Un-Civil War

Authors note: In writing the Un-Civil trilogy, I have noticed a great improvement in my writing style and accuracy in historical context. But—like in everything I do—I intend on having some sort of personalization to it. So I am leaving my stories to have an unrated/unfiltered version. As this is the filtered version of Un-Civil-Anthony Carter. I added some more things regarding the history of the Holocaust (as I intend on having that be the center of my next historical fiction series).
Un-Civil War

Everything

New York. The Big Apple. The city is so nice, they named it twice. The city that never sleeps. Those are all names for a place I just call home. They make it sound way nicer than it actually is. It’s a real shitty place if you’ve been there all your life. Especially in the stupid war. The Confederate States just make our lives so much worse.

Harper. Yea. Let’s talk about her. I’ve known her for a bit. She is chill. Just imagine, a 15 year old half black girl, that is up to mix with big gang leaders and middlemen of the world. Imagine being that fearless. The first time I met her, I thought, who is she? Who does she think she is? She can’t be from around here. Well I soon found out that her name is Harper. She thinks that she isn’t good enough for anybody so she does what she wants, and she isn’t from around here. She is from Vermont and last year she fell in love with a Confederate spy and then killed him with my gun.  She didn’t just kill him though. She killed him with no hesitation to pull the trigger. Forgetting all of the feelings she had for him. 

I know that Harper is alone in almost everything. She basically grew up on her own. Just like me. Harper is searching. Just like me. She has no clue what she is looking for. Just like me. We both hate that. Maybe that’s why it was so easy to kill him. James. He made things so difficult. She trusted him and when he faded away so did her trust for anyone. Until yesterday. 

Yesterday she called me. She was screaming.  “MY MOM IS GONE! THEY KILLED HER! THEY KILLED HER ANTHONY!” she yelled into my ear on the other side of the phone. Then she cried. I could almost feel her tears through the phone. “I need you anthony. Can you come over? I’m a mess right now and i really don’t want to be alone.” She sounded so afraid. I just got my permit, but as a gang member of New York the Canadians will let me slide without an adult. So I went to vermont. I ran every red light and speeded on every road ahead of me. I got there as fast as I could. When I got there she was on the steps to her house. She heard a car and looked up. I got out of my car and she ran into me with the biggest hug I’ve ever had. It made my heart race. “Thanks for being here Anthony.” she whispered in my ear.

“Any time.” I said. I wanted to say so much more. But nothing would come out. I know what it’s like to lose people more than anyone. I’ve been in the gang since I was 10. And within six years of being in the gang I have lost my father, my friend that’s like a brother, my little sister and my uncle. My uncle was like a father to me when mine never was. He taught me everything. 

We went inside and sat on her bed. 

“You wanna talk about it?” I say. I know she probably won’t say anything this whole time I’m gonna be here. But I didn’t care. I was still gonna sit there with her the entire time.

“I’m not going to the funeral,” she said with a straight face and a tear falling down her cheek. “I’m not gonna make you.” I said understandingly.  She looked at me. And smiled

“Thanks for understanding.” After she said this she hugged me. It was warm and it was nice. Then she pulled away slowly. She looked into my eyes. And then she kissed me.  Then she kissed me again. Having her there was the best feeling. Tomorrow will be great. I still thought about how her mom just died. But she clearly didn’t want to think about it. So I stayed the night. I was gonna anyway even if we didn’t do anything. But she wouldn’t have cared. 

I woke up in the morning and after breakfast she told me everything. 

“You should come back to N Y with me. We will have fun, I promise.” I said. 

“Yup. I’m not passin on that. Imma go with you and everybody is gon be like, Why is she ridin with this dude? And you gon be like…” she said as she shoved a hot pocket into her face. 

“And i’m gon be like, cause she my girl.” I said not thinking. Her eyes widened. Then she smiled. Then I smiled. So that’s the story of yesterday. She is here with me. And it’s great. I really like her. She is everything. Crazy with beauty. Smart with sadness. Just everything. 

