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I am My Mother's Daughter
“Jeana!” cried the woman. There had been an accident that morning. At first it started as a spark of fire, but then it got bigger and more wild. Mrs. Foucher had been cooking early for Thanksgiving and dozed off for a bit to take a short nap. She had smelled smoke but figured it was just the water boiling heavily. When she awoke, the whole kitchen was in flames. The oven had been heated too high and that was the source of it all. She was laying down in the living room on her couch when she finally heard the smoke alarm. Black smoke was crawling closer towards her and she screamed. This woke her husband and her daughter, but not her son, Drew. Her husband rushed down the stairs in his white tee and plaid boxers. His mouth dropped as he saw his newly redecorated kitchen in flames. He turned to look at his wife. “What were you thinking, Mia? How could you not look after the food?” You could tell he was furious. You see, when Mr. Foucher got mad, he had a thirst for fighting. And since his wife was always there, his anger was taken out on her.
“Please. No!” Mrs. Foucher shouted as her husband punched her side. “We have to get the children. The children!” He didn’t care. He continued beating her until she couldn’t say anything. Jeana, the fourteen-year-old daughter, had smelled the smoke and saw all this from the top of the staircase. She was laying down at the edge of the staircase on the second floor when she saw her dad punching her mom. It had gotten brutal, too. He began punching her face and spitting at her. Jeana’s eyes watered for she could not believe the ruthlessness of it all. She got up and went into her brother’s room. He was a year younger, but very smart. “Drew.” she whispered. “Drew, wake up.” she was shaking him wildly. “What?” she mumbled under his breath. “Cant a guy sleep anymore?” She rolled her eyes and sighed. “Fire!” She stopped shaking him, crossed her arms, and waited until he realized what she said. He got up suddenly and looked at her. He could smell it, too. “We cant go downstairs.” Jeana ordered. “Why not?” He questioned her. He was smart, but only in tests and school. In reality, he was clueless. “Get your stuff and quick.” she commanded. She went into her room as well and took her bag from under her bed. They each had a special bag in case anything like this ever happened. Jeana put on her bag and took a peep at how her mother was doing.
Her father wasn’t there, but she had heard coughing from the kitchen. Maybe he’s trying to put the fire out, she said to herself. She tried to convince herself of this until she saw her dad come out, blackened by the smoke, with a butcher knife in hand. “No, please!” She could hear her mother beg. The man who had done all this harm to her could not be disfigured. His teeth were clenched and he reminded her of a psycho killer from a movie she watched. He was looking at her mother with disgust. He cursed at her mother, calling her a few names. Then he raised the knife and started stabbing her. Blood gushed out as he thrusted the knife into his wife. Jeana covered her mouth in terror. She got up quickly and ran to her brother who was patiently and frighteningly sitting on his bed. “C’mon. Hurry. We have to get out.” Jeana was still in her pajamas but it didn’t matter. She opened the window from her room and climbed out. The roof lay right at her convenience. They crawled out and Jeana shut the window. She jumped down and stumbled on the concrete. Drew did the same, except Jeana caught him.
“Where are we going?” Drew asked. “Anywhere. We just have to get out.”
Her dad was an FBI agent and knew how to cover tracks. He took a bucket of water and splashed it onto the body of his dead wife. He didn’t even regret it. He picked up the body and threw it into the fire. He would just tell them that she died from the fire. He ran upstairs to find his kids, but instead he found empty beds. His eyes widened and he spat. “Where are those damn kids?” He shouted at himself. He didn’t take another minute looking for them. He quickly took his clothes off and put on another shirt and boxer short. He ran back down the stairs and threw his tainted clothes in the fire. He picked up the house phone and ran for the door.
Jeana and Drew were already down the block. She had taken her cell phone from the bag and called 911. “He-llo.” She said, still running. “Hello. You have called 911. What is your problem?” a voice said from the other line. “Well. My… house... is on fire. And… I just saw my… mom get stabbed… and beaten to…death by my… dad.” She was panting heavily. The woman on the other line was confused. “We’ll be right there, miss. Where are you now exactly?” Jeana and Drew had just turned to the next block. “7th and Ryners Place.” She said confidently. She knew her neighborhood by heart, but so did her dad.
