This house is nothing but hell, I still don’t get how I am still living here. I should have moved out of this place the moment I turned eighteen. However, I can’t leave my younger sister Hazel and half-brother Miles alone in this circus all by themselves. Every day something new drama happens here, I don’t get why our father can’t keep his personal interest away from home.

I am tired of all the screaming, arguing, breaking flower vases. If I count in total, I believe my father’s girlfriend and wives in combined throw-away millions of dollars with the vases.

Today once again my papa is getting a divorce.

My papa, the proud Andrew Simmons, divorced his fourth wife, Genelia. The reason behind this divorce is mutual, they both wanted a different life. Papa is too old to fit into his twenty-five-year-old wife’s life. Genelia wants a hot and happening life, full of parties, selfies, unfortunately, forty-seven-year-old Andrew Simmons wants a more quiet life.

I knew they would get a divorce the moment he married her, I still have no idea why papa married her in the first place. When she becomes his wife, she comes to live with us in our million-dollar mansion, I bet with my cook Marie that they would get a divorce in a month, good for them it actually lasted six months, such an accomplishment for them. Someone should congratulate these two with hundreds of flower bouquets. I want to be that person. However, I like to ignore this man as much as I can.

I don’t know who he is, I have been living with him for nineteen years still clueless. Seriously, I have zero ideas about this man or the man who spilled his dirty sperm inside his mistress and brought me into this world.

I come to the living room and find my mama Quinn sitting on the couch, she is all dressed up, I can smell the new clothing smell from a foot away from her, her poise and straight back, a seductive smile that says she is here to seduces her ex-wealthy husband. She has the same hair like mine, the golden sun-kissed hair is styled into a low ponytail, she is forty-seven but who can know that after going under the knives a thousand times.

“My darling Inessa, how are you doing?”

“Papa is not at home.” I sigh.


Suddenly, she drops her perfect mother acting, the smile is nowhere to be found, the elegance is also long gone.

I know why she is here. She knows today her ex-husband will be single again, she is here to try her luck once again. I show her the same drama every time she comes to visit me and my younger sister Hazel. She is here but not for us, she is here for money, not even for papa.

My parents have never loved one another, my papa was in lust with my mama, while mama loves his enormous money, mansion, and business. They both used one another for each other’s interest, got married, stayed together for a couple of years, three to be exact, mama gave him two daughters, and then they were done. They moved on with their lives and left Hazel and me to suffer the consequence of their carefree attitude.

“Why are you here, mama?” I ask her. I am tired of all the dramas now.

“To meet my daughters."

“Or to see if you have any luck with your newly divorced ex-husband."

“That’s how you think of your mother?” she frowns with a little water on her eyes.

Sometimes I thought she should be in Hollywood, I am telling you she would be the best actress of the century.

I sigh again.

Trish, my father’s third wife, comes to the living room. She has been living with us for a week now. For the past week her and papa’s son, and my half-brother Miles, who is 12 years old, injured himself during a football match, he fractured his hand and has been feverish since then. Trish moves in with her son. She has no interest in my father's wealth or newly single status. Unlike my mother, she knows enough of the man whom she was married to.

Among all the women in my father’s life, I like Trish better than anyone, she is matured, responsible, wise, a career-oriented, independent woman. She inspires me a lot in different ways. When she was married to my father, she really became Hazel and my mother, she took care of us as if we were her own child, our school meetings, teenage girl time, sex education, shopping, puberty, she was with us all the way.

The best woman in our life.

“I am going out to buy some medicine. Can you watch over Miles, Inessa, baby?” she asks.

“Sure.” I nod. “Go ahead, I will look after him.”

She smiles as she leaves.

“What the hell is she doing here?" My mama screams.

“She is here for her son.” Mom frowns, she doesn’t look convinced. It’s not my job to explain to her what happens in this house, but I do that anyway.

“Miles is sick. She is here to look after him.”

“That’s all an act. I know what she wants, that bitch.”

“Yeah, at least she is a good mother to her son.” I sigh.

