PERSEVERENCE

By Kueyla Vivien Jacques


Prologue:

Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler sat in the post office on a polyester exterior. The cushion was dusty. It wasn't like the mahogany velvet plush with black trimmed lace and silk lining! It was only a banal hard rock! Scarlett was the same Scarlett O'Hara; the same woman with a 17-inch waist and had fallen head over heels with Ashley Wilkes; the same woman with black hair and emerald green eyes. That was her full name, after being married to three men of unalike ages and given birth a child for each of them: Wade Hampton, Ella Lorena, and Bonnie Blue. She still conceived Rhett's unborn child. Oh that nasty Yankee loving Scallywag Rhett Butler! She would have anyone else's child, but his! At the same time, she still loved him. Somehow, she was going to get Rhett Butler back to her. After all, tomorrow is another day.


The mother was in the post office after receiving a letter enticing her to come. Miss O'Hara pondered what good use of her was. She had once thought after she died, she'd go to hell. Scarlett had a bad reputation. Just like Rhett. She wondered if she could revive it. Just like Rhett. She brought Prissy along with her. Mammy had kicked the bucket earlier. Dilcey and Pork were at Tara. Scarlett used the money to reconstruct her home. The red-soiled Tara! Home! The news of Mammy's death was a shock to Scarlett. After hearing the news, she looked like a raccoon from the layers of mascara atop her eyelashes. Scarlett was now twenty-nine years old. She was wearing a saffron gown with cotton shoes. 'Cotton ought to go sky high next year!' she thought. She waited impatiently and looked at her nails until a voice spoke.


"Miz Scarlett, Mr. Harrison waunts ya to be his editor." Prissy spoke.

"Mr. Harrison wants me to be a what what?"

"An editor."

"What's that?"

"Ah doan no. Sum kinda person who edits stuff."

"Who'd want that job?"

"Ah doan no, Miz Scarlett! Ah is just da messenger!"

"Oh fiddle-dee-dee!"

Scarlett was dumbfounded. She couldn't envision herself being an editor. She knew nothing about literature. Why, Ashley and Melanie would do the job! After all, they were a passel of literal eggheads! They read stacks of books every day! Prissy beckoned her to Mr. Harrison's room. Prissy was a big fat liar. Ever since Melanie labored the day the Yankees came, she was a liar; a giant darky liar. Prissy was now a giantess; approximately two heads taller than Scarlett. Scarlett stood up and walked across the halls sluggishly, due to the fact she didn't want a miscarriage. Then Scarlett thought about the pains of child labor. She stopped in the middle of the hallway until Prissy insisted her to move on. Scarlett opened the doors and walked in.


"Mr. Harrison, I do not know anything about being an-" Scarlett spoke.

"Ah, Mrs. Butler you're just the kind of woman to do this job." Mr. Harrison cut her off.

She didn't see Mr. Harrison. He sat in an ebony swiveled chair and his back was to her. The swiveled chair was rather hefty. Or Mr. Harrison was rather petite. The voice was raspy or had a parched throat.

"But-"

"No buts. Anyways, I want you to read this diary."

"But sir!"

"Mrs. Butler, would you care for a drink?"

"No thank you." Scarlett spoke indignantly.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."


Scarlett didn't want to get drunk again. After she would get tipsy, she'd spray cologne. That was noticeable. Rhett would notice it. Mr. Harrison plopped the leather-backed book onto the desk. Mr. Harrison turned around. Scarlett had feasted her eyes on a thin and pale man. He had dominant features that were prominent over his cheekbones. Yes, he was petite. The book had pages that yellowed over time. Some pages were torn. One of the pages was fragile; if you touched it, the page might rip. The spine of the book was ruined. Scarlett rolled her eyes.

"Great balls of fire, Mr. Harrison, I do not want to edit it!"

Scarlett was confused. She barely read books. She could have forgotten how to read books! Scarlett was not meant to read books. Her hands were not to turn pages, but to attract gentleman. Her eyes were not to read words, but to look at gentleman. Of course, she was an old woman. She was far too old to catch men.

"Oh? You wouldn't mind receiving a salary of gowns and jewels? A trip to France? Great Britain? A cruise? What a waste!"

Mr. Harrison could be the next local seducer in town. Scarlett tried to get her mind off of the gowns and jewels. She loved them. After all, diamonds were her best friend. After losing Rhett, she had to sell every earbob, gown, slipper, and even her hat! Oh the luxury! Desperate for glamorous shine, she made up her mind.

"Yes, I will edit the diary, Mr. Harrison."

"That's my loyal editor!"

"When am I going to get paid?"

"Good. Once you are finished, contact me." Mr. Harrison ignored her question.


He left the room as Scarlett opened up the diary. A slip of paper fell out. It was a diagram of a family tree. The drawing was in dark black ink made of crushed blackberries on vellum in a sloping handwriting. The title was in an absurd handwriting. The word 'Family' had a large cursive sloping F and the rest of the word followed in smaller print. She saw the O'Haras and theā€¦ O'Reillys? There, Scarlett found herself. Her parents were Gerald and Ellen. Didn't Pa mention a bit of the O'Reillys? She scrutinized every detail. The owner of the diary was Zelah O'Reilly. There was a circle around her name. As Scarlett followed up the tree, it had seemed as her Uncle James' son was her cousin. Her cousin's daughter was Zelah. Scarlett sighed and turned the page to read the fantastic story.