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I knew something was wrong once i saw my mother's pale face.
"Is there something wrong?", I timidly asked. Afraid to know what might be a horrible truth. Feeling sympathy to the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" contestants who are asked over and over if that was their final answer. She stared right through me, like glass, as if trying to decide whether or not I was worthy of her news.
"Well," she began, I could tell she was searching for the perfect words, "Do you remember Andi?", she asked. Boy did I. Andi was honestly the most annoying child I had ever met. I literally went everywhere with two shadows. She was also the ten-year-old girl my grandparents were fostering.
"Yes. I remember her...", I responded cautiously. Wondering where this conversation was leading.
"Well...Andi...um...she went to the police." I gave her a confused look. I know I didn't liked her, but, I didn't know she'd gotten into drugs or anything. She spotted my flabbergasted look and clarified. "She told them horrible things about your grandfather. Things he did to her." My mind went reeling, like a broken record, repeating all the moments with my grandfather, the many times I'd slept at his house, the many times alone with him. Willing, but unwanting, my mother told of how evidently Andi went to the police, and told them that my grandfather had sexually abused her. But, I noticed, there was still a look in my mother's eyes. A hazed look. If eyes were the windows into a person's soul, then her windows were fogged up. "Um... there's more. The police are trying to dig up any evidence they can to unravel the truth. And if they had others that this has happened to, then that would prove him guilty. They just want to evaluate everyone...did your grandpa ever touch you?" Shockwaves went through me. The thought alone disgusted me.
"No. He never did." I confidently answered. And I exited the living room, the pain, and went to the restroom. It wasn't until when I was in my sanctuary that I looked at myself in the mirror. It reflected a girl I did not know. A girl with flushed cheeks, pursed lips, and red and swollen eyes. Wetness leaked down the corners of my faucets. I squint my eyes and looked carefully. Oh. It was me. How could he have done something so obscene? He had once been someone that I'd looked up to. Both literally and emotionally, how could I possibly do that now? I realized I had forgotten to ask my mom something. I dashed out of the restroom to where she still sat, still. "Um...mom. When do they want to talk to me?" I asked. She snapped out of her stupor and looked sadly up at me.
"Monday." She replied. Two short days away. 48 hours.
The two days went by like a burning forest. It felt like some outside force had accidently pressed the fast-forward button on my life.
Okay. Today was the day. I sat uncertainly, my bare legs sweating and sticking to the cold upholstery. The clock nailed on the wall was mockingly counting the seconds until I was trapped. We were at the station, ready for me to speak my story, the truth. My mother sat next to me, holding my hand for support as we waited. I was terrified. Time crept over my shoulder. I turned to stare at her emotionless face.
"I don't think i can do this." I said, fear filling my lungs. Saturating the very air I breathed. Tears spilled over the corners of my eyes.
"You can. You are my daughter. And you can do it. All you need to do is be proud and strong. You go in there and defend what you know is the truth, that he is a good person, not some pedophile." She embraced me in a hug, while her tears were uncontrollable, rain drizzling over an unknown desert. She continued, " I'm so proud of you. You have no idea. This is just a little bump in your road of life. You have nothing to fear, nothing to hide."
The door opened. I heard my name called out. I stood up and walked towards the chamber. I took one last glance at my mother. Through tears, she gave me an encouraging smile.
As I walked through the door, I thought of her words, and how they somehow made me stronger. With pride and strength, I sat down. The door closed behind me.