Why would anyone have an issue with the color of their skin? Of course, Martin Luther King Jr. preached that a day would come when all races could unite and be free from segregation. I truly believed that. I cried at his assassination when they showed the movie in school. The entire room fell silent. I was proud to be African American. But once I went to high school, Dr. King's message had hit me full force. I was in love with Joshua McCants, first African American football draft pick in the entire state. We were the best couple. Him being an athlete and me being an honor roll student, also volunteering to homeless shelters and asking the Government for a grant for high school pregnant teens to have a place to go when their parents kicked them out. They would have to be monitored with birth control, but they would have a home. All through college, Dr. King's words of peace and equality echoed in my head.
I recited the "I Have A Dream" speech every morning before class and during work at the shelter for pregnant teens. Every time some Caucasian thought I was being unfair, I was a racist. Even when a darker complected African American felt betrayed by me, they called me a house nigger. Dr. King's speech echoed in my ear. It wasn't until Joshua went to California to play for the San Diego Chargers. Once we arrived at the hotel suite, there were barbie looking white women prancing around with short "uniforms", and I use that word very lightly. As Joshua and I toured California, I apologized to the white women in my head. There were so many nationalities of barbies willing to do anything for a first draft pick.
The endless flirting didn't bother me. Not even the phone numbers in his pockets. What woman wanted a man, no one else wanted? It wasn't until Joshua slept with the plastic barbie doll, had a child from her and married her, all before I could even figure why he left me. He told me over the phone that my skin color was strong for persevering through tough times. Cooking and cleaning his home and occasionally a shoulder to cry on, but it was too dark for the media. Too dark for his presence. His new found fame. Dr. King had spoken true words, but I was weakened with pain to listen. I ran to the drug store and brought every cream, wipes, lotion of skin lightening I could find. Researched every plastic surgeon in the entire state. Finally, I was perfect!
Joshua saw me after one of his games and ran to greet me. His wife was shocked that he was in my bed that night. He loved me again. Joshua had gotten a divorce and executed his parental rights with that bitch! We were happy. That Christmas Eve, Joshua and I put up the live Christmas tree and lights. The star shined so bright, it lit the entire living room. I noticed that when I was close to the lights, my face would burn. Once I put on a layer of sun block, the pain went away. Christmas morning I had waken to blotches all over my face. Large red welts covered my face and neck. The pain was unbearable. Joshua rushed me to the hospital where they gave me multiple hypoallergenic drugs. The welts went away and so did the blotches, but my skin was darker than when I started out. Now I had to wrap my entire body with cloth whenever I left the house. I was diagnosed with Melanoma, the worst form of skin cancer.
I'm sorry Dr. King!!!
Joshua left me again and all I had was a poster of Dr. King. Reading his speech over and over again.
"I don't think that day is here yet!" Crying myself so hard my legs fell from underneath me and I hit the floor.