“I guess we need to talk about it.” The black woman said with a deep sigh.
“No, there’s no need.” Cassie quickly countered.
Janet looked at her for several seconds then spoke. “Are you sure now? Cause I don’t want you to freak out and I damn sure don’t want to hear about it in the office.”
“No, you won’t. It’s fine. I’m fine.” The young wife replied struggling to maintain eye contact with her trainer.
There followed a long silence while both women contemplated events. Janet was concerned that Cassie was too green about the ways of the world to deal with what she had discovered. If she made a stink, especially since she was being trained, the black women felt she might lose her job. Cassie just wanted it all to go away and it was a subject that would never be discussed again.
“You okay girl?” Janet asked breaking the quiet.
“Yes, I’m fine. Truly.” Cassie responded.
Unfortunately, Janet took Cassie’s response and mannerisms as condescending and judgmental. She had always had something of a temper and now she could feel her blood beginning to boil.
“You know you ain’t no better than me. You ain’t special. You think you’re so damn high and mighty with your skinny body and fancy education but look at you , working with fat ol’ Janet.” The black woman launched on her student.
“Janet, really I…” Cassie started to reply before she was cut off.
“I bet you ain’t never been fucked good either. Your husband? Little boys prick I bet.” Janet spat out.
“Listen, I do not want to have this conversation.” Cassie fired back. She had been stunned at first with the change in tone but the black woman’s challenge had made her angry. Now, she decided she had to say more. “And you know nothing about my husband. We are in love and make love. We don’t fuck.”
It was the third time in Cassie’s life where she had used the disgusting term and she instantly regretted losing her cool. Janet realized she had pushed too hard as well and had been surprised by Cassie’s aggressive response. At that point, both women were happy to stop.
They made rounds all morning with an awkward silence broken only when absolutely necessary to discuss a case. When lunch time came, Janet pulled the car into a sandwich shop but, when Cassie opened the door to get out, she felt a hand on her arm.
“I want to say I’m sorry for what I said.” The older woman said in a voice that let Cassie know she was sincere. Janet was not the type of person that typically offered up an apology but for some reason she wanted to this time.
“Thank you Janet.” Cassie responded after letting the words sink in. Then she continued. “I don’t want to hurt you or get you in trouble. You can trust me.”
Janet received the words with a big smile and together they walked into the shop feeling much better that the air had been cleared. Amazingly, that conversation set them on a path that was more open and enjoyable.