The doctor sat up straight and looked me in the eyes. "Nicole...are you honestly saying that you have an abusive mother?"
I sat there for a moment in hesitation...trying to decide whether or not I would tell the truth. Finally, I replied, "Yes. My mom has hit me...twice."
"Are you needing to press charges?"
Oddly, I had never really thought I needed to press charges on anyone...especially not my mother! Would she really go to the extremes of hitting me a third time?
I shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know...this never use to happen until a couple weeks ago."
The doctor stood up and shook my hand. "You're free to go, Nicole. But my advice to you is to go to the police station."
Josh stood up as soon as I stepped into the waiting room. "What was that all about," He asked. I took his hand in mine and started walking out the doors.
When we were outside, I stopped and looked at him. "Can we go somewhere before your house?"
"Sure, Button...but where?"
I sighed and said, "The police station."
I didn't even have to explain to him why I wanted to go there. He completely understood and we started walking towards his car.
"Are you sure you want to do this, baby?"
I didn't reply back...instead I just nodded and rested my head against the window. I had had a very long day and I was just ready to go to sleep.
My eyes snapped open and I looked around, scared, at first. I then remembered that I was in Josh's car...because I had ran away from home.
I have no home.
"Where are we?"
Josh chuckled and replied, "We're at the police station, silly. Remember?"
I had forgotten that I told Josh to take me to the police station. I was going to press charges on my mom! My voice automatically formed the word, "No."
I looked over at Josh and said, "I can't do it. I can't press charges on my own mother!"
Josh nodded and climbed out of the car and over to my side. He opened my door and knelt down in front of me. "Baby, what's going on right now...with you?"
"I don't know, Josh...should I press charges? I mean...she's really the only family I have left!"
He smiled and asked, "What about me?"
I pushed, gently, and said, "You know what I mean."
Josh cupped his hands around my face and said, "Whatever your decision is, I have faith that it'll be the right one."
We left the police station and pulled up into my driveway. I slowly got out of the car and quietly made my way to the porch. I was hoping that my mom was asleep, but as soon as Josh and I stepped through the door, she jumped up from the couch and ran towards the door.
"Thank God, you're alright!" She tried to hug me but I backed away.
Josh took my hand and held it tightly. My mom looked at us with a confused expression and crossed her arms.
"Why are you acting like this towards me?"
I couldn't stay calm anymore. "Do you not even remember?! You fuckin hit me in the face...hard!"
She looked taken aback and crossed her arms tighter. "I would never do that to you, Nicole! I'm not that kind of mother!"
"Oh really? That's funny. You hit me twice!!!"
She shook her head rapidly and looked at Josh for answers. "I didn't do that...did I Josh?"
Josh stepped in front of me and said, "April...I'm afraid so. We just got back from the hospital."
My mom looked at me and, for once, she took a hard look at my cheek. "Oh my God...why did I do that?!
"That a good question!" I yelled. She started kneading her hands, but I continued. "I'm not staying here, Mom...not for now. I can't live with someone knowing that they might harm me. I came to get a few things and I'll be on my way."
"W..where are you staying?"
I looked away from her because tears starting falling down her cheeks. "I'm not telling you that..."
With that, I walked past her and went upstairs to pack some clothes.
Josh was waiting for me when I stepped off the stairs. "You ready?" He asked.
I nodded and looked up to see my mom leaning against the counter. She was holding an envelope in her hands.
"Here," she said, "you'll need some money."
I shook my head, but Josh walked over to my mom and took the envelope for me.
He handed to me and we made our way towards the door. My mom stayed in the kitchen, and while she wasn't looking, I sat the envelope on a side table and went out the door.
I had anger in me and Josh sensed it. "What wrong, Button?"
"...Why couldn't she remember hitting me?"