The Things You Forget Will Always Come Back

By Tanielle Dlamini

        Everyone always wonders how the world is gonna end. I never thought that I would be one of the lucky few to experience it and survive. 

        There was no big explosion. No large tsunami wiping out the entire coastline. There was no earthquake breaking California away from America. The world has not burned, although the ice caps are nearly gone. Neither famine, nor disease has swept the nations off their feet. But the people walk on blood stained streets. For the white have become red, and the red have become dead.

        The world up above knew nothing of how we lived down here. The peace and harmony that those savages could not comprehend. Their barbaric ways could never belong down here. 

        We, although hidden, have a fully functioning ecosystem, with animals and plants aplenty. Our economy is unparalleled; the stocks just keep on rising with no crash in sight. The people are kind, smiling with all that they do. There’s no need for customer service voices because there’s no fakeness here. The word ‘lie’ has nearly been completely erased from my vocabulary. Everything is just better here.

        Well except for the sacrifices, those scare me. I’ve never liked watching loved ones perish in front of me. Memories of the war flash into my mind every time a  person goes to the surface. 

        People above walk with no cares knowing what they’ve done to the white race. It makes my soul scream to know that the bloodshed they caused fuels no remorse in their souls.

        “Citizens of Caucasia, it is time for our monthly sacrifice,” our leader says. “This time our beloved Bianca has been chosen by the Gods.”

        What? Me? That’s impossible. I’ve done nothing wrong. Why on Earth would the Gods choose me?

        “Are you sure, Master Donald?” I ask. “Surely the Gods have made a mistake.” I’m a good Caucasian woman. I don’t lie, I don’t steal, I go to church. I’ve done everything Master Donald has told me to.

        “Are you questioning my authority?”

        “N-no, Master Donald.” I just thought that he loved me. He saved me from the horrible people above ground. He taught me the right way to live, like a good Caucasian woman.

        “Then, please, up to the surface.” 

        The people of Caucasia part like the red sea. They drop the rope ladder that leads to the surface. My feet are bricks as I walk towards the ladder. I turn back to the people of Caucasia—pale faces wish my equally as pale face goodbye. I wish I had parents to wave goodbye to, but there was no one in there like me. Even in the hierarchy of blondes with or without blue eyes (brunettes are at the bottom no matter what, gingers are in the middle, oddly enough) no one was like me with curly, puffy hair.

        “I can’t do it,” I cry. I fall to my knees before the ladder. “I can’t do it. I don’t wanna. Pleaseee, don’t make me go.”

        Master Donald grabs me and practically throws me on the ladder. “Bianca, you have to,” he grits, “or else we’re all doomed. Do you know how hard it was to find all of us and let us flourish like this, Bianca? There are only one hundred good people left. Because of your selfishness we could all die.”

        As much as I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to perish down here. What’s getting ripped apart limb by limb in comparison to an entire community dying off in whatever way the Gods chose for us. “I-I didn’t think of it like that.” 

        I take a deep breath. I look back on my home. The plants and animals wave goodbye. The stalagmites and artificial light look at me for the last time.  Blonde’s, brunettes, and gingers shed a few tears. I finally pull myself up the ladder.

        “Thank you for understanding.” The people of Caucasia clap and holler for me as I make my rise to the surface. 

        Terror floods my senses as non-artificial light hits my eyes. I take a moment to let them adjust to the setting around them. For a second, I don’t think that the sight before me is real. The grass is green, birds are chirping, butterflies are flying. 

        Everything looks as it was—no, looks better than it was before the war. 

        A person comes across me at the exit of Caucasia. “Hey, you comin’ from down there?”

        “Please–” I throw my hands up in defense “–don’t hurt me. I promise I’ll learn your barbaric ways.” 

        The person stares at me and blinks. “You guys haven’t changed, have you? What’s it like down there, huh?” 

        As I take in their appearance more, I realize that they don’t look dangerous at all. Their doe-like eyes and soft smile beckon me closer. Their hair is a halo around their face. I nearly fall into their trap, then I remember how they are. “You’d never know the peace and harmony of Caucasia; you couldn’t understand it.”

        “Really? Because last I checked, y’all were the ones who started the war.”

        “We did not.”

        Their eyes bulge out of their head. “You got outnumbered in one country, and damn near killed half of the world. You got Switzerland involved. Do you know how hard it is to get them to fight?”

        “It was necessary. You were gonna kill all of us.”

        “No one cared that y’all were minorities. Even if white people were minorities, that wouldn’t have changed the world’s white supremacist ways. Damn near every country has it rooted deep into its history, including African countries.”

        “That’s not what Master Donald tells us.”

