When you miss her, it’s because it’s too late to say “I love you”

A dreary icy Saturday spotlights a bitter chill on a Suburban Cape Cod Cottage. The two-bedroom house homes a family that was once five – including a dog, but now holds four.
A 5’5” coily hazelnut haired girl lays face down on her twin sized bed. Her cheek lays flush on her lush white comforter. The opposite side of the room has a fully made day bed adorned with cushy pillows all around. On the contrary, it looks welcoming, but has a hint of cold unwelcoming air.
“I don’t miss my sister since she went away, ” Alyssa thinks to herself.
 Her mind continues to ponder…
I get time to be the only child now. It was annoying to always be compared to her.
“Alyssa you’re late getting ready for school again?!” my mom would say. “Why can’t you move faster or wake up earlier like your sister?” she’d scold.
It’s easy to not miss my sister. At night she’d giggle and smile on her phone at funny memes from her friends,
… and cute texts from her boyfriend. I’d lay in bed across the room watching her live- life – to- the- full-est while my phone felt cold and lonely with no one to even like one of my selfie posts.
I got 80 likes in one hour once, but it was a photo of both of us sisters. We had an adventurous day touring her new college campus that day. She introduced me as “Alyssa, her little sis,” I was proud of the title – especially since she finally stopped calling me her “baby sis”.
two person jumping on brown soil

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After that weekend touring her new school, I thought of how much I was going to miss her while she was away, but then  she “borrowed” my yoga mat, and didn’t put it back in its normal spot – leaving me to scramble at the last minute for my session. She thought it was funny that I was late to get my “Zen on” and laughed while driving me to my Yoga-Pilates class. I was angry. So, I went back to anticipating her time away at college in the fall.
By the end of summer, she was preparing for her new journey in life.
“Don’t forget to write!” I joked repeatedly while helping her pack.
“I’m excited for college, but…what are you going to do without me?” she somberly replied after my third jester.
“Oh…I’ll be FINE!” I enthusiastically exclaimed.
“…but who’s going to pick you up from school? Or help you with homework? Or look out for you?” She quizzed.
“oh…don’t you worry your pretty ole heart now…you git on outta here” I continued to jeer.
This week, my parents and I had Thanksgiving dinner. Her usual seat sat hollow and waiting for her goofy giggles, sarcastic smiles, and obnoxious chewing. Most college students are home this time of year with their families.  When I wished to be an only child, I didn’t wish for a drunk driver to take my big sister’s life. I do miss my sister.

A request from a stranger

A scorching September Saturday in 1997. There’s rowdy cheering and laughter of children running and hopping around outside, and metal squeaking of the playground equipment filtering into a 3rd floor apartment window of an East Harlem tower.

“You are very pretty” Babs blurted in a high pitch “…you remind me of my younger self” she sheepishly chuckled.

She forced her golden-brown hands into a prim fold on her lap with her back upright in a stiff hold to mirror her caramel toned guest.

“I’ll take that as a compliment” Ella replied with an obligated smile and nod.

She refrained from an expression of disgust – that questioned Babs’ gray tooth revealing itself from the right side side of her smile.  Instead, she openly glanced around the room. Her eyes lead her head in turns and lifts while examining her surroundings.

“How long have you lived here?” Ella asked.

shoes hanged on black pole

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“About 27 years now” Babs replied eagerly while nodding her head up and down, “Since right afta you was born.”

The conversation pauses into an ear aching silence.

The two women sit on opposing sides of the taupe walls filled with a broken in brown and black corduroy couch, square mahogany coffee table, and the two tufted Parson’s chairs that they are seated in. A nectarine toned haze spotlights a corner of the ceiling from a table lamp’s shade. The household vacuum seems to be missing in action based on the appearance of the rundown dusty carpet.

Boiling from the smothering heat, Ella uses her right-hand index finger and thumb to pinch a black coated elastic off her left wrist. After it has been removed, she lifts her hands to scoop her long Jet Black coarse curly hair into a high bun. It sits like a disheveled crown with random ringlets springing from her temples.

