Genre: erotic romance
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A torrid erotic romance between a distinguished African lady and a young white man. After living in New York they travel to Central Africa where her family holds positions of prestige and power.
Familiar, political and dynastic interactions take place in the middle of bloody struggles between different ethnic groups. In the subsequent exile the characters are forced to make critical decisions based on their social roles. These decisions reflect their personalities and goals and have a profound impact in their lives.
Ebony Lady is essentially a romantic novel with a dramatic background due to the violent environment. Its epic tone highlights the dilemmas in the struggle for freedom, happiness and self-realization of the black woman. It immerses into the characters to explain their behavior in all its complexity and contradictions.
When she entered the room that had been hers when she was a girl the woman felt a knot in her stomach. This happened every time she visited her parents´ house and checked the state of her old belongings. All dolls and stuffed toys were perfectly aligned on her old bed as had been the last time she had entered the room and as they had never been when she occupied it. Some of the posters glued or nailed to the walls with her musical idols of yesteryear still miraculously remained in place, leaving some lighter boxes on the wall where had been those who had fallen.
The woman ran a hand affectionately on the fully armed bed and memory evoked a thousand remembrances of her happy childhood and adolescence. She was then startled by her mother’s voice calling her from the ground floor.
“¿Shaletha. Are you okay?”
Immediately after she heard of her father´s deep voice scolding his wife.
“Helen, Shaletha is in her room; leave her alone with her memories.”
Shaletha removed with her fingertips a tear peeking from her right eye, composed her throat and answered.
“I´ll be right down Mom.”
On leaving she looked in the mirror placed in her wardrobe, which would certainly be filled with the clothes she had left behind when she moved. Shaletha then took a long look to her front and behind with a critical eye and then moaned with satisfaction approving the image that the mirror reflected. Her silhouette was a perfect example of a black woman, with well marked feminine attributes, which since high school provoked comments of her fellow students of all races, particularly those Italians. What the mirror showed her was a firm bust, generous hips, round thighs, well shapely legs and a rear that had always caused envy of her classmates, especially the white girls. The face, certainly beautiful, was framed by a discreet hairstyle away from the fashion of African braids and dreadlocks.
“Shaletha, what is what you need? What is missing to you? The woman sighed without knowing exactly what she meant. She locked the room and went downstairs to talk to her parents.
The dinner conversation had turned almost exclusively on Shaletha´s life. The mother insisted in asking questions about her love life on which she did not have much to tell, and this concerned Helen, while her father asked her affectionately about her working life, a much more satisfying theme for both.
After a silence Helen began to complain about Alyssa´s behavior, the youngest daughter of the Moore family.
“She´s already nineteen, and now is flirting with those white boys, who we already know what are expecting from her.” Said plaintively Helen.
“You should not complain woman.” Answered angrily the father. “Alyssa has always steered clear of drugs and alcohol. Her grades in school are more than acceptable and we expect she will be able to attend college. She has never brought us problems as his brother has.”
The words were followed by silence. Zion, the second son of the Moore family had recently been released from prison and was fulfilling a plan of rehabilitation for his addiction to drugs. Helen groaned and burst into tears.
“Dad that was a low blow.” Replied Shaletha. “You know Zion is an open wound for Mom.”
The man obviously regretted his words, rose from his chair and ran to hug his wife. The reaction served Shaletha to revalue again the values of the home in which she had grown up. The woman walked over and hugged her parents while she also wiped a tear. The tender scene lasted even a moment until Helen´s breathing regularized.
“Why do you take Alyssa’s friends to heart?” Asked Shaletha to her mother. “Have you got reasons to think they are bad companies?”
“We have no way to know.” Said the father. “We have never met them or talked to them.”
“ The problem is that in this way we are destroying the foundations of the black family.” Helen replied.
“Mom. It is not fair to blame Alyssa for destiny of the black family in this country. She has enough responsibility at her age trying to be happy.”
Before it got dark Shaletha decided to undertake the journey back home. She said goodbye to her parents and left their house heading for the nearest subway station. She recalled her childhood in that area of Harlem, when the inhabitants lived confined to their homes and did not venture to remain in the streets after the first shadows fell. When walking Shaletha saw a movement among the shadows in a corner where there was no lighting, no doubt a young couple warmly embracing ignoring the environment surrounding them. Shaletha had necessarily passed by them on her way without the kids perceiving her presence. As she discreetly looked at them her heart sank. At the dim light she could see the blond hair of the young boy mixed with the dark skin of the girl. As she recognized the faces Shaletha did not know for a moment how to react. Alyssa was passionately kissing who a few days earlier had presented as a simple college classmate, a Russian born named Ivan with a last name impossible to remember.
The woman took the subway at the 125th Street station and at that late time managed to travel sitting. In the long journey her mind connected the recent events with certain thoughts that lately recurrently returned to her mind. At thirty-three years Shaletha Moore could not complain about her life or her achievements. After her studies she had found work as a fashion designer at a major textile firm. Important business involving a lot of money depended on her decisions and she was well paid for her work. She had moved from Harlem and had finally rented a totally renovated and very well equipped old apartment in Brooklyn Heights, a quiet and well connected area located just minutes away from their work. When taking vacations Shaletha could afford to choose the best beaches around the continent, which were her favorite destinations. For work reasons she was constantly traveling throughout the Americas and Europe. She was always elegantly dressed and could allow every whim, which anyway were very discreet. She spoke well and was invited to all kinds of events, in which her profession was lavish. They were not little achievements for a girl from Harlem. And yet …
From some cell phone or a tablet arose amid the noise of the subway running at full speed the notes of an old interpretation of The Rose by Bette Midler.
When the night has been very lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong …