Read Fated to Them by Jessica Hall Chapter 6 – Getting home I pulled up in the driveway, Maya was waiting on the front porch, smiling excitedly when she saw me pull up. Her dark hair hanging loosely in ringlets down her back, her deep dimples making her look more angelic with her big brown doe eyes. She took my breath away, always does when I see her little eyes light up when she sees me. Stepping out of the car, she skips happily over to me bouncing on the b***s of her feet excitedly.
“Aunty Aunty, I made cookies with grandma, they have smiley faces” She announces, pulling on my hand.
I follow her inside. The smell of freshly baked cookies filling my nose, as I step inside our home. I grew up in this house, the walls filled with photos of my childhood and now Maya’s. My sister and I used to be close being that we were twins, she was my other half, yet we were complete opposites now, and had now grown apart which saddened me. G*d, I missed her.
Our house sometimes felt like walking into a shrine of our memories of happier times. Yet it was home, my mother always said you can turn any house into a home, and she was right. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. So, when we nearly lost the place after my father died while away on work, my mother, sister, and I worked our a***s off to make sure we didn’t lose it because he had no life insurance.
My sister and I were working three jobs, my mother was pulling extra shifts at the hospital to cover all the bills, we struggled for years between school and working so much but we survived it, well until my sister went off the rails and then got pregnant with Maya, leaving us with an extra mouth to feed and trying to get her sober again.
Walking down the hallway to the kitchen, I find my mother busily making dinner. I sit at the island bench on a stool, dumping my bag on the bench.
“Bad day?” My mother asks. I run my fingers through my hair before gripping it.
“The worst” I tell her. And she stops what she is doing, turning around to look at me. Maya hands me one of her cookies and I bite a piece off.
“So good Maya you did a great job” I tell her, popping the rest of the cookie in my mouth. It was a little chewy and the centre wasn’t quite cooked all the way through, but she made it so I didn’t care. Maya beams up at me and I return her smile.
“You really think so?” She asks.
“The best cookies ever” I tell her, pinching her nose as she runs off happily, toward the living room where I could hear her favourite cartoon shimmer and shine playing on the TV.
“What happened?” My mother asks, looking at me. Her light blue eyes intensely staring at me, a worried expression gracing her aging face.
My mother used to be gorgeous and always looked younger than her age but since losing my father and the stress of my sister she has aged terribly. Her once clear porcelain skin is no longer vibrant, now grey and she has lines etching on her face.
“Nothing really, I have been moved. I am now working for the two owners who are a nightmare to work for” I tell her.
“So, you got promoted?” She asks excitedly, trying to figure out why that is a bad thing. If she actually met them, she would understand.
“Yes but no, I don’t know, it was a punishment, I think. But the hours are hectic, they need me to start at 7AM” I tell her. She huffs seeing the dilemma.
“Okay we will figure it out, we can’t afford for you to get fired right now. We’ll just have to enrol Maya in before school care” Great another bill to pay for, though it is convenient they will drop her to school for us but then I still have the problem of after school, my mother doesn’t finish work till an hour after she finishes school, so Maya usually waited with me at work till i knocked off.
“What about after school?”
“After school?” She asks, her eyes snapping back to mine and I nod.
“I won’t be finished till 7PM” She g****s, gripping her hair trying to come up with a solution.
“Just drop her to me at the surgery, we will work something out, have you heard from her?” || shake my head. I haven’t heard a single word from my sister since she bailed from the rehab clinic. My mother and I painstakingly got her into using every bit of mine and my mother’s savings.
“I wonder where she is?” My mother mutters to herself, I could hear the sadness in her voice, the worry for her child. My sister was a constant worry for her, she was for me too, but it is what it is and now we just deal with it. I look away not wanting to see her break. If she cries, cry and both of us crying means neither of us are fit to deal with Maya, the last thing we need is for Maya to start asking questions we don’t have the answers for, she didn’t need adult stress, she was just a child.