African American Fiction Sad

Amber was cleaning the upstairs attic. The attic was to be her room because her Mom had turned her bedroom into a gym. Amber moved back home after being laid off from her job. Although Amber got an excellent severance package, her Mom insisted she move home to save money. Amber thought her Mom was lonely since her Dad died last year but didn't want to tell her. Amber looked through boxes of old pictures. There was a picture of a smiling, handsome, tall Black man in an Air Force flight jacket and uniform. Amber turned the picture over and read. Colonel Lewis Washington France 1940. Amber wondered who he was. Her grandfather was a pilot and fought in World War Two, but his name was Earl. She heard her mother watching television. She walked into the living room. Her Mom was sitting on the couch holding Dan, the fat tabby cat. "Mom, I found this picture," Amber said, showing the picture to her. Amber's mother smiled. " This was your grandad's best friend, Lewis." She said. "He used to talk about him all the time." Her Mom gave the picture back to her. "What happened to him?" Amber asked. " He died in the war; his plane was shot down." Her Mom told her. Amber felt sad. She didn't know why; Lewis died before she was born. "Are you okay?' Her Mom asked in a concerned voice. "I'm good," Amber answered. She looked at Dan, purring. "You need to stop overfeeding him," Amber said before she walked away. Amber went up the stairs to the attic. She lay on the twin-sized bed holding the picture. Amber drifted off to sleep thinking about Lewis. Amber jumped when she heard lightning. She sat up fully awake. It was raining. Amber got up and tried to turn the light on. "No electricity." She said. Amber decided to check on her Mom. She couldn't see in the darkness. "Mom, where are you?" Amber screamed from the top of the stairs. "I'm in the kitchen, looking for a flashlight. Amber started down the stairs. She was unaware that Dan was sitting on the stairs. She tripped over him and tumbled down. "Amber!" Her mother screamed. That was the last voice she heard before losing consciousness. Amber woke up. "Where am I?" She said. She was not at home. Amber was sitting under a glistening green tree. The sky was a blue color that was unknown to her. Amber felt a peace she had never known. Amber looked down at her brown hand. It seemed solid and translucent at the same time. "Hello, baby girl." Said a voice in her mind that she knew. Then Amber saw him. He appeared. "Dad?" Amber said out loud. It couldn't be. "It is me." Her Dad said, reaching out his hand to her. Amber stood up. "But you are." He smiled at her. "I'm gone in your reality, but death is not the end. It is the beginning of something wonderful." Amber hugged him. He smelled like the blueberries that they used to pick every summer. Amber broke the embrace. "No, you are not dead." Her Dad told her, answering the question in her mind. "You are Heaven, but you must decide to stay or return soon." 

Amber could hear her Mom. "Baby, please wake up; I can't lose you too."

"I'm in the hospital," Amber said. "Yes, it will be up to you if you want to return." Her Dad told her. Amber's dog ran up to her. "Malcolm." Amber picked up the little poodle and held him. He was young again. Amber missed him every day. The dog licked her face excitedly. Suddenly, loved ones surrounded her. "Grandpa Earl." She said. "Amber. The apple of my eye." He said. "Grandpa, I'm not a little girl anymore. I'm thirty-five years old." She told him. He laughed. "You know, you have to go back. It's not your time," He told her. Amber didn't want to think about that. She felt happy.

Everyone disappeared. Amber was alone by a lake. She thought about Lewis. Lewis was standing next to her. Amber looked up into his almond-colored eyes and smiled at him. "Hello, Amber." He said as he gently pushed a strand of her light brown, big, curly afro hair out of her face. "I have been wanting to meet you for some time. I remember you crying when that boy didn't pick you up for your Prom date." Lewis told her. Amber was shocked. "That was a long time ago." She said to him. "There is no time in Heaven." Lewis took her into his arms and started dancing with her. Amber's clothes were different. She was wearing a sparkly white evening gown. Her curly hair was straight and parted on the side with a flower.

Lewis was wearing a 1940s formal Air Force uniform. They were in a USO dance hall. She could hear music. It was a song by the Ink Spots. I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire. Lewis twirled her around, and she was back in his strong arms. "We can be where and whenever we want to be." He told her. "Amber, come back to me!" She heard her mother pleading again. Lewis was different from any man she had known. He was kind and gentle. Amber felt tears in her eyes. "I have to go." She told him. "Stay with me," Lewis said. They stopped dancing. Amber could hear the heart monitor stopping.

"Amber!" Her mother screamed. Amber pulled away from Lewis. "Amber, I love..." Lewis started to say. He was alone by the lake again. Amber was back in her body. She opened her eyes. "Mom." She said hoarsely. "Amber, my baby." Her Mom said, crying. Amber often thought about Lewis when she was back home with her Mom. Her Mom had the gym converted back into Amber's bedroom. She didn't want Amber to go back upstairs in the attic. One day, Amber went upstairs to the attic when her mom was at the grocery store. Amber saw a White rose on the twin-size bed. "It couldn't be." Amber thought. She picked it up. It was the rose Amber wore in her hair when she danced with Lewis. Amber knew that he was waiting for her alone by the lake.

September 29, 2023 00:05

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Jeanine Rogers
18:47 Oct 01, 2023

I am currently grieving the recent death of my cousin. I wrote this story to remind myself that no one is truly gone. They remain with us through telling their stories.


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AnneMarie Miles
17:01 Oct 01, 2023

There is something endearing about the structure and voice of the narrator in this story. The sentences are short and simple, but it seems to emphasize the deeper meaning between them. Amber and Lewis have a connection, as if Amber is a reincarnated love of his. I got goosebumps. Thanks for sharing, Jeanine!


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