my life, my world changed on what was supposed to be an ordinary monday. i will never forget that hot and steamy august monday.
i awoke to see my dad on the red phone that was in the hall, for neither bedroom had doors. when i looked at him, he looked back at me with a worried look on his face. i didn't care, so i turned over and went back to sleep. i awoke again to my dad dressing me. after i was dressed and ready to go, he scooped me up into his arms. as we walked out of the bedroom, i reached back, "my dolls", i whined. i was supposed to take a bag full of barbie dolls to summer day care that day. he mumbled, "it's okay, we'll get them later."
he opened the cold grey metal door, and unlashed the brown storm door. i thought it strange that my mom's grey toyota was still there. but what i found to be even stranger was that we passed up my dad's joy bus, a white vw van. when we reached a cluster of 4 or 5 brown garbage cans, my aunt was there waiting for us. her face was read and tear soaked, the front of her blue quilted nightgown was wet with tears, too. she spoke to him with a venomous hiss, "you goddamn son-of-a-bitch! we loved you! we cared about you!" and she stole me from his arms. he didn't say anything; he just turned and walked away.
she took me into the cool air of her house.we went through the kitchen to get to her bedroom that was painted a strange autumn orange color. she placed me softly onto her perfectly made bed, and whispered to me not to look out the windows. then she turned and left. when i heard the backdoor shut, i got up and crept into the living room. the curtains were drawn, and little light was allowed in. i went to big old brown desk that sat in front of a very large picture window. i climbed up the desk and reached the purple violets that grew in their pretty pots, and opened the curtain to let a sliver of light in. i peeked out and saw an ambulance and several police cars. that's when i saw him walking to a police car at the bottom of the drive way.
he was wearing his usual hospital scrub top, but he was wearing jeans instead of his normal dark blue gym shorts. in his hand he carried his drinking glass, a faded light green-blue plastic thing; the rim had chew marks on it. i know what was in it, iceless coke, the only thing he drank. when i saw this, i became nervous, and jumped off the desk and ran to my mee-maw's room.
she was sleeping but i woke her when i jumped onto the foot of her bed. i quickly transformed myself into a quivering ball. she asked me what was wrong, and i told her there were bears outside, and that they were going to eat everyone. now you may wonder why i thought it was bears. the answer is simple. my mom made me terrified of bears. we lived in the woods, and that was her way of keeping me in the yard, and out of the trees. bears. they would eat me ya know. and now i knew they were going to eat everyone outside. my mee-maw comforted me as best she could. she was disabled by a stroke she had suffered years before i was born. she said that it probably wasn't bears and that everything would be just fine.
my aunt walked into the room and coaxed me to the side of the bed. she kneeled before me and placed her hands on my small knees. in the dimly lit room, i could see the anguish on her face. she looked at me, into my eyes, and said, "sarah, your dad just killed your mom." i put my hands over my eyes and sobbed. but my pain nowhere touched that of my mee-maw's. her wails still haunt me, and i can still hear them, for her room is now my room. her cries have imbedded themselves into the walls, and sometimes they scream out into the still darkness, making my sleep troubled. she screamed at her god, begged her god to not let it be her daughter.
it is after this moment that my mind has chosen to protect me, to keep the sounds out. i never heard the shot, nor the sirens. it was is i were deaf.
i will forever be grateful to my dad for taking me out of the house. i'm grateful that he didn't allow me to find her. but that is it. he means nothing to us. he betrayed us. he thought he had the right to play god. his selfish act was indeed the ultimate betrayal.