Ten years, three months and twenty eight days since she’d made her first call, and still…she always felt wheezy, nauseous and absolutely panicky while the line went through. As though she was being catapulted through space and time into this wretched theme-based presetting.
The scene came into view then just as the ground felt solid once more. Blurry reds and blues melted into tall painted vases, blobby browns became heavy mahogany seats…and that pool by the wall, with the dancing maze of rainbow colors, blossomed into a palette of the most beautiful painting she’d ever seen. The Poor Sunrise it was called. Oh, if she could only take it with her!
The call room was just as she’d expected; a polished, high end scene with nothing but self customized features. From the personalized fur rugs, radiant lilies, massive chandelier…seriously, no one gets that kind of beach-front view from a free preset.
Her mother had always known how to make an impression… and an entrance.
“You are aware that you can’t actually take that with you.”
Startled, Hani felt her hands release in a moment of panic. The miniature pot, only before cradled within her palms as one would hold a small bird, slipped from her grasp and fell into a suspended daze, as though supported by an invisible sturdy force.
“You’ve always had sticky fingers,” her mother’s words were curt, and yet, glittering in her eyes was the menacing glee Hani had grown too accustomed to.
In a flash of heat she put the pot back with a lot more force than she’d intended. It, in return, settled cushily into place.
Hani looked blindingly about the room, irritation boiling into a pulsing hate.
Not real. Nothing’s real…Not even her.
Her mother, lounged back like an exquisite part of the decor, grey hair cropped, eyes veiled behind fluttering lashes, skin a deep onyx…
Not fucking real.
“So what do you want? Money?” the red devil shimmied behind her dark eyes. “For God’s sake! Do you flush what I give you? Your father will hit the roof if he hears of this-you need to be bloody responsible. Fucking kidding me…how much-it won’t always be like this by the way. Super irresponsible…”
The hate rose like mist, illuminating her insides with a spark of insane confidence. A moment, she knew, would soon vanish, never to return.
Her mother’s devil taunted, rolling around her eyes’ dark abyss, revelling in her humiliation.
“I don’t want your money.” Her voice came in as a stranger’s…clear as day yet devoid of whatever made her her.
Her mother fell silent then. “So, why did you call me?”
“I…” her skin shivered with emotion, and for the first time in her life her skin didn’t break in fear. “I don’t want your money, Mum. I actually called to let you know… At the end of my vocation, I won’t be coming back home.”
“Excuse me?! Hani, you cannot be-“
With that…her mother’s eyes as wide as saucers, Hani cut the call, and was propelled back into her flat.