They’re back! She runs upstairs and closes her door, leaning against it. Thank God I called Jolene through a blocked number so she can’t call me back. Leona would have my head. The front door slams downstairs and then someone runs up the steps. She quickly sits on her bed and opens the book she was going to read. Knock! Knock! She gets up and opens her door. Navid’s jaw drops when he sets eyes on her. Amelia frowns at him in confusion until she realizes he hasn’t seen her face yet. Without saying a word, he shoves her into the room and closes the door behind him.
He takes her hand and asks, “Are you okay?” He looks terrified and concerned for her.
She pulls away and sits down. “Yes, I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt that much anymore. I took some painkillers, which seem to be working.”
“Mom told us what you did,” he confesses while trying not to stare.
“Was what I did so horrible, Navid? She can’t just expect me to never speak to my mother again!” Amelia yells.
He puts his head down and sits on the bed next to her. “Amelia, you can’t cross her. Do what she says because if you don’t…she’ll win every time.”
She can tell there’s something on his mind, but is not about to go there, not now.
“I feel like I’m drowning in quicksand. The ground was swept right out from under me and I can’t fight my way out.”
“Then don’t fight, Amelia, not now. Live,” he mutters with a sorrowful glance. “Besides, the more you fight in quicksand, the more you sink.”
“Yeah, I guess. Hey, you better leave before she catches you in here.”
“You’re right. I’ll check on you later.” He gives her a hug and walks out.
“Amelia, can you come downstairs please?” Leona yells through the door.
“Great, what does she want?” she whispers, rolling her eyes. She gets up and slowly walks downstairs, still wary of Leona. As she approaches the kitchen, Leona’s back is to her.
“Yes?” Amelia huffs with her arms folded.
Leona turns around and stares at Amelia’s face, then swiftly looks away. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for what I did last night.” Amelia remains stoic as she notices Leona trying not to stare.
“Okay,” Amelia grunts and turns to walk away.
“I made your favorite brownies,” Leona quickly tells her.
“I’m not very hungry.”
“Oh come on, you love these,” she insists. “They’re your favorite.”
Amelia can’t deny her love for baked goods, so she mopes back into the kitchen. “Well, they do look good. Okay, just one. Thanks.” Her mouth waters as she takes one from the pan. They’re so warm and gooey that she finds herself stuffing it in her mouth until it’s all gone. Eli and Navid rush into the kitchen.
“Ooh, those smell good, Mom!” Eli says as he grabs one.
“No! These are just for Amelia!” Leona shouts as she smacks the brownies out of their hands.
Amelia can’t seem to catch her breath, and she’s starting to feel lightheaded. She tries to focus on Navid, but there are three of him. Suddenly, everything is a hazy fog. Her eyes burn like someone threw acid in them and her throat is on fire. She can feel it starting to swell. She stumbles and falls to the floor, gagging and trying to find air, but the air is gone. What’s wrong with me! Am I dying?