“The air conditioning should start cooling the room off soon,” Babs says in an adoring observation. “I always knew you was gon have a head full of long hair Ellie,” she smiles.

“It’s El-la,” Ella snaps with an exaggerated enunciation. “No one has called me that since I was a baby,” she glares back at Barb.

“I named you Ella after my mother,” Babs says tenderly. “My family called you ‘Ellie’ to tell between the two of yous.”

Ella stares emotionless at Babs.

“Baby Ellie!” Babs continues. “…that’s what your aunts, uncles and cousins would say when dey come ova to see you.”

Ella’s frown turns to a slight delighted grimace.

“…but you got a nice upbringing with your Irish father and…,” Babs pauses in deep thought. “I’m sure Valentina let you think you was a Dominican like her all these years. I couldn’t be a rich house wife like your father wanted, but I always wanted you in my life.”

Ella releases her tense shoulders with an audible outward breath.

“I’m sorry sweetie,” Babs softly responds. “I figured… you were here to learn ‘bout your past. Do you want to know where you came from? How you got dat scar on your left arm?”

She points towards Ella’s left side while holding gaze.

“My mother told me I was an active baby and didn’t sit still while she held me, and the doctor gave me my shot,” Ella explained knowingly.

“Yes, me, ya motha, took you to the doctah,” Babs corrected proudly. “Yo daddy would call me and ask ‘bout you… I told him dat story.”

Silence swarms into the room while the two women stare at each other. Their blinking  eyes are the only movement in the slowly cooling off room.

“Your father,” Babs starts to break the silence “He ain’t want no stripper raising his baby…hell…he ain’t want no black stripper to be his baby’s mama,” she chuckles.

Ella continues to listen.

“It doesn’t matter to me that you’re here to request my help for your blood transfusion,” Babs stifles on a tear. “I gave you all I got in the beginning and I’ll give you all that I have in me to make sure you continue to live your life.”

“I am…just in a world of shock. Disbelief. I thought I knew myself…and where I came from – ALREADY,” Ella chokes on a sob and holds it in. A shallow well forms under each eye.

Babs makes a quick step across the room with both hands extended towards Ella.

“I never wanted you to find out this way,” Babs says while clutching Ella in her arms.  “…but it feels so good to be holding you now”

“I thought…” Ella sobs “I thought…I just… don’t understand…to find out that the woman who raised me … she lied…she’s not my mother… I feel incomplete.”

woman standing in dim lighted room

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Good Ole Gladys

Gladys, a plump brunette with gray streaks in her hair lays strewn across a navy-blue chaise lounge.  The sun gradually rises and blankets her pale skin as she slowly awakens.

“where the hell am I?” she announces in a boozed daze.

A slim caramel toned woman gleefully prances from her bedroom through her open concept home. Her shoulder length raven colored ringlets bounce with her walk as she smiles from inner thoughts. Her sashay skips a beat when she reaches the living room leading to the kitchen.

“Oh… you’re awake,” Donna replies to the disappointing image.

“Excuse me…” Gladys calls to Donna.

“…Ma’am, I didn’t have a chocolate on my pillow last night.”

“You’re lucky I gave you a pillow,” Donna remarks snidely.

She places a K-Cup in the coffee brew machine and presses the start button.

Gladys lifts her head to get a view of Donna.

“I used to look like you,” Gladys smiles. Her ear-to-ear grin reveals missing teeth on the right side of her mouth.

“…and then what?” Donna requests.

Gladys chuckles “…and then nothing. I guess that’s not a compliment since I’m old and fat now… aye.”

Donna sips her steaming coffee and stares blankly at her house guest.

“ok…I’d look like you if I was dark…like you have tan skin and I’m white,” Gladys further explained her case.

Donna swiftly stomps to the living room area, snatches up the black duffel bag from the floor near the chaise lounge. She returns to the kitchen and grabs a few items from the pantry; tossing them into the bag.

“Now, now sweetie. I don’t mean any harm. My dead husband Harvey was black,” Gladys continues while watching Donna quickly travel from room to room of the 2,000 square foot ranch.

“He left us…and then he died MOM! So, stop reminiscing like he was this great man,” Donna sneers.

