Mother Always Said

February 21, 2008
By Kalee Huffman, Lovington, IL

Mother always said never trust a man. I guess I should have listened, because now I'm stuck in this one bedroom apartment with my baby. I owe back rent, and I don't even have money to buy diapers or food. Who am I and how did I get this way? Well let me tell you. Let's start at the beginning. My name is Sylvia Lawrence, I'm 5'0", I have brown hair, and blue eyes. I live in the roughest part of Las Angeles, I can't even take my daughter for a walk for fear of getting mugged or shot. Life didn't always used to be this way though. I used to live in northern Michigan with my parents and younger sister. That was until I met Craig. He showed me a great time, the nightlife parties; you name it he showed it. My parents despised me seeing him. They said he was bad news, and I would get hurt if I kept seeing him. Despite my parents warnings I dated Craig for seven months. Nothing happened until one day December 22, 1987, all hell broke loose. He came home from work; he started yelling at me calling me a whore and every name in the book. I tried to calm him down, but it was no use. He hit me and I started crying. I told him to stop for the baby's sake, our baby was seven months old, but he wouldn't. He kept picking things up and throwing them at me. I don't know what triggered his rage, but I had to get out of there and fast if I had any hope of keeping my baby from getting hurt. First I tried the police, but they were no help. They said without hard evidence of abuse their hands were tied. I asked how come the bruises on my body weren't enough? They said they couldn't prove they were from him.
It's been three years since that incident with the police and Craig. My daughter and I are living in Las Angeles. I've spent every penny I had to my name buying stuff for my little girl, but now I'm afraid I've made a huge mistake. By buying my baby the "necessities" she needs to "survive", I've forgotten about me. We're running on empty. I owe back rent, we have no food, and except the stuff I get from the pantry once a week, and that doesn't even last the whole week. To make matters worse I can't find a job or a babysitter for Carmen. Carmen is now ten months old and very beautiful. She has long black hair, deep green eyes, and a very infectious smile. That smile keeps me going even when I've had a rough day. I just look at her smile and all my troubles melt into a pool of happiness. If I didn't have that little girl my life would mean nothing.
Carmen and I are still living in Las Angeles, but we've gotten out of our slump. I found a job and Carmen has started Kindergarten. I'm also dating one of the most prestigious men in L.A. He’s wonderful, and he loves Carmen and me. Or so I thought. It was an unusually cold morning in August, when I got a call from Carmen’s teacher saying she hadn’t shown up. I thought to myself, that’s funny. Mark took her to school today. He even called when he got to her school, and I talked to her teacher. At this point I was freaking out. I didn’t know what was going to happen to my baby, but I wasn’t going to sit around and find out. I went to Mark’s office. His secretary said she hadn’t seen him all day. The last straw had finally been pulled from the stack. I went to the police next. I filed a missing persons report. Then they put out an APB on his blue Chevy Tahoe. Why would someone who seemed like they liked Carmen and me do something like this? Since the police had done all they could, I was on my own. My mind was running at a hundred miles an hour. What if he’d hurt my baby, what if something went wrong with the car and they were stranded in the blistering heat of the August sun? I had to find them, because if not who knows what’d happen to my little girl. I was so surprised that someone who said he loved my little girl would take her away from me. I had to find out where they went, but on my own I was useless. I called my friend Brendan. He is in the Special Ops, and has access to all the high tech man hunting gear. Brendan came over with all his stuff, I chose what I wanted. I told Brendan thanks and went on my way. My car was a joke so I decided to borrow my dad’s Mustang if that didn’t work I was sunk. After I got my dad’s car the man hunt was on.
It’s been one month since Carmen’s kidnapping and disappearance and my trail of leads has grown cold. I just couldn’t let this go. I needed to find a way to get my daughter back. If that man had done anything to my little girl, his face would be blown off courtesy of my twelve gage double barrel shotgun. My mother always said happy thoughts will get you nowhere. I guess she’s right I mean if you think the happy thoughts most people think you’ll get a one way ticket to the pen. I personally don’t want to go to prison for the sake of Carmen. I got a phone call one night from a local gads station attendant who said he’d seen them last night around midnight. He went out to wash the windows and said that it looked like they were living out of the car. Things started out slow, but sped up when I got to the highway. I had borrowed a police scanner from Brendan as well. The dispatcher said that she had seen them heading towards Nashville. So I followed. When I got to Nashville the dispatcher said they were on their way out of Tennessee and headed for Ohio. It’s a three hundred and seventy seven mile drive from Nashville to Columbus. I knew I had to hurry, because Mark was on his way to Canada with my baby and I had to stop him. Border patrol has gotten pretty tough these days. So there was probably no chance of him getting across, but just incase I was right behind them.
It’s been five years since the incident. Carmen and I are fine, and Mark is in prison for kidnapping, and other more heinous things. We are living in Green Bay, Wisconsin with my sister and her family. Carmen is enjoying her new life. Hopefully she will never have to go through something so horrible again in her little life.

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