|What Hurts the Most
Author: Simple.Miracles PM
It's 1964. Addy Calhoun is black and the new girl in Hawthorne, Mississippi and Nathan Carlisle is the mayor's son. They were never supposed to be friends...much less fall in love but when prejudice and ignorance gets in the way of love tragedy strikesRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Tragedy - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,065 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 03-22-06 - Published: 03-05-06 - id: 2126338
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: First of all, this story is not an exact account of a historical event. It is, however, based on a story my grandmother told me a year or so ago about two people she knew when she was young. Second of all, I want anyone reading this to know that I am trying to express the feelings of people as they would've felt during the time period in which this story takes place. Because of this, and the fact that this story deals with prejudice and racism, characters may use words, jokes, etc. that are derrogatory toward African Americans. These are not my views but the views of the characters. I am in no way prejudiced but I am simply trying to tell a story so, if you take offense at the remarks of a particular character, I am deeply sorry. As a side note, this is also my pathetic upon comparison attempt to follow William Shakespeare.
"Addison Maxine Calhoun, if I see one more box left in this car that you were supposed to take in you won't be able to sit down for a week!" Tara Calhoun stood on the front porch of her new house with one hand on her hip shouting toward a magnolia tree in the house's small backyard behind which she knew her daughter, Addison, was hiding. Addison grimaced, certain that she'd unpacked all the boxes her mother had told her to. It was her family's third day living in Hawthorne, Mississippi, a small town in the southeastern corner of the state and she had been trying to escape the heat ever since they'd arrived. Having lived in Connecticut her entire life, Addy was hardly used to the high heat and humidity that came with Mississippi summers and they'd arrived in town in the middle of July on one of the hottest days of the summer so far that year.
Reluctantly, she stood up and made her way toward the front of the house to face her mother. Looking at the modest white sided house with it's green shutters and small front porch and scraggly excuse for a yard, Addy wondered why her parents had decided to move from their comfortable life in Connecticut to Mississippi with it's segregation and deep seeded prejudices. Sure the two had been born and raised in the small, traditional southern town but, from what Addy had already seen, that would be the last reason to move back. In her sixteen years of living in Connecticut, Addy had faced little problems concerning the fact that she was black. Sure, there had always been the occasional rude remark or racist joke told purposefully within her hearing but nothing like the whispers and stares and signs designating segregated areas all around town she'd seen in her few days here. Her parents had told her that things were changing, even in the South, but from what she'd seen and experienced in the short time she'd been here, Addy saw little evidence of it.
Jogging up the stairs where her mother had occupied herself with something besides hollering at Addy, she glanced at the quiet street that ran past her new house. Seeing two white girls pointing obviously at Addy and her mother and whispering to each other, Addy averted her eyes. She knew that, living in a middle class and predominately white part of Hawthorne, she'd have to get used to things like this, but it still stung every time for the past three days that someone had looked at her as if she were inferior because of the color of her skin.
Looking back at her mother who had since stood up and noticed the girls and Addy's reaction to them. The woman's face, that had always had a stern look lately, took on a look of concern as she put her arm around Addy's shoulder.
"Don't let them people bother you, darlin'." She stated, as if speaking from experience. "People here…that's just they way they been taught." Tara continued, as if trying to apologize for the actions of people that she knew were simply ignorant. Addy looked into her mother's dark brown eyes and gave a slight smile.
"Ok, mama." She answered, hearing a bit of her mother's thick southern accent rub off on her.
"That's m'girl." Tara replied with a slight but worried smile.
"And since when do I take orders from you, Nate?" Andrew asked, it was a rhetorical question and Nathan pursed his lips trying to keep from punching his brother. Though Nathan was strong and fast, he had no chance against his football playing weight lifting older brother. Instead, he leaned back against the railing on the porch and surveyed Andrew casually. In sixteen years of dealing with Andrew Carlisle, Nathan had learned that if he looked like he let Andrew's little tactics rile him at all, it would only make him worse. "What," Andrew said defensively, as if he had expected Nathan to try and pick a fight with him, "you just gonna stand there all day?" He asked. Nathan only shrugged.
"If I have to." He said, keeping an even temper as best he could. Unlike his brother, who was very much his father's son, Nathan had never had much of a problem with his temper getting out of hand. Being the son of Hawthorne's mayor, Nathan got a lot of flack from his father because he wasn't…well he wasn't like his brother. Where Andrew and the boys' father, Sean, thought that being popular, well known, good with girls, and the star of the football team were the most important things in life, Nathan had different ideas. He was a writer; he loved to observe people, nature, anything really. He didn't care about girls all that much, or sports, or popularity. He only wanted to get out of Hawthorne; it was only this that kept him from giving in to the desire to strangle Andrew when he acted like he was just then…which was generally all the time.
Obviously bored with trying to get under Nathan's skin for the moment, Andrew gave a somewhat confused look and then threw the keys forcibly at his brother's chest. When they hit his chest with a loud thump, Nathan realized why his brother was the star quarterback of James Hawthorne High School's football team and gave a slight "Ouch." Causing a haughty smile to creep across Andrew's face as he turned and walked into the house, obviously proud of knowing that he'd at least gotten to Nathan a little bit.
Sighing and shaking his head, Nathan walked off the porch with his keys in his hand and slid quickly into his car. Starting the engine, he pulled out of his driveway and into the quiet street. As he drove, he wondered how, when some of his friends were so close with their brothers, his treated him like scum. It was a fact that had perplexed him for years. Sure, he and Andrew were different, that was a given but, being a year older than Nathan, Andrew was supposed to be someone Nathan could look up to. Instead, when Nathan saw his brother, he saw a prejudiced, arrogant, self-centered person who even looked down on his little brother just because Nathan was "smart." It was true that Andrew was definitely in no way intelligent when it came to school but, in Nathan's mind, that gave him no reason to look down on Nathan because he was. Sighing, he shook his head and tried to force all thoughts of Andrew to the back of his mind.