Staged

Look at you. The laughs at a someone’s expense is one well-played sneaky hype for you. You don’t care what you do, say or feel. As long as you have an audience–that is all you’re looking for, an audience reacts to the character you play. You operate solely for the approval of others. Then again, you don’t know where self-satisfaction begins, and crowd-pleasing ends.

Things are less and less authentic about you as you move along this B-movie you called life. You know you’re a fake, and you secretly can’t stand it. So you use what “friends” have confided in you as entertainment for people who can care less about you. You’re right for a laugh, but never enough to be taken seriously. Now, look at you, you’re destroying real things for fake admiration.

You idolize a crowd that let you into their exciting life as long as you jump when they want to laugh as they tell you how high. You never had an issue going very low to get to what you think are societal highs.

I am sorry for you. Not because I hate you don’t see the person the others came to your stage performance to be, but because you are always headlining a concert no one wants tickets to, you promised one show, and gave whole new production. It never ceases to amaze me how you’re not tired of putting on a long, sad dance for an absent audience. Not the kind of song and dance we all play different characters of ourselves to a degree, especially when no one is looking. I believe that is the fault of authenticity in itself. No, you insist on embarrassing others for what they confide in you to the uninterested audience to shock them to look your way—anything to get people to laugh “with you.” (you know as well as I do they’re not laughing with you)  You keep on dancing; I’m sure they’ll make an award for your efforts one day but until then, keep up the so-called work.

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Eager Visit

“Do we finally get to visit mom?” The children asked in unison. Their eyes illuminated eager and bright.

“Yes, we do” Father gave them poison cookies. “We will visit her tonight.”

Happy screams filled the house with delight.

Father watched Junior and Missy take their first and last bite.

 

 

 

Moses: One, VI

It happened today.

I wasn’t really surprised, but it is always strange to see Moses freak out because of a bad international press. I think the display is strange because she should be used to it by now.

“…Sheer indignation!” Moses snapped as she threw a rolled up newspaper at me. She straight chucked it at me; with perfect aim and timing. It slapped me as it landed smack open where the gossip rag showed their fury towards Moses.

In big letters: DICTATOR MOSES FRANK SPENDS 4 DRUG FUELED DAYS WITH STRIPPERS AND JAMES HCAL.

I wanted to laugh so bad because of the lack of punches held in the headline. It was explicit. The only thing I would change is leaving acclaimed film director James Hcal out of it. He can care less about Moses– I am sure he also is preparing to sue everyone and anyone responsible for this leaked one-sided romance as I write.

Moses quickly drew up plans to visit LandMass 1 to go out on an all-out war with their national, mainstream media, particularly the magazine. I have given quiet props to the first land mass; they really know how to do international news. They know how to make their news relevant to the whole wide world. After all, we follow their celebrities and wish to catch the LandMass 1 wave of capitalistic supremacy.

Although the rumors they published were true; we don’t need them to broadcast it. We have our own media to spin things. Besides, what is different between us and them? They use stupid monikers to keep people down such as race, identifying pronouns, and class. We don’t have that kind of the mess; everyone is kept down by one person. We are all equal in our dastardly struggle to survive under the watchful eye of a high functioning drug addict. For this meeting, however, Moses was sober—-for this meeting. I knew after we wrapped as a team, we were not going to be able to contact her for three days before the trip.

“I need an advisor.” Moses barked. Marsha slowly got up to assume her solid role. Moses asked for an advisor was her way of asking for Marsha, but for some reason. Things changed today.

“No. Not you. Sit down.”  Moses didn’t look at Marsha. Marsha plopped down in her chair, Rita quietly grabbed Marsha’s hand as her head willowed down. How embarrassing to be fired in this kind of outwardly subtle way. you see everyone’s head stiffly looking straight at Moses, but you can feel all the eyes dancing with this fresh gossip.

I imagined myself dancing on a grave. Not any grave in particular; my imagination celebrated what I couldn’t act out.

“You.” Moses lit a cigarette— she points to Lauren.  A quite busy bee with extremely nervous energy.

The whole meeting looked around shocked at the casual upstaging. Lauren is the new travel advisor. That felt odd to acknowledge.

There were a couple of random gasps sprinkled in the auditorium. As soon as Lauren’s name was called, you can hear the gasping ping-ponging off the walls.

“You can do this, ask Marsha how to help you.” Moses didn’t look up at anyone as she kept filling though what needed to happen for this trip.

