I sighed, taking a seat on the bench beside the Wells, preparing to wait for my personal Angel and my very own Devil to finish playing baseball.
Adam and Angel were great together. It absolutely floored me the easy way that Adam was able to drop the arrogant attitude and laugh with a kid. And not just any kid, but Jaime – my Angel – who was thin, and scarred, and trapped in a wheelchair.
For the first five minutes of their game, I stared at the both of them as they laughed. Adam’s deep baritone and Angel’s childish laughter of delight made me feel as though I could listen to them forever. I watched now as Jaime, giggling too hard to throw properly, chucked the ball in the exact opposite direction of where Adam was standing. Adam’s expression made even me laugh out loud, as Jaime bent over in his wheelchair, helpless with laughter.
It startled me when I heard a decisive sniff from beside me. I had completely forgotten that the Wells were sitting on the same bench, and most likely less than happy with me since I was with Angel and without the eight hundred bucks.
Sheepishly, I glanced at Mrs. Wells and saw that her lips were compressed into a thin, tight line of disapproval as she watched Adam and Angel in the field.
“He’s too weak for this kind of exertion,” she said abruptly.
Surprised, I turned to her. “No, he’s not,” I said stubbornly. “He’s a kid; he needs fun. It’ll do him more good to be laughing and playing, than sitting piled under blankets in that wheelchair.”
Mrs. Wells turned to glare at me. “You have no idea what’s good for him, and yet you insist on pretending to care for him,” she spat venomously. “Most whores like you would have given up on the act years ago, and it’s disgusting how you keep coming back.”
I gaped at her sudden outburst of words, speechless. Beside Mrs. Wells, her husband shifted uncomfortably, but didn’t contradict her.
I finally found my voice. “Excuse me?” I demanded in disbelief. “What did you just call me?”
Eyes wide, I continued staring as the thin, angular woman glowered at me, nostrils flared. “You heard me. You’re a whore, and your money is dirty. If the treatments weren’t so costly, we would have forbidden you from every coming near our home long ago.”
At that, she seemed to catch herself, and now both of us stared at each other with wide eyes.
“What did you just say?” I repeated, and Mrs. Wells clapped a hand over her mouth and glanced nervously at her husband.
He finally looked at me, but couldn’t quite meet my eyes, like I was something dirty. “Your mother told us what you were,” he said gruffly, now staring intently at Angel hanging out of his wheelchair, trying to grab the baseball lying in the grass. “She told us what you started doing when you ran away from home, and where you got your money from. Naturally, my wife and I didn’t think you were a good influence on Jaime. But he seemed happy to see you, and we needed money, so we allowed your visits.”
A sudden, burning hurt lanced through me. The hurt went deep. “My – mother told you that?” I gasped, traitorous tears pooling in my eyes. “That I’m a- a-” I couldn’t even say the word.
I’d been called it many times over the past years, and sometimes even worse things. But if there had been one person in the world who I would’ve thought would never see me that way, it had been my mother. But apparently, the hatred had gone too deep for her to see past everything and continue to love me. Apparently, I had stopped being a daughter in her eyes after the accident, and she couldn’t bring herself to forgive me for being alive.
|Ashley Greene||as Shawna Roberts|
|Zac Taylor||as Adam Ferrell|
|James Franco||as Joel Torres|
|Jessica Alba||as Esther Hill|
|Tom Welling||as Scott Weston|