A young woman, desperate for a change in the world sets out to tell her story of loss, love, and her desperate need for world wide understanding of equality.


2. Telling My Story

I sat looking out the motel room window as icy sheets of rain plummeled the window panes. The sky was crying, had been since the death of my parents three months ago. Kansas has never seen so much rain. Some say its the Harbringer of Death but I believe its the angels crying over my fallen guardians. I let some tears slip through my shield of steel and turned to face the lawyer who had agreed to meet with me outside of my childhood home. I couldn't let the murderers see that they had really killed them. Let them believe their ghosts were roaming the streets waiting to exact their revenge.


"Jennifer, I know its only been a few weeks, but the Will needs to be read to you." Mr. Cruz said cautiously. He was a family friend and a close confidant of mine. My parents had put him through law school and he graduated with honors. He was my best friend and for the time being my lawyer. His first name is Stephen and he's only a few years older than I am. He was handsome and the woman in me roared deep within me each time I saw him.  It was a fight in itself to contain her, but business had to be contended with then my desires and needs would be.


"Stephen I know that. Its just so hard."


"What they did to you was horrible, its not the 1930's anymore, the cops shouldn't be so segregated about this issue. They were murdered and my moral code and the law needs to be contended with. A double homicide can't just go unnoticed like this. Its not right. They were peope too, good people." I let the tears come freely as lightening struck and thunder shook the building. 

"They didn't deserve to die Stephen.  Why did they kill them like that?" I was suddenly pulled from the shabby motel room and was back in my front yard being held against my will by Mr. Shabner as the rest of the community hung my fathers from the tree where my childhood swing rested. I could smell the gasoline and I could see the fear in each of their faces as the match was lit and was thrown at them. I could feel where the psychos held me tightly, I rubbed where the bruises had been, a dull ever present ache. I was irrationally ashamed that they had restrained me so easily; after all I was almost twenty years old Mr. Shabner could restrain me with his weakening brute force. Stephen says it was because I was so petrified. It was no excuse for me to not try to help my parents, instead I watched them burn. 


Stephen pulled me from my self loathing,


"Jen-it's not your fault. There's nothing you could've done. Now to get to reading this Will."


"Alright Stephen carry on." I tried to smile, the smile didn't reach my eyes as I looked into my still full and now chilled tea cup.


"In the case of our Deaths we, David William Smith and Henry Gerald Gold state here in our final Will and Testament. We leave all our physical possessions to our only daughter Jennifer Smith-Gold or Gold-Smith. We name her as our heir to our small fortune and our lovely home on Sharickson Drive in Little Rock, Kansas. 


Our lawyer and attorney Mr. Stephen Douglas Cruz will answer any questions left unanswered.


 Good bye and Farewell we are now Angels up in Heaven.


Signed: June 27th, 1989


David W. Smith P.h.D

Henry G. Gold M.D P.h.D"


"Any questions darlin'?"


"No, all my questions have been answered. Except one, how do you know that you truly love someone?"


"Uh well, you know when you're truly in love with someone when your heart skips a beat and your stomach fills with butterflies. Of course that could be because we're so nervous of rejection."


"Stephen, I think I love you." I watched my words being deciphered in his head and then a smile broke a crossed his face. A smile that reached his perfect eyes,


"Jennifer, you don't know how long I've waited for you to say that." He cupped her face in his hands and pulled her to him, planting his perfect, soft lips on her's. Her first real kiss with someone she cared for. When they broke apart Jennifer felt suddenly very ashamed. She had told Stephen of her true feelings for him and right after she found out she was the sole heir of her family's small fortune.


"Jenny its nothing to be ashamed about." 


