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What Tomorrow May Bring
Brandi, Age 16, Liberty, TX

“If tomorrow never comes. I'll stay and watch you sleep. If tomorrow never comes, I'll still love you."

Those were the good old days when music was free to say whatever it wanted. Well, not whatever it wanted.. for as long as I can remember music has always been censored because of the foul language in it. There is this one-day in my life that I’ll never forget.

It was a cold winter day in January of 2003. I was only 16 years old and already had my new loves. My mom said I was crazy for loving music and for loving Antoine so much, but I didn’t care. With every lyric and every kiss, my love kept getting deeper and deeper.

Antoine was a very handsome young man. He had charcoal black hair, eyes the color of night, and skin as smooth and silky as caramel. He was an excellent football player and power lifter. Everybody adored him, but I was the lucky girl who got to have him.

The day I’ll never forget was Antoine and my first date. He took me to a Karaoke Bar. He wanted to show me his singing talent. When we arrived there I felt so uncomfortable. Everybody looked at Antoine and me as if we just fell out of the sky. One of my favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll singers was there, though. And as soon as I saw him I ran up to him and said, “Oh my God, I can't believe it's you. Can I please have your autograph, Danny?”

Danny turned around and smiled and said to me in his funny English accent, “Well love, I didn’t know people still fancied me. I’m happy to know someone does. Sure I’ll sign you an autograph.”

“Thank you so much Danny!” I said.

I was so excited I almost hit the ceiling. Then Antoine came and showed me where my seat was. Antoine got on stage and sung my favorite song “For the Moment” by. Eminem. Everybody started to yell, “ Boo, Boo get off the stage with that crap. We want good music, not a bunch of cuss words.” Antoine was ready to cry, I mean, what did he do wrong? They started throwing glasses, bottles, and all kinds of drinks. Officer Allison escorted Antoine off the stage. I looked at Officer Allison and I asked him, “What’s wrong with those people?”

“Nobody wants to hear that kind of music anymore, you're lucky Sheriff Sellers didn’t show up or you would have gone to jail, Antoine,” Allison said.

“Let them arrest me, I didn’t do anything wrong, all I did was sing,” Antoine screamed.

I had never seen Antoine So mad. I told Antoine it was time to go home.

It was quiet all the way to my house, neither one of us said anything to the other. It was about five o’clock when we pulled into my driveway. Antoine said to me in a tearful voice, “ Shawniece, baby, I’m so sorry about tonight. Do you forgive me?”

“Yes,” I couldn’t tell him no.

“If I asked you to protest with me, would you?” He asked me.

I just looked at him with a blank stare and said, “I’m scared of what will happen if I do, and I’m scared to death of losing you.”

“Please say you will,” he pleaded.

“If you want me to then I will,” I couldn’t believe I just agreed to protest.

“I’ll be here at ten o’clock tonight to pick you up for the protest,” he said excitedly.

As he drove away I began to cry out of fear of what was to come. My bones were quivering, my head was pounding. I went and laid down on my bed in a mummy like state of mind, I just didn’t know what to do. I was about to go be part of a protesting show. I mean, why does he want to fight over something like music? My mom knocked on my bedroom door.

“Shawniece are you okay? How did your date with Antoine go?” I could barely respond to my mom, but I managed to get the words out, “I’m fine mom, the date was great. I had a good time, he’s coming to get me at ten.” My mom, I think, knew I wasn’t okay, she sounded to concerned.

“Are you sure your ok? Maybe you should stay home tonight,” she said.

“I’m fine mom, I promise,” I had to lie to her; I couldn’t let her know what I was going to go do.

Ten o’clock came faster than I wanted, Antoine’s car horn was blaring. My head felt like it was being pounded by a jackhammer. My mom came into my room, “Shawniece, Antoine is here.” I slowly pulled myself  from my bed, and put my shoes on. I walked outside. It was a pretty cold winter night.

We didn’t go straight to the rally. Antoine took me to get something to eat. I knew that he knew I didn’t want to go. He said to me, “ If it gets crazy out there, I want you to run. I don’t want you to get hurt, all I want is for you to be there with me.” All that came from my mouth was, “Antoine, I love you, I want to be here with you.” He smiled and said that he loved me too.

There was a tremendous amount of people at the rally. Everybody there had a protest sign. People were yelling, “Rock is the wave of the future, Down with Creed.” It was crazy. I went and sat at a table that people were making signs; I just sat and helped everybody make their signs. After a couple of hours I was beginning to get very worried, cops started to show up. Millions of cops, it was almost like Woodstock of ’99’.

Antoine was giving his speech when Sheriff Sellers got on his megaphone and began to make demands, “ Okay kids that’s enough. You all need to go home. Those who don’t will be arrested.” Antoine then started a chant that would stay in my mind forever, “ I love music, so kill me.” Total chaos broke out the police started shooting. All I remember at this point was when I saw Antoine hit the ground.

Antoine died the very next day, January 22nd, 2003. I cried for two days I didn’t eat, and I never heard our music again. I had to burn all of my tapes, records, C.D.’s, anything that had music on it was to be burned.

Now here it is 22 years later, still no music. Not even the classics are allowed. None of the soulful sounds of ‘Aretha Franklin’, no up beat songs of ‘The Beatles”, and none of the soothing sounds of ‘Enya’. No music in 22 years, what a sad way to live life.

Ever since Antoine was killed I’ve never been married, no children, and I still live with my mom. I guess one of us had to go, no one liked seeing us together. He was a tall, successful, African-American man, and I’m just a short, rebel, white-girl. I miss him though.

I miss many things that America has stripped away from me. I can’t argue with anyone or if I do argue I’ll go to jail. So I live each day keeping my mouth shut, until I get back my strength the fight back.

“Bye, Bye Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry. And good old boys were drinkin' whisky and rye, singin' this’ll be the day that I die, this’ll be the day that I die.” - Don McLean

 

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