When eight year old Maya is suffering from her dad's beatings, her mother has no choice to but to file the divorce papers. Ten years later, Maya notices something that makes her realize what her mom was trying to tell her all along.
Sometimes, I would wake up screaming for my momma, wanting her to come comfort me, but the only person there was the social worker. I still remember everything that happened as if it were yesterday; it went something like this:
Beep! Beep! Beep! That was the third time my alarm went off this morning, and I still hit snooze. I propped up my pillow and laid back in bed. Dad knocked on the door; I didn't respond. He opened it slightly and looked at me, then at the clock, "Get up. Now!" I stayed in bed and just glared at him, I was way too exhausted from all the beatings I received from him last night. He approached me just as lifted his shoulders to look stronger and more broad. "I said get up and if I have to say it one more time,"
"Maybe you shouldn't have hurt me like that last night, or ever." I murmured. He hit me, or slapped me, I only remember that I blacked out after that.
I awoke to Momma looking at me, holding an ice pack to my bruise. "You aren't going to school today, you're in too much pain." I smiled the best I could at her, but it was useless. "Your father and I are getting a divorce, it's for the best." She spoke to me. "It's not decided where you will stay, but hopefully you will stay with me, here." I slightly grinned. "The divorce papers aren't final." She said in a depressed tone. "They will be in a few days, though."
"Okay. Am I gonna go to school tomorrow?"
"Not tomorrow, but Wednesday you can. Tomorrow, you will stay here with the sitter while me and Dad are gonna go to court to decided where you will live, okay?"
"Okay. What time is it?"
"11:11. Make a wish." I nodded and made my wish: I won't have to live with Dad ever again. "I'm gonna go do some work on the computer. Just remember, life is like a carousel."
Momma told me this many times and wasn't too long ago when she told me what it actually meant: you make tough decisions in life as you would choose your ride on the carousel. There are many ups and downs in life, but you keep going as the ride you chose goes up and down and still continues. Life ends when you die and you can't continue anymore as you would when the ride ends.
I thought about this for a long time until I fell asleep again. When I awoke, it was Tuesday morning. It was 9:46 and the babysitter, leaves at 10 o’clock. I changed into my clothes quickly and walked into the kitchen to see my babysitter, Gwen, eating my cereal. She glanced at me and sat the spoon down, “I made you breakfast.” She said as she pointed to the half eaten cereal.
“I’m not hungry.”
“You have to eat, your mom said so. I’ll heat up a cinnamon roll for you if you want.”
“Fine.” She took the cinnamon roll out of the pan and put it in the microwave. After about 2 minutes, she grabbed out of the microwave and handed it to me with a plate. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” She replied. “Can I tell you something?”
“Anything. I have no friends to tell anyone.”
“So I’m turning 30 this weekend and my husband are going to adopt a baby girl for my birthday. Should we name her Teagan or Scarlett?”
“Hmmm,” I thought about this. I’m deciding a person's name, something that defines their life. “Scarlett.” She smiled at me and burst into tears. I leaned forward and hugged her.
“Thank you so much, I hope to see you soon. Goodbye.” I waved goodbye and glanced at the clock; she left early. I saw my dad pull into the driveway and Gwen waved to him. He got out of the car and began talking, “You left early. Cecilia could have gotten hurt and no one would be there.” He slowly began creeping towards her, then lifted his arm up, ready to hit her, when I turned away. I heard her scream and then watched her run away, clutching her face, her bloody face. My dad walked through the door, “Don’t ask why I’m here, I’ll just tell you. Your mom has full time custody over you, so I’m moving my stuff out.” I nodded. “Gwen might not come back to babysit.”
“She said you were a lot to handle.”
“I saw what you did to her, don’t lie. That’s how you got here in the first place, lying to Mom and telling her you loved her, and you never did. You said you loved me, and the funny thing is that I actually believed you.” I wanted to say, but I didn’t. I just nodded. I heard Mom’s car pull in and then the car door slam shut.
“Hi Charlotte. I’ve decided that you can go to go school tomorrow. Are you excited?”
“Yes! I can go see my friends.” I ran up to her and hugged her.
My dad grabbed his stuff, threw it in his car, and drove off. My mom and I began cleaning that night and we found a note that my dad left. It said:
Dear Cora and Charlotte,
I will miss you dearly, even though you might think I won’t, I will. Hopefully we can work things out and one day, Cora, I would love to take you on a car ride in a fancy car that we dreamed of having. Charlotte, I would love to see you play in one of your soccer games.
“That was nice.” Momma said. “It’s late, you better get to bed. Don’t forget that you have school tomorrow.”
“Night.” I crawled into bed thinking all was well in the world, but it really wasn’t. I drifted off to sleep and awoke with Momma by my side. “Good morning. I have to go to work early today so, Gwen is making you breakfast.” She kissed my forehead. “Be good; I love you.”
“Love you too.” I got dressed and walked into the kitchen. Gwen wasn’t eating my food this time, she was actually making it. “Good morning.”
“Morning! Here is your breakfast.” She said as she handed me a donut and orange juice.
“Thanks.” I replied. I devoured the donut, chugged the orange juice, and went into the bathroom to go brush my teeth.
“Bus!” I ran towards Gwen who was holding my bag and I hugged her. She handed me my bag and I ran out the door. The bus driver greeted me and I sat down in an empty seat. The drive to school didn’t take long and I was at school in less than two minutes.
“Bye everyone!” Miss Carter said. “Have a great day.”
“Bye.” Everyone replied. I raced for the bus and I tripped on the way there, but got up. I was so excited to see my mom that when I got off the bus, I waited outside for her to get home. But the waiting never stopped, and she never came home. Days had passed, and I waited for her; I didn’t go to school.
Then, the social worker pulled into the driveway. He talked to me and I began crying. I crawled into the car without complaining. He drove me to the orphanage where I lived for ten years. Those were the worst ten years of my life.
* * * * *
Finally, the ten year mark was here. I was eighteen and able to leave the orphanage. I bought a room in a cheap hotel and went to the mall with my friends. At the mall, I saw a carousel with a little girl on it. She had scarlet colored hair and was crying, “Momma! Mom! Gwen?” I knew that girl was Scarlett, Gwen’s birthday present. That moment I realized something:
You do make tough decisions in life as you would choose your ride on the carousel. There are many ups and downs in life, but you do keep going as the ride you chose goes up and down and still continues. Life ends when you die and you can't continue anymore as you would when the ride ends. But sometimes, as a child, the ride would end and no one would be there to help you get off. That’s exactly what happened to me.
It was a sunny day out and the kids were having the time of their lives. Maya, my daughter, was playing in the sand and Brett, my beloved husband, was with her while I was being talked to by my reckless father.
"Your mother didn't come home the day after our divorce because I took her. The note I left was a sign. She was taken away in a fancy car that I was talking about. I took her to a warehouse to let her die. If I can't see you in a soccer game, I would love to see your daughter at least play, if that's okay with you."
"No. You are not allowed to ever meet my family. I do not want you even near them." I slammed the door shut and began to cry. My mother was gone, and so was my childhood.