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Since He Left That Day

At one time I believed that you controlled your fate. Your life is your
own, regardless of circumstances, because as long as you tried hard enough,
your life is what you make it. You must forgive me for thinking that, I was
as na´ve as a ten year old.

I sat at my desk that day, wishing that the clock would just give me this
one little favor and hurry itself around those little numbers. Clocks
always were bad at doing me favors.

I stared out the window, as I did everyday. I loved to look at the clouds,
over the rocky hill, and the green, rolling hills surrounding our town. It
was really beautiful. Where I live there are about 30,000 people, rather a
lot of people compared to some places, but compared to a city..well compared
to a city our town was a mere piece of sand in the ocean floor. I am not
complaining though, really I am not, do not get me wrong there. I loved
where I lived, for the time being, but the moment that I turned 18 I planned
on running until I was in a place that showed up on a map.

"Katerina, can you please tell me what the answer to this problem is?"
Sister Margarette asked me. She was patient and sweet one moment..and then
the next..

"Umm, can you rephrase that, please? I do not understand the question." I
had learned that the best way I knew how to not upset a teacher when not
listening was to ask them to rephrase the question. That way, it looked
like you were really interested in the lesson.

"What is the square root of 225?"

"Oh, I believe that is 15, Sister Margarette."

"Right, good job Katerina! Maybe you will be able to make it through this
semester better than last after all, have you been studying like I asked?"

"Yes, I have as a matter of fact, Sister Margarette." Actually, I had not
studied, there was a huge chart on the door with all the square roots on it
up to the number 20, but she did not need to know that, that would be
something else I would have to talk about in confession tomorrow morning.

I went to a Catholic school; my parents had both gone to catholic schools,
so of course I would. My father had become the governor and my mother a
college professor. They believed that a good, strict education would make
you very successful, and up to that point in my life, I had believed them

I went through the day the same as any other, I went to all my classes no
one said anything out of the ordinary. The nuns still walked through the
hall with not even a smile on their faces and looked like they were statues.

The favorite part of my school was the statue of Mother Mary near the front
hallway. It was just a wonderful piece of art and gave me a since that
everything would be ok. When they put the statue there it was on a flat
surface with no water or trees near by, but over the years a weeping willow
had grown about 10 feet away from Mother Mary. And about 15 feet away, was
a beautiful stream with pebbles at the bottom. I loved to sit in that tree
and stare at her, I felt protected like I was sitting in her arms, and that
nothing could ever go wrong. That spot was where the happier moments of my
day were spent.

I did not have time to go to the willow that day, instead I went home. I do
not know why, I just looked at Mother Mary and felt that I needed to go
home, I have no idea why I felt that way, maybe it was just one of those
weird things that happen sometimes.

I went home and saw police cars in my driveway, I started to get nervous and
ran inside to find out what the problem was. When I came inside my mother
was crying on the sofa saying over and over again "Please, do not do this."
I went over and hugged her, but she would not stop crying. I looked around
the room and spotted the police officers, they were handcuffing my father!
"Officers, what is going on here? Are you arresting my father? Why are you
doing this?!" I yell, no matter how fast they had answered would not have
been fast enough for me.

"Well darling, your father is being arrested. Normally, I would not tell
you why but I figure you are gonna know one way or another. Your father is
being arrested for fraud, and, well, I will not tell you what else, your
mother can decide whether she wants to tell you the story. I have to go
now, try and take care of her now won't you?" he says while nodding towards
my mother who was weeping in my arms. I nodded and bent my head. My dad
was right there next to me and did not say a single thing the entire time,
he did not even look in mine or my mother's direction and kept a look on his
face that just said he did not care, he did not care about anything.

For the rest of the night I took care of my mom. She just could not stop

"Mom, what was he being arrested for?" I ask as gently as I could. I did
not want to make her sadder than she already was, I just needed to know what
had happened.

"Oh, oh honey, do you really need to know?" My mom asks while sobbing and
hugging her pillow like a child in a thunderstorm.

