“Fine!” Courtney screamed, hoping to get attention from her mother in the kitchen. Mother was once again pretending she was too busy with other tasks to care about her. Courtney’s mom never seemed to have a care in the world about what she was up to unless she was being rude. Then she engaged by yelling at her until Courtney cried or acted out some more so she could send her to her room. They used to get along when they were younger, but ever since Courtney started high school, her mother didn’t want anything to do with her.
“Courtney Jean Simmons! How dare you raise your voice at me like that? Go to your room. Now.”
“Ugh!” Courtney stomped up the stairs, hoping the chandelier hanging over the brand-new dining room table would shake so hard that it fell and shattered right on top of her mom. “I hate you Mom!” she blurted out.
“I’m sorry you feel that way,” her mother replied calmly, trying to hide the fact that she was hurt by that comment. But, she quickly got over it, and she returned to scrolling through her facebook feed and complaining about something not worth anyone's time or effort. Nothing unordinary.
Slamming her six foot, dark stained, wooden door closed, Courtney threw herself into her neatly made king size bed and clapped the lights on. Courtney was always a fairly spoiled, very fortunate kid. She had a room the size of a master bedroom, her own bathroom with a jacuzzi tub, and got whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.
After Courtney had calmed down a little, she dragged her weight up off the bed and grabbed her cell phone. She sprawled out across her embroidered cushion at the bay window and dialed her father's number. The phone rang and rang, and rang some more, but nobody answered. She tried twice more, and then decided to just leave him a voicemail. Shortly after, she lay back down on the bed and heard a new, unrecognizable shriek. It soon hit her. “Mom!”
Courtney sprang up from the bed and ran for the door, sprinting, swirling, scrambling to get downstairs to see what happened. By the time she stumbled into the kitchen at full speed, her mother was nowhere to be found.
Courtney dropped to her knees and grasped her chest for air, but nothing came. No air, no tears, no scream, just silence. She pinched herself, hoping this was all a dream. “Ow!” Courtney exclaimed. “Not a dream,” she concluded. She scanned the kitchen. All that was unordinary was her phone dangling from her charger. Swinging. Hanging. Stranded. Also, there were her slippers in an awkward position. Although this wasn’t that awkward, mom always stood in that position. A half eaten cookie for her stress and a sweating glass of ice-cold water for her migraines was left out on the counter. Mom was always sick or hurt in some way, so there wasn’t much surprise in the few things she saw around the room. But none of that mattered right now, her mom was missing, and it was her job to find out where she took off to. Calling the police wouldn’t help anything, and she didn’t need any unwanted attention from the neighbors. Worst of all, it could scare her mom. What if she smacked her head and can’t remember a thing? The authorities would give her a panic attack! No way. Courtney had to do this on her own, for her mom's sake.
Courtney tried her father’s cell again. Nothing, just a stupid answering machine that obviously didn't work very well. What Courtney would’ve killed to have her father here with her now. She and her mom were the only two things he had, and they only ever called him at work if it was urgent, so it didn’t make sense as to why he wasn’t returning any of her calls. Suddenly, a flash of light in the corner of Courtney’s eye caught her attention.
“Call from, unknown,” Courtney’s mom’s phone announced. Courtney crept over to the glowing block dangling from the cord and disconnected it. “Hello?” she questioned, her voice still trembling.
“Hello. Is Mrs. Simmons there?” a deep voice spoke quick, crisp words.
“Miss. Simmons actually, and yes. What can I do for you today?”
“Oh well, I was just calling to see if you could make it to Massachusetts General Hospital as fast as possible?”
“I’m sorry?” Courtney questioned. She didn’t know who this person was, let alone if this was a scam or actually happening.
“Your father is Keith Edward Simmons correct?”
“That’s him,” Courtney confirms. “Look, I don’t know why y’all are so concerned about my father. Besides, we live in New Hampshire and…”
“I am afraid we received word that he passed away on site today,” the voice interrupted. “A glass window that was being put in was not correctly installed and fell from four stories up and landed right on top of your father.”
“Impossible!” Courtney said to him, letting out a nervous giggle. When he said nothing more, the little bit of hope she had left vanished. She slumped down onto the floor and wept. This time the tears did come, along with the long sobs that could be heard from a mile away. No, there was no way this was actually happening. When Courtney said she hated her mother, she didn’t mean she wanted her to disappear. She was just being a sassy teenager. And her father, why him? Was this some kind of joke? Because it was not funny.
“My condolences dear,” the voice interrupted, reminding Courtney she was still on the phone, “But because you are a minor, you will be moving out first thing in the morning. Your godfather, William, will be here to get you.”
“William?” Courtney began to hyperventilate and sob even harder. William was poor and unmarried. He was nothing like Courtney and her family. She’d never even met him! Courtney just lost both of her parents, now this? Her lungs tightened up and her breathing stopped for a few seconds. Courtney protested, “No I won’t go! Wait, who are you? How do you know all this information? Did you know my mother? Answer me!”
There was a pause, “Yes, I knew your mother. Gosh, I loved your mother. Such a shame your father is out of the picture now. Maybe if she comes back..”
“Absolutely not! You make me sick and I don’t even know you!” Courtney’s tears still streaming down her face.
“You’d be surprised Courtney Jean. I know more about your mother than even you do. In fact, I know more about her then even your father does. Well, did,” and with that, a single toned bell signaled the call going dead.”
“No, come back! It’s not fair! And I never got a proper ending with my parents! Not one last I love you? I never even got to say a simple-”
“Goodbye?” Her mother whispered, popping up behind her and knocking her out with one swing of a frying pan.
Mrs. Simmons cackled at the body that lay unconscious on the floor. She made her way over to the front door and grasped the door handle and opened it to a tall, put together, handsome looking man.
“Good to see you, Mrs. Simmons,” the man said, pulling her face to his and intertwining their lips. The voice matched the one Courtney had just spoke with on the phone exactly.
“Good to see you too, William,” Mrs. Simmons replied sweetly.
“So this is really our daughter?” William stared at the girl on the floor.
“Yes, baby it is,” Mrs. Simmons replied. “And now that we have taken care of Keith, our lives can be exactly how we always wanted.
“Sounds just like the movies,” William smirked. “Now where were we,” he hinted, slamming the door behind her and sweeping Mrs. Simmons off her feet. The two took off upstairs moments before Courtney’s chest started rising and falling quickly. If Courtney had known what new life she was about to wake up in, she would have never opened her eyes again.