A trillion to one, p.1
A Trillion to One, page 1
Copyright © 2019 Chenell Parker
Published by Chenell Parker
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without prior written consent of the publisher, except in brief quotes used in reviews.
This is a work of fiction. Any references or similarities to actual events, real people, living or dead, or to the real locals are intended to give the novel a sense of reality. Any similarity in other names, characters, places, and incidents are entirely coincidental.
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OTHER TITLES BY CHENELL PARKER
HER SO CALLED HUSBAND PARTS 1-3
YOU’RE MY LITTLE SECRET PARTS 1-3
YOU SHOULD LET ME LOVE YOU
CHEATING THE FUTURE FOR THE PAST
YOU’RE NOT WORTH MY TEARS
WHAT YOU WON’T DO FOR LOVE
CREEPIN’: A NEW ORLEANS LOVE STORY
COMPLICATED PARTS 1-3
NEVER KNEW LOVE LIKE THIS PARTS 1 & 2
HATE THAT I NEED YOU
I HEARD IT ALL BEFORE
I DON’T WANT YOU BACK
AS LONG AS I’M THE ONLY ONE
TWO MILLION REASONS WHY
HEARTBREAK AND PAST MISTAKES
THREE IS A CROWD
WORST CASE SCENARIO
“W hy you acting all stingy with the meat? Damn,” Amore said as she watched the girl behind the counter at Subway make her sandwiches.
“It costs to get extra meat,” the worker said with a nasty attitude.
“Bitch, I got money. I can pay for extra meat and whatever else I want in here. This ain’t your shit that you’re trying to hold on to. Put some more meat on the damn sandwiches,” Amore snapped.
Her cousin Dallas was busy getting them a drink, but she came and stood next to her a few minutes later.
“They be killing me with that shit. This ain’t even her restaurant. The people who own it probably aren’t even from this country,” Dallas chimed in loudly.
The girl behind the counter ignored them and continued to do her job. She added the requested toppings on both sandwiches and cut them three times, instead of two, like her customers requested. She needed her job and the two young hood rats who were going off on her weren’t going to cause her to lose it. She worked in the hood so she had seen and heard it all. It was only her second week there and they weren’t her first irate customers.
“Anything else?” the clerk asked once she’d wrapped their sandwiches in the thin paper and put them in the plastic bags.
“Give me six chocolate chip cookies too,” Amore replied.
Once again, the worker did as she was told and put the cookies in a bag. She added it to one of the plastic bags with the sandwiches before removing her gloves. She took both bags to the register and started ringing everything up. Before she could give Amore a total, she grabbed the two bags off the counter and bolted for the door.
“Hey!” the clerk yelled but it was too late. Amore and Dallas were halfway down the block before she even came from behind the counter. They ran full speed until they crossed the street and got around the corner.
“Oh shit. I’m tired as hell. I need to stop smoking so much,” Dallas huffed as she stopped and put the drinks down on the ground. She bent over and rested her hands on her knees as she tried to catch her breath.
“Come on girl. You know Chanell is probably having a fit by now. We were supposed to meet up thirty minutes ago,” Amore panted as she held on tight to their food.
The cousins walked down two more blocks until they came up to a gas station. Chanell was pacing out front, wringing her hands nervously, until she saw them walk up.
“Oh shit! I was scared as hell. I thought y’all got caught or something,” Chanell said as she ran up and hugged them.
“No, we had to wait until the store was empty before we did anything. You know they be having good Samaritans who can’t mind their own damn business,” Amore replied.
It also helped that the worker at Subway was new. Every store in the vicinity knew the three of them because they’d stolen from them all. They hit up Subway the most because they never kept the same employees for too long. Since the new worker had never seen Chanell, they would let her go in to get their food the next time around.
“Come see, I got us so much shit from the dollar store,” Chanell said as she led them into the gas station.
“Hey girls,” Azra, the young Pakistani cashier, said with a smile.
Azra’s family owned a chain of gas stations but her parents let her manage that location. It was in a horrible area but she had security out front throughout the entire day. They refused to let her stay open twenty-four seven, so the latest she ever worked was midnight.
“Hey Azra,” they all spoke back as they headed to the rear of the store.
Dallas looked back and Azra winked at her. It was Dallas who met her first before introducing her to her family members. Azra was an angel and there was no other way to describe her. She grew up privileged and she always tried to give to the less fortunate. Sadly, she had never met anyone who was less fortunate than the three of them. Dallas and Chanell were sisters and Amore was their first cousin. At seventeen years old, Chanell was the oldest with Amore and Dallas both being sixteen. Amore was an only child and their mothers were sisters. Dallas and Chanell had an older sister, Meadow, who was nineteen.
