Henry stared at the boy's dark brown eyes and shuddered. They
scared him. He shifted his gaze from the boy, but everywhere he
looked, he saw them. He saw hundreds of eyes staring straight at
him, looking into his very being.
Henry clutched his father's hand in fear as one of them stood on
the auction block. His hair, a mass of brown curls resting on his
head. His cheeks hollow, eyes gaunt. His hands slender, his nails
carved like a claw. The boy was lean, maybe a bit too thin. Henry
could see the boy's ribs. His skin was dry and saggy like that of
an old man. But he wasn't old. Henry could see it in his eyes.
His father said eyes never lied.
He heard the loud booming voice of a man with a large belly,
dressed in a black coat.
"Five hundred dollars for the boy."
He heard people murmuring amongst themselves. Their voices
sounded like that of bees buzzing around in a hive. He tightened
his grip on his father's hand and watched as some men went up to
the boy on the block. He watched them open the boy's mouth, look
at his teeth, turn his head, and even slap him.
The boy just stood still, shackled in his chains, his body tense
as he was poked and prodded.
"Father what are they doing?" Henry asked.
His father looked at him for a brief moment before turning his
gaze to the boy on the block. "They're inspecting it."
"Why? Who is he?" He tugged his father's sleeve.
"It's a Negro. That's why they're inspecting it."
"What's a Negro?"
"An animal, with a coat as black as dirt and eyes brown like mud;
it's the creature standing there." He pointed to the boy.
"What are they going to do with him?"
"They're going to buy it."
"What will they do with him?"
"Stop asking questions Henry."
By now the place was quiet. The boy still stood on the block.
Despite what was going on around him, there was something about
him that intrigued Henry. Maybe it was the way the boy stood?
Maybe it was the way he held his head high?
Henry removed his hand from his father's and tried to imitate the
boy's posture; then the brown eyes made contact with his green
eyes. Their eyes locked together for a moment. They gazed into
each other's eyes. Eyes never lied, and Henry knew that. His
father said they were a gateway to the depths of a man's soul.