“Mr Sean O’Conner, Miss Deborah Teneka would see you now”’ A pretty brunet who was the secretary to the building he just entered addressed him.
“Thank you… Miss?’’ Sean raises an eyebrow, she was fine, too fine in fact and she was smiling at him and he knew those smiles well.
“It’s Lisa”’ She says
“Lisa, nice name” He says smiling back and following her through the door she ushered him to.. before she lets him pass she lips a card into his suit pocket
“I get off by 6pm, call me anytime” she breaths into his ears, Sean smiles
Yes, women loved him and he kinda loved them back. But there was Tasha Williams, his girlfriend and soon to be fiance, soon to be wife, that’s if she stops being childish, expensive and unreasonable.
He sighs “Sure, I will” he taps her hands and then turns away from her as she knocks on the door and tells him to go in
“Mr Sean, I am Deborah Tenaka, how may I help you?” A woman wearing glasses stood up and stretches out her hands towards Sean as he walks into the room going towards her desk and taking her hands in his for a brief shake.
“Hello Deborah, glad for you to see me”
“Sit Mr Sean, over the phone you spoke about a child you believe is in a abusive home, please explain what it is you mean and if you can give me any more information?”
Sean scratches his head,“Actually, I met the child, her name is Kikina, I think she should be three or four years old, I started talking to her and then her mother showed up and she was mad, like really mad”
“That would because you are a stranger talking to her kid, any mother would be on a defensive”
“Especially when I introduced myself as the school’s supplier and that I had almost ran down her daughter who was playing in the driveway? I mean the kid admitted to me that she didn’t have any friends and she was sad, that could either mean that whatever that is going on with that kid is affecting her psychologically to have her withdraw into herself and she also said that children bullied her “
“I didn’t get her to tell me, her mother showed up”
“Okay, was that all?’’
“’No, she came up aggressively, she was angry and told me no one will take her daughter from her and the kid looked so scared that got me worried, I had to calm the situation but she kept saying you… you won’t take my kid from me and pushing the kid behind her and the poor girl was staring at me I don’t know with sadness or fear, but there was something totally off and it irked me” Sean finishes, Deborah sighs
“There is not enough information for us Sir to investigate, was there bruises, did she manhandle the kid in front of you?”’
“No but, look, I have never being within the walls of social services and for me to come here it’s because I think that kid is in an abusive home either from her mother or father and it didn’t sit well seeing her sad, withdrawn and the way her mother acted with me. I mean she didn’t know me but I felt she hated me… I could feel it and I didn’t know why. Look, I know it’s a long short but if you would pay them a visit just to make sure, it would put my mind at ease and like you said, it may be nothing but it is better to be safe than sorry and hear on the news about a kid beaten or worse… who knows”
“Fine, we would pay them a visit, do you have an address, theirs not yours?” she smiles
“Oh no, but I can give you the school’s and I don’t know the mother’s name just the daughter’s, Kikina… please when can this be done?”
“Tomorrow, I would keep you updated”
“Actually, I would like to be there would that be okay?”’
“Erm sure, why not”’
That was about two days ago, when he had gotten the call from Deborah that she was heading to the school today he had put his supervisor in charge and driven down , they met at the parking lot and walked in together, they asked him to wait.
“I would like to have a few words with the mother and child first, I like to get a feeling of things to know how they react to questions posed at them, it helps me better decipher without distractions on their parts”
“Sure why not” he waited.
It took less than thirty minutes when some lady had come to call him
“Miss Deborah says you can come in now”’ she had said beckoning him to follow her, when they reached the door, he noticed it was a library.
As soon as he was ushered in, he saw her, Kikina’s mother and when he heard her last outburst Sean couldn’t hold back..
“Me! I was the one who reported to child services” he says going completely into the room
“You Bastard!!” she had said
“’Wow, such language in front of a what? three or a four year old, is that even appropriate?” Sean turns to Deborah
“Look ma’ám, for the sake of the kid would you refrain from using strong languages?” Deborah turns to Megan, but Megan’s eyes were bloodshot
“How dare you? How dare you?’’ she says pointing at him, Kikina hands is clasped in hers
“You have no right, no bloody right to get into my life and want to take my child away from me” she spat
Sean scoffs, for a pretty woman she was too angry, she has terrible tempter
“Take? No ma’ám I don’t intend to but please kindly explain to me, to us, why your daughter is shaking like a fig leaF beside you?”’
“Ït’s because you all are scaring her”
“No because she is afraid of you” Sean says “I know it would be the most wicked thing to take a child away from her parents but it would be more evil to leave a child with parents who make her feel threatened with living”’
“You have no idea how we have been living, or surviving, all of a sudden you care?” Megan flares
Sean is confused, why does it seem as though she is saying one thing and meaning another?
