Later that evening at a park downtown, Charles and Ty were discussing Charles's termination from The Pizza Palace. "It's getting harder for both Angie and me," Charles was saying. "My boss is suspicious of her because her father was a Klansman."
Ty sighed sympathetically. "Are you going to stay with her?"
"Oh, Ty, yes," said Charles. "She's the best woman I ever met. Now that I know her, I can't imagine my life without her."
"But, Charles, you know a lot of whites have been responding to us and our movement with threats and violence. Your life could be in danger, and because other people now know she's with you, her life could be in danger, too."
Charles swallowed hard. What if Ty was right? Before he could say anything, two Klan members drove by in a car. One of them pulled out a 0.40-caliber gun and aimed straight at Charles. Before Charles or Ty had time to react, the man fired a bullet, yelling, "This'll teach you to get cozy with our friend's daughter, nigger!" Ty quickly pushed Charles out of the way a split second before the bullet landed directly in his heart.
"Ty!" shouted Charles, catching his friend as he fell. Blood poured from Ty's chest as he said weakly, "Charles, tell Angie her life will be in danger if you two continue to be together." Once this was said, the young man breathed his last.
"TY!" screamed Charles, as tears splashed onto his cheeks. "My friend--you were my best friend! You can't leave me! No!" Charles cried hard for several minutes, so loudly that everyone could hear him. No one stopped to comfort him, though. Apparently they thought that a black man's life wasn't worth as much as a white man's life.
After his tears were spent, Charles remembered what Ty had said about his beloved Angie. He would have to end their relationship for good. The thought of having to be one of the guys in a list of men who had broken Angie's heart tore his heart in two, but he knew that this time was different. He wouldn't be breaking her heart because she wouldn't give him a selfish desire that he wanted. He would be breaking her heart for her own benefit--to save her life from the enemies who might kill her for being with him. The thought of never holding Angie in his arms or kissing her sweet lips again made Charles want God to strike him dead right then and there, but at least seeing her as a friend or an acquaintance on the street was better than never seeing her again because of someone killing her. Charles decided what he needed to do, and he would call Angie that very night.
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