January 21, 2013
The same nightmare has roused me from my sleep for the past thirty years. Deep-rooted trauma permeates my mind and invades my nights with the frequency of my own breathing. I lost my beautiful mother to cancer three years ago, and my younger brother Rudolph eight years prior after being fatally struck by a car. My older sister Juanita, left home in the middle of the night right after mama died, and I haven’t heard from her since. But the event that forever changed me and plagues my sleep occurred during the wee hours of a warm May morning after I’d graduated from high school earlier that evening with a full academic scholarship to Morehouse College. My father, Paul Spires (or “Big Paul” as he was known around Tutweiler), was always a binge drinker but he’d been rapidly spiraling out of control since we lost Mama. I heard Grandma say more than once that I was a product of rape, and out of fear of retribution from my Grandpa and uncles, he reluctantly married my underage mama. Though she never did anything to warrant Big Paul’s physical and verbal abuse, I’m sure the weight of it all drove her to an early grave. I was born an albino, and because of false rumors and innuendo that’s festered about my appearance since I’ve been born, he believed more and more that I wasn’t his. I suppose on that night, his ignorance and alcoholism finally brought him to his boiling point, and he exploded in kind.
“Get your sorry ass up out of bed, get all of your shit and get out of my house! I don’t ever want to see your piss colored ass again! I’ve held my peace long enough, you, your ma and her folks have made a fool out of me for the last time! I don’t care no more!”
Still drowsy, I stumbled out of bed, grabbed a couple of trash bags and threw all my belongings in them. I got out of there as fast as I could before things could escalate any further. He had quite a few pistols, and usually kept one in his pocket. I vividly remember the crazed look he had on his face as he stepped aside so I could leave, but not before shoving me by the back of my head. The last thing he said to me was “If you ever come back to Tutweiler, I’ll kill you where you stand!” As far as I was concerned, that was something he’d never have to worry about.
It pains me to relive it so often. So much so, I’m usually up for a while and never manage to get back to sleep. Of course, I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective. I also credit that horrific morning with fueling my maniacal drive, focus and work ethic. Besides haunting me, It also helped me graduate from Morehouse as valedictorian, and do the same at Oxford.
It was at Oxford that I fell in love and married Heather McCaskey, the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in England, Rolf McCaskey. Over there, he and my mother-in-law Olivia, saw past my race and unique appearance and didn’t treat me like a novelty. Their only daughter’s happiness was all that mattered to them. With my incredible drive, and a small loan from Rolf, I’ve built the largest securities and brokerage firm in Seattle and all of the West coast.
I’m P. Randall Spires, from Tutweiler, Mississippi. It’s a small town roughly seventy miles from Memphis, Tennessee and about one hundred forty miles from Jackson. It’s 3 A.M. now, and as usual, I’m pacing the floor in my study again wound tighter than a tennis ball. Unfortunately, Heather and her family don’t know much about my family, other than what I’ve told them. To be honest, neither do I. Like I said, I haven’t had any contact with my father, sister or anyone back home since I left. The closest I’ve been to Jackson since the night my father put me out was Atlanta, Georgia, and that was only during a layover for a flight. However, that all changed when the phone rang.