“Get out!” The landlord yelled and threw a bag out of their house.
Sydney saw this from the taxi and immediately the driver stopped, she rushed out. Running up the stairs, she got into the house and saw that most of the furniture was missing.
“Mr. Kofi please doesn’t kick us out. I am working very hard to raise the money.” She told the raging man who was pushing her mother’s bag with his foot and her mother was kneeling in front of him, grabbing his other leg. That sight stung Sydney heart, but she remained silent.
“That’s what you said two weeks ago.” He yelled while moving into Caleb’s room.
Sydney followed him there. Caleb was busily stuffing his clothes into a bag with trembling hands. “Mr. Kofi, please give me, one more week and this time, I promise I’ll get it for you.”
“No Sydney! Not another chance. You people had deceived me over and over again for two months.” He told her.
“We are trying our best.”
“Then your best is not enough.”
“Okay, tomorrow. Give us until tomorrow to move out, but if you kick us out this late at night where will we sleep?”
“I don’t care where you sleep. What I do care about is that, you people are not spending another night in here and that’s final!”
The night was dark and silent. Everyone in the neighborhood probably heard the noise from their house. They knew that Mr. Kofi kicked them out and they were probably peeking through their windows to see the miserable family sitting outside the locked house with their bags.
“I need a drink.” Adeline, their mother grumbled.
“You are thinking of drinking at a time like this?” Sydney asked and the miserable mother replied.
“Yes, why can’t I?” Obviously she did not understand the situation they were in. However, Sydney did.
“We were just kicked out of our house. We have nowhere to sleep tonight and drinking is all you care, about? It’s clearly obvious that you don’t care about your children.”
Adeline rose to her feet from her crouching position and countered. “I raised my children to be strong during difficult times. How the hell, do you think you are able to sit calmly when we are in danger of being robbed or killed? That’s because mama raised you well.” She smiled proudly at her children and then added. “Mama also raised you to think of solutions during difficult times, so bring in your suggestions on what we’re going to do now that we’re homeless.”
Sydney knew they needed help right now. They needed a place to stay and unfortunately, they had no money. She has not received this month’s payment yet. And payments usually came at the end of the month. Unfortunately, the end of the month was two weeks away.
Oh, what to do? She thought desperately.
She knew she had to be the one to stand up and take control of this situation because her mother and brother could not. They stopped taking responsibilities a long time ago.
At this desperate moment, she would do anything to keep her family safe. Yes, she has decided. Picking up her bag, she took out the business card Mr. Niles gave her when they were about to leave.
“Call me when you make up your mind. However, I hope it will not be too late then.” He had said as they left her changing room.
Gosh, she hoped it was not too late. Sydney dialed the number and after two rings, he answered.
“Hello?” There was loud music in the background, exploding in her ears.
“Mr. Niles this is Sydney Whyte.” She said.
“Oh, Miss Whyte.” He said and then the music reduced drastically. It was as if he turned it down. “How nice of you to call. So have you made up your mind?”
“Yes. I will do it.”
A black limo came along the street and stopped in front of their house. Sydney stared at it with bulging eyes. Perhaps this was not the car Mr. Niles said, would come and pick them up, was it?
Caleb whistled and woke their sleeping mother up. “Wow, whose sleek ride is this?” he said, admiring the vehicle.
Sydney’s phone suddenly buzzed and she quickly answered. “Mr. Niles?”
“Yes, Miss Whyte get inside what are you waiting for?” He said. The loud music in the background was back again.
“The limo?” She asked just to be sure they were talking about the same thing.
“Yes the limo. Do not worry. The chauffeur will take you straight to my place.” He hung up.
Sydney rose to her full length and faced her mother and brother. She swallowed hard and stared at them. Although they did not always get along, she was concerned about what they would say if she told them. They were her only family after all.
“Mum, Caleb.” She called and they tore their gazes from the sleek limo and focused it on her. “I don’t know how to say this.”
“Just say it if the car is here to pick us up or not.” Caleb said.
“Yes, it’s here to take us.” She replied.
“Oh good. I was getting tired of sitting here.” Cage replied and was about to pick his bags when Adeline yelled.
“You stay put.” He stopped. “Sydney, where did you get a limo?” Her mother stared at her with the look of suspicion.
“Um... it belongs to my fiancé.” She replied and met her mother’s gaze full on.
“Since when did that happen?” She questioned further.
“And you met this guy where?” Sydney did not know where this sudden “responsible mother” attitude came from, but she was afraid of it.
“At the studio.” She replied. “Why so many questions, mother?”
Adeline ignored her question and asked further. “Since when did you start dating and I wasn’t aware of it? Why didn’t I meet him? Why did you hide it from me? Oh, is it because he is not a young but an old man? Are you having an affair with a married man, Sydney? Answer me dammit. Don’t shut up, bitch!”
Sydney was enraged by her mother’s accusations. “Since when did I have to report to you everything I do? As far as I know, I do not have to explain my life to anyone. I am old enough to make my own decisions and whether I am engaged to an old or young man is none of your business.”
“Sydney Whyte, don’t make me beat you up right now.” Adeline warned and Caleb stepped in between them.
“No one is fighting here.” He said and pulled Sydney aside. “Are you really engaged?” He asked and she nodded.
“Yes.” Caleb raised her left hand and looked at it.
“But I don’t see a ring on your finger.”
“That’s because he hasn’t given it to me yet.” She replied and then he let her go.
Moving to his mother, he pulled her into a hug and crushed her face into his chest. “Mother calm down. Sydney is only helping us. We need to go with her fiancé to his place and…”
“We are going nowhere!” Adeline broke free of her son’s grasped and pointed a finger at Sydney. “Same thing applies to you.”
Sydney sighed, frustrated. Damn it! She was trying to help. She agreed to marry a man she knew nothing about, to get them out of their miserable situation. However, he mother was being unbearable.
“Mother stop this, and let’s go.” Sydney took her bag and headed towards the limo. A chauffeur stepped out and took the bag from her.
“I am going nowhere with a slut!” Adeline yelled and Sydney felt like someone just drove a knife into her chest. “Sydney if you get into that car, forget that you have a mother and brother.”
Tears stung her eyes as she spun around. Cage was holding her mother, who was sitting on the floor. She glanced at them and the tears fell. It hurt her that her mother was casting her out, when all she did was, think about them. She agreed to this because of them. She accepted to be with a stranger because of them. Because she cared about them. Because they were her only family and because she loved them very much.