She hands Gladys the duffle bag. Gladys slowly stands from her seat squinting her eyes in confusion.

She ignores Donna’s anger “You do look like you could be my daughter, but she’s a little girl.”

“…Only seven years old with nappy curly pigtails” She groans from elderly pains as she stands from her seat.

“You have to stop these antics,” Donna sighs as a tear rolls down her right cheek. “Next time I find you drunk and passed out on the side walk…I’m leaving you there.”

Accepting the filled bag and walking towards the front door “This is a rude bed and breakfast,” Gladys declares.

“Your ride back to the home will be here in 2 minutes,” Donna says over her left shoulder while walking towards her bedroom. The door closes behind her.

“That lady reminds me of my baby girl Donna. I sure do miss her,” Gladys thinks out loud.

Modern Day Cat Lady

Standing in her dimly lit bedroom, Wanda,  an average height creamy caramel toned dame with  straight raven colored hair admires herself in the mirror.  She’s wearing a navy blue lace camisole with matching boy-short panties.

Full grown male cats roam her bedroom while she flips her hair and makes sexy pout facial expressions before snapping photos of her reflection.

“You’re a freakin vixen… you gorgeous cat lady”  says Wanda’s twin from the mirror admiringly.

The camera light on her smart phone clicks as brightness bounces off the mirror. The twin vamps  flirtatiously marvel at each other.

“Spinsters are never this hot” she compliments back.

Dexter, one of the cats, leaps off the nightstand and rubs his head on her toned shin after he reaches the floor.  Wanda slowly arches her back as she leans forward at her waist to pat and rub her dark gray feline.

“I’m so happy to still have you in my life Dex” she grins.

“I.

Have.

Seven.

Cats,” she says delightedly while scanning the room and glancing at each 

A long pause stills the twins.

Wanda snaps out of it…

Standing, she  lifts her body at it’s highest with the balls of her feet and twirls one round on her big toes. She releases and lowers her slim-curvy frame in a ballerina’s graceful flow. Her twin stills, holds gaze, and watches aroused by the pleasurable sight.

Wanda pauses after her pirouette and seductively smirks back at her twin.

“You’re right. I’m a hot a$$ cat lady” she chuckles.

Her twin’s lips move from pursed tight to a reassuring smile and up-down nod.

“I’ve been called so many hurtful things as a woman: whore, slut, thot…never a a sexy single bachelorette,” she rolls her eyes while speaking to her reflection.

Her smile turns grim.

“I’m having so much fun…

no I’m nottttt!” she outbursts as water fills like wells in her lower eyelids.

Her twin rolls her dark eyes upward while crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“I have my cats!” she protests.

Wanda takes a deep breath in; causing her shoulders to rise followed by a loud sigh. Her twin does the same.

She grimaces with a slight giggle while her twin stares confused by Wanda’s lame humor.

“For the last 7 years I’ve brought a new guy to family gatherings.  He attends the Halloween party, Thanksgiving Dinner, and even the Christmas Eve & Christmas Day family vacation…”

Her half dressed body plops sideways on her bed angling so that she can still admire her coke-bottle figure.

She props her head up with her bent right arm then tucks her hair behind her left ear. Her eyes keep contact with her image in the gold framed mirror.

“…then, like clockwork, right before New Year’s day; my new suitor tells me he’s leaving me. I do everything to keep him. I cook. I clean. I give more affection. My visual pain won’t even convince him to stay, ” she whines.

The well underneath her right eye releases a steamy droplet down her cheek towards her jawline. A daze takes over her and she’s silent.

Leo, her ginger colored feline leaps on the California King sized bed and slowly saunters his way over to her causing her daze to end.

“Then I use my sultry craft to keep them from leaving me,” she smirks.

Her  left hand reaches towards the cat to caress his back. He collapses next to her indulging into her touch.

“…and now we’re all living happily ever after. Right boys?”

“MEEEEEOWWWWWWW,” the cats all wail in unison

 

Trikk Queen

It’s been 5 months since I paid off my luxury condo with a view of the New York City skyline.

