The True Foe Is ...

BI-RACIAL COUPLES, FAMILIES, AND CHILDREN:

Her mother is actress, Peggy Lipton of Mod Squad fame.
Her mother is actress, Peggy Lipton of Mod Squad fame. | Source

RELATING TO A TWEEN

A SHORT STORY:

It was a February morning when Barbara Walker surveyed the five lower vacant floors of "The Walker Family Inn". She, her husband John and their three children moved onto the penthouse floor of his paternal family's inn a week before.

She checked her watch, 7:10 , she thought. In another fifty minutes she would be box braiding her eldest child, Raven's, hair.

They were to meet inside her and John's vanity room. She had plenty of time. Barbara continued strolling down the corridor of the 3rd floor, admiring the beauty of the inn. She stopped in front of a door which had an exit sign above it and jogged up the stairs. This is my exercise. She thought as she smiled to herself.

Though all of the lower floors looked the same, Barbara wanted to survey each one before they began running it in two months. Barbara had to hand it to Vivian -- her late mother-in-law -- the inn had a warm feel to it. Something all who really knew Vivian would agree, she never exuded. Raven, however, adored her paternal grandmother though. Barbara believed Vivian's closeness to Raven was for all the wrong reasons.

John, Vivian's only child, is bi-racial, and so was Vivian. John could pass for white, but Vivian could not. Raven has the same complexion her grandmother had. Fair but not passable. Barbara believed Vivian was a self-hating fool, and to her disparity, Raven was becoming Vivian's clone.

As Barbara approached her vanity area she heard the youthful voice of Raven counting from inside the room. Which meant Raven had eaten. After Vivian's death, Raven began exercising after each meal, just as her grandmother had before she fell ill.

Barbara was worried about her thin child, and she knew she had to speak up, and soon. She just needed to find the right words to say to Raven, this time ....

She did not want her words to do what they seemed to have done before; crush her child's spirit. She avoided looking at her twelve year old, because it pained her too much, but hearing self-loathing in Raven's voice whenever she spoke to her mother, well, that shamed Barbara.

When Raven finally asked her to redo her hair a few days before, she agreed immediately. Barbara reached the outer entrance of her destination, took a deep breath, and then stepped inside.

Watching Raven exercise was torture. Raven was oblivious to her presence due to the fact she was listening to her Ipod -- a Christmas gift from Vivian -- with her eyes closed as usual when she exercised by herself. Barbara saw Vivian in Raven at that moment. Not herself. It bothered her. calm yourself , she chided silently.

As Barbara began slipping past her unaware child, she noticed a Vogue Magazine with an anorectic-looking model on its cover. It lied on top of a black lacquer storage chest, which was just a few feet in front of Raven, and a few inches in front of a clear-glass full-length wall mirror.

A thought crossed her mind, Why couldn't Rave grab my Essence or Ebony Magazines . Again, she scolded herself, thinking, Excessive exercising; major problem, choice of magazines; minor irritations. Don't speak before thinking . She then shook her head and smiled to herself.

Once she reached the black leather chair, at the far right of the room, she sat down. Just before she placed her legs on the matching ottoman Barbara noticed an opened plastic bag -- which held Raven's comb, brush, and hair accessories -- leaning on the right side of the chair.

Watching a still unaware Raven actually brought a smile to Barbara's face. The interior of the vanity room complemented Raven's beauty.

The dark caramel of Raven's skin tone was a lovely contrast to the dark golden carpet her bare feet were now running in place in. She was center stage, and part of her scenery was also the walls. The high-glossed golden background mingled beautifully with the black floral designs placed upon them.

The lighting was dim, yet Raven shined.

Barbara briefly looked away. The memory of their first major conflict invaded her mind like cancer.

It happened in that vanity room. It was days after Vivian's death, and Raven -- to Barbara -- expected agreement with her beliefs when she asked, "Mom, why must I say I'm black only, when I'm also white?"

I'll say this again, Raven, most people go by what they see. This is America. They see you, they see a cute little black girl."

"Yeah, I told Grandma you said that. she agreed with you."

"Really? Well, good. You have nothing to prove Rave."

