There probably won’t be any pictures in this chapter, a lot of it is hard to stage. And apologies for being over a week late.
Angelo’s missing. There’s been a murder. And the I’m prime suspect.
Something I never told anyone, except my immediate family, Adalai and Amelia don’t even know as they moved out so quickly. I never told Angelo I didn’t want him to think less of me. But right after I had the twins, I ran away.
I was a teenager, I was a mother, I was scared out of my wits. I ran away for three months.
I lived in an abandoned shack on the edge of town. I broke down the door and spent the next few days cleaning until it was semi liveable. I stole food from the grocery store and the dumpster outside the Red Rendevouz restaurant. I got sick from the food often. I showered in the gym. I kept away from everyone. I had a few meagre belongings, a couple pieces of clothing. I started seeing the police everywhere, and I was terrified of being dragged back home.
I had broken my promise to my children, to give them a better life than I had had. I felt so ashamed I was terrified of my parents reaction if I did go home. I knew my girls were being well cared for by my family, so I wasn’t worried for their welfare, I was just afraid.
Everynight, I would stand outside my parents house and just look. I’d stare at the building, occasionally hearing a baby cry, and feel my heart ache. Then I would turn around and leave. Again.
After about a month, a man started following me. He saw me in the dumpster one day and came up to me. He said his name was Mark, he said I “looked like I could use a meal” and offered to take me somewhere to eat. I agreed, mostly because I was starving, I hadn’t been able to find anything to eat in days. We went inside the nearby restaurant. He told me to order anything I wanted. I was unsure at first, aware that I probably smelt like garbage. But he encouraged me and so I ordered a meal and dessert. I ate ravenously. It tasted amazing, hot food after so long eating stale sandwiches. During dessert, apple pie with ice cream, Mark put his hand on my leg. He leered at me. Told me how “beautiful” I was. I bolted. After what happened to Robin I was afraid of any man’s attention, but especially romantic attention.
I ran all the way back to my shack. I thought I was safe. Until the next night I saw him standing outside. I pushed the rusted bed frame and mould covered dresser up against the door. The windows had long rusted shut and though there was glass missing in some he wouldn’t fit through the frame. I stayed awake all night that night, routinely looking out the window. He stood there for a long time, I had no way of telling the time so I don’t know how long.
By morning he was gone.
Whenever I was out, I would see Mark. He’d be reading a newspaper at the bistro, he’d be crossing the street as I was walking the opposite direction. He seemed to be wherever I was at all times. He returned to my shack at least once a week while I was still living there. He would just stand outside, I would lay curled in front of the furniture blocking the door, crying, hoping, praying that he would just leave me alone.
He never approached me though. He just watched from the shadows.
One day I went to the police station. I was scared I was being stalked and I wanted him to just leave me alone. They didn’t take me seriously, I mean who would? I was dirty, probably smelly, I looked homeless. Who would take the ravings of a homeless person seriously? It’s a sad commentary on our society but it’s true.
After three months, I ran into my mum at the grocery store, I’d just stolen a sandwich and bottle of juice. You know it was strange, everytime I stole, I could see the owner watching me. But he never approached me or called the cops. I think he felt sorry for me. I was grateful for his kindness. My mum was shocked at my appearance. I fell into her arms and wept. She took me home, ran me a hot bath and prepared a nice hot bowl of stew. I ate with gusto. When I was done I croaked “where are my girls?” my voice rough from disuse.
Mum went and fetched them. I thought they would have forgotten who I was, being absent for their first three months of life. But as soon as I held them in my arms I knew they knew who I was. Dot reached for my mouth, pulling it towards her for a kiss. Lilah grabbed at my knotted hair giggling. I felt such guilt at leaving them, I cried. I cried and cried and told them everything, about being scared and frightened and that it had nothing to do with not loving them I just needed to go away for awhile. I held them close to me for hours, mum had to pry them away from me to take them to bed. That night I slept in their room on the floor. I woke to find a pillow under my head a blanket over me.
I saw neither hide nor hair of Mark since. I was constantly afraid that he would turn up at our house and hurt someone, he just had an aggressive air about him.
That was, until he turned up dead.
To be Continued…..