‘What do you mean?'
'Don't play coy with me, Sophie, you know what I mean'
She sighs as if I'm troubling her, well tough luck because, with the things as they were, I'm behaving like a saint if you ask me.
' what do you want me to say?'
'How about the truth? Or is it so much to ask for?'
'Don't be a B. Chill, will you? You know the situation at home when I left. I thought it would be less of a burden if I left.'
'How you mean? Less burden? Less burden to whom? By not being there for me when I need you.'
'I'm sorry I was not thinking'
'Could you tone down the sarcasm for a minute? I'm trying here'
'I was 20. I could have left when I was 18. But I stayed for you. So that you won't end up like her. I tried my level best. I was juggling between two different jobs to help pay the bills. I was exhausted daily. It's no excuse I know but then I learned about the mortgage on our home.'
'That's it? You left me with her because of the bills?'
'No. It broke the camel’s neck. It made me realize I couldn't do anything with my life if I stayed there with you guys.'
I thought of all that time I needed her and struggled with my anger. Why am I angry at her? What she says is true, she has the right to live her life. All we were doing was chaining her down. Given a time I would have accepted it, but right now my mind is too jumbled to forgive her. Though she didn’t ask for any forgiveness directly. Then it came to me
' why don't you take me with you when you are leaving? Why leave me there? Tell me the truth and not these excuses. I know you, so don't treat me like a fool. The truth, now'
She looked guilty or is that my imagination? I don't know anymore.
Finally, she said, ' you remember bob?'
Bob? A picture of a bald potbelly bully came to my mind. He used to leer at us. We were always cautious when he was around. He is one of many jerks our Mother dated or somewhat dated. She always used to bring creeps and weirdos to our home. Though I was angry with Sophie, I remembered a time when she used to guard me against said creeps. Our Mother never had the time or doesn't care what happened to us if she gets her next fix. Even Sophie was going in that direction at that time, not as bad as our mom but not better either.
I asked instead, ' how did you stop taking drugs? Did you go to rehab?'
Looking at her surprised expression I could Guess she didn't think I would know about that. So, I said, ' I saw you once getting drugs when I followed you once. I was worried. Ok, also curious'
'You and your curiosity. One day you were going to land in a big one. Anyways I never took drugs.'
'But I saw you, also what about your health? You were too thin. You used to walk in a daze.'
' maybe it's because I was working two jobs and trying to study?' She questioned. She used to take online courses whenever money was available which wasn't much at that time. What with bills, my studies, and our mothers wandering hands.
'No. There must be more because I too was working at that time even though I was in sophomore year'
' It comes down to bob.'
' What about him?'
I have an uneasy feeling about where it is going. But I still hoped it's not as I think it is.
She looked sad and far away even though I was right across her. I wanted to console her, but I don't know-how. 6 years has left a bridge between us which I'm starting to hate.
'Those drugs were for him'
I still don't get the picture. What does Bob have to do with anything? Why does she have to take drugs to him?
Then she said, 'it started when I was 17', she said.
Just that, nothing more is needed because we know what moms’ creeps are capable of. Still, I asked, ' did he?'
'Yes. He raped me. Repeatedly'
Saying that loud confirmed my fears. I felt suddenly ashamed of myself. Here I'm crying and nagging like a baby when she endured so much. I wish I knew at that time. I would have killed that piece of shit. It explained a lot. Why she left. Why she was always so sickly when he visited. Before Bob even though we were struggling in those days she used to glow with happiness. But it dimmed when he entered. I never questioned it. At that time exhaustion was part of our lives. Now I want to kick myself for being so self-centered.
'Why didn't you tell us at that time?'
'He threatened me with you'
'Oh god', I feel sick.
All those years I blamed her but hearing this I feel guilt.
' I'm sorry. I don't think saying sorry would cut it, but I want to say all the same. But why wait 3 years?'
'At first, I feared he would do something to you, but the day I left he called me to pimp me out to his dealers. I panicked. I couldn't go through that. I started to plan. To run away. I thought of taking you with me. But mom threatened me'
Just that, nothing more. I saw red. Grounding my teeth I asked her, ' with what?'
