Vince pulled into the lot behind the shop but didn't get out of the truck. The rain slid down the windshield past the wipers stopped mid-swipe. He was tired. Not go-lie-down-and-take-a-nap tired, the kind of tired that overtakes a person who feels over-extended and out of his league. He had no idea how it ended up this way - him raising a 16 year old girl on his own. Even though it was the right thing to do there were days that he couldn't escape feeling like he had made a big mistake. Becky was a good kid, but everything else about the situation felt bad. Real bad.
Caterina had always had problems. He remembered when they had moved away - she was in seventh grade, he was in fifth. He caught her early one morning filling a lip gloss container with rum. That was how she did it - how she kept it hidden. She popped out the little plastic ball and filled the glass vial with rum. Or vodka. or whatever she thought she could get away with that day. He wanted to tell his mom. Damn it! What if he had? What if she had gotten help then? She begged him. Cried.
"Please don't tell Vinnie! Remember how you took that cookie last week? Remember? I didn't tell on you. We have to stick together..."
He never told - he just tried to avoid her as much as he could so he wouldn't have to make that decision again. He remembered her being escorted home with the police on more than one occasion, then there was the time she nearly had alcohol poisoning and his parents made him put on a coat at 2:00 am to go to the hospital with them. After that they sent her away to a rehab program for girls. She ran away regularly, more jail time... in the end, there was no money for him to go to college. He joined the army instead. He liked the structure and being in top shape - they trained him in electronics and eventually he coordinated construction planning and advised on electrical construction of buildings used to house satellite tracking equipment for the Gulf War.
He was accomplished - would have stayed with the army if not for his sister's letter to him. "I need your help, Vinnie. I had a baby a few years ago and I gave her up. I miss her awful and I am not allowed to see her because I am not perfect. He won't let me see her Vin. I need your help." she wrote. Instead of reenlisting, he came home determined to help reunite his sister with her daughter. That's what she needed - he had reasoned. Someone beside herself to be responsible for. He had no idea how wrong he was until he showed up on Garrett's doorstep.
windows and mirrors
2 days ago