(Foreground we see Mother seated and being asked questions by an Officer. The in background we see snapshots sometimes aligning but sometimes not quite in line with the narrative recounting of the Mother.)
M -I ran in and he was real sorry.
(Snapshot of a young man seated with his leg propped up on the arm of the couch.)
Right off the bat, before I was able to get a word in edgewise he was jumping up and down and asking why my cell phone was working and apologizing all up and down about it. I asked him what happened, he said that she was jumping around and had gotten herself up on the counter and was about to break her neck jumping off, but he grabbed her, and that when he did he must of hurt her arm cause she couldn’t move it and she was screaming.
(Snapshot. He yells and throws a beer can at the wall.)
That’s why he put her in the car so that we’d be ready to go. He said it was also cause it was too hard on his heart to hear her screaming and since he couldn’t do nothing to stop it, he thought it best to put her in the car,
(Snapshot of the little girl lying on the backseat of car, crying.)
so he could collect his thoughts and then figure out what best to do about her.
O -But she was locked in the car by herself?
M - Yeah, It was February day so there weren’t any heat stroke to worry about.
(Snapshot of car and the cold snow shoveled and plowed up and the icy grey cloud covered sky.)
O - It just seems like a heartless thing to do, to hurt a child and then lock the child away until the birth mother arrived.
M - Well, I thought that too.
(Snapshot of young man and Mother, He is leaning in and touching her a little too suggestively. He is trying to get her to comfort him.)
It was a hard thing to fret over and over, but I convinced myself that it was going to alright. You would have too if you had seen him after she got the cast put on. He knew my mind. He knew I was angry and I was doubting whether he and I could make it after that little broken arm, but he was so sorry.
(He is on his knees, but a looking at Mother somewhat sternly.)
He was on his knees crying and begging me to forgive him and begging me to know he didn’t do nothing for real, didn’t do it with hate in his heart.
O – So he apologized?
M – Yeah. And, not just to me. I told him he could apologize to me and I could forgive him, but I wasn’t the one he hurt. I thought if I made him apologize to her, then he and she might start on the path to being a family. If he could show her a tender part, if he could show her his heart, she might show him hers back and then we’d all embrace and there would be a healing. A deep deep healing. That what I was hoping for. He was hesitating. I don’t know why, he had already just about drained himself dry of tears on account of my forgiveness,
(Snapshot. We see his back, arms folded. Mother touching his shoulder.)
He got this look. I told him it would be alright. I thought maybe he thought she wouldn’t forgive him. So, he went to her a touched her shoulder before we left the emergency room for the car. He got down on one knee like a man about to propose.
(Snapshot. His hand holding a candy bar)
He did it so right so wonderfully, I was suddenly so proud of him, and I knew it was the start of new beginning for him and my little girl. But, when I looked at her there was nothing looking back.
(Snapshot of the little girl’s face.)
She just gave him nothing, not even ice to melt, it was like a doll was looking back, no soul to give him.
(Snapshot of Mother pointing a little girl)
And, I…I…got….so cross with her….(starting to break down a little) I said myself, that she was hardening her little heart, and I wasn’t going to have it. I told her that too.
(Snapshot of the little girl, her face and her arm in cast.)
I actually made her accept his apology. He had broken her little arm, god knows how, this was my own blood and I choose that man over her right there in that emergency room.
M - He only once every after that said anything that put fear in me.
O – When was this?
M – It was the following week. I had come home from church. He didn’t want to go. He said it was going to be too hard to sit there with my daughter and have all those judging eyes on him. He said he didn’t want to put up with no hypocrites and he wasn’t going to have no one looking down on him. I didn’t want to push him. I knew…Well I thought I knew that he was hurting inside and I told him to say home and watch the game. I’d take her to church and then my sister was going to watch my girl.
When I got back her had been drinking, and I mean drinking. He was sitting with the guitar in his lap and he had only 2 strings left on the guitar. He looked up at me and asked where my girl was. I told him. He put the guitar down and we went to bed. After we made love, that’s when he said it.