Take a peek at what's inside...

 

      Shae pulled up to her Brownstone around 3:10 am. Her mother's Mercedes was in the driveway. Shae parked her car on the street in the darkness to not be seen should someone look out the window.  She opened the trunk and doors. She didn’t want to be messing around if she was going to be in and out. Shae couldn’t tell if her mom was there or not and more importantly if Henry was. The house was completely black. What Shae did notice was a sold sign posted in the grass. She made a face as she walked past the sign.

     Shae put her key in the door and quietly went into her room. She noticed that the house was partially packed up and some furniture was missing. As silently as possible, she closed her door and began to pack her clothes and jewelry, leaving behind anything she felt wasn’t necessary. She made three quiet trips to her car. On the last trip, she went into her room and scanned it to make sure there wasn’t anything else she would possibly need. Right then, she remembered her mother kept a safe in the house with cash in her office. Shae tiptoed into the office and worked the combination. She never took money from the safe nor has she ever stolen money from her mother. If nothing else, you owe me this Chanelle. To her surprise, the safe only had one stack of cash. Shae counted it. Only 5 thousand? I'll only take 2,500. Shae put the rest of the money back, folded the loot and tucked it in her pocket.

     Shae hurried outside ready to go back to the hotel. She was going to need to pawn her jewelry little by little and try to do what she could until she landed a job. She would also need to check out of her room and into a more inexpensive hotel. Things were beginning to look pretty rough. When Shae made it to her car, her doors and trunk were closed. As she got closer to the vehicle, she could see her mother sitting in the passenger seat. Seeing Shae, she put her finger to her lips to quiet her and motioned for her to get in. Reluctantly, Shae got in the car and sat down.

      "I've been trying to call you. Your phone is cut off."

      "I know."

      "I called the phone company to figure out why that is and they told me that I cut it off a few days ago."

      "I cut it off, Mama."

      Chanelle looked out the window then asked,

      "So, you're leaving?"

      "Yes."

      "You got everything?"

      "Yes."

      Shae was bursting inside. How could she be asking me this shit so calm and collect like I'm going on a damn camping trip or something?

            "So, you've decided to not play the game, huh?"

     "Play the game?! Do you even know what the rules of the game are?"

     "I absolutely do! Shae, you need to get your head out of the clouds. Life is not a damn fairytale! You have to do what you have to do to get what you want!"

     "Does that include me sleeping with your husband?"

         Chanelle was quiet.

      "Shae, let me ask you something. Do you think I'm in love with Henry?"

      "No, to be honest, I don’t think you're capable of love in any aspect, but go ahead..."

      "You don’t marry a man like Henry, because you love him. You marry him because he can offer you the world on a platter."

      "In exchange for completely controlling you?"
      "No, in exchange for him thinking he can completely control me."

      "Mama..."

      "Chanelle, damn it!"

     "Whatever! Why can’t you find someone decent to love and who will love you and yours?"

     "Love? Love?! Let me tell you about love. Love had me knocked up at 16 and homeless. I spent nights at the homeless shelter, hungry, no prenatal care nothing. That's what love does for you! I went into labor at a homeless shelter! No one was there when you were born. Just me and the damn doctors. No one brought me anything and I didn’t even have a house to go home to with my new baby. The hospital gave me some clothes to take you home in and the nurse felt sorry for me and had a place for me to stay in her apartment building. You remember Mrs. Cole. She was the only one who ever gave a damn about me. So, when I was healed I made sure that never happened again. That is until about 3 years ago, when I got caught out there again. Messed around and fell in love with his dumb ass too, and sure enough ended up pregnant, again. But, I was smart this time. I made him pay to get rid of it. He had and ex-wife, current wife, it was nothing but drama."

      "Oh my God! You were pregnant 3 years ago?"

      "Yes, I was. But I got rid of the damn thing! I don’t need any more hindrances in my life."

      Shae's eyes welled up in tears.

      "You are such a bitch!"

      "Thank you. You need to toughen up Shae. It's a hard world out there and you walk around like Strawberry Princess. You have an IQ of 168...use it! Do what you need to do to survive."

      "And be like you? No, thank you.

      "I like how you sit up on your high horse. You're a lot more like me than you think."

      "I don’t think so..."

      "Really? How are things with you and Ramón?"

      "What does that have to do with anything?"

      "Considering 3 years ago you two almost shared a sibling, I would say a lot."

      "What?! You slept with Ramón's father?"

      "And you’re sleeping with his son. It would seem we do have a lot in common."

      Shae was dumbstruck...

                   "Okay Mama, just get the hell out of my car." Chanelle stared at Shae silently laughing.

      "I'm trying to help you little girl!"

      "You've helped enough by bringing a multi-million dollar pedophile in our home, allowing me to be homeless, murdering my little brother or sister...."

      "Now, you just wait one damn minute! Who the hell are you to judge me? I did what I had to do for you Shae!"

      "WHEN?! When have you ever done anything for me that didn’t benefit you?"

      "What do you want from me?!"
      "I need you to love me! Care for my well-being! Protect me from that monster you’re marrying!"

      There was silence in the car. Shae gripped the steering wheel. This conversation had gotten out of hand. Shae wanted to get her stuff, go back to the hotel, and not deal with this.

      "You want me to protect you? Okay here..."
      Chanelle took some keys out of her bosom along with an envelope and said,

     "Henry cut off your credit cards this evening, so all the cash advances you've been pulling are dead. I put 25k in this envelope to hold you over until I am able to see you again. The keys...there is a truck parked at the McDonalds at the corner. It's the only car in the parking lot. That's your new vehicle. Henry doesn’t know about it so he can’t track you down in it. Since you're not big on using your IQ, pack the truck up and drive your car somewhere where you can walk back to the truck. Leave this unlocked with the keys in it. Hopefully someone will steal it. Chanelle got out of the car and walked around to Shae's window and says,

      "There is something else you need to know."

      "What?"

      "Henry won’t stop until he gets what he wants from you."