By Kate Cilke
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There was a girl named Sarah. She loved her parents. She had a dog and a cat. Her life was the perfect life of anybody until something very, very, amazing happened.
The cause of her death was obvious. More than ten people saw it. One person was it. He said he was sorry, and that he meant it with the bottom of his heart, but her parents didn't know if they would ever forgive him. They knew how sorry he was, but how can you forgive the man who is the cause of your most beloved child, your only child, the child that you were going to see grow up to die. They were going to send her to the most fancy, nice college that they could. She would be the first person in their family to graduate. The only person in their family to graduate.
It was 1909. Mae knew that she had the right stuff to get into college, but she would never get into one because she was black. Everyone knew that blacks don't go to college, except if you had an I.Q. of 1000, and you lived in Massachusetts or a college far north that would allow blacks to go to school there. Besides, there were only three blacks that have gone to college up north, and they were all male. She would never go to college. It was a fact. She was black, from Georgia, and she was female. The only factors that would keep her from getting a true education.
Education wasn't the only thing that she had to worry about, though. Females couldn't get a good job, either. The only jobs that women could get were being a seamstress or working as a maid for a rich household. The first job Mae knew she would stay as far away as she possibly could. Seamstresses didn't get paid hardly a cent for long hours and no vacations in a hot room crowded with other black women that feel worse than you do. They either are seriously ill, and can't get a break without getting fired, or is a single mother that has to feed three children, herself, and pay off bills. That was the worst route to take. When you're a maid, you will get paid better, do something that changes from day to day, and if the hirers have kids, you might even get to read to them or watch over them, which is always fun. Besides, if the hirers go on vacations they usually give you time off when they're gone, or they will take you with them, which is better than a sewing room any day.
Mae considered herself lucky though. She had two very nice friends that were already in the workforce, one in each job. They told her everything. Misty was always complaining about her job, whereas Josie always came back from her time at her job happy and anxiously waiting for the next day to arrive.
When Mae went out looking for a job as a maid, she thought that her trek through the finical world would be the most difficult thing that she would ever encounter. She hit the nail in the head. She also thought that finding a job would be the hardest part of dealing with the finical world, as it had been with her friends. She couldn't of hit her thumb harder.
As she walked up to the first house that had the slightest appearance of the need of a maid and rang the doorbell. A young lady answered the door.
"Hello, my name is Mae. I came around to see if a maid wouldn't be a great help to the household. May I speak to whom is in charge?" Mae asked cautiously. She had worn her best dress, in hopes that she would make a good impression.
"Why hello," a beautiful woman said, "I heard that you came by to see if I needed a maid?"
"Oh, good lord, I knew that you heard my prayers." The woman said to the sky. Turning back to Mae, she said, "Dear, I am in much need of your services. Come inside and we'll talk about me hiring you."
As Mae stepped inside she almost tripped. This was a most beautiful, grand, worldly place if she ever saw one. There were tapestries from all over the world, globes, a library, and beautiful lamps that seemed to glow without even being lit. Mae felt so out of place she almost told the beautiful woman that her services would be of such poor quality compared to the wonders of the house that it would be embarrassing. Such a grand house should receive the same treatment. She kept her courage up though. She had to make it through the marvelous house without staring at the marvels it held to much.
When they went into the dining hall, everything changed. There was food on the walls, a few broken plates lied upon cracked ceramic tile, and a table that was missing a leg, and a leg that was missing three inches.
Mae looked at it in awe, and the lady must have noticed, because she said, "It is a sty, isn't it? When my husband left to go to a better place, this was the only place that I could control my sorrow. I would throw pots and pans, destroying everything that I could. I locked myself in here for years, only going out for food once in a great long while."
"He died?" Mae asked with uncertainty, for she didn't like to intrude on other peoples private business.
"Yes," said the lady, wiping a tear from her eye. "But I found another man that I love, and we're happy. He doesn't want to clean this place up, though. He believes that it its my sacred place, and nothing should interfere with it." She paused, then she said, "now lets talk about your wages. You're going to stay fifteen hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I'll let you have weekends and holidays off. As for wages, does a dollar an hour sound good?"
"Yes, ma'am." And that was all that Mae could say.
Mae's mind was a bustle as she walked home. A dollar an hour? Fifteen hours every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday? That was less hours, and more pay than Josie got, and Josie had worked at her mansion for three years, with raises every Christmas.
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