Henry stepped up to Sarah's grave and kneeled on his haunches. He laid a bouquet of white roses in front of the tombstone. Next to the flowers, he placed the game-winning baseball that Coach Taylor had given to him after the Championship game.
For a while, Henry remained kneeling, just staring at her name, SARAH LOUIS, etched across the light gray stone.
Overhead, the afternoon sun peeked out of the clouds, casting a golden light over the cemetery grounds. A yellow butterfly fluttered from flower to flower, riding a gentle current of air.
Finally, Henry stood up, his breathing steady and calm. He took a moment to gather the many thoughts rising inside his head.
"Sarah, I might be moving on with my life, but I'll be thinking of you. You'll always have a special place in my heart. I was lucky to find you ... to get to know you ... and to call you, my wife. Thank you for being the love of my life. Sarah Louis, you taught me how to be a better man. And I'll never forget you for that."
A few moments later, Albert came up beside Henry and put a hand on his shoulder.
"You're a good person, Henry. I'm glad Sarah married you. And I'm happy I got to know you."
Henry smiled. "Me too, Albert."
Albert flashed a hesitant look, "Any idea what you'll be doing next?"
Henry shook his head. "I hear the police could use some help with the Vigilantes."
Albert quirked and eyebrow. "You, a cop? Are you serious?"
Henry only smiled.
Albert wrinkled his face and glanced over his shoulder. "You ready for this?" he asked. "I got tissues in my pocket if you need them."
"I'm ready," Henry said with a nod. "And I have my own tissues, thank you."
Albert grinned, before they turned around.
Henry still couldn't believe the turnout.
Hundreds of people had shown up for this special service. And there they stood, dressed in sharp suits and long summer dresses.
It seemed like the entire town was present, including Frank and Linda. Richard stood next to Peter, who was back on a furlough. Big Willy, Jake, and Dale were there along with Coach Taylor and the rest of the Pioneers. And Minister Williams and Nella looked like they were ready to shed an ocean of tears.
Blacks and whites alike started to clap. Slow at first. Then it grew to a thunderous applause.
Henry and Albert exchanged a glance and a smile.
They all stood together in unity to honor ...
... Sarah and Henry Louis.
A special THANK YOU awaits you in the next chapter! ☺️
03/02/19 - Maybe this last scene would work better with only Henry and Albert. In the end, they start walking, beautiful sunset or sunrise behind them and a bright future ahead of them. I would expand their dialogue and Henry's inner dialogue to capture the moment and create a more personal experience for readers. Thoughts?
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Color (Completed)Historical Fiction
WATTYS SHORTLISTED! During World War I, a black baseball player gets a second chance to play ball on an all-white steel mill baseball team, an action that shocks and divides an entire town. Targeted by opponents, his own team, and mysterious vigilan...