Sondra’s usual end-of-the-month call was anything but usual this month.
“Hi, mommy,” was the unexpected greeting that she received on this particular night.
“Presley?” she replied unsurely.
“Yea,” he answered.
“Where’s your grandmother?”
“She’s not feeling too well, so she disconnected the phone line from the wall in her bedroom and told me to wait on your call out here in the living room.” Sondra could hear an immense amount of worry in her son’s voice as he explained to her what was going on inside of the cottage. How terrified he must have been to be in a strange household having to yet again look after himself, his mother thought to herself. “I’m gonna go lie back down beside her in her bed once I get through talking to you,” he quietly informed her.
As best as she tried to keep her emotions in check so that she didn’t make her son any more uneasy than she could tell he already was, Sondra couldn’t control herself. She panicked. “Oh, my God! Are you alright!? Is she alright!?”
“Yup, she’s okay. Me too, mommy.”
Sondra suddenly began feeling nauseous. She was already suffering from the guilt of leaving her son with her mother knowing that her mother had numerous psychological issues. Now she felt like a complete failure for overlooking her mother’s potentially poor health status given her age.
Sondra felt an all-too-familiar urge come on. “Presley, be a big boy and go make sure your grandma’s okay,” she ordered. “Mommy loves you, and I’ll talk to you later.”
“I love you too, mommy,” he reciprocated. “Bye.”
“You didn’t sound convincing enough, boy,” Ms. Sillow conveyed to him as she clutched tighter onto a thick, cracked up leather belt that her husband used to brutalize her with. She had been standing a mere few inches away from Presley as he spoke to his mother from a dusty, torn, mold-infested chair that was positioned in the darkest corner of the cottage’s living room.
Ms. Sillow simply wasn’t in the mood to speak to her daughter that evening, so she had concocted a story of her being falsely ill for Presley to present to his mother. Unfortunately for him, in his grandmother’s mind, he had failed at making the tale plausible. Moments after he got off of the phone, he paid the price for his debacle with an excruciating beating. Ms. Sillow lashed away at her grandson until she broke skin and drew blood.