’t heard from her, even spoken with her since this morning before we were off to our jobs. I had somehow managed when they interrogated me in that dark room. It felt just as cold and just as menacing as my cell. Every minute I was in there felt like I was getting buried deeper and deeper in the depths of Hell. I had quite a few cellmates, all of them being brethren of the same skin tone as me. We had made small talk and word was that this was a prison known for easy escape. I was the leader because I was better built than the rest of them. We had started planning our escape, and most of it was in place ready for us to take action. The plan was foolproof, and with cooperation and trust would easily work. I had to get out and reunite with my girl, then we would run off to avoid being caught. My plan after was to pack any belongings and catch a train on the way up north from here so that we could be free and live our lives together happily forever. All the guys had went to sleep getting some rest for our plan to be put into action tomorrow morning. I slipped off my bed quietly not to disturb any of them and got down on my knees and prayed. “Lord Almighty, please protect my Lena. If anything were to happen to her I don’t know what I would do. She is the love of my life. If our plan works tomorrow then I will pray to you every single day of the rest of my life. Lena and I, we deserve this. We’ve lived with the stereotypes and the snide remarks for most of our lives, and we just need to be free. Lena, my beautiful Lena-” I had started softly sobbing. I just hoped that she was doing okay and that I would be with her again soon.
“Go!” We had set the plan to action. Everyone was scattered everywhere trying to escape. I had made it out of the prison and started heading in the direction towards where Lena was. Our plan had sailed smoothly on by. Wren, one of the guys in my cell had pretended to have been injured so that the guards would come and unlock the doors. Then we ran at them and pressed the button on the side of one of the walls and freed everyone else locked up. I had finally made it home and ran inside. “Lena! Lena! I’m home darling!” I shouted to the rooftops. I hear her small footsteps run towards me as I open my arms for her to jump in them. I spin her around and hear her soft sobs. As we part, I wipe her tears away with my thumb, caressing her face. “H-how did you-” I cut her off by covering her mouth and say, “Hush Lena. Listen, me and all the others made a plan and helped everyone escape. The police know where we live so you need to start packing all the important things and we will catch the next train up north. We can start our life all over again and be free at last. We can start a family finally.” She had started crying again and hugged me tightly saying, “I love you so much. Yes! i'll get going on packing.” I smiled at her and started packing all my belongings.
In a half hours time we were hiding behind a tree, waiting for the right train to board. Then, we found the perfect one and snuck on towards the back. I turned towards her and said, “Well Lena, we are finally going to be free. I love you and I can’t wait for a new start.” She looked at me, her luminescent brown eyes shining in the sunlight. Then she leaned in near my ear and whispered, “I love you so much more than you ever could imagine. A new beginning for us, and our little one on the way.” My eyes got wide and I looked at her and smiled like a cheshire cat. Then I leaned in and kissed her, showing her how I felt about her unexpected news. When we parted, I whispered to her, “To new beginnings.” After that the train started to move and we were off to freedom, and to the rest of our lives.