The second time I saw the white boy, outside by the ceremonial fire pit in the center of our village, I was caught off-guard by his paleness. I was completely enamored with his alabaster skin, and pitied him for turning so lobster-red. I desired to help him. But I hadn’t realized that I had stopped in the doorway of my hut until Mama shoved me out of it. I went quickly to wash the dishes with a red face. I had not been rebuked by my mother like that since I was a child!
Then as I was scrubbing the sticky rice from the dishes, he came to the shore! He walked up the long pier and sat. I tried not to look at him, all the while thinking he shouldn’t be out in the sun, but I kept sneaking glances. I told myself I was checking on him. He sat with his back was straight. He must be a leader in his tribe to hold himself up so dignified! He didn’t have the demeanor of a servant, nor the posture of a laborer. The thought that he was an important tribesman made me giddy! I sighed to calm myself. Mama heard me.
“Don’t think about that boy, Nae,” Mama chided. I blushed again.
“I will try not to, Mama,” I promised. But I knew it would be a difficult promise to keep.