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.

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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.

The Perfect Happy Family: Chapter 3

PHF: Chapter 3

I came around a while later to James splashing my face with water from a spritz bottle. My eyes were blurry and I felt like I had a really bad hangover. “Why does my head hurt so much?” I asked wearily. Somehow I had blocked all sounds because James had been screaming at me the whole time.

“Are you okay?!” James yelled at me.

“Whoa! Not so loud, dude” I responded feverishly.

“I slapped your face a couple of times but you wouldn’t wake up. I was about to call mom and dad….” James’ voiced trailed off.  So that’s why my head hurt so much, I thought to myself. Why hadn’t I woken up? A slap to the face would surely wake me up but James said he hit me a couple of times.

“So, I didn’t move or anything when you hit me?” I asked James

“No, it was weird. You lay there like a dead body.” He responded with a concern look on his face.

“Well I’m not dead, see!” I joked even though I was actually perplexed by what had happened.

“Did you eat?” James asked.

“Uh, yeah” I lied.

“So what were we talking about before I fainted?” I asked.

“I told you I was planning to marry Mark” James said with a smile on his face.

“You can’t marry him. You can’t.” I hissed.

“I thought you’d be happy for me! I guess I was wrong.” James murmured.

“You really think this is a good plan? You know what they’ll do to you at school?” I screamed. Suddenly, my bedroom door drew open and mother rushed in with a scowl.

“Shut up and go to bed!” she shushed at us. She then turned and walked back to her bedroom. We waited until we heard her close her door. James got up and headed towards the door also. I grabbed his arm.

“You can’t tell anybody about this. We’ll be ruined. You’ll be ruined.” I whispered in a harsh tone.  He just looked at me then shook away from my grip. I watched him as he walked to his bedroom to the other side of the house. No one could ever know that my brother is a gay, I thought. We would be the laugh of the town if anyone ever found out. Oh, the tragedy.  So there and then I made it my mission to be my family’s keeper. My mother is an adultery, my father is a cross dresser, and my brother is a gay. It was all too much for one day and I threw myself on my bed without changing into my pajamas. I hold my family’s secrets like the government keeps theirs. It was two in the morning by the time I feel asleep but I didn’t sleep for long. I had to wake up early for school three hours later. It was a typical Monroe morning. Father was already at the clinic, mother was exercising downstairs in our top of the art gym, and Clarisse had already made breakfast for me and James.

“James is not going to school today” Clarisse said as I walked into the kitchen.

‘What’d you mean?” I responded. “He was fine last night.”

“Well he told me he won’t be going to school today” Clarisse retorted in an annoyed tone. I retracted back up our marble steps as fast as I could to James’ room. I didn’t even knock-I just burst in.

“Yeah, see you later” I caught him saying to his phone before he hung up.

“Knock much?!” he yelled at me.

“No, you know me. Miss no manners” I mocked. “Why aren’t you going to school?”

“I’m sick.” He said with a facetious cough.

“Loser” I said as I walked out of his bedroom and made my way back to the kitchen. When I got back to the kitchen Clarisse was jumping up and down with giddiness.

“I got good gossip!” she yelled.

“What?” I ran to her with intrigue.

“Miss Sahib found panties not hers under her bed. She’s angry with Mr. Quinn!” Clarisse gushed. My heart stopped. Those were mother’s panties.

“So, is she kicking him out?” I asked Clarisse.

“I heard she wants to know the woman’s name so she could kill her” Clarisse exclaimed. Clarisse was all about the drama and neighborhood gossip. She never revealed her sources; she was smart like that. A few seconds later the door bell rang. I went to get the door but stopped in my tracks in horror when I saw that it was Sane Sahib. Did she know? It would be an insult to injury in Sahib’s case because she was one of mother’s closest friends. I regained my posture and attained all the courage I could muster as I opened the door.

“Hi” I said with a shaky voice. Sane just looked at me through her dark brown eyes. She was crying. Her usually flawless golden brown hair lay messy around her shoulders. She was a complete mess in her ripped blue jeans and stained white t-shirt.

“Is your mother home?” she sobbed.

“Uh….” I murmured but was interrupted by mother.

