Author's Note: this chapter is just an introduction of the main character. In fact it's a long introduction of how the character came to be. Not only that, but I really hope I did this right, and people will like it. Happy Reading Everyone. I would like to send a big thank you to my editor Curt.
Warning: this story contains violence for a person's different background, lots of racism, the n word being thrown around, a very senseless murder, the mention of very graphic murders due to Jim Crow, and racism.
I am wishing on a dream that someday one I can awake up as a white woman. I wish I was white so I don't have to suffer the dangers and consequences that come with being a black female.
Oh what would it be like to have long silky blonde hair, fair skin, and big blue eyes fanned with long eyelashes? Everything would be so much easier and better if I were all those things. I wouldn't have to work so hard to help keep the roof over the heads of me and my family. I would love to have a, loving caring husband by my side to protect me from the false dangers that I could be in if I was a white woman. To have everything, and walk down a street safely without being harassed or taunted by someone who thinks you deserve it because you were born the wrong skin color.
Yep Eliza thought to herself, life would be a whole lot easier if things were the way she planed them, but instead she must work and serve her white employers. She had dreams of herself being in the position of her white employers, to have everything catered to her.
That thought made her smile a bit, her and her family could be the one's that are well off and lived in a lavish house surrounded by beautiful moss trees that sits on top of a hill that over looked a field of beautiful sun flowers. That's the only way she could be something more than what she was.
That's the problem her employers had with her, she thought she was something more than she should be. In this day and time a black person's place should be way behind the white man, hell sometimes it seemed like they were worse than animals. But she had to always keep that thought to her self, or she would get slapped for it. This was the 1930s and slavery ended only seventy-five years ago, she shouldn't be thinking like this because things could have been way worse than what it was, as her grandmother would always tell her.
She would always tell her that black people should be grateful for the things they received now and not worry about getting something more. But that was her grandmother talking. She thought that if you stay out of the nice white man's way then no harm would befall upon you. You stay in the place that your supposed to be in then no harm would fall upon you.
"ELIZA...ELIZA.... ELIZA... ELIZA LILLIANN BURNET, GET YOUR BLACK ASS DOWN HERE." At the yelling voice of her grandmother, she stopped writing in her diary, and went downstairs to meet her grandmother.
Once she descended the steps she found her grandmother looking at her through the screen door of the front porch.
"Gal I hope you ain't writing in that silly little book of yours, of silly little dreams that ain't never come'n true."
"Only for a little while grandmamma besides you are right, the things that I write are just dreams that go into my dream book and will never happen."
"Well that's good cause dreams will not keep a roof over our heads, working will, now come on let's get to work." Her grandmother shouted at her.
With a sad sigh Eliza walked out into the morning sun where her grandmother sat on the front porch, and sat down next to her and started working.
She worked so hard that her hands grew sore with each stitch she netted. Her fingers grew numb from all the sewing and stitching at such a hurried pace that she thought her fingers would fall off. Getting tried, she sat back in her chair and rested herself a bit.
"Gal there is no time for a break get back to sewing and make theses dresses perfect for miss Sarah and her daughter now. We can't be having them looking like trash, get back to work."
"Oh grandmamma, I have been working ever since this morning can I at least take a water break. I can't make a descent dress for them when I am all tried out."
"Fine go and get your water, and while you're at it get me some too."
Eliza got up from her sewing, went into the house to cool off from the hard work she had done.
"Well this can't keep happening to us Ray we need to do something about this. I am tried of seeing young black men just swinging around in those damn trees. I am tried of having to watch my step or think of myself less of a man whenever I am in the presence of them, this sight has to end brother, why won't you listen."
"Lookie here I all I am saying is that we should be grateful for what we have now, Robert I mean slavery is over and we should let the past rest., and not stir up trouble. Maybe the reason why that boy got his neck snapped in the first place was because he was doing something he had no business doing. Look all I want to do is live my life without causing trouble, and if that means being less of a man to the white then so be it."
