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The Plate


The Plate

She had me pinned to the floor and I could not breathe. I knew at that point I was going to die. I could not breathe at all. I was worried about what she might do to my five-year-old son. All of a sudden there was a rush of air into my lungs. My son had been trying to call 911. He was afraid and did not know what to do. He got his baseball bat and hit my daughter in the head. When I got up, she had grabbed him and tried to slam him against the wall. I jumped on her.

             I grabbed my son and went outside to wait on the police. I sat on the wall angry, neck hurting, feeling selfish because I felt I had been cheated out of a lot of things. Buying a prom dress for her, her first date, her first kiss. Wondering what I did wrong. Psychiatrists and specialists had told me nothing was wrong with her, that she was a 16-year-old just doing what she wanted to do. I still blamed myself. 

             I had come home after a long day working at Cracker Barrel. I came home to a dispute between my mother and daughter. When I intervened, my daughter turned violent. She had been gone for three days and had taken the phone out of my mother’s room. My mother was very angry because I had already caught her stealing my mother’s car. Everyone in town already knew how bad my daughter was. No one could control her. 

             My five-year-old would beg her, “Sister please don’t take off.” People would tell me let her go, she’s not worth the damage she was doing to the whole family.  How could I give up on her she was my only daughter. It was like an out of body experience. I couldn’t believe what was happening. 

             My son was playing in the grass next to me, he wasn't upset about what had transpired because he was used to her behavior. That’s sad to say that a 5-year-old is used to violence. 

             The cops finally arrived. Because she had a knot on her head, the cop decides I am going to jail. I was in disbelief when I heard him say that. The cops were called so they could remove her from the home so my mother, my son, and myself would be safe.  

             All the deputies at the jail knew me because of my daughter and working at Cracker Barrel. He did not try to handcuff me. I got in the car myself. I cussed this man all the way to the jail. 

             It was so degrading going through this process. Washing your hair and body with lice medicine. Wearing clothes that were way too big. Nothing to brush your hair with. 

             The charges were dismissed. 

             I ended up having to have a plate put in my neck. It still bothers me. 

Painting by Gwynne Duncan 

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