The rising steam the hot steady stream of water the quiet noise of the morning. Reaching down and twisting the handle brings a pause and then the warm smell of a fresh towel. Just a hint of the oncoming cool as she touches the tile floor. Looking back at the mirror focusing closer the deep green eyes seem even darker this morning. Starting with the bare naturale base and adding in the true match blush then to the matte flesh tone eyeshadow. Angling to catch the outer corner of the eye she carefully pulls the pencil inward towards her nose. Her mommy’s nose “Thank God.” Using her fingers she softens the lines. Hair dried tossed mousse and sprayed. Wrapping her towel she walks into her closet and finds the light switch. Marni, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Jason Wu. Miu Miu, Manolo Blahnik, Brian Atwood. Indulgences maybe a little over the top she thinks while smiling at the thought. She can afford them just like every other hard-working girl can. Reaching up and casually sorting thru her dresses all neatly lined up and double stacked still in the dry cleaning plastic. She pulls the dark blue Elie Saab and holds it up. Leaning in pulling the dress up and zipping it tight she turns and takes a quick look. Her ass still sticks out. “Some of us are blessed honey” is what her mom would say. Finishing up the second buckle on her pumps she stands and briefly scans up and down. Her phone beeps again. Christ does it ever stop? Looking at the messages she is reminded of the ride in the car last night.
Leaning, head tilted she speaks quietly into her phone “yes honey I will be there on time. Why are you worried you know I have never missed one of you choir performances. Yes, I know which door to go to. Ok yes, ok ok, bye see you there.”
A quick glance over and just as quietly “all good” he asks.
“ Yes all good. As good as can be expected.”
“ None of my business but you seem to do everything for your niece.”
“ Someone has to. The girl has got to have some sort of normal life.”
“ Normal by your standards or normal by the rest of the worlds standards?”
“ My standards. They are the only ones I count by.”
“ Why is this performance so important?”
“ She has a duet and a featured performance. She has been practicing for weeks.”
“ So your sister is going to meet you there?”
She stares out the window for a second and says softly “ I hope so.”
He leaves it there. No reason to dig any further. He’s not sure that he even cares. She can handle it.
Why did she say that? Does she still have hope? Hope for what? Her sister doesn’t seem to have any. The last time they were together it was about the same as always.
“ You and your goddamn money and your fancy clothes. Who in the fuck do you think you are telling me how to raise my child. You are not mom. She’s gone and you sure as hell are not her. We don’t need you for shit. I can handle this.”
“ You can handle what? Your life? You don’t have a real job. Whatever money you get you spend on drugs and booze. You can’t provide for yourself much less your child.”
“ Fuck you I do just fine. She has everything she needs. I am off the drugs for good this time. She knows we talked about it. My job may not be all big business and fancy suits but it gets me to next week.”
“ Next week how about tomorrow? Tell me you know how much money is coming in this week. How about the next? All you think about is yourself and your next high.”
“ Fuck off all you do is come in here and tell me what a horrible parent I am. How’s that for being the good sister.”
“ I come here to help. I come here to see my niece. I come here to bring her food and clothes. I come here to see you and every time it ends up like this.”
“ You don’t have to show up. I am not asking you for shit. I never have.”
“ Really, I don’t ever remember you ever saying no.”
“ If you want to give things to her I’m not going to stop you.
She focuses back on the street just for a second and realises that they have come to a stop. He is already half way out the door. She grabs her bag pulls the door handle and gets to the sidewalk ahead of him and heads for the entrance smiling at the doorman as he reaches to let them in.
” Well, this was an interesting day won’t you be late for dinner?
” Yes, it was interesting I guess and don’t worry they will wait for me.”
” I’m sure they will. We need to meet early in the morning let’s say 7:00 a.m. in the small conference room. I will message the others and see who makes it in.”
” Yea, sure I will be there. Anything we need to highlight now?”
” No we can handle it all tomorrow.”
” Quick question. What is that perfume you have on? It smells like honey.
” Honey. Oh yes, there is some honey involved in there some where. I will try to remember the name. See you tomorrow.”
” Sure see you tomorrow at seven.”
She reaches for the elevator button and pushes again. She glances over and thru the door and sees him disappear into the back of the waiting car.
6:17 a.m she better hurry the car will be here any minute. She hits the switch closes the door and heads for the elevator. Phone beeping.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8467120@N08/4393974836/