“Look madam i obviously don’t know how you have been living nor do I care”’
“”Exactly!” Megan throws her hands up cutting him off, Sean frowns
“But I care enough for that little girl who seems she deserves better”
“’You don’t care, you never did, you don’t care for Kikina, you never did, if not you wouldn’t have-‘’
“’Madam, this is inappropriate please” Deborah cuts her off, they were raising their voices, was it just her or she felt that there was some bad blood between them, have they met before?
“Madam, calm down please, take a sit and let us talk like adults, I am the Child services worker and I have to be convinced that what Mr Sean here has reported is not what it is… and you have to convince me that what he is saying is untrue and I have to talk to Kikina too. I am just doing my job and all this shouts and banter would lead us to nowhere . Please calm down and let us talk. So I will ask you some questions and I need you to answer me honestly and if I detect any dishonesty I would probe further”
“You have no damn right over her, you never will”’Megan points to Sean, her eyes in slits
“Are you kidding me! I am not after your daughter. See Miss Deborah, she is unstable, I don’t understand half of what she is even saying…” he says shaking his head, Debeorah shakes her head too
“Mr Sean I would please ask that you don’t incite her more or indulge her or I would have to ask that you wait outside“
“Fine” he says sitting down. He stares at Megan and her gaze is all daggers
He felt uncomfortable…. he has never met her before in his entire life and yet she seemed to have this certain hate for him. Why does she feel threatened by him, or is her husband the abuser, did he abuse her and their child, is that why she felt he was a threat to her kid, but he wasn’t doing anything but her reaction despite his apology threw him off guard and what with her constant.. ‘You won’t take her from me’ talk?”
It didn’t make sense. His gaze rests on the girl, Kiki as she holds tight to her mother, was it out of fear or what? But whatever the case was, he was making sure that the girl was safe before he leaves if not, he would have to let child services handle the case. It’s things like this that aren’t paid attention to that you later regret to find a child has been brutally abused, physically, emotional and otherwise.
He wouldn’t let that happen. He might not know the kid but she seemed too innocent, too sad, too withdrawn for a child for him to let it go. Better for her to be in a peaceful loving environment than to be home with parents who would cause her to turn to a messed up kid, something worse if she survives their abuse.
He would know. He lost a friend like that. He didn’t listen enough, he didn’t care enough.. the boy was fifteen, he died of overdose. He later learned that his father was raping him and beating his mother. He couldn’t handle it and no one knew until they found his suicide note. So if he could help one child avoid that fate, He would gladly.
“I asked a question ma’ám, have you ever raised your hands on your daughter?” Deborah’s voice cuts into Sean’s thoughts
“What sort of ridiculous question is that? I love my daughter wholeheartedly I will never hurt her. No I have never and I will never “’
“Have you ever shouted on her?’’
“I scold her when she does something wrong”’
“I believe you are an educated woman, if you don’t know what scold is, google is your friend”’
“Mummy scolds me when I eat a lot of chocolates after dinner after I have brushed my teeth. I am not supposed to take sweet things after dinner, mummy says it makes me super-active..I run around screaming and sometimes I fall asleep with my head hanging down my bed and sometimes while mummy is asleep”’
She giggles covering her mouth “I use her makeup and draw clown on her face”’ she laughs, Sean smiling, so does Deborah
“kikina is it?”’ Deborah turns to her, Kiki nods
“what happens at home on a normal day, don’t look at mummy, just at me, don’t be sacred okay, I won’t hurt you”’
Kiki looks up at her mother
“Kiki, me, look at me, tell me how mummy is with you at home “’
“’Mummy loves me”
“’Do you know that or mummy makes you tell people that?”’
Kiki frowns, Sean is attentive “Tell the truth Kiki” he encourages
“’You don’t talk to my daughter! You stay away from my daughter or I swear -”’
“Please, please” Deborah says “Kiki, go on”’
“Mummy loves me, and I love her and no she doesn’t tell me to tell people, she tells me not to talk to strangers. Mummmy-mummy reads me bed time stories every night, mummy prays to God with me and takes me to the pool every Saturday, I love my Aunty Tonia too. Mummy and her are best friend, . erm…mummy gives me by favourite food and -and”
“And what kiki?”’ Deborah asks, Kiki lowers her head
”’Go on” Sean says
Megan felt like flinging a chair his way… she bites her lips,
“’Mummy gets sad too, and I don’t like when she gets sad and I know it’s my fault”’
“What is your fault kiki?’’