Meadow used to be right there with them, but she was even better at stealing than they were. She knew how to finesse her way in and out of everything and she always looked out for them when she made a come up. Meadow was a pro at picking pockets and she hung out in the French Quarters just for that purpose. She hated the way they were living and she was often embarrassed by her mother’s addiction. She swore that she was going to pack up and leave one day but they thought that it was all talk. They soon found out just how serious she was when Meadow and all of her belongings disappeared one day. They hadn’t seen her since she left home about three months ago and they had no clue as to where she was. Since they no longer had her help, the trio learned to fend for themselves.
Besides each other, they had no other family in New Orleans. They had a big family back in Mississippi but they didn’t get to see them very often. Since their mothers, Elise and Gianna, were the family disgraces, no one wanted them around. Elise and Gianna came from a close-knit family who did everything together. It wasn’t until Amore’s mother Gianna got hooked on drugs that things started to change. She and Elise were close, so it didn’t take long for her to follow in her little sister’s footsteps. When Gianna moved to New Orleans with her crack head boyfriend, Amore’s uncle tried to get her to leave Amore behind. Gianna thought that she would have to give up her welfare and food stamps, so she refused. Amore even tried running away to Mississippi once, but Gianna got the police involved. She had her brother arrested for kidnapping, even though Amore was the one that went to him.
Thankfully, the charges didn’t stick but the family was still heated. After that, none of them wanted to be bothered with the two sisters or their kids. Amore never understood how the law would rather see her living in a rundown project with a crack head, versus the stable environment that her uncle tried to provide for her. She lost all faith in the system after that and she stopped caring. She barely went to school and her mother didn’t care if she did or not.
“How did you manage to get all of this stuff?” Dallas asked as she looked at the bags of underwear and clean clothes that her sister was showing them.
“I took two bags from the register when nobody was looking and filled them up. The stupid ass cashie
“I see you got some stuff to bake with too. I want some of whatever you’re making,” Amore said as she looked over at the baking pans that her cousin had in the bag.
Chanell was always trying something new. The girls stayed at the library and she was always printing up cake recipes that she found online. Amore loved to read, so she sat in there for hours some days, just to read a book. If she didn’t feel like staying, she would just take the books home but she always made sure to return them.
“You know you get some of whatever I bake. I’ll need you and Dallas to help me get all the ingredients first though,” Chanell replied
It was sad that they had to resort to stealing just to eat, when their mothers got food stamps that was supposed to feed them. They had to steal clean clothes, even though welfare gave their mothers cash to support them every month. None of the girls knew who their fathers were and that made it even harder. Thanks to Azra, they were able to take a shower in the gas station’s bathroom every night. The gas station used to be a rest stop for truckers to shower and nap, but Azra’s family stopped using it for that purpose when they took over. Now, the only time the showers were used was when the girls came there every night to use them. They had running water at home but that was about it. They didn’t have soap or towels and they refused to bring anything home for their mothers to use or steal. Amore didn’t know about her cousins but she even hid her toilet paper. Gianna would rather spend all her money on crack, so she didn’t care if she never wiped her ass.
“Come on and let’s eat,” Amore said as she sat on the hard floor.
Dallas grabbed some napkins and put down before they started eating their sandwiches and cookies. The Cokes that she stole from Subway hit the spot and they were all full a short time later. Once they cleaned up their mess, they took a shower and put on their new underwear and clothes that Chanell had taken from the dollar store. They put their dirty clothes in the basket that Azra had gotten for them. Once it was full, she would take their things home to wash them. As bad as their lives were, they were thankful that they were always clean and full before going home every night.
“Thanks Azra, see you tomorrow,” Amore said as she and her cousins waved and exited the store together.
“My hair is a nappy ass mess. I should have taken a relaxer from somewhere. Y’all bitches must be for white men,” Dallas said as she looked at her sister and cousin.
“Girl please. As dark as I am. Ain’t no way in hell my daddy is white,” Amore laughed.
“You’re so pretty though, Amore. You look just like Gianna used to look before the drugs. Like a young Toya Wright,” Chanell complimented.
“Just don’t go find a man that looks like Lil Wayne,” Dallas laughed.
“Not too much on my boo,” Chanell said, making her sister laugh louder.
Dallas and everyone else knew that Chanell was a huge fan of the Nola bred rapper. She knew all of his songs and stole all of his Cd’s the day they dropped. She even stole a Cd player to listen to them on. If she could have snuck into one of his concerts, Chanell would have probably done it by now.
Amore’s cousins were just as beautiful. Dallas, Chanell and Meadow looked so much alike with their caramel complexions and slanted eyes. They had the cutest buttons noses and they reminded Amore of Keke Palmer.
“If Gianna didn’t give you anything else, she gave you a lot of ass. You ever thought about dancing Amore? You would make a killing with your face and shape,” Dallas said as she tapped her cousin’s ass as they walked.
“I would never. That’s what got Gianna hitting the pipe right now,” Amore replied.
