Chapter 2 - Fate - Before

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"Hey, Mom," I say into my two-in-one earbuds as I run Dobby up the stairs after his potty break.

Shit, I'm late.

"Am I a good mom?"

I lean against the closed door of my apartment and shut my eyes. These anxiety attacks seem to be closer and closer together recently.

"Of course you are, Mom. You fed us, always made sure we were safe and had a good place to live. We were happy, you know. We know you did your best."

Silence on the other end tells me this won't be a quick convo. There's no hope to getting to work on time. "Come on, Mom, what's up?"

Her shaky sigh hurts my heart. She really did everything she could as a single mom for Destiny and me.

"I just feel like I'm losing you both. After you moved out—"

"I'm twenty-seven, Mom. I needed to move out."

"I just don't see you enough, and I know Destiny misses you too. You should come by more, or maybe move back—"

"Listen, Mom, I gotta—"

"Right, sorry. I'm keeping you. I need to go back in too, just wanted to call on my break. They have me pulling a double here at the hospital. Lots of laundry today apparently, so I won't be home for a while. Will you check on your sister?"

Damn. Another double. At her age the labor-intensive jobs she takes on can't be good, and no doubt she'll allow them to work her through the rest of her breaks just to stay in their good graces.

"Did you bring anything to eat? Snacks or anything?" No way she'll fork over the kind of money required for the shitty hospital food if she didn't.

"I'll be fine, Fate."

"Mom. Answer me."

"No, but I'll—"

"I'll be there in twenty and leave something for you with Janice at the front desk. You need to eat, Mom. You work too hard as it is. No need to do it all on an empty stomach."

"Thanks, sweetheart. I don't know what Destiny or I would do without you watching out for us."

Good thing they'll never have to find out.

Ending the call, I flip to my texts.

Me: Hey, hey, hey. Mom wanted me to check in. Everything copasetic in your realm?

Baby Sis: OMG she has to stop.

Baby Sis: I think it's getting worse.

Baby Sis: I wonder if I'm part of the problem. Knowing she still has one mouth to feed.

Me: Shut your mouth. She's just... IDK. I think she needs to go to the doc or talk to someone. Not that any of my persuading has done any good recently.

Me: How's school?

Baby Sis: Good. Slow. Senior year, people blow off most of their classes.

Me: But you're not, right? I will whoop your ass all the way to Dallas.

Baby Sis: Wow. Slow down there, ghetto superstar. I'm going to class.

Baby Sis: I know what you've done to get me here.

Baby Sis: But don't you ever want more?

Me: You're about to get more in college.

Me: Well not GET more. I mean more experiences.

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