Here she was. A loose end to the marriage. An attached string somebody had forgotten to clip.
"What will I do?" she asked.
"Well, luckily theyve accepted you at Saint Marys." He smiled. "Youll continue your studies, grow up, and have a wonderful life."
Julia was sure that Beatrice would have summoned the right riposte, but she couldnt imagine what it was. By the time her outrage found words, her father was busy negotiating with a porter for the shipment of her trunk to the new school. Then he offered her an ice cream and Julia heard herself thanking him for the treat through hot tears.
"It just doesnt seem right to name a child after oneself," Julia told Howard as she looked at her new baby boy, "when he may not feel kindly toward you later in life."
"What could he possibly have against me? Im certainly not going to make my fathers mistakes." Howard laughed.
Julia didnt answer. She recalled her parents making only one mistakemarrying each other.
Though the Lament babys eyes were closed, the power of his smile was astounding. If ever a child possessed a confident spirit, this one excelled in that regard. No parent could doubt that this baby, in spite of his lack of a name, was destined for a happy life.
Excerpted from The Laments by George Hagen Copyright© 2004 by George Hagen. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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