*Sometime in the early morning I wake and know that I am not alone. This picture is not the room I was in. In the room I was in there is 5 more beds on the wall across from what is shown here. I hope this gives you an idea of what a ward looks like. There are 9 other girls in this really big room. Where is Arney? I ring for a nurse, but no one comes. I was scared, there are Negro women in this room. I have never felt so white. I will call my bed # 1 because it is next to the big wide door to the hall. I have no recall of their names, but to share this time I want to put a name to the faces and voices I will never forget.
There are 5 beds on one wall and 5 on the other. There is about 4 feet between each bed.
Girls I shared three days with at LA County General Hospital
Bed #2 is Sylvia…… Bed # 5 is Jessie…….. Bed #8 is Fannie
Bed #3 is Lana………. Bed # 6 is Miss Sarah…….. Bed # 9 is Lily
Bed # 4 is Martha………. Bed # 7 is Betty……….. Bed # 10 is Kate
The windows that overlook Los Angeles are floor to ceiling; they have old glass that is distorted. I am on the 8th floor, I could have seen a lot from up here. I didn’t look.
At some point food come, it made me sick to look at it. I hear a small voice, you need to eat girl. I come to know her as Lana in bed #3; she had been hit in the lower back by a cop with a baton. She was looking for her children when she was hurt.. She miscarried her baby.. I hear the girls crying and whispers but nothing directed to me. Lana had tight curls; her eyes were so black and very large. She looked like she could be about 13 but I knew she was older. She was very quiet; really kind of shy…I think it must have been hard to talk to the white girl (ME). Each one of these girls, one by one shared why they were here over the next three days.
I think the nurses were really busy because no one came to help me. I had rang and rang without anyone coming. I could not hold my pee any longer. I knew that I was bleeding, but when I put my feet to the floor, I was shaking and the floor seemed to be coming up. So I stood there for a while hanging onto the bed. Now to take those ten steps to the bathroom. Then as I made my way the blood was falling out of me like water, it was all over the floor. The girls in my ward were ringing for help. I had blood on me, the bathroom, and I felt faint. I needed someone to help me. I could smell my own blood, so I began to dry heave. I do not remember much after the nurse came, only that I wanted the blood off the floor. It was very important to me that the floor must be cleaned. She cleaned me and my bed. Along with a shot and out I went. The next thing I remember is someone wanting me to eat. Then seeing Arney come through the wide door. He held me for a long time. He had driven through some bad parts of Los Angeles, some road blocks made it almost impossible to get here. He had been shot at, his Dads truck now had a hole in it. He could have been killed. The bullet was just inches from his head. He said that he felt the wind of the bullet. I felt like this nightmare would never end. I ask him to stay away from here until time for me to go home. He certainly understood that I was right, but either way would be hard for us.
To be continued…….