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Glenda & Charles are not here.


I don’t remember the exact year or how old I was, but I do know I was in elementary school, probably 4th grade. But everything else? Crystal clear. My parents hadn’t been together in FOREVER, my mother was still off and on with my brother’s father, and I had no idea what my father was doing.

So my father’s birthday was coming up. During one of our bi-weekly calls that week, he said he wanted to spend the weekend hanging with me, so he told me to get my things together, he’d pick me up Saturday morning (which was his actual birthday), and we’d go see the new Indiana Jones movie, and kick it the rest of the time. Cool.

Knowing how much of a hater my mother is, I made sure all of my homework was on point, no issues at school, household chores done before she even had to say anything, was extra nice to my little brother, anything and everything to keep her from repeating a move she was good for, finding any reason to put me on punishment so that my father couldn’t pick me up. I think she peeped that, even threw a few slick comments my way, but hey, can’t punish me for being good. Or could she?

Saturday is here. I’m up early, ready to go. Had packed the night before, eager to get a break from my mother, and kick it with pops. He gets there as promised, I grab my stuff ready to be out. As we’re getting ready to go, my mother says “hold up” and hands him a little giftwrapped box. He opens it and finds a silver bracelet (he was into silver heavy at the time). I really did think it was a great gesture from my mother, as she was good for constantly bad mouthing my father. It appears he was equally as moved, because me sitting in the living room waiting while they went into her room for a moment, turned into me going back into my room watching tv for hours, heating up hot dogs for me and my brother for lunch, and occasionally seeing an adult figure moving from my mother’s room to the bathroom and back.

Remember being able to tell time based on what tv show was on? I remember that some reruns of the A-Team was on tv, which let me know it was around 8pm when my mother came out of her room, heated up some leftovers for us to eat, and disappeared back to her room. Bedtime was 9:30 on the weekends, so I was careful to make sure my brother and I had bathed and gotten to bed on time, didn’t want to get in trouble. Of course I didn’t sleep. During the night, I heard my father peeping into my room, and whispering to my mother “oh, he’s sleep” and then back to her room.

In the morning my mother got up to find me and my brother eating cereal, and I was very silent. My father was nowhere in sight. My mother asked me why I was so quiet, I said “No reason”. She warned me to get my attitude straight.

The phone rings a little later, she answers, talks for a while, then calls me to the phone, says its for you. My father. He apologizes for Saturday, says he’s on his way to get me today, and to ask my mother if its ok. I do as instructed, she says “He doesn’t deserve to go, he’s had a funky attitude all morning”. He tells me to hand her the phone, they talk, call ends, I hear nothing else about it.

I just watched tv the rest of the day, silently. I didn’t want to get in trouble.

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