As much as she tried not to let her mother’s cruel tongue bother her, it was really difficult.
Shouldn’t Mel be happy that Sinclaire even came over to the house on Sunday afternoon for brunch? Sinclaire was the only child of Mel’s that actually made an effort to put up with her. One would think her mother would go out of her way to appease her daughter, but not Mel. Making people’s lives miserable seemed her mother’s forte.
Mel never seemed to let the fact that Annelle wanted to be as far away from her mother as possible bother her, nor made any effort to change the fact that she was the most evil woman this side of the Mississippi. She felt anything and everything in her life could be replaced.
Sinclaire also felt size fourteen was not fat. Even though she was only five foot four, she was just thick. Top heavy from Mamma Gerty side of the family and just a big boned young woman of twenty four.
“Mel, leave her alone,” Jackson, Mel’s newest beau urged. He looked almost like Shamar Moore without the facial hair. Being ten years younger than Mel, he was young looking with a nice build and the most handsome smile. He was an investment banker and he spent his days collecting money for businesses. At night, he spent all the money he made that day on her mother.
Sinclaire never deigned to call them boyfriends anymore because they came and went too fast. Not many could last Mel’s evilness and left eventually.
She wasn’t sure how Mel had met Jackson, but this had been her longest beau yet and probably not her last. Her mother was just fourteen years her elder and tried to dress like she was still a teenager trying to look grown. Selfish and greedy, she never cared for anyone or anything unless it was benefiting her.
Mel was the most promiscuous woman Sinclaire had ever known. It wasn’t a night that Sinclaire had known her mother to have sex with a man. Any man would do and Mel didn’t care if it was the beau on hand or someone else.
When Mel left her to go to college, Sinclaire had been understanding. Mel had given birth to Sinclaire and Annelle when she was fourteen and Sinclaire had often been left with her father’s mother because her father was serving time in jail. For some reason from the time she was born, Mel found Sinclaire objectionable and kept her as far away from herself as possible.
Momma Gerty had been kind and gentle and filled Sinclaire with lots of sweets, which accounted for her full figure now – a daily battle with obesity because of her father’s side of the family, but satisfied with her thickness at one hundred and seventy pounds.
“Don’t ever think you ain’t the most beautiful creature on God’s green earth, Sinclaire. You are something because God don’t make no junk. Quit letting your mother take away your joy. You don’t need her to tell you you’re beautiful inside and out,” Momma Gerty would say to Sinclaire. Her words were wonderful after Sinclaire was forced to endure her mother’s company for any period of time – even over the phone. “You got something special about you – all her good qualities that she done forgot she had. The ones my boy was attracted to like a fool. People always try to destroy what they’re jealous of.”
Mel was a size one, supermodel body and face with a Lynn Whitfield type hairstyle. Not too over the top, but just enough bite in it to say she just got it done hours ago. She was one of those African American women that seem to grow even more beautiful as they aged and men were drawn to her like a moth to a flame.
Sinclaire’s twin sister, Annelle was just like that as well, but she took work to make sure she stayed skinny. Her twin stayed on a permanent diet and was about to graduate from Michigan State with a degree in accounting. Annelle had taken her time at college, but Mel acted like this was her first daughter to graduate from college with a degree in account.
No one had acknowledged the fact that Sinclaire had received her MBA at accounting and was now going to law school, due to graduate in less than six months.
Mel was doing a big to-do party about Annelle’s graduation and was inviting everyone that was anyone to the party. She even sent invitations to Sinclaire’s other siblings, whom had not grown up with Sinclaire and Annelle.
“You’ll check on the order from the florist before going to work tomorrow morning, right Sin?” her mother said, not caring that her daughter had completely lost her appetite.
“Yes, Mel.” All her life, she had called her mother by the nickname because Mel had almost slapped her blind at five years old when they were in public and Sinclaire called her mother, “Momma.”
“Don’t you ever call me that you high yellow bastard!” Mel had sneered viciously.
Sinclaire only needed to be told once something and she never ever let it slip again.
“You might as well leave if you’re going to stare at your food like that,” Mel snipped.
Quickly, Sinclaire rose and left the table knowing her mother pretty much wanted her to leave. Jackson walked her to the door. He was only about five years Sinclaire’s elder, but with Sinclaire being twenty-four, that wasn’t much. Mel had her at a very young age when most girls weren’t even thinking about boys.
