• CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: Good Night, Mr. Dracel

    12:24am.

    Jamison can't sleep.  He toss and turns, waking his wife.
         "Honey, really?"
         "I'm sorry. I'm just...I can't sleep."
         "Right...I couldn't tell."
    Silence.
         "Ok...What's going on?"
         "What happened to all those people?"
         "All what people, Jamison?"
         "The people..."
         "Honey, you are not responsible for those people."
         "Those people believed in the promise of America."
         "Those people were not American."

    Jamison looks at Katherine...stunned.  He had not expected such a finite and cold response from his wife. Katherine sits up and turns on her bedside lamp.
         "Seriously, Katherine?"
    Katherine, catching Jamison's look and quickly responds by gently caressing Jamison's face.
         "Ok, Jamison. Let's start this again.

    It's quiet in the room. Jamison is aggravated and begins looking for his cell phone on the side table.
         "Where is my phone? I must have left it..."
         "It's ok. Let it be for a moment."
    Katherine pulls Jamison closer and begins to hum. It doesn't seem to be working at first,
         "Jamison, just let it all be for a moment."
    Jamison closes his eyes and relaxes, sinking into the comfort of her song.
         "Don't think you're handling me."
         "Is it working?"
    After a pause,
         "Yes."
    She hums even more. Jamison is calm again,
         "Quieting the beast."
         "You're no beast, honey. You are gentle...compassionate. I know your heart. I know your concern for all people is what makes you a great man. It's that concern that gave you the idea for the card in the first place."
         "Got tired of seeing good folk work a lot and make a little. Gas, food, everything...why? Why did it get so out of hand and how was it expected for us to pay for it."
         "Honey, you gave us a solution. YOU did that. You gave us a way out when so many saw no way out. The homeless have homes, the jobless have jobs, and the hopeless hopeless have hope. You did that. You gave America..."

    Jamison jumps up out of bed and begins pacing about the room,
         "Stop! Just...stop.  Stop campaigning me.  Stop...handling me.  I'm not some public relations tidbit for you to manage.  I am a man.  I am a MAN!  And because of me, a lot of other men where sent away.  Millions of other men watched everything they worked for bagged in plastic bags and tossed. Communities destroyed..."
         "Ok...first of all...relax and get over yourself.  Hundreds of thousands...not millions. And yes, you are a man...A man...ONE man and you, honey, did not shepherd MILLIONS of people into concentration camps or gas chambers.  You are not some Hitler plotting a demise of non-Americans.  They weren't suppose to be here.  Point blank period!  You can not help that your system weeded out those who were breaking the law and ciphering money and resources from our..."
         "Who the hell are you??! Who have you become?! You were giving out hot meals and volunteering at shelters and practicing law pro bono for the very people you just dismissed! The woman I met rolled her sleeves up and gave her time to help others."
         "And now I'm helping you. I'm helping you. YOU are my project now!"

    Jamison stops cold in his tracks. Katherine knows she has gone too far. She works quickly...smoothly,
         "You are the cause I believe in. You are the greatness I rest my hopes. You are the southern star in my northern sky. It is for YOU I roll up my sleeves and give my all. You, Jamison. And you are worthy. Why don't you know that?"
         "I don't have my family!"
         "I AM your family!
         "You are not my father. You are not my brothers. My entire life I had three best friends who taught me everything. I had parents...oh my God...my mother..."
         "Jamison...listen. Listen to me. I am here with you. I am. I want the best for you."
         "You want the best for you."
         "Jamison."

    Knowing they both are fighting dirty, they are both quiet. Katherine is the first to break the silence.  She says quietly,
         "Ok...Yes. Yes, I do.  Ok...yes. Here we are. You wanna do this?  Fine. Yes. I want what's best. I want what's best for you...and I want what's best for me...and...I want what's best for this country."
    Jamison is put off by that last bit and turns his back on Katherine. She continues,
         "No. No...you don't get to turn your back on me. I am here. I believe in you and I'm going to stand here and fight and fight hard for you...just like I do every day.
    She drops her tone,
         "Jamison. I'm standing in front of the next President of this country...if you want it. I'm standing in front of the man, my man, who single handedly saved a nation.  People of ALL races, religions, creed, colors, ethnicities, sexual orientations, so forth and so on, look to you as Dr. King's dream personified."
         "That's not what I want."
         "But that's what you are."
         "Who. Not What. I'm a person. Not a thing. I'm not a pawn for the USA Corp. I'm not, Katherine."

    Jamison sits on the bed. Katherine stoops down in front of her husband, kneeling on the floor. She continues her campaign,
         "No, baby. You are not. You are this country's future leader. You have already begun the work. We...have begun the work. If you were to go on the air tomorrow and say you're running for the office of President of the United States of America, the world would say, "Finally." And yes, we can talk to your family. We can show them you are still the same Jamie they love."
    Katherine can see she's breaking through,
         "They have to meet you halfway. You will reach out to them, but they have to reach back."
         "My father is the one. He is an old fashion man. He is a man of old time standards, morales, values, and beliefs. He won't understand why I'm working for the USA Corp or doing the work I'm doing. Ever."
         "Honey, ALL of your brothers work for USA Corp, in some way. Craig is building their ships. Dexter is building their highways and paving the way for you to win over Africa.  And Frank teaches at a beautiful private school in Charlottesville endowed by USA Corp.  USA Corp is not the issue here. The issue is you."
          "Me."
         "You. Yes, you left and made your own way. They blame me for taking you away from them but you had choices. We had choices. Choices that got us here, for better and for worse. We can fix things with your family. You can fix things with your father, but you can't let go of all you've achieved to do that. Get him to see that you have brought honor to the family name Dracel, not shame."

    Katherine gets up off her knees and sits on the bed next to Jamison,
         "Jamie, we are the same people...and somehow we're not. We're better than where we were before. Yeah, you married a woman who rolled her sleeves and got dirty, but now...well...silk doesn't look good rolled up."
    They share an slightly uneasy chuckle. Katherine continues,
         "We will empower the next generation to step in, step up, and roll up their sleeves. That's how we keep this country moving forward. Being the change we want to see in this nation."

    The room is quiet. Katherine cups Jamison's face in her hands.
         "Now, it's up to you to believe it too."
         "I do."
         "Good."
         "Ok."
    Silence falls on the room for a moment.
         "I'm going to call Dad now. Wait...where is my phone?"
          "Now? It's kinda late...for him. And that's probably why you couldn't sleep. Your phone isn't strapped to your hand."

    Jamie goes to the closet and checks his suit jacket pocket and pulls out his cell phone out of his inside pocket.  He looks at the phone and sees he's miss three calls from Craig and two from Franklin. Katherine attempts to take the phone away from Jamison,
         "Why don't you do that in the morning. Besides, you could use some rest. I think the days ahead are going to be life changing. Announcing the Sankofa, treating America to trips home. You will be celebrated. Call your dad in the morning."

    Jamison phone rings. He looks down at the caller id and answers the phone.
         "Hey Craig, I..."
    Silence.
         "Ok. Yeah. I'll be right there."

    Jamison hangs up the phone and keeps his head down, focused on the phone in his hand.
    Silence.
    He looks up,
         "My dad died."


  • 2 comments:

    1. Nooooooooooo!!! Not Papa Dracel!!! {tears} I suspected he was pretty terminal following that last Dr. visit though. This is too sad - or probably a blessing that he won't see what comes of the family name. Either way - sounds like he has prepared his sons well. They just need to get it together and get together. Rest well, Papa Dracel.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. I know. I surprised myself when he died. :-( Thank you so much SLP!

        Delete

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