"I really think you are causing a lot of trouble with this plan Charles, I mean why can't you just be satisfied with what we got now? I know it's sad that the lynching's that go on but those people might have caused trouble, and I don't any trouble, and I don't want to lose my job. My boss is a good white man and I can't let him down."
"So you are just comfortable being the white man's pet nigger, hell you might as well be a slave Ray, why don't you want better? Why can't you see the trials and tribulations that we as blacks are going through? Why can't you see the hate and dangers we must face every time we walk out the door? Why are you so ok with the fact that if a colored thinks of themselves as more than they should be then they deserve to get beaten to death or even worse. Why are you ok with being the white man's lap dog? That man treats you like less than a man and you sit there and take it while he is paying you little chump change."
Eliza had never heard her father talked like this. With him being the son of a preacher and a preacher himself he was always very uptight and spoke the good word. He never had a rebellious or militant bone in his body. So to hear him talking like this painted a whole new picture of him. At that moment she was not concern about any water.
"Why don't stand up for yourself and be a deserving man just like any other man. We all deserve more than what we are getting. We shouldn't be treated like less than a simple rock , Ray we are more valuable than that, we should not have to take what we are taking, that's why I asking you to do this. Your father was a great educated man who helped build this city with only his mind, and passed that knowledge down upon you, why do you stand idly by while the mistreatment of coloreds goes on. Did you not hear about the race riot over there in Arkansas?"
"Three children, seven men, and four women were killed Ray during that whole ruckus. Do know why they were killed Ray?"
"Uhh uuhh I ... I..."
"They were because they were colored Ray, that's the only reason why Ray. Don't you get it, are you listening to me, innocents are being killed just because the color of their skin and I know you don't think that's rights."
"Yes I know Charles. But you also have to know that white man that I work for keeps a roof over my family heads. I am saying this with all the love in my heart for you Charles you are my best friend and damn near like a brother to me, I can't do this for the sake of my family, I'm sorry."
"Yeah I am too. Have a good life as being valued less than a rock."
Ray was stunned for a few moments before he walked away. On his way out he spotted Eliza standing behind the wall of the room he just came from. "Hello dear it's so nice to see you again." With that he walked into the heat of the midday summer.
"Eliza have you been eavesdropping on our whole conversation?" her father asked her.
She had no other choice but to answer truthfully since she was caught red handed anyways. "No I just caught the tail end of it daddy. I had to take a break from the sewing in the hot sun and wanted to get a drink of water."
"Sewing for the Smiths, hmmm, that needs to come to an end too."
"What? What do you mean daddy?"
"I mean that pretty soon you and your mother will no longer work for the Smiths. I am tired seeing my wife and daughter work their asses off for a family that hates them."
"Daddy when did you start thinking like this. Don't you know we need that job?"
"No you don't. We don't need anything from the Smiths—
Her father stopped speaking when the voice of his mother-in-law called out her name. "Eliza what's taking you so long geting that water child, you are moving like you have a barrel of molasses in your ass."
"Yes grandma. I was on my way until daddy stopped to talk to me I am coming right out."
Once she stepped outside her grandmother took the glass that was closest to her and gulped it down like she worked hard all day, which she did. Her grandmother and her had been sewing all day, and they needed some relaxation before adding the finishing touches to the dresses.
This had been a long day and she felt the effects of it within her sore muscles. Her muscles would get even sorer when she and her mother prepared and served the Smiths dinner party. A thought occurred to her 'where was her mother?'
"Where's mamma at grandma?"
"She went to get more fabric, honey, and supplies. Mrs. Smith wants a birthday dress for her sister by next week. When she gets home, you will start on it tonight."
"But grandma, don't you think we have been working enough for those people? I have been awake since early this morning so I could get an early start on a dress that Sally Ann Smith will only wear once."
