I was sitting in class one day when I was called to the school office. Hot fear ran through my body. I thought I must be getting in trouble, which meant there would be a note sent home, which would mean I'd have to face Auntie Elizabeth. My auntie wasn't someone you wanted to upset. The entire way to the office I thought of every possible thing I might be in trouble for, and how I could get out of it. When I got there my palms were sweating. The principal was waiting for me.
She asked me to have a seat. I sat. "Honey, there are some people here that are saying that you are a runaway. Your mother is here with her lawyer and a detective." I couldn't process what she said. At first I was flooded with adrenalin and looked around me frantically for an escape, then I realized there was no way my mother had a lawyer. It must be a mistake!..wrong girl. Thank God! I thought. I shook my head no and told her that I lived with my auntie and uncle and my dad was dead.
She pursed her lips together and gave me a questioning look. I was afraid that if she didn't believe me she might take me away and put me in some kind of foster care. I started talking fast. "My mom does drugs, my auntie and uncle are taking care of me. I'm their niece... my dad is from here, but he died..... and now I live here too... and my mom doesn't care."- Then there was a loud Bang Bang Bang on her door. "Police, open the door!" My principal went immediately and unlocked the door, and as soon as she clicked over the lock the door flung open. It was Bill.
I screamed, "That's not a police man! That's not a police man!" Then the principal jumped in between me and Bill and pushed him toward the door way. She got him out of the room and then tried to shut the door, but he prevented her by shoving his body weight on her. People were yelling on the other side of the door and Bill finally backed off and the door was shut. As soon as the door closed I sat down... because I felt like my legs might fall out from under me. He found me...
The real cops were called and after speaking with my uncle who assured me I was coming home, I was taken to the police department. I sat at the police department for hours. Something wasn't right. Where was my auntie and uncle? I finally got the courage to ask what was happening when my mother walked in. She looked smug. I couldn't believe my eyes.
My shock was soon replaced with outrage. "What are you doing?! Leave me alone!" She tried to put her arms around. She put her hand over her heart when I backed away from her. She looked at the officers around her making sure they were appreciating all the concerned looks she was faking. "I'm your mom, you are coming home." I backed father away and started crying.
My aunt and uncle didn't legally adopt me. We all had the same last name and getting me enrolled in school wasn't a problem. On the reservation there is no law saying I belong to anyone, but in the city and at my school I legally belonged to my mother. I called my aunt and uncle and after another hour of conversations between the police and my mother I was loaded into the back of a police car. My mother was going to allow me to get my things and say good bye to everyone.
The police had no jurisdiction on our land so my aunt, uncle and cousins met me at the reservation border. When we pulled up everyone was out of the car holding balloons and presents. It was my birthday. My aunt was holding a plate with a piece of foil over it. I broke free of my mother's hold and ran to her. She gave me a hug and said, "Happy birthday..." She looked down and shook her head in what looked like defeat. "I packed up some of your cake for you...here take it." Then she started to cry. She's going to let them take me.... NO! I ran to my uncle, "Please! Don't make me go.. Please!" I'll be good. I'm sorry... I'm sorry! Please... " My body racked up and down with my sobs.