A few days later, Aurora walked into the apartment, she just returned from the hospital and her mood was slightly uplifted as she recalled Sammie's innocent smile while he showed her the pictures he had colored.
She heard loud voices coming from the living room and a quiet sigh escaped her mouth, the voices she recognized to be George's, Cassandra, and also of Jerome as they chatted and laughed endlessly.
She had no other option but to see them before she would be able to walk upstairs to her room.
The first thing her eyes caught on was the bottles of alcohol and half-burnt cigarettes littering across the whole living room floor.
They ignored her sudden presence, in the same way, she pretended they were invisible as she started the walk to her room, she didn't get halfway when George's voice rang out.
"Why are you in such a hurry, we've got some very great news!"
The full excitement in his voice told Aurora that the news must be great indeed, but she had no intention of listening to whatever any of them had to say.
She started to leave when Cassandra straightened from her spot on George's thighs and hurried to stand in front of her, blocking her path.
"I think you might want to listen to this, considering you have a part to play in this big proposal we got, George told me your brother, what's that his name? ....Never mind that you are searching for how to raise the money for his operation right? "
Aurora rose a brow wondering where the discussion was heading to, she had ever told George anything regarding Sammie's illness, but he somehow had his way of figuring out everything, and if she were to guess, she would say without a doubt that it had everything to do with Jerome, Cassandra's brother, who is a doctor in the same hospital Sammie was currently in.
"Well, we found a way to raise the money for you!"
Aurora's eyes widened a fraction, she couldn't manage to hide the instant surprise, Cassandra had to be either joking or was mocking her as usual. Aurora knew for a fact that the woman hated her bitterly, not to mention about raising money, she knew Cassandra would prefer it if she was six feet below!
"You don't believe me? I don't think you would, my brother managed to find the perfect solution to all of your needs, but there's something you need to do first. " Cassandra smirked, seeing the way Aurora's eyes quickly narrowed, she rushed to add.
"It's nothing difficult, I'm sure you can carry it out with ease "
Jerome and George joined them the next moment.
"What do you want?" Aurora spoke, her gaze shifting to the three persons who surrounded her, she hated that she had a keen interest to listen to whatever Cassandra was saying, but if this was truly an opportunity she had to preserve Sammie's life, there was nothing she wouldn't do.
"It's as simple as this, we need the service of your womb and are willing to pay you the money needed for your brother's operation" Jerome wore a neutral expression as he spoke.
Aurora felt as though a heavy hammer had been slammed against her heart, she staggered a step backward wondering if she had heard right.
"What the hell are you speaking about! " She hissed taking another step backward, the way they had suggested it meant that to them, she was seen as nothing more than a commodity.
"Don't shout! We are only trying to help you, but as always, you are an ungrateful slut!" George yelled, his alcohol breath fanning her face.
"I'm unwilling! Don't help me, I never requested it from you, did I? " Aurora yelled right back, her chest heaving heavily as tears of anger and frustration sprang forth in her eyes.
" Don't give us that look, This is a great opportunity for you! I would have easily done it, but you see......my womb is already occupied." Cassandra patted her slightly protruding stomach as she and George shared a laugh.
"You are being so unreasonable! Instead of giving such money to outsiders, Jerome told me about it, and I figured I will do you this favor, after all, we were once best friends, it's alright for us to help each other, is it not? " Cassandra spoke again, this time in an overly sweet tone and Aurora had the urge to smack her in the face, she somehow managed to refrain herself from it, knowing it would only end badly for her.
"The man is super rich! He's willing to pay such a huge amount of money just to rent your womb, I thought that brats life was important to you, but it turns out I'm wrong, he is going to die and it will be because of his selfish whore of a sister who refused to save his own life! " George spat, his eyes were filled with hate and so much disgust.
An uncontrollable shiver swept Cassandra, how could they suggest her to have another man's child?
Her stomach rolled tightly as she fought the urge to puke.
Her very own husband at that?
How dare he even suggest such! He was going too far!
But if this was true, then she could really save Sammie's life, this could just be the miracle she had been praying for?
She shook her head, she couldn't think deeply about anything right now, her mind was in a state of complete mess, she wanted some time alone to herself, maybe then she would be able to think.
"What's your decision, huh? Don't tell me that you are objecting because you still have some hope in us? " George laughed aloud scornfully as he spoke.
"In three years, I've never looked in your pathetic direction, what would make you think I will start now? I'm not giving you a choice, you have to do it if you want to remain in this house!"
It was Aurora's turn to laugh, her lips were stretched into the emptiest of smiles which mirrored the numb ache in her heart.
If there was anything she felt for George, then it was disgust and hate for the man she had once loved with everything.
"You can't send me out of this house! It belongs to me! I'll stay here for as long as I want....!" She didn't get to complete her statement when her hair was tugged harshly, setting her scalp on fire.
Cassandra wore a mocked horrified look while Jerome looked uncomfortable, meeting anywhere but her gaze.
The house had belonged to her maternal grandparents, her own parents had gifted this house to both she and George upon their marriage, the only mistake they had made had been to involve George's name in the documents, the property was hers even more than it belonged to him.
"Let go of me! " The scream left Aurora's mouth as she met George's cruel smile, he was enjoying seeing her in pain.
He had to make Aurora agree at any cost, there was much at stake, the company which he owned was at the very edge of bankruptcy, he had already accumulated quite an amount of debts. Whoever this savior was had agreed to pay the sum of five whole million dollars! just to find a surrogate mother to give birth to his heir! It would go a long way to pay off all his debt, including those accumulated from gambling. Aurora didn't need to know about the full amount, a million should be enough for her, he expected her to jump at the opportunity to finally be able to save that little bastard of hers, but she was proving tough to deal with, fueling his hatred and anger to no ends.
The moment Aurora managed to tug herself free, her eyes were prickling with tears as she coughed uncontrollably.
She ran upstairs without looking back, she couldn't be in the company of these monsters, not even for a second longer.
She slammed her door shut but not before catching George's and Cassandra's last words.
"You should try to treat her more nicely, maybe she will be keen to agree to the divorce so we can both finally get married since you already can't kick her out of the house"
"She deserves it! Such an ungrateful bitch! "
She blocked her ears to their words, life was playing such a cruel joke with her, it was giving her an opportunity so that Sammie's rare heart disease could be cured, but what was the price of saving her brother's life?
The doctors had said he might outlive another year without the operation, but that was it.
Helpless sobs of frustration made her whole body tremble, she cried until her eyes became dry once again, there were no more tears left to be shared.
Of what use was it anyway?
It would never provide the help she needed.
They were all right about one thing though, this was a great opportunity that she had no choice but to accept, she was going to do wherever it took so long that Sammie would become healthy once again.
Even if it meant selling her womb.