Maybe. What if. I tend to use these words a lot. I question everything now. I question every moment, every look, every smile. I wonder if people’s intentions are pure. And then I think about all the circumstances that make people who they are. I ask questions to fill in as much about the person as I can. But even then, I question. I think it’s because I know that people, and therefore circumstances, can change. My problem is not knowing what the other person is thinking. Because knowing helps me to make decisions. I have lots of problems. I don’t think they’re all bad, they’re just who I am. And I’m learning to accept all of me.
White Rocks (Cordes, AZ)__pt. 1__
I’ve lived through some terrifying moments. There was a banging at the door. It was already late, I can’t remember what we were doing in the living room but my mom slid the glass door open. Whack. I turned and looked, and my mom had been struck in the face with something. In a panic I jumped up, looked around and ran to my room. My twin sisters were asleep on the bottom bunk and my baby sister was on the top bunk. I grabbed my sisters and told them to hide under the bed and stuffed the blanket and some stuffed toys in front of them. I ran back down the hall to the living room and heard the sounds of struggling coming from my moms room. Slowly, I walked around the corner, not sure what I would see.
The man had my mom on her bed. My mom struggled against the knife in his hand. He was trying to kill her. I took in the moment and ran around frantically looking for the house phone. When I found it I ran to her bathroom and dialed 911. I waited. Why wasn’t the phone ringing yet. I could hear my mom grunting. Were they saying anything. I waited and finally the phone started ringing. It rang and rang. Why was no one answering. I got mad and hung up the phone. Immediately I dialed a friend of my mom’s named Edith. I don’t know why I called her. Maybe it’s because hers was the only number I could remember at that age. She answered and I told her, “There’s a man trying to kill my mom, he has a knife, please help me! Please!” I hung up the phone and stepped out of the bathroom and watched as my mom and the man wrestled around her bed and floor.
I heard honking coming from outside and I ran out of the house towards the street. “Hurry!” I yelled as I waved my hands jumping up and down in front of our drive. I could see a car in the distance, lights flashing, horn honking, coming down the hill. I ran towards the house next to the car and the man came running out of the front door… before I knew it he was running down the street. Edith stepped out of her car and we both ran to my mom’s room.
My mom was laying face up on her bed. Exhausted. How long had she been fighting for her life? Her face was red and swollen where the man had hit her. I don’t remember if it was a metal pipe, or a bat, but the thing left half her face deformed.
The next morning we walked along the street looking for cactus leaves to bring home for my mom. I don’t remember if I asked questions, but I know I thought a lot about what had happened the night before. I didn’t feel like it really happened. When we got home we scraped the cactus needles and skin off the cactus leaves to expose the white sticky flesh that’s underneath. We took the cactus leaves to my moms room and I watched as the cactus leaves were placed one by one gently on the left side of my mom’s face. She looked so tired. I can’t imagine how she felt.
My mom lived through some pretty terrifying moments. And I think about her a lot. I wonder about her life and her choices. Her choices led to that event, and to others like it…