“Hey, oh honey, come in” mother gestured at Sane to come in. “What’s wrong?”

“Quinn cheated on me and won’t tell me with whom!” Sane screamed.

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that” mother said to Sane while comforting her. I looked at mother in disgust.

“Don’t you need to be off to school?” mother asked me.

“Yes, of course!” I replied and ran to get my book bag. I couldn’t believe what I had just witnessed. My mother was sleeping with her friend’s husband and didn’t show any remorse. How could she be so vile? I wondered.  As I walked out my house I saw Mr. Quinn heading towards me.

“You have some nerve” I hissed at him.

“Me. What about your mother?” he asked seeming appalled. “What about your father?”

“What you mean my father?” I asked.

“I know your father’s secret” Quinn smirked at me. “Your father is a cross-dresser” he laughed.

“You wouldn’t dare” I threatened.

“Or would I? Don’t test me child.” He retorted. I then knew I had to get rid of him.

“What do you want?” I asked

“Let’s just say you keep your secret and I’ll keep mine” he responded. There was no way I was going to trust him with such a huge secret. I had to get rid of him one way or another; even if it meant taking drastic measures. He had to disappear. He had to die because no one is suppose to know but me. No one can ever find out the truth about my family.

Secrets

Secrets

        This is the story of three high school students that keep terrible secrets. First is a junior named Malcolm, a loner and foster child that is a serial killer in the making.  Second is a sophomore named Stacy, which is envious of her mother so she starts having an affair with her mother’s husband.  Third, is a senior named Patrick who hates his father and plans to kill him to take over the family business so that he could inherit 100 billion dollars and marry his father’s girlfriend.

            Malcolm: I can’t fathom the purpose for my being. I stray away from people because I’m scared they will not accept me for who I am. I’m not quick to give up my life story. My words are mostly insincere. I won’t let anybody get close to me because I’m bound to disappoint them. I’m tired of being this way. I have no friends. The truth is eating me up inside but I would never give it up. I make up clever stories for the bruises on my body because no one needs to know that I cut and beat myself up when I feel insecure. I got no reason, no shame, no family I can blame for my sorrow.  I think I’m a borderline psycho path. I kill neighborhood pets on my free time and I like it. I’ve been doing it since I was nine and haven’t been caught yet. I’m 16 now.  At night I dream of my death. I’m guessing lethal injection because one day I will evolve from killing animals to humans. This time I’m writing everything down; I’m giving all my secrets away. The headline reads: Malcolm, the Serial Killer.

            Stacy: My mother has had many husbands. She goes through them like water. After she’s taken all their money she moves on to another one. She chases a dream for her two daughters to live the enchanted life.  Mother always got what she wanted. Everyone praises her for her beauty. I hate her. She cheated on my father and left him with nothing. She moved us away from him and won’t allow him to see us. She’s had 8 husbands and so many boyfriends that I’ve lost count. We, meaning my sister, Ashley and I get ridiculed at school because everyone knows our mother is a gold digging whore. When I turned 15 she introduced us to her new boyfriend, Matthew. She had been only dating him for three months and he was already moving in with us. He was 25 years old while mother was celebrating her 40th birthday. I was fed up with her. I started sleeping with Matt a couple of months after he moved in. I wanted to hurt my mother and teach her a lesson. She needs to feel pain like no other.

Patrick: Father thinks he can do whatever he wants. I’m about to prove him wrong. He thinks he can have a 21 year old girlfriend just because he’s a corporate tycoon. He left mother when I was 12 years old. He didn’t give her a dime. She killed herself that night he told her he was leaving her for a 21 year old. At first, he didn’t want to take care of me; he wanted to ship me off to Russia to live with his mother. His mother made him take responsibility for his actions so he got stuck with me. I started sleeping with his 21 year old girlfriend, Nostalgia, when I was 15. He didn’t treat her well. He cheated on her with strippers and other loose women he encountered on his “business trips.” He would also beat her when he got drunk or when she disagreed with him. The economy downturn hit him hard since he’s an investment banker/broker. He owns his own investment firm and other reality establishments. Everyone at school thinks I’m this happy rich kid but I’m about to give all my secrets away. I plan to kill my father so that I can inherit the family business, a 100 billion dollar inheritance, and marry Nostalgia. The blueprint has already been made; it’s fool proof.