"I know." I looked into his eyes and he smiled. "Oh gosh, I have to go." I said after checking my watch. I gathered my papers and kissed his cheek before scurrying from the room. When I reached my car I was soaked to the bone. I shivered as I put the keys in the ignition. The radio came to life at the volume I had left it, and my ears were screaming at my stupidity. I quickly turned the soft rock station to low and started my journey home, home where my parents were brutally murdered. I fought off the tears, I had enough water problems on the outside of my car, I didn't need more water in the car with me. As I pulled onto my road I saw most of the porch lights off and emotionless Halloween decorations littering the lawn. The Halloween decorations my family made were full of life and the spirit of the holiday. These people just put store bought mass produced pieces of plastic in their lawns. I rolled my eyes and smiled when I saw my home. Even in my mass depression I managed to keep our tradition alive. My house looked amazing as usual, it was the hot spot for Halloween treats and tricks. Unfortunately the tricksters were put out of commission. I parked my car and locked it and went inside. 


Even though the lights turned on automatically I still felt alone in this large house, that now had an ominous feeling to it, a feeling the streaked the happy memories like a giant canyon rips a plain. I walked into the kitchen and made a peanut butter sandwich before going up to the my room to finish my college assignments. My professors understood about the tragedy that had occurred but I wasn't going to disappoint my parents by flunking my sophomore year of college. My room whisked me away to the happiest moments of my life, my two fathers tucking me in at night, both fight over who would read me the bed time story of the night. They never stopped doing that, reading to me, fighting over my affections in a loving on going dispute. The pile of text books made my skin crawl, knowing that I had skipped spending time with my new boyfriend to finish countless essays. 


I finished off the sandwich and began to write my essay for Psychology. It was a choose any topic sort of thing so I chose, 'Why do people choose not to accept a different lifestyle?' I wrote well into the wee hours of the morning before I finally stopped, satisfied that my essay was complete. I crawled into bed, thankful I didn't have class until the following day. I woke a few hours later to a loud knocking on the my front door. I walked groggily down the stairs absentmindedly fixing my bed head, I opened the door,


"Oh hello Jennifer." I suppressed a groan as I realized Mrs. Shabner was standing on my doorstep. I growled,


"What the hell do you want. Haven't you and your friends caused me enough pain for one lifetime?"


"Whatever do you mean?"


"Don't act like you don't know you bigoted idiot. My parents are dead because of this damn neighborhood."


"Watch your tone young lady."


"I will not watch my tone. I am an adult, and you will treat me like one. You killed my parents. You made me watch as they burned. You pulled me from my home in the dead of the night and dosed them with gasoline. Do not even dare tell me to watch my tone. Get off my property before I kick your ass." I growled. Reaching for the shot gun my father's left in the umbrella stand. She noticed where my hand disappeared and left.


"We were only trying to save you."


"I don't need saving  you Devil loving son of a bitch!" I yelled as I slammed my door. I suppressed a smile at the shocked expression on her face. I heard another knock, and I threw open the door.


"WHAT!?" I screamed. "Oh sorry Stephen."


"Its alright. Mrs. Shabner giving you trouble?"


"This whole damn state is giving me trouble." I groaned. 


"I heard your little speech, very brilliant." he said. He kissed my cheek and I smiled. He wasn't wearing a tie and his usual suit and I slapped myself mentally. Duh, of course not! Its Sunday. He pulled out a frying pan and a bowl. Mhmm, already making me breakfast. He pulled out the eggs and the bacon I always made sure I had on hand. "I want to make sure your eating." he explained as he began cracking the eggs one by one into the glass bowl.


"I am." I defended myself.


"What peanut butter and cereal? That doesn't even qualify as 'food'." he joked. I laughed with him as I watched him cook. I placed my hands on my chin and daydreamed. In my dream my parents were still alive and they were watching me marry the only man I would ever love, Stephen. But I knew it was dream when they caught on fire, and my whole wedding party burst into flames. I woke crying my eyes out.  Stephen looked up from the pan and came over to me,


"What's wrong sweetie?"


"Just a dream a horrible dream." he kissed my forehead and continued cooking.



A dream that would always be there. A nightmare waiting in the shadows, watching, listening, growing into everything I fear. My family was dead, what if Stephen was next? Or me?



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