"Well, she said show them I'm both. Talk is cheap."

"Excuse me? Oh-my-God! Is that why you've been staying around your father and avoiding me whenever we're out in public? Making such a production, calling him 'Dad' for attention?"

"Sorry-"

"Sorry?"

"Ma, I'm trying to show people-"

"Girl, are you crazy? You have an excuse? You're discounting me, and don't even see it."

Raven was now crying as she said, "Sorry ma, for real."

"Rave, my mother was white. My father darker than the ace of spades. He could not deny me if he wanted to, because I am his carbon copy complexion wise -"

"I know ma."

"Sweetie, my mother told me in America I am black no matter the fact that she was my mother. I wish you knew her before she died -"

"Sorry - Mom - please - forgive -"

Barbara's concentration was broken by the words, "Mom - I - I - didn't know you were here al-"

"Don't worry sweetie. Brighten the lights ... please."

Brightness, and silence engulfed the room.

Soon, Raven was sitting on the ottoman, back facing her mother.

With comb in hand, Barbara began parting Raven's hair, and as she began braiding the first section she started thinking.

Realization struck like a punch, and she thought to herself, To help Raven I must stop hating Vivian!


Please scroll down and leave a comment.

Thank you.





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Comments 59 comments

N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 3 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Oh, thank you so much for your lovely comments. I truly appreciate them.

Take Care,

N.E.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 3 years ago

This is a prophetic and beautiful hub. So sad that our world is so surface. You have also managed to teach a beautiful lesson on forgiveness in this story. May you always be blessed and as honest as you were in this piece.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hey Twilanelson,

Wow, thanks for sharing.

Check out my Hub Loving Your Dark Complexion Self.

Okay, most of my relatives are Native-American and Black.

Most of them you cannot tell, and some you wonder about immediately. Not because of the complexions, but because of the features.

I actually love the way you are handling the way your children are. I love reading it. It's cool. LOL.

Thanks so much for your comments.

Take Care,

N.E.


twilanelson profile image

twilanelson 5 years ago from Carmichael, California

Thank you for bringing this subject to HubPages. I am bi-racial, Black and American Indian. We have a multi-racial family. The lightest of my daughters always comes home for soul food the darkest of my daughters prefers to spend time with her caucasian or white friends, she loves rock but she loves a predominately black church. And, the daughter in the middle flat irons her hair daily and lightens it. I had to learn to be patient and learn all of the facets to their beautiful and individual personalities. They are all very happy for family reunions and cultural events.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Wow, thank you for your praise, Teresa8go.

I am humbled by your words.

Thank you for your comments.

Take Care,

N.E.


teresa8go profile image

teresa8go 5 years ago from Michigan, USA

Everyone's right. You are a gifted writer!


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello DenDen,

I appreciate your book marking my story.

Take Care,

N.E.


denden mangubat profile image

denden mangubat 5 years ago from liloan, cebu, philippines

i'll just bookmark this


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Gary,

Thank you so much for your lovely praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


Gary Rowell profile image

Gary Rowell 5 years ago from Florida,USA

Great story! Your have a good talent an your hubs are captivating.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Thanks Pmccray, for your kind words.

Take Care,

N.E.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

Fantastic story line and very well written can't wait for the sequel. Voted up, marked beautiful.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Pollyannalana,

I know what you mean. I had read some great poems yesterday and today, and I felt tears brimming my eyes several times.

One poem I read today inspired me to write a poem myself. I was stunned. LOL.

So yeah, I know what you mean about some of these Hubs.

I thank you so much for your praises.

Take Care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Str8up Hookups,

I truly appreciate your wonderful words.

Take Care,

N.E.


Str8up Hookups profile image

Str8up Hookups 5 years ago

Awesome hub,thought provoking,makes you wonder.

Thanks for sharing.

Voted up!


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

When I first came here I cried through almost every hub and it helped my healing.(Most removed now) Please do go on with it, go back with it and all the hurts in between, you may find a truth you didn't even know was there. I would love to hear more.

