What had I just done? It was as if I was awakening from a bad dream, but the bad dream was still there, looking at me in what seemed to be stunned silence. I was still more stunned.
-I guess you really were mad.
As the look on his face began to change, the full implications of what I’d just done began to dawn on me. My stomach churned with the knowledge that there would be hell to pay for that punch, even if he had been teaching me to throw them, just like that. Telling me how soft I was, how I needed to learn to fight, not let the kids at school walk all over me.
He’d taught me to block, and to throw a punch, demanding that I learn to be harsh, not to care if I knocked someone down, not to care how that person might get hurt.
Then, after a phone call from a boy, he’d demanded to know who it was, what the boy had wanted. When I told him that I’d had to push off the boy’s attempt to kiss me, he’d asked me something, moving closer. My grandmother was out of the house, out shopping. I felt that warning pain in my gut, and I had tried to move away. This man, my step grandfather, was my guardian, but not my kin, not safe. I wasn’t fast enough.
He put out a hand, then the other, pulled me toward him, pressing his lips against mine. I had twisted and blocked, just like he’d taught me, then backed away, shaking in my disgust, and he had laughed, saying I couldn’t be angry. Just like my mother had laughed, after she’d told me not to tell, so long ago. Then, it came out of no where.
He had been teaching me, and taunting me.
-Hit harder, don’t be such a sissy.
Teaching me to throw a decent punch, then a block, and then another punch. He’d taught me how to throw a good punch, for a girl. A hard punch, alright.
But at his shoulder, not his jaw.
1.) How can we protect kids from adults, especially those in their own families?
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Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via GoodReads.
Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil
our year 2021 CE = 12021 HE
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free copies at: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.