Fourteen year old girl Jamaican Taking care of seven children People come to door Man and Woman, young, older than she Selling something? No Religion How much? Free Come in In living room, eight sit on couch and chair, two told, sit on other couch, start Boy opens book Starts talking Long time Stops talking Any questions One Answers Others No Continues talking Booklet almost done. Panic Questions Yes [Whew] Are blacks for the Devil? What? Repeated Of course not, who told you that? Minister Where? Jamaica Speechless Why is the Christ white? What? Who said he was? The bible What? I'll show you Brings large illustrated bible Shows pictures, White Jesus, White disciples, last supper Tries to explain, not real, publisher or artist bias She doesn't understand What did he look like? At least as dark as Neda, hypothesizes, maybe as dark as yourself, certainly not as light as me Was he african? Middle eastern, around where Neda was born. What about women? Equal to men, not the same, complimentary Family Peace Unity Education Hope Conversation wanders Become close Invite her to gathering, Has to work Give Farshad's number, and a small booklet Leave So she can get food, ready for work Outside What time is it Four Talking, three hours, hadn't checked in We walk to the rendezvous, feet barely able to retain hold on ground One of boys in the street, calls out to Neda Hey fat girl The comment bounces off We continue, don't touch ground till late evening Found out later, from Neda, Maria was waving to us from a bus stop, I didn't see her, I haven't seen her since I still think of her.
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This work is Copyright (c) Mike Fletcher 1992