Trust Me - Part II
by Dynah Jaysa Zale
After months of looking for a job, the gates of heaven finally opened and the Lord blessed me with a job working downtown. It didn’t take me long to save up enough money for a small one bedroom apartment. Each month my paycheck is just enough to cover the rent, utility bills, and daycare with no money to spare.
After a few months of being on my own I became less dependant on Justin. I managed to maintain a strict schedule that revolved around work and spending time with my children. I tried my best to fill the void Justin left by not being in our children’s lives, but it was hard. The boys would often ask me where their father was. It use to bother me that Justin wouldn’t call or stop by to visit with the boys, but I’ve learned you can’t make a man do anything he doesn’t want to do.
The next trial I had to endure came one afternoon while I was at work. My boss called me into his office and asked if I was interested in staying late to finish up some reports he needed for the following morning. It wasn’t often that my stingy boss offered anyone overtime so I took advantage of the opportunity and accepted his offer.
The next thing I had to do was get in touch with Justin and make sure he was available to pick up the children from daycare. I called his cell phone and as the line rung my heart pounded against my chest. I couldn’t believe I was scared to call my husband and ask him to pick up his own children, but lately when I asked him for anything that involved the children it turned into an hour-long argument.
“Justin.” I shouted, surprised that he had answered my call. “I have to work late tonight. Can you pick up the children from daycare for me?” I quickly rattled off.
“Sure, no problem.” He agreed with ease.
I held the phone for a moment thinking I had heard him wrong. I was waiting for a list of objections and excuses of why he couldn’t do it, but he said nothing.
“Are you sure it’s no problem.” I asked again.
“No, it’s no problem I’ll pick them up.”
“Okay, but Justin you have got to be there before six o’clock.” I stressed. “If you’re not there they will take the children to the police station and call family services.”
“I heard you Skye. Trust me. I’ll be there before six.”
A few hours later I sat at my desk finishing up the department's final month end figures. I printed out a copy of each report and gently placed them on my boss’s desk so that it would be the first thing he saw in the morning.
While in my boss’s office I heard my phone ringing in the distance. In an effort to not miss the call I sprinted toward my desk. I was expecting Justin to call and tell me that he successfully did something right by picking up the boys on time.
I quickly answered the phone on the third ring. “Hello.”
“Is this Mrs. Daniels?”
“This is she.” I replied.
“Hello Mrs. Daniels. This is Officer Hill from down at the 23rd precinct. Your children were just dropped off here by their day care center. Apparently, you didn’t pick them up today. Is everything alright?” he asked.
“Yes, officer everything is fine.” I was so embarrassed. “I apologize. My husband was supposed to pick up the children today. He must have forgotten.” I got up and started gathering my things. “I’ll be right there.” I hung up the phone with anger blaring in my eyes.
On my way down to the precinct I called Justin’s cell phone several times, but each call went straight to voice mail. I banged my hand on the steering wheel. “I’m going to kill him.”
Once I arrived at the police station I was greeted by a social worker from the Department of Family Services. The middle aged white woman interrogated me for over an hour about my current separation from Justin and how I was managing being a single parent. Once I answered all her questions she agreed to let me go, but not without first giving me a firm warning. She made it perfectly clear that if this happened again then a case would be opened and my children could be taken from me.
I left the police station furious and I headed straight to Justin’s. I couldn’t wait to confront him. I wondered what excuse he was going to give me as to why he couldn’t pick up his children. I made a sharp right hand turn into his apartment complex that caused both kids to loss their balance. They leaned to the right in their car seats. In the rear view mirror I could see Spencer and Elijah look at me strangely.
“Sorry about that guys.”
An envelope addressed to Philadelphia Family Courts flew out of my purse and onto the floor. It had taken me a few months but I had finally gone down to file for child support. It’s been six months since Justin and I have separated and he hasn’t given me a dime for the kids. Spencer needs new shoes and the pull-ups for Elijah were getting more and more expensive everyday. In a hurry to get some money I immediately filled out the paperwork and was ready to put it in the mail, but before I did I had a change of heart. Deep down in my soul I prayed that Justin would come to his senses and want his family back and when that day came I would be waiting with open arms.
I pulled up in front of Justin’s apartment and as I was helping the children out of the car I saw Raquel’s car parked two parking spaces down. Rage burned inside of me. If she was the reason he didn’t pick up the children there is no telling what I would do. I stormed up the stairs holding Elijah in my arms and Spencer running close behind me. I reached his front door but before I started banging I stopped to listen for voices from inside. I heard a lot of giggling and laughing.
I commenced to pounding on the door acting as if I were the police, “Justin, open this door.” I screamed. Suddenly, the voices stopped and he answered the door.
“Justin, what happened to you picking up the children?” I screamed.
“Oh damn.” He looked at me regrettably, “I forgot.”
“Justin, I talked to you about this twice today. I stressed to you how important it was for you to pick up Spencer and Elijah on time.”
He looked at me angrily. “I said I was sorry.”
“Sorry is not going to cut it. I was just grilled by Family Services about how to be a better mother to my children.”
“Well, maybe you need to take their suggestions.”
With wide eyes I snapped back, “How dare you say that to me. You know I always put my children first. That’s more then I can say about you.”
I pushed my way into his apartment and found Raquel sitting on the couch with her two daughters. The girls clung to their mother and stared at me with fear in their eyes. My eyes burned and my body involuntarily shook. I didn’t want to do anything irrational, but I was unsure I could control myself. Standing in the midst of this confrontation reality hit me in the head. It hit me so hard that it caused my eyes to finally open. Her children were more important to him then his own. “This is why you didn’t pick up Spencer and Elijah because you were with her kids.” I pointed in Raquel’s direction.
Justin opened the door, “Get out Skye. I don’t need you here causing trouble. I’ll be down to see the children this weekend.”
I looked at her and shame prevented her from looking in my direction.
“Are you sure you want to do this? You’re choosing her over your own family.”
“Trust me Skye. It’s for the best.”
I grabbed Spencer’s hand and stormed out. If that’s how he wanted it I had no choice but to give him what he wanted. Tears burned my eyes. I fastened the children securely in their car seats and pulled off.
“I am not going to cry. I refuse to cry. I can do this.” I yelled at out loud. Spencer watched as my eyes welled up with tears. I pulled over to the side of the road and pulled out that envelope I was hoping I wouldn’t have to send. I slipped it in the mail, got back in my car and pulled off.
To be continued…..