I Am Relentless

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The bus came to a complete stop where normally we would turn right. Everyone looked out the windows, everyone except me. I heard the sirens and saw the lights from the four police cars blockading the end of my mom’s road. My stomach turned. I automatically knew.

I sank down in my seat to hide and protect my face from the windows. I frantically reached for my phone, with tears streaming down my face; I prayed she would answer my call. No answer.
I looked patient as we backed out off the road but when it was finally my stop, I sprinted off the bus eager to get inside. I ran to my dad’s house and tried calling her again. Again- no answer. Out the window I saw two police cars race past my house. I locked and put the shades down on the windows and doors, then gathered the phone and ran to the kitchen, to hide on the floor. I tried her once again and it went straight to her voicemail.
All different emotions came to mind as I thought about the past. The screaming, fighting, and inattentiveness from anyone in my family helped to form a waterfall from my eyes. Even though she and I had a rocky relationship while she was with my stepdad, I always tried protecting my mom from his threats or sporadic physical abuse. With all these memories from my childhood weighing on my shoulders, I let my head fall into my hands. Just as I was about to try her again, a number I did not recognize came up on the caller ID. I was hesitant, however I answered.
“Kenz, the cops are looking for Frank,” the voice eerily stated.

I turned on all the news stations and each covered the same breaking news about my stepfather. Frank J Mariani IV led West Goshen Police on a high-speed chase after entering local celebrity Bam Margera’s residence asking for a guitar that had been borrowed. This action was later explained as a result of my stepfather’s use of crystal meth. After leaving Margera’s house and racing through a school parking lot, Frank eventually bailed out from his truck and a former West Caln Township Police Chief shortly apprehended him.

On October 3, 2006, Mariani was charged with fifty-three traffic assaults including Fleeing/Eluding Police, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Resisting Arrest, and Defiant Trespassing. He picked up these charges while out on bail for a “domestic related incident” at his Newlin residence that he shared with my mother. On October 6th, my mother reported to the police that Mariani made threats to her and displayed a .40 caliber pistol in the waistband of his pants. For both incidents he was sentenced to 44 days to 23 months at the CCP (rehab center) and three years consecutive probation for the traffic assaults. He was also sentenced to 3 years concurrent probation for the Terroristic Threat he made on my mother.

Out of everyone who has come and gone in my life, Frank J Mariani IV has influenced me the most. All of the challenges I’ve gone through such as a product of divorced parents at a young age and then the divorces of their second marriage; I can proudly say that no matter how difficult my life may seem, I always move forward. Frank showed me exactly what I don’t want in my life. Since he was never there for my sisters and on more than one occasion was both verbally and physically abusive towards my mother, he showed me what was wrong to do, and with that I stood up for what I believed in. I grew up with a blunt sense of reality where I thought it was normal to have divorced parents, where no one listened to me when I expressed my concerns about my stepfather because I was naïve. Although these challenges were difficult to face, I realized that strength was something I was capable of holding onto. This is because I was capable of holding myself to better expectations than anyone else thought I would be able to achieve.
Frank, in his inability to retain a job and be a respectful father and husband, showed me that failure comes to people who do not strive for success. I have proven in a short amount of time that I have the strength and the determination to achieve every goal and dream I have ever set my mind to. Not a day goes by when I don’t smile because I know that no matter what happens, I will always stay relentless in my pursuit of happiness.





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