Before Life: A Collection of Short Stories.
By: Taaji Rauf
Length: 114 pages
Release date: Jul 22, 2011
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“Before Life” - The unborn spirit of a child named Bilal talks to his Angels in a waiting place in heaven. He has requested a certain life. The life he gets is a surprise to him even though his Angels are well aware of the changes that had to be made.
“The Smoker”- Tessa finds comfort in smoking cigarettes. She meets a young man named Sinica that she pushes away. She pushes him too far. The more he tries to love her, the more she forces herself to be detached. In the end she wishes she hadn’t been so aloof to his love.
“To Love in 1840” – The fates of Star and Thomas became sealed the night they were born together on the same plantation. Man used slavery to keep them apart, yet divine intervention brought them back together on a North Carolina plantation next to the Atlantic Ocean. They rediscover each other and fall deeply in love.
“A Broken Vow” - Jocelyn grew up motherless after her mother died when she was very young. She thinks she has overcome the grief of losing her mother when she marries her college sweetheart. Grief holds her captive as she turns away from loving her children.
“The Commuter” - A nameless woman is plagued by a reoccurring dream in which everyone dies. Her anxiety and fearful mind after 9/11 make her subconscious mind replay the same nightmare every night.
“Toxic Urine Boy” - The stench of Trevor’s urine leads Tanya to devise a scheme with her new best friend Phylicia to get a seat change. The two girls create a manipulative and devious plan to free Tanya from Toxic Urine Boy.
“Black Robin Hood”- Ellis serves drugs in all four quadrants of the District of Columbia. To clear his conscious he makes sandwiches, gives away money, pays rent, and gives away groceries. The street where he began his drug empire is the same street where he dies.
“Our Attic” – Patricia keeps the secret of Adam’s biological father hidden in shoeboxes stacked away in the attic. Adam finds out about his father while cleaning out the attic. Through teary eyes he reads the letters and confronts his mother.