Her mother was a dancer for years and was good at it from what Amore was told. She’d seen pictures of her in some of her costumes and Gianna was indeed a bad bitch. She had a different man every month, which was probably why she didn’t know who Amore belonged to. Gianna started out sniffing coke occasionally until that was no longer enough. When her appearance started to suffer, she lost her job at the club and was a full blown crack head now. She moved to New Orleans with her last boyfriend six years ago and it was the only home that Amore knew now. She loved the food and the culture and she was happy that she had her cousins there to always have her back. Gianna’s man died of a drug overdose two years after they moved there. If she didn’t stop, she was going to end up the exact same way.
“Bye cousin. We love you,” Dallas said as she and Chanell gave Amore a hug. They all lived in the same projects but they always walked her home first since she lived in the first building. The old brick buildings had been replaced with apartment styled homes years ago but it was still the projects to those who lived there.
“I love y’all too. Same time tomorrow. We get to do this all over again. We’ll never gain weight because we run too damn much,” Amore laughed as she used her key to let herself inside.
She didn’t know why she even bothered to lock up. There was nothing in their shabby looking home for anybody to take. Gianna had already taken it all to the pawn shop and nothing of value was left. They didn’t have a tv or radio, so Amore always read a book. She had a book light to help her see at night and she was content with that. Her belly was full and she was clean. All she wanted to do now was relax and get lost in a book. Her bed was actually a used mattress that she kept under the window, just in case she got hot. It was comfortable and she made sure to keep her sheets and blanket fresh. She didn’t have much but she was grateful for what she did have.
Halfway through her book, Amore could no longer fight her sleep. She knew that her mother would be home eventually but she was hoping that she came home alone. Gianna no longer had a boyfriend so it was nothing for her to bring random men home for sex. When she ran out of money, turning tricks with the dope boys was how she usually got high. Amore hated when she heard her mother’s screams of pleasure through the thin walls because there was nothing that she could do to drown it out. She didn’t have a radio like her cousins, so she just had to wait it out. Amore said her prayers like she did every night and drifted off into what she hoped would be a peaceful night’s sleep.
“Fuck no Gianna! You already know that I don’t do no credit,” a man yelled, jolting Amore from a deep sleep. She looked around incoherently for a while until she remembered where she was. Amore didn’t know what time it was because they didn’t even have a clock. She knew she had been sleep for a while or at least that’s how she felt.
“Come on Kenny. You know I’m good for it. My food stamps will be here next week. You can even hold the card if you want to,” Gianna said desperately.
“The fuck do I need with your food stamps when my girl get her own,” Kenny laughed. Out of all the men who Gianna got drugs from, Kenny was the only one who never let her pay with sexual favors. His dope was the best according to Gianna, so she always spent most of her money with him whenever she had some.
“Come on Kenny. What do you want? Some head? Some pussy?” Gianna asked.
“Bitch, stop playing with me. You know I don’t fuck with crack heads. If I cheat on my girl, I have to make sure it’s worth it. Hit me up when you get some money,” Kenny said angrily.
“Wait! I got something that’s even better than money and I know it’s worth it,” Gianna replied.
“I’m listening,” Kenny said impatiently.
“My daughter,” Gianna replied, making Amore’s heart rate increase.
As soon as the words left her mother’s mouth, Amore jumped up from her bed. She grabbed her backpack that was in the closet and put a few of her belongings inside. Besides the new outfits and underwear that Chanell had stolen for her, she didn’t have very much. She threw her book inside before slipping on her shoes.
“Which one is your daughter?” Kenny asked.
“Go get her,” Kenny requested, right as Amore was climbing out of her bedroom window. She was so thankful that they lived on the first floor but she would have jumped to her death before she let Kenny have his way with her. The fact that he was even entertaining the idea had her disgusted. He had to be at least twenty-five years old with his nasty, perverted ass.
“Amore! Bring your ass back here girl! Amore!” Gianna yelled out of the window.
Amore was trying to get away, so she never even bothered to close the window. She knew that’s what gave her away but she didn’t care. She flipped her middle finger at her mother as she kept running in the opposite direction. She wanted to go by Chanell and Dallas but that would be the first place that Gianna would look. Amore walked back to the gas station but her heart dropped when she saw that it was already closed. That let her know that it had to be after midnight. Tears fell from Amore’s eyes as she walked aimlessly down the street.
When she walked up to a twenty-four-hour grocery store a while later, she was tired and lost. She was in a better neighborhood but she didn’t know what she was going to do. Feeling defeated, Amore took a seat on the ground and started crying. She hated her life and she hated Gianna for making it more miserable than it already was. Her mother didn’t want her and she didn’t want anybody else to have her either. She was a selfish bitch who should have never even had kids.
“Are you okay baby?” a woman asked, startling Amore. She jumped at the sound of her voice and clutched her backpack tighter.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Amore replied as she wiped her tears. She looked up into a pair of kind eyes and instantly felt better. The older woman was standing there with a younger man who looked to be around the same age as Amore or a little older.
by Chenell Parker have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes