Excerpt from Unheard: a Memoir – Chapter 8 – told from a child’s point of view
Even though the visits become less frequent, I look forward to visiting Daddy, and I have already forgiven Bianca for butchering my hair. Their house is always warm and cozy. Bianca has down comforters and nice pillows and warm beds, and they have a warm fireplace for the winter, air conditioning for the hot months, and things that I’m not used to having. I am even allowed to take hot baths and sit in the tub for as long as I want!
I have wanted to shave my legs since fifth grade, because my friends are already shaving and making fun of me. Mom says I have to wait until I’m thirteen, but when I speak to Bianca about it, she gives me a razor and tells me to go at it. It must have taken me an hour or more, and I cut myself a few times, but I am grateful to be able to do at least one thing all of my friends are doing. Plus, I don’t have boy legs anymore.
By the middle of the summer between sixth and seventh grades, I decide that I want to live with Daddy and Bianca. They convince me that living with them will be better than living with Marcus and his drinking and drug habits.
I agree, but know that I will miss Mom. I hate the thought of leaving the babies and her alone with Marcus. What if something happens and she needs me? I hesitate calling Mom on the phone because I fear her reaction.
“I don’t want to tell her,” I say to Dad and Bianca.
“You’re the one that has to tell her, not us,” Bianca says.
I pick up the phone. Mom answers. I’m crying.
“What’s wrong?” she asks.
“I don’t want to come home,” I say. “I want to stay here.”
I can tell she isn’t happy. But I also know that I might be in trouble if I do decide to go back home.
“Why don’t you come home and we’ll talk about it?” she says, but I feel that it is more than a suggestion.
My stomach knots. I can barely swallow. My heart races. I am scared to death and know I cannot turn back now. I cry harder. Daddy takes the phone from me. Bianca hugs me and says everything is going to be all right.
All I have to do is go back there to pack.