' but I would have gone with you willingly'
She smiled sadly and said, ' she knows how to play a good citizen. She could fool anybody with her acting. No court would rule in my favor. A 20-year-old on run with no home'
'How did she know you were running away?'
She said solemnly, 'she heard the conversation with bob'
'You mean to say she knows what he did to you?'
'Yes. From the beginning'
Bile rose in my throat. Thank god I didn't eat anything yet or I would have puked my guts out. I can't even fathom what kind of Monster our mom was. Who could choose a blind eye to their own child's rape? And then I remembered all that taunting she gave me about Sophie leaving me' nobody wants you, Erica'. I can still hear her voice. I shook my head to clear it and said, ' why don't you come afterward?'
' thought of bob kept me away from you. And then you shifted from there. I don't know how to reach you. I felt guilty leaving you there'
'Did he tried anything with you?’, she asked, hiding her face with her hands after a while.
' he tried, but at that time I learned already how to handle such situations'
'I don't understand '
'What?' She gasped. Sophie was always a delicate flower. She knows how to make others happy, but doesn't covet violence.
'What else can I do? You left. The situation got worse at home. Mom started drinking daily. She left the job. Before at least she used to get some money. But after that, she was horrible, bringing all kinds of men daily. I have to learn to protect myself'
'But isn't it dangerous and illegal?'
'There was no other option' it's as simple as that.
'You are not into this, now right?'
I shrugged neither agreeing nor denying.
'Your order ma'am’, the waiter called.
'You didn't ask about mom', I said realizing belatedly.
'How did you know she is dead?'
She just waved her hand saying, ' later' and started eating up.
'It's been 3 years’, I said to fill the silence after a while.
'Hmm', she said.
' why now', I asked again with no animosity.
'I'm getting married'
'Marriage?', I asked, shocked she was so involved with someone to contemplate it. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but she was always careful, dainty. I never thought in that direction about her. Why would I? She left me.'Well, sort of. I think so', she blushed.'Huh? I don't get it. Either you are getting married or you are not', I questioned the fact.'He hasn't proposed yet', she mumbled.'Then how can you be sure he is going to', I asked astonished. Trust my Sister to plan the names of her children even before the marriage proposal.'I'm 100% sure he is going to propose and soon', she exaggerated stubbornly.'Whatever you say', I mumbled while eating my sandwich.I tried to think of something to divert our current discussion. I don't want to be the one to lift the veil from her eyes.'How did you know my number?', I asked, recalling the call yesterday.'Jack hired a PI', she replied.'PI? As in Dete
'Why did you shift?', she asked, trying to change the subject.'I hit bob. He got mad and threatened us with his friends. This time even mom was scared because she knows his friends are much shadier. So, we ran that night itself''But what about the mortgage? Our home?', she asked.'Didn't you get that from your PI?''No. Like I said I don't dig your closet full of skeletons''Haha funny'I thought about that night and what followed. Our home was the only thing we owned. It was built by our grandparents from our Mother's side. We never met them. They died when Mom was pregnant with Sophie. We never knew our Father. Mom said he left us when I was a 3 months old baby. We believed her, there is nothing to contradict it. After Bob threatened us, we left the home. We stayed in the next city not far from our old one. We don't have money to go far. We thought it was better to hide near while he was left searching for other states.We must st
I rushed to the office knowing I'm going to get a talk down. As I pressed the number on the elevator I thought of my Sister. There is so much said today, I don't even know where to start. My emotions are jumbled right now. One thing I noticed is the difference between our looks which was subtle at best when we were younger has become prominent. She is willowy with auburn hair, amazing tan and at 5.5', she could be called petite to my Amazon stature. I'm not fat, just curvy, you could say like Kylie Jenner and my skin gets red when I attempt tanning, emphasis on attempt here. We have the same eyes and similar jaw structure, other than that we are as opposite as we could get. It's natural as we have different fathers. The elevator made a ding sound making me come out of my reverie.I peeked my head out to catch if the dragon was there. It seems luck has finally turned my side today as the coast is clear. I hurried to my station and busied myself looking as if I had something im
