The semester went by with Sugah getting all C’s in her classes. She wasn’t use to receiving such marks, having maintained straight A’s since grade school, so she felt terrible. Working was taking a toll on her mentally, physically and emotionally. She didn’t spend much time on studying as she usually did, so the grades didn’t really surprise her all that much. In fact, she was relieved to have those C’s. If anyone had asked her, she would have guessed way worse. Sugah sat quietly in her room crying her eyes out. What was she going to do? Her mother was counting on her. All of her high school teachers who helped her receive her scholarship would be so disappointed in her if they saw her final grades. Sugah sighed. She looked over at all of her packed luggage and more tears flowed. “How am I going to do this? I cannot go back home. I have to do something before I lose my scholarship,” she told herself.
Although she had a C average, there was no threat to her scholarship, but Sugah knew she could do better than what she was doing at the moment. Life was throwing her lemons so she needed to find a way to make some serious lemonade, maybe add a little hardness to it. Suddenly, Sugah was on her feet, looking all around the packed up room. When she found what she was looking for, she wiped her eyes, blew her nose and took out her cell phone. As she dialed the digits, a sense of relief washed over her. The next voice she heard was a kind and gentle, reassuring voice that told her all of her troubles would soon be over. A meeting for the next day was scheduled and Sugah was then able to move her things to the little dingy off-campus apartment she found, so that she could attend summer school. The money she was saving by getting an apartment helped pay for her classes. She didn’t want those C’s to jeopardize her overall GPA so they had to go. She added two more classes, which gave her a full load. Five classes over the summer semester were insane. The rushed work, due to the short length of time would push Sugah beyond her limits, but she welcomed it.
After she was all settled into her apartment, Sugah called her mother to give her the bad news. She made up a lie saying that she had secured a tutoring job and was getting paid which suddenly cheered her mother’s sudden disappointment. The fact that she would be receiving money every week had more to do with her change of attitude. Sugah wondered was her mother really pressed for money or was she using it on other activities. She quickly pushed those thoughts from her mind. “Not my mother,” she told herself, but in the back of her mind, she knew that the truth would eventually surface. It always had. “So when will you be sending my money? I have to buy a few things for the house. I thought that you could pick them up when you came but since you are not coming, I need them,” her mother spat, with even more irritation in her voice. “Mom, I will know more tomorrow. I promise to send something before the week is out. I don’t have much right now, but I will send you enough to get anything that you need. Just trust me. Have I ever let you down,” Sugah asked with sadness in her voice.
“Yeah whatever, you better not start now! I need my stuff. Anyway, let me know when you plan on sending my money. I have people waiting for me. I will talk with you later. And Sugah, don’t forget how much I went without so that you could do this and that. I wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for you. I gave my life away for you girl, so you owe me.” Sugah felt like crap. Her own mother was making her feel like a burden. She couldn’t believe her ears. Her mother had never spoken to her that way. What was happening to their family? They were all they had. Sugah didn’t know what she would do without her mother, but somehow my mother obviously didn’t feel the same way. Mothers were not supposed to make their children feel like that. “Yes Mama,” was all she got a chance to say because before she could say anything else, her mother disconnected the line.
That night Sugah began writing again. She poured herself into her poetry. She lost herself in her words, creating pieces she was so proud of and decided to share with the world someday. When she looked up again, it was well after midnight and she had written more than a dozen poems and thoughts. “Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun. I better turn in. Tomorrow is make-it or brake-it day.” Sugah looked around her tiny apartment. For the first time she didn’t see it as dingy, small or beneath her. For the first time, Sugah felt she was home. She knew in that moment that she would never live with her mother or anyone else again. That night, the eighteen year old girl she woke up being that morning died. Sugah became a woman. She knew that she had to take care of herself because no one else was going to do it. She was on her own.
The next day Sugah dressed to impress. She dressed the way the three girls had when she first met them at the mall. She didn’t know who or what she would encounter and her mother taught her to always be prepared. Sugah dressed like she had a million bucks when in reality, she only had about eighty dollars to her name. When she walked into the beautiful building she was instructed to go to, Sugah was in awe. Everything was clean, professional, and state of the art. The receptionist greeted her with poise, elegance and a smile, a welcomed greeting indeed. There was no waiting area because when she called, she was advised to be on time. No one was kept waiting, or would be waited for, the voice on the phone told her.
The only colors in the building were white. There were floor to ceiling windows letting in natural light. The entire area gave life, brightness, positivity. The floors were white marble, polished to perfection. Sugah could see her reflection in them. A naughty image entered her mind. She quickly brushed those thoughts away, recomposing herself. Why was she thinking such thoughts anyway? Was it the building and the sexiness it gave off? Sugah didn’t know nor did she care, she was just happy to be feeling something other than sadness. She continued her assessment of the gorgeous building. The only color was the reception desk, which was circular, finished in a dark and rich mahogany wood.
When the nice woman at the desk told her to go up to the fifteenth floor, Sugah thanked the woman and turned in the direction of the all-white elevators. As she stepped in and the doors were about to close, a hand stopped them. The hand belonged to a gorgeous man, with big feet, Sugah noticed unable to look at him in the eyes. His cologne teased her nostrils, overheating her sexual appetite. Sugah wanted to get as far away from him as possible because she didn’t trust herself around him. During her late teenage years, she was introduced to sex by an older guy, and she gravitated toward it. She felt energized, alive, desired and in control when she took part in the act. When he betrayed her for another hot, young thang, as he called her, Sugah promised to leave those feelings hidden until she found her soul mate.
His shoes were polished, his suit tailor-made, expensive and a nice gentle color, which made him look important, well put together. The baby blue silk tie and matching handkerchief went perfect with the khaki linen. As her eyes scanned his body, she felt her nature rise. Damn, she sighed to herself. He is sexy as hell. Her eyes moved up to his face. He had a caramel complexion, with a nice mustache and goatee. His eyes were light brown, slanted slightly, but full of life. He had the perfect nose and even nicer ears. But Sugah stopped when she saw his lips. They draw her in, captivating her. She couldn’t take her eyes away from them. Suddenly, she wanted to kiss them and feel them all over her. Sugah shook her thoughts away. She went up to his head. It was one of the best heads she had ever seen. His low fade accented sandy brown hair, which housed natural waves and tiny curls. He looked like he had just stepped away from a photo shot for GQ magazine. He smiled and her panties got soaked. Sugah smiled, knowing at that moment she was in the right place. The decision to finally call the number on the business card she received almost a year ago was about to change her life, and from the looks of her current surroundings, a change for the better.