It has been four weeks, since I last opened this black, faux-leather record book. Part of that time was spent in Arizona, where I quickly became a mother to, not just two children, but my sister as well. Now that we have returned to California, my status as a surrogate mother has not changed. And doesn’t life love to tell a good joke?
I do not see how this could develop favorably, any time soon. The conditions my nieces lived in, were deplorable. They were two wild animals, who had not been bathed in days. One talked of homicide, while the other cried and threatened suicide. Certainly, they are too young to fully comprehend the severity of both actions, but that these threats escaped their lips at all, revealed what they had been exposed to in their short lives.
Angelina spoke of the times her father tried to kill her, as if she were explaining the plot of her favorite animated film. There was the incident in which he put a pillow over her head, and the time he choked her, for defending her mother when he held a gun to her temple.
Alyssa often hid in the closet, recording her plans to murder someone, whose name she did not mention.
During all this, my sister was at work, where she spent the majority of her time. I would question her, as to when she planned to leave with me, in the evenings. This would be her cue to cry hysterically, shaking out words I could not understand. Feeling the situation was hopeless, I packed my bags, and prepared to leave without her. She stopped me in her typical theatrical fashion. Then, got down on her knees, forcing the children to do the same, and begged that I be more patient.
A few nights after that, Juliet was invited to a small gathering. We all attended, hoping it would serve as a distraction. Soon, her husband would show up uninvited. Though he did not make an attempt to speak with my sister, she began to moan and wail at his sight. In one dramatic show, she let herself fall to the ground, screaming for her children. I grabbed them both, while her friends helped her toward the car.
Unable to withstand any more, tired of the death threats my brother-in-law had made against me, I called the police. The following morning, we filed for a restraining order against him. By nightfall, we were on the road.