Elsie threw her handbag into the couch and dropped in beside it. Her eyes diverted to the clock on the wall that bore the TV as she yawned loudly and kicked off her stilettos.
“Nine thirty” She murmured, “So much for six-figures a month”
Elsie turned in her seat to see Elizabeth, the younger of her sisters, standing arms akimbo behind her.
Elsie spread her lips in a tired smile. “Shouldn’t I be the one saying that to you?”
“I was beginning to think you weren’t going to be home tonight”
“What a warm reunion!” The older sister said, sarcasm lacing her voice. “I should have guessed you’re home when I saw the TV on with no one watching it”
Elizabeth walked over to one of the seats and sat on the edge. “I was watching it. I just stepped in to use the bathroom”
“As always” She chuckled.
Elizabeth rolled her eyes and faced the TV.
Elsie smiled again and shook her head. Elizabeth was the only one of her mother’s daughters that seemed to be out of control; blunt, saucy and smart. Her exterior was small and soft but on the inside, she was what her sisters and her mother put together were not. She had not always been that way, but they all knew that she started becoming what she now was when father walked away. Every other person had managed to get their lives together after the divorce but not fourteen-year old Elizabeth – she had gradually grown into the twenty-year old woman that Elsie now again prayed would just open up and allow the wounds heal.
“And what are you doing home sef?”
Elizabeth turned her gaze on her sister.
“Since you people in these house abandoned me in that school without any proper money” She stressed ‘proper’, “I decided to come here and find out why!”
Elsie jerked in her seat. “Liz! I transferred ten thousand into your account two weeks ago”
Elizabeth’s brows went up. “Did you hear me say proper money?”
“Whatever! You need to begin to learn to be prudent in spending”
Elizabeth sucked her teeth sharply and turned back to the TV.
“And maybe if you start treating me and everybody else in this house with at least, teeny-weeny respect, we’d remember often to send you proper money!”
“Respect?! I don’t respect you?”
Elsie sat up. “No you don’t!”
Their mother walked into the room just as Elsie got on her feet.
“That’s not true! I greet you people in the morning, I don’t do that to people I don’t respect”
“Oh Liz, drop that and grow up!” Elsie swung her hands above her head.
“What is it this night?”
“Thank you for asking mum” Elizabeth yelled, “Please redirect that question to my sister who seems to be getting worked up over something I cannot even fathom!”
Elsie burst into an angry laughter. “Mother, I beg you in Christ’s name, handle your child!”
And to her sister, “I know what happened to you but, listen to me and listen well, it happened to all of us and you don’t see us going around with a gun to everybody’s head, do you?”
She picked up her shoes and walked out of the room.
“What is it sef, Can’t I have peace in this house? I just came in today o!”
“Elizabeth, please keep quiet!”
The young woman’s eyes popped out in disbelief.
“Oh, you too, mom?”
“What do you mean ‘me too’? And if you don’t get your senses back into your head, I will smack them right into your face and maybe that way, you’d remember that I birthed you and Elsie is ten frigging years older than you are!”