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Elena is bitter and frustrated, She is a black Latina (white Hispanic mom-black dad). She gets fired from her job and soon finds a white baby in an alleyway. Should she keep it? In the new age of Trump, Elena,30,has an identity problem. She is dark-skinned and Latina. Mom was a white Hispanic and Dad is black. Her lighter-skinned pregnant kid sister Terry has moved out. Elena is fired from her bank job by her racist boss. She's bitter, angry, and unable to conceive a child.. Now she has to pay full rent while looking for work... One night she finds a white 3-month-old baby in an alleyway. She contacts a nefarious baby-broker, Carlos, but soon decides to keep the child. Her maternal instincts have taken over and she falls for "Baby Todd.". But she has to hide the child from her new roommate, Keisha, an Afro-Militant with racial issues. Then there's Keisha's younger brother, Troy, (26) who has designs on Elena. His interest is unrequited. Elena soon becomes entwined in what happens next: She meets a handsome suitor, Mike, who has a girlfriend he wants to break off with, Carlos threatens to kidnap the baby and sell it, and the baby's mother, Sharon, a crack addict, wants 'Todd' back. Elena will do anything to protect him, even allowing Troy to become her ally while under the spell of Mike, her potential boyfriend.

Drama / Thriller
Rob Santana
4.8 4 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Elena Mitchell got lucky this time: a parking spot in front of her Brooklyn brownstone. She slid out of her silver Mercedes, carrying her attaché case, and froze. The sidewalk facing her stoop was littered with several candy wrappers and bottle caps. They were strewn about like the aftermath of a block party.

“No, uh-uh. This won’t do.” she muttered. She bent to pick up each item, tossed them into a nearby trash bin, and heard the familiar jangling of change in a cup. She turned and there stood Norman, raggedy-looking, middle-aged Norman, the only homeless white guy in the area unafraid of exposing his surrender to despair. Elena shook her head. He approached her and angled his coffee cup.

“Norman, you are mos def the wrong color to be asking for a hand-out this neck of the woods.”

“All I want is a quarter, lady.” Norman said.

“Mad nerve. Bad enough I have to deal with other people’s garbage.”

She slipped past him and started up the steps, then looked over her shoulder at Norman’s beat-up gray overcoat and battered sneakers.

She fought the urge to sweep the bird-droppings off his bald head. Instead, she shoved a wrinkled dollar bill into the coffee cup that read Steal This Mug. Norman frowned and peered into it before trudging off.

“You’re welcome.” she said, not caring if he’d heard her.

When Elena entered her two-bedroom apartment, her kid sister Terry was tossing clothes into an open suitcase which lay on the couch opposite the floor-length living room sofa. Their eyes met, their greetings were synchronal.


Elena hung her blue chambray blazer on the coat stand. The living room was small. Its three protruding windows rendered a Cinerama view of the rust-colored brownstones across the street. The pricey gold rug, TV, coffee table, cordless phone, and corner tables were neatly arranged. Anything that did not belong on the floor Elena would pick up. Like that crumpled-up note on the rug. Terry, with her disrespect for tidiness, caught Elena’s action and scowled.

“Don’t be doing that now, ’Lena, okay?”

“It’s your mess.”

“I do pick up after myself.”

“Not lately.”

Elena spotted a broken pencil at the foot of the glass coffee table. She stooped after it. Terry clucked her tongue. “Stop it! You get me all nervous when you bend over like that, scooping up crap. I feel like I have to help out.”

Elena pocketed the pencil. “Don’t give it a thought, Terry, all right?” She plopped down on the sofa.

Terry sighed and resumed packing. “What are you doing here so early anyway?” she asked. Elena shrugged, scanning the room for other derelict missiles.

“Nothing special,” she said. “Took off from work. Bitchin’ migraine.”

“You ain’t suffered a bitchin’ migraine your entire life, that much I know.”

Elena regarded her sister. Terry’s eyes were green. The word ‘mocha’ had been the chronic reference to her tawny brown oval face. Her nose, for lack of a better word, was undeviating. She had often been mistaken for Indian, even Asian. Her long black hair cascaded with a bouncy sheen devoid of a ‘relaxer.’ Her thin lips exposed a row of even white teeth when she grinned. In contrast, Elena’s skin was dark brown, with a constellation of freckles that curved over her high cheekbones and slightly broad nose.

The features, though, that attracted men of every race and color were her enormous brown eyes and sensuous mouth. Not as model-thin as Terry, but with just the right contours that shaped her curvy frame. Still, she wished she’d been dealt a better deck of cards from God. Terry was always the ‘prettier one.’ In essence, Terry had inherited her looks from their mother, whose Spanish roots modified her Telemundo Latina visage.

‘Your Mama’s Boricua?’ The neighbors back in Sunset Park would ask in amazement. ‘Ricans can’t be that un-ethnic looking,’ and for Elena it meant that Mami, with her hazel eyes and lustrous chestnut hair, could pass for anything under the Mediterranean sun. One advantage Elena held: she was a much better dresser. Terry’s pullover and jeans were furrowed, looked thrown on. No sense of style, this girl, as if she thought she could get by on her looks alone, which was more often the case. Then again, she was packing.

What for and why now? It could wait. Elena had more urgent matters to discuss. “Okay, you want the dead nuts?” she said. “I got passed over for that promotion.”

Terry, clutching a camisole she was about to fling into the suitcase, paused, her hand in mid-flight. “Wait-I thought you said you nailed it.”

“That’s how sure I was I’d get it. I’ve been shooting my mouth off about my big promotion coming up to anyone who listened. Huh. Jinxed it is what I did. Now I gotta avoid people.”

Terry raised her perfectly-groomed eyebrows. “Aw, damn, girl. Fill me in.”

Elena crossed her legs and jiggled her foot. “Eight years in that firm and I get hit with the bombshell.”

“So who’d they give it to, the boss’s daughter?”

“Try some white girl only been there two years.”

“Shocker,” was Terry’s lame response.

“Yeah, up yours, Teresa.”

“Well, what’d you expect?”

“I expected a promotion.”

Terry resumed her packing. Elena folded her arms and watched in silence. What’s with the bundling, smart-ass?

“So, what’s to be, Vanderbilt?” Terry asked.

“Perhaps spend my leisure time prepping a speech about how I should be running things instead of Miss America.”

“And that’s gonna change things, huh? Well, I hope it gets results cuz…”

“Because what?”

“I’m moving out.”

Elena tightened. “Oh? Is that what the suitcase is about? I meant to ask.”

“Delroy found a place at his cousin’s we can stay at till he finds us a proper home.”

The doorbell buzzed. Too loud, that buzz. It always made Elena jump. She beat Terry to the door and peeked through the peephole. She swung open the door, joyless, and there stood Delroy, Terry’s boyfriend, pushing thirty, sporting a dark pin-stripe suit and noisy tie. He whisked past Elena after a curt nod and hugged Terry. His overripe cologne hung over the room like a sweet mist. Delroy Lately Gately. With his short bumpy nose and razor-thin mustache, with a facade more suited to those conk-headed playas from the 1930s club scene. He lifted his eyebrows, surveyed the siblings’ presence with a smirk, and smiled at Terry.

“Well, there goes our afternoon rack.” he said. Elena flashed him a look.

“Whoa, did I break some unwritten rule I can’t leave early from work? What’s with the Cotton Club look?” She sat down.

Terry waved the question away. “Don’t pay her no mind, Del.”

Delroy padded to Terry and planted a kiss on her stomach. “To speed things up.” he said. Elena hunched over, her eyes narrowing.

“What’s he getting at, Ter?” Delroy’s mouth parted. His eyes swam from Elena to Terry.

“Didn’t you tell ’Lena the good news?”

He stepped closer to Elena, beaming. “My midfielder scored a goal.”

Elena’s stone expression made Delroy back up. Terry forged a smile, unable to meet her sister’s solemn gaze. “My gyno confirmed it yesterday,” she said. “Know what it’s like to upchuck your breakfast for a week and not know why?”

Elena shook off her daze, rose, and kissed Terry’s cheek. “Congrats, Mommy.” Terry’s eyes brightened, as if the kiss granted her permission to rejoice. “You’re gonna be an aunt, ’Lena!”

“Que chevere.” said Elena, her eyes downcast. Delroy tapped her arm playfully. “I wish you wouldn’t talk that funny language when I’m around,” he said. “What’s it called again?”

