Breaking Point

We thought she coincidently came into our lives; wishfully hoping for someone to save us from our tragedies. The latter was a huge misinterpretation on our parts for she slithered into our worlds like a snake. When she was done with us she left us completely bewildered and damaged. Never thought I would fraternize with a she-demon, but I have come to realize that life is full of unexpected surprises. It was like we were under some enchantment but I knew better. Never been the one to believe in fairy tales and wasn’t going to start now. Nevertheless, I admit I was submissive to her charm yet still remained skeptical about her.

It was on one September morning that she walked into the offices of Wildon Barks Accounting. I was at the front desk when I noticed through my periphery someone coming towards me with wild curly brown hair. I turned to see and there she was walking towards me with wild curly brown hair with front honey blond highlights. Her skin was of a olive texture and she had an ample sized body. She was wearing a black v-neck top with a straight leg denim.

“Hi, I’m Ericka” she smiled at me. She has a nice smile, I thought. I was stunned by her beauty and envied her for it. I guess that is why I never kept much girl friends around because they were all prettier than me and I don’t like sharing the spotlight.

“I’m Jordan” I smiled back at her. She went on to tell me that she was a new hire and was excited about the opportunity to meet new people. Over the next few months we grew “close”, I used that word lightly. I mean she was nice and all but something in my gut told me she wasn’t right. She never got mad when Becky insulted her; Becky was one of the supervisors on the third floor. Becky was a red head she-devil that would run you over if you didn’t please her every whim. A real character, that Becky. I figured her out the first time I met her. She might be nice to you but that’s all a ruse to extract your secrets and use them against you. She’s a conniving blood sucker and she still hasn’t figured me out. Here and there I spread some insignificant details about my life to keep her at bay but I’m a master at living a perfect lie. I digress.

Ericka never got mad at anything; she was always so calm and happy. How can a person be so happy and stress-free? I wondered many nights in my bed. My problem is that I like to think too much and know too much. Apparently, the solution was to psycho analyze her. I began to study her behavior and habits. You might think I’m just paranoid but I was paranoid for a reason. She was just too good to be true and that is a very dangerous sign. During our time together, I didn’t feel any emotional connection until she opened up to me about an affair she had with three of our co-workers. One of them was Roberto, which Jenny had a crush on. Jenny and Ericka knew each other before she started working there. Ericka knew Jenny liked Roberto but she still went after him. She told me she didn’t do anything but I didn’t believe her. I couldn’t believe it. It was like an episode from a very dramatic scene in Gossip Girl. I wasn’t really shocked by what she did because I knew she wasn’t a “good girl” for lack of a better and nicer term. Foolishly, for some reason I opened up about my traumatic past in high school and that’s when all went to hell. I told her not to tell anyone but she did.

Everyone at work got word of my past by later that evening. They indirectly made comments to me about certain isolated incidents which I disregarded as just coincidences. Truthfully, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence but couldn’t muster up the strength to confront her. I’m not one to express what I feel because I compartmentalize. I keep everything in but that just seeps out into psychotic temper tantrums when I get completely fed up with everything. Summer came along and things really got heated. She started sleeping with Markus, our Assistant Manager. Perhaps it was even before then but I still figured something was going on between them. I suppose she thought I liked him because she would insinuate to the latter and tried to evoke a reaction from me. She would flirt with him and bring him up during conversations, sometimes indirectly. She thought she was clever but that was her mistake; she underestimated me.

Essentially, her perspective of me was that I was poor sad Jordan who couldn’t get a date and had no close friends. I agreed to her consensus that I was an emotional wreck ravaged by years of rejection and pain. Needless to say my emotions stayed out of the matter because I was her temporary pet. Yes, she stroked my ego and filled my head with beautiful nothings but the fantasy never really engulfed me. My skepticism kept reality vivid. I decided to confront her one day while exploring the city. I told her about everything that I knew and what she really was.

“So, you think you know me” she laughed. “What you think you’re so perfect?!” she screamed. It was the first time she ever let her true feelings show and it was an epic sight. I took off her mask. She went on to belittle me and point out all my indiscretions. I let her scream and yell at me. Suddenly, she did something I did not expect. She started to cry and then punched me in the face. We got into a brawl only to be separated by street cops.

In my moment of anger, I printed out the texts she sent me of her affair and sent them to our boss. I told everyone about her affairs. I didn’t want to hurt Jenny, but she had to know that the person she thought was her friend was not a friend at all. Roberto, Clive, and Maurice humiliated her at work for her deceit. They pronounced her as the office whore. Markus broke off the agreement he had with her because she wasn’t worth him losing his job. He advised her that if she tried anything he would destroy her. The damage was already done, she had left him in more distress than he started with; broke and still living with the folks.

Jenny slapped Ericka when we went to work the next day. Our boss, called Ericka into his office later that afternoon, and fired her. I thought that was the last of her but I was wrong. I was home alone one night watching TV when the door bell rang. It had been three months since I got rid of Ericka. I went downstairs to open the door and came to face with the mouth of a Glock-47.

