Grandmother and granddaughter are sitting in a couch, waiting for their favorite soap opera to start.

Then, a very emotional ad about some nursing home was being shown on television.

- I think these kind of places just create distance among the elder and the rest of the members of the family, specially during this quarantine time, where people must stay at home. Tough, isn’t it, granny ? – the grandchild in snickers stood up to bring some popcorn and soda.

She sat again on the couch and offered soda and popcorn to her granny, who gladly accepted.

The advertisement was still on air.

And Sophie  the grandmother, started to take the images on the screen : a nurse taking care of an old woman, smiling.

- That nurse reminds me that,  about two hundred  years ago – looking at the girl gently and compassionately - my greatgrandmother, who comes to be you’re your great-great- and again great- great grandmother, a person that you probably have never imagined that existed living in a big farmhouse.

She had been a slave there, a black one, that had to do everything in the house, take care of the laundry that in that times used to be done by hand. She also used to cook, and clean the very big house, while her husband, another slave, was in charge of the animals and the plantation, it was, as a fact, a maize plantation as the corn was used to feed the animals. 

And, one rainy day, they had to keep the animals safe in the barn, as the rain came with thunders, scaring the poor animals, that wanted to run away from the barn.

One of the roosters flew away, and she wanted to catch it, as it was a very expensive one. 

You will never believe me ! – she screamed  as the girl opened her eyes, stopping to devour the popcorn – but when she was close enough to catch it on the ceiling where there was a trunk to sustain the building, it fell down, hurting her head so badly that the other servants h8ad to call the priest to give her the extreme unction , instead of calling the doctor.

- Really ? – asked the granddaughter that at this time eve stopped to blink in order to listen the whole story.

- Yes. She was bleeding so badly that the rainwater mixed with her blood created a big puddle of water, resembling a blood ocean in the horizon.

- Wow ,! It looks like a movie , grandma!

- Yes, and a better movie this awful and tasteless soap opera that we ate watching now.

- That’s absolutely true! – gobbling some popcorn down  her mouth again.

- Now, let me tell you what j needed to tell you : that great- grandmother, besides being a slave,a fact that by itself was totally a shaming for the whole family that kept that as a family secret for more than two hundred years .

- - was it so bad? ‘ asked the girl 

- - well, we are descendants of black people, and you know that black people have the stigma of racism, prejufism given by the white ones that treated us like shit  but, fortunately, we had z way to overcome it through the independence movements all over America, from south to north.

- According to my teacher we all have some sort of blood mix running in our veins, so I do not think that being descendants of black slaves was big deal.

- Ni it is not, because now we have another vision about it, we , let me say have gained some truly experience about wars that tought us that az a fact we all are going to die, rich, poor, nigroes, white people.

Just like the ad we are finishing to watch on tv.

- It’s the only certainty we have. That we are going to die..

- Yes, dear.

- So… what is this thing that is really bothering you ? 

- She was not only slave, but mongolic, as it used to be called the people that were born retarded because of the syndrome of Down, that we call it nowadays.

- Really ? - the girl asked again, astonishingly opening her eyes that maybe were trying to digest the last information.

- Yes dear. She could not understand what we used to say. She could not read, nor write. She was dumb, and you won’t believe me, but she had to carry a son of her boss, a bastard who thought that it was too easy to fuck a dumb person, as he was not able to do it with a normal one.

She suffered a lot by that time, because, you know, in that time, everything was so precarious, so difficult since they did not have enough knowledge nor technology that we have nowadays. 

- Yes , I see, but, what happens next, grandma?

And grandma took a sip of the soda.

- She died during labour, without any kind of assistance, as she was a slave.

The owners of that farmhouse simply threw her to the ground , together with the cow, the rooster, the other animals – and the eyes of grandma were full of tears.

Her granddaughter stood up again to take a handkerchief for the old lady, so she could cry freely, while the young one embraced and kissed her , trying to comfort the old woman.

- And ..( still shefing tears ) and… the owner of that house ordered the slaves to raise the child, who is your great-grandfather, Julius, who survived because of that brave black people , that fed the child with the milk of a from, and dressed him with some scraps.

The girl turned off the television, and sat beside her grandmother, crying with her.

In silence, for about half an hour.

Then, the old lady stopped to cry watching at the young girl weeping.

She wiped the face of the young girl with her hand, and, looking at her face with all their family history in her eyes, said : 

- This was a secret about our family . But this was in the past. It happened a long time ago.

And now, it is over.

That secret, is gone.

So, please, dear, do not cry over something that now is dead. It is useless and painful.

That is why, I am asking you- holding and embracing her granddaughter again and again – 

To turn on the television. We are missing our soap.opera.

Both laughed.

And watched it.

August 18, 2020 20:34

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