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Lauren Selma Burke was a 55-year-old woman with a medium complexion, short-cropped hair that denied anyone the privilege of guessing her age, and a body reminiscent of her thirties. She, much like her son Jin, was the type of woman who commanded and demanded attention. Lauren, better known as Selma to her handful of remaining friends, finally landed the bank account of her dreams irrespective of sentiment.

Jin, it’s me, I know you saw me calling you. You don’t know if I’m sick or what lawd! I could be on the floor writhing in pain, or worse.

See, this is how your kids do you when they grow up.

If you only knew what I have gone through for you, you would be willing to crawl over hot coals to answer the phone when I called, even if I didn’t want anything special. Well anyway, when you hear this message call your momma, I want to know if you can come over here and help me with this computer, bye.

This type of interaction is the typical dynamic between Jin and his mother. Lauren craves control, and when she feels the smallest bit of control beginning to escape her grasp she immediately panics. After leaving a message for Jin, she decided that it would be best that she go ahead and get her day started.

Royce! I know you hear me calling you!

What is wrong with these people today? It’s like they want to force me act ugly. This is what happens when you get your spiritual life in order, the devil comes to test you at every turn.

Royce! You want me to make you something to eat? Stop making me shout up these stairs, and get down here and have some breakfast. You have time to have an egg before you go.

Lauren, quite pleased with herself crossed the freshly waxed marble floor in her newly minted custom kitchen. Royce, her latest husband, had built a life that was quite comfortable for the two of them. Lauren removed a previously boiled egg from its cellophane wrapper, sliced it in half, and placed it onto a saucer. She then quickly toasted a couple sliced of bread, prior to coating them with a generous portion of the “special” butter that Royce required for his hypertension.

Royce entered the kitchen and had a seat at the table in front of the heart-healthy breakfast that Lauren prepared.

Lauren on patrol

Thank you for breakfast hon, Royce said as he sipped the black coffee found to the left of his plate. What do you plan to do with yourself today? Are you going to do your cardio circuit with the girls?

No, not today, Arlene had to go to court for that courtesy clerk that she nipped with her bumper last week. Savannah is taking her mother to dialysis, they had to reschedule her mom’s normal appointment time. Can you believe that the both didn’t bother to call and tell me that they were not able to go walking until last night? People are so disrespectful. You know that’s how people can be sometimes, but I didn’t say anything. I just told them both that they could have let me know sooner. I had already ironed my tracksuit and everything.

Anyway, I think I will just go down to the Penny’s. The last time I was there a really nice young woman was there, and she is holding a towel set for me. It was the last one, and it was on sale. Royce! Did you hear me say it was on sale?

Yes, doll I heard you. That’s good. I can’t believe it. What will you do after that? Have you heard from Jin?

In fact, Royce had not heard anything that Lauren said. Royce learned very early if he were to have any chance at happiness and remaining uninjured, his obedience and attention were both primary.

I called him this morning, but you know he didn’t answer. What’s wrong with that boy? I have done all I can to give him a happy life. Now he’s got this little piece of job, he is so busy. I will call him again this evening and give him a piece of my mind.

Oh, that will be nice. Well, it’s about time for me to head out. I will see you this evening, and I hope you have a good day.

Royce placed a sweet kiss on Lauren’s face and exited through the garage door at the rear of the kitchen.

Lauren, still proud of her morning’s performance as a wife, left the table. She decided to head upstairs to dress and start her daily routine of shopping and plotting. On her way to her private dressing room, she stopped to admire the ornately designed interior of her home.

It’s amazing how beautiful this house is. To think that I decorated it all myself! No wonder the ladies at the church always giving me a little side eye during the offering, they know they can’t compete. I just pray that the Lord will heal their jealous hearts.

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