"Leave ," the man grunted with displeasure .

She knew her cue and didn't need to be told. It wasn't as though she enjoyed being with him anyway . "My pay ?" She asked as she picked up her bag simultaneously slipping on her shoes . He threw her a couple hundred bills. She stared down at them then gave him a questioning glare . He grunted then threw a couple more . She grabbed it shoving it in her purse and swung on her heel to leave.

She flipped her hair onto one shoulder , straightened her back then sighed . Might as well leave with dignity . She walked out of the hotel room nose held high as she passed an old couple that judgementally swept their eyes from her head to her toe .

From the hotel she went straight to the pharmacy to purchase her little sister's medicine with the money that she had just earned . She felt degraded , used and disposed but as the little plastic printed Supermed Pharmacy was passed over to her ,she forgot about it for a moment . When push came to shove , she would do anything for her sister especially in this time that she needed her the most .

She smiled politely at the old lady over the counter then left to her so called apartment. On her arrival there she unlocked the door with great difficulty . The key usually got stuck and she would have to turn in a couple of times in the keyhole before she successfully unlocked it . She pushed the door hard to open it as it also stuck onto the door frame.

Entering her apartment she was greeted by a slight stench . "Adriana?" She called her footsteps taking her to the living room /kitchen/dining room .

On the couch she found her little sister stretched, asleep in her own vomit . She sighed then left her to get a a bucket of water and cloth to clean up the mess. Returning she shook her sister awake . Adriana blinkede to the little life she could manage. She stared blankly at the face hovering above her as though she couldn't recognize it . She crunched her nose as she tried to remember who this familiar face was . Then recognition set and she beamed , well in her condition the little ,easy-to-miss, sparkle in her eyes was as good as beaming.

"Adriana , I thought we talked about this , you should go to the toilet when you feel like you need to puke ," her sister was already cleaning up the mess she had made . "Did you eat ?"

The girl shook her head . He stringy hair flopping from side to side with the action .

"Adriana ," her sister sighed again but didn't say further . She knew how hard it must be for her . "I'll make you some soup ,that will go down easy won't it ?"

Her sister nodded . She would make it as thick possible and even blend some vegetables in it . That way her sister could get a bit of nutrition that satchet soup wouldn't provide .

After she had completed cleaning up the mess she moved behind the couch a few meters away where a simple counter divided the room into the kitchen . She chopped up some carrots and green beans . She boiled these in a simple pan over a little gas stove until they were soft then she emptied the contents into a blender that she had found in a trash bin but worked fine . She set the pan back on the stove then made a soup which she then poured into the blender . She took out some left over sugar beans in the fridge then put that in the blender too . She closed it then pressed the button to get it started .

She walked back to the couch ,"C'mon let's get you you changed ,"she helped her little sister up and into their shared bedroom where she stripped then re-dressed her and left her there to retrieve the blended smoothie- like soup .

"Here you go ," she patiently waited for her sister to chew on the already liquid substance , play with it in a mouth , scrunch he face,swallow it , retch then down it down with water so that she could give her another spoonful.

She sighed. She had to get out of this situation somehow , the poverty , the terrible cube she called an apartment , the prostitution ,her sick sister that seemed to get worse and worse with each day . All this everything had to come to an end somehow . They say there's a light to every tunnel but hers seemed to get darker and darker . She was afraid for her sister. Each day she became frailer and she could not even get her the right help because of lack of funds.

The doctor's had given it a name , the sickness but for the life of her she could not remember what it was . All she knew was that the drug she purchased was supposed to keep it at bay but she would pass away soon without the right treatment . Her heart ached with each day because if she didn't find a solution soon , then soon she would be burying her sister in the ground like she did her parents . She didn't like the thought but it was becoming more of a possibility.

Her sister shook her head as a signal to say no more . She ate the remain sludge , cringing at the horrible taste that seemed to slice her tongue but neither of them had a choice with what they ate , porridge in the morning , sludge in the evening. All the money she got from her promiscuous life she spent on her sister's medicine and the rent .

She helped her sister lay down to sleep then walked into the kitchen to rinse the plate . She walked back to the door to retrieve the letters that she had ignored on her way in . She flipped through them , bills,bills bills! She had to get a day job .