They had gotten to the nearest police station in less than an hour. She had told them everything that she had seen that morning. It was 5 a.m. by then and there was an investigator and an FBI agent there to hear her out. “…so you see, we have to get out. My dad will find us soon.” The phone had rung and the agent picked up. “911. How may I help you.” The phone was on speaker so Jeana and Drew could hear the conversation. “Yea. This is Officer Foucher, district 39. My house is on fire. I just found my wife in the kitchen in flames, and I can’t find my kids.” Jeana covered her mouth. Drew wasn’t really sure what happened but was catching on quickly. “I’ll be at the station in five. I need back-up pronto. Bye.” He hung up and so did the agent. “Officer Foucher is your dad? He is one of the best agents around. C’mon kids. Lets get you someplace safe.” Jeana squinted her eyes at him. “You don’t believe me, do you. You’re gonna give us away. Fine, we don’t need your help. I know what I’m doing. After all,” she paused shortly. “My dad is a cop.” She turned and was heading for the door when she saw her dad parking in front of the station. Drew was watching him. “He’s here!” He shouted. Jeana took his hand and went to the agent. “Please. Help us.” The agent looked at her in pity and pointed at the backdoor. “I’ll drive.” He said.
Ring! The door opened and Mr. Foucher came in. Suddenly the room broke out in laughter. He was still in his boxers and a tee. “Shut up.” He said madly. “This is serious. He tried to put on his most sincere face. “Where are they?” He said certainly. They suddenly stopped laughing. The room became silent. “Where are they?” He shouted once more. They looked at each other, not knowing what to say or do. One of them stepped up and asked, “Who, officer? Who are you looking for.” Mr. Foucher came closer to the scrawny man. He took him by the collar and lifted him. “My kids, damn it!” The room was still dead silent. No one even breathed. Now they believed Jeana. They finally saw the real Mr. Foucher. They saw the beast in him.
“So kid. Now, because of all this, you have to go in hiding. You know about the Witness Protection Program, right? You,” he paused dramatically, “have just witnessed a homicide.”
A while had past. They drove into a different county. “I’m Pete, by the way.” he said as he walked them into the room. “And you are?” he said, not bothering to look at them. “Jeana. And this is Drew, my little brother.” She pointed at Drew blankly. “Not anymore. Your new names are…” He searched through some files and finally pulled one out. It didn’t have much information in it and he read it aloud. “Raven and Clyde Dungier. Ages Fourteen and Thirteen. Born and raised in Albany, New York.” Drew looked at Jeana with a confused face. “I don’t wanna be Clyde. It‘s such a stupid name. It makes me feel like a criminal. You know, like Bonnie and Clyde.” He wasn’t really mad, just disappointed. “Drew! This is life or death here.” She rolled her eyes and looked at the agent. “So, Pete, when do we start?” She was talking about their new lives. The one that they would have to live to literally live. Both of their lives would have to start again. Their friends and family would have to be left behind. All the things that they worked for, all would be forgotten.
“As soon as you sign this contract.” He pulled out some papers from the file. Jeana read it twice, just to make sure she wasn’t being ripped off. She knew how some contracts were just scams to get complete control of people, even if it was the police. She and Drew both signed their names. Pete took out a miniature digital camera and took pictures of their signatures. Then he shredded the contract. “Why’d you do that for?” Jeana asked. Drew knew why. He cleared his throat sarcastically to get their attention. “If he keeps it, Dad might find it and then find us. It’s for safety reasons, Jay.” He looked at Pete who was looking at him sternly. Drew sat back and lowered his head. “Okay.” Jeana said.
It wasn’t okay. She would have to start over. All the things she’s accomplished won’t matter. Sure, starting fresh would do some good, but not all the time. “You’ll be attending George Washington High, Jeana. It’s a good school. And Drew, you’ll be in the eight grade in Lawrence J. Fitzgerald Elementary School. I figured you needed something more… more of a challenge. You’ll see what I mean.” He gave the file to Jeana. “Keep this safe. Your life is in this folder.” He walked to the window and looked outside. “You guys must be tired. I’ll get someone to drive you guys to New York. That’s where the schools are. I’ll be down there by tomorrow. You’ll be living with me there. I’ll bring you to school, home, and anywhere else you guys are going. I’ll be like a second father.” He stopped abruptly. This may have been rude since they had just lost their father. “Anyways… John will be here soon. Be safe. Remember your names because you guys are no longer Jeana and Drew.” He gave them a pitiful smile and put his hand on either of their shoulders. It reminded him of what he had to go through as a kid.
“Jeana, Jeana!” a voice was calling her in her dreams. “Mom? Mom, is that you?” “No. Its…Clyde. Wake up!” She opened one eye and saw Drew shaking her. “We’re here already?” She said tiredly. “Yep. This Is where Pete lives. Jeana got up slowly and saw a big house towering the car. Something caught her attention. It was a boy walking by. He had short, dark brown hair and caramel skin. His hands were planted in his jean pockets and his hoodie was gray. He looked into the car to find Jeana staring at him. His eyes were beautiful. They went on forever and ever, and she would probably get lost in them. He looked like the kind of boy who had something to hide; who had a secret that everyone wanted to know but was afraid of knowing. He smiled, looked away, and continued his walk. Something made her feel that instead of having the worst time here, it would be one of the best adventures of her life.