What Kids? (19)
I sat in my room angry until I finally heard my dad come home. I didn’t rush out to him. I had nothing to say. He seemed rushed, as he usually did, and Karen was quick to attack him with the story of the evening… “his unreasonable daughter”. While most people have this insatiable urge to defend themselves, I didn’t. I sat in my room and just listened.
What I learned from listening in to this conversation was that Karen had no qualms with exaggerating the truth, or as I would sometimes observe, down right lie. This began my hatred for liars. Though I never pushed her, smacked her hands away, or yelled in her face, all of those things seems to find their way into her version of events. Yet, another adult I could not trust.
Most importantly was learning that it was, in fact, my mom who was in the hospital and she wasn’t in the greatest of shapes. Witnesses said that they saw her being pushed from a moving van in the slow lane on the freeway. That’s where the ambulance picked her up from. Who pushed her? She never did offer that information up, but everyone knew who owned the van that was described. How she ended up in that situation is a story in itself. Let’s start from the beginning of that one….
If you recall, John had made his way to the West Coast and discovered where my mom was shortly after I was taken away by my dad. It didn’t take long for my mom to go running back. After my youngest sister was born premature due to getting beaten up by John, my mom had moved back with my grandma. But just as she had many times before, she went back to him.
Between my mom’s two sisters and her brother, I had 4 cousins. All girls. My mom’s family all used the same babysitter, Carmen, who actually didn’t live that far from my dad’s house. My mom had starting using Carmen to watch my two sisters while she looked for work, and after going back to John she continued using Carmen. Carmen had gotten to know my Aunt Michele and grandma pretty good and she confessed that she was worried about my mom. My mom would drop my sisters off at weird hours and although she claimed she was looking for work, John was always with her and she was usually drunk or high. Carmen felt guilty about going to my grandma with this info but she didn’t know what to do.
Less than a week had passed since Carmen had gone to my grandma when my mom showed up at Carmen’s door. She asked if Carmen could take my sisters for the night because she had some business to take care of. She handed Carmen a can of Spaghetti O’s and told her my sisters could split it for dinner. She assured her she would return the following morning fro them.
She never came back.
A week had gone by before Carmen made a desperate call to my grandma. Carmen had 4 kids of her own and was a single mother. She couldn’t afford to keep feeding and caring for my sisters. Unfortunately my grandma had just started a new job and was not there to answer her phone calls. No one else did either. That was until the hospital called my grandma’s apartment and my Aunt Michelle happened to be just getting home from work.
“Your sister was found on the side of the freeway yesterday afternoon and we’ve been trying to get a hold of someone.”
“Oh my god, is she alright? What happened? Was it John?” my aunt asked.
“I’m sorry ma’am but I don’t know who John is and your sister isn’t saying much. She has a broken nose, broken wrist, and her eyes are swollen shut. She’s lucky. It could have been a lot worse.”
“Let me get a hold of my mom and then we will be there. Wait!?! Where are the kids?” my aunt asked.
As if by some evil twist of fate, this happened to be the same exact day that Carmen had to make a difficult decision. She had spent days trying to get a hold of someone without luck. She was running out of money and my mom was nowhere to be found. She picked up the phone.
“Hello? Can I have the number for Children’s Protective Services Please?”