"Yes mom, I have to know."

"Oh, well, you know that they found out about this whole fraud thing. But
Kat, they say..they say that he, that he tried to sleep with that friend of
yours. That friend, I think her name is Josephine? Well they say that he
was trying to and that she told her parents what had happened. I think she
is lying Kat. I really do not think your father would do this. They say
that he just gave her a raise cause you know how she is working down at your
father' s office. And that she got the raise because he wanted to make her
feel that it was ok to do that with him. I just believe that your dad would
not do that. He is innocent. That girl just wants to imagine things so
well so that she can feel like an adult or something. Honey, you have to
believe me! I know your father; he wouldn't do this! Says my mom between
sobs. I just held her in my arms so she could not see my tears. I believed
that he did it.

The next morning my mom was in worse shape than the night before. I still
had to go to school though, not just because I would get in trouble, that
did not matter, but because I needed to get out of the house so I could

Why would my father do something like this? Why would he do this to my mom?
Why would he do this tome? Why did he do this when he could have been
happy with us? Did he think that this would make him happy? Did he think
that no one would care? I just kept getting questions in my mind that I
needed answered, but couldn't find any possible way to answer to them. I
left the house and started walking towards my school, but when I got there I
kept walking. I walked for about a mile until I got in front of the prison.

"I am Kat Jones, may I please speak to my father?" I asked the guard that
was standing in the front of the building.

"Well, normally no, but I am making an exception for you Kat," he says while
picking up the phone for someone to come and take me to my dad.
I walked down into an area by cell after cell full of men and women until I
came to a white room with a phone and then a glass wall. I sat down and on
the other side of the glass was my dad and with another phone, the room
looked the same as the one I was in except reverse, like I was looking into
a mirror. I picked up the phone.

"Hello, Kat. How is your mom doing?" My dad asks without making eye contact
with me.

"Mom is horrible. How could you do this to her Dad?" I ask looking
straight into his face. This got his attention, he looked me in the eye and
then quickly looked down again.

"I did not do it Kat, you have to believe me!"

"Oh come on dad. Do not feed me that B.S it is all done with now. There is
no need to lie, we all know. Mom might be fooled by your little act, but
not me, I am not gonna be fooled by your little lies, your pathetic little
lies!" My dad seemed shocked by this, why should he? He knew that I was
not going to believe him, I was not that easily fooled. "Dad, just tell me,
why did you do it? I came all the way here to figure out why, and I will
not leave until you tell me!" I screamed into the phone, still staring him
straight in the eyes. It was time to get him down, get him to tell me
something. He never wanted to talk to me, I fully believed that he did not
want a child, but that was just too bad because I was here and I was not
going to leave, he just needed to get used to it after 16 years! He needed
to tell me why he wanted to hurt my mother like this.

"Kat, you do not know a thing about what this is like so do not come down
here asking questions that are more complicated than you know. Questions
that I can not rightly answer."

"You are right about one thing dad, I have no idea what it is like to be in
your twisted head, thank god. I am glad that I am not like you and do not
know what it would be like, I would hate to be able to excuse ruining your
loved ones lives. I would also hate to believe you could justify this."

"Honey, you do not understand."

"No, dad for once YOU do understand. You can not 'honey' your way out of
this, you can not buy me presents and get off, you will pay for this, I will
make sure of that. As for mom, we will just have to hope that she is ok.
There is no way to repair what you have done to her! She is your wife!"

With that I left. I was not going to get an answer out of him. I decided
that maybe he did not really know why he did these things.

My life was changed forever by this, who knows how I could have fixed it.
How I could have stopped it. What I could have done to help. All I knew
was that I needed to help Joe and my mom. They had it harder than I did at
this point. And then I knew that my life was not what I made it, but how
you handled the things that happened to you, that was what made you a
person. I knew that at this point all I could do was help and not think of
my dad.

He was eventually sentenced to 13 years in prison, and my mother has not
gone to see him once since he left that day.

By Jennifer Renee