Ron was driving, the women were worried. It was the first time in his life that he had to wonder if the color of his skin could get him and Christine into trouble in their beloved city. They approached the border gate, and stopped in the line of cars waiting to enter White Town. People selling the latest edition of the local paper went from car to car, each driver giving them change for the news of Conchita. Word was out, Conchita’s body had been found in the bus near Black Town. They drove in silence until they were safely over the border. Ron drove to a restaurant where he parked and went inside to get breakfast for three. To go.
When he returned, they sat in the car while Christine read to them, interpreting as she went. “Ron, this doesn’t sound good. The officials in Black Town are now on a suspicion list, this is really bad, guys. I mean if more ghettos get into this brawl, it could be dangerous for everyone, I mean all the townships might speak up, they might finally fight back.”
“Honey, we’ve talked about this day coming, we can’t be surprised. If a revolt does happen though, I want us in a safe place. Ladies, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go home until all this has blown over. I should have told you before we left, but I wasn’t sure then. I am now. This news is not good for any of us.”
Eve uncrossed her legs to prevent a cramp that was attempting to take over her right foot. “I know of a cheap hotel in the city, I stayed there the other night. Let’s go check into it, Ron. I have the money that Sandy gave me.”
Ron was taken aback, “What the hell, Eve. Why are you carrying that wad around?” He laughed at himself. “On second thought, you’re brilliant to have brought it.”
Eve giggled, “Hey, isn’t Friday Constitution Day? We can think of this as a holiday to enjoy the event.”
Christine had been unusually quiet after her reading. The news had made her ponder ideas she and Ron had talked about for years. “You know? It’s never made sense to me that we have no history prior to 30 years back, starting with Constitution Day. Eve, have you spent time wondering what could have happened to erase the past? Was it so horrific, so terrible that the government intervened and somehow wiped an entire population’s memory banks? I mean, what the hell could it have been? Does anyone know or remember what it was like before? The President, maybe?” She turned to face Eve in the back seat, “What are you, 40 something, Eve? I mean, I would guess younger, but I know you have grown boys.”
“Yes, Christine. I’m in my early forties. Why do you ask?”
Ron watched his wife go on, his love and admiration for her overwhelmed him.
“Don’t you wonder why you can’t remember back, I mean over 30 years back? Doesn’t that bother you? Ron and I have had talks about this many times. I guess it makes us sound like conspiracy theorists, but if it doesn’t make sense, there’s usually a reason for that.”
“I don’t understand what you mean, everyone knows this. Our country began then, it’s pretty simple. Our leaders wanted this to be a safe and prosperous country, and the only way they knew for that to happen was to forget the ugliness and war prior to that. It must have been a terrible place, people not going out at night, locking their doors. Always afraid of thugs wanting to hurt them. Why should we remember those ways? That kind of knowledge can only teach the future to be ugly too. Listen, what are the chances that this Conchita cover-up will be taken care of by Friday? I want to enjoy fireworks and a nice BBQ.”
Ron looked at Eve, totally surprised by her ignorance. “Eve, you don’t really believe any of what you just said, do you?”
She felt sick inside, and looked at him sadly. “No Ron. I’m sorry, you guys. I’m so used to pretending. Actually, I don’t know what is real or not. I have the same thoughts as you guys. I read a lot, and discuss books with friends. The book we’re currently reading is Atlas Shrugged. Now why does the government let us read books that were written prior to the day our Constitution was signed?” She thought for a few moments. “Come to think of it, the books I read are fiction, I don’t know of any non-fiction out there that talks of times prior to our founding date. They must have destroyed records. At least those dealing with the accounts of history.”
“I think we do have history books, but we’ve been told they are fiction, made up by some fantasy in a writer’s head.” Ron’s last words trailed off, he just sat for a moment. “I don’t even know if there are people alive who really know what happened prior to our Constitution Day. I guess we’re just supposed to believe and not think for ourselves.” He put his hand out and laced his fingers through Christine’s. “I’m just lucky I found you, Honey. All these years, and you’re still my best friend, someone to open my heart to, someone to have thoughtful conversations with. I would go nuts if I didn’t have someone to confide in.”
Ron suddenly changed his mood, and took the garbage from both ladies, bagging them up to throw in the outside cans. “I’ll be right back and then we’re going to find your hotel, Eve. We’ll get settled, then call Sandy. We’re going to get a confession recorded today if it’s the last thing we do.”
He returned, and began driving, following Eve’s instructions to the hotel. Her thoughts were making her nervous. Sure, I can get Sandy to talk. But she’ll have to come with us. She won’t be safe anymore. But then, is anyone safe? Is this as serious as it seems? She knew that the news would leak from Latino Town soon, secrets were hard to keep. But she wanted the papers to print Sandy’s story as well as hers, she wanted them to know the truth. Black Town had nothing to do with this. She knew it. Jonathan knew it. What she didn’t know was how anger and hate could spiral out of control so rapidly. That the suppression people had been constrained with for 30 years was something that was unsustainable. Something big was brewing that would change the people’s lives in the United States forever. She couldn’t yet understand that hate and fear were two deadly emotions that were about to collide and erupt in all towns of America.
Ron watched her expression through his mirror and worried about her, worried about all of them. He hoped he would be able to save the three of them from any danger.
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