It was a crisp, sunny morning in Manhattan. Karalin walked confidently out of the elevator and through the roundabout like she did every morning. Her limousine was a little late this morning, but Raymond was apologetic and rushed to hold the door open for her.

“Good Morning, Ms. Karalin, usual stops?, or shall we proceed directly to the center?”

She didn’t notice the gum stuck on the sidewalk carpet and almost lost her balance as it managed to stick quite firmly to the bottom of her new taupe high heel. “Damn it, I just bought these yesterday”. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a teenage girl with blue hair and a pierced nose staring up. Karalin looked up to see what she was looking at.

“What is she staring at, Raymond?”, There’s nothing up there.

“Well, …this is New York City, and most people don’t see this sort of sight too often, tourists, you know……..they’re everywhere.”

The girl started walking towards her, but Karalin hurried to the Limo, spilled her handbag and much like the gum stuck to the bottom of her shoe, she scrapped her off on the curb. What a dreadful little blue haired thing, she thought, if that’s kind of scum that roams the streets of New York City, then…………Oh well,

“Raymond, please stop at Chez Laraine, I must get new shoes.”

After one hour and $985.00 later, Karalin had purchased her new shoes, they were exactly like the ones she had on, minus the miniscule remnant of gum on the bottom.

When they arrived at the Centre, the doorman was waiting with the door open so that Karalin could make her daily “grand entrance”. Although she was born the daughter of a wealthy art collector and attended only the finest schools abroad, she had virtually no talent. She had never known her Mother, she and her father had split soon after her birth, all she knew about her Mother was that she lived somewhere in England.

Karalin had been raised by Nannies and horribly spoiled by her father. Her only claim to fame was that her father had been a renowned artist and art collector and had built an empire, died and left it to her. Luckily for Karalin, he also had put in place all the necessary people to staff and run the Centre. Karalin appeared powerful, knowledgeable and always, very elegant.

What she didn’t realize was that when she spilled her handbag earlier, one of her business cards had slid under the limo and flew up like a bird in flight as they drove off and landed right in front of the blue haired girl. Tessa was her name.
Tessa was 18, lived in Europe all of her life and had come to New York for one reason… find Karalin LaRouge. Tessa wasn’t spoiled, she was abandoned by her Mother and Father and left in an orphanage in Whales. She was clever though and soon Karalin LaRouge’s life was about to change.

Tessa took the subway to Fifth Ave. and walked five blocks until she came upon “The LaRouge Centre”. With her wild blue hair tied up in a pony tail, ripped up jeans and black army coat and boots, she certainly looked out of place on Fifth Avenue.

Karalin was busy floating about, chatting with the important clients that came to observe her fathers work she had just taken a sip of her gourmet cappuccino when she almost dropped in on the floor. Glancing over, she saw the dreadful blue haired girl again.

She scurried to the front towards the girl and in a whisper she said “please, this is a place of business, you don’t belong here”, “and you’ll have to leave.” Tessa, wide eyed and soft spoken said with an English accent, “Mum said you would be beautiful, I came a long way to see you.” Please let me just look at you awhile.”

Well, of course Karalin was flattered with that but the sudden news of having a half sister was quite over whelming. Karalin was extremely embarrassed of her new sister, but had always wanted to know about her Mother, so she arranged for Raymond to take them back to her penthouse immediately. In the Limo ride, Karalin could tell Tessa hadn’t had much in her life, and for once she felt a twinge of pity for someone.

Back at the penthouse, Tessa was amazed at the opulence and grandeur of the entire building and Karalin’s home was breathtaking. Karalin ordered a huge Japanese platter, and the two ate and talked about their Mother in detail. Tessa said her name was Elizabeth, she was a beautiful and a talented pianist. She had battled with cancer for many years, when she died she was penniless. Tessa’s Father didn’t want to raise a daughter alone, and she suspected he had a new lover anyway, so at 11 she was put in an orphanage.

Karalin was interrupted by an emergency phone call, someone had broken into the back of the Centre and the police were on the way. Tessa told Karalin to go ahead and take care of her business, her flight back to England was in a few hours anyway, but she was so glad she found her and would cherish the time they spent together.

Karalin was in a state of panic, she had to get to the Centre, but she hated leaving Tessa so suddenly. Karlin went in her bedroom for a moment and emerged with a blue bag stuffed with bills amounting to thousands of dollars. “Here” she said to Tessa, “it’s the least I can do, thank you for telling me about Mother”. They shared an awkward hug and both went on there way.
When Karalin got back to her penthouse that night, she felt a void. Still reminiscing about the mother she would never know. She dug out a box of papers her father had kept and searched through for anything she might hold on to. She came across her birth certificate. Her heart dropped when she saw her mothers name, it was Kara Lynn, ……..not Elizabeth.

As Tessa sat on her flight home, she was amazed at how easy the plan had gone down, “smooth as silk”, Uncle Raymond had said it would be easy.


Solar Zorra

Charleston, United States

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