"Because I said so. Now get to stitchin, these clothes won't sew themselves now will they. Beside Sally Ann is nothing but a kind white gal that deserves the best."
"Yeah you think so."
"Are you sassing me child? Though you may be twenty-five you ain't to old ta get an ass whipping that why no man has never wanted to be your husband you back talk too much. Here comes your mother on the wagon with the rest of the stuff, go and fetch it.
When she looked down the long dirt road leading to their house she saw her mother on a horse that had a wagon attached behind it. She ran down the road to meet her mother.
"Oh Eliza thank you baby doll, can you get the darker fabrics first, and then come back for the rest."
Eliza did as she was told; she grabbed the dark fabrics that were on the top of everything else. At the feel of the silky dark fabrics she dreaded the night she had in store. She marched her way to the house with anger in her heart at the fact not only did she have to cater to the Smiths all night long, but she had to make a dress for the evil snotty daughter as well. She was in for a long night, and she didn't look forward to it.
With the help of her mother, Eliza was able to finish up the dress by the time Mr. Smith arrived to pick them a few hours before the dinner party. They cleaned cooked, and set up decorations by the time the party was in full swing.
There was nothing left to do now but stand in the back while the party went on. She stood watching as the partygoers laugh at how wonderful their lives were. How they enjoyed their lives, at how easy they had it. But they were disappointed when slavery ended and there weren't any good black people around to work for them. They seemed really saddened by the fact that slavery had ended and there wasn't a slave to come and clean behind then anymore.
Now she saw why her father said that she needed to quite this job. Ever since she had started working for the Smiths' they had always worked them hard to the bone, and they expected her to do more. The thought of quitting the job never occurred to her, because she didn't want to suffer the consequences if she did quit.
Just the thought of anything bad happening to her just because she decided she didn't want to work for the Smiths anymore made her heart jump into her throat.
"Eliza gal, stop daydreaming and get your lazy ass up and serve my guest the finger sandwiches, they are not going serve themselves now are they?" she heard Susan Smith shout at her.
Once she looked up towards her employer she saw the angry pissed off faces of a few white people. She stepped from the corner, and headed to the kitchen without a word.
"Susan where did you get that nigger from? She has been standing here staring into outside space for the last ten minutes. I really hope you are not paying that girl more than she deserves, this is my first time meeting her and I can tell she's a lousy nigger. If slavery wasn't done for I would have taught that girl a lesson a long time ago."
"Well don't we all." Replied another person
"I agree completely, but she and her mother are wonderful when it comes to clothes. You see this lovely dress I am wearing." Susan said looking down at long silky green gown with gold trimming. "She did this, just for this party, and not only that she also made the dress my daughter is wearing. If she and her mother weren't good at making clothing I would have been done with her a long time ago, and get a new maid that would be willing work for far less that what I pay them."
"But for the time being, I will keep them until their designs no longer impress me."
"SHIT!" Eliza shouted, she had cut herself the second time tonight making those damn finger sandwiches. She had to make these things in a rush cause Mrs. Smith was looking over at her every time she turned around.
Eventually Susan had gotten tired of watching Eliza, so she sent in her daughter.
"How long does it take to make 30 sandwiches? Get your ass on the roll, were not paying you for nothing. Hell to be honest about it my mother and father should not even pay you for the work you don't do, You are not even a full time servant, you don't even do the things a coloreds suppose to be doing for their superiors in the first place."
Eliza took a deep breath and let it out. She had always had to listen Sally Ann's remarks; she had no other choice but too. Being black and female, in a small town in South Carolina, she didn't have many options. She was a female nigger straight up, the only thing she was good at doing was staying out the way of her 'supposed' superiors.
"Oh I don't know miss Sally Ann, but if you please be patient I will have these ready in a jiffy."
