Most mornings, I stumble into the Mahdavi’s Toy Emporium at least half an hour late with sunglasses plastered onto my face, knee high boots that make up for the lack of pants, a long t shirt and my signature fur coat just about cover my ass. Definitely not the most appropriate attire for children’s toy store. Like I really care anyway. Cigarette smoke coming from my long gold cigarette holder added to my never ending need to make every situation as theatrical as possible.
Drama queen, that’s me.
I was to be the face of our little crime syndicate one day, but my histrionic personality was the cause of one-to-many controversies. I’ve worn those cute little silver bracelets more times than anyone else in the history of our family. The question of my father was also an issue to the family. My mother painting herself as a good wife, strong leader, and stern mother. She was not all as perfect as she seemed. My brother Raffy was known not be my father’s child and our proximity in age, born the same year, left questions to who my father actually was. If mommy dear could not keep her perfect marriage afloat, how was she supposed to manage the family business and us. Would I take after my mother and just be an utter liability? I was an injured lion cub, and the vultures were already circulating.
All this talk about if I was suitable, if I would turn over a new leaf, if I would ever get clean but no one ever asked me what I wanted. This was my life for fucks sake and if I could, I would sweep the counter, stand on top and scream as loud as I could. Preach from the holy customer service desk about how I want nothing to do with any of this. I do not want to sell drugs in the high-end clubs, I do not want to sell toys and games to children. I do not want to be part of this family and I most definitely do not want to be in charge of anything. But no one ever asked me. So, each day I show up and play my part.
I know how to work a floor better than anyone else in Panem. I might be trash to the rest of my family, but in the clubs during witching hour…I was fucking royalty. Men pouring drinks down my throat and women snorting lines off of my stomach. My own booths at every club and queues were a foreign concept. I watched the commoners from down below while I used cash to wipe my mouth. My territory, my rules and when you were with me; anything goes.
The only downside, I was there to sell not to have fun. A technicality really.
The nights passed by in a blurred picture film, I thrived off the hedonistic souls looking for a good time. I ensure one to just about anyone, for the right price of course. The drugs were pricy, but I was the most expensive item on the list.
I had cousins come along with me as security, my money is on family watch dogs. I could take care of myself thank you very much, but I was not trusted. They all treated me like a little girl who needed her hand held. They would stand in front of my throne as the peasants would come up one by one asking for just a little bit of anything to make their miserable little lives more interesting. Everyone wanted to be me, but no one wanted to pay the price.
The feeling of not knowing who your real friends are left a giant hole in my stomach, I tried to fill it each night with alcohol and drugs. I numbed the pain of loneliness with my own product, physical touch from strangers who were just using me. Any kind of validation was better than none. I never wanted any of this, I wanted to be on the dance floor with everyone else. I wanted to feel the freedom of the music as my heart beats along with it. The sticky floors, the primal attraction between strangers when they were on equal footing.
At the end of the night, cash in hand was exchanged with the club owner as I picked up my fur coat. The last to leave as usual, my brain still reeling from the substances cursing through my body. Hardly conscious, my cousins would escort me home. For the night, I would crash and burn.
Tattoos carry a lot of weight in our family. They are a sign of dedication and commitment. A badge of honor to show everyone else what you have done in our family name. The first tattoo every member wears with the utmost pride is our symbol. A jagged knife stabbing from top to bottom of an open eye. You get the tattoo done when you are twelve a week before your very first reaping. A symbol of good luck and family unity.
I remember my mother giving me my tattoo when I was 12. I do not think I have ever felt that loved than on that very day. My parents proud of who I was becoming, my younger siblings still looking up to me. Nowadays things have changed, and younger ones are the ones keeping me in check. I do it for them because I love them. No matter how bad my addiction got. No matter how little I cared. I loved my family, my mother, the man who raised me, Raffy and the twins. They were the reason I still kept going. Blood runs thicker than booze.
I have not gotten a tattoo since, at least non that were family sanctioned. A while back ago there was a girl in a club, and we all know how things are when there are girls in clubs. Memories were made that night, but I lost all but one. Flashes of my thick dark hair blending with hers as we danced the night away, a smile as sly as a cat and gorgeous green eyes that were burned into my brain. I was never one to forget a beautiful face. Dopamine. Serotonin. Endorphins. And our good old friend Ecstasy. The most fun I have ever had.
When morning came, I woke up in a cell. Remember? I said I wore those shiny silver bracelets like no one else.
The girl of my dreams never to be found.
My lips were swollen as I licked around feeling scabbing on the inside. Across from the bars of my holding cell was a mirror. I pulled my lip down flinching with pain as the tight tissue attempted to stretch.
A representative from the Mahdavi Family has censored this statement due to its vulgar nature. We run a family friendly business and apologize for our staff members outburst; may we interest you, reader, in a complementary marble? A family tradition.
If I were a man, I would tell them all to suck my ****
This is the third time this year, someone has called a family meeting about my attitude. The first time around, I told a kid that was crying to shut the **** up because their tears were too loud for my hangover. The second time was because some snotnosed ****** ran and told their ******** parents that I was selling my ***** instead of the intended product. Who the **** knows what this meeting will be about this time. How the **** am I the only one up in this joint that is not a miserable ****! All you ************* care way to ******* much!
A ***** cannot get a break, these *********** ******** are always out for my throat. What is so hard to understand about everyone just leaving me the **** alone. Oh sorry, I am not supposed to cuss! We are high class criminals not some no good low lives trying to make ends meet. We are ******* sophisticated ******* up in this house!
They go one about their rules and traditions. They talk about an empire built on the blood of others. The exploitation of others. We have our ******* money, we don’t need to be ****** ** *** *** anymore to get what we want. We have enough for us to go and have some ******* fun already. It is all work and never any play. ******* ironic for a family that runs a toy store.