Spilled Milk: Based on a true story

BOOK: Spilled Milk: Based on a true story
4.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Spilled Milk

K.L Randis

To Grandma
Eileen and Grandpa George,

believing in me

And to my

You complete me



Copyright © 2013 by K.L Randis

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or
distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not
participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the
author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Cover Design Copyright
2013 by K.L Randis

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places
and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously,
and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments,
events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any
control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party
websites or their content.





Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

About the Author


They never gave me a polygraph. I imagined myself
strapped to a machine with a series of questions being rattled off. The
proctors would nod their heads and mark the sheets as it fed out the results. Everyone
wanted to know the truth, yet they asked the wrong questions over and over. Are
you okay? Do you need a break? What can I do? No one would want to hear the
real answers.

My hand closed around the organic chemistry note cards
in my pocket.
How does Hydrogen and Chlorine react in the presence of an

The corner of my mouth twisted upward.
to laugh, stop it.
I forced a serious face before anyone noticed. There I
was, sitting in the District Attorney’s office with stupid organic chemistry
note cards in my pocket.

My mom sat on the adjacent wall from me, staring off
into space somewhere. I also had the ability to fix my eyes on a given object
while my brain sputtered into shut down mode. It was a welcomed retreat at

Deep crevices muddled the brilliance of my mom’s eyes
and I wondered what she was thinking
Her weight shifted from one side
of the chair then back again. It was a common dance she did to relieve the pressure
in her lower back. The only interruption to her gaze happened when a man or
woman in a suit entered the room.

I wondered if she even knew what organic chemistry
was. “You would need this oxidizer. These two elements react like this, see?” I
would draw a little diagram. “Simple.”

“Oh, I don’t know Brooke, you’ll never need that anyway.”
The look on her face, the way her lips spread into a smaller, thin line told me
she didn’t want to hear about the things she refused to understand.

I was nineteen-years-old, a sophomore in college. The
room could barely hold ten people, and it was cement gray, just like I imagined
when I thought of a courthouse waiting room. A secretary sat in the corner
checking her email, only stopping to pick up the phone or take a long, hard
swallow of her mega sized WaWa coffee. She was the only one in the room that
looked at ease while everyone else sat in an awkward silence waiting for
Heather to come in and tell us what was next.

I hate this room. My butt is asleep. Yes, Miss
Secretary, can I help you? I’ll just stare back.

Mismatched posters held to the wall with ripened
shards of tape. My uncle’s chair had one leg slightly shorter than the rest and
his mindless rocking helped pass the time.

My aunt picked up a pamphlet sitting next to her and
opened it. It returned to the table just as fast. STD’s and their warning signs
was not her choice of reading material this morning.

Heather shuffled through the door with wide eyes,
banging her briefcase against her knees. “Okay, good, everyone’s here then.”

She was my designated victims advocate. Her job was to
guide me through the court hearings so I could understand, so she usually had
to explain things more than once. The flood of information I was expected to
absorb about the judicial system failed to hold any meaning to me.

Heather didn’t try to sugarcoat anything. She was
blunt. “This is what the judge means,” followed by, “Any questions?”

Hundreds. Thousands even. I solved chemical reactions
with ease, but tripped over the things Heather tried to drill into my head. She
was worn too.

“I don’t know how you’re doing this,” Heather said
just a week ago, her emerald eyes drooping. “I give you a lot of credit kiddo.
They really tore you down in there, and you kept your own. I know I keep saying
this, but it’ll be over soon.”

get an Irish victims advocate
hair bounced around her face blazing in its red glory and highlighted the doubt
in her eyes as she tried to soothe me. I took it with a grain of salt, smiled,
and accepted the one of many hugs that generally came my way after a

She would make some kind of remark about how us both
being Irish was the only reason we would ever consider fighting this long and
hard, but that we made a great team, didn’t we?

“You better come see me when all this is over,” she
said, more than once. “You know, if you can ever handle coming back

she motioned, flicking her hand to the space surrounding us. She was right. I
hated this room, this entire place. The smell of burnt coffee, the weird sounds
the elevator made as we hurried down to courtroom three. I wanted to forget it

I lost track of how many of the courtrooms I had seen
the inside of sometime after the first year of going there. Heather kept me grounded.

The security guards knew me well and were always happy
to see me. The woman guard would greet me with a smile. “Ah, back again today?”

 I would force a half smile while scanning the lobby
area. She would read my face. “He’s not here yet, honey.”

I relaxed and focused on getting into the District
Attorney’s office. The faster the better.

We parked behind the building and came through the less
utilized handicapped entrance. Mom had rods and screws molded to her spine from
her work injury years ago. She was a walking tin man, awkward gait included,
guaranteed to set off the annoying alarm on the metal detectors. They waved a
wand over her instead. She would nod and apologize for the inconvenience to the
guards, but the smirk on her face absorbed all the pitied glances thrown her

 Stroudsburg was a pretty small town in nowhere
Pennsylvania, so coming through the back also threw off any news reporters
trying to overhear conversations between everyone that walked into the building
behind me.

