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Check The Messenger Before You Take The Message

I encourage my children always to check the messenger before they take the message. Not everyone who comes into our lives has the best of intentions.


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Annelise Lords

3 months ago | 4 min read
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The ringing of her cellphone snatches her attention away from her laptop, but only for a second. Glancing at her cell phone on the desk beside the computer, recognizing the number, Nelly refocuses on her work. Half an hour later, the ringing of her doorbell breaks her concentration. Checking her doorbell-cam with her cellphone, she said into the phone, "It's open, Lizzie." Using the App on her cell phone to open her front door.

Lizette, her older sister, storms in, shouting, "Why aren't you answering your cell phone?"

Nelly looks at her, searching her face, then giving her the answer to an unasked question. "The answer is no. And you know when I am working, I allow no distractions.

"You don't know why I am here," Lizzie protests. Turning back to her laptop, typing quickly, she repeats, "The answer is still no."

Lizzie drops to her knees, begging, "Please, Nell, I need your help."

Nelly presses save on her laptop, closes it, turns to her sister, and asks, "how much did you lose this time?"

Lizzie's head was on the floor. She slowly picked it up, with the rest of herself, tears flowing from her eyes, "it's all of my life savings," she sobs.

"Who is the lucky lottery winner?"

"Tom Andrews," she reveals.

"Tom is out of prison?" Nelly asks.

"He was released for good behavior six months ago," Lizzie informs.

"Lizette, if Tom was around when Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall, he could put him together again so damn good, you wouldn't see a scratch or crack on his shell. Girl, you knew him and his reputation, and you gave your life savings to him?" Nelly demands in shock. "He isn't qualified to give you or anybody else life or professional advice."

"He gave me a list of his investors got back a huge return. We know all of them," she defends her actions.

"And who are they?"

"Well," she said, taking a piece of paper from her back pocket, reading from the list, "Ruth, Mark, Matthew, Luke. . . ."

"Hold on!" Nelly cried out. "Matthew is doing three life sentences in San Quentin and won't be able to spend a dime. Is Paul Smith and Simon Wilson on that list too?"

Running down the list, Lizzie asks, "How did you know?"

"They were his accomplice in his racket and have been dead for ten years!" Nelly slapped her on the side of her head.

Lizzie screams, dropping to her knees, "Bobby is going to leave me and take my baby away."

"He should," Nelly agrees, helping her stand up leading her to the sofa.

"I can't afford to lose him, Nell," she sobs, sitting down.

"You are thinking," Nell said, handing her a box of Kleenex.

"I was always thinking," she asserts, taking a few, wiping her eyes.

"Really?"

"It's just that I have more to lose now," she confesses."So all of the damage you have done in the past, you could afford to lose?"

"I could get back what I have failed in the past. I can't get back my family."

"Actually, you can," Nell slaps her with sarcasm. "You are still at childbearing age."

"I don't want another family!" she screams. "I want the one I have. I swear I won't do this again," Lizzie sobs.

"Why do you keep doing this?" Nelly demands, tilts her head down, peering at her over the rim of her glasses that sat on the tip of her nose, dragging her down memory lane, "You were 12 years old in the sixth grade, and you came home demanding that Mom dye your hair purple and green. Because Tina, your best friend's mother, dyed her hair. You followed her into Mr. Ingram's Deli and shoplifted candy bars. That was her third strike, and she ended up in Jackson's Juvenile Center. Mr. Ingram knew Mom. That's why you got away. That behavior continues in high school and college. You stopped after you got married and had your son. So what the hell happened now?"

"I forgot to check the messenger before I take the message like Mom always says."

"Again?" Nelly asked. "You are almost forty. You are supposed to be wiser than that."

"I don't know, maybe it's a mid-life crisis thing," she cast blame.

Nodding, Nelly said, "You are too young. You can't blame your stupidity on that."

"Then it's Mom's fault. She treated me differently from all of us."

"Say what!" Nelly screamed, grabbing her glasses before they hit the ground.

"Your father was good to her. Ours weren't. That's why she treated you better than us. She loved him. She gave you things she denied us. She went further for you and with you than any of us. The four of us watched her treat you with more love and kindness than you deserve. When you messed up your life, you can't blame the only one who loved you."

"Who should I blame?" she dares to ask.

Nelly snatches up the make-up bag that was on her desk beside her laptop, opens it, and hands her a small oval-shaped mirror, then says, "You know, if you had taken responsibility for your actions, you would have learned something from them. Mom raised five children by herself. Our father didn't give her a dime. She did it out of love, and she did her best. She has been telling us to check the messenger before we take the message from we were kids. She loved you the most. Don't you dare blame her for your mistakes!"

"I will lose everything because I didn't check the messenger before I took the message," Lizzie sobs slumping off the sofa to the floor, the mirror beside her.

I encourage my children always to check the messenger before they take the message. Not everyone who comes around has the best of intentions.

Thank you for reading this piece. I hope you enjoy it and sample more from some inspiring writers on this platform.

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Annelise Lords

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Creative Writer

I write inspirational, thought-provoking, common sense short stories, poems, and quotes. I am also a nature lover, amateur photographer, a deep thinker, and a creative fiction writer who never turns off learning mode.


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