The door almost closes when Amelia’s cell phone rings. Leona stops in her tracks and runs back into the room. Amelia grabs her phone from the nightstand, but before she can check to see who is calling Leona snatches it out of her hands.
“Hello, who is this?” Leona answers urgently.
Amelia observes her aunt’s expression and wonders who’s on the other end. Leona’s olive-toned face turns bright red. The more Leona listens, the more furious she becomes.
I can’t take it anymore. Amelia gets up to grab her phone when Leona growls, “Don’t you ever call her again!” She mashes the end button with her index finger and shoves the phone in her pocket.
“Who was that, and why are you stealing my phone?”
Leona steps closer and purses her lips. “That was your mother calling you from jail. I told you that I don’t want you to have any contact with her. She’s going to be there for a long time anyway.”
“Maybe she just wanted to say goodbye or tell me some important information. You can’t just expect me to never hear from her again!” Amelia snaps.
“That’s exactly what I expect, and that’s what is going to happen. I know it will take you some time to get used to the idea, but we had a deal. Now if you want us to get along, I suggest you play by the rules.”
“I’m trying, Leona, but what you’re asking is impossible.”
Leona gently touches Amelia’s face and whispers, “It is very possible and the sooner you accept it, the better. Just take it one day at a time and you’ll be fine.” She smiles as if she just won the lottery. She’s enjoying every second of my misery.
Amelia throws herself on the bed and cries. “No! I won’t be fine!”
Leona kneels down in front of her and frowns. “Don’t be so dramatic. Trust me, things will get better. You just have to believe everything will work out. Give me a chance, Amelia. I can be a good mother to you as long as you hold up your end.”
Amelia gazes up at her through the tears and nods. She knows that no matter what she says, Leona’s never going to see it her way. Or she just doesn’t care. She’s willing to bet her money on both. Leona finally leaves Amelia’s room and closes the door. Amelia lies back and listens to the wind in the trees outside her bedroom. She wants to run outside and let go of her frustrations, but she no longer has the energy. Leona is sucking the life right out of her. Maybe that was her plan all along. “I have to be strong,” she whispers. She contemplates killing Leona in her sleep—being that her aunt is human after all.
After a few minutes go by, she forces herself to go downstairs to make sundaes. She can at least drown her sorrows in chocolate. When she comes down, she notices that the television is still on and Navid and Eli are glued to the news. From what she can see, it looks like they’re replaying the capture of her mother from earlier. She can hear them giggling as they watch her mother dodging the reporter’s questions. She tries to ignore their disrespect and makes a beeline for the kitchen. When Leona sees her coming, she motions for them to turn it off. She hates that they were having a ball laughing at her poor mother’s arrest. I’m surprised they didn’t have popcorn.