A Horn Unheard
By Eric Miller
Hattie Williams poured herself two fingers of whiskey, as she always did at three o'clock, fifteen minutes before her taxi would announce its arrival with three honks of the horn. She eased herself onto the sofa, lit a cigarette, and held the photo of Jenna, the seven year old granddaughter of her employers.
She smiled as she remembered Jenna's father, as a boy her age, swimming in the family pool, off the patio upon which she looked through the large window before her. She was so happy that Jenna and her mother had stopped by to swim in the pool. She had just waved goodbye, after having received the most wonderful hug from Jenna. She felt that Jenna was her granddaughter and that her father was her son. As for her employers, Dr. and Mrs. Godfrey, well they were family.
Hattie, the great granddaughter of American slaves in Georgia, had taught herself to read, had raised six children, and had cleaned houses for 50 years, until "the aches" limited her to "tidying." The Godfreys were the only family who still employed her every week because they knew how important it was for Hattie to have something to hold on to.
The television was emitting the endless blabber of political discussion, centered, as always, on the gender and race of each candidate. Hattie used to say that she "never much followed politics, because it just seemed to get everyone all riled up," but on this day, she watched and listened with a new found interest. To choose between gender and race was overwhelming to her. She wanted the woman to be President, but she also wanted the Afro-American man to be President.
She closed her eyes to look deep within for the answer. Her lips formed the faintest of smiles. She knew, at last, what she would do, for whom she would cast her vote, and whose election would be a greater achievement for her country.
She did not hear the taxi's horn.