My poker face ain’t good enough to sit down at this table, and yet this is where being honest has brought me. What was it O’neal used to say? Chuck it in the fuck it bucket. In his White boy voice, nigga always made me laugh.
“All rise” A gravity shakes the room. “Judge Monroe proceeding.”
“You may be seated,” An earthy tone travels.
I took a seat, caressing my waistline, checking to see if my shirt was still tucked. I’m not sure how these things go, if I get points off for unprofessional attire or some shit. It’s my older brother’s big day: sentencing. Probably feels like a second birthday to him now. I got a call on my way from a conference in Dubai, that Ody got locked up and hadn’t been tried for over several years now. He always told me he never needed or wanted my help, said shit like I made decisions just like you made decisions, if you gon’ be superman go save the niggas who wanna be saved. I have half a mind to beat his ass for not calling me when he got into this mess. They’re saying he raped a Euro-girl, it’s hard to know for sure, but my guess is the situation is a bit more complicated than the judge is willing to deal with. Here are the facts:
- We have a Black man on camera aggressively fucking a White woman
- The height and build is similar to that of Ody’s
- Ody was spotted lurking around the bar where it happened
- The alleged timestamps between the assault and the eye-witness accounts of Ody being there don’t quite link up
- The rapist has a neck tattoo (like Ody) with a shape that we are not able to distinguish due to the quality of the footage
- Ody is gay
“Mr. Johnson and…Mr. Johnson–how does the defendant plea?” The judge asked, having already made his decision. Well, it’s show-time I guess. I stand up, button the top of my three piece suit and address the new blinding White God of this-here domain.
“Guilty, your honor.” the hammer falls and Ody’s head falls with it. I whisper to him, hand over shoulder “he’ll give you ten years, but it’s better than life.”
I don’t suppose Ody will ever really understand how literally I meant that–who has the harder life? The slave or the champion? The contained or the freedom fighter? My brother, or me?
Grandma used to say that there’s a black woman in all of us, and that she must be heeded.
King Weatherspoon is an 18-year-old poet, flash fiction author, and Black empowerment essayist. They are the Amazon Bestselling Author of the titles “I AM KING” & “To, Too Many Children” They were recently published in an American Quarterly fiction magazine called Wilderness House Literary Review for a short story entitled “Before I Go.”