Kidnapped Back Home

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Family Blues

Mary was a bit mad that I wet the bed. She kept on asking why did an 11-year-old wet the bed? I remained silent as I did not know what to say. It was embarrassing enough that I wet the bed. I did not need to know how old I was! Mary was busy taking the sheets off my bed and complaining, while I just stood and watched. It was a bit strange looking at her. It was like she was talking with herself as she really did not wait for an answer. She looked at me and said that she hoped I would not wet the bed again. She even wanted me to promise this. I still said nothing as I would not promise something that I did not know if I could keep. When she kept pressing for an answer, I simply said that I did not do it on purpose.

Then she took Mr. Teddy and said I was too old to have him. I didn’t think about anything but jumped to the other side of the room where she was and snatched Mr. Teddy from her. Then I retreated back to the corner of the room. I told her in a strong voice not to take my things. I clutched on to Mr. Teddy for my life. Mary tried to sweet talk to me and ask me did I not want to forget about the 9 years of being kidnapped. I did not answer. Mary did not realize that I was happy with my parents, and Mr. Teddy was the only thing I had from my old home. I was not going to tell her this as she would probably just explode and get mad. I was happy that I rescued Mr. Teddy He was so important for me!

Mary was frustrated as she said that I did not say much. She left the room with the wet sheets

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Flashback: I used to love Sunday afternoons. Mom would take out all the baking things, and we would spend a few hours baking. I loved mixing the dough and then working, so we made something that looked like a piece of art and tasted just as good. Mom would tell me not to talk so much and concentrate more. This was hard, as when we baked, it was the special time I had with her. We would talk about everything, like music or a film we saw, She would talk about when she was a girl or how she met Dad. We would talk about problems and things like that. It seemed like mom always had an answer, and she knew how to bake so many things. I wrote down all the recipes in a red notebook. As mom said when I had a daughter, I could teach her how to bake.

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I was only here a few days, and there was a strange atmosphere in the house. Mary was mad at me because I wet the bed and would not let go of Mr. Teddy She also thought that I was very silent. The fact is that I did not know what to say. Should I tell her that I remembered her and that I missed her? That was not true! If I told her that I was afraid and confused, and worried about my parents in jail, she would just get madder.

I went down to the family room and turned on the TV. There were cartoons on, so I immersed myself in them to escape from reality. Andrew sat down next to me and did not say anything. The cartoons were great as they cheered me up.

“It’s nice to see you smiling,” Andrew said

“Thank you”

“We do need to talk at some stage. I mean we have to talk about sending you to school. It is limited to what you can learn from cartoons. There is time to decide when you start school. Everything must seem new to you and strange. I bet you have a lot on your mind, and you have a lot of questions.”

I nodded but smiled at the news that I would be starting at a normal public school. This was something I always wanted. I could meet friends and see the world. I could be with people my age for the first time. I was beginning to like Andrew. He did not say a lot and I knew he could see how all this was for me. He didn’t tell me I should love him as a dad, and he didn’t remind me all the time that I was kidnapped. After he told me that I could start at school, we just watched the cartoons. At one stage I laid my head on his shoulder. I do not know why I did this. Maybe I just needed someone to feel like I was close to. At any rate, when I looked up at him, he was smiling at me.

Then the news came on. Mom and dad were once again in the news. Their court date was soon, so the news was telling about what the prosecutor thought. Needless to say, the prosecutor said I was snatched from a happy home, and my parents kidnapped me because they were jealous that they could not have a baby. I was nothing more than a trophy for them and now my life was destroyed.

The defense said that my parents loved me, and they knew it was wrong to kidnap me, but they were out of their minds then. The kidnapping was not planned, it just happened. Despite that they knew that I was kidnapped, they always considered me as a daughter and loved me as one.

My eyes were watery when I heard this. At least the defense was telling the world the truth and confirmed that my parents were not evil and did not harm me!

Mary came in and turned off the news. She was mad at Andrew for letting me see it. She reminded him that I was kidnapped by these people and now I had to put that experience behind me. Mary thought I was the victim as she said I had 9 years without love.

“Did you notice how quiet she is,” Mary asked, “She clutches on that teddy bear and never smiles. The girl we knew that smiled so much when she was two and tried to talk non-stop is gone. Those people have hurt our girl so much that her spirit is damaged. Let’s just hope that she remembers us and once again becomes our little girl”

I was mad.

“You do not know me at all!” I shouted at Mary, ” My parents loved me and protected me and wanted me to be happy. Mom used to say that I talk too much, and I was never sad when I lived with them. I do not like that they are locked in some jail and being punished because they were my parents! I do not remember you! You are not my parents! This is not my home. It is like a jail for me as well. How can you say that you love me or even want me, you do not know me!”

I ran up to my room and threw myself on the bed. I cried into the pillow and prayed to God to give me strength. I did not mean to burst out like that and get mad at them. It just happened. In a way, it also felt good, because I was bottling a lot of things since I came here. At least they knew what I thought.

