Why couldn it be me? Why couldn I be the one in that box? Why couldn I take their place? Why did he take their lives?

Those were the thoughts that filled my head when I watched those two caskets, slowly and delicately being lowered into the ground. At this very moment, those two 6ft appeared to be so small and uncomfortable. Rest in peace? How can anyone sleep peacefully there?

”Its okay, sweetheart. ” A woman standing next to me tried to comfort me. I had never seen her in my entire life, I didn know who she was but she had the most welcoming and warm aura Id felt in this entire dreadful week.

Unfortunately, I didn want to hear those words from her, I wanted to hear them from my mom. But shes in one of those caskets. It was when the caskets were in those holes, when it finally fully sunk in. And I couldn control myself anymore. I couldn let my mom go.

”MOMMY! ” I screamed in pain, pulling out of the womans embrace.

Chaos erupted among the very small crowd of people in the cemetery. All of these people, trying to grab me as I went running towards the hole that my mothers casket was being put in. Just as I was about to jump, someone caught me. It was the estranged woman.

A pitiful expression was plastered on her face. Her eyebrows knitted together in remorse. She pulled me away from the graves and into the crowd, she held me tight as I broke down and started whaling.

”I- I want my- my. ” I stuttered, the words refusing to come out properly.

”Shh, its okay, baby. I got you, you
e okay. ” The woman comforted me. I wailed for some time but eventually, I began to relax in her embrace and I calmed down a bit. Finally gaining the strength to say what I wanted to say.

”I want my mom and my brother back. ” I sniffed.

She just looked at me with pity, not knowing how to respond. I didn know this woman but she made me feel…less awful.

In my entire life, I have never felt this much pain. This much anger. And this much need for vengeance. I was bitter, I could even kill. My mom and my brother were my best friends, the only people I had in this world. But now I have no one. Im all alone.

Soon after, the funeral ended and my moms sister, Alicia, whom I hadn seen in years, drove me home, much to my dismay. The ride was silent and awkward. All I was thinking about was our destination. I didn want to go home, because my home was no longer a home. It was just a house, now that the people who made it feel like a home were gone.

We arrived in front of the old, worn down, small house with cracked walls and a dead garden with brown grass. Gosh, the place looked like a crack house. But I grew up in this crack house.

”Joy, sweetie. ” Alicia started as she turned off the ignition and looked at me.

Ugh, the last thing I needed right now was a motivational pep talk.

I stared at her with a cold expression. I really didn feel like talking.

”You know that if I could take you, I would, right? ” She said in a sad voice.

I couldn help but roll my eyes at that. I scoffed, shaking my head as I got out of the car. ”You can, Alicia. You just don want to. ” And I left.

Id seen and heard it all before. People make promises of taking care of your family when you
e gone, but forget about their promises once you leave this world. It always went like that. People were selfish and cowardly. Chewing on something, they can swallow.

Once Alicia drove away, I dreaded going inside the house, knowing I was most likely going to be greeted by vile and harsh words from Martin, my stepfather. I couldn explain how much I hated Martin. I wanted to kill him, for killing my mother and my brother, nobody believed me when I reported him to the police.

Of course everyone would believe the rich white man over the poor black girl.

Martin was very rich but he was in our house more than he was at his. My Brother hated him and I also hated him. He treated us awfully, all of us, but we never said anything. Compromise, its what it takes to keep a family together. It was one of moms slogans. My mother never loved Martin, she just tolerated him because we needed the money he had. She compromised, because he was the breadwinner.

She sacrificed a lot for us.

I reluctantly went inside the house. My stomach tied into knots when I thought about how Martin was my guardian now. Ill have to get used to the abuse and harassment eventually. Easier said than done.

”Hey, sweetie. ” The beautiful woman, who had comforted me earlier at the funeral, greeted me with a sad smile on her face.

I was beyond confused now. What was she doing here? Did she know me?

I greeted her back, not bothering to smile.

Martin entered the living room and I tensed up. ”Sweetness, this is our guest, Leyonce Black. She just arrived and she came to see you. ” Martin feigned a large grin.

He knew that nickname triggered me. He knew what he did to me. It was an inside dirty joke that only he and I could understand, but it wasn funny to me. It would never be funny to anyone who was the utt of the joke.

Martin made his way to me and wrapped his huge disgusting arm around me, tears threatened to fall down my cheeks as they filled my eyes. I was shaking furiously at Martins touch.

”Ms. Black, this is my girl. ” Another one of his disgusting inside jokes. ”Joy. ”

Leyonces eyebrows knitted in confusion as she asked. ”Your girl? ” She seemed to get Martins dirty joke but wanted him to clarify.

He cleared his throat and let out a fake chuckle. ”My daughter, I meant. ” He smiled at her.

Leyonce seemed to realise what was going on. She had noticed how tense I was at Martins embrace and how glossy my eyes were.

”Hmm, thats strange. ” Leyonce raised an eyebrow as she folded her hands. ”Considering her father was the one who sent me here. ”

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