Warning: This work has been rated 16+.
Throughout everything she'd been through beatings, torments, bullying, dark skin 28 year old Ronna McCall finally finds love and friendship despite the way she looks, I end my short story with a hum of a melody. Though all of my short stories are the same, a dark skin teenager or adult who is accepted by their friends, family, and finds love. I secretly wish the characters I write about were I. Being loved by all, respected, accepted.
I put my pencil down and swivel my desk chair to my bed that is an organized chaos of a mix between college applications and homework.
I stroke the nape of my neck and climb onto my bed, just as I am about to get back at the usual studying, my stomach grumbles with stubbornness. I pat it then survey the mess; I know what I has to be done before a certain amount of time. On top of the homework and college applications, I also have a ton of advice articles to answer for the school's newspaper. My section of the paper is called Passionate Vibes, the love, family, and friendships advice column. No one knows I run that column along with the comic strip part either. My stomach growls a little louder and I grunt while scooting to the edge of the bed and walk down the first flight of stairs.
The house is silent with my two younger brothers out, mom at work, and my sister out with her boyfriend, it's just me and my dad. He is sitting at the kitchen table with an old blue towel covering the table and small car parts on the towel. He works as a mechanic in the military and often brings his work home with him.
"Sirrah-bearah." He greets wiping his hands on a rag that hangs from his front pocket. "You've emerged from your dungeon of darkness."
I giggle at his dramatic flair, "I got hungry."
"Well, what do you want to eat?" He goes into the kitchen.
I know mom would have a fit if she found out he is in her kitchen with his dirty, oily hands. I cover my mouth with my hands, "Dad, get out of the kitchen with your filthy hands before mom catches you."
He spins around in the kitchen, "She's not here, she won't know," he stops and faces me, "unless you tell her."
"No, I wouldn't. But, I do want to eat."
"Okay. McDonald's." He grabs the keys off the key hook by the door and we exit the house.
Getting into my dad's red Pontiac, he cranks it up and carefully backs out of the driveway.
We park in the McDonald's parking lot by the entrance.
"I'll only be a minute." I assure my father. He nods and puts the car in park and begins to look for his cell phone charger. That's been missing for a few days now. My money is that my older sister stole it and never put it back.
I get out of the car and stare at the golden arch that represents the McDonald's symbol. I know what awaits me when I go in there. I look at my father whom is still frantically looking for his charger. I contemplate telling him I want to go home and wait until mom comes home to cook. However, the growling of my stomach forces me to enter the McDonald's.
When I enter, the chatter that ran throughout the place comes to a screeching halt and I can feel everyone's' eyes shift to me as I amble to the line and look at the menu. While I try to figure out what I want, I can feel the customer's eyes burning holes through my soul. I begin to chew on my fingernails knowing I don't have anything on my face or clothes since I checked before I got out the car. Which means they are only staring at one thing: my charcoal sable skin complexion.
Heading towards the evening with seven of us left. We silently speak to each other, if were too loud we'd get spankings form the headmistress who is now tired of us and wants to go into retirement. Within five minutes, we dwindle to just three. The room that used to be alive with children running, laughing, and playing is now bathed in an eerie silence as we glance around the room at each other and the bare walls where positive posters used to hang.
Just as the clock struck six pm, a family with a little girl about my age leading the way with her hands behind her back. I hear her parents introduce themselves to the headmistress and explain their business at the orphanage. Also apologized for sowing up later than their appointment was supposed to be. The Winters.
The little girl with her tony pigtails on each side of her head hobbled over to the other children and hums, as she looks them over. She then made her way over to me. I am crammed between a large oak bookshelf and the wall. She stares into my smoke gray eyes and I stare into her nut-brown eyes. Her eyes sparkled or so my five-year-old mind thought, I gasped at the sparkle.
The way she smiled at me told me that this was my day. I was finally going to be adopted into a loving family. She took my hand, helped me up, and ambled towards the front door near her parents.
"I found her, mama. I found Sirrah." The little girl jumps up and down while still holding my hand.
That was the first time I genuinely smiled.
I continue to chew my already chewed down nails, on the outside I hold my head up and ignore the whispers I hear behind me. But, on the inside, I am a beaten little girl, crumbling and wanting to crawl under a rock and hide. I move on to my middle fingernail and begin chewing on it. I dare not make eye contact with any of the customers for fear they will laugh in my face. I never want anyone to know just how sensitive I am about my skin tone, which will give him or her ammunition to continue to rag on me.
I would love to be treated with respect and accepted just like everyone who isn't dark skin. Just like the girls in my stories are. But, deep down I know that's not going to happen anytime soon.