 

Coconuts

My best friend. AJ. We were Andy and tony. Drew Jones and Tonio carter. Andrew Jones and Anthony carter. We were best friends. But he died. And I lived. That is the only thing that is different between us. He died of alcohol poisoning. And I lived, alcohol intoxicated. That must be the stupidest way to die. By choking on your puke, or forgetting how to breathe. I just feel bad that I couldn’t do anything. Stuck to the couch, I physically couldn’t do anything. I felt so good. But when I woke up he wasn’t good. He was dead. And I was hungover. This all happened a year and a half ago. But I blame myself for it every day. Neither of us should have been drinking. Because it was illegal and we both know what it will do to you if you have too much. But we were and he died. 

I’m still close with his family. Nobody asked me if I was okay when he died. They looked at me and whispered. They said I’m sorry then left and talked about me. I got more hugs than you could ever imagine. But none of that mattered. Because the inside of me was broken into so many little pieces that it couldn’t fix. No amount of these “I’m sorry for your loss” comments will fix my soul. I started thinking if he would be okay wherever in the afterlife he went. I started thinking about my death. When will I die? Would it be soon or far away? Would it be fast or would I suffer? 

That is sickening. That feeling of nothing. The one I feel most of the time. People mistake the feeling of nothing, for the feeling of depression. And you know what? I wish I was depressed sometimes. Because then I would feel something. I don’t even worry about the confederates anymore because they have already taken so much that I can’t possibly win with them. Their damage cant be reversed.

They killed so much that people call them the “killers”. We unite so much we are called the union. Some people just can’t unite though. Like me. My life can’t be saved. People have tried to reach out to me for help. But I’m like a coconut. You can try and try to break me open and find my pure center, but it will take a hammer, and a lot of force. 

 

I feel bad for the people that have tried to get to know me. Because my walls are so high up that they can’t possibly break through or climb over. Just think about the coconuts again. If you never end up cracking it open, you’re not happy about that are you? Especially if you bet money that you would get it opened. You feel ashamed and sad. You feel guilt. Because you had one mission. And you never will get it. No matter how many times you try and pry. Therapists get paid to help people and dig deep to find the anchor pulling them down. But if you never find the anchor, your job isn’t meaningful and you’re getting paid for nothing.

This feeling isn’t the build up of sadness and scars from lost loved ones either. This feeling has been with me forever. I’ve never gone anywhere without the eerie creeping sense that I will cry any second. So maybe my hard outer shell is from the people I looked up to. From those men telling me to straighten up. Telling me not to be soft and cry when I fall on the pavement. I looked up to these men for no reason at all. No reason but the fact that they scared me so much. This is called trauma bonding. When someone has hurt you physically or emotionally and you feel like you owe something to that abusive person. You love them like kin in an unconditional sort of way. Like how Jesus loves all sinners. You still love this person. 

So when I would get a backhand to the face for talking back to my fellow gang members as a child, I thought it was just the way that life went. I thought: this happens all the time. It could be worse. Then it got worse. They treated me like a slave. They treated me like how a drunk would treat a dog. Kicked around. Starved. Put in a ring with another dog to see who will live. And thank God I lived. All of these things have happened to me. Harper doesn’t know that.

And the truth is; I don’t want to have to tell her. I don’t want to have to break open for someone. Because once a coconut is cracked; you can’t fix it. Once its contents are poured out, you can’t put them back in. Once you have eaten up the somewhat pure center, you can’t put it back how it was or make it new again. It will always be like that. Used. Wasted. It’s funny how I can use both of those words and they will make complete sense. You take and take from the coconut until you’re left with the parts you don’t use so you throw it away. That’s how I’m used. Once you have something important from someone, you just leave them. People will drain you of personal information and then leave you. They will talk about you. They will judge you. But how could they possibly judge you if you are a coconut and have that hard shell that isn’t appealing to the naked eye? You can’t. So I will hide in my shell. I will stay away and be plain old me. Like I’ve always been.

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