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Aunt Zoe called every single eligible voting townsperson’s name, and my father recorded the vote in his journal. It was 37:4.
“This passes with 2/3rds majority, so it will be enacted. For those who voted “nay” we will have a separate meeting with you later to help integrate you in the process of preparing. Hopefully you will see the necessity of this extreme action. Any new business to be properly presented?”
All was quiet.
“Madame Chairman,” my father proclaimed,” I move we adjourn this meeting!”
“Second!” My mom called.
“I now declare this meeting adjourned,” announced Aunt Zoe, banging the gavel four times. With that, the meeting ended, peacefully, as though everyone’s world hadn’t been turned upside down .
A week later, the Community Council asked for a list of names of all of the people who wanted to go. They posted a piece of parchment on the side of our indoor school house (which was a clubhouse long ago). My mom wrote her name down on the public sign. My dad wanted to go too, but after much debate, they decided it would be better for my mom alone to attend. She was the more diplomat-like of the two, and somebody needed to stay to care for Vita and Victor.
I had begged and pleaded to be put on the list to try out. Seven other kids names were on there, including Catlin, a five year old who helped Aunt Evie make ceramics, Jerry, an eleven year old who was strong as Uncle Coby, and Lilly. Both my mom and dad were skeptical.
“What if things go wrong, Lucretia? Then what will we do?” My mother implored.
“Two members of my family missing? For God knows how long? With so much risk? That is hardly acceptable!” reasoned my father.
But in the end, they both conceded. My mother thought I was able to add a perspective to the trip no one else would, and bring a skill set few others would have. After all, not every kid came from a home where their parents had different jobs for the community, and not all of them had the dedication to learning she saw in me. My dad, on the other hand, wanted me to carry on the family legacy. The only way for the Johnson’s to have another strong, powerful leader like my mother and himself in the next generation would be if one of his kids threw themselves headlong into this brave new world. He believed, with all my talents and my knowledge, I was the perfect candidate, the best heir to their legacy.
So with pride in my parents, my family and myself, I walked up next to my mom, and wrote my name, in dark blueberry ink, on the children’s list.
Beating four others will be a piece of cake, I thought. I could only hope and pray the coming months would prove that to be true.