#67 – need of source

Jamie got out of bed that afternoon for the first time, dizzy and weak. His leg still had not
completely healed, and he walked with a slight limp. Banda tried to assist him.
“Let go of me. I can make it on my own.”
Banda watched as Jamie carefully moved across the room.
‘I’d like a mirror,” Jamie said. / must look terrible, he thought. How long has it been since
I’ve had a shave? Banda returned with a hand mirror, and Jamie held it up to
his face. He was looking at a total stranger. His hair had turned snow-white. He had a
full, unkempt white beard. His nose had been broken and a ridge of bone pushed it to one
side. His face had aged twenty years. There were deep ridges along his sunken cheeks
and a livid scar across his chin. But the biggest change was in his eyes. They were eyes
that had seen too much pain, felt too much, hated too much. He slowly put down the
“I’m going out for a walk,” Jamie said.
“Sorry, Mr. McGregor. That’s not possible.”
“Why not?”
“White men do not come to this part of town, just as blacks never go into the white
places. My neighbors do not know you are here. We brought you in at night.”
“How do I leave?”
“I will move you out tonight.”
For the first time, Jamie began to realize how much Banda had risked for him.
Embarrassed, Jamie said, “I have no money. I need a job.”
“I took a job at the shipyard. They are always looking for men.” He took some money
from his pocket. “Here.”
Jamie took the money. “I’ll pay it back.”
“You will pay my sister back,” Banda told him.


Copyright © 1982 by Sheldon Literary Trust

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