he knew they would be caught, that one day her parents would discover their secret. and he knew that, being the reactionary conservatives they were, they would call the police.
they burst into her bedroom shouting and screaming, waving their hands and launching threats in his direction. her mother slapped him across the face whilst she cried hot tears that burned her cheeks. her father told her mother to take his girlfriend downstairs until the police arrived. he said he wanted to talk to him ‘man to man’.
her father asked him questions, said he could not and would never understand someone like him. he asked what ‘someone like him’ meant. did he mean ‘a man in love’? because that’s what he was. he told her father how much he loved her, that he wanted to be with her, wanted to take care of her, wanted to give her the kind of life her father had dreamed of for her. but he didn’t want to listen. he was too angry, too angry to fight because he might kill. he told him that he knew something was going on, and that he was shocked and hurt to find it had been him, their neighbour. but he was indignant. he told her father that they were going to be together one day. he told him that he wasn’t scared of the police, that if he was going to be arrested for loving someone, he would proudly ride in the back of the police car, and he hoped the sirens were blazing.
he asked her father questions, questions he refused to answer, but that needed to be asked. if he only had three minutes of freedom left then he wanted to dedicate them to their love. so he asked questions, kept asking questions until the officer dragged him out of the house. he yelled questions until they shut the police car door. he kept yelling them from behind the window, yelled at her parents until he was hoarse.
DID IT MATTER THAT HE WAS RICH AND SHE WAS POOR? DID IT MATTER THAT HE WAS WHITE AND SHE WAS BLACK? DID IT MATTER THAT HE WAS 30 AND SHE WAS NINE?
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