The police officer had been right.  What had been   puffy, red and sore had turned into a colorful purple and black eye overnight.  It was way too early to be up and going on a Saturday.  My warm bed seemed much more appealing than taking the 15 minute drive to the police station.  This would be one of the few times I was going to let my picture be taken without any makeup on.  The events of the following day had pushed the definition of family drama to new heights.  I had never been punched by a girl before, much less my sister.  My pregnant, irrational, dysfunctional little sister. 

At least I had the support of my family.  The family members who had witnessed the whole mess, called and related the scene to those not there.  The handful of people who had been there listened to my mother on the phone, as she related the days events over and over again to all who would listen.  It was sad and confusing to have seen  the switch which controlled common sense in my sister’s brain, turn off.   Out of 5 kids, none of us had ever treated people like this.  But this was my little sister and she was raised quite differently and  apart from the rest of us. 

My mother was closest to her youngest daughter and out of all her children, it was the baby sister who could control the actions of her parent.   It had always been this way but this time was different.  This time it was obvious who was right and who was wrong.   My mother had seen the attack with her own eyes.   She had been the one to suggest calling the police.  She cried as she repeatedly told the officer  what had gone down in the driveway earlier in the day.  She was full of love and compassion for me, her oldest daughter and it filled me with an emotion I didn’t often allow myself to feel when it came to my mother.  I felt trust.  I trusted this woman to be like other mothers and love all her children while also standing by the truth and calling for resolution when one of her children wrongs another.  I allowed myself to feel vulnerable because of that trust and that is a big deal for me.  I don’t easily trust anyone. 

I walked up the steps to the police station.  I would be glad when this whole thing was over.  My little sister had been stressed out yesterday, and acted  a bit crazy, but I loved her.  I was sure we could all get past this.  I knew she and her husband had called my mother a few times later that night.  They were upset and angry about the police being called.  We had heard them  yelling as they threatened my mother with all sorts of repercussions if she continued to be loving, supportive and truthful about that day.  Big repercussions if she stood by me.  But it would be okay because truth is truth and my mother kept hugging me, apologizing for her youngest daughters actions.  I felt loved.  I trusted her.  We all did.

I gave my name to the woman behind the bullet proof glass.  I turned to take a seat and waited for my name to be called and I would go have my colorful face photographed.  I looked across the room and saw a familiar shape.  I instantly knew.  There was the woman I called Mother.  She was rewriting her original statement.  She wouldn’t look me in the eye.  The repercussions had trumped the truth and sides had officially been chosen.  My trust had been misplaced.

In the photograph taken that morning, by a kind white haired police officer, you can see wet streaks running down over the many shades purple that decorated my cheek.

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