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I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 8
I STILL LOOK FOR YOU – Part 8
Thanksgiving was coming and the kids would be out of school for the next few days. Lynn decided to use this time to go and visit her sister and just get away from all of the mess that seemed to be piling up more plentifully then the leaves raked so carefully into piles only to be strewn about by laughing winds.
She had left work early to pack their bags, air up the tires and make sure there was plenty of gas and oil in the car. Bobby’s apartment looked empty as she had driven by and she knew he and Kurt were traveling to see their Mother who was scheduled to be released from the inpatient treatment center in a couple of months. Bobby had found a job at a local department store and while they still had coffee in the mornings and were friends, the closeness was marred with the ugly blemish of never discussing Renee or Lynn trying to get some sort of definition from him of what their relationship meant to him. He had made new friends and it was one of them who volunteered to drive them to the treatment center. Lynn, now busy trying to stay on her toes at work, missed him and their time together but couldn’t see how things could be any more than they were and a small part of her wished she didn’t feel such a dependence on his presence in her life.
The school doors exploded with kids set free, running, tripping each other and shouting plans to meet later. She watched from inside the car, not wanting to brave the cold gusts that painted cheeks red in less than a minute. Trailing behind, coat open and about half on, Traci came toward the car.
“Well, you are going to freeze, zip your coat and where is your brother?” Lynn was anxious to get on the road.
“Dunno. Maybe with his dad!” Traci sulked and shoved a note toward her mother.
Lynn quickly scanned the note, her pulse mounting as she recognized the handwriting. “Where – how did you get this – did he come to your classroom?” She tried to keep the hysteria out of her voice but was not succeeding.
“I was called to the office and they gave me the note and said he asked them to see to it you got it.” Then I saw them leaving when I was at my locker and I hollered at them but he just looked straight ahead and kept walking and talking to Tim,” Traci said her brother’s name as if it made her sick.
“Stay here – lock the doors and stay in the car ……..” her voice was carried away by the wind and the sound of her feet pounding the sidewalk as Lynn ran toward the school.
“NO he didn’t have my permission to take my son from school – NO I did not call – what – how – HOW could you just let someone come in here and take my son?” Lynn was leaned over the counter so far the secretary feared she would snatch her up at any moment. This woman was obviously not in her right mind.
With Traci in tow, Lynn tried to remain calm while speaking with the police officer. He obviously didn’t understand what she had told him. As politely as possible she asked to speak with his supervisor. She had run two stop signs and a red light to get to the police station and for all the good it did she could have walked as long as they were taking. Yes, yes she would take a seat. Traci was still upset that her step-father hadn’t taken her out of school too and was kicking at the chair in front of her. “STOP”, Lynn said in a hoarse whisper. “I can’t think, please, just sit still and behave, PLEASE. We’ll get this straightened out and go pick up your brother and be on the road to your Aunt Sue’s house pretty soon.”
“No, there was no divorce decree or Legal Separation in place and no, Human Services was not involved.” She had been paying on all of it and the Legal Separation sat, ready to be served, in her attorney’s office but she had wanted to get past the Holidays before having it served. “Can’t you see what he’s doing?” – she tried to give this man the note again. “He is forcing me to spend time with him to get my son back – he is dangerous and has been abusive in the past. He even got into my house once and … no, I didn’t file a report. Don’t you understand? I don’t even have his address – I can’t even go get my son until I meet him at the restaurant tomorrow or call him and go over there tonight. You won’t call him? Can’t get involved in civil matters? Ok, yes, I guess I understand. All right, thank-you officer, oh – Lieutenant.”
Bags still in the car and Traci pacified with McDonalds and MTV, Lynn sat in the kitchen. After hanging up with her sister, she read the note again.
My Dear Lynn,
I did not want you to worry, like I know you do, so I’m leaving this note so you will know Tim is spending the night with me. You and Traci will join us tomorrow at Country Fixings for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve made reservations for four at 12:30 p.m. sharp. It would be better if the two of you came over tonight so we could have the night together to talk and then go to the restaurant as a family.
Your loving Husband,
P.S. I’ll have some wine chilling.
Wine chilling – letting her know he would drink, if he hadn’t been already. He already made reservations – sharp. Letting her know if she wanted to get Tim, she’d better be there on time if she didn’t show up that night. He felt he was in control again. “as a family” he was still considering her as his wife and they were his family. Not threatening at all the police lieutenant had told her. No, not unless you knew him, knew how to read between the lines. He knew she had planned to go to her sisters. She had discussed it with him not wanting to be heartless about him not seeing the kids on Thanksgiving.
She jumped at the sound of the phone. It was Bill, giving her his address and directions. “Tim? Tim is fine aren’t you? Sure, you can talk to him as soon as you get here. We’ll see you in fifteen minutes.”
She hadn’t been able to tell if he’d been drinking. No matter, his tone told her there would be trouble if she didn’t do as he said. She knew this change in him all too well. He had done it when they were together if something made him feel powerless at work or someone else got something he thought he deserved. He could only stay decent for so long and then the evil that lived just under the surface would start taking over his thoughts, his actions. He had never hurt the kids physically but of course years of living in the environment she had allowed them all to stay in had already formed opinions and stripped away healthy coping mechanisms that were just beginning to form.
“Hey Traci, get your coat on honey. We’re going to go over to Dad’s”