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  • Writer's pictureKaterina Winters

Chapter 1 of my current work in progress

Working title is Living in Sin or Off Limits...not sure which yet.

Remember this is highly unedited...I mean RAW af not edited whatsoever.

Ok here we go... Chapter one

From the kitchen, Sapphire watched her mother chew at her bottom lip as she swiped through her thousands of contacts. Mostly male names. Hundreds of them whirring by as she searched for one in particular. Eventually, her thumb paused mid-air, letting the text on the phone drag to a stop.

Jennifer shifted on the worn green sofa and threw a sharp look her way, but Sapphire was already looking back down at the dishes she was supposed to be organizing and labeling for the garage sale. Seemingly satisfied, Jennifer turned back to her phone and pressed call.

"Hello," the man's voice sounded over the speaker.

Sapphire rolled her eyes as she grabbed the last pan from the cabinet below. Her mother took every call on speakerphone, so she wasn't sure why she cared if she was looking at her or not.

"Hi Joel," her mother crooned, her voice going up by two nauseating octaves.

Supposedly this man was her mother's foster brother from years ago, or at least that was what she claimed. Lies were like air for the woman, so Sapphire could never put too much stock in what she said. She learned that lesson a long time ago. Last night she had told Sapphire of her plan, and as usual, Sapphire had no real choice in the matter. Though she argued and tried to convince the selfish woman she would be fine on her own, she had waved off Sapphire's words as if she were merely an annoying gnat flying around.

Some desperate part of her thought her mother would just forget about the ridiculous scheme by the morning and continue focusing on herself, something she was so very good at, but no such luck. Turning from the open buffet window that looked out into the living room, Sapphire grabbed the masking tape and a marker from the other counter so she could begin pricing the gathered items.

From the living room, she could hear a muttered curse over the line before the man let out a harsh, "What in God's name do you want, Jennifer?" Sapphire paused, her eyes widening in surprise as she listened to the man continue. "And how the hell do you have my number? I changed it since the last time you called begging me for money."

Shame burned in Sapphire's chest at that.

"It's called the internet, Joel. If you're resourceful enough, there's nothing you cannot find," her mother quipped as she crossed her long pale legs that her purple satin nightgown failed to cover.

It was nearly three-o-clock, and her mother had yet to fix her ruffled bottle-blonde hair or bother dressing.

"I'm glad to hear it," the man grumbled. "Have you used that resourcefulness to find a job yet, or are you calling with another sob story?"

"That wasn't a sob story, Joel," her mother sat up straighter on the couch, planting both feet on the floor as she practically growled his name. "I really was in a bad way," she explained acidly. "And as I told you then, you saved Saph and me from going into some disgusting shelter."

"Mmm, so what do you want? Because judging by me not hearing from you in two years, I'm pretty fucking confident this is no social call."

Sapphire was standing back at the buffet cut-out, watching her mother fully now. She could see her bite her lip as she paused in thought. Jennifer Waters hated being caught so blatantly in her manipulations. Rolling her eyes before letting out a long sigh, her mother continued. "Well, since you asked," she let the word drag for a moment before perking up.

I'm getting married to a wonderful man, and we're moving to Mexico, where he runs his factory and many other businesses."

The constant knot of dread that had grown in her stomach over the past week ever since her mother's announcement of her plans moved up into Sapphire's throat. For a moment, she couldn't breathe. Clutching the side of the counter, she forced herself to drag in a gulp of air before letting it out in a shaky breath.

"Sounds like a drug dealer to me," he pointed out dryly. "But whatever, get to the goddamn point."

Anger flashed in Jennifer's brown eyes, but she didn’t let it affect her cajoling tone. "As I was trying to say, I moving with him, of course, but the move, not to mention our newlywed life, won't necessarily be conducive for my daughter."

There was silence on the other end of the line. Both Sapphire and her mother waited with held breath as the man deciphered her mother's words.

Unable to stand the silence a second longer, Jennifer leaned forward in her seat and placed her elbows on her knees as she held the phone inches away from her face. "And I just don’t think a young girl should be forced to move to Mexico to finish the year of school," she said, rushing to fill the tense gap of silence, "in who knows what kind of condition school. And as her uncle, I was hoping-"

"Uncle?!" finally, the man spoke. "How the hell do you figure that? I don't even know the kid, and I hardly know you."

"How can you say that?" her mother argued. "We know each other. I know you enough to call you for this, don’t I?"

"Yeah, and money," he reminded her savagely. "That tells me a lot about that poor kid's life."

Angry now, her mother stood from the couch. "Look, Joel, I'm leaving, and I can't take her with me. She needs to finish the year, and I have to go. Are you going to help me?"

"No, I'm not babysitting your kid just because you want to run off with your boyfriend." This time there was a note of laughter in the hard edge of his voice as if he was truly enjoying not giving into the woman.

"He's my fiancé," her mother tried one last time as she began pacing the length of the couch. "And she's not a kid; she's practically an adult. She will take care of herself. She's used to it, and besides-"

Joel's laugh was deep and cold. "God, you are just as narcissistic as you were years ago. The answer is still no. Bye Jennifer, don’t call me again and lose my number." And with that, the line beeped at the disconnection.

Furious, Jennifer whirled on her heel and looked at Sapphire. She knew that livid yet smug expression, and she could feel the knot of dread in her stomach coil in pain.

"Well, it looks like you are getting your way on this," her mother announced.

No, she wasn't, Sapphire screamed in her mind. Nothing was going her way. It never had, and it sure as hell wouldn’t start any time soon.

"Make sure you're packed up by the end of the week."

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