Lauren looked and smiled at Marsha. Marsha didn’t respond as Rita continued to stroke her hand.

haha, I thought the laughter phonetically.

As soon as Moses literally had the door spank her on the way out. The whole room stiffly crowded around Lauren. We were all spaced out at congratulating her with Marsha outwardly sulking in the room. After an obvious, “I’m upset, but let me act nice” extended pause Marsha hugged Lauen, we all knew it was fake, but it was a relaxing sign that all of us were able to show our actual praise of Lauren.

Rita and Marsha both spat indirect insults about Lauren into the air as they stormed out and slammed the door behind them. We all laughed and talked smack as we continued with our celebration.

 

That night, Marsha came into my room as if we were best friends. I was annoyed.

“Can you believe what happened today?” She plopped her disgusting body on my freshly made bed.

I shook my head. I told her flatly, I am still new and I don’t know things like she does. So I am sure she will get a bigger position.

I was wary of a woman that is known to sell out her fellow coworkers for a pat on the back and a ham sandwich would ask my opinion about our ruler’s decision.

She tried to get some information about what I liked about Lauren and I told her I thought she was pretty.

“She’s kind of homely, don’t you think?” Marsha leaned in, looking at me with a pinched eye.

I shrugged my shoulders and told her that Lauren is in shape, and maybe we can all use some of her workout tips. I knew that statement would set Marsha back. Marsha would never admit that a huge part of her problem with Lauren is she is genetically blessed. Lauren is beautiful. Marsha hates that Lauren doesn’t try when it comes to looks.

I think some of the whisperings amongst the other Margies is, Moses choosing Lauren over Marsha to get to Marsha is true. But between my writings and I,  I think Lauren is the new travel advisor is because she’s prettier than Marsha. Having someone pretty and pleasant as a ‘friend’ brings on added benefits. Marsha…well…her added benefits did Moses no good.

After some awkward small talk, Marsha left. She got no new information from me, but she did leave my room more obvious in her envy.

 

 

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Moses Frank: One, iv

iv

My first official day as her assistant was more eventful than I wanted. I was surrounded in a  delicate yet forcefully decorated grand meeting room, with a bunch of Cheif Head Wingers parading as leaders from Moses’s father’s time.  She couldn’t shake up the long standing institution for draconian laws to set by men. So I was feeling a little bit, worried about her.

I wish I were at home. I have a strained relationship with my parents, but the strain was better than this kind of pressure. As Moses walked past me, I started to tear, she was wearing the same perfume my sister wears.

My eyes started to swell. Moses caught me before busted out in tears in front of the whole meeting hall.  She carefully shuffled me outside and to come back in when I was ready.

I took the  hour.

When I came back to the meeting, The air was violently tense, everyone seemed upset they had to take orders from a young, surly, coffee skinned girl that looked like a wife to an uptight professional athlete, then an absolute monarch to a modem dictatorship. It was odd, to be honest, to have someone this young be so broken, yet hot to touch.  Alas, here we are in official meeting robes taking orders from a woman I’m not sure is fully committed or interested in the policy she is proposing to enact.

Adam Taut, the leader of the Head Wingers, ha so much fight in him today. He was an older man, I wanted to say he was Moses’s grandfather’s age. A thin build with an usually large head and thick dinner plate eyes. He was clean, but something about him seemed so dirty. Nevertheless, he was brilliant and forward thinking with his ideas, when ever he spoke, everyone paid a little more attention. If someone didn’t know any better, they would have assumed that Taut was the leader and Moses was the girl that was allowed to do whatever she wanted. Like play ruler for a day  I was enchanted, but I can’t let Moses know, so I had to show him with my eyes.

Adam and Moese spat back and forth to each other for the duration of the meeting.  There were points that it got really nasty and ugly, I just turned off my tape recorders because the language was too much. Moses wasn’t as stately as Taut, but she sure did have a wonderfully hideous way with words. Once the meeting broke, Moeses sank down in her seat.  She was exhausted, and I quickly told her I was too, to show solidarity.

Moses asked the first guards to leave as she directed me to go meet her on the terrace.
Soon after, Moses met me as she lit her cigar,  “You learned something?” I have grown accustomed to Moses not looking anywhere in my direction as she spoke to me. I apologized again for my lack of attention, she said asked me what I was talking about.
After a light chat, she got down to the real reason she asked me outside.
“You thought highly of Adam, didn’t you? I noticed your eyes.” she blew some smoke in my face.
I had a hard time looking at Moses as she placed her hand on my shoulder.

