"Leave her!" She yelled. Hua threw her books on the floor and
rushed to Abena. The girls sensing trouble left Abena alone on
"Abena?" She dropped down beside Abena and helped her up.
"Are you okay?"
Abena nodded. She had a swollen eye and blood was oozing down her
"Come on let's take you to the school nurse."
Abena didn't have the strength to complain. She just wanted to
lie down. It seemed like eternity before they finally made it to
the school nurse. They entered the nurses' office. Hua placed
Abena on one of the seats.
"My friend's been hurt." Hua explained to the nurse, pointing to
Abena. The nurse shook her head. "Take her some place else. I
don't want to touch her."
Hua retorted "What?!" That was not how a student should be
behaving. "She's hurt!" Hua's voice rose an octave higher.
"Take her out of my office. I don't want to touch her." The nurse
Hua stood in front of her, stunned by what she heard. Abena
sighed. "Hua, I'm leaving." She said trying to get up from the
"Oh no you don't you're staying here." Hua's eyes flashed with
anger. She turned back to the school nurse. "This is all
bullshit. You are bullshit. She's hurt for crying out loud! She's
meant to be under your care but you won't treat her because she's
black?! This is fucking bull shit! Who the hell do you think you
are to judge someone by their skin color?"
Abena raised her eyebrows in surprise. Hua was acting like a
madman. The nurse looked at Abena and she looked away, suddenly
fearful of what could happen to her.
"Hua let's get out of here." Abena whispered.
Hua turned to Abena and looked back at the nurse "This isn't
over." And with that, she helped Abena up and both girls went to
the girl's bathroom.
"What a piece of shit." Hua mumbled under her breath.
She helped Abena onto the sink bench top, took some tissue and
wet them. She applied pressure softly to Abena's head.
"You should go to class. You're already late to class." Abena
said, trying to take the wet tissue from Hua's hand.
Hua grunted and muttered under her breath.
"What did you say?" Abena asked.
"I'm not going anywhere and I'm not leaving you looking like…
like this!" she kept cleaning Abena's wounds. Do they always do
this to you?" She asked Abena.
Abena shrugged. "What do you think?"
Hua groaned. "It's disgusting."
"The way they treat you. They treat you like shit. Why don't you
"You grow a thick skin at this school."
"You don't even seem to fight back. You just take what's thrown
"If I fight back, I'll be no more of a bully like the other
"Well, if you want to survive, you need to fight."
There was silence. Both girls had nothing else to say.
"Thank you." Abena whispered.
"For what?" Hua asked.
"For helping me. No one's ever done that before."
"Well I'm glad I'm the first." Hua smiled.
Abena nodded and the tears started to flow.
"Why are you crying?" Hua asked.
"Nothing." Abena replied.
"Nothing? It must be about something!"
Abena laughed but the tears continued to fall.
"You want to talk about it?" Hua asked as she gave Abena a
tissue. Abena looked Hua in the eye for a long time, trying to
figure out if she could trust her. She tried to stay away from
her, but when she saw Hua, her loneliness seemed to evaporate and
happiness somehow seemed to settle in. She now had someone to
talk to. Someone who didn't care about what people thought of her
Abena smiled and let the words come out of her mouth. She began
telling Hua the story of her life and how she felt being who she
was. She told Hua about how she felt like she was in a cage when
she looked at herself in the mirror. Abena told Hua about how the
color of her skin was like a prison cell and how it slowly ate
away her heart and soul. She talked about her parents and about
By the time she was done, she was being consoled by Hua. She had
let it all out. She felt free. The pain, the heartache, the
sorrow… everything was gone.