“I hate to say bad things about people, but your mother was a slut before she was out of diapers,” Grandma Gerty would sneer when Sinclaire came home crying from visiting her mother. “I shoulda listened to my friends when they were telling me bout how she had been feeling on boys since kindergarten. And now she goes ‘round saying my boy seduced her. He never saw it coming.”
“You okay,” Jackson asked, his voice filled with concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Sinclaire lied. “How have you put up with her for so long, Jackson?”
“I love her very much.”
She looked at him in disbelief because her own intuition felt something different. There was a need there for her mother in Jackson’s voice, but there wasn’t a warm feeling of love. But who could really love pure evil? “Really, Jackson? I find that so hard to do and I’m her daughter.”
He chuckled. “Let’s just say I helped her do some things and in return she’s going to help me do some things. We need each other.”
Toni Braxton started coming from the living room.
“Jackson, bring my robe and join me in,” Mel called.
Being educated to her mother’s ways, Sinclaire was old friends with the sound of Toni Braxton. Sometimes it was Luther Vandross or even Brian McNight. Their sultry sounds meant her mother wanted a lot of TLC. R. Kelly meant Mel wanted to dominant and Prince meant that there was going to be a lot of freaky things going on under the roof.
Sex to Mel was a drug. She needed it all the time and it was her only weakness.
Knowing that she was her mother’s daughter, sex was something that Sinclaire had told herself she would never allow herself to become addicted to. Sinclaire didn’t have her mother’s looks or confidence, but she was very aware that there were some inner traits that were like Mel’s. Like her ability to know when a man wanted her.
Right now, the way Jackson was looking over her fullness, Sinclaire knew he wanted something from her other than just to console her.
He said, as he helped her on with her coat, “I’d walk you to your car-“
“I’m really okay, Jackson. Go before she blames me for something again,” Sinclaire urged.
Tenderly, he kissed her forehead and wished her a goodnight.
She grabbed her purse and left knowing her mother’s eyes were glaring at her from a window. But Sinclaire didn’t turn around and wave goodbye. She had stopped doing that a long time ago – before she was a decade old.
“Why do you even come here?” she asked herself out loud, getting into her old red early ninety Honda Civic and driving off from the West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan six bedroom colonial home her mother lived in.
It was a silly question. She knew why she came faithfully all the time. She knew why she put up with all of Mel’s evilness all the time. Sinclaire was a smart girl. She had been top five in her class in high school and college. She had scored the highest on the SAT’s, and she had stayed in the top three at her present law school. The answer was more hurtful than she cared to know, but she couldn’t help herself. Gaining Mel’s approval meant more to Sinclaire than anything. As to why her mother never loved her or showed even a remote amount of motherly caring towards her was the biggest mystery to Sinclaire.
Maybe in her quest to earn her mother’s respect she would find the out and then desire no more to gain anything from Mel.
Or maybe Sinclaire would forever be left in the dark, wanting, feeling alone with a sense of failure because she had never succeeded at gaining the love she had always desired from her mother.
It was early October and the wind had started to whip around, warning Michigan citizens to prepare for an odd winter. Michigan had funny weather lately. Some days it was hot, some days it was cold and some days it just couldn’t make up its mind.
Either way, if you lived in the state, you got a taste of all kinds of weather.
Sinclaire had gone to Illinois for college on an academic scholarship and come back to Detroit to work for a law firm as a paralegal until she was accepted into the University of Detroit Mercy Law School. It was in the heart of Downtown Detroit, so it was only comfortable to live inside the city.
She had been renting a small home on the city’s eastside, but after the third break-in while she was at school – the crooks were watching her home – Sinclaire decided to invest and buy a four family flat earlier in the year and was doing the repairs herself and maintaining a tight security system. To help get her some of the money while waiting on the grant to help repair the place, a friend from school got her a job at a popular boutique in Fairlane Mall called UniQuity, owned and managed by Michelle Coleman.
Of course, Mel wouldn’t step foot on the property in its disrepair and since Sinclaire’s apartment, which was in the basement because she made more money renting all four apartments than taking up space in one, she knew her mother would die before her feet ever touched her property line or graced her door.
Walking in her place, she checked to see if her tenants had left any messages. Ms. Emma Cornwall in apartment 2B needed new washers in her bathroom and Lena Jackson, single mother with three kids in a one bedroom apartment needed her window fixed before it got any colder outside. She even put in two hundred dollars, which was more than enough to fix the window and Sinclaire would give her whatever change was left.