 
“It’s okay if you like him, but you should know you’re not good hiding how you feel.”
She laughed.
I didn’t know what to do because I’m still not confident I’m safe around her. I flatly told Moses that I don’t want to die because she didn’t like my answer. She rolled her eyes.
I spilled I thought he was a stately human being.
Moses nodded softly.  However, her demeanor switched cold. She told me to retire to my room.
She puffed as she stomped inside. I heard the door slam. I cleaned up and held to myself that she asked for an honest answer, so she shouldn’t have been that upset.

 

Moses: One, iii

September-iii

I was so happy when we finally made our destination.  From afar, the odious Castile is out of place from the surrounding slums of Seafront. It was not that the people were poor; they did not want to rival anything the young dictator was doing or building. All skilled workers are employed by her. She forbids workers to use their, “skills” elsewhere.  “Adore. “ Moses candidly calls out to her estate. Adore is breathtaking. It had a classical yet, modern tone to the exterior, accented with large windows and cherry red lining. The front field is littered with blood red roses that also line various roads throughout her compound, the shades of red were so intense, the fallen petals looked like pools of blood.  I complimented Moses on her maintenance of Adore since her parents passed. She blinked twice and shot me a creek smile. I scooted a little more towards my door and told myself to reserve the rest of my energy for appreciating the winding road leading up to her front door. Interesting foliage scattered around lush green grass. As if, she wanted a bush at random spots in the field to her liking. I am in awe of her house. I never saw it in the official photos—she does not do things like that—nor even in the gossip news. It was an intense first time looking at it.

I did not realize the drive up to the front door was going to be another painful ten minutes. I managed the best I can to not look at Moses blow her nose away. It is horrid, to say the least.  As soon as the car came to a halt I leaped out as if it was still moving. and rolled on the ground seven times. Everyone just paused and looked at me like I hadn’t been here long enough to go off the deep end. It was extraordinarily disconcerting…..I could not believe how ominous and the stark white mansion was up close. I was thinking it was super elegant and modern from the gate,. Now that I think about it, as we drove up, it seemed to get cloudier.  I don’t feel like I saw this house and felt this weather when we got to the gate,  It was a very strange feeling of evil that lived in the house. Like a protective evil, I was scared.

A portly guard swished my door open and grabbed my right arm. He yanked me out and I swirled out of the car.  “Get inside” he snorted as he kicked my suitcase towards me. I was frazzled; I picked my case up and scurried in. Moses left to get something to eat and watch television. The guard, lead me down a large white hallway with deep red carpeting. The walls were accepted with poetry, pictures, and messages from Moses. I was shocked at a number of people working and filing through her grounds. It was as if they were consumed with the minor task that does not require the human emotions I was seeing. They all needed to look like they’re very busy was what I gathered. I overheard a woman freak out because she thought Moses’s pants shrunk in the dryer. Even though the instructions mounted in huge green letters behind her clearly states that ‘a little shrinkage never hurt anyone.’ I giggled to myself, as the woman’s hysterical cries were behind me, a blatant distant memory.

“You’ll be staying here.” The guard shoved me into a luxury suit.

My new prison quarter is gorgeous.

As the fat man slammed the door behind him. I waited a couple of minutes before I laughed and rolled around in my new cell. I was fully aware the responsibly of keeping Moses’s affairs in order is going to be very long and arduous. I was also excited that I was able to unwind in my chef kitchen or the study clear across the 4099 square foot penthouse. As long as she was good, I was good. Therefore, I personally took it to myself to make sure she was comfortable with me doing the job. After all, I believed the worst friends always give the best gifts.

Later that evening, Moses came into my room and plopped a large red book on my lap. As she walked away, she said it was the new manual of my duties.

I turned the television off and resided to myself it was going to be a long night of studying.

Moses: One, ii

September—(II)

I was uneasy getting into the car. The way the doors slammed behind us as we settled in did not sound like doors I would normally hear to signal that I was safely in the car. It was as if the car were bells toiling at my sealed fate. I told myself she made it clear that she was more interested in sparing my life than ending it; however, I was still thinking my life was going to be over. Again, I never see this woman until she wants to act out on her jealous rage.  This all knowing and all mighty ruler still gets insecure when prettier girls that are more vibrant came along to her awkward black tie affairs with their proud dates in tow. She had a standard habit of drinking way too much while sulking in a corner, lamenting about attraction privilege and colorism until her favorite dealer made his appearance and hooked her up with false promises at dirt cheap rates. Ironic she is the ruler to everyone, but still could not get her connect to show up on time, no matter what kind of threat she pulls out of her bad. I, however, am not her dealer, and I try to make myself small so others can make themselves look bigger to bears, so I do not know why she would find a reason to be envious of me.

