The Beginning: A True Story
Kristina, Age 11, Lodi, NJ

Sometimes I regret calling when I was at my mom’s house. After that, I never saw her again. I cry all the time for her; I feel it’s my fault I don’t see her anymore. I just wish sometimes that I thought it all through.

I can only remember my mom’s face when I was getting dropped off at a store where my grandmother and Dad were waiting for me. She was crying; she was asking me why I couldn’t stay with her the last few days.

I remember her saying, “Please, I want to stay with you”....

I just wouldn’t listen. I wanted to go home.

At the time, I didn’t care whether she was upset or not....I wanted to be happy.
When I got in the car, I said to my father, “Did I do right?”

Then he answered: “Yes, you have.”

I looked out the window and frowned the whole way home.

At the time, I had no idea I wouldn’t see her for five whole years. I was proud of myself then, for sticking up for myself.

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