The women in his life were afraid of him. He beat them and his wife was afraid she’d lose access to her three sons. She had runaway once but had come back for her children.
He also loved his children. The day she ran away, he made sure he had someone to help him take care of them. His mistress moved in. When she came back, it was on his terms. The mistress stayed.
The children lived their childhood. They ignored the pleading and other violent noises coming from the bedroom. They didn’t think twice about the “nanny”. They were young still.
But enough was enough. The wife and the mistress planned their liberation. They had to get him out of the house and they needed protection.
They went to the police and charged him with assault and battery. Next they came up with a plan to limit the trauma to the children.
The oldest boy would be off at Sunday school. They would take the two younger children out of the house, at which point the police would come to arrest him.
But things did not go according to plan. He woke up early. No one was home. In a panic, looking for his family, he went and got his son from Sunday school. They were walking quickly home when the police caught up to him. They cuffed him, put him in the back of the police car as his son looked on. The explanations that the mother had to give her son had just gotten more complicated.
One day, when I was nine going on ten, I got the answers to questions I wasn’t asking.