They say time heals all wounds, but when does the guilt of killing someone ever go away?
Charisse constantly asked herself this – Even now as she waited for her name to be called for an interview. Doing the daily grind while trying to pretend she was normal only prolonged her suffering in this world. Waking up, interacting with people, just seeing the sunlight made her hate the fact that she lived and breath.
It was all worthless and trying to get this mediocre job was not going to improve anything in her life.
Detroit’s economy was at an all time low and the fact that she hadn’t finished college made it difficult to obtain any well paying job much less a career. People made sacrifices all the time. Charisse thought when she left college to help her mother that maybe somehow something would shine her way, but it hadn’t.
Even after her mother had died she was still miserable and that woman had made sure her life had been hell on earth. Life had not gotten any better now that she was living with Cheyenne who loved to rack guilt upon her daily like she was smoothly spreading warm peanut butter over bread.
“Chinese Sheridan,” the nasal clerk called reading off her clipboard.
“It’s Shaw-reese,” she said phonetically, standing up.
The woman cut her eyes at her and Charisse knew this wasn’t going well already. Already she knew she wasn’t going to get anything from this woman much less a job.
Still, she kept her head low and walked past the woman into the room careful not to touch anyone. As the door closed, hope of working there quickly diminished.
Charisse knew it was only in pittance for the sins that would forever haunt her until the day she died. Hopefully, that would be sooner than later.
* * *
Three Days Later
The beeping of the machine was really annoying her and Charisse realized it was her heartbeat. Damn! Would she ever get it right?
Her body seemed to catch up with her mind and she began to immediately vomit the tube out of her throat. With her arms strapped down, she found herself choking and a nurse rushed in the room to help pull the tube out of her mouth.
“Calm down, Chinese.”
Her throat hurt too much for her to correct the nurse. There was an IV in one arm and some milky liquid going into her belly – Most likely nutrients to make her eat.
“You’re going to be alright. They had to pump your stomach twice, but they believe all the poison is out. It was close. That amount of poison in your system should have killed you.”
‘Thank you for nothing,’ Charisse sneered to herself. ‘Maybe if I had finished college, I would have measured it much better.’ This was a very sick thought but it made her pursed her lips to get her enlightened at the thought.
“Your sister just left.”
The elation disappeared and Charisse closed her eyes to tune the woman out. The nurse got the message and left out.
She replayed the events that got her here.
Coming home from the disappointing interview, Charisse had stopped at three different stores in order to obtain the amount of poison she needed. It wouldn’t cause suspicion like last time. Plus, she had waited until all eyes weren’t watching her anymore.
This time she thought she had it right. So how had they found her so fast to save
“No!” Cheyenne sneered, coming in the room. “I had her for two years, Mother had her for five, now it’s your turn, Chyna.”
These were her sisters. Obviously the nurse had not informed them that Charisse had awakened.
“She was thirteen when Mother had her. That time did not count,” Chyna’s sarcastic tone stated.
“It was stressful enough to… It doesn’t matter, Chyna. She’s yours. We’re not putting her in a home.”
“That’s not fair. I’m married, you’re not. You can’t begin to understand the pressure to have family members staying with you when you’re married.”
“Parker will understand. Plus the man is never home anyway to even notice a guest there.” Cheyenne came to the bed and was close enough to brush her hand against Charisse’s. A cold feeling encompassed Charisse. She fought the urge to move away from the touch, but she didn’t since was used to not touching Charisse.
‘Good,’ she said to herself as she continued to listen in on her sister’s conversation.
“Why did she do it, Cheyenne?” Chyna’s tone sounded sad and frustrated. “I thought with Momma’s death, she would change. She would actually get stronger.”
“It’s obvious,” Cheyenne answered. “She thinks it’s her fault.”
“I find it amazing that she takes the weight of others on her shoulders like that. She couldn’t have done anything. None of us could.”
“Don’t you dare say that, Chyna. You knew before us all. You knew and you could have stopped it.”
“Oh now you’re going to make me feel guilty for something. I was only fifteen, remember? How could any of us know? The one without sin cast the first stone.”
Cheyenne quickly changed the subject. “She’s all yours. Do with her what you want. I’m not going to care any more. This is the third time! The third time, Chyna.”
“Quit saying it as if it’s my fault, Cheyenne. This didn’t start with us and you know it, but just as much as you feel I could have ended, so could you, sister dear.”
The room was strangely quiet and Charisse almost wanted to open her eyes because she had a feeling her sisters were doing that silent twin speaking over her.
Abruptly, Cheyenne said, “Tell her I said good bye.” She leaned over and whispered, “Giver her hell, Nessie.”
“I’ll call you when she awakes,” Chyna promised as Cheyenne walked away from the bed.
“Don’t bother. She’ll wait for the coast to be clear again and try it again. Use the money only if you have to that Mother left. Put her in the facility.”
Charisse wanted to protest, but she didn’t want to let them know she was alive. The facility?! It would keep her safe, but she didn’t want to be safe. She wanted to be dead. She wanted to be away from this miserable world and not feel anymore.
The facility wouldn’t help her. No one could. No one.
Next time she would succeed. She had to. Life would never be worth living.
His Substitute Wife…My Sister Chapter 1 (c)2008 Sylvia Hubbard