Sugah sat at her computer thinking of what she wanted to write about today. Her blog was turning out better than she imagined, getting feedback from people she least expected. Her own mother called daily to tell her how much she looked forward to reading it. Even her old college professor admitted to being a big fan of it. Sugah smiled at that thought because she and Professor Love had never seen eye to eye when it came to her writing and subject matter. She was always the out-spoken, more challenging student in his class and he secretly welcomed her smart comments and passion about the various topics he gave to write about. Their love-hate relationship created a buzz around campus and provided entertainment for the students enrolled in the same class as Sugah. They were fascinated by her bluntness and ability to somehow never back down from his arrogant behavior when it came to something he felt so strongly about. Sugah gave him something to ponder when class was over and Professor Love looked forward to their debates, which was why he was such a fan and great supporter of her blog. He couldn’t wait until she stopped talking about it and wrote a novel someday.
The words began to flow and when Sugah realized it, she had several chapters of her first book. She intended to write something pertaining to her blog, but her mind took over and she was now well on her way to becoming the best-selling author she dreamt of. “The blog will just have to wait”, Sugah told herself during a much needed bathroom break. She ran into the bathroom like a track star before she wet herself. “I have got to stop drinking so much water while I write”, Sugah said as she barely made it to the toilet.
As she washed her hands, her mind wondered back to how she met Professor Love met and how her life changed completely. Sugah didn’t think she would ever get her confidence back to face him but somehow she had and now she was a college graduate, with a successful blog and a job that paid her to write about anything she wanted. Life was good, she thought, walking down the hallway back to her home office. When she sat back down, the words continued to flow and Sugah welcomed them. The title of her book was called “When Opposites Attract”. She smiled because the title couldn’t be more precise and so true. Sugah went back down memory lane to the night she discovered her college professor was also one of her employers.
When Sugah graduated from high school, she was in the top five percent of her class. She received a scholarship to college but it only paid for her 80 percent of her schooling and books were not included. Her mother didn’t have the money because of her disability, so the check she received each month only covered their basic needs. Sugah worked part-time during high school to help out, but now that she was going to college she needed a plan B. Each night, Sugah would cry herself to sleep wondering how she would get enough money to take care of herself, as well as her mother. Her father died when she was five and she didn’t have any siblings, so Sugah was on her own.
Before Sugah left for school, she worked overtime at the mall in two stores. In the morning she worked in Saks Fifth Avenue and in the evening, she worked in Macy’s, in the shoe department. She was able to buy clothes at a discount for being a mall employee, so that was one less thing she had to worry about. One day a group of pretty girls came into her department at Saks to buy some new clothing. They looked so put together, fit and straight out of a fashion magazine. Sugah was in awe of them. They bought so many things Sugah’s commission check would pay for more than half of her books. One of the girls, older than the others, seemed to gravitate toward her. They hit it off right away and Sugah admired the woman. They discussed what her plans for the future were and when Sugah told the young woman of her plans to attend college, her interest peeked even more. Before they left the store that day, she placed a card directly into Sugah’s hands. “Call me anytime you want to make some money,” the woman told her as she and her friends walked out of the store and got into a Bentley Coupe Convertible. They drove off with the top down, laughing without a care in the world, while Sugah stood looking and holding the card to her chest.
Later that night as she lay in bed, Sugah looked at the card again. “Gentle Ladies”, she spoke softly. “For a fun time call us the ultimate party awaits” the rest of the card read. Sugah didn’t know what to think, but she was suddenly interested in finding out more. That night she couldn’t sleep because her mind was wondering about the content of the card. “I don’t want to know,” Sugah kept telling herself, but in the back of her mind she knew that that was a lie.
A few weeks passed and when it came time for her leave for college, a state away, Sugah tucked the card into her purse and decided it wasn’t something she wanted to pursue. But why couldn’t she just throw the card away? The thought never crossed her mind to get rid of it. She would just continue to work and save her money. She would work weekends and holidays at the mall where her school was and send money home to her mother. How hard could it be, she kept telling herself. That statement went out the window after a few months into the semester. Sugah was so overwhelmed, she lost several pounds from not being able to eat or sleep. She looked amazing, but she felt like crap.
Her classes weren’t so bad. Sugah got all the classes she wanted, at the appropriate time except for one, so she would have to take it the following semester. After returning to her dorm room from a long day of classes and work, Sugah crashed. She still had a lot of studying to do but it would have to wait. When she woke up, she pulled out her books and something fell to the floor. Sugah reached down to pick whatever it was up and to her surprise it was the card from the young woman. Sugah put the card in her top drawer and went back to studying. That night she went to sleep reading and the next day, she missed class for the first time. Her mind, body and soul were exhausted. Sugah didn’t know how much longer she could keep up with the schedule she had. Going to class all day and working until ten, sometimes eleven at night was really taking a toll on her. Thankfully she had someone in each one of her classes who allowed her to make copies of their notes otherwise, Sugah would have been lost.
At the library later that night Sugah saw a familiar face. It was the same young girl who had given her the card at the mall. The girl walked up to Sugah smiling. “I thought that was you. You never called. How is school going for you,” the girl asked. Not knowing what to do or say Sugah just shrugged her shoulders. She felt the girl’s eyes on her and couldn’t bear looking at her. She didn’t want her dark circles and sleep deprived eyes to tell the truth, so she pretended to be focusing hard on her work. The girl quickly took the hint. She said good bye and walked off never looking back into Sugah's direction. If she wanted help, she would ask for it, the girl told herself. But she liked Sugah, she saw herself in her. She was also glad someone came belong to help before she hit rock bottom. There was no telling where she would be or how her life would have turned out if she hadn’t set her pride aside and received the help extended to her. “Yes, if she wants help, she will just have to come to me,” the girl said watching Sugah without her knowledge of it. “She seems so tired and her eyes are revealing her life without her knowing. I hope she finds her way with or without my help.”
Sugah sat quietly, looking at her notes. Her mind wasn’t on her studying, in fact, she was thinking about how she was going to get the money her mother called to ask her for before she left her room. Sugah couldn’t stand to hear the sadness in her mother’s voice, so she promised she would take care of everything. Deep down, she knew that that meant working more hours. Some of her classes would just have to take a back seat. Her mother needed her and Sugah never let her mother down. But how, she wondered, with tears slowly kissing her cheeks.