I hope you’re enjoying the readings. Here is more from Chapter 1 from my novel, Ungolden Silence.
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The New Firm
(continued …. See Part 1 here )
Elaine could hardly wait for Thursday morning to arrive. She had seen Josephine’s photo in the newspaper but only once on television. Yet she felt she would be able to recognize her anywhere. Catherine Peterson, the club’s director, met Elaine and her mother Helen at Josephine’s office.
They sat in the lobby waiting for Josephine to arrive.
When she walked through the door, Elaine recognized her immediately—tall and slender with a beautiful Afro. She saw the three and walked over to where they were sitting and offered her hand. “Good morning, I’m Josephine Harper.”
“Hello, Miss Harper, I’m Catherine Peterson, director of the Disabled Club. This is Mrs. Wilson and I think you’ve already met her daughter Elaine by phone.”
“Good morning, Miss Harper,” Helen said pleasantly.
“Good morning, Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Wilson.” Josephine then placed her hand on Elaine, who was shaking, and said in a warm voice: “Good morning, Elaine.”
Elaine knew that before people got to know her, they usually assumed she was retarded. She could tell this by the way people talked down to her.
“Hel . . . Hel . . . Hello, Miss . . . Miss Ha . . . Harper.” Elaine could not get the words to come out. She did have a speech impediment; but this stuttering was something new. Elaine was not a shy person, but found herself little embarrassed.
“It is nice to meet you. Now let me go, get settled, and see what we can do.”
A few minutes later Elaine, Helen, and Catherine were shown to Josephine’s office, which was in a suite of offices. Kathy got them some coffee. Elaine noticed another African-American woman at a desk. She had an Afro somewhat like Josephine’s; however, this lady was lighter in complexion. She also had a big smile, which Elaine loved.
“Good morning. I’m Beatrice James,” she said.
“Good morning,” the three ladies said together.
Once the door was closed Josephine said, “Okay, tell me what you want.”
“Well—” Catherine began.
Josephine interrupted “No, I want to hear what Elaine has in mind.”
Elaine took a deep breath and she became aware that a bit of drool was about to form. She quickly dried it with a napkin.
“Handicapped people are just people with special problems or needs. Sometimes the problem happens during birth or it may develop later in life.”
“Okay,” Josephine said carefully.
“There are many different kinds of handicaps. I gave you an example of your glasses.”
“Yes, you did and that has been on my mind since you said that.”
“Some handicaps are not as noticeable, such as people with a heart condition or a bad knee,” Catherine added.
“Right, I see,” Josephine said in agreement.
“So what we want to do is make people think about this.”
“I didn’t understand; I am sorry, Elaine.”
“We want people to become aware of the different kinds of disabilities.”
“Not only that, we want the city government to become more aggressive in enforcing public places to be more accessible for disabled people,” Catherine added.
“Such as providing ramps for wheelchairs and lowering the public phones to a height that will allow people to reach them from wheelchairs,” Helen interjected.
“Handrails, don’t forget about those,” Elaine said quickly.
“All right, I heard that Elaine!” Josephine laughed.
Once Josephine got the idea of what Elaine wanted, she could put together ideas quickly in her mind as they talked. Josephine said that first,the local paper would need to do a story, and so they would have to create one. Catherine toyed with the idea of a public campaign to put a ramp in at City Hall. Elaine wanted to see more exposure on the local talk shows.
“I agree.” Josephine said. “The three of you need to go on and talk.”
“Me?” Elaine exclaimed.
“Yes.” Josephine responded.
“Okay, but I don’t know if they will understand me.”
“Don’t worry about that, people need to see your courage, high self-esteem, and most of all, that spunk you have.”
To be continued tomorrow…
Copyright ©2008 Lydia E. Brew. All Rights Reserved.
If you like what you have read, please click the cover to purchase your copy of the book.