Andrew knocked at my door. I told him he could come in. He sat on the edge of the bed.

“I don’t really know what to say,” he stated, “I hope you do not misunderstand me. I am proud of you for telling us what you think. This must be so strange for you. You are right... we are strangers and this house is strange for you. The people that loved you are now in jail. The question is what do we do? I mean we have to accept that these people did kidnap you, and this was not right. They have to be punished. At the same time, they loved you and took good care of you. I am so relieved about this as when you were gone, I had so many scenarios in my head about what happened to you. It is good that you were loved and happy all these years.”

I nodded.

“You must be brave and strong,” he continued, “Try to understand what these 9 years were like for us. We had a daughter, and she was kidnapped, and we did not know if she was alive or not. Was she in pain? Was it our fault as we did not protect you enough! Now you are here. We do not know what to do. It hurts us that you cannot remember us, and you must be so confused. The truth is we are strangers and it will take time for us to get to know each other. We love you because you are our daughter, but in time, we will love you because of who you are. I am asking you to have patience and at least give us a chance, and tell us if we can do things better!

I gave Andrew a hug. This was not because I considered him my father, but I suddenly thought about what it was like to have a daughter kidnapped, and he told me he would try. This meant I also had to try.

Andrew opened the curtains and smiled. He said that the media had left, so we were free now. He joked that maybe a woman gave birth to 8 children someplace and this was now more important. I was happy that the media went.

The rest of the day went quiet. Mary did not say much to me, and I was in my bedroom or watched cartoons.

When it was time to sleep, both Mary and Andrew came in to say goodnight. Mary told me that tomorrow was a new day full of hope. This made me think that she was no longer mad at me. When they went it was just me. I got out of bed to say my prayers. I did not like saying them alone, but someone had to pray. It was so hard for me to sleep. I thought about what happened today. Maybe Andrew was right that it was hard now, but in time it would get better. I was also afraid if I would wet the bed. That just added to all the problems I had, I looked at the ceiling and held on to Mr. Teddy until I fell asleep, which seemed like ages.

The next morning I woke up and the bed was wet. I wanted to cry, but it was like I had no more tears. Mary must have heard that I was awake, She came in and noticed that the bed was wet. I got out and went to the corner. I remembered how mad she was last time, and I did not know if she was going to hit me or not. She was very calm about it and just joked saying it was good she had a machine to wash clothes. She told me I best take a shower and get some clothes on. Today would be a special day.

I did what she said, and put this denim overall shorts on me and tights. Then I looked for Mr. Teddy. I could not find him! I looked under the bed and all over the bedroom. He was gone! Then I thought that he could be in the wet sheets that Mary took, so I rushed down and asked her did she see him? She said no, but I could check the clothes hamper to see if he was there. It was so gross going through the wet sheets, but he had to be found.

Mr. Teddy was not there! He was gone!

Mary told me that we had a lot to do, and she was sure he would show up sometime. It was like someone took my child or my child was missing. I tried to remember the last time I had him. It was when I was falling asleep, wasn’t it?

After breakfast, Andrew stood with the car keys. He said the media was gone, so maybe it was time that we explored the mall. Every girl should see the local mall he said. This helped my mood, but I was still worried about Mr. Teddy I knew that he had to be somewhere. I would look when I came home.

We drove to the mall, and it was like heaven. So many shops and so many people. There even children my age. I looked around and just let everything sink in. This was my first time to a mall and it seemed so strange. I wanted to tell mom and dad about it, but they were in jail.

Everything went fine until this woman recognized me. She shouted that I was the girl on TV, the one that was kidnapped. Then a crowd was around me. Some were taking pictures and some even were poking me. They were all asking questions like if I was hurt by my parents, or did I remember Mary and Andrew. Andrew had enough and took my hand and led me back to the car. This was no easy job as the people didn’t care how I felt, they were just following us.

We were lucky that security guards closed the doors at the entrance and let us out. We rushed to the car. At least they did not follow us there. Andrew sighed and said it was still too early to be in public.

Mary had to rush to the shop to get something, so we waited in the car. When I looked out the window, I saw Gabriel. Did he ever change from that altar boy robe? I opened the window of the car. Gabriel told me that God is still with me and helping me, and to remain strong. I told Andrew to meet Gabriel, but when Andrew looked, Gabriel was gone. This made me sigh thinking he must be my imaginary friend.

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Flashback: We were in Church a few days before my parents were arrested. We usually sat in a corner where not many people sit. When mass was over, we would go out the side door and not speak with anyone. One day this older woman stopped my parents and said she saw the documentary about that girl that was kidnapped when she was 2. Dad said nothing but mom said it was a sad documentary. The old woman stared at me, which made me feel a bit afraid. I thought she wanted to kidnap me. This must have affected my parents a lot, as on the way home mom said we should go to another church.

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Mom came back in and we started to drive home

“I was thinking,” she said, “I think you can speak more Ariel. Maybe you can start calling me mom and even give me hugs”

I looked out of the car window and asked God for strength.

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