Grand Theft Auto

The Lecture

"Mayanna, listen to me," Cheyenne said. "I know I've told you this a thousand times, but bear with me because here comes a thousand and one."

Mayanna sighed and moved to sit at her adoptive mother's feet. She handed Cheyenne the brush and hair accessories, knowing that Cheyenne liked to be busy when she told her lecture. Twice a day, Cheyenne would sit Mayanna down and give her the same lecture about mistakes. The ten-year old would patiently allow the older woman to brush and style her raven hair as she repeated the same lesson over and over.

"I know you're getting tired of this," Cheyenne began. Mayanna rolled her slate-grey eyes at the understatement. "But I'm going to keep saying it until you really understand. I'm trying to be a better mom than my mother was. I want you to grow up to be a better person than I am. I don't want you to make my mistakes. I want you to grow up to be a good, respectable, educated, law-abiding citizen, and I want you to teach your brother to be the same way."

Mayanna knew what came next; it was always the same. "Finish school, get a good education, respect police officers, yadda, yadda, yadda! I know, Mum! It's always the same, but what mistakes?!" Mayanna whipped around to look at Cheyenne. "What mistakes do you not want me to make? What did you do that was so terrible? What won't you tell me?"

Angry slate-grey eyes met subdued chocolate-brown. Cheyenne couldn't help but notice how much Mayanna had grown in two years. From the untrusting child her husband had adopted from the streets of the UK, to this shy girl who was a force to be reckoned with when angered.

'She's grown so curious," Cheyenne thought, combing her fingers through her honey-blonde hair. 'Maybe it's time for the secrets to stop."

Mind made up, Cheyenne beckoned Mayanna to sit on the couch next to her. "Let me tell you a story, Maya. About a bunch of kids who thought they were unbeatable."

Her name is pronounced My-ahn-uh