Polly


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Uddinhammade62,

Thanks for your lovely praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


uddinhammad62 profile image

uddinhammad62 5 years ago from karachi

well written! Excellent


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Pan1974,

Thank you so much for your comments.

Yeah, I feel for Raven also.

Take Care,

N.E.


pan1974 profile image

pan1974 5 years ago from Columbus,Ga

I like that story, and I felt sad for Raven, she shouldn't have to worry about her complexion, she just a little girl.Well I hope I get to read more of this to.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hi Neverletitgo,

Thanks for your lovely praises.

My hope is to be a successful novelist. I have several novel ideas, and a first chapter from one of those ... ideas.

Thanks again for your comments.

Take Care,

N.E.


Neverletitgo profile image

Neverletitgo 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

What a nice story! N.E.Wright, I like the way you narrated this story and I believe you can be very successful novel writer if you start it. I am glad to be your follower and I will visit your hub. Now I voted up and awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Take care

Abdi


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hey Tmbridgeland,

Wow, you seem cool. Most parents of any race is not so cool with children choosing. You and my younger brother seem okay with it, and I like that.

I always stress out about the kids and the way society will treat them. Maybe I need to stress less huh? LOL.

Thanks for the praise, and sharing the info on your family. I appreciate it.

Take Care,

N.E.


tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

Very nice. I have two bi-racial kids, and they seem to switch back and forth between races, depending on which is convenient. I am glad they have a choice.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Chungamunga I am confused.

I went to the site, but huh?

Take Care,

N.E.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Faye,

Thank you so much for your very kind words.

Oh, man, I still have not brainstormed the continuation of this story. Too busy chilling with my son watching The Little Rascals on DVD. LOL.

I really appreciate the great and unexpected encouragement -- from almost everyone -- for me to continue this story line.

Thanks again for your wonderful comments.

Take Care,

N.E.


fayehelen profile image

fayehelen 5 years ago

Hi N.E. Wright. This was fantastic!!! Such a interesting topic to think about, but i agree with what everybody else has said - we want more! hehe.

You really write nicely, I'm hooked. Looking forward to reading more of your work. Best wishes, faye.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello B. Malin,

I truly appreciate your lovely praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

N.E. Wright, you've woven a beautiful story about bi-racial feelings between the generations...I like your writing style, and I intend to become a follower of yours. Thanks for become a follower of mine as well.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello JLSB,

I appreciate your kind words, and I am looking into brainstorming ....

Thanks for your comments.

Take Care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Cdnzmbirytr,

Thank you so much for your praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


cdnzmbirytr 5 years ago

Very well written N.E.! I quite enjoyed it!


JLSB profile image

JLSB 5 years ago

I agree with all the above. Well done. You must have a great novel going.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Mrs. Asif,

I appreciate your very kinds words.

Take Care,

N.E.


Mrs asif profile image

Mrs asif 5 years ago

nice hub,well written ,i really enjoyed it.takecare


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Dee aka Nonna,

Thank you for your praises.

Take Care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Nflagator,

Thank you for your praises.

I am writing down your advice, so I can join wordpress.com. I already have an old account with blogspot.com.

Thanks again for your comments.

N.E.


nflagator profile image

nflagator 5 years ago from North Florida

Great story!

I would suggest starting a Blog for this story, (if you wanted to post more chapters).

Perhaps wordpress.com or blogspot.com (both are free).


Dee aka Nonna profile image

Dee aka Nonna 5 years ago

This was a great story. I enjoyed it very much--am definitely looking forward to more.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

OMG AskAshilie3433,

I just do not know what to say. I must admit I am a little overwhelmed by the praises. I really see this as a one time story. That said, I am going to start brainstorming how the rest of it should go.

I really appreciate your extremely kind words.

Of all of my story ideas that I have for future novels this one was never one of them. LOL.

Thank you so much for your ... comments.

Take care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Erin LeFey,

Wow, I really am over whelmed by the praises.

I guess I really have to get over myself, and my fear for Raven. I know it sounds crazy, but I was afraid of expanding her.

The story of conflicted children is way too sad, but I wrote this story because of a young girl who was not really proud of her ... self. According to her mother.

