Le 4 mars 2016, 07:33 dans Humeurs • 0
“Made straight As on ever English test he take. Then later, when he grown, he pick himself up a typewriter and start working on a idea . . .” The pin-tucked shoulders of her uniform slump down. “Say he gone write himself a book.”
“What kind of idea?” I ask. “I mean, if you don’t mind telling . . .”
Aibileen says nothing for a while. Keeps peeling tomatoes around and around. “He read this book call Invisible Man. When he done, he say he gone write down what it was like to be colored working for a white man in Mississippi.”
I look away, knowing this is where my mother would stop the conversation. This is where she’d smile and change the subject to the price of silver polish or white rice.
“I read Invisible Man, too, after he did,” Aibileen says. “I liked it alright.”
I nod, even though I’ve never read it. I hadn’t thought of Aibileen as a reader before.
“He wrote almost fifty pages,” she says. “I let his girl Frances keep hold of em.”
Aibileen stops peeling. I see her throat move when she swallows. “Please don’t tell nobody that,” she says, softer now, “him wanting to write about his white boss.” She bites her lip and it strikes me then that she’s still afraid for him. Even though he’s dead, the instinct to be afraid for her son is still there.
“It’s fine that you told me, Aibileen. I think it was . . . a brave idea.”
Aibileen holds my gaze for a moment. Then she picks up another tomato and sets the knife against the skin. I watch, wait for the red juice to spill. But Aibileen stops before she cuts, glances at the kitchen door.
“I don’t think it’s fair, you not knowing what happen to Constantine. I just—I’m sorry, I don’t feel right talking to you about it.”
I stay quiet, not sure what’s spurred this, not wanting to ruin it.
“I’ll tell you though, it was something to do with her daughter. Coming to see your mama.”
“Daughter? Constantine never told me she had a daughter.” I knew Constantine for twenty-three years. Why would she keep this from me?I hold still, remembering what Constantine told me, years ago. “You mean, light? Like . . . white?”
Aibileen nods, keeping at her task in the sink. “Had to send her away, up north I think.”
“Constantine’s father was white,” I say. “Oh . . . Aibileen . . . you don’t think . . .” An ugly thought is running through my head. I am too shocked to finish my sentence.
Aibileen shakes her head. “No no, no ma’am. Not... that. Constantine’s man, Connor, he was colored. But since Constantine had her daddy’s blood in her, her baby come out a high yellow. It . . . happens.”