Febuary 16th 2005.
I woke up at nine o'clock. I got up, fixed breakfast and showered and changed. I put on overhalls and a white shirt and my black tenny shoes. I then went to Amanda's house. It was Wednesday. My Uncle was at work till three. I saw them and said hi for Amanda. They were back home, but my parents and the Hanson's decided to take a vacation since they were there. They just went down to Florida.
I left there at noon and went to my Uncle's house where I waited on the porch, sitting in the swing I always sat in. I waited for three hours. I had nothing better to do. I saw him pull up and the look of hate on his face when he saw me standing on the porch. He walked up and went in, pretending I wasn't there. I knocked and he didn't answer the door. For an hour I waited, till Aunt Judy got home. She walked up. She didn't like me to much but she knew weather she liked it or not I was family. And she had me wait, though she forgot I was there. I walked off the porch. I stopped in the yard.
"If I walk away now I won't come back." I told myself.
I knew I wouldn't. I walked back and knocked again. When no one opened the door I just left and went to a different aunts. I knocked. It was like none of them wanted to talk to me. I knocked on her door till she answered.
"What do you want?" She asked.
"To see if I have a family. I guess I don't." I said.
"What are you doing here?" She asked.
"I came to see Uncle Robert but he ignored me and for two hours just shut me out. Neither answered the door. She said wait but damn she could have at least came back." I said.
"Don't you get it?" She asked.
"Get what?" I asked.
"We all hate you. She wasn't just your family. You were suppose to find her and bring her home. Hell you let her get killed." She said, then slammed the door. I turned around. Tammy was there my cousin.
"Cousin Jenny. . . why is mommy so mad at you?" She asked.
"I wish I knew." I said.
Her mom came and dragged her inside. She was shutting me out also. I went to each and all Uncles and Aunts and everyone did the same. They would answer, tell me almost the same and then slam the door. I was walking up to Uncle John's house. I stopped when the door opened and he came out.
"I suppose you're going to tell me to leave to?" I asked.
Hell he didn't even answer.
"That's what I thought." I said.
I started down the street. I stopped to look back. He was watching me walk away.
"I suppose you want me to leave and never come back?" I asked.
"Why?" I asked.
He just looked at me. His wife came out. His new wife. He had gotten a divorce. I looked at her. She looked at him.
"Ain't she Joey's daughter?" She asked.
She wasn't familiar with all the kids yet. He nodded. She started to walk to me. He stopped her.
"Don't." He said.
"Why not?" She asked.
He told her, but he made it sound like I killed her. He never mentioned the guy who put the knife through her. She then glared at me.
"I loved you. . I liked having Aunts and Uncles... a family. But no. I don't have a family anymore." I said.
I turned and ran across the street, nearly getting hit. I ran from the neighborhood. The only place I knew of which was Amanda's parents. I knocked, but they weren't at home. I went back home and sat down.
"Everyone hates me. Damn the're not gonna forgive me." I said.
I got up and walked outside, down into the woods. I came to the lake and sat down. There was one in the woods.
"Maybe if I tie myself up and throw myself in." I thought.
"No." I said.
I was sitting there skipping stones in the water. I heard footsteps and looked back. It was a deer. It came for water and ran from me.
"Damn. I wish it was a ax murderer." I thought.
I got up and went in. It was getting dark. I walked in and sat down. I was sitting there when the door bell rang. I got up and walked to the door. I opened it.
"Hello." I said.
It was someone for girl scouts.
"Hey's what's the matter?" She asked.
As I bought three boxes of them. She was a cute kid. I can't resist cute kids.
"Well, Maam. Honestly you don't want to know." I said.
"No. I'm a psychiatrist." She said.
"A shrink?" I asked.
"Yeah... one of those. I hate that word. This is Angel." She said.
"I see why." I said.
"Yep. . . so, what's wrong with you? It's something bad I can tell. You show a lot of pain in your eyes there. Not happy like you say." She said.
