Nothing has changed. My old neighborhood loomed ahead of me, not knowing what to expect at home nervousness began to set in. It was still early in the morning, more or less, my mother will probably be at home or my brother. I prepped myself for the critical looks and demeaning comments. Growing up I knew I was different, from my appearance to the way I saw the world. They saw what was right in front of them, I saw further than my block. My decision to go to Columbia University was a big deal. I studied Business and found it interesting. I have always wanted to own my own business but haven’t decided what to base it on. The ridicule came when I told them so but I took it in stride.
To please my mother I took the job at The Aria as a favor to her friend. I had other plans but I took it anyway.
The cab pulled up to the doorstep of my home, I wasn’t in a hurry to go up those stairs but I wanted to do this. It was ironic that I was typically confident on a daily but when it came to my family, I felt insecure, my self-esteem lowers drastically. Tipping the cabbie generously, I made my way up the stairs. I didn’t know if to knock or simply walk in, I decided to go for more of a formal side. Ringing the doorbell, I waited after hearing a very grumpy voice calling out. The voice of my older sister. I took a deep breath and steadied myself for what was to come.
“Yes?” She didn’t look up when she opened the door. When she did a momentary shock was seen then came the critical gaze over my attire. Her brown-eyed gaze took in the fitted distressed jeans and the white thin blouse tucked into my jeans with a pair of beige stilettos. My hair was down, honoring Sebastien’s request, it did make me look spectacular. “Got fired or the big life chewed you up and spit you out?” she sneered. I kept calm and gave her a tight smile. “I came to visit. My shift has changed.” I said calmly. Once again she looked me over before allowing me inside. I can hear her critique, though she hasn't voiced them. “Is mama around?” I asked making my way to the living room, gazing over the family pictures. A sad smile graced my face, my red hair and blue eyes stood out like blood on white snow. Tasha spitefully told me why I was different and blamed me for everything that happened to our family.
“She’s taking a nap. She’s taking another shift at the hospital.”
My brows furrowed in confusion, the last they spoke she was taking only morning shifts. Why was she taking extra shifts? I was about to ask why when I notice the glare I was receiving from my sister. Uncomfortably I shifted on my feet, my grip tighter on my tote. “So.... how’s Lucas?” I asked unsure if to even strike a conversation with her.
“And Laney?” I asked once more.
“Fine.” I blinked away the burning of tears behind my eyes, remembering the last situation between us. She wouldn’t let me hold my only niece. The little girl cries still tugged at me. “Why are you here?” she asked flatly leaning against the door post.
“I came to visit everyone. Since I’m now on the night shift. Is it wrong to come to visit my family?”
“Right! You left here when you were old enough to be on your own...”
“I left for college Tasha and you know that.” I grounded out.
“The high life kept you so busy.” she continued.
“I had an internship. Look I don’t want to get into this circle of argument. It’s the same thing over and over.” I grumbled making my way out of the living room, preparing to go up the stairs to my mother’s room. “Where are you going?” Her hand formed a barricade at the doorway preventing me from going any further.
“To my mother. Please remove your hand, Tasha.” I was getting angry that she was still so childish at the age of thirty. “It doesn’t take a college degree to understand the meaning of ‘she’s taking a nap’” she sneered. I ignored her and ducked under her hand and rushed to the stairs. “Don’t you dare go up there.” Her shouts echoed through the house, I was one hundred percent sure that she woke our mother. Again I ignored her and went to the last door of the hallway. Knocking on the door, I slowly went in, the room was a bit musky with sunlight streaming in. On the large queen sized bed, I made out the profile of my mother. Slim, her blonde hair turning gray, dark circles was below her eyes making her look daunting. Though I was treated differently by her also, the love for my mother never died. “Mama?” I crossed the bare floor my heels making the loudest noise in the room. She stirred a bit, mumbling in her sleep. I took out the envelope from my bag and gently tucked it under her arm. “See you soon mama,” I said softly turning to leave.
“That’s you Becca?”
“Uh yeah. I didn’t want to wake you.“I said into the darkness.
