The wind hit Toni in the face as she was riding her 2004 Honda Nighthawk 250 back home, or at least what she called her home. Ever since she moved out of Thistlehouse, she went back to her grandfather's apartment that she had to share between both of them and her uncle Clarence. If we're being totally honest, he wasn't really a fan of hers and if he was the one making the decision, she would still be living in the street, but thankfully her grandpa offered her the couch as a bed.
She ran up the 50 stairs and opened the door 405 B before she crashed on her ''bed''. She set an alarm on her phone for 6:25 a.m. for school the next day, even though technically it was just in a few hours. She closed her eyes and drifted away, sleeping peacefully.
''Ant, wake up!'' Lorraine said to her 12 years old daughter, who was still sound asleep even though her baby sister has been crying nonstop for the past hour. A little Antoinette Topaz tossed and turned in her bed before finally getting up, letting a groan out. She walked to the bathroom to pee, her eyes almost shut before getting herself some pancakes her stepfather Arthur had prepared for them. She inhaled her food and ran to the school bus, not forgetting to kiss her parents and her sister goodbye.
When she came back home at 2:30 p.m she was by herself, like usually. Her mom and her stepdad were at work and little Charlotte was at the kindergarten. Around 5 p.m. she started dinner when she got a phone call from the caregiver, telling her that nobody came to pick Charlotte. She stopped everything she was doing and walked to go get her sister. When she came back home, police officers were searching her house for drugs. There was still no sign of her parents, she soon understood that something bad happened, probably gang-related.
Before she knew it, both her and Charlotte were living with Albert, Arthur's brother, and Charlotte's uncle. Not really living, more like surviving, Toni had to do everything, he got himself a maid and he was living on his welfare money, not willing to share it so Toni had to get herself a job if she wanted food for her and her sister. She lived in these conditions for the next 3 years until her paternal grandfather stepped into her life. Since he was not related to Charlotte, he couldn't save her as well. Toni moved to Riverdale while her sister got sent into foster care up in Chicago. Almost 2 years later and Toni haven't seen her ever since.
~ End of Flashback
The alarm on Toni's phone made her jump.
''Already? '' She thought, looking around her.
She was back in these poor conditions of life. Beer bottles spread across the floor, cigarettes stubs sitting on countertops, she had to be careful of where she put her food because you never know if there's still a trace of cocaine or other drugs there. How could she decide to go back to this, when not even three months ago she was sleeping in a warm, comfortable four poster bed. She used to wake up to the scent of cherries and whipped cream instead of smoke and alcohol, she used to open a walk-in wardrobe and chose whatever was in there, but now she opens her little backpack. There was also the bathtub she and Cheryl used to spend hours in, talking about whatever and now she has to shower in a cramped up shower with any barely hot water. I mean, Cheryl and her did break up but now they're back together and if she really wanted to take a warm shower Cheryl wouldn't stop her. but things were still weird between them. Toni was still keeping her distance even though she loved Cheryl.
She looked back at the time on her phone.
''I better get ready,'' she told herself, stretching before sneaking in the bathroom. She pulled her hair up into a ponytail and threw on a skirt overall with a striped blue and black shirt. She grabbed her backpack, jumped on her bike and drove to school. She was late for the 4th time this week but let's be honest she didn't really care. After all, she had the highest SAT score of her school, thanks to Cheryl. Toni always had high grades, even when she had to work 45 hours a week and take care of a toddler but this year she was positive she was destined to fail the SAT's.
''Come on Toni, focus.'' Cheryl had told her girlfriend who was slowly losing all hope.
'' I am Cheryl! This is worthless, I'm not gonna pass.'' She answered, throwing her pencil on the bed, before laying down. She closed her eyes and sighed. She couldn't believe that these 5 years of hard work paid nothing. She was gonna fail.
''T.T you can't give up... I'll help you harder. We'll study together and well...'' Cheryl stopped mid-sentence.
''Well what ?'' Toni asked sitting up straight. The redhead had caught her attention. Cheryl smirked and looked at the papers and then back at Toni.
'' Well I- I won't give up on you Toni.'' Her girlfriend said smiling brightly.
'' This isn't fair Cher, I thought you were gonna say something a little bit more interesting than that.''
And yet Cheryl didn't give up as she promised, every day she helped her girlfriend study and on the big day, Toni felt confident and she now had a perfect score.
~ End of Flashback
After she parked her bike, Toni made her way to Ms. Pearson's class and she sat next to Sweet Pea. Things had been weird between them after she almost had a threesome with him and Peaches but she tried to shake that away. She got her things out of her bag and started the assignment sheet that was given previously. Toni was so focused on her work that she barely heard the secretary calling her name.
''Antoinette Topaz to the principal's office. Antoinette Topaz''
''What did you do now?'' Sweet Pea asked her. She shrugged, she didn't know.
When she got to the secretariat, she got handed a phone.
''Hello?'' she said
''Hello miss Topaz. My name is Leslie Stevens from Chicago's child services. I'm calling about Charlotte Maggie Porterfield, I believe she's your half-sister am I right?''
''Uh-I, uh. Yes.'' Toni thought she was about to pass out. She didn't have any news from her sister in so long.
''So miss Topaz, Charlotte has requested your phone number and she wants to talk to you is this okay with you?''
''Yes! Yes of course! So my cellphone number is 555-345-7434. She can call anytime for any reason!'' She couldn't believe all of this was real, she must've fallen asleep in class. The bell was about to ring and wake her up. But it didn't the bell rang, students walked by in the halls and she was still on the phone with this lady who knew about her sister. Both the ladies finished the conversation and Toni made her way to study hall.
She sat on Cheryl's lap and gave her a kiss. ''Why were you on the phone? Is everything alright?'' Cheryl asked her when their lips parted.
''It's my grandpa, he was just calling to let me know where he put the key because he won't be there tonight.'' Toni lied, with such ease. She didn't talk about Charlotte to anybody, not even Cheryl, which is kinda weird since she knows absolutely every single thing about her girlfriend. The only people who know about her in Riverdale are Toni herself, her grandpa, her uncle, and FP Jones.
When Thomas came back to get Toni out of Albert's trailer, he tried to take Charlotte with them and have her protected by the serpents like Toni was but she wasn't legacy so they refused. At the time, FP wasn't King so he didn't have a word to say, but even then Toni doubts it would've made a difference.
''Toni ?'' Cheryl said snapping her girlfriend out off her train of thoughts.
''Sorry what did you say?'' Toni asked back.
''You's still coming over tonight, remember'' Cheryl told her, knowing Toni probably forgot about their study session for the next Biology exam.
''Uh, yeah. Sure...'' Toni said worrying about the phone call she might get this evening.
'' Okay, well I'm gonna run downstairs and get us a snack. Do you want anything T.T ?''
'' No Cher, I'm fine thanks anyways.'' Toni was far too stressed to eat anything right now. She could get a phone call from Charlotte at any given time now. And she was right, seconds after Cheryl left the room her phone rang. It didn't even rang once Toni, answered it immediately.
''Hello?'' She said, closing the bathroom door behind her. She could hear her heart pounding in her chest.
''Ant! Is that you?'' Toni heard at the other end of the phone. She recognized the little voice instantly, she tried to hold her tears back but failed miserably.
''Charlie, baby! Yes, it's me, I missed you so much.''
''It really is you! I missed you too Ant! You know I'm 6 now! I'm in first grade!''
Toni bit her tongue she missed her sister's first day of school. She missed quite a lot actually but she didn't want to think about that. Not now.
''Wow! Really! I'm proud of you baby girl!'' Toni said to the little girl not knowing Cheryl was now behind her listening to the conversation.
''I love you Ant, and I really miss you...''
''I love you too Charlie and I miss you more than you can even imagine baby. But as soon as I can we will be together forever okay?''
''What the fuck, Toni,'' Cheryl yelled, bawling her eyes out. Toni turned around quickly.
''Cheryl, I can explain...''