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Once Upon a Time in Red and Blue Midwest

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

She was walking on one side of the road with her black protective mask

On her face along the broken windows of her black neighbourhood

On her face along the broken windows of her black neighbourhood

He was walking on the other side with a placard firmly in his muscly arms

but no mask to cover his confident smile

Their eyes met only for a brief moment but enough for her to shudder

in an unpleasant memory of his big sweaty body pushing her among

all those greasy pots and plates she was washing at the end of her shift

“You are fired!” His big beefy lips signed across she recognised it even if his

voice was lost among all those shouts: ‘Stop abortion!’

She stopped and stared at him across that invisible line

that divided his posh white suburb from her plight

“Why did you then pay me to have one, if you so against it?”

Her thin angry lips signed while her middle finger went up.

“Stop lying you black tart, he would never mixed with you lot!” his middle aged wife in a red t-shirt

‘Vote Trump, stop abortion!’ sign appeared next to him pointed her white

manicured finger accusingly across.

“We have God on our side,” a preacher pushed up front to face her and show her

small placard with cross and the words ‘Abortion is a sin!’ on it.

It was Rosie’s father, she thought to herself so she just put her head down and kept walking on her side of her road. “You repent your black soul and God may forgive you!” He shouted after her.

Josie was just seventeen when she ran away from home

after her father was gun down in police shoot down

after her father was gun down in police shoot down

Her junkie mum kept sleeping with her pills and her loaded gun next to her bed.

But she managed to finish her high school with highest grades while surf coaching around friends

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and got scholarship to university on the white side of her town.

She was so happy that day, time to cross that invisible line and be one of them.

No poverty and junkies stopping from her dream to become a successful scientist, she wanted to

work in pharmaceutical research and come up with vaccine to save her people from dying on streets from this epidemic no one seemed to be able to stop.

The university staff advised her that her studied are paid but she has to find a place to stay and

pay for her necessities so she walked around the white people on the wrong side as she was of a mixed heritage not enough white and not enough black, the girl in the middle from Midwest

She chuckled to herself and pushed down her shiny black hair to keep them straight and sleek.

There was a fry chicken shop in a corner and she left few paper dollars on a greasy table to bit

into juicy meat hungrily when she noticed: ‘Kitchen help needed.’ So she applied.

“You are on the wrong side of the city!” A big white old fat man wiped his bold head with his greasy hand watching her suspiciously with his small eyes while she showed him her university entrance paper and he bowed his head in funny way: “Smart one you are, well you may come up with a new ways how to fry my chicken?”

“I need a place to stay too,” she nodded seriously and he pointed up: “There is a storage room I don’t use it really but you have to earn it to get it.”

She served piles of white construction workers, truckies and students in a small diner and then cleaned up all after dark before he left for dinner with his family

but before that he came for his quick fix

and she let him to have his way dreaming about her white coat in a laboratory

chasing away the smell of fried oil and his sweat on her from her nostrils.

When she got pregnant she panicked and he handed her

few greasy banknotes to fix her-self so she did.

Her new white friend in her university group, and her only friend Rosie sighed when she asked her to back her up for her absence from studies while in abortion clinic.

She visited her few times in a leafy suburbs close to white community church where her father preached.

“My father said abortion is a sin and you go to hell.” Rosie told her while they worked together on their chemical solutions project.

“My father said abortion is a sin and you go to hell.” Rosie told her while they worked together on their chemical solutions project.

Josie observed her friends neat white face surrounded by blonde curls

and serious blue eyes while she was whispering fearfully: “I was pregnant too last year, I gave a baby away for adoption my mum organised it.”

“I don’t have a medical insurance and can’t afford hospital fees,” Josie said quietly.

Rosie sighed: “I stayed in hospital for a week had some after birth problems, my father was not happy but said would pray to God to understand and forgive me.”

“I just want to get my degree and save people.” Josie said desperately and Rosie took her hand: “You are one of the smartest people I ever encountered, if you would not help me out I would fail chemistry long time ago.”

