I grabbed the remote for the small TV sitting on the folding table in the corner. I turned it on and changed it from kids cartoons to channel five, which is the news channel. Those are the only two programs available on this TV, but, what can you really expect from a run down motel?
“Bailey Nicole Ross, age 17, is still missing. She’s 5 feet tall, 110 pounds. She has long brown hair and brown eyes with really fair skin. She’s been missing for a month now and was last seen in Denver, Colorado. No one has heard from her or seen her and if you see anyone fitting that description, please call the number on the bottom of your screen. In other breaking news…”
I turn the TV off and just lay in bed. I really wish they would stop looking for me. Nobody besides my mom knows why I left, everyone is just assuming things. If you asked her, she would act like she didn’t know, but she does. She doesn’t want to accept the fact that her high school “friend” would do something so messed up to her one and only kid.
It happened for two months straight. I told no one but my mother and she’s the prime example why I didn’t tell anyone else. As far as I knew, he’d had been molesting me. He could’ve been doing more, but I wouldn’t know because I’d basically pass out. Everyday he’d call me into the back room of my house and tell me to drink this tall glass of water, then ordered me to take my pants and underwear off. The room was cold, but it was always cold. The white walls didn’t seem white, everything felt off. The paintings on the wall looked hazy, blurry. The carpet looked red instead of tan and I knew the spare room of my house very well, but it never felt like it after I drank the water.
The first time I refused, he grabbed a kitchen knife and held it to my throat. Every other time after that, I angrily did as he commanded. I’m not going to go into detail because it’s highly disturbing, but everyday I live with the fact that he got away with it because my mother doesn’t believe me. She unbelievably harassed me about lying, so I left.
I don’t really want to be found, so I go out only when I need an everyday item. That includes food or showering items. Anything else I need, is brought to me. Well, I don’t need it but it’s become an addiction, so I guess I do. Yes, that’s correct. Addiction. I didn’t always have this issue, but the circumstances kind of flipped the situation. I basically started this when my mom said she didn’t believe me, but I did it to ease the pain. I take a few oxycodone and I’m good for the day.
My supply is completely gone, so I’ll have to call Pablo, my dealer. When I left my house, I drained my bank account so I have a reasonable amount of money left. I know Pablo from when we both actually went to school. He was a few grades ahead of me but was still held back, so really he wasn’t supposed to be in high school with me. He’s a whole foot taller than me. He has dark brown eyes and black hair. He’s mexican so he has light, soft skin. He’s always wearing designer clothes, shoes, belts, etc. He’s weirdly successful in the dealing business. He takes after his dad. He’s proud of it and claims he doesn’t want to do anything else with his life. His dad was never busted and he taught Pablo his ways. I call Pablo and he answers on the second ring.
“Hello?” he says.
“Hey Pablo, it’s Bailey. I need the usual buy, I’m low,” I said.
“Alright shorty. I gotcha. I got a few bottles too. You wanna mix it and have our own private party?” He asked.
“Uh, sure, why not,” I said.
“I’ll be there in 20,” He replied.
“Okay.” I replied and hung up.
If he’s gonna stay here for a little bit, I need to take a shower. I get in the shower and quickly wash my hair and body. I’m in, out, and dressed in 15 minutes. I take the last 5 minutes to make sure everything looks as decent as it can for a motel room. I grab my speaker and start my playlist. I turn it up slightly so I can still hear when he comes to the door. Right then he knocks and I open the door.
“Hey chica,” he said.
“Hey Pablo,” I responded. He handed me the oxy and he put the bottles on the small table in front of the TV. I took two more oxy on top of the three I took this morning. I wash it down with a chug of the new bottle of vodka he bought. I didn’t think anything about mixing the pills and alcohol. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I just don’t care. We turn the music up louder and have little conversations here and there. We sit on the couch drinking our own bottles and I’m starting to feel light headed and dizzy. I don’t feel good. I need to throw up, but nothing is coming out. I try to get up but I don’t feel like I can move. I try as hard as I can to move but I just can’t. The only way I can escape this is sleep. I’m drifting into a deep sleep.