Again, I am going to brainstorm, and get my old ideas book for the back story of this story.

Thank you so much for your encouragement.

N.E.


Erin LeFey profile image

Erin LeFey 5 years ago from Maryland

N.E. What a marvelous story, and I have to say...I'm with the rest of them - I'd love to read more about this family. It was really set up very well and full bodied. Your characters just pop and are begging to come to life. I'd love to meet characters at the inn and see how the inn develops. This is a great idea for a book - I know in your writing and past you'd have something to pull it together.Just thinking. Namaste'


AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 5 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

WOW N E. I'm with everyone else. One more chapter. I am already picturing it in my head. I don't just say this. That is as good as a pro writer. It has everything you need, a good character, the vibe, a solution, meaning, ect. It makes you want to keep reading. WOW... It is seriously good, no joke. I read books all the time, I would know. Such a talent you are N E. Til next time, best wishes.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Ready2Read,

Yeah, family and friends can sometimes be so cool that you forget the real word sometimes. It is sad.

I am three years older than your daughter so I know that time was a mess. It just was.

Read my story, "Loving Your Dark Complexioned Self". It will show you what I had to go through ....

Oh man, Ready2Read. It looks like I have to start brainstorming for how this story is going to continue. LOL.

I am still scared ..., but I am going to see what can work.

I truly appreciate your words on how you think I am giving voice to bi-racial children. I never saw it that way, and yet I actually wrote this story after a neighbor -- and my mother's friend -- told me an incident between her and her then tween daughter. They are not a bi-racial family.

To be honest your words brought tears to my eyes and humbled me.

Children make me smile when they are happy, and they break my heart when they are sad. They cannot hide sad.

I truly appreciate your kind words.

You and all the others ... are pushing me towards continuing this story line.

Take Care,

N.E.


Ready2Read 5 years ago

N.E.

I enjoyed reading this short story. I am the mother of a fair skinned daughter, Andrea is now 45. I remember that her complexion did not matter to my family or friends, but when I showed up at public events or school with her many heads turned.

This is a great subject since there are so many bi-racial children in our society today. Someone has to give them a voice.

You are a great writer, I too would like to read more about the experiences of Raven and Barbara.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Wow, Catydid52, I appreciate your praises.

The brief story you tell about your sister's is something I know from other relatives that are fair, but most people do not know that some fairer complexioned blacks wish they were darker. They only think it is we darker complexioned Blacks that wish to be lighter.

I know too many people on either side -- dark complexioned and light complexioned ... -- who wish they were the reverse ....

I have a Hub, called "Loving Your Dark Complexioned Self", you may want to check out.

You are right we can learn from children.

Children make me smile. I had a niece -- my mother and I raised together for a time -- that did not know she was Black. She knew nothing about race. She thought she was beige, and I was brown. LOL. She said "Aunty your not Black your Brown."

"What are you?"

"I'm beige."

OMG. What do you say to that? LOL. She actually made me proud of how we were raising her.

If someone did something offensive to one of us and he/she happened to be of another race, we did not respond to the race ..., but to the bad deed of that person.

I just did not realize it until my niece said what she said.

I also went through this with my own son last year when he was six years old. LOL.

Oh, yeah, he was yellow. LOL. I still was brown. Nice to know I stay the same with these kids. LOL. Again, children make me smile.

Hummm. I am afraid continue this story. Raven -- the daughter -- is very innocent and confused. I do not want to corrupt her with life. LOL. Sorry if that sounds insane, but it just scares me.

Still, all that said, I am moving towards continuing the story line, because of all of you thinking I should, and my sister pushing me the other day at her birthday lunch. LOL.

Thanks again for your words.

Take Care,

N.E.


catydid52 profile image

catydid52 5 years ago from Windsor

I enjoyed your story, my family is also bi-racial, and I have two sisters who could pass for white, but they wish they were darker. There are messages, and lessons to be learned with children who are fair, for many of them have colour complexes. No matter what the racial background, the colour of the skin, children need to know, and believe they are precious in our sight.

I also believe you have more to say in this story, and I hope to read about it in the near future...


