The Day of Revolution

July 29, 2010
By , Reno, NV
That was the day they took Mama away. I was eleven years old; I remember it clear as day. Mama saw school as a happy place for me, which it was. She wanted to punish me for Brendon leaving that dirt on the floor and me not paying enough attention to clean it up. She said, “Lisa, ain’t no way on h*** you goin’ to that d*** school today, you gonna stay home and clean the whole d*** house. You got that, girl?” “Yes Ma’am,” I replied, I was scared of my mama, there was no way I was going to disobey her.

We lived in a small town of about four-hundred people. Everybody knew Mama. They all thought she was an angel because of what she did for the community. I used to think Mama was an angel too, and she had been, up until Papa died.

We went camping once when I was five, July 11, 1985 to be exact. Papa was trying to teach me how to swim. I was so proud when I could do it. So, when we were on the boat in the middle of the lake, I jumped off and tried to swim without Papa’s help. I began to go under, and drown. That’s when Papa jumped in to save me. Once he had gotten me back onto the boat his foot was caught on a rope attached to the boat. He was thrown beneath the water and drowned.

Mama hasn’t liked me ever since. She made me eat the crumbs off her and Brendon’s plates when they were done, that was the only food I was given. When she was mad, I was forced to eat the stuff from the cat box like it was cereal.

I’d had no one to talk to for a long time, but one day, there was a new teacher to my school. Miss Langley was her name, she was young, and pretty too. When I didn’t have lunch or money for lunch, she would give me food, she was my only friend. She didn’t know Mama, so she didn’t think Mama was a saint like everyone else.

I didn’t go to school that day. Miss Langley had noticed that it had been the twelfth time that month. So she called the police department and asked them to run by and check on the house.

As Officer Neal had rounded the back of the house he had heard a faint crying sound. He peeked over the fence to see if it was coming from the back yard, I saw him. I tried to call out to him, but my throat was too dry. I had been sitting in the Alabama sun, chained like a dog, all day, trying to touch the water that Mama had out in a bowl just out of my reach. I wanted to beg him not to go to the house. If Mama found out he’d seen me, she’d lynch me, and Officer Neal.

That was the day they took Mama away. They took my brother, Brendon, who was 16, to a mental facility for helping Mama treat me like that. I haven’t seen either since.

Miss Langley and Officer Neal were real nice, and they still are. I am seventeen now, and Miss Langley is now Mrs. Shaw, and Officer Neal is her husband. They are my new family now, and I have a little brother who is two, his name is Leighton.

I can still remember the day they saved me.

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