Day job? That's one thing she never thought she would ever say . At some point she dreamt of being an astronaut,then a lawyer , then a doctor. The dreams of an ambitious child but then came the passing of her parents when she was in fifth grade ,leaving her and her sister in a homeless shelter until she was fourteen and she learnt that her body was of use .

A few weeks passed and finally she got a day job at the nearest McDonalds . It meant no one looked after her sister during the afternoon like she usually did but they were desperate . The smell of the food made her nauseous though . Sometimes it was so bad she had to breathe through her mouth . It was odd but she never questioned it . But on that particular day it became overpowering so much that it had her rushing to the toilet to empty her stomach contents which wasn't much .

Her boss passed by ,"Are you okay ?" She nodded her head , then remembering that the door was shut behind her hunched back ,"Yes," she shouted , "probably a stomach bug ."

"Take a day off ,business is slow in this area anyway ,"by this area she meant where poverty resided.

She left after thanking her boss and flopped herself in bed next to her sister . She felt exhausted as though she had been doing a lot of heavy lifting . Her back hurt and her feet were swollen as though a ton of bricks had fallen on her . I guess no night duty today ,was her last thought as she drifted off to sleep .

She was woken up in the morning by her upset stomach which had her rushing to the toilet again . Had she picked up what her sister had ? No, just a stomach ache , she reassured herself . However this continued for days until it turned into a few weeks .

One night while laying under her regular night customer he commented on her . Not his usually ,"You are so sexy ," ; "I love your body," comments but instead a dissatisfied; "You are gaining a lot of weight especially in your stomach area you need to lose that if you want more customers."

She stared blankly at the ceiling above her for a little while after he had left . No, it couldn't be , no . The morning sickness, the excessive fatigue , the swollen feet , her painful back now gained weight . Could it . When was her last period ? No that was irregular because of her Birth controls . Wasn't it ?

Oh goodness , all she wanted was peace of mind . When would this end ?! When ?! What had she ever done to deserve this ?! Had she murdered someone in her before life ? Worst part of it all , if she was pregnant which she hoped she wasn't, she couldn't even track down the father . Not that they would take responsibility anyway, with her reputation they would deny it ,blame her for her promiscuous life and she would be stranded either way .

She dressed up and walked back to Supermed to purchase a pregnancy test . But how had it happened ? She was both on a contraceptive and used condoms . She sighed ,something she did often in these tough times .

Walking in the apartment , she budged into the toilet and peed on the stick . She waited a few minutes ,fingers crossed. "Positive," it read .

She cried, the first time ever in a while . She had always thought she had to be strong for her sister but at this moment in time she had nothing left . Her situation was getting worse with the day . Soon she would be forced to leave both jobs due to her condition .

What was she do now .she couldn't possibly support all three of them and babies were extremely expensive. She had to find a solution soon in the meanwhile pretending nothing was wrong was her best move . She came out of the bathroom, mascara staining her cheeks and like a zombie pretended everything was fine . But still , life treated her like the piece of trash she thought herself to be . Her sister got worse ; her clients began to withdraw to smaller more fitting girls and her bill pile grew.

During the course of time she heard of an abortion place in the alleys . She saved up just enough to visit it . Once there no questions were asked , all she had to do was pay .

The deed was done a couple of hours using a hanger that was unravelled into a straight wire except for the hook . She was bleeding but apparently it was normal . She moved with difficulty to get home but at least that was one problem down. Only for another to arise .

In their bed ,her sister lay frail cold as a fish .her breathing was shallow barely noticeable. She rushed to her flinching when her hand came in contact with her skin . She didn't have long she knew that now . All hope was gone . She layed beside her quiet with her sister's icy hand in hers .

Adriana lightly squeezed her hand and uttered ,"I ......," she struggled to breathe ,"Love you ," then her breath became shallower and shallower until there was nothing and her hand splayed open in hers .

She mourned for her . She brought Adriana's corpse close to hers ,squeezing it tight and hoping the life in her own body would transfer into hers . She cired for hours her own pain forgotten and her bleeding too until she slowly drifted into sleep .

A few days later ,when she had been reported missing , police came rushing through in their building . In the bed they found two corpses . On obviously due to sickness and judging by the pool of dried blood under both of them ,the other blood out .

Her name was Hope , but in the end even that didn't save her . Her predicament got the better of her.

August 15, 2019 20:00

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