#35 I, Isabel Scheherazade, who thinks–knows–I have problems, learn more about the load Olivia carries. Today, while we talk, she brings her long hair to the side of her neck so she can see what she’s doing and braids a sky blue scarf like its just another strand of her blackblack hair. It’s like it helps keep her from unraveling. (She’s bookmarked a site on scarf-tying along with other sites on legal matters, edible mushrooms, nose-rings, death, and divorce.)

by storytellerisabel

You have experience with courts
? I ask.

Well, uh, yes? Olivia’s light dims as she talks. Let’s just say, as you must have figured out from the yelling you hear, let’s just say my parents fight. And, um, sometimes Mom needs to go to court to, er, restrain my father.


Olivia looks at me. Girl, you don’t know much, do you?

I blink. But she’s right. I DO live a protected life, except my two main protectors are dead.

When Mom and Dad fight, he doesn’t hit her; but, but, if it’s scary like he might, then she calls the police.

My chin drops. I need to rest it on my fist keep it closed.

Olivia nods, like yes, this happens right here in this neighborhood, and then she goes on. The police arrest Dad, and Mom gets a restraining order.

So does that mean he doesn’t live with you?

Funny thing about that, says Olivia. This is how the restraining order works. He has to stay in the GUEST room, away from Mom. After a while–like maybe a day or two or three days–Mom goes back to court and gets the restraining order removed.

Because they don’t argue anymore?

Isabel! It’s okay that parents argue. It isn’t arguing that Mom doesn’t like, it’s the shouting and arm-waving. She goes back to court to remove the restraining order because she thinks he won’t ever do it again. Olivia is quiet for a second. It’s complicated, Isabel. Mom shouts too, so I’m not sure who’s the most wrong here.

If this conversation was a walk in the woods, I’d say it’s gone way crooked. We’ve strayed from my wanting to get to court to make sure the killer suffers for the death of my Mom and Dad to Olivia’s LIVE Mom and Dad fighting!

What a waste.

Isabel Scheherazade