My mother has always been very secretive about her past.
My father has always told us not to take offense if mom chooses not to answer any questions we have about her family, or her past before she met Dad.
It's like everything that happened before she was 18 is gone, and the woman she is now was born the day she met my father.
As a child, I would pester my mom about my grandparents, what she was like as a little girl, basically anything I could think of.
Sometimes she would answer, but always in general terms that would answer the question but never give any insight further. As I got older, I asked my father why mom was so cagey about her past.
I was older now, and was beginning to see there was a darkness there and I wanted to know what it was. My father said nothing until one day, when he told me we were going for ice cream.
I was maybe 15 by this time and knew something was up immediately.
He started by telling me that my mother had sworn him to secrecy and that I was NEVER to repeat what I was to hear. I swore. My mother is the younger of two sisters.
My aunt was committed to a psychiatric hospital since she was my age.
She had shown signs of mental illness all her life till she snapped and killed my grandparents, and tried to kill my mother by setting the house on fire.
My mother had gone to a slumber party and had not been in the house that night,
and my aunt had been convicted but because she was clearly insane she was locked away in a hospital instead of a jail.
I didn't ask for more details than that, already feeling like I knew too much.
My father had a stroke a few days ago and has been in the hospital. Mom refuses to leave his side so when she walked into the house, I was surprised.
I hugged her, and started asking questions about Dad. She was acting very strange but I chalked it up to stress.
I could hear her walking around the house saying how lovely everything was and that caught my attention.
I ask her if she's hungry, and before she can answer, the phone rings. I ignore it, and go back but it rings again...and again...and again.
It's different numbers I don't recognize so I don't answer. When it rings a fifth time I turn off the ringer and go back to my mother who has disappeared into her bedroom.
She doesn't answer when I call her so I figure she's sleeping and check my phone. I have a voice mail. It's my mother screaming to get out of the house.
My aunt has escaped and is probably heading to the house as we speak...
"She's already here.." I whisper before a hand takes the phone and turns it off.