“Spanish. Congrats, Daddy.” She threw him an air-kiss as she sat back down.

“I already gave it a name,” Terry said. Elena’s brow twitched.

It. She called the child ‘it.’

“Take a guess,” Terry said.


“Be quiet. No, it’s-you ready? Daneesha or Akeela, or one of them kinda names.”

. Delroy jumped in. “But if it’s a boy: Todd.”

Elena was not amused. “Don’t mess with me today, Del. Not in the mood.” Delroy drew back and exchanged glances with Terry. She cocked an eyebrow, wagged her head, and Del understood.

“Aaw, damn, Elena. You didn’t get the promotion.”

Elena shrugged it off and crossed her legs. She stared at her gray Kors pumps. “I only wish I’d kept my mouth shut. Would’ve been a cool proclamation if it’d come true. Hey, life goes on.”

Delroy shook his head as if he were sad enough for the both of them. “That’s messed up, no lie,” he said. “But there’s other gigs. Bright lady like you?”

Elena folded her arms. “Oh really, Del? Other gigs? For who? Not for women like me, uh-uh, unless there’s an organization looking to upgrade thirty year-old Afro-Spics. And I have no intention of quitting.”

“She’s got this terrific self-image,” Terry said to Delroy.

“So when’s moving day, Ter?” Elena asked her pumps. The lovers swapped looks. Terry shut her suitcase. “I’m thinking the Heights,” she said.

“Don’t count on it” Elena said. Delroy’s grin faded.

“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?” he asked.

“I hear they got a low tolerance for chocolate up there.”

“Elena, you are bad news,” Terry said. Elena slid forward to the edge of her seat and nodded at Delroy.

“Do you truly believe you can walk into some fancy-ass real-estate office, with your Armani suit, and charm those people into placing you guys in a white-bread neighborhood?”

Terry scoffed. “Don’t pay her no mind, Del. She’s just jealous cuz your skin’s lighter than hers.” Elena swiveled to face her.

“And Terry, next time you decide to get pregnant, let me know in advance. I like my surprises up front.”

Terry’s eyes went south. Delroy slinked to a corner, his head lowered. “It was an accident,” Terry said, then added, smiling at Delroy, ”A happy accident.” Delroy finger-wiped his forehead in mock relief.

“Yeah, well, good for y’all.” Elena said. Terry glowered.

“There’s no end to it, Elena, this bug you got up your ass ever since Popi called me his queen.”

“Does Popi know his queen got knocked up?”

Terry shifted closer. “Popi be the first to know, darlin’. Spoke to him this morning.”

Delroy clapped once. “Ladies, come on now, be cool. I refuse to absorb another cross-fire between you two.” Elena got up, skipped to the adjoining kitchenette, and returned with a can of Bud Lite. She popped open the can.

“Bo Ly, as our old neighbor Felipe used to call it.” She knocked back her first gulp and traced Terry’s brown suitcase. The yellow happy face sticker on its side seemed to mock her. An object caught her eye. She fixed on the piece of tissue near Delroy’s shoes and battled the caprice to snatch it. Delroy caught her split-second twitch but said nothing.

This little moment did not escape Elena. She was convinced Terry had mentioned to Delroy her sister’s weird habit, the countless post-its stuck to the fridge: ‘Please pick up after yourself, Empty the ashtray, Clean your room once in a while, I am not your maid.’

“Now that you’re packed, Terry, why don’t you hit the wind now?” she said. That felt good. Cards on the table. The world had impinged on her and protocol be damned. Terry glared at her.

“You are so angry,” she said. You’ve been angry your whole life.”

“Terry,” Delroy interjected.

Terry shushed him. She wasn’t finished. She pointed at Elena.

“She bursts in here like the Wrath of God, taking her shit out on me like it’s my fault she wasn’t good enough to earn a promotion. No, lemme finish- Now, all a’ sudden she’s got a prob with me having a baby! And maybe it’s cuz she can’t make babies!”

Wrong choice of words. Silence fell over like a cloak. Elena, stone-faced, zipped to her bedroom, slamming the door shut.

“Nice going, Terry,” Delroy said. Terry fished out a matchbook from her pocket and flung it to the floor.

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