Amanda Blake Waller a.k.a the White Queen, a.k.a Black King, a.k.a Mockingbird or the sometimes leader of the Suicide Squad. She is no hero, she isn't an all out villain either. She is simply a black woman trying to survive by any means necessary. She was Olivia Pope before there was an Olivia Pope.
This is her story.
Amanda Blake Waller walked home from her late night class at the local community college. The rain turned the orange brick of the run-down, drug ridden projects of Cabrini-Green into a deep maroon, highlighting the chain link fences that surrounded every wall and open window ledges. She pulled the collar of her tattered down coat around her neck and hurried down the cracked, dilapidated sidewalk. After working two shifts at the plastics factory, and stopping at the all night grocer, she'd finally made it home.
"I hope Frank and the kids made it home ok." She muttered to herself and she began the climb up the five flights of rickety steps. As her tired and weary foot stepped onto the last floor board, a crash made her look up. Three men came barreling out of her apartment. Their arms were laden with her family's things! Her little 13" t.v. that her family gathered around to watch game shows was under one of their arms, and one of the others had her grandmother's jewelry box.
Her fists began to shake. No. Amanda could feel the fear being replaced by anger. Those were her things. That was what she worked her fingers to the bone for that little television. Her family didn't have enough as it was. Then she thought about her family. Her gut knew if those fools were walking out alive then her family wasn't. Frank was no meek man. Balling her hands into fists, her inner gut screamed, NO MORE! How many times had she been robbed, how many times had she been catcalled and had her skirt ripped by the hooligans that overran her apartment complex. Who was she kidding, Cabrini Green was not an apartment building, it was a rented jail cell.
She waited until they disappeared around the opposite corner to run into her run down apartment. Her hand covered her mouth in disgust. Frank, her precious Frank, laid sprawled on the floor, shot several times. She saw the foot of her son's blue footie pajamas sticking out from her husband and the corkscrew curls of her daughter under his lifeless form.
"Shane, Frank, Diana, we have to go now." She spoke to the empty room. A single tear fell down her cheek She knew they wouldn't get up. She knew they wouldn't answer. She could have called the cops, but what would they do? Put her family in a morgue and then get rid of their bodies because they are just a number. Lord knows she didn't have the money to pay for a burial.
She wiped the tear from her eye. She looked at her husband's body and shuddered as she took in a breath. Amanda knelt, kissing each one of their foreheads gingerly as her resolve strengthened. There had to be a better way. There had to be some way to make sense of this senseless act. She knew the cops wouldn't help her, a poor black woman living in Chicago's worst most notorious projects. Her dead family would just be another unsolved crime.
She didn't want the t.v. back, nor her grandmama's pearl necklace. She wanted her peace back. As she covered her husband and kids with a ratty thermal blanket, she knew she couldn't come back here. There would be questions she didn't have the answer to, there would be memories she didn't want to hold on to. Amanda wanted to be numb and cold. Nothing could replace what she just lost.
She went to the cabinet and pulled out her husband's carton of cigarettes and took one from a pack. Lighting the damn things she hated so much, she took a drag, letting the smoke swirl around her head as she thought. The letter from American University was still in her pocket. Nothing was holding her back now. She took one last drag of her first and last cigarette and flicked the still lit butt onto the carpet. Saying a silent prayer, she watched as the ember caught fire to the blanket. The leaping flames only fueled her anger. It is better for them this way, she thought as she couldn't imagine her kids waiting to crossover while sitting in a morgue.
She had to find a greater purpose. As the flames engulfed the apartment, she picked up her purse, the acceptance letter to the university , and walked out the door. Taking a moment to pause at a payphone, she called her aunt and cousin and told them what happened.
"Don't come looking for me now. I'll be in DC for a while." she told her hysterical aunt. "No there won't be a funeral. They're dead. What do we need to sing about it for?" Amanda's family was dead, and now, so was she, on the inside. All that was left was a quest for justice and a thirst for blood.