“Hmph.” The creaking of the bed then the pulling of the curtain was heard, finally, I got a good look of her. She was literally dead on her feet. She yawned and sat back down on the bed, picking up the envelope. She didn’t say a word about it, just simply tossed it into her night table drawer. I won’t lie, it did hurt to see that she didn’t accept it gratefully. Getting a glance into the drawer I noticed it was filled with envelopes identical to the one I left her. Not caring about her at the moment I rushed over to it and took out every envelope, checking for the cheques that come with it. It all dated back to three years ago. I always thought she was cashing them and not bothered to check the bank. “What is this?” I asked in disbelief.
“I didn’t need any handouts so I never cashed them.”
Tears blurred my vision as I noted every date on the cheques. “These aren’t handouts. These are help from your daughter for bills and leisure. This doesn’t make any sense” I cried. “Do you think I’m unable to work for my own money. I don’t need you rubbing it into my face, every month. Better yet from the job I helped you with.” my mother sneered.
Honestly, I didn’t have to take this concierge job, I was offered an administrative job at a financial company but with my mother reaching out to me, I took it to please her. “I guess it was because of you I passed the interview and training.” I retorted.
“It was my connection.”
I shook my head turning away from her. I paused at the doorway and asked a question that I wanted to ask since I was a kid. “Why do you treat me different from Tasha and Shane?”
Maybe I expected her to say something positive or she will rush over to me after coming into realization after what I said but it pained me a lot by what she said next.
“Because you are the mistake that I had to tolerate. You cost me my husband and my living. He couldn’t handle raising another man’s child. He knew you weren’t his by that hair and eyes. God knows he tried but there’s only so much a man can take.”
I stood silently by the door and watched the disdain she had for me in her eyes. Every word she spoke was filled with rage and venom. All the derogatory comments from her and the torture from Tasha was all because of something she did. No parent should call their child a mistake. Tasha did tell me I was the reason our parents divorced, I didn’t know what she meant at six years old but she enlighten me when I was eight.
The tears flowed heavier down my cheek as I kept my eyes on the woman that gave birth to me. “I wasn’t the one who was unfaithful to my husband.”
“And that’s why I couldn’t stand the sight of you. You are a constant reminder. I was relieved when you left but you kept coming back. What can I do to make you stay the fuck away?” She was shouting in anger now causing me to step back. Backing out the door, I caught Tasha leisurely leaning against the wall with a smug smile on her face. She was ultimately pleased with the situation at hand. I still couldn’t believe it. I thought mothers were to love their children to death while big sisters were your guides. The girl you want to grow up to be.
Everything seems irrelevant now. I was being basically exiled from my family. I was nothing to them.
“You don’t need to do anything,” I replied softly holding my bag like a security blanket. Turning my back I heard the ripping of paper over and over. I held in the sobs that threaten to escape but allowed the tears to flow down my cheeks as I made my way down the stairs. At that moment as I was trying to figure out what the fuck just happen, a call came in on my phone. I ignored it completely, walking out of my child hood house and onto the sidewalk.
I was in a complete daze, my feet led me blindly to the park I spent most of my high school days studying with friends. Sitting on the bench, I thought about everything that was thrown my way since my father left. I was six, Tasha was twelve and Shane was five, Shane and I didn’t understand what was happening but I remembered being slapped by my sister shouting it was my fault that he left. My mother and her didn’t include me in much things. If I needed anything for school or my school clubs it was a major deal. They will complain at how expensive it was and that I didn’t need it but I learned to stand on my own. The neighborhood was nice to me, I did errands for them and got paid, mama and Tasha didn’t care. I was thankful at least that I wasn’t put into foster care. On second thought maybe I would of been loved by my foster parents. My mind was on a roll, I allowed my thoughts to take over, closing my eyes for a little nap.
“Becca? Becca? Sweetheart are you okay?”
I shot up from the bench looking around in a daze. I know I heard Sebastien’s voice. A warm hand touched my face allowing me to get my jumbled mind clearer. There he was, still in his work suit, tie hanging around his neck and jacket missing. “Sebastien? What... Why are you here?” I asked realizing it was night.
“I was worried about you. You weren’t answering my calls all afternoon. I got extremely worried when I came home and you weren’t there. Forgive me but I used my resources to track you here.” His grey eyes were filled with concern and worry as he caressed my cheek with his thumb. I leaned into his warmth giving him a small smile. “You’ve been crying.” he commented. Just like that the tears returned, burning my eyes due to how dry they were. Her words echoed in my head along with the way she looked at me. I will never forget this day.
“Come on sweetheart. Let’s go home.”