Josie walked in an old university building and met Rosie on stairs: “Just bumped into you father on street he did like my black soul.” She winked at her and Rosie shrugged: “Well he doesn’t you does he?” Then she turned to Josie and hugged her: “But I do and I prove him wrong.”

“That fat pig fired me now Rosie, I have no place to stay and no money to survive on while studying.” Josie looked up tearfully into a bright blue eyes of her best friend who smiled at her broadly: “Come with me upstairs there is a meeting going on before election you know, I do door knocking…”

“I don’t care about politics Rosie, it is for you rich guys I have more pressing existential problems right now.”

“They can help Josie,” Rosie looked at her dark thin friend with wild afro hair that she tried so hard to make fashionably sleek and sighed: “Let us go to Starbucks and chat for a while.”

While munching on a muffin gulping it down with creamy coffee she listened to Rosie’s serious

share of heart: “You know why I did not keep a baby? Because the bastard I was expecting it denied it all and the bastard I was engaged with had nothing to do with me after.”

“Men are selfish, you know even my father getting into brawl with white police what he achieved by that?”

“They are weak Josie, you know both bastards still sit in our church like nothing happened, it was me who needed absolution from God.” Rosie took her friend’s hand into her across the table: “Women are much stronger Josie and now it is the time to show it, come with me to your black neighbourhood and let us talk to your women protecting their brood with guns and just surviving, let us persuade them to vote and make change.”

“Do you know why I don’t even thought about offering my baby for adoption?

Josie stopped eating and looked at Rosie seriously with her round dark eyes:

Josie stopped eating and looked at Rosie seriously with her round dark eyes:

“All babies that are snatched in adoption look like you.”

Rosie nodded and stood up: “It is time to change it then, when not now when?”

When they walked hand in hand in their blue hats and blue t-shirts handing their pamphlets out, Josie looked across at her beaming confident friend and asked unsure: “Does it make any difference which old white guy gets his cushy white seat in a White house?”

Rosie picked up her pamphlet saying: ‘Woman’s body is her right.’

Josie smiled and picked up her pamphlet: ‘Only when black residents of cities are helped to accumulate wealth will the economy of the whole city benefit.’

As they kept marching confidently hand in hand Josie whispered to Rosie’s ear: “I applied for a job of an election officer, I can do par time while studying and they help me to get a bed in dormitory.”

Rosie beamed at her squeezing her hand: “I hope there will be more colours in America once than only blue and red, it is time for us to be more multicoloured and more equal.”

“We can do it Rosie, we can do it.” Josie picked her hand up to bang on the first door in the first line of run down houses.

“Today it is blue but tomorrow it will be a totally new colour.” Rosie nodded and they waited patiently for a fearful black woman appearing through crack in the door with her loading gun on side and few little girls peeping behind her.

“Don’t you want better future for them than you have?” Rosie asked her gently and she chuckled: “Easy for you to say.” “But not for me,” Josie added confidently: “It is possible, look at me, it is possible.”


Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on November 02, 2020:

Very true dear James very true, you kill innocent people around you in time of pandemic by not wearing your face mask as required. Many do not see it that way don't they?

James A Watkins from Chicago on October 28, 2020:

Killing innocent human beings is never the right answer to life's problems.

Beata Stasak (author) from Western Australia on October 27, 2020:

thank you my fellow hubbers, the world will be what we all make it to be and by writing about tough social and political issues we are forced to stop and look at the problem from a different angle and that is always a good thing...we may not agree or see the world the same way but we all should learn to empathise from the other side and build a bridge between each other...and I truly believe by communicating through writing or any other creative way we do...thank you again...B

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 26, 2020:

Beata, things seem to be getting worse here in America, rather than better. We'll see what happens come next week.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2020:

So many issues are on the ballot this year! There are many shades of color other than merely black and white or red and blue. We should try and understand all sides of an issue and then vote accordingly.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 26, 2020:

Thank you for this reminder of tough choices. Mine seem so small.

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