The New Storage Room

Empty Master bedroom with Frank Lloyd Wright d...

Empty Master bedroom with Frank Lloyd Wright designed furniture (Photo credit: ali eminov)

Tia stands at the end of the hall, paralyzed with more emotions than her thirteen year old mind can process. She stares, intently, at the open door at the end and into the room full of boxes. Toys she will no longer play with, dad’s gear from his army days that he keeps for old time’s sake, and moms keepsakes she hopes Tia will one day take into a home of her own. They were supposed to be shared. That big “closet” at the end of the hall is not really a storage room.

It is Anthony’s room, or at least, it was. Pennants, trophies and collages haphazardly put together with photos of his high school buddies and sweetheart are all packed away in one of those boxes. His bed has been disassembled. Bookshelves are no longer a small library of a young man intent on getting into Princeton, but a home for cardboard containers full of tiny knickknacks. Almost every sign of Tia’s big brother has been wiped away.

Mom and dad talked a lot about it. It is a bigger room and they offered it to Tia, it had been months and they thought it was time for the change, but she just could not bring herself to move into it. So after much discussion this is what it has become, just another room. It is like they want him to go away, like they want to forget.

In her heart, Tia knows that is not true. It was just time to move on. Only she was not ready to move on. She wanted to keep his room as a monument to her big brother. She wanted no one to ever forget that he was here, that he was real, and that he was taken too soon for being in the wrong place, in the wrong time, with the wrong color skin, while visiting friends. She does not want him to go away.

In time she will know that this room does not hold Anthony, that her memories are where his home is now. In time she will not be stunned by the change. It will hurt less, eventually. Not today though. Today she cries a little more, and just wants things they way they were. Who wouldn’t?

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