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The private cruise from off of the shore of Delaware inspired Jamilla Massey. She could have flown her private jet, but she wanted to be closer to the water. So, she opted for the 15 man and woman crew to escort her to Gallant Bay in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She had discovered this island from one of her partners who suggested that it would be a good place to take over for the previous CEO. The people of Gallant Bay numbered in the tens of thousands but had managed to make their own autonomous government and mini-city.
As she stepped onto the pavement, she caught the smell of jasmine and sea water in the air. A small child dressed in a tuxedo came running up to her.
“This way, Miss Massey.”
The two of them ambled up the path as the crew members of the vessel carried Jamilla’s bags.
“C’mon, c’mon.” The child then ran up to the towering hotel which was almost as high as the skyscraper standing adjacent to it. Gleaming glass and shimmering steel coordinated with the lush greenery which surrounded the place. Jamilla caught a conversation within earshot of her.
“She’s not like us.”
“We knew that.”
“She doesn’t bear the same skin as us.”
“Again, knowledge that we already possessed.”
“She’s pretty, but she doesn’t have the patches like us.”
“She doesn’t have to. She’s here to boost sales. That takes brains. She doesn’t have the skin. But she has the brain capacity.”
The little boy who wore the tuxedo was now swimming and a large patch of white skin on his black flesh shown with intensity. The morning that Jamilla woke up, she was greeted at the door by two young women. Above the eyebrow of one was a patch of white.
“Did you enjoy your night, Miss Massey?”
“Yes, I did actually, I....”
The women shut the door in Jamilla’s face.
They warned me, she thought. They said that the natives would not take a liking to my presence. Not all of them can hate me, though. Can they?
Paulina escorted Jamilla. “Our founder Trini Barstow has passed as you know. She served as CEO of the company that owns the hotel and the other tourist accommodations for 23 years. It was the longest tenure in the island’s history. She wanted a beautiful woman with the thought processing unit that could fulfill the role. She chose you.”
“But everyone hates me.”
“I don’t hate you. You see this—” Paulina showed the patches running from her face to her back to her legs.
“Everyone here is an atheist. We don’t blame God because of this condition. We don’t blame anyone. We think that it’s beautiful.”
“And you’re not communists or socialists?”
“Would we be able to have a company this grand if we were? You don’t have to look like us. Or think like us, God forbid. But you should feel comfortable in your own skin. Put our physical differences aside and we’ve got a new CEO on our hands. How’s that sound?”
“It seems advantageous.”
In a great hall for formal dining, all of the people on the island, the whole village displayed pink and white patches on their arms, their legs, their faces. Jamilla experienced pangs of anxiety. She smiled faintly whenever a butler filled her champagne. Then she stood up.
“I know that my presence here is not wanted by some of you. But I’ve learned a great deal from you. I hope that you’ve learned from me. You see, I was expecting some resistance. But I’ve been able to find understanding with some of you. I’m not trying to fill Miss Barstow’s shoes. I could never do that. But what I can do is make this company a part of me as it is a part of you. Where I’m from you all would be teased, tormented, talked about, targeted. Here you all live life-loving, happy lives. I would never take that away from you. So, as the new CEO of this island, I’m prepared to guide you all to places of excellence. Won’t you let me?”
“Yes!” The room resounded.