I don’t want to start with this topic right now, I am too exhausted for that. Whenever mama and I talk, no matter what the subject is, we come back to this mother-daughter thing or how she left us when we were kids.

I needed to become a mother at the age of four to look after my infant sister Hazel after my lovely parents' divorce. My mother didn’t want to do anything with us, she knew we would be financially well-off if we stayed with papa. Also, she didn’t want to spend her limited money on us, those were barely enough for her. She didn’t get much from papa after her divorce because of the prenup she signed before the wedding. In the meantime, she had a pretty high lifestyle to maintain.

Taking care of my sister and myself would be tough if Marie, our cook, wasn’t here for us, she raised us. I would be a thousand times happy to be the daughter of her rather than my affluent family.

“Inessa, into my office, right now.” Papa barks as he sets his foot in the home.

For the first time, he needed me. Most of the time he doesn’t even bother to recognize any of his children even if we are in front of him, he simply dismisses us.

“Yes, papa.” I sit in the chair of his expensive office.

The massive dark brown wooden desk is an antique piece that he bought from an auction. The furniture such as the matching ceiling to wall bookshelves, in the corner of the room a pair of single sofa is sitting with a small coffee table, a flower vase in on the other. Fresh flowers make their way to the vase every day, today it’s the red roses, Genelia’s favorite flower.

Mama enters the room and takes a seat beside me. I don’t say anything, wait for papa to open his mouth. He is going through some papers in haste, I don’t know anything about his business, but I heard him telling someone on the phone that he was losing money.

“I fixed your marriage.”

“Excuse me?” I can’t believe his words, my marriage. I am nineteen, in a week I will be twenty, but marriage at such a young age has to be a joke.

“You and Brian McCoy are set to get married. We don’t know the date yet, but on your birthday we will have the engagement party.” He checks his phones. “Go, do some shopping. Buy whatever you need for the engagement party.”

This is ridiculous, this is not the time or age for marriage. Marriage to Brian will be a nightmare.

I have met him a couple of times at the parties as we both are in the same social circle, our father’s business is another reason for us to see one another. Despite seeing each other several times at these parties, we never talked to one another, he never gave me a second glance, he was always with his girlfriend, Olivia. Also, we have an age gap, accurately thirteen years.

“I don’t agree with this marriage.” I politely tell him. Mama squeezes my hand under the table, it’s a signal for me to stay quiet, but I am not going to, it’s about my whole life we are talking about, I will not give anyone the power to decide about it.

“I don’t think you have the luxury to choose that.” He lowers his glasses,“ We are on the edge of bankruptcy, if you want your sibling to have a comfortable life in the future, I advise you to tone down the attitude.” He snaps.

“What the hell are you saying?” I yell this time.

“I lost a great amount of money in an investment, I am in debt, if I don’t pay those back to the bank, then they are seizing everything, including this house.” He starts pacing around the room. “I talked with Matthew McCoy, he is ready to help me, but he wants you as his son’s wife in return.

I stare at him, his words are swimming all over my head, for a minute my mind goes off, empty, total blank, I can’t even make any sentence or remember any word that falls out of my mouth.

How did all this mess happen? We had enough money, more than enough, we are the Simmons’s, one of the well-heeled families of Chicago, everyone in our circle is jealous or afraid of our power.

The power that Simmons, McCoys, and Halls have all over Chicago because of the money they have is unbelievable. These three families can do anything they want and easily get out of the situation, they rule this place like a king. Although three families have been feuding for as long as I can remember, competitiveness is not something you can avoid between these families.

Seeing how senior McCoy is eager to help our family in return for a wedding bond between his older son and me, I am shocked as hell.

He is ready to make an ally with his competition, this doesn’t sit well with me. I want to see what Brian thinks about this. Does he know everything and agree with his father, or he has odium like me? Didn’t his girlfriend die some time ago in a car accident? He is ready to move on with this easily. I thought they were in love with one another. Each time I saw them together at the parties, they were so in love that it was hard for them to keep their hands on one another.

I run away from papa’s office to straight to my room, I lock the door and sink beside my bed. This is the worst.

Now, I have to go through from one hell to another.

Comments (1)
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