I laid naked on top of him while I ran my hand over his incoming stubble. I loved when he didn’t shave for a couple of days. It gave him that edge that drove me crazy. His fingers danced along the small of my back while he kissed my forehead, leaving one at a time. I didn’t want to move, but only fall deeper with him. Unfortunately, Eric and I had to take short trip down south. Heat and hell was what I thought of when the south was mentioned. We both had stories that we could had been working on. I just really didn’t want to go.
It wasn’t anything like Cali where my mom raised me, but it still had a touch of home to it. My great auntie Lulu still lived there. She was 67. There were acres of land surrounding the house, with tall grass all around. It was a cute rural country area. On the stone pathway up to the door, one rose was stuck in a bush of lilies. At first I wanted to pick the rose. But at second glance it was the lilies that were in danger. The inside of the house was completely remodeled and modern which was a surprise. Different hues of red was in every piece of furniture and piecing’s on the wall. Lulu really tried to spice up the place .
While Eric did some looking around outside, Auntie Lulu gave me the inside tour.
“Well look at ya, got yaself a white boy. Ya’ll California people just do anything,” said Auntie Lulu. An uneasy laugh came from her.
“Ahh Auntie Lulu, I don’t want to hear it. I already know about Olivia and all that.. I love Eric, a lot.”
“Kiera, if I was youngin’ I’d love him too. Eric is a handsome man. Very smart. But my momma always said black girls are only for the experience and pleasure , not for love. Now I can’t tell ya what to do. But ya be careful ya hear?” Auntie Lulu thought she could pull off good quotes from Cicely Tyson and sometimes it worked. She began to sang as she left out the side door.
Later that evening we had dinner scheduled with Eric’s mother, who I’d only had the pleasure of meeting a few times. And I’m lying when I say it is a pleasure. She was the biggest bitch. The second time of seeing her she told me it was strange that I was a pretty girl with a dark skin tone. She then went to say, “You aren’t Eric’s type at all. But I guess he’s just having fun. Right. Its college.” I wanted to show her face the back of my hand with all the nice nasty talk she had going on. Instead I finished the red cherry kool aid she had made for my arrival. “I put extra sugar because I that’s how you’ll like it,” and then she laughed. All he could say was “Mom”.
How could she produce someone like Eric? The story was she was here for business for a week. I’m sure her business consisted of some type of voodoo ritual to make people around her miserable. (I heard they do that down here) After that she was going to Spain, hopefully forever. So Eric flew down to spend some time with her and tell her the good news. Me, well I came to see Auntie Lulu and experience some good ole southern hospitality or just the food would make me happy.
I went out and got Lulu’s mail when I see the mailman leave. Eric was outside somewhere, and Lulu was still out. There was actually mail addressed to me. Three dusty and slightly torn envelopes from Nicholas Monsoon. I didn’t know a Nicholas Monsoon, but apparently he knew me, K. Smith. I rubbed my stomached as I smiled a little and sat on one of the couches. I wondered who this little person would turn out to be. I opened the first envelope.
Her skin was dark. It was beauty, beauty that I understood. It was similar to drinking from a river of flowing chocolate. Her lips were full but took only a little space on her face. Those eyes stayed big and slanted on the side. She could be a China person if she was pale. Her hair stayed long and braided down her back with a red ribbon around the end. The only time it came loose was when she came to bed with me. It would fall over her full breast while she sat nude in front of me, free. Luckily I saved most of her skin from being burned and scarred by my mother.
Our plantation was one of the biggest down here. Mama had very few nigger women working in the house. And the ones that did were dark, ugly, and scarred, except for my Olivia Rose. All the fair skinned nigger women, Mama sold. When I was a child, she caught my father, often, between the legs of one. His love remained for her and the woman carried his child until Mama sent her away. No one knows of course exactly how, but Mama did more than send her away. Pa couldn’t leave unless Mama said it was alright.
Every evening Mama had a whipping cast on a poor nigger. And every morning when Pa wouldn’t come home the previous night. On one of the nights I had laid with Liv, was her first whipping. I remembered she said, “Nicholas, I’m not allowed to be in here this late. I have to leave before your mama comes for me.”
“I would never allow my mother to touch you. Promise. I’ll come with you.”
“I’ll be fine. Promise. I know ya save me.”
After she had left my room, Gordon, one of mama’s overseers, caught her descending the stairs. He dragged her to his small living quarters that was attached to the kitchen. Mama was a heavy sleeper, yet the screams that would come would awaken her. I made a rush down the stairs to Gordon’s quarters. He stood tall and thick, his breath heavy, over Liv. His trousers sank into the boarded floors around his ankles. Liv’s ankles were locked in his grip, trapped when I came in. Her gown had been torn down the front.
“Gordon, my heavens, what is it you think you are doing.” He stumbled as he pulled up his trousers.
Olivia stood holding her gown together. “Sir, he-,”
“Ya hush up now! Ain’t no one talking to ya.,” he yelled and pushed her on the floor. “Sir, this here girl was creeping around in the house. She was trynna steal something I assume.”
“And do you have any proof Gordon?” But before I could reach for Liv, Mama walked in.
“Nicholas, what is this?”
“Mama no matter here.”
“Now don’t make me ask again. Why is she in here?”
“Gordon was attempting to take this woman. But I won’t allow it.”
“Oh my dear Nicholas, she is just a filthy nigger girl. But I guess we don’t want any yellow niggers running around. When they get older they feel they’re worth something. Gordon? “
“She was trynna steal ma’am. I was teaching her a lesson.”
“No ma’am. I wasn’t trynna steal-,”Olivia said before Mama gave her a strange look mixed with confusion and anger.
“Steal huh? Well Gordon, give her 10 whippings for the hour. She’ll learn then. “
“Mama no. I will decide the punishment. Gordon only wants to possess a woman against her will.”
“My dear boy, please don’t tell me you have become smitten with this here? That you have laid down with this? Hmm?”
“No I haven’t.”
“Good. That’s what I was lookin’ to hear. Gordon ten whippings.”
“Go find some other poor nigga to beat,” I managed to mumble.
“Gordon, take her out now. I would like to get some rest for the morning.”
“Five whippings and that is all I’ll allow.” Liv put her face in her hands and sobbed. I hoped she felt thankful I had been there for her. Gordon grabbed and took her out. Before Mama followed them out, she turned to me with a small grin on her lips. It was gone before she spoke.
“Very strange that her hair is loose. I’m sure Gordon didn’t have time for that. This is you’re warning. If her eyes wandered anywhere near you, it will be ten whippings… a day.”
Liv’s screams echoed in the dark with the crack of the whip that tore into her skin. Her cries followed me up the stairs into my room, long after the beating had stopped