Nadia sat nervously in the back seat of the taxi twisting and pulling at a tight curl that had fallen loose from her jeweled hair clip. “Stop messing up your hair, you’ll make it frizzy”, she scolded herself. “Breathe.” It had been a long year away from her hometown and now she was just forty minutes away from her childhood home. Nadia looked at the Cleveland skyline, feeling proud to be back home. Her eyes darted back and forth between the buildings, as she named them silently in her head. Key Tower, BP Building, Tower City, The Federal Bank. . . Before she knew it, she had arrived at her mom and stepdad’s grand Colonial home in the Shaker Heights suburbs. The stone Federal styled house looked regal sitting back upon a well-manicured lawn and freshly trimmed shrubs.
“Nadi sweetie, you’re home! Oh, I’ve missed you so much, look at you! Come in, come in.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. It felt good to be at home again. My mother stood there grinning from ear to ear, wearing the hell out of fifty and looking not a day over forty. Her skin was the color of light caramel, the kind you make yourself out of sweetened condensed milk. She wore her auburn colored hair up in a classic french roll with her bangs swept neatly to the left side. She kept her makeup natural and golden, accentuating her lips with a plum lip liner and a sugar plum matte lipstick. She was stunning.
“Is that who I think it is? Look at you Miss College Graduate.”
My stepfather strolled into the foyer, towering over my mother’s petite frame, the color of rich Umber. As usual, he was dressed conservatively in tan slacks and a white cotton button up. He kept his salt and pepper hair neat, trimmed and freshly lined up like he just stepped out of the barbershop. He complimented my mother very well with his handsome features, but most importantly he was always kind to me and treated my mother like a queen.
“Hi, Melvin!” I said standing on my tippy toes to give him a hug and a quick peck on the cheek.
“Look at you, you’re looking more and more like your mother every time I see you. Look at my two beautiful girls”, he smiled.
I inherited my mother’s good looks and fine unruly hair, but not her complexion. I took after my father, a warm sepia. “Here let me help you with those bags, while you ladies get things ready for dinner.” Suddenly I felt myself become weak, and my stomach turned into knots.
“I-is Devon here?” I stuttered.
“Oh, no sweetie. He should be here shortly.”
I decided not to pry and ask if he was bringing someone.
“You know, I always admire how close you two became. I know it wasn’t easy accepting Devon as your stepbrother, especially since you were the only child for so long.”
I shrugged, “Hey mom, can I change? It’s just that, I’ve been in these clothes all day and with the flight and the cab. . .”
“Of course hun. Dinner is almost ready, and I’m sure your brother won’t mind helping out once he finally arrives.”
I winced at the sound of her calling Devon my brother. I ran up the familiar oak stairs to my bedroom on the left. My door was closed and so was Devon’s. Wow, I can’t believe she kept everything the same, except for the new plush comforter on my bed.
“Thanks, mom!” I yelled down the stairs.
“You’re welcome, dear!” She sang back.
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Copyright© 2016 Brittany A.L.