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Theseus,

I appreciate your kind words.

Take Care,

N.E.


theseus profile image

theseus 5 years ago from philippines

N.E. Wright,

A good piece of work,keep on writing.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Ahhhh, Christopheranton, thank you so much for your praises.

I keep hearing I should continue the story. I am not sure, but if I could come up with an ending without force, then I just may do that.

You are correct about the Husband. In my back story he is pretty cool.

Take Care, and again, thanks ....

N.E.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Brilliantly well written story. I feel it deserves a sequel. It would be interesting to see how the three way relationship between Raven, Barbara, and the dead Vivian works out, and there is always that intriguing husband to consider.

Keep up the good work.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Chisom Emmanuel,

Wow, thank you.

Take Care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Marcella Glenn,

Much appreciated.

N.E.


Marcella Glenn 5 years ago from PA

Well done!


chisom emmanuel profile image

chisom emmanuel 5 years ago from NIGERIA

awesome


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hi LillyGrillzit,

As always thank you for your praises.

There is so much back story that one does when he/she comes up with an idea for a story.

For "The True Foe Is ..." I knew how I wanted it to end before I knew how it would begin. That is how I knew this was a short story and not a novel.

Oh I can expand it, but I am not that comfortable with the subject. I think I would be crying most of the time. LOL. Then again, I really do have worse subjects that I am dealing with. LOL.

Stephen King's character developments are near perfect to me, but his descriptions are the greatest. The subject matters can be very disturbing.

The thing is I cannot read Stephen King, because in the inner views of his pedophile character in Monkey Shine. I freaked out.

I was a teenager when my mother gave me that book. I think I threw it away. LOL. Reading is intimate for me. TV, movies, not so much ....

Greedy? Please. No you are not.

Have you ever read any shorts of Ernest Hemingway's and wanted more? I have. Even when all the questions were answered. I still wanted more. I would think about what I just read and be in awe.

Again, thanks for your wonderful praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

Dear N.E., You are right, this does stand alone, I think all of us who write, that are big readers too can sense more characters and story(s) pounding to get out. The characters in this wonderful short, may have taken on a life of their own. I love when that happens. I think Stephen King speaks about this a lot. Character development is one of the most difficult things for an author, but a true Writer has a muse that breathes life into a one dimensional work.

You are the author. You can tuck these ladies back into your closed Writer's book. Keep us wanting more! On writing.com I do a lot of reviews, and I am always wanting the short to grow wildly and give me more. I am a greedy reader. You have the muse. Write on sister.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Wow LillyGrillzit, thank you so much.

This really was a one time short story, but I keep getting people telling me there should be more to it, and I am not sure what to do.

I really need to get back to my real novel. I may start placing the first chapter to that on the Hubpages soon though.

Thank you so much for your praises.

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hey, sis, thanks.

Thank you so much for reading my work.

That makes me smile.

Love your sis,

Nill

_________________________________________________________

Hey Tom,

Nice hearing from you.

I truly appreciate your praises.

Take Care,

N.E.


justom profile image

justom 5 years ago from 41042

Wow N.E., this is really good and well written! Excellent!! Peace!! Tom


valarie 5 years ago

I ENJOY READING YOUR STORY, I AGREE WITH WILL STAR!! YOU NEED TO DO A Sequel(s)


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 5 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

N.E. It is worth the wait. I love this story, and I will be glad to read the next chapter! You are an excellent writer, with a life time filled with 'material' for writing! Write On! Happy New Year 2011 and beyond.


N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY Author

Hello Rhonda,

Wow, thank you for your praises.

I truly appreciate it.

Thanks again for your comments.

Take Care,

N.E.

_________________________________________________________

Hi Will Starr,

Thanks for the Praise.

I truly never thought about sequel(s) to it, but you made me think that's for sure.

Barbara is bitter, and I really like Raven ....

Thanks again. We will see. LOL.

Take Care,

N.E.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Well done! This definitely needs a sequel(s). Will the Walkers successfully manage the inn? Will Raven learn to accept herself? Can Barbara overcome her bitterness?

More please.


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

Great story a wonderful read. It shows true character.

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