They kicked me out when I was eighteen.
Hard to blame them.
My mom and her sister-in-law got over my dad’s disappearance years before. Seems they determined one day to just move on.
Wasn’t so easy for me.
Daddy disappeared on a Friday, exactly three weeks before my last day of fourth grade. At the sassy age of nine, I already thought New Orleans cops were a big pile of callous fools. And I guessed they wouldn’t give a damn about some man from Tremé who had gone missing.
Three months later, my suspicions were confirmed by a sweaty, pink-cheeked and balding detective who sat hunched on the rickety white chair in our narrow living room. That man told my mom and aunt the case was cold. He sounded like he was reading from some tired old script. He muttered that there were a lot of other cases with more promise. So sorry he didn’t have better news. There was nothing more he could do, but he’d call if anything new happened to come up.
That’s when I determined this hollow, timid man didn’t deserve the title of Detective. Finding the truth takes grit. Tenacity. I would have to assume that job if we were to get any answers.
Mamma and Aunt Ella figured my detective preoccupation was a mantle I would outgrow; something I would eventually wear out. Instead, my constant stream of questions and latest theories became unwanted intrusions, reminders of their heartbreak. Eventually, I wore them out.
Turns out, they underestimated my tenacity.