“Everyone has their breaking point” (shots fired).

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Grandma’s Sunflowers

Grandma’s Sunflowers

Riveting seas of color attracted my attention as I walked into my grandma’s secret garden. As I recall she may have had all the flowers in the world growing in what I called a meticulously landscaped masterpiece. As a child I always loved playing in the garden, hence the fact that it was technically where I was born. Mother was in the garden when she went into labor and she gave birth to me by the sunflower bed. Therefore, it was only appropriate to name me, Sonny.

“Sonny, yes that’s it,” Grandma smiled at her daughter, Evelyn.

“It’s perfect!” Evelyn exclaimed while she beamed at her new born daughter. Father had been by her side, holding her hand. He died a few weeks later in a car accident. It was a terrible blow to mother’s psyche. They were high school sweethearts and had been through so much. Mother fell into a great depression and was unable to care for me, so grandma offered to raise me while mother got help.
So many days and nights were spent in grandma’s garden. It was after all her forte. When I was five, she taught me how to properly plant my first seed. I didn’t know it then but she was teaching me a valuable lesson.
“Sonny, to grow the perfect sunflower you need the sun and good soil” Grandma said to me.
“What’s soil?” I asked
“Soil is dirt, honey” she smiled. The sunflower bed exploded into an infestation of sunflowers over the next 12 years. They had overtaken the garden and they were huge. For grandma’s 85th birthday we decided to have a surprise party in the garden. Mother had gotten better by then. Grandma however had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when I was 12.

“No matter what I forget I will always find my way back to them (Sunflowers).” Grandma told me the day before she died. We were all gathered in the garden for her 85th birthday. My cousins were running around, uncle and aunts were chattering about, and mother was being a great host. I noticed that grandma was nowhere to be seen so I went looking for her. You see her garden was terribly enormous and it would be easy for one to get lost.

“Grandma!” I yelled. Deep in the garden, I saw her lifeless body laying in the bed of sunflowers where I was born. Doctor told us she died of a brain aneurism while trying to find her way back to the party. In her right hand they found a sunflower seed. No matter what she forgot she always found her way back to them.

Chapter 5: The Perfect Happy Family

Chapter  5.

“Lisa” I heard a distant low voice say. I felt so groggy and my head was pounding. As I opened my eyes, everything seemed so blurry at first and for a moment I wasn’t sure where I was. Then I remembered everything that occurred before I passed out.

“Are you ok?” someone asked as I turned to the direction of the voice. Standing next to my hospital bed was a young nurse with a real bad blonde hair dye. I mean if you’re going to go blonde, get it done right! She was alright looking though but those nurse clothes did her body no justice. I could barely make out her name as I struggled to read her name tag. After my eyes adjusted to the poor dim lights, I was finally able to read her name. Her name tag read, Jasmine Connor.

“I feel like I have a hangover,” I murmured.

“You took a nasty fall,” Jasmine said.

“No, really, you think?!” I retorted.

“Do you want to see your brother? Your mother is still in intensive care.” Jasmine smiled.

“I can’t handle people right now. I need to rest,” I muttered.

“Ok, is there anything you need?” Jasmine asked.

“No, thank you. You may go.” I replied. She smiled at me and I watched her leave my room. Essentially, all I wanted to do was lose myself in oblivion. If only I could slip away but my dreams are prone to project black and white images of the disaster that is my life. No amount of money can fix the troubles of a dysfunctional family; it is like living in a strange world. Longing to catch some sleep but with no avail because father abruptly burst into the room.

“Oh honey!”

“How’s my princess?” Father uttered.

“A bloody mess” I smiled.

“Are you ok? How’s your mother?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m fine but mother is still in intensive care,” I replied.

“What happened?” Father inquired.

“She passed out due to excessive exercising with an empty stomach,” I quickly replied. It wasn’t the whole truth but I couldn’t actually tell him everything. It wasn’t my place to say. Mother would have to tell him but it was highly doubtful that she would. She would get an abortion behind his back rather than own up to her indiscretions. Mother was never one to take responsibility for her actions; she always took the easy way out.

“So how is the food here? You want me to bring you something?” Father suddenly asked interrupting my thoughts.

“I haven’t eaten anything, so I wouldn’t know.”

“Don’t really feel like eating anything, though,” I replied.

“Ok, princess,” Father smiled. He stayed a few hours with me then went to check on mom. James came in to check on me and told me mother was awake now. Dr. Daniels gave me a quick check-up around 7:30 then said it was ok for me to go home, if I wished to go. There was no way I was going home until I found out who was the father of the baby my mother was carrying. I slipped into her room and saw father sitting besides her holding her hand. They were looking into each other’s eyes so lovingly. What great actors are my parents? I thought to myself. I made up some wild request for California rolls from Yung Shi Delicacy, which is the most luxurious sushi restaurant in Malibu. There is a two year waiting list to even get a table there but father is friends with the owner so he gets access anytime. Of course, father would jump and go just to please his princess.  After he left, I gave mother a stern look.

