Hurdles…

I’m working on another book, so here is a sneak peak.  I still need a title, though, so if you have any ideas feel free to share them!

~

Dana could hear sirens in the distance as she drove down to the police station.  It was the third time this week Emily had been picked up, and Dana was getting sick of saving her.  They lived in a rough neighborhood where the windows were walled shut and graphite greeted you at every corner.  Drugs were bought and sold without a blink of an eye.  And most of the time the police just ignored the dealers, but the gangs were starting to get violent, so the officers did daily checks.  Dana had told Emily to stay away from them, but as always she didn’t listen.  And now Dana was saving her for the third time.

Dana pulled her rickety station-wagon into the police station’s parking lot and parked next to a flickering light pole.  She checked her face in the rearview mirror – making sure her make-up hadn’t smeared – and climbed out of her car.  She gripped her keys in her good hand as she marched towards the station’s door.  As always, a police officer greeted her as she entered the building and asked her why she was there.

“I’m here to pick up my sister,” Dana responded too sternly.

“Name?”

“Emily Parsons.”

“One moment.”

The police officer left, and Dana impatiently tapped her foot as she waited.  It had been a long day, and Emily getting picked up wasn’t helping.  Dana worked three different jobs and took care of her little sister.  She opened a hardware store in the mornings, waited tables during the day, and worked the nightshift at the mall.  She had suggested that Emily get a job of her own, but the first job she got, she arrived intoxicated.  So Dana suggested that she just stay home and take care of the apartment, but she didn’t do a very good job of that either.  It was getting to the point where Dana just wanted to give up on her, but she promised their parents that she would never abandon Emily.  So here she was, picking up her little sister from the police station.

Emily shuffled through the door, pulling on her favorite black sweater, and groaned when she saw Dana.  “You?”

“Who else did you expect?”  Emily shrugged and blew a piece of her pitch black hair out of her eyes.  “Come on!”

Dana grabbed her sister’s arm and dragged her out into the parking lot.  Her hands shook as she unlocked the door to her station-wagon.  She yanked the door open and fell into the driver’s seat.  Emily, of course, took her sweat time.  She sat in the passenger’s seat and pulled her knees up to her chest as Dana pulled out of the parking lot and started driving down the street.

“The third time this week, Emily.  This is the third time I’ve had to pick you up from the police station,” Dana ranted.

“I know,” Emily mumbled a reply.

“I can’t afford to keep doing this.  I had to leave my job early to come get you.  And my jobs pay all of the bills.  I can’t afford to leave them early.”

“I know.”

“You have to stop this, Emily.  You have to stop seeing them.  Him.  You have to stop.”

“I know!”

“Do you?” Dana grilled.  “Do you really?  Because every time I give you this lecture, you march out the door and back to him.”

“I’m sorry,” Emily muttered through gritted teeth.”

“No you’re not.”

“Yes I am!” the young sister raised her voice.  “I’m sorry that I’m not good enough.  I’m sorry I’m not your perfect little sister.  I’m sorry that you have to take care of me.  I’m sorry that you have to work three jobs and take care of everything.  But you know what?  I’m also sorry that I’m stuck with you.  Because if I had my choice, I would have left the second mom and dad died.”

“Shut your mouth!” Dana nearly yelled.  “Take that back, Emily.”

“What?”

“About mom and dad dying.  I know you care.”

“But I don’t.”

Dana growled in frustration and gripped the steering wheel tighter.  She took a couple deep breaths and then turned back to her sister.  “You know what, I don’t care anymore.  I’ve tried being nice.  I’ve tried giving you your space, but you seem to take advantage of it.  So I’m done.”

“What?”

“I can’t do this anymore.”

“What are you going to do?  Send me away?” Emily joked.

“Yes.”

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