Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, by Danielle Evans
I want to wake Chrissie and tell her about this as if it's a warning: Don't push too hard; your last chance to see a person the way you wanted them to be may come at any moment. One minute you have a parent, or a friend, or a lover, something solid, and physics tells you their resistance will always be there to meet you as you press yourself into relief against them. Then all of a sudden your mother is a fading outline in a thunderstorm, wet and weak and so far out of reach; or your lover who may also be your best and only friend is pulled so quickly into someone else's life that you don't even realize he's left yours until you're getting a save-the-date card; or your father is somewhere at the other end of the world and even if you had a number for you, you'd feel wrong calling to tell him to quit collecting stuff when it's painfully clear that you have nothing to offer to replace it.
(from the short story "Wherever You Go, There You Are")
I saw a review of this book in People magazine and it looked interesting, so I decided to give it a try. The first story in the collection, "Virgins," was published in 2007, when the author was only 23 years old, which is pretty impressive. I really liked all the stories, albeit more than others, and the characters in the stories tended to be young, African-American, and always with a choice to make.
The stories in the collection include:
Someone Ought to Tell Her There's Nowhere to Go
The King of a Vast Empire
Wherever You Go, There You Are
Robert E. Lee is Dead
4.5 stars out of 5.