*Christmas-flavored short fiction*
It hadn’t dawned on me to warn landlords that we were Black but I guess that I should have…
Inspired by a true event…
“Sorry, we do have apartments for rent but we can’t risk having other tenants move out if you move in.”
I stood there with the baby sleeping in my arms while my other son peeked out from behind my skirt. He gave the middle-aged woman the same blank look that I was giving her. My husband was registering at the university so we were on our own to apartment hunt that day. It was cold and the excitement of witnessing my first snowfall was long gone.
This was the third visit we had made in response to For Rent ads and it would be the third time we were turned away. It hadn’t dawned on me to warn landlords that we were Black but I guess that I should have – it would have saved my time and my little one’s feet in this eye-opening cold.
Three times was not a charm.
Seeing the look of despair on my face, the woman tried to be helpful.
“Why don’t you try the building across the street, dear? They always have availability. If they take dogs and Jews, they’ll probably take you. Merry Christmas.”
And with that, the woman quietly shut her door.
©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.
Originally posted February 28, 2016, adapted in December 2017