A White Life

Donetta Williams was born to a young mother of sixteen. They lived in the lower side of Nobody Cares, New York. She attended a school whose population was predominately white. The white girls at her school always looked pretty, they arrived at school in fancy cars and had parents who kissed them good-bye. Donetta and her mother used public transportation most of the way and walked the rest. Donetta noticed how the others girls always had packed lunches in nice bags while she ate the free lunch provided at school. She noticed so many things about white girls, things like their hair, their eyes and the way they talked. Donetta thought, they had it all, and she wanted to be just like them.

She arrived at home each day to an empty apartment, where she fixed her own dinner, did her homework and watched Television. She glared at the shows that had young white girls as the main character and thought, the world really loves white girls and that she would not amount to anything being black. She woke the next morning to her mother shouting “hurry D or we will miss the bus”. It was one of those mornings where everything seemed to go wrong. It was raining and cold, but they caught the bus and headed to school. Donettas’ mother told her she would have to walk the remainder of the way alone, since they were behind she wouldn’t make it to work on time if she walked Donetta to school. Donetta felt confident and started on her way. She came to the crosswalk at the school looked to her right as she entered onto the street, the last thing she heard was the horn from a car….”honk!!!!!!!!

Donetta awakened to find herself in a hospital; there was a white woman and a white man standing beside her bed, they looked so worried as they cried tears of joy upon her awakening. ” Oh baby, the women said as she rubbed Donettas’ face, “you scared us to death!” Donetta couldn’t say a word “who are these people” she thought and “why are they talking to me like that?” ” It’s mom and dad sweetie”. Donetta quickly did a scan of her arms and legs and realized – she was white.She asked the woman if she could go to the bathroom and she said “yes “, it was there she realized she had red hair and green eyes and was she ever more beautiful! ” My dreams have come true”, Donetta said in a whisper to herself and then returned to her hospital bed.

The day came when Donetta was able to leave the hospital and go home, she couldn’t wait to see her new home. They arrived at this modest ranch-style home with plenty of yard space, they were greeted by the family dog. Donetta hid behind her father, she was afraid of dogs, she’d never owned one nor did she ever want to. Donetta and her mother went to her bedroom to get her settled in, she was surprised to see that her bedroom at her other house was not that different. Donetta told her mother she wanted to take a nap, so she left her to do just that. As she looked around the room Donetta noticed how the pink colored comforter and curtains were almost identical to hers, she noticed that the room size and everything about it was hers, the thoughts exhausted her so she went to bed for the night.

Today was to be the big day, Donetta thought she would ride to school in a car and be kissed on the cheek by her loving mother and everyone would see. She could hardly wait to join in with the other girls and be a part of a life that she had only dreamed of, she was so excited. Donetta went to the kitchen expecting a sit down breakfast only to find the hustle and bustle of two people bumping into each other looking for coffee, keys and coats. They were trying to figure out whose day it was to drive Donetta to school, as she waited to see what to do next. It was dads’ day and he was in a hurry. He dropped her off and told her to have a good day and reminded her of the carpool for home. “Carpool” Donetta thought “what is that”? Donetta rushed off to her class and sat in the same seat as she always had and it appeared that no one even noticed she was there. At lunch she sat with a group of girls that she dreamed of being friends with, she looked over and noticed there was a girl, a black girl, sitting at the table with them. She never noticed her before, but she looked oddly familiar. The black girl seemed to have everyone’s attention and Donetta felt left out, again unnoticed. She began to feel invisible, she went to the bathroom and began to cry. She heard someone come in behind her the voice said “why are you crying?” Donetta ran out of the school and into the streets, she wanted to be hit by a car again, she wanted to see her mother, she wanted to be black.

Donetta started walking, she would walk to the bus stop to catch the bus to her old neighborhood, she wanted to see her mother and she wanted to make sure her mother didn’t think she had died.She wanted to tell her mother how sorry she was for dreaming of being white. When she arrived she saw the black girl from the school walking down her street, and in what appeared to be a split second she saw her mother. The two embraced and walked into the apartment together, Donetta realized that black girl was her. She woke up.

Her day started out as it always had, Donetta paid attention to the care her mother took in getting her up everyday, going out of her way to make sure she got to school safely, the way she stroked her hand as they parted, it wasn’t a kiss on the cheek but it was her way of showing her she loved her, they had no fancy car or a big fine house, no dog to be afraid of; but they had each other and Donetta was fine with that.

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