I often times talk to people I see passing by my boutique. I love love to watch them as they change directions in life. Sometimes things change for the better and sometimes things change for the worst. The most important thing I have learned from owning a boutique in the Metro area is to Judge Not or you may find yourself #Write for the kill.
Camille sat on the bus stop in her torn jeans. Her shirt was wrinkled more than usual. She had to wear dry it today because someone kept banging on the bathroom door at the Mobil gas station where she washed her clothes every morning in the sink.
As soon as she spotted the bus a few stops away she stood and started walking to a local store on the corner that gave her free coffee in the morning and ice water throughout the day. Many days when she would go to the store and business was slow Ms. Percy would have those heart to hearts with her.
She felt Camille was a smart girl with a hidden beauty. A beauty that was hidden beneath the dust and dirt of homelessness. There was something about not having a home to live in that even changes your skin tone. Ms. Percy knew that despite all the attention being thrown on race that homelessness had a race all its own. Plus Ms. Percy Judged Not.
Camille appreciated the snacks, talks, water, and coffee Ms. Percy provided her with. On days when it was really slow Ms. Percy would allow Camille to sit in the office and read books or write poetry. Camille always wrote Ms. Percy thank you poems. She was even writing her story so that in case her child that she had given up for adoption found her he would know her story and understand why she had given him up to go live on the streets. She only prayed that he had grown into a man that would Judge not.
Ms. Percy saved all of Camille’s poetry and even put the letter she wanted to be saved for her son in plastic. The last time she saw Camille at the bus stop she had an overnight bag, a cup from Starbucks in her palm and a folder in her hand.
Five years later a young man walked in the store and identified himself as Camille’s son. When he turned 18 his foster mother had given him a note Camille had left explaining the battered home she was in during her pregnancy. The day her husband threw her six-month-old baby in the trash she retrieved him and never looked back. She took him to an adoption agency with one request. That they give him the note when he turned eighteen. Her heart had only one desire. That her son is raised to Judge not.
She was barely eighteen when she walked away from a million dollar home and a secured lifestyle for the safety of her child. She had no work experience and not one single dime. The only thing she had was the last threat her husband screamed at her. “If I ever find the son I told you not to have I will kill him.”
As her son read the letter in the office of Ms. Percy tears formed in his eyes. Ms. Percy walked into the office and showed him some of the poetry his mother wrote when she was in the race of her life. The homeless race. Then she reached in her safe and pulled out a small box.
When her son opened the box there was a book entitled JUDGE NOT by Camille Hampton.
When he asked Ms. Percy how to contact his mother she gave him the address to the State Prison. Shocked he asked Ms. Percy what happened? Your father found your mother on a bus stop and followed her to a homeless camp where she killed him in self-defense. Ms. Percy hired her a very good attorney. When the coroner removed the body from the homeless camp the only thing the father had on him besides his wallet was a recent picture of the son. Ms. Percy had vowed to help her and Judge Not.
Her book had made her famous on the outside while she was on the inside. Her attorney contacted a literary agent, who picked her up and published her story. Her book is being sold in bookstores everywhere. She sued for her dead husband’s estate. The state of Kansas ordered her early release and as far as her lawsuit against his estate, in her favor, the courts reached a very favorable judgment…
Many times in life we focus on the race of black and white. But there is another race in this country that needs our focus too. It’s the homeless race. There are some powerful stories there. So next time you see the woman at the bus stop looking torn and disheveled. Or you see the man at the corner store getting a free cup of coffee.
Remember this story and JUDGE NOT.
You never know, they could have escaped a situation as opposed to being write for the kill.