I spent my first year of middle school in transition. I was sent to live with my aunt and my favorite cousin because at the time my mom wasn’t doing so well, and I was getting picked on and bullied at school. My grades started dropping due to my situation at home, and just got worse when I couldn’t find peace at school. So I suggested moving into my aunts, and my mother agreed, since it would benefit us both.
I loved every moment of living with my aunt. I lived a few minutes away from Spring Oaks Middle School and was able to listen to my Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men cd’s on the short walk to school. Those few short minutes of singing while I walked, were the peace and escape I was so desperately looking for. That didn’t last long. After a few months, due to several personal issues between my mom and my aunt, it was decided that I was to go back with my mother even though I pleaded to stay.
The first few weeks were pretty normal, I was driven to school in the morning and picked up by either my mom or her husband at the time, Owen. It was friday afternoon, and all the buses were parked and ready for the kids to scramble on. I was in choir class and since we used our time as rehearsal, our teacher let us out a few minutes early. I sat exactly where I normally did and patiently waited for my ride to arrive. As the buses began pulling away, and the parent pick-up line began to dwindle, I came to the realization that they were going to be late. It was already approaching 4:30 and school was let out forty minutes prior.
As one cd turned into two and two turned into three, I started to see some of the faculty leave. I began to get worried. This was a time before cell phones and my attempts to call the house from the school office went unanswered. I was no longer a few minutes away from home, and perhaps because of the rejection, I didn’t feel welcome at my aunts. As the faculty cars pulled away, and I ran out of cd’s to play, the Principal, Mr. Johnson, began walking towards me.
He asked me who I was waiting for, and if I had any success reaching them. He mentioned seeing me in the main office using the phone and was concerned. I tried to brush it off and blame myself but he wasn’t hearing it. It was almost seven, and he and I were the last ones on campus, other than the custodians. He asked me to pick up my belongings and follow him, when at the end of the street, I saw a car pulling in. My relief was short lived and quickly evolved into panic when I saw the situation unfolding in front of Mr. Johnson.
The front windshield was shattered but still attached, and at the moment we were unaware that she had kicked it in with her heel, while attempting to jump out of the moving car. Owen got out of the vehicle and tried to hustle me into the car, however, Mr. Johnson wasn’t going to let me go that easily. He asked Owen why they were so late and before he could get out a word, both of our worst fears began to happen. She got out of the car and stumbled towards us. There were 6 stairs blocking her from us and if Mr. Johnson were to have been an officer, she would have been arrested on-site. She began yelling at us for taking too long, and then began to get verbally aggressive towards Mr. Johnson and Owen. She was screaming and cursing, and in between rants she would drift off into a sleep like state, all the while sitting on the steps of my middle school.
At that point, Mr. Johnson refused to allow me to leave with them, and insisted on calling the police. I pleaded with him. I told him that my mother was on medication and that I really needed to get home to finish my schoolwork and to feed my puppy. Owen managed to scramble her into the car and went along with my story. He assured Mr. Johnson that I would be okay and that we would be putting her straight to sleep. I don’t know what would’ve happened to her if he had called the authorities, but even in the midst of my mortification, I instinctually protected her, and knew that I would be the only one who could convince her, once again, to close her eyes and sleep.