Bargaining Chip

Maria is trying to break free of the gang life's clutches. Will she succeed or be lost forever?


2. New Surroundings Pt. 1

After I was escorted in Tony slid into the seat next to me. “Don’t fear me. Wish it, and it shall appear, the world is yours”. Vacant, traitorous lies. I just sat there wishing this to be a bad dream instead of a real-life nightmare. Just as I finished my wish a hand gripped my own, I looked up to see Tony placing a ring on my finger. His eyes met mine as he spoke. “How else could I keep the others off you? In a week’s time, the vows will occur, until then you’re shopping for the dress and a new wardrobe”. I remained silent. With Pa being misspoken wasn’t acceptable. Every time I spoke I risked another bruise where only I could see. As a reminder what happens to non-dismissive girls. Tony continued to drawl on. “My mother will see to all that. Ah, speak freely, you punish others here”. I could’ve sworn a faint smile brushed my lips. Just as Tony finished, the car pulled up onto a gorgeous property.

As soon as I was led out of the car, a plump, smiling woman came running towards us. “Maria, Tony”! The woman shouted. Tony began to walk towards the woman, once he noticed my hesitation he grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the woman. “Mother, this is the fabled bride of the Phoenix's”. Sure, enough the pump woman pulled me into a tight embrace. Then ushered me into the building while blathering on about a wedding dress.

Soon enough dinner came around. The woman whom I’ve learned is named Julie, moved me into a large dining hall adjacent to the living room we’ve been in. We sat at a seemingly too large table for such few. The home seemed like a blend of minimalist and Victorian-era style. Golden tapestry’s draped over quintessential modern armchairs, golden mirrors and white rugs. The whole home was enchanting. “Problems with style”? Questioned Tony. It would seem as though I studied the room too closely. “No, it’s perfect” I responded. The conversation died, so we went back to our meal.

After our dinner was finished, Tony turned his attention to me. “Come” he ordered with a serene calm. I stood up and did as I was instructed. We passed through a grand hall, decorated with such precision, it was a struggle to pass by. Eventually, He stopped outside a certain door, his hand on the knob he pushed to reveal a bedroom. “This is ours”. With his words, I froze. Ignoring my reaction, he just ushered me towards an armchair in the corner. He put his hands on my shoulders, seating me in the chair. “Here is the bed, there is the closet, and there is the bathroom” he uttered, pointing in various directions.

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