My eyes landed on a man turned towards the view of New York. Glass walls cover the entire side of the room. He is talking on mobile unaware of me. I'm too far away to distinguish what he is saying. I took this time to watch the room. My entire flat can fit in this one room, it's that big. Two sets of couches are aligned on both sides of me. On my left side, there is a coffee table littered with documents. I can see his desk which looks so pristine, I'm afraid to think about what happens when some coffee is spilled.As I took notice of the room, Mr. Sinclair turned around and caught sight of me. My breath hitches, standing in front of me is the most handsome man I ever saw. Not that I haven't seen many. In New York, you can find every other block a handsome guy. I couldn't pull my eyes away from him, there is something more to him than just being handsome. Maybe it's his position, he knows how powerful he is and wielded that power into his persona.He is 6.3' or 6.4' in
'On what grounds, Mr. Sinclair?', I asked tentatively, all attitude gone.'I said I could, not would Ms. Anderson. Though I can say, we are cutting our most incompetent employees'Indirectly implying that I'm incompetent. I bristled at this suggestion.'You couldn't do that. I never gave any reason to. I'm competent. I always stay late. I complete the work given to me.''Exactly that Ms. Anderson, the work given to you, which is not much''It's not my fault I wasn't given much', I answered.'But it would be mine if I don't rectify this situation', he stated firmly.'What are you trying to say, Mr. Sinclair?''I'm not trying but stating the fact that you are on my payroll with nothing much to do. And I don't like that, at all.''Are you going to fire me?', I questioned directly, tired of the footsie we are playing here.'No Ms. Anderson''Then what?', I stared at him expectantly to no avail. One thing I foun
I stare at the screen trying to comprehend. This can't be true. There might be a mistake with the picture. I must go check with her. Shit, I don't even know where she lives. How pathetic that is. There is still no reply to my message. I don't have any other way of contacting her. I won't believe or rather I make myself not believe all that crap brewing on the screen. I must, the other option is too much for me to comprehend right now. I didn't get a lot of time to sort my emotions after our talk. I put everything in a metal cage in my mind. Now that box is about to burst. To divert me from the current event, I noted down the officer's name who is handling this case.I tore the paper after jotting down, took my keys and mobile, and left without even changing from my pj's. My mind is preoccupied with my sisters’ photos. They don't show any pictures of the body. I stopped hearing anything after I saw that photo.The street is bustling, and I join the fray, dreading
"he is dead Ms. Anderson', he stated proudly.'Dead? How?', mixed emotions churning inside me. Words swam around in my head, but none of them would coalesce to form complete sentences. I should be relieved that justice has been met, but I couldn't get myself to feel it. It's like it has been robbed and given to me. A ping of regret is also laced there for not getting to hit him myself.'I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say that we found the trail leading to him. He tried to escape vigilantly, we are left with the option of shooting to constrain him, but unfortunately, we miscalculated. He died on the way to the hospital', he explained, showing me the details of the murderer.I read the file learning all the details that led to my sister’s death. He was obsessed with auburn hair. It all started with his cheating Wife who had auburn hair. He killed 4 girls before Sophie, all with the same hair color. He is just a psycho on a killing spree. I
Bracing myself I entered the office, ' Mr. Sinclair I can explain'Without my volition, my eyes flit over the contents on the desk. It is as immaculate as it can be.'Bring me the sales report for the January product. I want the finance team to set the estimated costs for the upcoming project. Make sure the Budget file is on my desk tomorrow. Also, a daily report on the progress of the project. I want it to be launched before the holiday season. Set a board meeting tomorrow. 'he says or rather rumbles.'What does your other assistant do?' I enquired listening to his demands.'Let me handle who works for me, Ms. Anderson. You are my indentured servant for as long as I want. Do not question me'I controlled the urge to not beat him over the head with my bag, no matter how much I might have liked to. Thoughts of quitting the job entered my mind, but I squashed it before it overtook my mind. He merely gave me a squinted look and continued,'Now,