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The Nostalgia

Of Rain For

Leroy Wilson

Bella Eames

Isobelle Carmody Award

for Creative Writing


He taps his fingers nervously on the kitchen bench. He sits upright,

shaking, his fingers make nervous beats on the laminate surface. He

stares out the window, dotted with rain. The last time he had seen

rain was the 13


of April, 1995. Twelve years ago. He could not forget

that day. He was haunted by this day. He is black. Some might say

that small fact doesn’t matter, but that fact is something that has

changed his life forever. He saw the rain again…

The day was grim. He stepped out of the car. His face was covered by his

jumper. The flashing lights of the cameras were blinding. He was dragged through

the crowd. Rain dropped onto his face. His face was drawn and gaunt. He was in

a state of stupor. Helpless, he was dragged into the court room about to face reality.

One-hundred or so eyes were on him. They glared. They did not know his

back story. He was framed. His murky eyes looked into those of the white Judge,

they were unforgiving. But more importantly they were prejudiced. The judge

spoke, definitively, “Order in the court.” The audience was silenced, and the judge

looked as though he could already determine the future of this helpless black man,

“Mr. Leroy Wilson, how do you plead? Guilty or innocent?”

Leroy rose to answer. “Innocent, your honour.” He was in his best suit. The

one he wore at his wedding. Leroy was not a rich man, he lived with his wife and

was raising three children as best he could. He knew his wife would be somewhere

in the jury but he could not bear to look at her. He could not breathe. The sounds

of the jury talking to the judge were a blur. Until he heard the word, guilty. His

chest tightened, his fingers rattled nervously on the table top…

He was fighting it now. He was scratching himself. Etchings of

blood were written on his legs. Sweat dripped off his forehead as

he boxed away at the walls of the house. He was breathing

uncontrollably. Hyperventilating. All he could see was white…

The photographers were lined up outside the court. The flashes were a

blinding white. Questions were thrown like punches at him. He couldn’t answer

them. Not a single word left his lips. Not a noise. Drops of sadness filled the air.

Leroy’s own drops of sadness trickled down his cheeks. Microphones were shoved

at his face. One question, though provoked him:

“Does it bother you that out of you and the other suspect, a white man living

with mental health problems, you were arrested?” He desperately wanted to

answer, but he walked away. He knew the truth but was sad to accept it. The

truth of a black man’s place in this world. He went to sit down on the bench, as

expected it was wet. He stared blankly at the puddles on the ground.

Exactly 3 hours and 17 minutes later, he was called back into the court. The

judge rattled the gavel on the table. There was silence. Until the judge spoke.