Olivia is 12, Vivienne is 11. Jasper is 3. Walt Jones is 35
Soundtrack: Cool Kids by Echosmith
narrated by Olivia
Things are so much different.
It's the eight of us now. We are permanently living with my aunt and uncle. For all practical purposes, we are orphans.
I hope one day, when I have a family of my own that I am able to feed them enough each night that they get full and not go to bed with hungry stomachs. That I won't have to pretend that I am not hungry so that they will get enough. When I have a family of my own, I will never forget about my aunt and uncle. They didn't have to help us out...again. They helped so much when mom left and now they are here, helping again, not in a mean way either. They seem happy to help us.
I told them that once, well, I told them thank you for helping us, thank you for letting us live with you. They looked at me strangely and said that it was never an option not to help and that we are family and family sticks together. When I grow up and have a family, I want my family to stick together. No runaway dads or moms, no piles of unpaid bills. None of that.
Vivienne and Jasper are doing so much better since we moved in, but then of course Jasper doesn't know what's going on and Vivienne. Well, we are lying to her.
When we go to the cold building each week, we tell her that dad is working there. I don't know what they will do when she starts asking questions.
She's eleven, not stupid.
My aunt insists on casting a spell over us each time before we walk in. I am still getting used to all the supernatural powers in this house.
I wish they had the power to make money fall from the sky, or at least change history.
We wait until he is able to come in the room and when he does it's like sunshine entered.
I hate it. It's like my parents died, but they didn't die. At least when your parents die, there is a funeral. And you can talk about it and people say how they are sorry for your loss and give you a hug. There isn't any shame. There are no whispers as you pass by. You don't have to lie to your teachers when they ask about your dad, instead you say that he's away working and that you're staying with relatives for a while.
We can't see him when we want, or call him when we want. Instead we have to plan our trips and get permission and make sure that we have the correct paperwork. We can't chat for hours because when the phone beeps giving us our 15 minute warning we must rush "I love you"'s. We can't have a normal life, no matter how harsh it was. At least he was there with us.
Now he's in jail and who knows what will happen. I'm scared. What if he comes out without an eye, or not come out at all. Aunt and uncle said that it's not like the tv shows and that's he's safe, with three meals a day, medical care and resources. But they seem so sad when they talk about when he will get out. I hear them whispering. Whispers of how unfair the system is, how he is supposed to go to get rehabilitated and then reintroduced to society, but that society doesn't want him. That no one will hire him, no one will approve a rental application and how will he raise three kids alone then?
Dad says that he wants to work on his education and get a degree, so that when he gets out, he can do something else with his life.
The only thing I want him to do with his life is be with me.
Walt is in jail for six years. Since it's his first offense he has a lower sentence and is housed in a minimal security facility. Olivia doesn't know what he's in for, but he was caught transporting illegal substances in an effort to make some simoleans for his family.