I’m pretty sure I’m sleeping, but I’m not sure. I hear an ambulance and paramedics shouting. But who are they shouting at? At me? Or each other? I don’t know. I don’t hear anything any more. I’m in a deeper sleep, I hear nothing.
I wake up and this is a very unfamiliar place. It’s very bright and it’s kind of loud. I have something in my nose and it’s really uncomfortable. I have something in my arm and it hurts now that I think about it. I lift up my head and find that I have the oxygen tubes in my nose and an IV in my arm. Now I know what this place is. It’s the hospital, but how did I get here? What happened?
The doctor finally comes in and explains what happened. Someone reported loud music and the cops showed up to ask about the disturbance. Pablo and I were both found unconscious when the police entered the motel room and I barely had a pulse. We were both rushed to the hospital and he ended up being okay. He got released and went on his merry little way. But me on the other hand, oh boy. The police know my name, they know I’m missing. The doctor tells me they already notified my mom and she’s been here for hours. I guess I’ve been here for a while. The doctor goes to walk out and he suddenly turns and says he has one more thing to tell me.
“We ran tests on you while you were unconscious to see if you had taken anything that was life threatening, and you were just fine. The very first test we ran was a pregnancy test to see if us doing any other testing would hurt anything and-” he was saying.
I cut him off mid sentence and said, “There’s no way I’m pregnant,” and I started laughing.
“Actually, Bailey, you are. You came in and that was the first test we performed and you’re pregnant. You’re five weeks and the baby has a healthy heartbeat. On top of a pregnancy test, we did other test to see what was all in your system. There was oxycodone, alcohol, and temazepam. Are you prescribed the oxycodone and temazepam?” he asks.
“No,” I say. “What’s temazepam?”
“It’s sleeping medicine. It makes you fall asleep quickly. So you’re saying it’s not prescribed to you? Where did you get it?” he asks.
“I haven’t taken any,” I say, then it clicks. That’s what was in my glass of water! That’s why everything got blurry and dark so fast. That’s why I don’t remember anything. The doctor brings the policeman in the room to talk to me and I explain the sexual abuse and that was my reasoning for leaving home. He got on his walkie talkie and told another cop what happened and gave him the address. The cop told me when it comes time to be released, I can go home with my mom or I can go in handcuffs to a drug rehab for runaway teens and I told him I’d go home with my mom.
I get released 4 hours later and at this point it’s 11 a.m. My mom finally believes me after all of this. We were notified my abuser went to jail and we’d get paperwork on the court date and where it was going to take place. The police told me if I was to testify he’d get more time. At the least if I didn’t testify, he’d get some time because we have some proof that he had sex with a minor. I decide to testify and the next day I get a letter in the mail stating where everything would happen.
It’s Friday, three days after I got the letter. I go into court and explain my story to them. I’m assuming they all believe me because the jury takes not even a hour to decide the verdict. Hearing the jury say, “guilty” makes me so happy. I was believed. He got sentenced to thirty five years in prison without the possibility of an early release or parole, and he’s also going on the sex offender watch list. I walk out of court with justice and a piece of mind. We’re almost to the car and my mom asks me what I want to do with the baby. I give her the only logical answer I can give her.
“I’m gonna keep the baby, and raise it. I’m gonna raise it with love and compassion. My baby isn’t going to be raised any differently than anyone else.” I said. She looks at me like I’m kind of crazy. We get in the car and drive home in silence. I go sit in my room and start online shopping for baby essentials. I hear a knock at my bedroom door and I already know it’s my mother so I tell her to come in.
She walks in, not saying a word, and leans against the wall. She looks at me and says, “You’re stronger than you think Bails,” and she starts crying. I get up to hug her and say,
“Thanks Mom.” We stand there, hugging and crying. We’re rocking back and forth and she suddenly stops and looks at me.
“You’ll have me through your pregnancy, and to help whenever you need it. I’m so proud of you for staying so strong, even when I doubted you. I’m so sorry Bailey. From now on, you’ll always have me, you can always lean on me.” she tells me. Hearing that makes me happy. We continue to stand there and cry and the only thing I can think about is how my mother’s acceptance is the best gift I could ever ask for.