"Just my whole family hates me. Except for four. My mom and dad who probably hate me to. But just hides it. Well, those are the only two. Never mind about four." I said.
"Why?" She asked.
"Something that happened a long time ago." I said.
"Maybe if you talk about it." She said.
"No. I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm going back to Oklahoma where I do have people who care." I said.
Angel went back to the car.
"Well, running from the problem won't help." She said.
"Yeah well, I ran for five years. Why stop now?" I asked.
"Because underneath your eyes your a special person. Everyone is their own way. You have to learn that." She said.
"I know I am. If there is a murder in the family I am the special one that gets thrown out. I have learned that now." I said.
"Meaning?" She asked.
I took out my badge.
"Agent Mayo FBI." I said.
"So?" She said.
"I watched my cousin get killed and I was paralized. I didn't know what to doand they all blame me. Let them. Hell I'm sick of trying to fix everythimg. I'm only 21. I should be worried about marriage. Not fixing my family." I said.
She wiped a tear off my cheek and handed me a card.
"Call anytime." She said, and then left. I looked at her.
"Marie Almond." I said.
She left with Angel. I closed the door and sat down. I picked up the phone and called Zac. He asked why I didn't tell him. I told him I needed to do something alone.
"Well, how are you?" He asked.
"Not good." I said.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"I'll explain when I get there." I said.
"Okay." He said.
We talked a bit then let each other go. I went to bed and woke up at 5:30. I had a nightmare about Amy. I got up and went and got a glass of water. I then sat down to calm down. I then got up and changed and went to my Uncles. He left late on Thursdays and it was the 17th. I checked on the way out. I pulled up behind his truck and walked to the door. I knocked and she answered. Then she started to shut it. I put my foot in the way.
"No. I came to talk to him." I said.
"He doesn't want to speak to you. Get it in ya head. I don't blame him." She said.
I kept my foot there. She opened it a bit and I held it back.
"You're not slamming it shut." I said.
"Look... he told you once he doesn't want to speak with you." She said.
He pushed her aside and opened it.
"Leave." He said.
"No." I said.
"Leave or I'll have you taken away." He said.
"Go for it. I'm not hurting you. I'm not trespassing. I am trying to talk to my Uncle. Damn. It's been five years and finally you speak to me and it's to leave. Good one word." I said.
"Let me add. . . get the fuck out of my life!" He said.
"Why? I didn't ask to be brought in the world as your niece. I didn't ask to be brung in this life anyway. It's not my fault." I said.
"No. But the only child I had died in your hands." He said.
"I didn't kill her. I didn't hurt her. I tried my best to protect her." I said.
"Yeah right. So why don't you just leave?" He said.
"You were always my favorite... but I see now... even the favorite hasn't got a heart. If I think about it I'll think of you before throwing myself off a bridge." I said and walked away. I got in and left almost hitting another car.
"Good riddance." He said as I left.
I went home. I packed and got the first flight home. I arrived at 2 pm. Zac picked me up. I walked to him and leaned over.
"What happened?" He asked.
"I don't have a family anymore. I was just kicked out of it." I said with tears sliding down my cheeks. He wiped them away.
"Give them time." He said.
"I gave them five years and they still hate me. So forget it. I'm not going back. I have a life out here." I said.
I grabbed my bag and walked to the car. He drove me home to the house with the scary basement.
"Can I ask what happened?" He asked.
