In her junior year, Rosie was falling behind. She needed an elective which meant attending the campus for an additional day, Wednesday. Mom didn’t want to do that. Dad took up the slack. This meant that he drove 100 miles round trip to pick up Rosie from school and take her home. Rosie loved it because it gave her more time with Dad. She visited Dad on the weekends unless Mom came up with an excuse why she couldn’t. All went well until October. The Rule was that Rosie had to be home by 8pm so Mom could go to sleep for work in the morning. On this night, the Daddy/Daughter thing was to find a Halloween Store. Rosie had a specific one in mind and got us lost. Promptly at eight o’clock I got a text from Mom.
‘WHERE ARE YOU???????”

“Keep your pants on, we’ll be there in five minutes.”

I dropped Rosie off at 8:10PM. I usually waiting there for a few minutes before heading home, but I was exhausted and had to get home for sleep and work too. So I left.

Life was not good for Rosie in Mom’s house. She had threatened suicide twice. We had set up a rescue plan if she ever felt unsafe to be there. She would call or text me with the word “LONDON” somewhere in the conversation. That was code for “Come and get me”. If I was 50 miles away and had a group of trusted friends that would pick her up and keep her safe until I got there. Many were Rosie didn’t know so if a stranger came to the door and used the word LONDON. She would walk out the door and go with them, no questions asked.

I was almost out of the city when she texted me, “COME BACK”.

I did a Bat Turn on the freeway and headed back. I also dialed 911 and told them there was a domestic dispute at the house. They wanted to know who was involved. I said, “Mother and teenage daughter” and I was going to get Rosie. They told me to stay in my car until the officer arrived. When I pulled up, Mom and Rosie were in the front yard arguing. Mom at the front door and Rosie standing in the yard surrounded by full trash bags. Her stuff.

I dialed 911 again.
“They’re in the front yard now.”
“Are they violent?”
“No just yelling.”
“Is there a weapon present?”
“Mom has a pistol, but she doesn’t have it in her hand.”
“Stay in the car. Officers are responding. I’ll stay on the line. Do not hang up.”
At this point Mom noticed me and came storming over to the passenger side. The window was open.

I looked at my GPS screen displaying:
I wondered if Mom could see it. The 911 spoke,
“Officers will be there immediately.”

Mom pissed her pants. I know that because she said she had to change her pants and of course I could see it. She fled into the house. Rosie started to drag her stuff to the car and I told her not yet. The officers had to be there first. Mom came back out in new pants and brought a lawn chair where she sat down. A silent stand off occurred. Mom at the door, Rosie in the yard and me in the car.

The Police arrive.
I stick both my hands out of the car and the officer approaches me.
“Who are you?”
“I’m the Dad”.
“Stay in the car.”
He went up to talk to them and his back up arrived. He got me out of the car and I filled him in with what was going down. I felt that Rosie’s life was in danger. When he walked up, Mom was doing her best “June Cleaver” impersonation.

“What can I do for you, officer?”
“I’m here to arrest somebody”, said the second cop.

Mom pisses her pants for a second time and excuses herself.

Second Cop, “Don’t go anywhere”.

Mom sits back down and her wife brings her a Big Gulp of coffee. One cop takes Mom and one cop takes Rosie and get their sides of the story. I hadn’t felt so helpless since Rosie learned to ride a bike. I couldn’t help her at all and all I could was watch. I heard her side of the story and was proud and shocked. When she got home, Mom erupted. After smacking Rosie around and telling her that she won’t be going to school on Wednesdays anymore, mom and wife settled down to watch tv. Rosie wasn’t allowed in the Livingroom, ever. So Rosie started putting her stuff in trash bags. She had planned this. She knew she would be ignored so she texted me and started putting her stuff in the yard. Mom noticed as Rosie took out the last bag. That’s when I rolled up.

The cops came to me with their decision. This was a civil matter. Rosie would stay at home and I was to go home. I told them that was unacceptable. We would all leave and Rosie would go inside and when you were called back it wouldn’t be a civil matter. It would be criminal, and Rosie would be dead. The cops huddled. First cop tells Rosie to start loading her shit. Second cop informs Mom that he has enough to arrest her or she could let Rosie go with her father.

In her Senior year, Rosie attended Ashley Ridge High School in South Carolina. She said she wanted to go to college in South Carolina and be closer to her older brother and as far away from her mother as possible. We moved to SC to support her decision. She got therapy at Ashley Ridge and thrived. Rosie scored so many scholarships that she  got a Free Ride to College. Her major is Graphic Arts with a minor in Business. She already sells her artwork.