“Well then,” the guard would say, lowering her voice.
“Let’s hope I don’t have to see you anymore after today.” She would wink as I
crossed the lobby to Heather’s office.

“Doesn’t my lawyer look like David Caruso, you know,
the guy on CSI Miami? He’s got reddish hair,” I said to Heather, moving my hand
over my own unruly mob of wavy hair. She checked him out and raised an
approving eyebrow.

Even though he was my lawyer I exchanged words with
him maybe three times throughout the whole time I knew him. Generally anything
that I needed to know Heather told me. She would relay any information back to
him that I needed to tell him. His eyes would say
I’m sorry you’re here
whenever I would enter his office.

I sometimes imagined him making those slam dunk speeches
I saw on CSI. Secretly I wanted to witness the kind of closing statement that
would leave an audience gasping
I knew it!
Case Solved!
remained quiet and collected, though, boring even. I grimaced. I never wanted
my life to end up like a TV show anyway. This was real life,
my life.

A lot of family showed up on the last day of court. I
understood the drive from Long Island, New York to Pennsylvania was a long one,
so I didn’t expect the support
time we had a hearing. That last
day was important.

There was comfort in the waiting room, a sense of
familiarity. Family stared at me and waited for me to cry, to think, to

Secretaries and lawyers rushing in late to meet their
first clients of the day analyzed all the people around me as they passed
through. They acknowledged all the adults, the only child in the room. I
ignored them and studied my note cards. They tightened their lips, some shook
their heads.

Must be a custody hearing, poor kid.


Chapter One

Wow, he can
hold his breath for a long time

My brother’s
head bobbed halfway under the water of the kiddie pool. I traced the outline of
Barbie’s face on my bathing suit and waited for him to come up. Adam could hold
his breath longer this time since he was seven, a whole year older than me, so
his mouth must be bigger to hold more air.

Oh well, I
won the first two times we played who-can-hold-their-breath-the-longest, I
guess he can win this one

I poked him in
the back again to signal that I had come up for air and his head sank toward the
bottom and rose again like a lazy balloon. He didn’t budge.

“Come on, Adam,
you win. You can come up now.”

The way his
body drifted made the hairs on my neck feel funny. I stiffened a little. Where’s
Dad? Does he see this?

There he is,
talking to the neighbor, probably boring things. It’s funny our neighbors name
is Cornelia, good thing she’s old, sounds like an old name.  I wouldn’t even
play with someone with a name like that, with a name that sounds like a
vegetable or a disease. They’re nice neighbors, I guess, but their dogs are
mean. Maybe cause we tease them through the fence. I should tell Dad. If he
yells at Adam to get up he definitely will. How is he holding his breath that

I climbed over
the side of the pool and avoided dog poop as I crossed the lawn.


I knew I
shouldn’t interrupt his adult conversation. This was important though; Adam couldn’t
stay underwater all day since we still had a fort to build. I wasn’t stupid, it
was his turn to sneak food from the pantry and he just didn’t want to. I was
sure that that’s what this was all about, sneaky older brother.

My dad kept
talking to Cornelia about how Long Island isn’t what it used to be, and how
much he hates bills. “New York is an expensive place to live, I know, but how
am I supposed to raise these kids and send all three of them to private school
on one paycheck? Not to mention Molly didn’t plan on breaking her back, and
disability only pays so much. Plus she’s due any day now, that’s just another
mouth to feed.”

 “Dad, I have
to tell you something.”

Cornelia looked
down at me and smiled.
She’s a pretty lady to have a disease for a name

Dad gave me the
stare, the one that said go away. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen his eyes
because his glasses are so thick, but I know they’re blue, like mine. My mom’s
are blue, and all of us kid’s eyes are blue, so his have to be too. His are
different though, his eyes never laugh.

“Yea, what?”

Better make
this fast.
“I have to tell you something.”

He blinked at

“Adam won’t get
up. And he already won the contest so-”, I pointed toward the pool.

My dad was
halfway across the yard before I even put my hand down. When I started running
after him, he had Adam scooped up in his arms and face up on the ground beside
the pool, his beard pressed against his lips. They were the color of
blueberries. Cornelia started screaming about an ambulance, but I didn’t see
one. All I saw was Adam lying on the ground in his Ninja Turtles bathing suit.

What a
faker, he doesn’t have to fake to get attention, I already know he won.

Adam started
coughing and water came out of his mouth at the same time he started crying.
“Daddy!” he gasped still choking, his white knuckles grabbing at Dad’s shirt. I
started crying too because it seemed like the right thing to do, and I didn’t
realize that Adam was really in trouble until just then.

My dad helped
Adam to his feet. “That’s all I need, another bill for an ambulance. It’s not
like I have insurance or anything. Brooke, get next door and tell Cornelia she
better not call an ambulance. He’s fine.”

BOOK: Spilled Milk: Based on a true story
4.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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