Megan is staring at her daughter now
“I hear her cry sometimes in the shower or in the car, and she keeps looking at the picture of my grandpa and grandma, do you know I haven’t ever met them? But she cries and when I ask her she tells me she isn’t crying. And I feel bad because I feel it’s because of me “’
“Oh kiki”’ Megan breaths going on her knees facing kiki
“What about your daddy, is your mummy sad about your daddy? Does your daddy hurt you, does your mummy hurt you, tell me Kiki it’s okay”’
Kiki shakes her head, but her eyes pools “I haven’t met my daddy either, mummy says he went to heaven. Aunty, why did God take my daddy, why didn’t he let me see him and have him give me piggy rides and come to parents day to sit me in school or drop me at school or..or..” she sniffs “buy me ice-cream and tug me into bed at night. Why did God take my daddy without letting me tell him I love him too as I love mummy and have him… him hold mummy and tell her it’s all going to be okay and that she should stop crying and that I wouldn’t be naughty again, I won’t throw tantrums and I wouldn’t be sad again’’ she sniffs as tears fall down her eyes…
“’Oh kiki, no baby, no baby, it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault” Megan cries as she shakes her head, cleaning her daughter’s eyes.. “Mummy loves you so so much and it’s not because of you, Never!”
“’But why do you keep hurting and crying”
“Because, because “’ Megan trails off “Because mummies gets sad too, life, work, those we care about but it has nothing do with you sweat pea, I promise. Okay, mummy won’t ever cry again okay?’’
“Pinky-swear?’’ Kikina cleans her eyes giving her mother her little finger
“Pinky-swear!” Megan takes kiki’s finger and pulling it with hers, kiki smiles, her face brightens up again,
“Come here kiddo” Megan stretches her hands wide, Kiki laughs rushing into them, Megan kisses all over her face and kiki mimics her mother, Megan laughs.
Deborah stares at the mother and child, straightening up… she turns to Sean, walking towards him… “Mr Sean, I do understand your concern, but if you have just witnessed what I just did, you would realise that there is no abuse here, but love and pain. Maybe from a deceased husband and father and a woman who has issues with her family but you can see that both mother and daughter love each other dearly and it’s not forced. And we have no idea what she had gone through or what both mother and child are coping with … I can state that a child who has no father figure, would feel that gap, there would always be a need she wants in her life and maybe who knows how the relationship was between mother and husband… whatever it is got the child sensitive but… bottom line, no abuse here Mr Sean, so I would ask if you would want to withdraw your filing?’’
Sean stares at her and at them..
True, a child who is being abused can’t show that genuine emotion towards her abuser even though forced. He may still be put off by the mother’s atitude towards him which still got him curious but…still.. he was too fast at judging. He was wrong. He almost separated a child from her mother, he felt bad, he felt shame “I withdraw” he states.
Deborah smiles nodding “Very well, I will handle it” she turns to Megan and kiki “Kiki, I am so sorry for any discomfort my presence must have caused you, I duly apologies . You have a beautiful daughter and whatever gap her father has left I am sure you are doing your absolute best to make her feel loved and she exudes same for you. I am so sorry, and I hope one day whenever we see we can be civil towards each other Mrs?’’ she says stretching out her hands
Megan straightens up, cleaning her eyes, kiki is hugging her again, but kiki is staring at Sean.. “Its Miss, Miss Megan Phillips”’
Sean looks up sharply
“Well Miss Megan Philips, have a good day and you kiki, be good to mummy okay?”
“’Yes” they shake hands,
Deborah nods to Sean and leaves.
That name, that name sounds very familiar, why did that name cause a frown? He couldn’t understand why.
That name, where has he heard it before? And who.. why did…Argh, he doesn’t remember.,Megan and Kiki are walking away.
“’Erm, Miss Megan Philips, I am so sorry, I didn’t realize … I just-”’
The slap caused him to stagger backwards..he holds his face
“You are a bastard, how dare you do this, reporting me to child services, you almost ripped my daughter away from me, she is all that I have, all that I have, All!! How dare you!!’’ the tears flows down her eyes..
“Mummy’’ kiki tugs at her hands,
“Mummy, don’t be mad at him, he is my friend, he wouldn’t do it again, right Uncle?’’ Kiki tugs at Sean’s hands, he looks down , blinking as his vision clears
He bends to her level as the pain stings his face “Yes, I wouldn’t. I am sorry kiki, do you forgive me?’’ yes, he messed up.
He almost destroyed a home, he deserved the slap.
Kiki nods “I forgive you.‘’
“Will your mummy forgive me too?” he says looking up at Megan, she turns away..
“You had no right, stay away from my daughter” Megan says pulling kiki away from him
Kiki turns to him “mummy likes flowers, white lilies’’ she whispers waving and turning away
Sean straightens up, touching his face.
Well, he messed up, he had to make things right..
Now, where would he get white lilies from?’’
TO BE CONTINUED.