The Origami Cupcake

The Origami Cupcake: Chapter 1


Mother never stayed for long. She always came dressed in her exuberant outfits and never matching high heeled shoes. “Flats are for ordinary women. I’m not an everyday woman,” she would say. Father let her do whatever she wanted. He never said no to her because he was afraid she would leave if he ever did.  He bent to her every whim and once drove from our home in South Jersey to Brooklyn to get her a cheesecake. She only ate Junior’s cheesecake and nothing else. You see mother grew up on the upper east-side of Manhattan. She is the daughter of a very successful and rich broker. You’d think she’d marry to a rich man but to her parents’ and her surprise she married my dad, Henry.  Henry was a server at this Italian restaurant called Vinnies when mother met him. He didn’t have a rich family like she did and had to work two jobs to pay for college.

They met one day in September of 1965. Mother had decided that she would go out to eat with her friends to eat after her last class. Her parents were very over-protective of her. They didn’t want her roaming around the city without a body guard with her. She hated being followed by a steroid using huge dude that scared her more than the strangers her parents were afraid of.

“Sasha, let’s go to Vinnies,” her friend Carmen suggested.

“We can’t go to Brooklyn, dweeb, my mother will freak!” my mother scolded.

“Oh c’mon, Sasha; It’ll be fun,” her other friend, Julia, begged.

“We always have fun at Vinnies. All those cute guys in Brooklyn; you know you want to go,” Carmen teased.

“Ok, ok. I give in,” my mother raised her hands in defeat. They took mother’s limo to Brooklyn. Indeed, she had a fabulous life. She didn’t know that this trip to Brooklyn would change her life forever. When they finally arrived at Vinnies; mother was having second thoughts about breaking her mother’s rules.

“Relax, S” Carmen told my mother.  Vinnies wasn’t an extravagant restaurant. It was pretty low-key but with an old touch feel. Inside it looked like one of those old diners with the tile floors and walls. It was pretty authentic and the cool spot for college kids. Everybody knew about Vinnies.

“Hi, may I take your order?” Henry asked my mother and her friends.  When he saw her he was so hypnotized by her beauty that his hands started to shake. Mother and her friends just stared at him. He was handsome. He had dark brown hair and blue green grey eyes.

“I love your eyes!” Julia gushed at Henry.

“Yes, they are lovely” Sasha told Henry. They looked into each other’s eyes and smiled.

“So, are you just going to stare at me all day or take my order?” Sasha asked Henry with a smirk on her face.

“Can I do both?” Henry responded.  Sasha blushed.  Julia and Carmen ordered chicken salads.

“I’m not a salad type of girl. The only salad you’ll see me eat is on my hamburger” Sasha said to Henry.  “You’re my type of girl, then” he responded. They both blushed this time. It was 12 pm by the time they left Vinnies.  Henry asked Sasha out sometime that evening but she declined.

“Why did you reject him? He was so cute.” Julia asked Sasha.

“What would my parents think?! They would never approve.” Sasha responded. She really did like Henry, but she knew her parents will never let her go out with him. She could picture it now what they would say.

“Absolutely not, you will not go out with that boy!” her father would yell.

“Honey, he’s just not good enough for you.” Her mother would tell her.  They controlled everything in her life, such as, what she ate, who she made friends with, what she wore. She thought that going away to college would lessen their grip but it just got tighter. They had people spy on her.  It was driving her crazy. Once they put a tracking device on her car and she had found it. To teach them a lesson she put it on this hooker’s car. Her mother went crazy when she thought her daughter was in Harlem.  As my mother remembered this she smiled. It was the most fun she’d had in weeks. She didn’t regret coming to Brooklyn and eating at Vinnies. She loved being with her two best friends and meeting her future husband, Henry.

“He was cute…..” mother said to no one in particular. Julia and Carmen looked at each other and smiled. They had never seen their friend Sasha so happy. She smiled all the way back to their dorms at NYU.