        “‘Master?’ Wow, y’all went way far back. What’s next? Do you have a tan-ness hierarchy—no, no wait, brunette and blonde hierarchy?”

        I let my silence answer her. How could there be so much peace and normalcy after the world was ravaged? Buildings had exploded and burned, forced sterilization made a comeback, we even tried being more pro-people of color, so that they could stop repopulating. The world looked better than it did before. 

        Were we the villains all along?

        I look at the flourishing foliage and the blazing sun. The Earth looks like it has gotten better. The colorfulness of the world matched its people. God, maybe we were the villains.

        “Just when I thought white people couldn’t get any crazier. Y’all got a damn cult down there.” The person laughs, their dark skin glowing in the sunlight. “Where did you go? The outcasts? There’s no way they let you fit in anywhere.”

        “Excuse me? I am a proud Caucasian. Everyone loved me, especially Master Donald.” My hand flies to my chest.

        “Let me see.” She puts her hand on her chin and taps it. “Wide set nose, large lips, looks like four-A curls. Hmmm, you’re black, probably just albino.”

        “No, no. I’m not,” I yell. 

        “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. You just lackin’ a little melanin. Don’t worry. We’ll still accept you.”

        “NO!” I choke. “I’m not like you!

        “You want a DNA test? Because you’re looking a little black to me.”

        “More like a lotta black,” another person says, walking up next to the first. “What’s her problem?” Their hair is different. Instead of a halo, it’s in neat rows falling at their shoulders.

        “I told her she’s black.”

        “She didn’t know that? It’s obvious.”

        “NO!” I scream. Both people back away, only a little. Acting as if I’m the danger, I crumple to the ground, pebbles digging into my knees, because that’s all that I can do.

        Memories flash in my mind. The days before the war. I ran around my home’s backyard with two little pigtails, my hair as puffy as ever. I giggle with another girl, but her skin is brown. Although darker than me, her hair was straighter. She spoke a language I didn’t understand and wore extravagant jewelry.

        More memories of my family pass. Black skin. Kinky, curly, puffy hair. Hair like mine. They kissed me, although I was lighter.

        “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a black princess, ” a woman I presume is my mother says. “You’re just missing the color, but you as black as me and Daddy.”

        I’m not black.

        I remember nodding along. Reading books on hair care, on my black counterparts of the past. The pride I felt in how far we’d come. I dreamed of making an impact such as that one.

        I remember the day that white people became a minority; the outrage it sparked. First, TRUTH Social, then Fox News, then Twitter. Soon, everyone had one agenda: not to be a minority. If you were white and okay with this development, you were the first ones gone.

         I remember watching our house burn in Master Donald’s arms. “I’ve saved you. Whatever they told you is a lie,” he whispered.

        “I’m not a black princess?” I questioned.


        That was the day that my heart broke for the first time.

        I watched the world burn in Master Donald’s arms. Countries crashed until they were filled with nothing, but people of color who had no choice but to step up and fill empty spaces. 

        Look at where that got them. Paradise. Blue skies, blue waters, and gorgeous green grass. The Garden of Eden was back, and there was no serpent to tempt Eve.

         “Master Donald… lied to me,” I whisper. I like between the two people, one with an afro, the other with cornrows. I wore those at some point. When I was younger. When I was black. 

        I’ve been lied to.

        What else was a lie? Was Caucasia even good? Or were we the barbaric ones—after all, we started the war. The home I’d come to love and adore was a lie.

        I felt a pain in my chest.

        Lies weren’t accepted in Caucasia. They were punishable by death. Everyone in there lied to me. What else did they know that I didn’t? Am I even human?

        I grab a match from my pocket. 

        “Where the hell did she get a match?” the person with cornrows asks.

        “I do not know,” the person with the afro says, they back up slightly.

        I walk to the entrance of Caucasia and strike the match. Lies are punishable by death. The Gods were a lie. The creatures were a lie. The people were a lie. I was a lie.

        I strike another match. And another. And another. And another. And one more. And one more after that. I need to make sure that the entire place burns. 

        Screams of hell erupt from the entrance. Pleas and cries to the Gods ring in my ears. There are no Gods. I am their God. I rule their fate. It has been sealed, whether they like it or not.

        I throw myself in next. Uncaring of what is to happen to me, even though the answer is obvious.

        “Did we do that?” the person with an afro, asks.

        “I-I don’t know. Maybe,” the person with cornrows says. “I think we just accidentally killed off the last white people.”

        They both stand there in shock for a long long moment. They listen to the screams of the last white people known to people of color. The last few that have come up all died from shock. They thought this one had a chance. 

        None of them stood a chance against the consequences of their own actions.

        “White people crazy as hell.”