"Before I met you... right after I came out of the school program, they put me on my first case. A murder investigation of a six month old. I didn't know then the boyfriend I had was doing it. The closer I got to knowing the more he became desperate, so he took my four year old cousin Amy and he kidnapped her. The FBI matched prints and I didn't believe it. I loved him. He loved me or so I thought. I found them first at an abandoned factory in Atlanta. I proceeded with caution and he heard me coming or someone. He was holding her. I still remember her crying wanting him to let her go. He had hurt her. Sexual assult. And I told him to take me, but he refused and said she knew to much. That is when he stabbed her in the stomach as she kept calling my name, screaming for me to help. But I couldn't... I couldn't move. I didn't know what to do actually. I fired once and it hit him in the leg, right below her feet. She got scared and he got mad and he killed her. He left her laying there for dead and I tried to stop the blood. I held her for an hour waiting on the ambulance to get there. I held her and rocked her and tried to get her to wake up. But she wouldn't. When the paramedics got there they said she was already dead. She blead to death and the knife went through her heart. She was my uncle's child. My favorite one and I had to tell him. He read the report and he started to hate me and ignored me for five years. He didn't speak to me. The first word he said to me was 'leave'. Not one of my other aunts or uncles would either. No one would." I said.
"Is that who you talked to the other day? The guy?" He asked.
"Yeah. But it didn't help." I said.
He pulled me over.
"Why don't you for a change cry for a while and let me listen?" He said.
That idea I liked and told him everything. He sat and listened. Never once judged me. Just listened. After the story he held me for hours. Needless to say I needed to be held for a long period of time. I remembered back to when I was in the hospital and the good times I had. Till he went after my family. A family I put my life in danger for. One that is no longer there. I then decided I was gonna make up with him if it is the last thing I did. I pulled away from Zac.
"I have to go back. Will you come with me?" I asked.
"Yeah I guess." He said.
We each packed a few suits, about five or six. One suitcase a piece. Then Zac called Taylor and Isaac and told them. Then we left. Once in Georgia I took him to my house. He had never seen where I came from. I showed my room to him, the place where I did my homework and all the books and work and all were there. I showed him the house. And even showed him my special place in the woods behind the house. We slept a couple of hours or I did. I left before he woke up. Once I was dressed and ready I went to my uncle's job. It was the 18th of February, friday. There I sat at his desk, he was the forman of the company, till he came in. He walked in talking with someone. But when he saw me he quit talking. I sat there looking at him, knowing how much it must hurt him to see me. But he was hurting me more. My favorite Uncle who disowned me. My whole family did. I laid a card down on the table.
"If you feel you hate me enough, please come to this address at 7pm." I said and walked out.
I did this with each Aunt and uncle in the same way. Then went to the address which was a restaurant that had been closed down. I went in and waited. At 7 pm they all showed up.
"I was hoping none of you would come." I said.
"Why?" Aunt Judy asked. Her cold blue eyes staring in mine.
"Because I didn't want to stand here and try to explain to you." I said.
"Explain what?" Uncle Pete asked.
"Have a seat." I said.
I sat down and waited until they all sat down.
"I didn't kill Amy and I want to know why everyone of you hate me so much. For five years Uncle Robert didn't speak to me. Then when he did it was for me to leave. I don't know if you have noticed or not, but five years I had to go through a hell of alot more pain then ya'll ever had to. You lost Amy. I understand that. You were her parents. But you didn't stand there and watch someone else put a knife through her and hear her screaming your name. Do you know what it is like to tell a parent you just watched their only child die. She died in my arms. She didn't die alone. I could have came back to reality and see her then go after him and let her lay there and die all alone. But no. I stopped and picked her up. I cradled her in my arms and tried to help her. I didn't kill her. I didn't take a knife and put it through her. So why do you blame me? You told your wife (directing towards my new Aunt) she killed her. I didn't kill her. And as much as me talking about it it hurts you sitting here. Aunt Becky sit back down." I said.
"I had to watch her die. I thought she was alive. I swore she was. But I guess I was crying so hard I didn't realize she was gone. She died in my arms not yours and you blamed me. What did you want me to do? Pick her up and carry her away? Never let you know? Is it so hard to understand? I put myself in a hell of a lot of danger to protect you all. So when your wife came home or your husband the other one wouldn't be lying there dead. And you repay me by banning me from the family. Well, actually you're to late. I was banned when my parents stuck a knife through my heart. Followed by Jamie, then Josh, then Zac and then ya'll. Maybe I should take my own life. Then you can blame yourself for it. Everyone disowned me and I knew it. I knew five years ago. You all hated me. Just only a few showed it. So, if you would like to keep me around let me know. If not I'll go say bye to Zac and explain and kill myself. Maybe then you can realize just how much I care." I said.
