Then we disappeared.

In April of 1985 my mother and I disappeared. Her boyfriend found out she had been stealing from him and she was charged with theft. Before she could be arrested we were gone. When we left, we used our trusty old beetle as our getaway car. Unfortunately, my godfather had co-signed the agreement to purchase this beetle from our landlord, Bettie. Along with the lease agreement for the apartment we rented. When mom skipped out on rent and the car, Bettie filed charges against my mother for theft. And who was left to pick up the pieces? That’s right, my godfather was. Bettie sued him for the cost of the car and rent for the apartment.

They were able to come to an agreement for him to pay the money owed and Bettie would drop the grand theft charge on my mother. Once that was settled, my godparents decided to hire a private detective to find us. Knowing the little bit they did about my mother, they thought this type of behavior was out of the ordinary and completely irrational.

I found out years later that my mother actually had taken off to Illinois to visit her family. The family that for several years prior had no idea where she was. Unlike my godparents, they were used to her random disappearances and reappearances. The only difference this time was that she wasn’t alone.
Meanwhile, my godparents continued to worry and the search for us went on. A few months passed before they received a call from the detective. He was sure he had located my mother and asked that they come in to his office to identify a photo. The person the detective had located was a woman from Pampa, Texas with the same name and birth date as my mother  There was no sign of me, but he was positive it was her. There was no sign of the car, but he figured she would have ditched it as soon as she could since it was now technically stolen.

Feeling they had finally made some progress, my godparents walked in to the detective’s office with confidence. With mutual pride, the detective held up the photo of the women he found as waited to hear them rejoice. The women in the photo looked nothing like my mother; not even close.  They had not made any progress after all. If anything, this only raised more questions.


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