Chapter 2: The Perfect Happy Family

I just ran and ran as tears ran down my face.  The cold wind was like having somebody smack my face repeatedly. I couldn’t believe James was a gay. I mean I have nothing against homosexuals. I was mainly angry at him for not telling me this little secret of his. We told each other everything, like how he hated playing football. He only joined the team because that’s the only way he could get father’s attention. I was furious with mother. She was cheating on dad again and now with Mr. Quinn. If the neighbors ever got a whiff of my brother’s and mother’s secret it would be the end of us. What a tragedy?  When I got home, Clarisse, our nanny, was waiting for me in the living room. She was so angry that I had left without telling her where I was going.

“Where you’ve been?!” Clarisse screamed at me.

“Out for a run…I needed some air,” I said.

“I was so scared. You should have told me you were going out.” Clarisse responded

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled as I ran up the stairs to my bedroom. I was having a panic attack. My life would be over if the word got out that my brother was a gay and my mother was a home-wrecker. Our family would be shamed and we would lose our place and status. I couldn’t let that happen. I just couldn’t. I had to keep us safe; I had to keep my family’s secrets safe. No one could ever know. Suddenly, I heard a noise coming from outside my window. I went to see what all the ruckus was about. As I peered out my window I saw a tall muscular figure trying to get into the basement. I poked my head out to see better and I saw that it was a woman. Well, it looked like a woman. She had long reddish brown hair and was wearing a red sequin dress and black stiletto heels. She had some huge feet, I thought. Then, I put my hand over my mouth in shock when I saw her face. It was not a she but a he; and that he was my father! He climbed into the left backside window that leads into the basement. I don’t think he saw me, though.  I backed into my room again and threw myself on my queen sized bed.

“Oh my God!” I screamed.  My father is a drag queen! This day couldn’t get any weirder. I bet those were my mother’s shoes. Those must have been her new Manolo Blahniks. He was eying them when she brought them from the store last week. I thought it was weird but didn’t really pay any mind to it. We all have big feet. My mother and father have the same shoe size 12. I couldn’t believe what I had seen tonight. I felt like I was in a twilight zone episode or in a circus.

“Please let this be all a bad dream,” I said to no one in particular.

“Hey, honey,” I heard someone say and I turned to see my father standing by the door with a big smile on his face. He still had some red lipstick on his lips which he failed to completely wipe off. I wondered as I looked at him; how could a guy like him be a drag queen? He drives motorcycles for God’s sake! I still couldn’t believe I just saw my father dressed like a girl.

“Hi, dad,” I smiled.

“What have you been up to dear?” he said.

“Nothing much; just went out for a run.” I responded.

“Good girl,” he smiled.  “Well, I’m beat sweetie. Rough night at the clinic, you know. I’m off to bed. Have a good night, honey.”

“Night, dad,” I said. I heard him walk to his room and close the door. A few minutes’ later mom and James came home. Mom went straight to bed and yelled goodnight to James and I. James came into my room while I was eating my pain by way of a bowl of cookie dough vanilla ice cream drowned in whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

“What’s up?” James asked me. I didn’t even look at him. I just kept stuffing my face with ice cream.

“Hey Lisa, What’s going on?” he questioned.

“I saw you. I saw you with that man.” I responded in a harsh whisper. His eyes shot wide like he had just seen a ghost. Abruptly, he drew closer to me and lowered his face close to mine.

“You can’t tell anybody,” he whispered. He was so scared. I felt so bad for him because if kids at school found out he was a gay his life would be over. They will beat him up or worse.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked James.

“I was going to tell you but I needed to be sure….” His voice wandered off.  He then told me how he had been dating the man I saw him with for five years now and that he thought he was the one.

“Five years, James, Five?!” I screamed. “Where did you meet this guy?” I asked. James went on to tell me that they met at this gay club downtown when he was 14 years old.

“His name is Mark,” James said to me. “I love him, Lisa. Dad can never know about this. He will freak especially when he finds out that I’m dating his protégé.”

“Mark!” I screamed. “You’re dating Mark Beyer?!” Mark Beyer was our father’s main man at the clinic. Mark was father’s assistant. There would be blood if dad found at Mark was sticking it to his son. James and I didn’t speak for a while. We just sat there on my bed. Then out of nowhere James grabbed my arm and said, “We’re getting married, Lisa.”  I fainted.