A Love Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand


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But that was seven years ago. I was eight. I saw someone get half the life beat out of them. I look back at the negro boy on my porch. “Hello, how can I help you?” I say, leaning against the doorpost. He just looks at me, waiting for something. Honestly, I'm scared. The boy seemed to be 6'1 and at least 135 pounds. His deep brown eyes ran over my body, not in a wrong way, but genuinely curious. His dusty, dirty, black shoes all the way up to his bleached, tan shirt was intriguing. I wish to know more about this boy standing at my front door.

He's a foot taller than me. I'm only 5'3 and weigh 80 pounds. I flick my dirty blond hair behind my shoulder. “Can I help you?” I say more forcefully. “I'm sorry, it's just you're not a conductor, and that's what I was hoping for.” He says, staring at the floor, almost ashamed. “A conductor? For what?” I ask him. “The railroad. The underground railroad.” He says, quietly. “I have to go. I have the wrong house.” He takes a step back and starts to turn to walk away. “Wait!” I say, grabbing his wrist. He turns and faces me, eyes growing hard. “It's too late and it will get out cold soon. You can't leave.” I start. “There's an old shed in the back. Let me help you.” I stare at him. He looks at me, his eyes turning into a light brown. He hesitates, looking beyond my eyes into the house, biting his lip. “Fine.” He mutters. I smile.

I grab my shawl and pull it over my light-blue satin dress. I gently shut the door careful not to wake my brothers up. My older brother, James, is watching over us “Little ones” while my mother and father are away visiting my horrid uncle. Yes, the same uncle. Back to my brother. Ha, he is only three years older than me. And then, my older brother, Thomas, the only brother I actually like, is older than me by a year and a half. My younger brothers, Harry and Edward, the evil ones, are 11, four years younger than me. They are also asleep. I,being the smart and not lazy one, stayed up reading. I sure am glad I did, or I would never been able to help this boy. My mother and father think an educated woman is atrocious, but Thomas taught me. Now, I read more than James, Harry, and Edward combined. Thomas keeps up with my a little bit, but he has to work and I don't, so what do I do in my free time? That's correct. I read.

I open the door to the shed. It's a quite small area about 10ft by 10ft. It shall have to do, though. I pull out a small cot from the corner and set it up. The boy looks at me, confused. I guess no one has ever been this nice to him.

I sit down on the cot and motion the boy to sit next to me. He looks at my hand, still patting the cot beside me. What could have possibly been done to him to cause him not to trust me? I grow weary of this and reach forward and grab his wrist with my left hand. His eyes shoot toward mine, pitch back. I don't release my grip. I look at him with a soft gaze and pat the cot with my right hand. His glare softens and he gently sits next to me. I let go of his wrist and extend my hand toward him.

“I'm Clara.” He grabs my hand and shakes it, gently. “I'm Will.” “Nice to meet you. Say, how old are you, Will?” “I'm 16, almost 17. And you ma'am?” He says, cracking a soft smile. “I'm 15 and not a ma'am.” I say, a bit embarrassed that he would call me something so formal. He chuckles softly, his mouth forming into a smile, a real smile. Not the kinds he has been giving me all night. A real one, showing his teeth and a little dimple to the right and about half an inch above his chin. I hear the wind blowing outside of the small shed.

“Well, I'd better go in the house; are you sure you'll be alright out here all by yourself?” I ask, standing up, watching Will yawn and stretch. Honestly, I don't want to leave this dark skinned and black haired boy before me. Something about him was so intriguing. Maybe it was his light brown eyes. Maybe it was his shy and mysterious attitude. I don't know but I want to find out. “Good night, Will!” I say, exiting the shed. “'Night, Miss Clara.” He calls out after I leave.

I walk back to the house and continue my reading. Ha, I can't read right now! Every new sentence I read has my mind going back to that mysterious boy in my shed. His hair, that closely cropped black hair, how I wish I could run my fingers through it. His eyes, the light mahogany, almost the color of my dresser, and they way they would change depending on his mood. His hands, strong and calloused, and the way they would probably feel against mine. His strong voice, deep and rough in the beginning, but after talking to him and being nice to him, how it's come to be shy and sweet. The way once I got to know him, even after not really talking, he trusted me. Those perfect pink lips, and how they would feel against mine.

Oh, no. No. No. No, no, no, no, no! You will not fall for him, Clara. Just imagine what everyone else will think of you. Mother, Father, everyone in town. They would think of you as a girl who needed to be put in the right place. They would send me off to a looney hospital. They would hate me. Oh, Clara, stop being so selfish! If they found him, a runaway no less, they would kill him. They would beat him and he would never be the same. Clara, don't fall. Don't. But I couldn't stop myself. I already had.

 

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