"I am tired of being patient, my guests are hungry and you're doing nothing about it but taking your sweet ass time, hurry up. With the way you are working you really should be working for us for free and be happy to do it. I mean why not? A colored should be grateful that a white person gives them the right to be in their presence, do you understand? You should be kissing my feet right now."
"Yes ma'am I understand, I am sorry that you think that my working around here has been lacking, I will try to do harder."
"Yeah you are one sorry excuse of a colored nig, first the dress you made me had a lose string hanging from it that I had to cut all by myself. You better be glad that you are talented otherwise you have would been out a long time ago for all the mistakes you made whenever you design anything for me. Which reminds, me the next dress better be flawless and ready in time for the ball, or your sorry ass will suffer greatly"
"Yes ma'am I didn't mean for your dress to come out the way it did, it will not happen again." She said as a tear roll down her cheek.
A few more tears fell from her eyes, but she did her best to hide them. She finally was able to finish up the rest of the sandwiches without letting any tears fall on them. "Are you through yet? Finally, took you long enough, hurry up the people are waiting."
Eliza prayed to God that her tears would dry by the time she got out there with the sandwiches. She did her best not to cry in front of Sally Ann and she better try her best not cry in front of the other whites.
Stepping out the kitchen she saw a few people glaring at her. She put on her best smile and started offering the food.
'I hope you are clean girl." One man in a very expensive tuxedo said.
Like always she could do nothing but smile. She avoided eye contact when she responded, "Yes I am sir."
The man did nothing but gave a huff. Once she was done with serving him she made her way towards other guests while keeping her eyes downcast. A white person hated it when someone inferior looked them in the eye. It was a total sign of disrespect to them.
She did this constantly for some time, she would move around try to avoid rubbing against any of the guests, and kept her eyes downcast., until she came to a pair of beautiful black leather shoes. Out of all the men in the party these caught her eye because they looked like they hand were crafted by the most artistic of hands.
Her eyes then went from his shoes to his well-tailored pants, to his freshly pressed dress shirt that was covered by a black penguin tail tuxedo jacket. And lastly her eyes went to his face and she was caught dead in her tracks. This had to be one of the most gorgeous men she had ever seen in all of her twenty-five years of living.
His skin looked flawless and as smooth as butter, he had strong cheekbones. His slightly crooked nose lent a sense of danger to him. His blond hair was slicked back with the ends touching the back of his neck. But what she was most attracted to was his eyes. They were so blue it looked like God himself took some of the South Carolina ocean water and put some of it in his eyes. His thick eyebrows and long lashes made his eye really stand at attention.
There was no other way to put it, this was the most beautifulest creature she had ever seen. Hell, he was even more beautiful than the unicorns and fairies she read about in some of those mythical books she loved to read so much. This man had to be an angel sent down from heaven.
She was so caught up on how gorgeous this man was, she didn't even notice that he was speaking to her until he touched her shoulder. "Huh I am so sorry sir, please forgive me, I didn't mean to stare at you like the way I did." She quickly lowered her eyes and raised the food tray towards the angel. "Its ok dear darling. Its very flattering knowing that I can attract the likes of you."
"I am still very sorry though sir, I don't even know what you were saying to me."
"Well when you were standing there gawking at me I was saying- you know what, it's not important. But what is important is that you try to smile more and don't look so glum. Now I know it's hard doing what you do and being around Sally Ann can make anyone feel incompetent, but please dear darling don't get yourself down with her cruel useless words." He said with such an airy whisper that she was pretty sure nobody could hear it.
He wasn't like other white men that she encountered. Most of them thought it was their right to talk to her in any kind of way. They would throw hurtful racist things in her face, grab her inappropriately and expected her to be grateful and happy that a white man would show her any attention, just because she was black.
It was so hard for a black woman to think she was beautiful when people were constantly telling you that you shouldn't think this way about yourself or you would get some kind of backlash for it. The white woman was suppose to be the most desirable, gorgeous creatures that God had created she deserved her man's protection no matter what cost.