Then I walked to the door. No one said anything. Not even a word. I drove to the bridge and stopped. My life was falling apart. Piece by piece and I couldn't hold on to them. I scribbled a note on paper, telling everyone I was sorry and signed it. I layed it on the seat with the locket Taylor had given me. I then walked to the edge. I knew if I jumped, Zac would be in more pain. And I knew so would everyone else, but no one understood just how much pain was going through me. I knew it, but no one else. They never stopped and listened or stopped to think about it. No one knew. No one cared, so why should I? I stepped over the railing and held onto the bars. Tears fell down my cheeks. I had a career. I had a life. Just my life was filled with so much sadness and anger. It was to much and I couldn't take it anymore. Amy and Josh and all of my family and friends were topping the pie by ignoring every plea I made, or every attempt I tried to tell them. Ike can come out and tell you what is wrong. Zac and Tay can if they truely trust you. Not me. I kept it inside, bottled up and it was fixen to break. I stood on the railing wondering if a miracle could happen and I could somehow pull it back together. Someone came up behind me.
"Ma'am?" He said.
I turned around. It was a FBI agent. I knew it from the badge.
"Leave me alone." I said.
"I can't do that." He said.
"Yes you can. Your a trained FBI agent. You should know to back off." I said.
"I do. But not when I have news for someone." He said.
"News?" I asked.
He stepped forward.
"Stop where you are." I warned him.
"Ma'am you have to listen to me. Come back over the rail. It's not worth it." He said.
"How would you know? You're not me." I said.
"No I'm not. But I can help." He said.
"Help? How? Get everyone to come back?" I asked.
"No...Jennifer. Come back over. Amy's not ready to see you and no one here is ready to loose you." He said.
"Yes they are. They don't want me. Don't you understand? No one does." I said.
"I do." He said.
"How could you?" I asked.
"Jennifer. There's a side to you no one knows. You can be just as sick as Andrew. But you choose the side that people like. Not that side." He said.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"I could show you but you won't let me near you." He said.
"Hand me your badge." I said reaching for it.
He handed it to me. I shined it in the light.
"Agent Mayo? This is my badge." I said looking up.
"I know. And you were meant to keep it for a while." He said.
"I have." I said.
"No. You haven't kept it long enough." He said.
I looked down at the murky water that was black and cold. I then looked back to tell him I would come back, but he wasn't there. I looked around and then climbed back over. I went to the car laying on the seat next to the locket Taylor gave me and noticed there was another one. One I knew, but never wore. I picked it up and opened it. Inside was a picture of me and Jamie. A note layed on mine. I picked it up.
Just because I never called or came didn't mean I didn't still care. Yes our aunts and uncles are a bit odd. Give them time. You have to get over it too. You told Zac. Now it is your turn. I do watch over you lil'sister and I will not have you dead before your time. So get in the car and go home. Zac is worried sick about you. See...he does care. And about Emily? No he didn't sleep with her. He was with her, because he needed someone to talk to about you. And he couldn't talk to you. So Emily was there. He never even kissed her. He does love you Jen. So go home to him. Be with him. In the meantime I'll check out the aunts. See ya soon.
ps: Put the locket on.
I laid it down. I put the lockets back on and got in. I went home. Zac was sitting in the door. When he saw the car he got up. I met him half way and hugged him tightly.
"Zac, don't ever leave." I said.
"I won't." He said.
We went in and about 12:00 o'clock a call came through. I picked it up.
"Hello." I said.
"Jennifer? It's your Aunt Judy. Come over to the house tomorrow about two. Okay?" She asked.
"Okay." I said.
We hung up.
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