2 months ago, I sent my parents on a month long vacation to  Jamaica on my “lottery winnings”.

Last week, I hired a personal assistant who runs my errands, pays my bills, walks my dog, and sends slutty texts on my behalf to my lovers when I’m busy.

Before you assume that I’m a lazy pyramid scheme running, escort just know that I believe I have helped people control their substance abuse.

My rise to wealth started 3 years ago, as a prank. I decided to get my coworker/bestie, Nancy, high to loosen  her up at the company’s holiday party. After all the financial reports she organized and presented to our VPs; she deserved to have some fun.  So, after her small chat with her office crush turned sour I walked her to the restroom.  Awkward discomfort showed in her doe-like eyes. Hoping to ease the pain, I reached into my clutch with my index-finger and thumb to revel a tiny clear vial with a black cap filled with (pause) let’s call it a white powdery substance.

“I don’t know about this…”Nancy nodded.

Disregarding her comment I poured the substance onto the scoop part of my pinky finger nail. I could only base my actions on what I’ve seen on TV.

“Can I get in on that?”

A familiar voice requests from a distance about 3 stalls away.

Nancy tilts her head while extending her neck to see over my shoulder and I turn slightly to see where the  request is coming from.

I hesitated. “…get in on this?” I replied like an amateur.

The last stall door swung open revealing my director, Janis. Her sultry and intrigued eyes held gaze with me as her foot steps got louder when she came closer to us.

“I really need to get through this dull night” Janis said suavely when she reached our standing point of the bathroom.

I passed her the vial and she sprinkled a tiny hit onto the back of her left hand. We watched in awe as she brought her diamond dressed wrist closer to her face, held her right nostril closed with her right hand and vacuumed the dust up her left nostril.

“Ahhhhh” Janis sighed and fluttered her lashes ” Come have a drink with me before you girls leave”.

Janis checked her reflection, pinched her nose to grab the white excess and rubbed her fingers together until the powder disintegrated. Her slim figure swiftly glided out of the bathroom along with the taps of her four inch high pumps.

“Your turn” I gestured the vial at Nancy for her to give me her hand.

Reluctantly, she followed Janis’ same steps, but her attempt to be suave turned to uncontrollable  flinching and coughing.

“This better make me a rich bitch like Janis too” Nancy coughed.

I followed suit and couldn’t help to cough, flinch, and flicker my eyes as well. I was shocked by the sense of clarity my mind felt 10 minutes later. I couldn’t believe I cooked up a potion that had this effect.

Seeing it as a networking opportunity, we made our way to the corner of the bar Janis was standing at and chatting up one of the hottest guys from the office. My mental plan was to chat  and have a few shots with Janis before the night ended.

“…there you ladies are,” Janis smiled ” I was just telling Adam about how much fun you two ladies are.”

Without hesitation, “Would you ladies care to share?” Adam asked in a flirty charismatic tone.

The glisten in his eyes seduced my soul, but I played nonchalant.

I swung my hand forward “It’s so nice to meet you,” I smiled “I think I’ve seen you around before” We shook hands with the vial transferring from my hand to his. He grinned then walked away.

Nancy got the sense of courage she needed at the party. We effortlessly chatted up a few VPs and laughed about our night on the way home. I felt like a proud mom watching my girl passed out on my couch.

Next workday, my list of besties in the office had grown. Janis seemed to spread the word about me. VPs, Directors, and even the CEO knew my name not only because of my hard work in the office, but also for my overnight sensation of a side hustle. They assumed I worked for a man, but I was my own boss.

I had weekly private meetings with the CEO to discuss deliveries.

“Stella, your boss makes an amazing hit!” he  spoke in a low tone while shaking my hand “Last batch caused me to wake up not knowing where the f@#k I was” he chuckled.

People in the office hate me for my popularity. I, of course,  love the attention.

I’ve heard whispers from random coworkers as I walk by “…it’s like she’s got some kind of hold on them”.

Many don’t know why management plays favorites with me. It’s a simple formula: 3 parts baking soda, 1 part crushed baby aspirin. Harmless fun combined with legal substances. I’m not hurting anyone just fulfilling a demand.