"Next!" The female cashier calls nonchalantly while popping bubble gum. She cuts her eyes from me to her cell phone that's 'secretly' stashed below the register.
My turn to finally order, I step up to the register and take my hand away from my mouth to order.
"I would like a bacon ranch salad with a large sweet tea." My favorite things to eat here next to the chicken nuggets since the burgers here make my tummy hurt.
She rings up my order, "5.69."
I take my bank of America card out, swipe it, and accepted flashes across the small monitor in big bold letters. She hands me a large cup and calls the next customer. I offer a smile to the cashier in hopes of brightening up her day, but she ignores it. I make my way to the fountain drink area.
"I think something escaped from the zoo." A female's voice sounds through the establishment.
"Ignore the ignorance." I repeat to myself, nibbling on my fingernails as I get my sweet tea.
That Motto has been with me for a long time. "Ignore the ignorance," I repeat it like a mantra when I get in situations such as this one. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It works majority of the time while the other times it just adds to my depressive state of mind.
"Ignore the ignorance," I repeat as I sup the tea to check if it's sweet enough. Satisfied, I continue to fill it up to the rim. I've been craving this tea all morning but never got a chance to get it due to the homework and college applications corrupting my day.
"Naw, girl. That's a human being, I believe. But, she does look like that ape looking animal I saw at the fair last night." Someone else jeers attracting the chuckles of the other customers. "Po' thing was chained up."
I chew on my fingernails more as I stand to the side and wait for my order number to be called. Usually the insults are directed at me being adopted however the more I 'ignore the ignorance' the more I begin to realize they are speaking of my complexion. Not me being adopted.
"Oh my Gawd! It's escaped! Run for your lives!" A male bellows. Half the customers burst into an uproar of laughter. Some of them actually start running around in circles, flailing their arms about.
My eyes mist with tears as I look to the cashiers and the manager to do something about this uproar. But, to my horror they continue working as if none of this is going on right now. Of course, they do nothing. I am a dirty, black girl. I am what they would consider trash.
"Number 245. Bacon ranch salad?" A male McDonald's employee calls my order while shaking the bag.
"Sirrah?" My father enters the establishment and ambles over to me.
All of the racial slurs and running around like fools fades as their eyes shift to follow my father. His blue eyes, blonde hair, broad shoulders and a cream beige complexion with light freckles on his face.
"Is everything okay, Sirrah?
"Yes, sir. I am just getting my food now. I will be out as soon as I refill my drink."
He looks around the establishment at the mouths that are gaped open, he shrugs his shoulders, "What? Can't a man talk to his daughter in peace?"
They quit staring, he chuckles causing me to shake my head. "I'll be in the car, then." He leaves.
"Wow! Someone had an affair with the milkman." A joke comes from the back of the establishment.
Titters rise from behind the counter now. I nibble on my nails while I quickly refill my cup but the tea is diminishing and slowly pouring out the spout.
"Or the milkmaid." Another adds.
More titters rise when someone else says, "No, they adopted the wrong color child and now they can't take her back."
Finally, with my cup full, I take my food, drink, and dart out of McDonald's before the tears start cascading down my face. Before anyone can see the sensitivity shining bright.
I get in my father's car and he looks relieved. I look down to see him charging his phone, but his facial expression changes when he notes the slight look of despair on my face.
"Sirrah, what's wrong?" He eyes me.
I click my seat belt, steady the bag, place my cup in the holder, and look at my father.
"Did something happen in there that I need to know about? Because if something did, I can go in there and scope out who is military and whose rank I need to pull."
My eyes flash a glint of embarrassment because I know he would do it to. "Nothing is wrong, father. That is not a necessary thing to do." I look out the window and begin to grind my teeth together. I know once I start putting my fingers in my mouth that, my father will pop me, my mother does the same thing.
I can feel his eyes on me for a few seconds, he sighs and backs out of the parking lot and drives home. He doesn't try to push for anymore answers as we ride home in silence, he does make small talk about the weather and what he thinks mom is going to make for dinner.
My father Roy Aston Winters is the command sergeant major in the military. He always has this bout of confidence about him and he demands respect wherever he goes. I wish...I could ooze confidence, be able to walk tall and strong. But, that's hard to display when there is endless gossip about me being adopted into a privileged white family by mistake. Along with the racial sluts that come as a side down. It gets difficult daily to display that confidence. Even though, it's 2001 there is still racism currently.
I, Sirrah Keyarra Toriella Winters do not demand respect or ooze confidence. However, I want what my characters in my stories have, the acceptance, the love, the respect, and the friendships. I want to be seen beyond the color of my skin, I want people to see how smart, loyal, generous, and talented I am.