Chapter 5: New Neighbourhood
Amy was picking up calls again. Sometimes Anna would team up and do a two on one cameo. Their giggles echoed in the small flat. Amy hasn’t seen Anna laugh so hard for a very long time. Amy first felt as though Anna was forcing a laugh. Everyday, they both would find things to laugh at. Slowly Anna laughed naturally and that smile assures Amy that Anna would heal from her pain. Anna no longer takes aspirin for her chest pains. Amy was happy this living arrangement turned out to be a positive thing. It instantly crushed her initial thoughts about how Anna would be around her and her pregnancy.
Two more weeks marks the end of her first trimester. It seemed strange that Amy hasn’t had any morning sickness. She does have back sores and aches. Anna gives her leg massages every night and puts on compression socks for Amy to lessen the pain while she’s on the phone.
Amy had put up her eBook on Kindle that morning and she wasn’t expecting any sort of success. If she had readers that loan her book at all, that would be an achievement to her. For a while now, she has steady gigs every week from the freelancer website. Amy puts her income into her savings account. She remembered that she has to pay income tax.
Anna was busy too. She set up her eStore, tweaking the website template and putting up the product mock up. Amy glances at Anna. She is finishing the shipping details for her eStore. Amy suggested that Anna start designing her social media graphics to post on different platforms. Anna agreed.
Anna helped Amy to the bed as soon as they got home from Amy’s antenatal checkup at the Polyclinic. Anna started to unpack the groceries they’ve picked from the store and started preparing lunch.
Amy woke up in the evening. After dinner, Amy logged into her Amazon account, her first time in two weeks after uploading her eBook. Wow! Amy was astonished at the amount of book loans she had. She also had a decent but a good number of purchased downloads. Not bad for a first time self-published writer. Well, a self proclaimed writer that is! The social media promotion she did worked out for her after all. She did take a look at the analytics report for her social media promotion while waiting for her number to be called at the doctor’s this morning but never anticipated the sales numbers.
Amy shared the news to Anna. She was so proud of Amy.
“Well, someone is famous now and that is my sister!” Anna cried out loud. They hugged.
“Your baby would be proud of you.” She added.
Anna took a look at her smartphone. She asked Amy what the noises that it makes. It’s been ringing since morning but there were no calls. Amy laughed. Anna could not afford even a low end smartphone. Amy bought one for her so she could work from anywhere she wanted. Hence, she still fumbles with it. Amy showed Anna where to look. It’s the phone’s notification ringing sound. They both read the notification.
“Is that what I think it is? Did I read it right?” Anna asked.
“Well honey, you’ve got your first sale this morning. Congratulations!”
“And you have plenty more! Go make sure these orders are fulfilled. Now!” Amy ordered.
“I never had a job for a very long time. I had depended on food rations and financial aid. I can’t believe my luck has changed. Alhamdulillah.” Anna mumbled.
They are overjoyed. The ladies took chances with something they were inexperienced in and it paid off.
Anna looked forward to Amy’s baby scan pictures. Amy has been referred to the hospital to continue her antenatal checkup. Amy had picked out a blonde hair donor with baby blue eyes as described on the sperm bank website. Anna chuckled. She was mortified initially as she believed that the baby would have a hard time in school for being different. You know how locals have the thinking that if you’re a white descent, you almost always come from an affluent background. Haven’t they seen a homeless white man on the streets of America, on the telly at least? Don’t they already portray this in the media in recent times?
Amy back pains worry Anna. Amy needs more bed rest but she’s always working on her tablet. Doesn’t this woman know how to rest? She probably feels guilty for not doing any housework. So she’s compensating with working hard and contributing to household expenses. Anna knows Amy all too well. Anna keeps reminding Amy to rest. Amy reasons that she won’t be able to work for a while post natal and she has to cover expenses for her baby. Oh well, she’s as stubborn as a mule!
Anna had been a cameo for Amy’s calls from time to time. Though they both agreed to end this job because any child knowing their mother is a Phone Sex Operator will first grossed out and will eventually be disrespectful to their mother. They both didn’t want that. How could you possibly tell anyone that you are a Phone Sex Operator. Not in Singapore, you can’t. This is not the America where they are glamorously referred to as Phone Actresses and earn US$20k a year. Anna wished it was that way in Singapore because she took a liking to that job and it was easy money once you’ve learned how to keep your callers engaged in a conversation and steer away from subjects you’re not comfortable with. That in itself is a legitimate skill.
Anna is mimicking Amy’s ways to freelance. This way, they could both have time for their kids. Or maybe not. Counting the hours both of them put into their online work, it’s really quite the opposite. They won’t have that time they wanted. And they’re learning this the hard way but there’s always the easy option and that is to outsource the mundane tasks. That is something they’ll get to when they have earned enough. They better earn more soon. The baby’s coming!
Both sisters have been working non stop tirelessly for a month now. Every waking hour was fully productive. They’re getting burned out. It was fruitful, though. They’re seeing money coming in. Now would be the best time to outsource and free up their time.
To be continued…..