It’s around nine a.m when Vania and Ana come into my room, I have been awake since that phone call a few hours earlier. Sophia and I had talked for awhile and then I had tried to go back to sleep. Somehow Jacob managed to sleep through it all.
At times I thought my husband could sleep through just about anything.
“Mom we’re still going aren’t we?” Vania asked, I looked at my two oldest and knew I could not deny them this. I was a little tired, but I needed this time with my girls.
“We’re going.” I said. “Just give me time to get ready. We’ll make a day of it.”
“Cool Mom.” Ana said.
I was going to be glad to spend this time with my daughters. Maybe for a few hours things could be at least seemingly normal.
“We’ll let you get ready.” Vania said, as she and Ana walked out the door.
“Are you sure you can handle Jasmine, and Ahab?” I asked Jacob. A silly question I knew, they were his kids too, but I didn’t want to overwhelm my husband.
“What a silly question.” Jacob said. “You, Vania and Ana go, you need this time.”
“Thank you Jacob. If anything comes up I will have my cell.”
“I will but every things going to be okay.”
I really wished I could believe that, really wished I was as sure as my husband.
As I drove the country road my cell phone rang and Vania answered. I heard her part of the conversation and knew it was the Captain calling me again.
“Hi Captain, we’re fine, but Mom’s driving, she can’t talk right now.”
“Sure I will give her the message.”
“Yes thank you, I pray we catch him soon too, if anyone can do it Mom and Dad can.”
“Thank you Captain, funny you should say that I have made a decision to go to the academy in a couple of years ago.”
“I appreciate that, if I am half as good as my Mom and Dad I am sure I will do fine.”
Vania hung up the phone and relayed the message.
Ana looked over at us confused.
It was time we told Ana.
My daughter deserved to know what we were doing.
“Ana we’re not really running from your Grandfather, we are trying to bait him.” I explained.
Ana’s face turned ghost white.
I never told them what he did.
If I did he would kill me.
He already tried to poison me, it’s only by the Grace of God that I am alive.
That stroke resulting from the poisoning took a lot from me, but not everything.
I wonder if he hurt Vania too.
We all know Grandfather is a monster, but I couldn’t tell them this.
He didn’t get a chance to hurt Jasmine and Ahab the way he did me. He hurt Jasmine, but not in that way.
My Grandfather wanted me dead, I had no doubt he would kill me If he saw me again. He would kill all of us.
“I shouldn’t do this.” I said. “I’m hurting my girls.”
“No Mom.” Ana said. “Capture him, make him pay for all he has done.”
What has he done Ana? What did my Father do to my little girl?
My stomach churned thinking of all the possibilities.
“Are you sure Ana?”
“Yes, please capture him, stop him from hurting anyone else.”
“It’s not going to be easy.” I warned Ana.
“The things that matter never really are.” My daughter said sounding wiser than her sixteen years.
Lord get Ana through this, get us all through this.
“Mom we’re going to catch him, he’s going to slip up.” Vania said, sounding more sure than I felt. My daughter was such an encourager.
“Thank you Vania.”
I remembered a blessing Mother used to repeat to us in Russian.
Май его рука отдых включенный сокр
May his hand rest upon you.
Those words came from a different time when I believed my Mother cared. Before I knew all of the secrets, all of the lies.
“Mom please don’t give up. I didn’t mean to get upset, I was just remembering something.”
“I know Ana, what is it you were remembering?”
I wore my hair in ribbons, Mom had worked hard to get it that way. We were supposed to go to church together, Grandma, Grandpa and I. I wanted this time with Grandma and Grandpa, we always did fun things, but something was different this time.
Grandpa took me down to his workshop.
I saw things down there, Grandpa said they were all part of what he did.
Pictures of people hurt, dead, men, women and children.
I was scared.
Grandpa tells me if I don’t do what he says I could be like someone in the pictures.
I don’t want Grandpa to hurt me.
What happened to the nice Grandpa, who used to bring me bubble gum and baby dolls?
“Ana I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Mom it’s going to hurt me more if we don’t catch him. If someone else gets hurt or worse, I will feel worse guilt.”
I had wanted this day to be different, we were supposed to be enjoying this time together. Ana, Vania and I were supposed to be putting this stuff behind us.
“Vania, Ana, I promise to do my best, but let’s enjoy ourselves today.” I said as we pulled into a little Italian restraint.
“Do you think we can go to Target, and maybe the bookstore?” Ana asked.
“I think we can, it will be time for just us. We don’t get to do things just the three of us very often.”
Vania got my chair out of the backseat, and set it up, so I could transfer myself, and soon we were on our way. For a short time we would be able to push my Father out of our heads, and just enjoy our Mother and daughter time. I had to cherish these moments, Vania and Ana would soon be grown.