It wasn’t gonna be easy getting down to Mexico. I knew that from the start. But I had no idea how hard it was gonna be. But I had a plan. All the usual roads leading from New York to the border were gonna be jammed because everyone and their mother was gonna be driving there. So 44 and 40 were out of the question. But no one was gonna be stupid enough to go west first and then south. It would take a heck of a lot longer to make a giant L across half the country then shoot down to El Paso and cross the border. But that’s what we’d do—because no one else was doing it.
Or so I thought…
We packed our supplies, took your father’s friend’s jeep, then headed out. It was supposed to be about a 2-day trip. I figured 5 days, given the circumstances. A week max.
It took us 8 months.
It turns out everyone and their mother had thought of going out west, not to mention the people who were already living out west. So all the interstates were packed all day every day. We ran out of gas and had to jack a truck from a gas station in West Virginia. Not to mention there was a massacre every couple weeks. On December 29th, 150 white people were killed in South Dakota in honor of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. Then on January 23, 173 white women and children were killed in Montana in honor of the Marias Massacre there in 1870. 6 days later, 450 white people were killed in Utah in honor of the Bear River Massacre there in 1863. And on February 26, 250 white women, children, and old men were killed in California in honor of the Wiyot Massacre there in 1860.
Every time, they were killed by archers. And every time, no one saw the archers come or go. They were like ninjas in broad daylight. Ninjas who had been training for all of this for 400 years. Nobody stood a chance.
We made it to New Mexico in May. It was just gonna be a couple hours and everything was gonna be okay. But that last stretch was the worst of them all. First, the car broke down. So what should have been a couple hours was about to become a couple weeks. So we started walking. We still had some food and water, but that would only last about a week. Then, on May 14th, all the white people in Virginia were killed by the virus.
All of them.
The Indian sent a message that by July 4th, any remaining white person in the U.S. would be dead too. Which meant we had almost three weeks to make it to the border. Which should have been more than enough time.
But it wasn’t.
We made it to Albuquerque on May 30th. And it took us three more days to make it to El Paso. And there, on the night of July 3rd, just a couple hundred feet from freedom and a couple hours left before the genocide, we got stopped by Wasichu at the border.
“Why you ain’t become a Wasichu, bruh?” one of them asked me.
“I don’t want no problems, man,” I told him. “I’m just trying to get outta here. Please, just let us go. We’re almost there.”
“And you got a little white girl with you?” said another one, waving his gun toward your face.
There were five of them and all of them had guns. So if something went down, we didn’t stand a chance.
“She’s my niece, man,” I explained. “Just let us go through.”
“I don’t think so, bruh,” the first one said. “Maybe we should have a little fun first.”
And before I knew it, they surrounded us and kept pushing us back and forth and shooting at the ground around our feet.
“Just let us go!” I shouted.
Then one of them stepped up to you and aimed his shotgun straight at your face. I pulled my pistol out and aimed to blow his brains out.
But right before either of us could pull the trigger, one of the Wasichu opened fire and killed the rest of them.
I kept my pistol aimed at where the guy’s head had been just a second ago and you stood there, shaking and crying.
The Wasichu pulled off his mask and my jaw dropped when I saw who it was.
“Keem?” I breathed.
“No time to explain,” he said. “Once the others find out, I’m gonna get killed. Let’s go.”
“C’mon, Mary,” I said to you. But you were gone. I spun in circles in the dark to look for you and saw you lying on the ground a few feet away, shaking like someone was electrocuting you. I ran over and grabbed you and before I could do anything else, there was blood pouring out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
“No, no, no, no, no!!!” I screamed. “We gotta get her to a hospital!” I picked you up and sprinted towards the Border. “Help! Somebody help!”
But it was no use. As we ran, we heard “This Land Is Your Land” playing over our walkie talkies.
It was midnight. July 4th.
You died at the Border, a couple hundred feet from the Wall. And so did hundreds of other white people who didn’t escape in time. Which is why the Border has become the largest cemetery in the U.S. and why I come here every year on your birthday to see you.
I’m sorry for what happened to you. For what your father did. For not speaking up for you. There’s nothing I can do now but remember you—no one is legally allowed to cross the Border anymore.
In the end, we started building the Wall to keep people from getting in. The Natives finished the Wall to keep us out.
It wasn’t the end of the world. But it was the end of America.