"So who's this new friend you've been hanging out with latley?" Mother asked as they ate dinner at the table.
"Probably some goon!" Her sister teased.
"Erica cut it out!" Mother warned while cutting her eyes at Erica.
She ignored her sister's comment, and for the first time she actually wanted to share information with her mother. She wanted her to know that she actually found a good friend.
"Well she actually lives around the corner." Jessica answered. "She's really smart, and we like alot of the same things!"
Jessica could barely contain her excitement as she continued telling her mother, about her new friend Stacey. She could tell her mother was genuinely happy for her, unlike her sister who continued to make sarcastic comments.
"Well I'm glad you met someone you like." Mother said while clearing the dishes off the table.
"Me too!" Jessica said helping her mother.
"I wanted to talk to you girls about something." Mother said.
Jessica sat back down at the table, and waited to hear what her mother had to say. She noted how her mother's demeanor had changed, and she knew it was something serious.
"Jessica your dad was recently released from prison...a-and he will be moving back here with us."
"What!" Erica screeched dropping her fork onto her plate.
Jessica's whole body stiffened, and knots began to form in her stomach as she began to imagine her father living with her.
"Erica calm down!" Mother demanded.
"No...I'm not going to calm down! Why does he have to come live here?" Erica asked visibly upset.
"Because he needs a place to stay." Mother answered.
"Then why doesn't he go stay with his family?" Erica asked.
"We are his family!" Mother yelled.
Erica shook her head in disguist, and left the kitchen. "I can't deal with this." She mumbled before leaving.
Jessica didn't know what to do or say, so she chose to sit there silently. She didn't want to be anywhere near her father, none the less living with him. She couldn't believe her mother would just allow him to stay in their home. Jessica honestly believed her father was a bad person, and never had good intentions so she couldn't understand her mother's decision.
"What do you think Jess?" Her mother asked.
She knew her mother was lonely, and that had to be the only reason she would allow her father to come back into her life. He had caused so much havoc, and pain for the whole family over the years.
"I don't know." Jessica said shrugging her shoulders.
"You know...your dad's really a great guy." Mother said. "He just has some issues from time to time, but no one is perfect."
Instead of responding Jessica just nodded her head. Her mother's statement actually made Jessica grimace.
She watched tears form in her mother's eyes, as she quickly wiped them away.
"He said things were going to be different this time." Mother said.
"Do you believe him?" Jessica managed to ask.
Before her mother could answer there was a bang at the front door. Jessica's heart felt like it had dropped in her stomach.
"Is that him?" Jessica asked in a meek tone.
Her mother nodded her head, and headed towards the front door. Jessica peeked her head around the kitchen wall to get a look at her father, whom she hadn't seen in a few years.
She watched her mother hug her father, and cringed when she saw them kiss.
"Where's my daughter?" Her father asked.
"In the kitchen." Her mother asked.
Jessica took off running out the back door. She didn't want to see her father, she didn't want to hug him, she didn't even want to look at him.
She ran directly to Stacey's house, and banged on her front door.
After a few moments her mother opened the door.
"Are you alright dear?" Her mother quizzed.
Jessica tried to catch her breath before answering.
"Y-yes Mrs. Wilson...is Stacey home?" Jessica asked still panting.
"Go on up...she's in her room." She said pointing towards the stairwell.
Jessica took her time climbing the steps, debating on what she was going to say to Stacey. She knew it wasn't right to come over uninvited, but she had nowhere else to go.
She lightly tapped on Stacey's door.
"Come in!" Stacey chimed.
Jessica opened the door, and entered Stacey's room. She loved being in her room, it had a cool retro style that Jessica enjoyed.
"Hey Jess!" Stacey said looking suprised.
"H-hey sorry to just drop by like this." Jessica said now feeling embarrassed that she hadn't called first.
"No it's cool what's up?" She asked while crossing her legs into indian style.
Jessica debated on whether or not to to tell stacey the truth. She hated talking to other people about her home life, but she felt she had to.
"My dad's home." Jessica blurted out.
"Okay...and what's wrong with that?" Stacey asked appearing to be confused.
Jessica slid down to the floor, and sat with her back pressed against the wall.
"Everything's wrong with that." Jessica said after letting out a long sigh. "My dad's not like your dad Stacey."
"Well what's wrong with him?" She asked.
"Well for starters he just got out of jail." Jessica informed her. "And my mother thought it would be a good idea for him to live with us!"
"Why was he in jail in the first place?" Stacey asked.
Jessica could see the look of concern written all over stacey's face. Jessica wondered was that concern she was detecting or judgement.
"Drugs." Jessica answered. "My dad is a bad person. He's done some things that I will never forgive him for."
"Like what?" Stacey asked.
Jessica leaned her head back against the wall, and closed her eyes for a moment. She badly wanted to tell Stacey just how evil her father was, but it was like ripping a bandage off a wound.
"H-he gave me to a man for drugs." Jessica said with her eyes still closed. Her bottom lip began to tremble, and she knew tears would be falling soon.
"What do you mean he gave you to a man?" Stacey asked.
Jessica tried to compose herself as she recalled memories from her childhood. She didn't have blissful memories as other children did...she had horror stories.
"My dad was a full blown heroine addict." Jessica explained. "He would do anything to get his next fix. So he was home watching me while my mother worked overnight. He took me out of my bed, and gave me to a grown man who-Jessica had to cut herself off in order to compose herself. Warm tears began to stream down her face, and she didn't bother to wipe them away.
Stacey who was once sitting on her bed was now sitting next to Jessica with her arm wrapped around Jessica's shoulder.
"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." Stacey said while wiping Jessica's tears away.
"No I'm okay." Jessica insisted. She took a few deep breaths before continuing. "He let the man rape his nine year old daughter so he could get a fix!"
"What did your mom do when she came home, did you tell her?"
"Yes...and I expected her to protect me." Jessica answered. "She and my dad got into a big fight, and she took me and my sister to live with my grandmother for a couple of weeks. But then she decided to forgive him, because she said God teaches forgiveness. So we went back."
"My God!" Stacey practically screamed with tears now running out of her eyes. "And now she actually let your father move back into your house?"
Jessica was no longer able to speak, so she nodded her head. She felt weak, and had no energy. She layed her head in Stacey's lap, and closed her eyes.
"I don't want to go back there." She mumbled.