I didn’t hold Savannah to blame, though. I couldn’t. So many people had abused her. I blamed all the adults who could have – should have – helped her, including Roland and the social workers. I was disgusted with them all. Why didn’t anyone help her?
After the murder and Savannah’s arrest, I called her defense attorneys and told them how she had been living. I wanted her lawyer to know what she had been through – the alcoholism in the family and the abuse, neglect, and gang rape she’d endured. I wanted him to be sympathetic. But I also called the prosecution. I wanted someone to finally do something.
I don’t think anything I said had any affect on anything, but her first baby was taken away from her, and Savannah went to a group home. And that was great.
Wanda was admitted to BetterLife Treatment Center. Wanting to encourage her, I went to visit. Once there, I felt I’d better explain my absence from the extended family. It wasn't just because Roland and I were separated or because I didn't get along with his oldest daughters.
“Wanda, I haven’t come around you guys for awhile because I care about you all and just can’t keep watching all the bad things going on. I just can’t keep watching everyone get hurt and die.”
Wanda didn’t take offense. Instead, she felt touched by the idea someone cared. ‘No one’s ever said anything like that to me before,” she answered quietly.
My Sister Steph moved in with me in January. When she came, I was excited. I had visions that we would shop together, do each other’s hair and in general, be sisters together in a way we never had before. But neither of our schedules ended up allowing it. I was working the 3-11 shift and at times even back to back or doubles, and she was working two jobs. We rarely saw each other.
Troy and Mickey were my babysitters, not because they were good but because they were convenient. Some mornings I’d find Haley soaked in her crib because they hadn’t changed her before putting her to bed. And there were times girls stayed over while both Steph and I were gone. Steph was especially angry when one of her heirloom coffee tables was broken.
Troy came home one day and told me something Misty had said about me. That was it. I’d had enough.
“I’m going down to kick her a—right now.”
Matthew stopped me. “She’s pregnant. You better not go over there.”
“I don’t care. I’m sick of her!”
I was afraid if I stopped now, I’d never do it. I jumped in my car and drove over to Cheri’s place. Standing in the snow outside, I called Misty down from the upstairs duplex.
She hurried down the stairs and opened the screen door. “What?”
“I’m so sick of you and your mouth! If you don’t cut it out, I’ll kick the s--- out of you!”
“Wait a minute.” She turned and ran back up the stairs.