I know that I’m the last person you would want to hear from right now and that I’ve brought nothing but despair and unhappiness to you and your family, however I would like to try to explain to you what happened all those years ago.
Tom was a kind and generous man who did many favours for me around the house before he went home after work. At first it was just the simple odd job but after a few times, I got used to seeing him. I didn’t really like black people back then but some how he seemed different. I’d grown fond of him and his generosity. I respected him. I liked him. I thought, maybe I was in love with him. I needed his love and attention. I thought that maybe because he always did jobs for me, he might have felt the same. That is why I pretended I needed a job doing that day; I just wanted to know if he felt the same way.
When he realised that I had no jobs for him to do, he wanted to leave; so I had to make a move I had to let him know how I felt. I kept trying to put the words out of mouth, but nothing seemed to come out. So I went ahead and kissed him, but he kept trying to push me off and when he finally did he ran out of the house. I was upset and confused and when I realised my father had saw the kiss I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. He was drunk, and when he was drunk he was always very difficult to get along with, and most of the time he gets aggressive.
I tried to lie to him and tell him that nothing had happened but there is no use trying to fool him, he already saw what happened and he wasn’t very pleased with what he saw. He hated black people and he was very angry to see me kiss one, so he beat me. Furniture got ruined and I had bruises all over my body from where he had used anything he came across to hit me. He wanted me to pay. He wanted Tom to pay for what had happened even though it wasn’t his fault. He didn’t want folk to know that his daughter had kissed a Negro, so he bought up the whole story of rape.
After he had beaten me, he sat down for a while; he was sitting there thinking, I guess of how he was going to get people to believe the story. So he got up and called the sheriff, and that’s when the whole story started. When the sheriff came over I was forced to lie, if I didn’t I would have got hurt even more. So I went along with the story, in a way I kind of wanted him to be punished because he didn’t feel the same way that I felt. I honestly didn’t want him to die; I didn’t even think he would go to prison.
When I saw your face in court I couldn’t believe what I was doing and what I was putting you and Mr Robinson and the rest of you family through. But when I saw Tom, I just couldn’t handle it anymore. When my father got up all he said was lies and it was breaking me apart especially when I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. I felt so guilty. When Tom spoke in court I couldn’t even look at him, to know that he telling the truth and not one member of the jury believed him was giving me much more pain then I ever felt when my father beat me.
Tom was a loving and caring and everyday I can’t help but think that if I didn’t invite into my house that day and I never tried to kiss him and that my father never saw him then he would still be alive.
I know you must hate me but I am begging you to find it in your heart to forgive me, if not now but whenever you can. You are probably thinking why did it take me 10 years to tell you this, but I’ve tried for the last 10 years to write out how I felt and I guess when it comes down to it, I thought it would be better just to tell you the truth. I owe it to you and your family at least. I guess this is all I have to say; I know this letter is a bit too late and that it will not bring back Tom, but I just needed to explain everything to you.
It may sound weird but it’s been almost 10 years since my father has died but I seem lonelier then, then now. When my father was around I had no freedom, which lead to no friends and every time he was angry he would take it out on me, like it was my fault. After my father’s funeral, I couldn’t stay in that house myself, I bought back too many bad memories and I just wanted to forget them all. Even though I have no family anywhere else, I had to move as far away from this town as possible. Alabama will always be a constant reminder of my horrible past. After all these years, what I caused for you and your family didn’t seem to go away. I thought that just because I was in a different town, I could forget about what happened. It kept annoying me; I had to get this off my chest because moving to the town I am in now is just making things worst. That is why I’m writing to you this letter, to get it off my chest and in a way it might answer a few questions that never got answered all those years ago.
I’m so sorry that my greed ended up in the loss of your husband and once again I am that you will some day find it in your heart to forgive me.
Thank you for taking your time to read this letter after so long. I know how difficult it must be for you to hear this. Once again, thank you.