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Mommy's Coming Alyssa
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Two uniformed patrol officers stood by the running path of the Memorial Central Park. The information they received stated that the subject ran along this path in the morning hours. Armed with a photo and description, they patiently waited.
Jenette ran with her measured pace, breathing easily in the accustomed stride of her toned and slender body. She barely noticed the two officers as she approached them. Her mind focused on the empty space that had become her world. She jolted back to the present as the officers stepped onto the path in front of her, motioning for her to stop. Puzzled and obedient, she slowed and stopped, facing the two men.
"Are you Jenette Donaldson?" Officer Mendez asked.
"Yes," Jenette answered.
"Do you have a daughter Alyssa Rose Donaldson, 4 years old?"
Horror and fear suddenly pumped through her veins. Trembling she answered, "Yes. Why? What's wrong? What has he done to her now?"
Each officer gently touched an arm and guided her to their cruiser, explaining that Alyssa had been injured and had been rushed to the East Region Hospital Emergency Room. The father had been arrested. They had been sent to find Alyssa's mother and bring her to the hospital.
Janette sat in the back seat, her hands covering her eyes. The tears leaking out of the sides of her fingers, trickling down her cheeks.
"I had to go to Philadelphia on a business trip. I was only gone three days. While I was gone, Roger went to court and got an emergency order of protection. He lied to the judge saying I had beat my daughter. He showed the judge pictures of hand print bruises on Alyssa's buttocks and lower back. He lied. Those were his hand prints. He got his vile brother to come and lie to the judge, confirming that I abused her."
Taking a sobbing breath, "I go to court next Tuesday to contest the court order." Another sob, "I haven't seen her for all this time."
Jenette stopped talking with a new round of tears.
Officer Mendez reached into his uniform shirt pocket to retrieve his vibrating cell phone. He listened. "Roger," he answered. He turned the phone off and put it back into the shirt pocket. In his lap, his right hand clenched into a hard fist.
Officer Torry glanced over at Mendez. Mendez turned and looked at his partner with narrowed eyes and clenched jaws. Officer Torry returned his gaze to the road, his hands gripping the steering wheel tightly, knuckles turning white.
Arriving at the hospital, Jenette walked into the curtained off section of the emergency room. There, her lovely child, lay quietly on the gurney. Her only child. Jenette started to reach her hand to cradle her daughter's cheek, but could not.
They petite blonde-haired face had been distorted by the abuse, almost beyond even Jenette's ability to recognize her. The silver cross necklace Jenette had given Alyssa for her fourth birthday had been removed.
Alyssa's right orbital bone had been crushed and the eye pushed into the skull. Her small nose had been broken and now slanted to the right. The left side jaw area had swollen to an egg sized lump; her face purple with bruising. dried blood coated the left corner of her mouth. A white sheet covered the rest of her naked, slender and child-sized body.
Surprised, Jenette felt her heart turn to steel. Her heart, fresh from the molten pouring of grief, cooled into the hardness of determination as she gazed down at the girl she loved. Memories of laughter, tea parties, princess dress, swinging in the backyard and walks to the park with the wading pool, poured over the cooling heart, chilling it further.
Jenette leaned down to whisper in Alyssa's now deaf ear. "Mommy's so sorry sweet one. If I had known ..... But don't worry. Just remember I love you." Mommy stood for a long time, simply looking at the remains of her daughter.
"All rise. The honorable Judge Remsey presiding over Central County Court."
Jenette watched as an officer escorted the prisoner into the court to stand next to a court appointed attorney. The prisoner wore the infamous orange jump suit, feet and hands shackled. Jenette watched as the prisoner walked down the right side isle of the court room and turn towards her. His face lit up as he noticed Jenette. He leered at this woman whom he dominated all their marriage. Proud, defiant, he turned his back to her as he came to his place in this court drama, facing the Judge.
He turned back around at the flat tone from the woman he controlled. He had not heard the flat, emotionless, unafraid tone from her before.
Turning half way around, he looked at her, a menacing look on his face.
Jenette had freed the ceramic paring knife from the long sleeve of her blouse. When she entered the court house this morning, the sympathetic deputies had not bothered to pat her down, per protocol. Her story had become widely known in the community. They did not feel that they should add any further embarrassment to the grieving mother.
Jenette's nurses training guided the point of the knife. It slide easily into the left side of Roger's neck, severing the juggler vein and cutting the vocal cords. Shock registered on his face as he grabbed his gushing neck and fell to the floor. Lying on his side, his mouth opened and closed like a dying fish out of water.
Amid the clamor and confusion of the court officers Jenette sat back down. Surprised, the bailiff quickly recovered and rushed to provide assistance to the wounded man. Orders were heard clearing the court room, uselessly ordering medics to the scene.
Jenette opened her left hand and cradled the small capsule. She popped it into her mouth and crushed it between her teeth. The liquid flowed into her mouth, filling it with an acidic metallic taste. Smiling, Jenette leaned back against the hard wood of the bench; a sleepy smile settled upon her peaceful face.
"Don't worry Alyssa. Mommy's coming."
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