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Black American Fiction

Taboo

My parents relocated to the U.S. when they learned mom was carrying triplets; China still had limited family sizes. Father could practice medicine from anywhere, and Mom was a researcher. My parents home-schooled my siblings and me for three years until they realized we were more intelligent than they were.

We had several different nannies, teachers, and tutors along the way. Dad would not agree to send us to the Chinese school. He believed public school experience would teach us the skills required to function correctly in New York City.

Forbidden love, Unbelievable slut, Too Dumb to Teach My Children was the talk amongst the townies.

 The News reported Wei Chang was sentenced to twenty years, and newspapers read… "Teacher who Bedded her Student; Gave Birth in Jail."

That is what the neighbors would whisper as I walked by, too.

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This is the last note she sent me from Avon Street Jail:

People don't understand how I fell in love with you or you with me. Yesterday would have been our twelfth anniversary. I hope you're doing well; I wish you could visit and bring our daughter to see me on Mother's Day weekend. I realize I may be asking more than you are willing.

After many months of counseling, I can see how people felt about our relationship, but now that you're twenty-two and raising our daughter alone, please bring her to see me.

We're forever linked by the love we share. Until next time, Love W.

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The Judge took away her right to communicate with her victims. I'm unsure if I am a victim or should be in a cell. She was twenty-something, a new sub for Miss Turner's English 111 when I was a freshman in a new high school. Maybe that is why we clicked—two little guppies in a great big, strange, and hostile bowl.

Wait, let me go back one decade and two years ago to Monday, September 5, 2011. She was running late, and I was always in my head, not paying attention to where I was walking; we ran into each other—looking like cartoon characters when our books, papers, and lunch went up in the air and all over the hallway. Then we bumped noggins as we attempted to collect our belongings, fell backward, and laughed.

After composing ourselves, our eyes locked, and I couldn't speak. She didn't look twenty-something, not a day over sixteen, maybe. On the other hand, I have looked old enough since puberty kicked in after 11. People have wondered about my age and questioned my eligibility for every team until high school; they always thought I was too old. I have been the captain of every football team I've been on since the Peewee League. Maybe because I was 5'7" by 12. My peach fuzz filled in in the summer of 2007, and my voice deepened. I've always lived in the gym. My family owns the only Planet Physical Gym in New York City. Although I am not qualified to give workout advice, I have been teaching the youth workout class with my parents since they opened the doors in the late 90's.

 We both attended grades above our age groups since kindergarten, and our educational or social skills don't reflect our age. No classes teach a ten-year-old boy to function in the seventh grade or an 11-year-old girl in high school. I may have been able to tell you how to build a bomb that would level ten city blocks around one focal point, but I could not say I knew anything about love. The Judge removed her contact privileges before I was twenty-one because of my father. I was a paycheck to my parents since I was five. We were math prodigies and spoke ten languages between the three of us before six.

Now that we are adults, my brothers and I have moved into an apartment in Virginia Beach, three hundred and sixty-one miles from the Big Apple and one hundred and seventy-seven miles from the Avon Street jail. We all work in civilian population growth and casualty sector jobs for the government outside of Newport News, Virginia. I cover the Army, and my brothers cover the Navy and Air Force. We're primarily lawyers handling workers comp and death benefits, but occasionally, we do family law, like custody. When I was ten, I wanted to join the service and enter the space program, but a respiratory condition kept us out. So, like the Hidden Figures women, my brothers and I now work on projects for NASA's moon and future Mars landings because I noticed a flaw in one of the calculations.

Our daughter is 11. Wei has been serving time since 2013; I was only sixteen when our daughter was born in December 2012. Whether I wanted to be a single parent or not, that has been my saving grace. Mia is my heart, and I wouldn't be the man I am without being her father. Had I not become a father early, I would have blown through my money and probably would be dead by now. Having someone to care for other than myself kept me humble, sane, and on a budget, which gave me the strength to break away from my father's clutches.

My brothers and I co-parent, and we depend on Mia to keep our three men and a little lady group happy. We wouldn't be independent of our parents, working for NASA, or loving life had things not happened as they did; we'd still be living at home and unhappy.  

Yes, I realize it looks like I went from one prison to another. Maybe, but we all are imprisoned by our own doing sometimes. It depends on your state of mind. At work, I supervise a think tank, and we run every scenario the astronauts will encounter while in space—everything from the equipment, the food, and the mission. We are planning every minute of the mission to precise execution—nothing left unimagined. The more we prepare our astronauts, the better they can perform under pressure.

October 13, 2023 10:19

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2 comments

Mary Bendickson
22:31 Oct 15, 2023

Sounds like a bigger project. Good job.

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Kimberly Walker
23:13 Oct 15, 2023

Thank You

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