Who in the world is calling at this hour? Inaya Seabrook thought, dragging her head up from the pillow to give her cell phone the evil eye. It had been ringing back to back for the last five minutes.
When she saw who the caller was, she frowned. She was highly tempted to pull the pillow over her head and go back to sleep until her alarm clock went off an hour from now. Yet because do-right was embedded deep within her soul from all those childhood years she spent in church, she reluctantly pulled the phone to her ear and finally answered her mother’s call.
“What’s wrong now, Mama?”
“Nothing. I just need to borrow two hundred dollars, that’s all,” Uzuri said. “I’m headed out of town again today and I need a little bit more to tide me over until I get back.”
Borrow? Don’t you mean, have? Inaya thought. She’d never gotten one brown cent back from any of the personal loans she’d given her mother.
“I don’t have it,” Inaya replied, tired of financing her mother’s carefree or rather careless lifestyle.
“What do you mean you don’t have it? You always have it.”
“Not this time.”
“Then what are you good for? Nothing, but looking pretty. So just stand there and continue to do just that – look pretty.”
Inaya sighed. “I’m still laying down in my PJs with thick wads of crust in the corners of my eyes and the worst bedhead ever. Pretty is nowhere near me right now.”
Uzuri scoffed. “Unlikely. Both of my girls are gorgeous! They take after their beautiful mama. Now bye, broke heifer!” Then she abruptly hung up.
Inaya shook her head as she returned her cell phone to the nightstand. Another monetary request, a put-down, a compliment, and an ego trip all within five minutes. That was Uzuri Seabrook for you.
Now that Inaya was wide awake, she went to take a shower. She shrugged off her anger and frustration along the way. No use staying upset with her mother. It wasn’t going to solve anything. Uzuri was…well, Uzuri. She wasn’t about to change anytime soon for anyone.
Inaya hated that their mother/daughter relationship was so dysfunctional and lopsided. She didn’t want things to be this way, but Uzuri didn’t seem to want any other kind of relationship with her, so she let that dream die a long time ago.
Her younger sister, Kali, had a similar relationship with their mother – one built on what they could do for her. As soon as she was old enough to earn money, Uzuri insisted that she share her earnings, as well. The Seabrook sisters used to give their mother half of their paychecks as teenagers. She still wanted, but didn’t always get in Kali’s case, some of their earnings now, despite the fact that they had their own bills to pay.
Although Inaya remained in Montrose, Georgia after she moved out of their childhood home, Kali left the entire state soon after she was married. She tried to get as far away as possible from their mother. When her husband was promoted to regional manager over several large department stores in Georgia, Kali refused to return to Montrose even though he was over a store there, as well. Instead they settled in Kingsberry, Georgia, which was three towns away.
“I should move away and change my phone number,” Inaya said as she disrobed.
Yet she knew she wouldn’t. She cared too much for the foster children of Montrose to do that. She was called to them.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier