Prologue

Janice Prescott (Mama)

I was startled by the rapid pounding on my front door. I quickly sat up and glanced at the clock. It read 1:30 a.m .

Who in the world is knocking on my door this time of morning?

I hurriedly threw on my bathrobe and slippers. Panicky, I almost tripped running down the stairs. I looked through

athe peephole and saw two men dressed in police uniforms. I knew something was wrong.

Slowly, I opened the door just enough to stick my head through it. “Yes? May I help you?” My voice quivered as I

spoke.

“Good morning, Ma'am. I'm so sorry to wake you. I'm Officer Chesney,”he said showing his police badge. “And

this is Officer Kinny.”

“Are you Janice Prescott?” Officer Kinny asked after he flashed his badge.

“Y-y-yes,” I responded, nervously. “Why?”

“Ma'am, do you mind if we come in?”

Confused and scared, I was hesitant about letting the gentlemen into my home. Police officers don't usually show up

at a person's home at such a time unless they've come to deliver bad news. “Officers,” I said as I stepped aside to allow them into

my living room. “It's 1:30 a.m . Can y'all please tell me why you're here this time of morning? I can tell by the gloomy looks on

your faces, something's wrong. So, please, just tell me.”

“Ma'am, do you know Tori and Dani Prescott?”

“Yes, I do. They're my daughters. Why? Has something happened to them?”

“Well there's been an accident, and I need to know if you can describe the car your daughter Tori drives and if

possible, her keys,” Officer Chesney said with a dismal facial expression.

My mind was clouded. The officers' presence alone was enough to make me nervous, and coupled with the kind of

questions they asked, this only made me feel worse. At first, I couldn't picture Tori's car, but then the color quickly flashed in my

head. “Tori drives a forest green Toyota Camry,” I responded, sounding unsure. “And I don't know what all is on her car keys,

but I do know she has a cross keychain with the name of our church, Brice Memorial Baptist Church , written in blue letters.”

“Are you sure, Ma'am?”

“I'm sure,” I answered, agitated. I needed them to hurry up and get to the point. “Why? Why are you asking me to

describe my daughter's car? Has something happened to my girls?” My voice trembled.

Officer Chesney reached in his pocket and pulled out what appeared to be Tori's keys. My eyes immediately

noticed the cross keychain. My heart fell into my stomach.

“Mrs. Prescott, I'm so sorry to tell you that your daughters have been in a terrible accident on northbound I-95,” he

said. “The Maryland Department of Transportation is still investigating, but it seems that your daughters pulled over on the

shoulder of the road. We're not sure why as of yet. It seems, while they were parked, a pick-up truck, speeding about 100 miles

per hour slammed into the Toyota Camry when the driver lost control. The impact caused the car to flip over several times.”

Officer Chesney sighed and then continued. “I'm so sorry ma'am, but both your daughters were killed instantly. They were

pronounced dead at the scene.”

Silence.

Dead silence. I couldn't speak. My eyes were fixed on the portrait of my babies, my twin babies, my only babies

hanging from the wall. Tori, the oldest, was born at 9:10 a.m., and Dani entered the world four minutes later at 9:14 a.m . My

babies were two of the most beautiful children in the entire universe. My twin babies—my fraternal twin babies. As I continued to

look at the portrait, I traced their faces with my eyes. Tori was the lighter of the two with a radiant brassy yellow complexion—the

color of buttered popcorn. Dani was darker with a dark chocolate skin tone. Both with beautiful big, brown almond-shaped eyes

and wide, bright smiles that would melt the heart of anyone who came in contact with them.

I blinked. Tears fell. There was no way in God's name my children were dead. No way.

“Mrs. Prescott. Mrs. Prescott,” Officer Chesney said, bringing me out of my daze. “Do you need to sit down?”

“No, I don't.” I snapped. “I just need for you to repeat to me what you said because I think you're mistaken. My

daughters aren't dead. Just wait. I'll call them right now and prove to you that they are alive and well.”

I rushed toward the phone. Before I could pick up the receiver, Officer Kinny, blurted, “Does you daughter Dani

have the words prima donna tattooed on her right arm?”

I stopped in my tracks. How'd he know that? I spun around to face the two officers. “Yeah. Why?”

Officer Kinny walked up and placed his hand on my shoulder. “Mrs. Prescott. I'm so sorry. The paramedics did

everything they could to save your daughters, but according to MDOT, they never had a chance, the impact was

just too great.”

Instantly, I fell to my knees. At once, my heart ached. The mentioning of Tori's keys and Dani's tattoo confirmed my

greatest fear—my daughters were dead.

“Nooooooooooooo . . . no, no, no, no,” I bellowed. “Not my babies, Lord. Not my daughters. Noooooooooooo!”

“Janice . . . Janice,” I heard someone call. With my hands clutching my chest, I slowly opened my eyes to see my

husband, Norman, leaning over me with a fearful look in his eyes.

“Janice, what's wrong? You were screaming and crying in your sleep. You scared me half to death, woman.”

I slowly looked around my dimly lit bedroom. I was confused, discombobulated. I looked back at Norman . He

was staring at me. “I was asleep?” I whispered.

“Yeah, you were. That must've been some dream you were having 'cause you were screaming, ‘No,' tossing,

turning, and kicking the comforter off of you.”

“Oh, thank you, Jesus,” I exclaimed. Thank you, God.”

Looking at me as if I were a candidate for the crazy house, Norm said, “What are you thanking Jesus for?”

“'Cause my girls are alive,” I shouted.

“Huh?” Norm muttered.

“I had a dream, no a nightmare, that Tori and Dani were killed on I-95. The police showed up at the front door to

tell me they'd been killed. It seemed so real.”

Norm, with one eyebrow cocked, asked, “Were they together?”

“Yeah. They were in the same car and they were hit by a speeding truck while they were pulled off on the shoulder

of the road.”

Norm chuckled. “Well, honey, you know that had to be a dream, 'cause Tori and Dani can barely stand to be in the

same room together, let alone the same car. One thing we never have to worry about is something happening to

them at the same time, while they are together, 'cause they ain't never together.”

Norm was right. As much as it broke my heart to admit, my girls had a non-existent relationship. They were as

opposite as night and day. They acted more like enemies than sisters—twin sisters at that, and as their mother, it

was heart wrenching. I hated that the daughters Norm and I prayed so hard for turned out to be adversaries. It just

made me sick.

It took me a minute to collect myself after having such a horrible dream about my children. I'd always feared that

something tragic would happen to one of them and the other would be left with insurmountable grief. I also had

dreaded thoughts that I'd be six feet under and my girls would be left here on earth still hating each other. I'd been

praying for some type of sisterly relationship most of their lives, and years later, nothing had changed. God surely

was taking his time with answering this prayer.

Norm had accepted years ago that Tori and Dani would never have a bond. Although he didn't like it, he had come

to live with it. As for me, I just couldn't.

To this day, I often ask God why my girls, who grew in the same womb, shared the same blood type and DNA,

also shared the same identical hatred?

I lay my head on the pillow deep in thought. I was still very bothered by the dream and prayed it wasn't some type

of sign. “Norm,” I softly called.

“Yes, honey,” he responded groggily.

“Do you think my dream was a premonition?”

“No, sweetheart. It was just a dream…just a dream.”

 

 

Copyright © 2010 by Latrese N. Carter

 

Before It's Too Late