"I want you to know that your father and I don't condone this at all. We think you are making a HUGE mistake. Don't call us when the bottom falls out from underneath you. I don't care what that man says. It is impossible to make $300 a day legally. Remember I told you that, but I have a feeling you won't need to hear an 'I told you so' when it happens." My mother said the last time I saw her.
Now, her words play over and over again in my head.
After all, I don't have anything else to do but think right now. These four white cement walls, the solitary steel bunk with the paper thin mattresses, the toilet that was placed close enough to the locked steel door to allow for little privacy kept my free soaring soul captive and my mind a whirlwind of memories of things best forgotten. Things like this quote from the mouth of my mother. The bitterness of her words bounce off the white walls and down to the cold floor, where I slept every night in the overcrowded cell. I would have given anything for a spot on the bunk, away from the sewage smells that clung to the floor, but my two roommates frightened me, so I suffered in silence, miles from home, completely and utterly alone.
I had no one to blame but myself for the predicament I find myself in. I'm the one who made the decision to run off to Chicago chasing a shifty rainbow on a get rich quick scheme. From the moment I arrived in the Windy City, I was rushed around before I could ever get a full appreciation for the beautiful city I would call home for the next year. A beautiful city I would feel trapped in, doing what I needed to do just to survive, never making enough to escape, though I made enough to keep my boss in a posh five star hotel suite.
My coworker was friendly enough until I became better than she was. A classy white girl, dressed to the nines, is going to get less attention in a fancy store than a poorly dressed black girl any day of the week. Popping off those little white sensors and sliding them in the pockets of the extra garments I carried into the fitting rooms was a breeze. Sliding those gorgeous garments into the bag I walked in with was even easier. My dreams grew as a large as my hauls were, but the money he promised never came.
There were days I didn't even eat, yet still I continued to walk into these stores, all over the city, pulling thousands of dollars in merchandise within eight hours time on a daily basis. His belly grew fatter while mine grew smaller. His wallet expanded, yet my pockets remained empty. My success meant he would kill me before he ever let me go. I was trapped. I saw no way out.
Then the whole world shifted.
This post is a part of a Red Dress Club writing prompt. We had a beginning and an ending, and we had to fill in the middle, all while staying within 600 words.
Critique is welcome and wanted.
--Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama