Wanna Come Home.
By: K. Wilhelmina Floria
I don’t know how I got here. Don’t even know where I am. I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing before I got here. This place is strange, smoke glass walls on all four sides, ivy crawling up to the sky in this room without a roof, good thing because the weeping willow tree in the center of the room wouldn’t have room to stretch. Paths of dark soil are bordered by dark green blades of grass. Along the wall blood-red, soft pink and milky white rose bushes are scattered. Bright yellow roses cling to the trestles that frame the doors facing across from each other. Standing and inhaling the fresh scents of nature, I notice shadows of people appearing. The room brightens from the golden sun rise against an orange canvas. I notice the faces of those who have left me long ago. Faces of those I’ve love and miss, the faces of my foundation, my guides through life. Tears filled my eyes as I reached for them, but they are beyond my touch. I try to call to them but my voice is lost. Quietly they watch me. I see pity, anger and joy in their faces. I feel a tender wind against my skin and notice that I am unclothed. The soft-breeze carries a soothing melody created by a flute. The walls begin to expand everything becomes clear. Everyone and everything remains in place. A deep blue waterfall, twinkling with the glittering sun upon the stream cascading down the walls, the water is outside the room yet I feel a cool spray.
A spirit of calmness embraces me. I feel whole, safe, secure and at peace. I hear a serenade of birds coming from the weeping willow their song accompanied by hypnotizing flutes, and the waterfall. Kittens and puppies, even a white bunny and little yellow chicks dance with joy in this beautiful strange world. I take a step toward the weeping willow but I’m unable to move. The faces of those I’ve known shake their heads. I can’t hear them I only see the terror in their faces. They want me to stay away. I can’t imagine why they don’t want me to join them in this tranquil world.
My brother doing his old familiar dance, his head rolling on his neck, his shoulders bouncing, one of his arms’ bent at the elbow and his fingers snapping, his hips swaying from side to side. Aunt T leaning on the tree, a can of lite beer in her hand, just watching everyone, while occasionally checking a pot on the stove that just appeared. Gran sitting at the old dining room table that grew bigger whenever company was coming. Her teeth were in, her wig was on straight and red lipstick brightened her dark Indian complexion. A cup of coffee in her hand, of course it was spiked with scotch. All the aunts from Harlem and Charleston were there. They are sitting around the table in their white or pale pink full slips and bras, under the 40-watt light bulb. A cloud of filter-less cigarette smoke chokes the air and perspiration glitters their faces. The uncles and cousins who left this world so long ago are there too. Tears of joy filled my eyes. The memories of a time when I once was a part of this family bond my heart was flooded with longing.
Games of seven up is being played, Aunt D and her little plastic cups marked with four of a kind, four corners, blackout are lined up in the center of the table, her can of pennies and the pinochle game are ready for mild gambling. Out of nowhere appears Uncle, his face full of jolly spirits and he talked in jukebox songs from the VFW. Everyone is there and I wanted to join them. I wanted to join in on the happy times. I wanted laugh and feel the love and safety with this spiritual family reunion.
I began to step forward and I felt my left arm begin to tingle. I took another step and drops of water popped out on my head. I can do it I can pass from this place to the next. I can go to where they are. I will be welcomed and the good times will last forever. They were in reach I could make it. I ignored their urging to stay back. I couldn’t hear them I only sense the disapproval. Another step and I feel my chest get tight, my breathing difficult. I could endure this pain just to be in the arms of my family one more time.
As I lifted my leg for one more step, a bright light from darkness appeared. Only a stream of water separated me from the silhouette. I couldn’t make out who it is. My heart is beating rapidly and I wanted to go to the form. Through the brightness a white gown flutters in a gentle breeze. Suddenly the most beautiful face appeared. My breathing became heavy and despite the difficulty in moving I want to run forward and embrace, this beautiful woman, whose eyes twinkles with peace, whose smile sent currents of tranquility. I want to go to her, I want to leap into her arms and feel the security I once took for granted. But she put her hands up and with invisible force pushes me back. “Not now,” was all she said. The tightness in my chest let up, the tingling in my arm fades, and my breathing becomes steady.
I stretch out my arms and try with all my might to reach her. I fall to the ground, tears flowing rapidly from my eyes. Again she says, “Not now.” I clawed on the rich black soil, willing for the power to get closer to her. She too has tears in her eyes, and when she speaks again it’s like a symphony of love, “Not now pudding pie, you’re need where you are. Your work is not done. When it’s time to come home I’ll be back to get you, now go back.”
I screamed, “No, no, I need you, I need you, please let me come, Mooooommy!” My head fell to the ground, the soil is stealing my breath, and gentle drops of rain is washing my sorrow and giving me air to breath. The sun rises and a rainbow fills my sorrow with joy and all that is before me is a path . . .
“Gram’ma, wake up,” I opened my eyes and three beautiful faces are staring at me. I smiled and knew these kids need pancakes the way only Gram”ma know how to make.