Soon as Sinclaire placed her coat down, she frowned at the large wall mirror she was using to cover a hole that led from the washing room that she had yet to fix.
Staring back at the full face, flawless light coppery skin tone and light ochre eyes that were wide, but slightly slanted for an exotic look. Her hair color was a very dark brown with natural umber highlights usually brought out when she had too much sun in her hair or she was eating healthier, but lately this had never been the case. She kept it short right near her ears because it was easier to maitan.
Lots of studying and lack of appetite, mixed with depression caused her to not want to eat healthy at all.
Even after looking at her size fourteen, five foot four and a half height body at over one hundred and seventy pounds, didn’t deter her from heading to the small apartment size refrigerator and picking up her favorite Moosetrack ice cream – a favorite in Michigan. Grabbing a clean spoon – which was rare in her apartment – she plopped on the couch, pulled her schoolbook on her lap and started to read cases. When her eyes became tired, she searched around on the close by coffee table over her mess of school papers, notes and such to find her reading spectacles.
Even as she sat there deep in thought over her lessons, she felt the urges. They were coming more and more and no matter what she took nothing ever made them go away.
‘I won’t be like her!’ she swore to herself and placed her book down. Going into the bathroom, she opened the medicine cabinet and stared at the silver bag she kept there. To try to make it seem like she had a good excuse to go into the bathroom, she washed her hands. The scorching hot water was a painful distraction to what her body was feeling.
Yet soon that pain couldn’t distract her from what she really craved.
Out loud she asked herself, “I thought you said after the last time you wouldn’t do it anymore? You can fight this.”
She closed the medicine cabinet and looked at herself in the mirror. When she couldn’t stand the sight of herself anymore, she closed her eyes and took deep breaths. ‘No, you can’t! You’re too weak and she’s too strong!’ her mind said. ‘It’s apart of you and It’s there, laying in the shadows, waiting for your weakest moment and then…’
Opening the cabinet, she took the bag out and sat on the edge of the tub. Opening up her robe, she was still only wearing after her shower, she spread her legs and avoided the temptation to touch herself. Using the closed toilet as a table, she opened the bag carefully as if someone was around and would come in if they heard the zipper make noise.
She took two baby wipes out. One she laid over the toilet as a covering. The other she wiped high inside of her left thigh. Her breathing was calm and it felt as if she were standing outside of herself watching her do this to her body.
Sinclaire hated pain and she denied she did this too herself, so pushing her conscious away made it easier for her to accept what she was doing.
And old mark that had healed weeks ago was there. She tossed the baby wipe away and picked up an alcohol swab from the silver bag.
Opening it up and then cleaned the area only centimeters away from the old scar. If she continued the scar would run all the way from her middle thigh to her the crack between her thigh and womanhood.
“Then what?'” she asked herself.
Picking up the sanitized blade, she pulled the wrapper from around it and then placed it down on her skin. ‘You aren’t strong enough.’ Blood began to emit from under the blade from the cut she inflicted.
Tears welled in her eyes as she pressed harder feeling the sting and yes, the pain. Lots of it and the amount of alcohol didn’t help. Throwing her head back as the pain worsened, Sinclaire wince and gritted her teeth together so no sound was heard.
Just was use to this in the quietness of her dorm room. She didn’t want to wake her fellow students. No one could ever know she did this to herself. NO ONE!
Looking down at her new wound, she relaxed even more as the blood ran down her thigh and pooled down on the bathroom floor. It felt better. The urge had left her and she relished the pain in its place.
Laying the blade on the wipe, she used another alcohol swab to wipe up the blood on her thigh and wipe the wound. Carefully she applied first aid care to the wound and then placed a band aide over the fresh cut once the bleeding lessened.
She was back to her normal self. She could concentrate again.
By eleven at night, she dug around her kitchen to find a can of Ravioli and threw some shredded cheese on there. Even after that, she wanted something to snack on and found some stale nachos to chomp on before falling asleep on the couch.
At six am, she awoke, took a hot shower, scrimmaged for a bowl of cereal, grabbed her law books and bounced out the door.
On her way out, she bumped into Lena who looked as if she was just coming in with her waitress uniform on.
“How’s life at the IHOP?” she asked.
Lena smiled tiredly. “Smelly. Here take these.”