After 45 minutes of complete silence, finally a crack. “You’re still scared, huh?” Moses lazily tilts her head towards me. I sat right up.

“Terrified.” I just felt if I had to go out now, at least I was going to go out being honest.

“You don’t think much of me do you?” As Moses is talking, she is dozing off. Therefore, I was wrong in thinking she was on any uppers.

“I think the world of my everlasting light dear—”. She halts me mid-sentence; she was not interested in the official motto every time she does an official visit or propaganda movie. Moses wanted me to lay it all on her, now.

“Well, I don’t know what to think…” I was stuttering. On one hand, I wanted to say it did not matter if I liked her or not, she already bought me from my parents; at this point,  admiration went out the window the second she signed the check. On the other hand, I wanted to tell her that she is stunning in person to the point that it’s distracting. The official photos do nothing for her, so her asking me what I thought is still absolutely pointless because it’s going to not feel like I’m telling her the truth.

Moses was clearly annoyed.  “Okay, well I know you’re not going to give me a straight answer, so let’s not speak.” I immediately sunk down into my seat as Moses reached in her purse and pulled out her drug kit. I just flat out told her that she’s beautiful in person. “You’re just saying because I am the ruler.” I shook my head, knowing she wasn’t going to believe me. I looked to see if the car partition was locked tight—it was, and the driver is blasting music—I huffed in my head this was going to be the longest three hours of me watching my ruler get high. I was thinking, ‘this is one of my official duties—great’. This was going to be a worse show than her dreadful press conference last year when she announced that new land was under her territory.

It was clear that she had been up for a couple of days doing drugs. When she came on live television looking like a cracked out, excavated mummy. It was hard to keep the shocks and whispers in the press room quite. One woman screamed in horror and asked if this was a zombie. She horribly waved her arms in the air as she yelled that Moses is destroying her looks. Before Moses opened her mouth, the woman rebuked her addiction and swan–dived out the 30-story window to screams so horrible, it made some people in the press room to pass out. That live show was the interesting, to say the least. It was the only time a citizen openly criticized Moses’s drug use. She sure paid the price with her life for doing something so courageous.

“Do you know what I am in charge of?” I did not think she was serious; she was bending down to snort a  line.

“79 Billion.” I was literal,  It was the population of all of the people under her rule. She ruled over 79 billion fearful souls.

“No, I mean you do know what I’m in charge of?” Moses’s voice was lower and nasally.

I shook my head.

Moses belted a condescending laugh. “I am in charge of the beast that dwells inside me, the woman that is too bold to stand out, but too afraid to be put out to the land. I am a shell who has no control over what she feels. This soul—is in charge of me.”

I wanted her to elaborate; I was confused in what she was talking about it was so devilish sounding as if a demon possessed her to take the answer lest Moses endure embarrassment by a vapid answer. I felt I was seeing once the soul leaves her body and another one enter as the road got extremity bumpy and Moses spilled her addiction all over the place. She did not seem too worried about this.

“Well, when I spill, usually it means we are half way.” Moses leaned excessively to reach over my head and pat me like a cat she’s afraid of. As the ride settled, Like clockwork, she reached in a secret case in front of her.

“What are you are trying to contain?” I politely inquired, but Moses did not hesitate to pretend she did not know what I was talking about.

“I didn’t say anything.” Moses is a professional at casual lying.

I nodded my head in agreeance.

“You’ll learn. ” She was blank in her voice. She jolted out of her trance and started to create a drug meal again.

I kept telling myself this was going to a long tenure.

 

Moses: One

Part One: of a series

September

The news broke out while I was washing Dear Leader’s pipes. The International Crime Unit has taken in our benevolent dictator, Moses Chidechi Frank, into custody for war crimes. According to NDD, the only news network we have in Seafront, Moses was arrested outside of a strip club in Wasterhood, New Mersey. She did not make a fuss, apparently, she wanted to run back inside and get her leftover bag from lunch. Thankfully, they allotted her to do so. Personally, I loathe the International Crimes Unit; they take cases of so-called “bad dictators” and parade them on television as if that is going to help the people these jokers claimed were suffering. The ICU is unique at fueling our societal false sense of justice and that world peace is attainable.
It is an odd fascination how we celebrate the poor being punished while letting the rich get away with anything.

