The next couple of days went by without any issues. Skylar had emailed me about meeting in person and I was scheduled to meet with her and Aubree Sunday afternoon. Tina had agreed to watch Hunter all day Sunday as long as I would watch her girls one-day next week. She apparently had a date with the man I had seen her talking with at the school.
Currently I was lounging around on a Friday morning. Work went well last night manly because the boss wasn’t there. So my meeting had been rescheduled to tomorrow. I was so excited to meet with the sexiest pig. The way he would watch me during my shifts always makes me uncomfortable. I was also tired of having to tell him no to jumping on stage.
He never takes my no very well. Usually after he threatens to cut my hours unless I agree to dance. Every week nothing changes, but I have this nagging feeling eventually he is going to follow through with his threat. Currently the only reason he hasn’t is because many of the big spending regulars enjoy me behind the bar.
I was resting my eyes when my phone started ringing, but became instantly awake when I saw Kim from child protective services was calling me. “Hello,” I say.
“Kinsley I feel like such an idiot,” she says in a rush and putting me on high alert. “I got my Fridays confused. They meant this Friday not next Friday. How soon can you get here?”
Glancing down at my apparel and realizing no way can I go into court dressed in a holy t-shirt and short shorts. “I could be there in forty five minutes all depends on traffic.”
“Well then get off the phone and hurry.” She hangs up the phone and I make a mad dash to my bedroom.
Flipping through the closet and trying to find something to wear was easier said than done. I had planned on going to the thrift store this week to find something more presentable to wear, but that option was no longer available to me.
Each choice left me more and more discouraged. Finally, I was able to settle on a black skirt and a white button up shirt, but when I put the skirt on I realized how short it was. Even with tugging the clothing wouldn’t move, but this was the best I could do on short notice.
My old clunker helps me fight my way through the afternoon traffic. Luck must be on my side at least a little because I have no issues finding a parking spot nor any difficulty getting passed security. The only issue was locating Kim since I had no idea which court room she was in.
Thankfully a bailiff took pity on me and showed me a sign with all the court names listed and which room to go to. I was heading in the direction of the court room when I spotted a relieved Kim. She was putting her phone away when she reached me.
“Thank goodness you are here,” she states grabbing my arm. “I was just trying to call you and getting worried when you weren’t answering.”
“I’m not allowed a cell phone inside the court house,” I remind her.
“Of course. Of course,” she says all flustered. “You’re up next.”
We are sitting on a bench outside the court house waiting to be called in. My nerves were starting to get the best of me because everything was coming down to this one day. Then I hear a voice from down the hall I had wished to never hear again.
“Kinsley,” my mother shouts earning glares from the people around. “Mind your fucking business,” she snaps at them.
My mother would have been a beautiful woman if she didn’t do drugs. Her skin was sunken in and she was so frail looking a gust of wind could knock her over. Her dirty lifeless auburn hair was falling down to her shoulders. Then green eyes we share which are bright on me were dull on her.
The dress she was wearing was so skin tight I couldn’t figure out how she was about to move. Her entire appearance screamed hooker. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had just gotten done working the corner.
What I couldn’t figure out was why the hell she was here. Maybe she had been arrested for prostitution again. Wonder what she promised the judge this time. Last time they had disappeared into his chambers for about thirty minutes.
“Pam,” I say darkly standing and facing her. “What are you doing here?” I clench my fists at my side figuring punching her in a court house would not end well for me.
“I’m your mother,” she scolds rolling her eyes. Mother of the year award would in no way end up in your grubby hands. “You need to knock this shit off calling me Pam. To you I’m mom or mother.”
“Pam,” I repeat emphasizing her name. “Why are you here? Get in more trouble.”
“How dare you talk to me in such a way. Do you need another lesson in how to talk to me? If I recall last time you weren’t able to go to school for a week.” An evilness enters her eyes followed by joy. The thought of beating me makes her happy. Another reason I want to keep Hunter the hell away from her.
She steps to the side and I notice the man standing behind her. He eyes me up and down to the point I feel dirty and wish I could hide myself from his seedy gaze. Next he runs his tongue over his lips and has the audacity to wink at me.
“Friend of yours,” I ask her ignoring her comments eyeing the man with disdain. He has dirty blonde hair which was in desperate need of a shower and blue eyes. The darkness in his eyes caused shivers to run up and down my spine.
Pam links her arms with his. “This is my new boyfriend and your future father. So you better show some respect.”
“Yeah daughter show some respect.” The way he says the word daughter tells me he sees me as anything, but a daughter. The sooner I can get away from these two the better for me. Their presence was already waning on my unsteady nerves.
Kim eyes the two of them and turn her questioning eyes on me. “They are no one of importance.” I nod my head towards Pam. “She’s simply the women who gave birth to me and him never seen him before. And I hope after this I never see them again.” I say the last part more to myself. Kim hearing who she is eyes her with disgust.
“I can see why you don’t want Hunter to have anything to do with her,” she says for only my ears. I nod my head and bite my tongue, not wanting to get myself in trouble.
