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. 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. This man told my mom and aunt the case was cold. He mumbled that there were a lot of other cases with more promise. There was nothing more they could do.
That’s when I determined this hollow, timid man didn’t deserve the title 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 it was a mantle I would outgrow; one 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.