J. M. Darhower
“Tell me, Mr. DeMarco. What’s love to you?”
He glared at his teacher. “I think it’s ridiculous you’re even trying to define it like it’s something material you can just go find if you want it. People use the word too loosely as it is. They say they love this and they love that, when they don’t. They just like the shi— uh, stuff. Love is something that changes you, and if you really loved all the crap you say you love, you’d never know who you were because you’d constantly be changing. Once you love, you love forever. You can’t help it.”
And wherever it is you came from, you worried you’d be killed for no reason?
No, there’s always a reason, she said.
Just not one you caused.
He was mystified. That’s why you asked me not to punish you when I spilled my orange juice. Yes.
Do you fear for your life here?
I always fear for my life.
Vigyázat! Felnőtt tartalom.
“I knew you would’ve told me to fight, so I did.”
His chest swelled with pride at her words. “Good, because no one touches my girl unless she wants to be touched. No woman should ever be violated. That’s something my mom made sure we understood. She said a woman’s body was a temple, and you should never enter it without an invitation. I was just a kid and didn’t understand at the time, but she stressed it so much that I remember.”
“The Battle of Gettysburg was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 18-something-or-nother. The year doesn’t matter.” Mrs. Anderson started to interrupt but closed her mouth when he continued.
“They considered it the turning point of the war, and President Lincoln showed up to give his big speech. Who really cares what it was called? I don’t. After it was all over and the North won, Congress passed the 13th amendment to free the slaves. It outlawed owning another person, yada, yada, yada, but it was a waste of time. All of it. Every bit. Completely pointless.” “Uh, Carmine?” He ignored his teacher, continuing on as if she hadn't spoken.
“All those people died and it didn't change anything, because it doesn't work if they don't enforce it. They just ignore it, turn their backs and say it’s not their problem, but it is. It's everyone's problem. They can say slavery ended all they want, but that doesn't make it true. People lie. They'll tell you what they think you wanna hear, and you’ll believe it. Whatever makes you feel better about your dismal little lives.”
“That's enough, Carmine.” “So, whatever. Go on being naive. Believe what the history book tells you if you want. Believe what Mrs. Anderson wants me to tell you about it. Believe the land of the free, blah, blah, blah, star spangled banner bullshit. Believe there aren’t any slaves anymore just because a tall guy in a big ass top hat and a bunch of politicians said so. But I won’t believe it, because if I do too, we’ll all fucking be wrong, and someone has to be right.”
What does it mean when someone vouches for you, anyway?
He finally spoke, though, his voice barely loud enough for her to hear. It means they guarantee your loyalty. Slaves aren’t the only ones who pay for other’s mistakes, Haven. Corrado just swore if you made one, he’d pay for it with his life.