“It’s not Quinn’s,” mother said in a low voice.

“Whose is it, then,” I demanded.

“Mark Beyer’s” mother answered.

“What?!” someone screamed and we both turned to see James by the door. Oh, no, I thought. Mom, how could you?

“You slept with my boyfriend!” James stormed in yelling at mom.

“Your boyfriend?!” mother screamed. I saw the color drain from James face as he realized what he had just done. There was no coming back from this; what was done was done.

“I hate you!” James cried out as he turned and ran crying out the door, while I sank to my knees as I saw my perfect life crumble.

Chapter 4: The Perfect Happy Family

PHF: Chapter 4

How did Quinn know about father? I wondered as I drove out the driveway  in my new white BMW. I had gotten it for my 16th birthday. My mind was consumed with so much chaos that I could barely concentrate on the road. I felt like I was going to get a heart attack. The drive to school was seemingly frenzied. I almost ran over an elderly woman while contemplating how I was going to get rid of Quinn. She gave me a death stare when I stopped just a few inches from her; I didn’t really care though. Nothing else mattered to me at that moment. When I arrived at school I begrudgingly got out the car and headed to my homeroom. The St. Bernard High School looked mighty with its Greek inspired architecture and beautiful green lawn. It was indeed quite beautiful. As I walked up the marble steps and through the huge expensive wood doors into the empty cathedral hallway, I completely disregarded the fact that I was extremely late for my first class.

I hurried up the white marble stairs in my Balenciaga heels to my Economics class. Professor Michaels was writing equations on the board when I opened the door. Everyone looked my way as I slid into my desk.

“Glad you could make it, Bertha” Michaels exclaimed in a sarcastic tone. He was not only my economics professor but also my godfather. Bertha was my middle name which was given to me in my great grandmother’s honor. I hated that name. He knew I hated it and so he tormented me with it. I gave him a fake smile and grabbed my book out my Louis Vuitton messenger bag.

“Yes, I’m glad you’re here” someone gushed behind me. I turned around to smile at Patrick. We had assigned seats so it could only be him. Patrick has been my best friend since kindergarten and he’s also Michaels son. I loved Patrick’s smile; he had this crooked nerdy smile but yet it was still so intriguing to me. Mother always teased us that we would get married but I could never see him as a love interest because I’ve know him since we were in diapers.

“Oh, you’re such a doll” I responded playfully. Patrick laughed then motioned for me to pay attention because his father was glaring at us. I turned around without looking at Michaels direction and just stared at my book with a sheepish smile on my face. I couldn’t concentrate on anything throughout the day. The day seemed like a blur and I became frustrated over stupid things. All I could think about was upholding my family’s name and reputation. Reputation is everything in my world and threats are not taken lightly. You would think I was this rich weak little stupid girl but yet again you would be wrong. I’m in the top five percent of my class, captain of the soccer team, and I volunteer at a children’s hospital. I do it all and I have it all.
When I got back home, mother was exercising again but this time she decided to do yoga in the kitchen.

“Mom, did you even eat?” I asked her.

“Never” she responded breathlessly. I rolled my eyes in disapproval. She never ate anything. I mean, when she felt like she was going to pass out she would grab a small piece of cheddar cheese but that was it. Mother still looked like a model and her face was flawless.

“How was school?” mother asked me.

“Great” I lied as I headed up to my room. My mind was racing with thoughts of what had happened the last few days. I didn’t want to think about it because I was driving myself insane. How could a person feel and think so much? I thought I would explode. I shouldn’t have all this stress, hence the fact that I’m only 17 and should only be worried about getting top grades at school. When I entered my room I threw myself upon my bed covered with the finest 800 thread count Egyptian sheets; only the best for me. I contemplated doing some homework but was too reluctant.
A few hours later, I felt hands shaking me. Apparently, I had fallen asleep which was weird because I never took naps. It was James who was franticly trying to get me up. He looked worried.

“What is your problem?” I asked hastily.

“Mum is passed out on the kitchen floor,” James screamed. I jumped out my bed and ran out with James right behind me. When I got to the kitchen I saw our mom sprawled on the floor. She looked so pale.

“Call 911!” I yelled at James. We stayed by her side while we waited for the ambulance. Of course, the whole community would be outside our house because everyone wants to know everything about everyone here in Sevres Avenue. When we got to the hospital all James and I could do  was wait anxiously for any news of mother. We tried calling our father but he wasn’t picking up his phone. The doctor finally came out a few moments later.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Daniels. You must be Mrs. Monroe’s children, correct?”

“Yes”, James and I responded in unison.

“How’s are mother? What happened?” I asked.

“Your mother has been starving herself and excessively exercising” Dr. Daniels responded. “In her condition, she should be taking better care of herself.”

“What do you mean in her condition?” James asked.

“Don’t you know? Your mother is pregnant.” Dr. Daniels answered. I suddenly felt dizzy. Our parents slept in different rooms and haven’t had sex in seven years. So, that baby belonged to only one person, Quinn. My knees started to shake and then everything went black. The last thing I heard was James screaming my name.