The Insider (13)
Maybe it was for the best that I didn’t get to say goodbye. After all, my mom probably would have said or done something to traumatize me more than I already was. I stood on the lawn under the tree with the police officer for a while. He tried to talk to me, to distract me. It wasn’t working. A man stood near the front door of my grandma’s house with another police officer and my grandma stood in the doorway talking to them. I had no idea who the man was or what was going on. I heard my grandma ask if she was still allowed to see me on my birthday. I panicked. Why would she ask that? It didn’t make sense. Where were they taking me? Was I ever going to see my mom and sister again? My mom was about to have my littlest sister. I had yet to even meet her. The man’s answer was simple. He said, “I’ll have to think about that”. Then the man turned around and walked towards us. It was my dad.
The police officer handed me over to my dad. I was happy to see him but angry all at the same time. I was confused. Why wasn’t I allowed to see my mom and where was he taking me? Why were the police here and why did he make my mom cry? I would soon find out. I’d soon found out a lot of things.
The car ride with my dad was odd. Looking back on it now, it seems like he was nervous and didn’t quite know what to say. He asked if I was ok and I simply replied, No. He asked if I knew who he was and my response was a one word, yes. I didn’t feel like talking. I don’t think that he did either. Since I had gone missing, my grandma and grandpa had helped my dad buy a house. They thought that I should have a secure home to come home to, if I was ever found. When we pulled into the driveway, Karen was waiting for us. She was living their too and had a smile on her face as my dad helped me out of the car. It took a few years to figure Karen out. Maybe it’s better I didn’t know that smile wasn’t a genuine one. It would have made this whole transition more difficult than it already was for me.
The first day home with my dad was overwhelming and I learned a lot. Listening in on a conversation I learned that my dad had a spy in my mom’s family. My aunt Whitney, my mom’s older sister, had let my dad know when my mom and I showed up at my grandma’s house. He had alerted the police and they set a plan in motion to come and get me. She was the insider and my mom and grandma had no clue. I also learned that the police had given my dad a chance to press charges against my mom for parental kidnapping. He thought about it and decided it would do anybody any good. He decided not to. Karen was upset and couldn’t understand what his problem was. They argued. This was the first of many arguments over my mom and I.
My dad let me know that my grandma was anxious to see me and that she would be flying out the next day. He also let me know that while they were searching for me, my grandpa had passed away. The way he explained this to me was a little off and he seemed angry. I had lost another grandpa to a heart attack and it seemed that the stress attributing to his death was also related to me and my mom in some way. I felt horrible. I felt responsible and I thought that my dad blamed me for my grandpa dying. I still feel that way.
My dad showed me around my new home. Karen didn’t say much but she really didn’t have to. I had been in the house only a few hours and could already feel the tension. He showed me my room. It consisted of a bed, a small table with a chair, a dresser, some books and a pac man game. It was exciting. the room was rather bare but it was the best bedroom I had ever had. I sat in the corner of my new room at the little table with my head buried in the pac man game. I didn’t want to look up. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t feel like this was really my home and so far I really didn’t feel welcome.
It wasn’t long before they started the questioning. It was more like an interrogation really. Questions about my mom and my grandma. Those only lasted so long and then the real questions came, the ones about John. I wasn’t going to give in. It was my secret. I wasn’t going to say anything, and I didn’t. They drilled me though. they drilled me until I started crying and they became so frustrated they just gave up. I guess my aunt Whitney thought she was doing a good thing by letting my dad know where I was. Was living with my dad any better than living with my mom? I soon learned that it wasn’t really better, it was just different.