Chapter 5: World At War

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As far back as Sarah could remember her mother did everything that she could to keep their family together. She worked long hours as a caterer and still made time to spend with her daughters. She would settle her domestic disputes behind closed doors but the shouting was impossible to ignore. One day Laura was in the middle of a particularly heated argument. Sarah was seven years old and Amy was five. Sarah knew that it was only a matter of time before the situation escalated.

"No! We are talking about this! I'm not his slave or his hand maiden. He can't just do whatever he wants! We are supposed to be partners!" Laura yelled. She was infuriated and was taking it out on the limo driver in the living room. She began smoking immediately after finishing her first statement.

"I understand that you're upset Mrs. Stryker but this isn't the right time."

"I don't care. I don't care when the right time is. I need to speak with him right now. Tell him to come out or I'm banging on the door!"

"This is hardly appropriate behavior for a lady."

"Dammit Rocko! Don't talk to me like I'm a child" Laura roared. It was at that moment that Sarah and Amy walked into the room. Like always Sarah took the lead.

"Mom is everything okay?"

"Yes dear everything is okay. Rocko and I were just discussing business. That's all." Laura replied turning her attention towards her eldest. But she was too self cautious. Even at that age Sarah knew what was going on.

"Sounds like a lot more than business to me. It's about him isn't it?" Sarah said. Laura was nearly paralyzed by her daughter's words. So was Rocko. It was unsettling to see a man of his stature overcome by fear.

"It's fine really. I'll be fine. I just have a few things to take care of. You two shouldn't be here. You should be out with other kids your age. I saw some kids playing at the park earlier this morning and it made me think of you. You should be out there with them." Laura said.

"Yeah Sarah let's go!" Amy insisted. She was delighted and oblivious to what was happening. Sarah envied her. Amy's shyness and kind hearted nature was at it's peak back then. She never spoke to anyone except her older sister. She clutched onto her teddy bear in for comfort. Laura bought it for her in the hopes that it would help Amy open up but it only made her more clingy and insecure. For the longest time she wouldn't even speak to her mother. Sarah was the only one who could inspire a reaction out of her.

"I don't want to go to the park." Sarah spoke a little too bluntly. Laura's eyes lingered on her with deep sympathy. She sensed the pain in her voice and Sarah's chest burned at this realization. She kneeled down on the floor directly in front of Sarah and placed her gentle hands on her shoulders.

"Sarah I need you to do this for me. Please. This is important. It will just be a little while. Rocko will bring you back as soon as we're finished. I'll be fine."

"Promise?"

"I promise. Don't worry about me. You're too young. Right now I need you to worry about yourself. Can you do that for me Sarah?"

Sarah nodded. Her mother turned her attention back towards our Limo driver.

"Rocko I need you to watch the girls for about an hour. I'll call you when I'm ready." she said.

"Please don't do this. I could help. I could keep him calm. Prevent things from getting out of hand." Rocko pleaded.

"I'm sorry are you a marriage counselor of some sort?" She retaliated sarcastically.

"Laura please. You don't have to do this."

"Yes I do. Please take my girls to the park."

"There has to be another way. I could-"

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