“The judge is ready,” the bailiff comes out and gets us.
I follow in behind Kim and what has my hair standing straight up is the fact Kim and her boyfriend following behind us. What is going on? Kim has me take a seat behind her and tells me she will call me up when it’s my turn to speak. The egg donor and company take a seat behind me. I sit up straighter in my seat.
The judge sends my mother a wink and she waves at him. I narrow my eyes trying to place where I have seen this man before. Then I remember he was the judge she had disappeared with before. Her new boyfriend sits back in his chair with a cocky smile. The judge licks his lips and lust alight his eyes. In no way can any of this be good.
Kim jumps into her case explaining the reason we are here and how she is recommending me for custody of Hunter. The judge seems to not be listening to much of what she is saying.
I’m called forward to speak and explain how Hunter has been living with me since he was born and removing him from my custody would have a negative impact on his mental health.
The judge speaks and causes my blood to turn to ice. “It is my understanding a Pam Kelly is also petitioning for full custody.” No. I turn around to glare at her. Why they fuck would she want Hunter? “I was also informed the deceased Miss. Kelly had taken out a fifty-thousand-dollar life insurance policy that had Hunter Kelly listed at the beneficiary. Since Hunter is underage the money is to be left to his care giver to spend as they see fit for his care.”
Ladies and gentleman we now have the reason for why Pam wants him. She has not suddenly gained a conscious or motherly instincts. All she is seeing is the dollar signs.
“That’s correct sir,” Kim states. “But like I said…”
The judge cuts her off. “I’ve heard what you said, but you have also left out a few points. One being Miss. Kelly’s current employment at a strip club.”
“She’s a bartender there not a stripper,” Kim says defending me. “Miss. Kelly is also looking for new employment.”
“I actually have an interview with someone to work at a non for profit in Nashville.”
“Nashville,” Pam sobs. “You are going to drag my baby all the way to Nashville? He’s all that I have left of Emma.” My mother knows how to lay the lies on thick.
“I bet you couldn’t even pick you baby out of a group of kids since you’ve never met him,” I seethe no longer able to bite my tongue.
“Only because you and Emma kept him from me,” she argues stomping her foot like a child. “Judge Mathews,” she flirts. “please don’t allow her to do this. Plus is he is with me he will have a more stable environment and a dad he can look up to.”
The judge nods his head in agreement. This cannot be happing right now. Out of all the judges why did we have to end up in his court room. I’m pretty sure Pam sucked his dick to get what she wants and with the amount of money on the line I’m sure her boyfriend was more than okay with all of this.
“Sir this women based on her appearance is in no way fit to raise this child,” Kim jumps in. “I’m sure if we did a drug test we would find several in her system. Not to mention I haven’t interviewed her. This is the first I’ve ever met the women.”
“Silence. Last I checked this is my court room and I have final say. I strongly believe the child would be better off in Ms. Kelly’s custody.” The judge says.
I’m going to lose Hunter and to her of all people. I shuffle through my brain for something that can help me out of this situation, but keep coming up blank. If only Emma had a will with me listed at Hunter’s guardian or had disclosed to me who the father was. We would not be standing here right now. At least as long as the guy wasn’t a piece of shit. I don’t blame him for not being in Hunter’s life especially since he has no clue Hunter exists.
Kim is desperately shuffling through her piles of paper. “Hunter’s dad might be our only hope,” I whisper to her.
“But you said you didn’t know who he was. How can he help?”
“Didn’t you say the judge might force us to show proof of trying to locate him? Would buy us some time and maybe we could even get a different judge. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pam is sleeping with this one.” Kim nods her head in agreement.
“I have an idea,” she tells me. “Judge Mathews before you give your final say time should be allowed to locate Hunter’s biological father.”
“I thought the father was in no way in the picture and his name isn’t listed on the birth certificate.”
“You are correct sir,” she agrees. “But Kinsley shared with me prior to entering the court room she has a lead on who he may be. I would hate for you to a set ruling only to have the ruling over thrown when the father is located. What’s another month or so of waiting.”
The judge’s eyes flicker to Pam for a moment. He’s between a rock and a hard place. “If he was going to be found wouldn’t he be here. She is only doing this so she can get the money and have it all spent.”
My head jerks in her direction. Why am I not surprised all she cares about is the money? Fuck the money. She can fucking have it all if I can get Hunter. “I can understand your worry Ms. Kelly, but Mrs. Lowell is also correct all attempt to locate the father needs to be documented and only after can Hunter be placed elsewhere.”
I let out the breath I was holding and Kim give me a thumbs up from under the table. “Thank you sir,” she says.
“I will set the hearing two weeks from now and the father either needs to be here or I will give custody of Hunter Kelly to Pam Kelly.”
Pam goes to say something, but one look from the judge has her shutting her mouth and leaving the court room in a huff. Kim and I leave at a much slower pace.
“Don’t lose hope dear,” she reassures me patting my hand. “I’m going to keep searching for a loop hole and I recommend you try to find some way to locate this gentleman.”
We part ways. How the hell am I to locate a mystery man? What else can go wrong?