Sinclaire took the offered Styrofoam container filled with a hot breakfast.
“It’s not enough for all the kids and they’ll just fight over it,” Lena said.
“Thanks, get some rest and I’ll be up to fix that window after school,” Sinclaire promised and waved goodbye.
To Sinclaire, her life was simple and she preferred that. It wasn’t complex where a lot of friends and family hampered her ability. Other than her mother’s cruelness, Sinclaire rarely spoke with any of her other siblings and her father was obsolete.
As far as she knew, Gideon McGentry died in prison when Sinclaire was fourteen. Shortly after that, Momma Gerty, so depressed over Gideon getting shanked, died and Sinclaire spent her teenage years watching her mother take whatever money Momma Gerty left Sinclaire and spending it on herself or her current beau or on her other sister.
Yeah, life had been really depressing under Mel’s roof for her teenage years, but Sinclaire just kept telling herself Momma Gerty’s words from the Bible, “This too shall pass.”
There were a lot of times Sinclaire didn’t think that way, but once she was away from Mel, even though she was still ridicule for not being a model size or teased because she was smart, anything was better than being around her mother.
After school, she got two hours of studying done, before she headed to the hardware store to get what she needed, checked the order at the florist and then she headed to work for the afternoon shift.
Michelle was there at the store; freshly back from her honeymoon and looking radiant.
“Hey, Sinclaire!” Michelle said.
Her manager was in the midst of removing the last dummie off the floor to be cleaned and redressed by the morning. “I’ve got to leave early tonight and I can’t find anyone to cover. I was wondering if you could close tonight. Just leave the drop in the safe, like before. I’ve authorized your card to open it.”
Sinclaire didn’t mind being left alone. “It’s not a problem.”
“Good,” Michelle said looking relieved. “I really didn’t want to have to close up the shop early and I really hadn’t expected this show to be scheduled like this. I could always ask my husband-“
“That’s okay,” she said cutting her off. “He gives me the creeps.”
Michelle giggled. “He just feels uncomfortable about being around women’s clothing all the time.”
“Most men do.”
They laughed together. Michelle was a pretty dark skinned woman, a little bit older than Sinclaire. She had borrowed a lot of money from a rich friend to open up the shop and just worked like a slave making sure everything was perfect.
She was a cool understanding boss and if her employees did well, she rewarded them aplenty.
Sinclaire was trying to get enough cool points to afford the beautiful three-piece pants suit that just happened to be in her size, but cost seven hundred dollars. It wouldn’t go out on the floor until Thanksgiving, but Sinclaire had dreams about wearing the suit to court or just wearing it.
“Call me if you need anything,” Michelle said, handing Sinclaire the spare keys to the shop.
“I won’t need anything. It’s Monday and since it’s close to Halloween, everyone’s out shopping around for a costume.”
Michelle sighed tiredly. “Speaking of special days, would you be able to come in on Thanksgiving Holiday to set up in the afternoon for Black Friday? I’ll order the best Honey Baked Ham you ever tasted.”
When food was involved, Sinclaire couldn’t resist. “Sure, Michelle.”
“Thanks again, Sinclaire.”
As the night progressed, Sinclaire was able to get the store ready to close by 7:30pm, even though the mall didn’t close until 9pm. While she waited for a customer to come in she would sneak her books out behind the counter and read, but jump up as soon as she heard someone
She became so immersed in one case; she didn’t hear the customer come in until he was clearing his voice above her. She gasped startled and dropped the book on her toe.
“Oww!” she hissed.
“Did I surprise you?” he asked.
Sinclaire dipped to get her book, not even looking at the customer and rub her toe. “Umm, I’ll be with you in a sec,” she said, putting the book on the counter and putting her shoes back on.
Facing him, she was surprised to look up into a very beautiful set of olive green eyes and the most perfect smile she could ever imagine on a man. He looked about his middle thirties; natural tan skin and looking like Clive Owens, with beautiful eyes. He was dressed in a very professional tailor made brown suit, which brought out the darkness in his eyes. Standing at six feet exactly, he looked down at her rather confused and frustrated and she felt all of a sudden bad for making him wait like that.
Sin’s Iniquity Chapter 1 (c) 2007 Sylvia Hubbard
I know it’s early but I’d love to know who you are and if there are any old or new readers along for the ride! Have a Happy New Year! Also, I know that I have changed somethings and we’ll get into that by next post.