Alas, they choose to put Moses on the chopping block this time around.

 

*

*

*

I was told my job by Moses herself when she stormed my parents’ home telling them she chose me to be her personal assistant. I lived peacefully the suburb of Rockland, 443 miles north of the capital Seafront.  Usually, Moses does not make a trip to this side of her rule unless she was in the mood for violence. I was scared because she looked like she was high. It is not a secret that Moses abuses hard drugs; the country is little more stable when she has fallen off her sobriety wagon. It has been about 3 months since she has fallen, so people are more interested in living their life as normal. I was completely terrified when she busted into my parents’ home. I thought she decided she was going to use me as her personal punching bag. When she came kicked the door down, it was a shock at first, but seeing how wild her eyes were and her inability to keep still made me eerily relaxed. As she explained to my parents, that she needs more friends around her age,

It was absurd to question the ethics to my parents when she offered the money to release me to her custody.  My mother rushed me upstairs to get packing as soon as Moses finished signing the check. Although families are free to choose whether they are leaving their homes to work for Moses in the capital, it is still a better choice to say ‘yes.’ The benefits of staying alive around Moses are miles better than sitting at home wondering if you are going to be her next random target.

I packed light. I packed to two pair’s pants at like and three tennis shoes. I knew I was going to get a complete makeover when I get my official duties set in—Moses did not believe in anyone looking a mess around her.—I was sorrowful knowing that my life is going to change forever. At the same time, I embraced that I was going to be the right-hand person to the most powerful woman in the whole land mass, possibly the world. I was going to be spoiled with rewards upon rewards for existing to do what I am told to do.

“Ready?” a sweet voice beamed from behind me. I jumped a bit; her voice is too smooth for someone that is so demented. I told her I was but instead of making way to leave, she sat at my desk as if she was sitting down for her first school lesson.

“Tell me something I would like to know.” She folded her hands and smiled.

I did not have anything to tell her that she would not have known already. She kept a file on everyone that lives, comes, and goes through this land

“I’m scared you might kill me.” I immediately regretted what I said as soon as it left my lips.

Moses shook her head, she seemed little hurt that I would think that she would do such a thing to a person she was legally kidnapping through her own rules.

“You’re too nice, but I don’t kill people that look like me, you now? I don’t kill former or current staff unless they try to dress me, you understand that, right?”  Moses patted my shoulder fantastically hard, and twirled out the door, demanding I come downstairs. I quickly followed behind.  Kissed my parents each and swore that I would bring back vouchers so they can visit. It was a sight to see my mother and father cry. Moses came right back in and without saying anything, gave my parents a book of vouchers, cheerfully announcing they can come visit anytime they wanted to.

That was the last day she was kind to anyone.

As I followed her out, she asked me again why I was so jittery and nervous; she never bothered to look back at my facial expressions, so I was mainly having a conversation with her backside with noises coming out of her front as if it were a smelly back.

I told her …again, I was worried she would get upset with me and kill me; she has done things like this in the past.

She stopped and turned back towards me as the driver scurried over to the back passenger side. She was clearly annoyed, I was also frighted how calm she remained.

She softly came close to my face as if she found a good angle to bite my nose off.
“I told you, as long as you’re good. I am good. Stay in your place.” she srugged and fliped hair in my face as she contineued towards the car.

She made herself at some in the passenger seat. The driver tensely motioned for me to enter into the car. This was going to be a long ride.

.

Janice

The speckled shadows swarm her as she dizzied trying to collect her nerves. Unexpected trips and tumbles take a surprise shape to her morning routine. as she desperately begs herself to pull it together while hoisting herself up by scaling the ornate blue chair near her vanity. She was getting ready for a confrontation she was not ready to have. However, she deemed it necessary to protect what she had worked for 20 years. She wanted to show that woman who thanks to her wifely senses, intelligence, the secret is out, and she knew for the past five years. She felt it was time to sit pretty while exposing that woman as if she is a flower blossoming, then violently plucked from her root, Stunting growth and development. Certain, it was time to rip open her layers and show the world how truly of an empty woman she is. She picked up the phone with authority.

