100 Days Project

Anita/Fern: Now and Then

Some days I look at my husband, our three children, our cat, and our home, blink, and think "How did I get here?"
I find myself constantly wondering how my life's events led me to this exact moment in time. How did I become the person I am today?
In an effort to figure that out, I am going to spend 100 days reflecting on the way things are now, and the way things used to be.
Every day I will take note of a single moment or event as it occurs, and will use it to remind myself of a moment or event from my past. I will then write about both my "Now"s and my "Then"s as openly and honestly as I possibly can, in an effort to give myself and others a little insight into both the person I am, and the person I once was. Are we really one in the same?

We’re on our way back from the garden shop and we’re stuck in traffic. All five of us are in the van. The front is for the adults. The back is filled with children and nature. I still can’t believe how many children I have. Three feels like a lot. Three is a lot. Briar starts complaining from her booster seat that she is bored and she wants to be at home so she can have some more food. I feel exactly the same way. I point out that I can’t do anything to get us home any quicker, that we just have to wait. She is clearly disappointed.

We miss the next round of green lights. There are roadworks just past the intersection and it’s slowing everybody down. I sigh when I realize that two lanes are being forced to merge into one. No wonder it’s taking so long. I rest my elbow on the steering wheel, and cup my chin in my hand. I may as well get myself comfortable. I look over at Frans; his feet are resting on the dashboard. I guess he decided to get comfortable too.

I look out the windscreen and watch the men working on the road. All their machinery has big orange flashing lights on the top, and I am hypnotized by them. When I try to look away the blinking still catches my eye; there is no escaping.

I hear a siren in the distance. I never can figure out what type of emergency is in progress by the sound of the siren; they all sound the same to me. I check the rear view mirror in the hopes of finding out, but I can’t see anything other than a line of regular cars. I look left and right, but there’s still no sign of the wailing vehicle. I give up, and resume staring blankly ahead. As I watch the flashing lights and listen to the distant siren, I remember…

We’re surrounded. There are four, or five, or maybe even six cop cars, and they’ve really boxed us in. I’ve never seen so many cops in one place. Red and blue lights cut through the darkness as the cops descend on us. I’m sitting in the back seat and there is a torch shining right in my eyes. I stare into it, trying to see past it, trying to figure out what’s going on. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I feel like a caged animal. I am petrified.

They wrench open the doors, start asking questions. Who are we, what are we doing, why were we driving all over the road like that? Karl is a fucking paranoid idiot. He saw someone following us and started swerving in and out of lanes in an effort to test them. Then he started driving faster. I knew something bad was going to happen, but I was too scared to say anything. I sit silently in the back. I feel like I’m having a heart attack. I think about the glass pipe hidden in my bag.

The cops are going through the car now. They begin taking out the bags and purses that they think look suspicious. They are searching hungrily, and I know they’re not going to stop. They’re going to find it all.

Suddenly Brad starts yelling and fighting. The cops call out to each other and they all jump on him. Brad is holding his hands around the back of the passenger seat, and I see that he’s nursing a huge bag of white crystals. He’s really screaming. I don’t know what’s going on. Someone grabs me and pulls me out of the car. They yell at me to get down on the ground, and I drop. I fall to my stomach and I close my eyes and I pray. I know that this is the end.

Day 16:

Flashing lights

By some miracle I walked away without a criminal conviction. It was a huge wake-up call. The next day I cut Karl out of my life for good.