Delia knew that she would have to get a divorce. Her husband was obviously cheating on her, and she could not just stand by in complete oblivion. Her job was another issue. She was unhappy working from 9-5 for someone else without any hopes of making her own dreams come true. One lonely night, she grabbed her keys and drove to her mountain cabin for some fresh air. When she woke up, she took a stroll down to the river and made herself comfortable. It was to the tunes of the babbling water that she devised a plan that would change her life. She would return to school.

  She had an undergraduate degree in liberal arts with a minor in African-American studies.  She did enjoy working at the museum, but there was nothing that belonged to her.  She did not make major decisions and was simply one more person on the staff.  She wanted to build her own museum from the ground up and tell the stories of the local people.  A graduate degree in Anthropology/Sociology would put her in a better place to do just that.  Funding was not even a problem as she had already started her non-profit.  She found a local university that had a wonderful program. 

 Her application was accepted, and she was invited to attend an orientation via zoom.  Delia’s nerves were shaken.  She was 50 years old.  What in the world did she think she was doing?  She had been away from school for well over thirty years.  Was she out of her mind?  She settled on the fact that she had been accepted to the program.  Why not listen to what they had to say? 

 It was not going to be easy.  There were many papers and presentations that would have to be completed.  All of her free time was taken away.  Weekends were spent at the library.  Friends became FB faces instead of actual people.  Her daughter continued to encourage her throughout her studies.  Coffee became a new morning staple.  Work became more interesting because she felt more dynamic.  She was finally taking the necessary steps to truly do something for herself.  One fateful night changed everything. 

 She came home late from class.  She noticed that there was an Uber waiting outside of her house.  A tall woman got out of the car in a trench coat.  She went inside Delia’s home.  Moments later a shot was heard upstairs.  The woman ran outside to the Uber and sped off.  She quickly took a picture of the license plate before it was in the distance.  Afraid to go inside, she called 911 for assistance.  The police and an ambulance appeared almost immediately.  Her husband was pronounced dead in their home.  In the days that followed, Delia learned that she was not considered a suspect.  A midnight dogwalker saw the entire ordeal and reported it to the police.  The new widow was at a loss.  It was time to return to her cabin. 

 Instead of returning to physical classes, she opted to continue her schooling online.  She was going through a terrible time.  Apparently, her husband was killed because he refused to marry his mistress.  She wanted him for herself and would no longer allow a marriage to Delia.  It was easier for her to keep it together if she stayed in the cabin for a few months versus entering the place where her philandering husband was killed.  In the evening, she would go to the river for meditation.  It was such a comforting spot for her to gather herself.  It was a special type of healing. 

 After three months, Delia felt ready to return to her home.  She was almost finished with her degree.  She wanted to prepare for her graduation ceremony in her primary residence.  Her daughter offered to come stay with her, but Delia knew that this was something that she would have to conquer alone.  The front door creaked as she pushed it open.  Everything was in its proper place.  The upstairs was properly handled so that she would not encounter gruesome memories.  She turned the radio to her favorite station and made herself a cup of tea.  She thought it best to contact a spiritualist for a house cleansing.  There was no need to act as if her husband would not attempt further damage simply because he was no longer in his body.  When she heard Prince on the air, she got up to dance.  A slow smile crossed her face.  It was good to be home. 

 Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony.  It was such a good feeling to get that degree after such obstacles.  A Moroccan dinner complete with belly dancing rounded out the evening.  It felt good to experience fun.  There was an odd fellow that caught her eye.  Delia soon found herself chatting with the assistant director of a local gallery.  They exchanged numbers and agreed to talk in a few weeks regarding potential collaborations. 

 As the resignation letter graced her former director’s inbox, Delia put together her board of directors.  As the founder and executive director for her own museum, she was the boss.  The final decisions in all matters were finally hers.  She wanted to show the beauty of the African diaspora in the local people.  It was a refreshing change to the community were diversity was often a misunderstood word.  An opening gala would be in order complete with entertainment and catering.  It was a special event that would be the talk of the town. 

 A complete change took over Delia.  She hired a personal stylist that redid her entire wardrobe.  Instead of dressing in a conservative manner, she was now a woman that was often clad in bold African prints.  Her colorful frocks were complemented by large gold earrings and a bald head.  The long expensive weaves were no more.  Her feet used to find comfort in store brand sneakers.  Now, they found style in Louboutin.  Pilates and pole were both added to her physical fitness.  A wonderful business coach attended her graduation party and was hired shortly thereafter.  Everything was smooth sailing for her.  It was well deserved.  However, it felt as if something was missing. 

 She returned to the mountain cabin which served as the ultimate solace.  Once again, the river welcomed her presence.  As she closed her eyes, the answer came to her.  How much longer would she be a widow as opposed to a single woman?  The marriage to her husband ended long before his ultimate demise.  At that very moment, her mind fell on the gallery director.  She smiled and gave Harold a call.  A small orange fish jumped out of the water at that very moment.