Not As It Seems

Jenny Sweethouse currently moved from Lawton, Oklahoma, and enrolled in a middle school. But when a boy supposing to be her mentor starts unraveling more secrets about herself, she is starting to have second thoughts about her new home...


7. Out of town, part 1

 "Hey, Grandma," I said to her when I walked into the house.

 "Jennifer, please, I need your help," Grandma said nervously.
​"What's wrong, Grandma?" I asked warily, setting my book bag down. "where's Delores? She's usually here to watch you cook, or something."
​"That's what I need to talk to you about, Jennifer," Grandma whispered. She took my hand.
"Grandma, what's wrong?"
"Jennifer, Peter came by this morning and took Delores without warning. He's took her to Oregon with him."
​"What?!" I screamed. "dad has no right to take Delores. Does mom know about this?"
​"Honey, you know I can't talk to your mom," Grandma said. "and plus, what could she do? When Peter wants something, there's no stopping him."
​"Call the police!" I screamed again. "dad can't hurt Delores. She's only five."
​"Jennifer, I can't do that either," Grandma whined. "Peter is Delores's father. He could take you if he wanted to. He has his rights."
​"No he doesn't!" My voice was getting raspy from screaming too much. "Do you know how many times dad has went to jail? He has to at least go through with his parole officer about this first!"
​"Dad does what he wants, Jennifer," Grandma said.
​"No! Dad is your son, Willis, and you can't let your own flesh and blood just boss you around!" I started to stomp upstairs.
"Where are you going, Jennifer?"
​"To do something about... all this!"
​ Once I reached my guest room, I grabbed my Samsung from my book bag and called dad.
​"Dad!" I was so relieved to hear his voice after several years, but I was... what's a strong word for hate, abhorrence of him?
​"Hey, my princess Jennifer!" Dad yelled, and suddenly I felt sorry for hating him. But then I turned back to my revengeance. He deserved to suffer the words of his favorite daughter.
​"What have you done with Delores?!" I yelled into the phone.
​"Delores is here, safe with me. No need to worry, Princess," Dad said solemnly.
​I didn't care how much I was about to hurt his feelings. "Don't call me princess," I whispered loud enough for him to hear. "you deserve to suffer. How could you take her away like that? You deserve to suffer If you have no reason."
​"I do, Jennifer. I have a big one."
​"Well, you better explain fast, or I'll call the police," I muttered.
​"Your Grandma is facing child abuse on Delores," Dad said in a shaky voice.
"What?" I breathed.
​"Today, I went to go visit you guys because I haven't seen you in, what, 10 years?" The big ruffle of a jacket made it sound like he was shrugging his shoulders. "Delores was wearing a miniskirt, and I saw a mark. A huge swollen mark on her left leg."
​"How do you know it wasn't a second degree burn, or something?"
​"I know because my mother gave me one of those when I was younger."
​"Couldn't a child have gave her that bruise, or something?"
​"Really?" Dad said in a serious tone. "Only a strong adult could make such a mark."
"A teacher from school?"
​"Really?" He said again. "Come on, Jennifer, be for real."
"Did Delores say Grandma did it?"
​"When I asked her how did she get this mark, she pointed to Grandma. I asked her a second time, and she pointed to Grandma. Again. No matter how much I asked her, she pointed to Grandma. So, I yelled at Grandma and strolled Delores out of there."
"Well, how do you know it was Grandma?" I yelled. "How do you know that wasn't her own way of saying that there was a teacher at school named Miss Grandma? I mean, the girl barely talks. She must've been using some... kiddie language, or something, or... " I know this wouldn't be true, but I had to find some explanation, and so far, I was running out of some. I mean, Grandma was just some innocent old lady. She wouldn't hurt anybody, especially us... would she?
​"Listen, Jennifer, you have to get out of that house, I mean have​ to. It's not safe there."
​I folded my arms and sighed. "How am I supposed to know that this isn't some kind of trick, or something?" I said. "I mean, you're a man who went to jail more than 10 times!"
​"Jennifer, please. I wanna save your life! So please, just listen to me and come. Stay. I am getting damn scared."
​I hesitated, then sighed again. "Where are you?" I said.
​"In Oregon," He breathed. "I'm at where your mother used to live, always will be. Please come in no hesitation."
​"I'll be there," I sighed. Then I hung up.
​Great, another trip to another state. 


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