“Hello, may I speak to…”

She arranged for the meeting to take place in an open, yet secluded stage in the park. She wanted to get all of her feelings out without coming across someone who knows her maiden name. She grinned as she thought ‘this would be a good time to shout out’- things she never would dare when she was the lifeless arm candy at rudimentary black-tie affairs. Nevertheless, she did not want to leave herself exposed to her state of vulnerability. ‘It would not be a good thing for a wife of her power and stature to go out and make herself a mess in public’ she thought. She reminded herself of her mother’s telling: never going out cheap with an expensive dress on. ‘You want to show them everything without showing or saying anything.’ She remembered her breathing exercise her life coach provided her in times of stress as she sashayed down her house into her car garage.

Her driver, always on duty, opened her door for her. “No thank you, Parker” the woman warmly waved to stand down. “I’ll be driving myself today.”

She waited on the nicest bench in the filthy park under two gargantuan oak trees placed side by side behind the bench as if they had front row seats to every example of the human destruction that went on in the park. She noticed the trees the silent power they commanded while giving comfort and protection to anyone that sought their solace. Bullet holes and grazes burn the trees like fingerprints. Each 40oz lay casually at the bottom of the trees also struck Janice with disastrous delight, they looked like little watering pots. She snapped back to reality when she realized where she was romanticizing art.

 

Suddenly, a younger woman walks up to Janice. Her brown skin and engaging eyes washed Janice over with a sudden lust for jealous murder. “I’m glad you can meet.” The young woman greets as she extends her hand. Janice glares at it with chilling eyes. The young woman retreats into her hand slowly. “I got your call about you want to talk to me.” The woman sits on the far side of the bench. Janice quickly skooches away from her as she clings to her designer purse tightly. “Well, you know Frank.” Janice chides. The woman looks off into the horizon and back at Janice with revealing eyes. “Well, he was my husband, you know that right?” Janice condescends The girl shook her head lightly as she raised her shoulders. “He told me he was single.” the woman’s pure innocence in her revelation killed Janice inside “I’m sorry little girl he lied to you to get into your pants.” Janice huffed as she rolled her eyes. “…but…” Janice shrugs her shoulders carelessly—, “….he used your body to get off, you need to learn how to close your legs to a married man, but I wouldn’t expect much from someone who lives out here.” Janice opens her hands as if she is introducing the woman to her surroundings. “Listen, I’m sure my husband gave you some money for your troubles” Janice bobs her head side to side. “I’m sure you have children you have to feed, so I guess you do what you have to do right. Use your tiny waist and ample curves right?” Janice moves her hands to shape the woman’s body. “you don have much of a face, but you have a body. I can give you that.” Janice looks over the woman one more time as she shakes her head.

“Claudia is my name” the woman gets up. “Your husband said he divorced you the long time ago. Sorry, he lied to you.” Claudia remarked flatly. “Are you shortening your name for me?” Janice hissed. Claudia rolled her eyes as she begins to walk away.

“You’re very disrespectful.” Claudia scoffs as she slings her purse over her left shoulder.

“Well, I wanted to meet you today to tell you Frank died. No more free ride for you anymore.” Janice stuck out her left hand to highlight a huge diamond ring. “He leaves the earth and you get nothing.” Janice boast. “I was his faithful wife of twenty years, I get what I put up with. I earned it.” Claudia grins as she looks down on the ground. She looks back up at Janice with a sorrowed look on her face and she walks away, saying nothing. Janice walks back to her car. Satisfied.

 

*

*

*

3 years pass and Janice live comfortably without her husband. she secretly seethes and replays the instant when she noticed Claudia coming to meet her in the park. She couldn’t believe her husband would sleep with a woman of Claudian’s kind and stature. Janice completes her home workout as her head maid comes and informs her the family lawyer. Marv Penny is waiting for her. Janice freshens herself in the mirror and hops along the hallway to meet her lawyer. ”Marv” Janice smiles and gives Marv a kiddish kiss on the cheek. Marv, however, is cold and strict. “We need to talk, Janice.” His voice low and rumbled.

Janice was impatient. “Merv, tell me what is going on.” Confusion ran over Janice like a Mach truck. she didn’t like this stuff man she saw before her. Marv paused and cleared his throat, “Frank left you with nothing in his will. He left everything to a woman named Claudia Shippers.” Marv pulled out the paperwork and piled it in Janice’s hands like he was putting of hand cuffs. Shocked, Janice reads that her husband did, in fact, divorce her and left nothing to help Janice sustain her current lifestyle.

“Claudia…” Janice dreamily whispers the name repeatedly as she releases the papers carelessly on the ground.